I am not upset. No…
But my heart bleeds. And the force of the pain makes me short of breath.
To those who don’t know who Kimdonesia was, I will just give a brief introduction about her, the way I thought of her.
I found out about her a few months ago while I was searching in YouTube for videos of ‘reverts to Islam’. And stumbled upon her channel. I was excited to see this very young (17 years old) teenager who was fascinated with Indonesia when she had lived there two years ago. She wore hijab and practiced the religion while still living with her non-muslim family. I was excited to see that there were open-minded Australians out there, who would not ex-communicate their teenage child when the said child chose to believe. She was (still is) very famous in the You Tube among Muslims and even appeared on some international interviews over the radio and everything. She made lots of videos about her life as a Muslim; she seemed to live it and breathe it that I was so proud and at the same time humbled by her dedication towards Islam even though she only just converted a year ago. She also got a blog which I had linked to mine and I followed her progress in the short few months that I knew her.
Imagine my utter horror, when one day I was looking at my blog stats and noticed that one of the ‘search’ that somebody had done to reach to my blog was ‘Kimdonesia left Islam’. I was curious about what had triggered the person to search for such topic. So, I clicked on Kimdonesia’s blog…and the result I got was : the blog’s gone, vanished. Like it never was.
So, I went to You Tube, and searched for her channel. Again, I met with the same unfortunate result. The channel was closed.
I wondered what happened? I could not believe that she had left Islam.And until I found out for sure, I would not blog about my inner speculation then, lest I spread a fitnah. Besides, I was also busy with my exam, but my mind was constantly disturbed by what other people been talking about her, even though at that time, Kimdonesia did not confirm anything.
You see, I have this policy in my life…that I will never believe an account of a third party unless the people involved themselves tell me. (even then, we need to apply caution in our judgement). For example, I don’t go around judging SIS as ‘sesat’ unless I read it myself what their stands are in their own website regarding certain Islamic issues. I would not say ‘Astora Jabat is sesat’ if I have never read his own writing with my own eyes (and I still don’t think anyone can say he is sesat; who are you to judge?). I would not say Ustaz Asri is wahhabi, if I have never even heard his talk. I would not say anything as BIG as implying someone else’s faith is less than mine, UNLESS that person herself/himself say in no uncertain terms that something really is so.
In cases of ambiguity where a statement could be interpreted in thousand different ways, I would take the safest route and took the kindest meaning I could ascribe to it. Because even though I was not always fair, but I wanted to be fair and I wanted to at least put some effort in being fair.
But after a few days of wondering what was the deal with Kimdonesia, I found out the video I put up there. She claimed in no uncertain terms that she has left Islam, and I was left with no ambiguity whatsoever.
I was shocked first. And then saddened by her decision.
I forgot my Paediatrics book for awhile and just sat there on my bed in bewilderment. I thought, she was a very strong believer…like most reverts always are compared to born Muslims. She didn’t convert because she wanted to MARRY anyone, but rather because she actually saw Islam as the right way of life (or that was what I thought was the case). She was passionate about wearing hijab…even understood and defended the wearing of it in her blog. She was conscious about halal and non-halal food (was it Marshmallow that she blogged about?) and she went into a complete wardrobe change. I think her clothes were even more modest than mine. She did all the daily prayers, and she had fasted in her first (and only) Ramadhan and she had been reading a LOT of Islamic books and can quote hadeeths and knew about the basic hadeeths as any other average Muslims.
And then, THIS? This sudden de-conversion of her totally befuddled me.
And then, there seemed to be many, many Vlog in YouTube as a response to ‘Kimdonesia Left Islam’ video. One muslim brother even went so far as to blame the sisters for her having left Islam. It created some tension in the ummah (among those who are familiar with her).
I am not going to point fingers of blame here, on anyone. I would not say bad things to Kim, but rather I wanted to blog my response to what she said in the video. I always think that being emotional about any issues is counterproductive. Rather, you need to look at the issue rationally and realistically and counter them based on logical reasoning. You won’t win an argument by being malicious and saying “Go To Hell, you apostate.” or “F**k you, you fag!”. I mean, if you don’t like homosexuality, then address the issue of homosexuality reasonably; don’t be offensive and don’t put a label on the people just to make them angry. It’s counter productive and it’s childish!
I mean, if someone wants to criticize Islam, I am much more likely to have a certain respect towards the person who argued with me logically, rather than someone who showed me his middle finger and said “fuck off, Islam” to me in the street. The same principle should be applied for every sensitive issue.
Now regarding what Kimdonesia had said:
1) Her dog died, and she went into deep depression and didn’t see any point to life anymore.
Dog is a man’s best friend, isn’s that what they say?
And this is a perfect example of how much a dog can influence your whole fate. When we are in an emotional state of mind, it becomes really hard to be objective about our reasoning.
But my question is, was it the death of the dog that had triggered her de-conversion? She never really said that it really was the reason…
From the video, I got the gist that it was not any particular logical reason per se that made her de-convert, but rather a chain of events and emotional turmoil that had led her to de-convert, Allah knows best.
I mean, she did not de-convert because someone had come up with a better religion, or because someone had logically argued with her about Islam. She is too smart and too knowledgeable now about Islam that NONE of the usual media lies could be used to sway her out of the religion. She knew that women are not less than men, she knew that we did not cover our head in a ‘towel’ just because we are oppressed, she knew that the concept of God in Islam, that God is one, has more clarity of truth than the trinity of Christianity which remained a mystery till these days.
But what made her de-convert was a chain of events that had an impact on her emotionally. Her dog died, and then she began thinking about the fate of her non-Muslim family if they were thrown in the hell fire.
Perfectly understandable thoughts and anxieties.
Who does not love their pet? (even though I wouldn’t know since I never have one). Who does not love their family and want the best for them in the hereafter? Even our prophet Muhammad S.A.W was greatly saddened that her kind and loving Uncle died as a non-Muslim.
But these are emotional events….none of them should be made as a reason for conversion or de-conversion.
However, it can become a trigger that can lead you to the truth, or away from the truth.
My friend died in a car crash when I was 18, and THAT jolted me into learning more about Islam. Even though I was already a practicing Muslim since birth, but my faith is made much stronger afterwards because I began to research more about Islam. And Islam becomes important to me…before, it was just something I did as a Muslim.
But just because my friend died in car crash and I was in a shock, would that make Islam be more logical, all of a sudden? Or would that make Islam less relevant? Who knows which pathway the event could trigger us to choose? But whatever the pathway is, the path was not any more true or any more false than it was previously. Islam has always been the truth, regardless of whether or not I was in a shock after my friend died. Her death was just a trigger for me to THINK, nothing more and nothing less.
In Kimdonesia’s case, that trigger led her away from Islam.
But you will be surprised that in another person’s case, his dog’s death was the reason he stumbled into Islam. It’s amazing how the same triggers, could lead us to choose two different paths. May Allah in his infinite wisdom guide us through all our emotional turmoils in the best way possible. Below, I put two videos about how an Australian guy found Islam after his dog died that led to an intellectual journey.
2) Her family will be thrown into the hell fire
She mentioned that she could not understand why perfectly good and kind people would go to hell just because they are not Muslims. She felt that the concept of God in Islam was different than what she wanted for God to be…
It’s amazing that a lot of people are confused about this issue. It’s true that non-believers would not get into Paradise…but there’s a condition attached to it. The non-believer would not enter paradise, only AFTER the truth of Islam is presented upon her, AND YET she still refused.
A Kafiir is translated as someone who rejects the truth.
If a non-Muslim has never known the true Islam, and refuses to enter Islam because she hates terrorism, because she hates women oppression, because she hates wife-beating….then, that does not mean she was rejecting Islam or the truth. Because the terrorism, the women oppression and the wife beating is NOT Islam…so not entering Islam based on those reasons are not wrong.
That’s why there’s a concept of dakwah…so that in the day of judgement no one should be able to say, I have never heard of Islam or I only heard the worse of Islam and that was why I did not convert. That was the reason prophets were sent…so that no disbelievers can say, “Oh God, why didn’t you send us a Messenger to guide us?”
Finding God is an instinct. If we have always been a Muslim, we probably don’t understand that. But if you talk to foreigners (as I have been fortunate enough to have Australian acquaintances) it will become apparent to you that everyone instinctively seek religion…they keep on questioning and questioning. How else do you think people convert to Islam or find Islam, at last? It’s because once they have developed an abstract thinking in their teenage years, these questions become important.
They needed to know!
But what happened was, people got distracted. They got distracted by the booze/alcohol, by the fun of drugs, by sex, and then for awhile they ignored that instinct to seek God. But in their more sober state, they would start thinking again and do some casual research over the net. And then they got distracted again. And the same cycle goes on and on and on. Until, if they are fortunate, they meet with a life-impacting event that truly make them think long enough and search more about the purpose of life.
If you see the party-going mat sallehs and the drunk people on the street, do not think that in their more sober state, they do not do any thinking whatsoever. They do. It just did not seem that way when you saw them in a party. You only saw the happy faces and the racy jokes and the freedom of young age. But when they are alone, in their room, they WOULD start thinking. For those who have always had religion, they did not understand what the non-believers are going through. It’s ALWAYS at the back of their mind. I have Australian friends and even the most flirtatious, seductive, fun party-goers speculate about God…
So, in the first place, nature had given us the instinct to seek God. And in the second place, we are given an intellectual mind to weigh and compare between many religions. And in the third place, there are always events and happenings that would trigger us to keep on searching. So, when you think about it, life is a journey to search God. And the end result is either you find God or you don’t. And along the journey, this life provides us with lots of distractions… in the form of exams maybe, or our love interests, or our obsessions and hobbies, our family and kids, our goals and ambition…
The game is, whether or not you can USE that hobby, whether or not you can USE that ambition to further your journey in your quest to seek God. Some people made a hobby of writing….do you make your writing as tool of dakwah? Some people wants to become a doctor, do you make yourself as a Muslim doctor who are concerned about ethical issues surrounding the medical world?
That’s why as a Muslim we have to make sure these things, that become distractions for a non-muslim, can be turn into Ibadah. If not, we are a failure in life! Wake up! And think about what you are doing day in and day out; you don’t know how long your journey would last!
In the case of Kimdonesia’s family…who is to know when or if they will ever convert. Maybe they are still undergoing the journey. If you search in You Tube, a grandma of 80 years old can convert…imagine 80 years of SIN gone, washed away. Allah is MOST kind, and no one will be unfairly judged. If Kimdonesia truly believe that her family is kind and good people, then maybe one day they will convert. For Kimdonesia to turn away from Islam, on the basis of her family MIGHT be turn into hell fire because they are NOT YET Muslims NOW, it’s a preposterous decision. In fact, she should be the ONE to show her family the right way.
I have blogged in one of my previous post about Sister Roslinda who became a Muslim after her husband had converted THREE YEARS EARLIER than her. But Kimdonesia only started being a Muslim about a year ago….who is to say what would happen three years down the track?
Now, I would present to you the type of person, who in spite of KNOWING the truth, would turn away from the truth. And these are the people who would go to the hell fire. This is a real conversation I had with a tutorial mate of mine. It was triggered by a discussion in my sexual counselling tutorial about homosexuality and abortion. And then, like discussing all contorversial and ethical issues, of course, it then became a discussion of religion! In this convesation, S is an Australian who practices Hindu.
S: So, is it true that you believe those who are not muslims, would go to hell fire?
Me: (my first instict was to say…Christianity has the same concept too, why aren’t you attacking that religion? But that kind of reasoning would not do anything to convey the truth of my religion, so I did not go down that pathway)
Yes, that’s what we believe. Those who are not Muslims would not enter paradise. But we believe that if the non-Muslims have never heard of Islam, or never knew the True Islam, other than the lies depicted by the media, then she/he would be forgiven.
S: But what if they knew about Islam, and still did not want to become a Muslim?
Me: Maybe, that’s because they knew about Islam…but not the real Islam. If you don’t want to become a Muslim because you don’t agree with terrorism and all the other stigmas depicted by the media, then that doesn;t mean you reject Islam. Because that’s not Islam. The person is only responsible on the decision based on what she knew…not what she didn’t know.
S: Okay, so what if they knew the true Islam and is convinced that it’s the truth, but just does not want to become a Muslim.
Me: (I was quite speechless. WHY wouldn’t you become a Muslim, when you know it’s the truth.)
I don’t understand. You mean the person is convinced about Islam after knowing the true Islam, and yet STILL does not want to become a Muslim?
S: Yes…what if she just doesn’t think that kind of lifestyle suits her?
Me: (I took a deep breath) Then, she would not enter paradise.
See? At the end, I just had to say that.
That’s exactly the kind of kafir we talk about! The fact that S could think in her mind that there EXIST a person who would choose to turn away from the truth even after being convinced by it, meant that there ARE human beings who are like that. Who knows the truth, but doesn’t want to do it. “Just because I don’t want to.” is supposed to be a good enough reason in their mind to not acknowledge the truth.
In a smaller scale, we could see this in our daily lives. We KNOW that not covering ourselves properly is wrong…but we just don’t want to comply. Just because we don’t want to.
Or, we KNOW that drinking alcohol is BAD, not just for your religion but also for your health (I am a medical student and I KNOW this!!), but we just don’t want to comply.
We knew having unprotected sexual intercourse can predispose someone to STD but judging by the the number of STD patients presenting to sexual health clinic, people just DON’T comply on what they knew but on what they FEEL. So if you can imagine this thing…then you can understand that there exist some people who are convinced of Islam, but just don’t want to go that way.
And in the face of such arrogance…how can you think the hell fire is not fair? We are not talking about people who misunderstood about Islam…but people who have been guided by instinct to seek religion, by events in their life to research and choose religion, by interactions with Muslims to be interested in Islam…and at last after convinced of the truth… STILL reject Islam “because I don’t want to. It doesn’t fit my lifestyle.”.
Wow! After your instinct had guided you to seek God over and over again by the events in your life, after you had done all the research about various other religions to be convinced of the truth, after struggling to get to the truth you had been searching for about the purpose of your life, and FINALLY, after all that effort you have gotten to the truth and become convinced by it…. you then wash your hands off from the truth? Just because “you don’t want to”. Like, “I know the truth…. but my lifestyle and my desires are more important. So I will compromise the truth because I don’t like the truth”
Is the hell fire not fair or more than fair??
3)God in Islam is not what she feels God should be.
If the God in the Quran is not what Kimdonesia imagine God should be, it does not make God’s actions and attributes any less valid. Just because she feels that God should be this way and not that way, it doesn’t make the One God any less than HE would be. In fact, we are the one who should comply to the standard that God has set for us. How come we see it fit to put standards to God and wants God to be this way and that way? How about if another person have another different standard…and the next person have another different standard about how God should be and not be…
So, it’s RIDICULOUS to reject Islam just because we don’t get it our way.
4) She said “My life does not need religion”.
Good luck to you, then.
5)She’s happy without Islam. This is not just a phase. She didn’t think she’ll ever come back.
I still remember one of her posts in her blog when she said something like this, (I don’t remember it properly) “To those who think that my conversion to Islam is just a phase, then it will serve them right when I am greying and old and still practice the religion. “
I was very proud, at that time, at her level of conviction. But she had gone back on her words then and had proven that indeed her conversion to Islam was a phase.
I am just wondering whether or not this recent development could also be a phase. Whatever it is, I had prayed for her during her earlier days of de-conversion. For some reason, I have stopped.
8 ) Muslims friends had ditched her after her de-conversion
I guess, a lot of people would feel emotionally about her de-conversion, especially those who are very close to her. I don’t know how I would act if I have a close friend who has rejected Islam.
I will probably try to convince her to return to the true way of life. But if after all efforts have been done and there’s nothing left to do, what then?
Even if I did not ditch her, our lives would be different. There would always be some awkward moments. I would always argue with her…mostly because I care about her. But she would not see it that way.
How else can we be friends?
Kimdonesia mentioned that friendship has nothing to do with religion.
Really??? Think about it….
I mean, I do have Australian friends; my tutorial mates, my clinic mates…I am friendly with them, some of them I chat with regularly. But my friendship with them are based on the fact that we shared the same class, we went through the same hardship as a med student, we understood the stupid sexual jokes when learning about Obstetrics and Gynae, and we have the same struggles about the same teacher.If we don’t share that…would I be friends with them? Isn’t that how friendship is…that once you move on with your life, you may contact one another just to catch up…but as time passes by, your emotional connection become less intense.
Some people have friends based on having the same hobbies. For example, some have friends they go clubbing with. Some are the friends they study with.
Among Muslim friends, my number one factors in friendship is based on religion. We have the same religion. We pray together, we celebrate Eid together, we fasted together, we break our fast together, we went to the mosque together…and if that connection is gone, what is left of the friendship. I might say hi every now and then, I suppose, but then what?
So, really, if friendship is not based on religion…then on WHAT should it be based on, that makes it more valid to be based on other than religion?
I mean among my Australian friends, it would be based on hobbbies and not religion…so in the first place not having the same religion, was not something we had in mind when starting the friendship.
But when the friendship began with a lot of factors…the same religion, the same hobbies, the same studies….then not having the same religion later DOES impact on the friendship, whether you like it or not.
I guess, my feeling is, friendship is based on a lot of things…but if one of the things is religion, then that is the most important basis. So much so that if it was present during the start of a relationship, but not present NOW, then the friendship would be NOTHING!!
You may think that “But it shouldn’t be so, yadda, yadda, yadda.” but it IS so. Because, if friendship needs to have a basis on, then can anyone give a valid justification why it should be based on this but not that? No one can.
But you can look at the trend. That once someone has gone out of their original religion, a strong feeling of discontentment would creep on the relationship…UNLESS if religion has never been an important factor in the first place. And this is not just in Islam, but also true in every other religion.
May Allah guide us all.
May we always bear in mind that just because we are born Muslims, we may not stay that way forever. If you don’t work on your faith…it’s useless. Before you knew it, your daily prayers become nothing but habit rather than an act of worship. Before you realize it, donning a hijab is a fashion statement rather than an act of obedience.
You are guided ONLY if you are willing to follow the guidance. Why do you ask for guidance and then rebel by not following them, and then blame the guide?
To fellow Muslims out there, never be too complacent.
Like Kimdonesia rightly pointed out, it’s AMAZING how quickly we change our heart.