Asalaamu alaikum. I was browsing the internet this morning, and I stumbled upon a little gem; so I wish to share that with you all.
There is a popular Korean youtuber who goes by the name of Jay Kim [with around 347k Subscribers], who makes many videos showcasing his interest in Islam, Alhamdulilah. I recommend heading over to his channel and checking him out. He started out as a musician on youtube, but slowly over time his content began to incline more towards an exploration of Allah’s (swt) religion.
I was drawn to his channel by a video of him having a conversation with his mother, who had expressed worry that he was so interested in Islam and that many of his videos were focused on this topic.
It was a beautiful video to watch, and effected me quite deeply as I have a similar issue with my mother. She also has an overly negative view of Islam and so has also expressed her worry about me being a Muslim.
The main reason I wanted to mention Jay today was because, upon finding his channel I binged through a few of his videos, and found some great parts that I think will be beneficial to read.
First of all, in the initial conversation with his mother, she asks her son: “So are you going to convert to Islam?“. In hearing her voice and the way she sounded upon asking, you can hear she is sincerely distressed at the thought of this. However, in his response to his mother, Jay Kim is calm, patient and understanding. He does not disrespect her, nor does he lash out. Rather, he says something quite beautiful in response.
I am interested in Islam because.. everyone must think about this at least once in their life: Man is born, and then he dies; we have limited time. During that time we have to ask the fundamental questions, rather than just focusing on success, or money. We must ask: Who am I? Where am I going? Which direction is the right direction? I think Islam and the Quran have the answer.
To this his mother asks why he is trying to find this in Islam, and instead, why doesn’t he just go to the church with her. He then further says:
Yeah, I like Catholic Christianity. But God is Absolute. I cannot accept that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are one.
Alhamdulilah, what he said was short, sweet, and to the point. Hearing this conversation really struck me in a deep place and brought tears to my eyes. You can see that he has a good relationship with his mother, and that he doesn’t want to upset her. This is so similar to my own position. My mother is also a christian, and I love her dearly. She has done a lot for me in life, and made many sacrifices in order to provide for me and my siblings. The last thing I ever wanted to do was upset her, and I can see Jay Kim is in a similar predicament here.
In another video, which he names “Why do I believe in Allah?”, he further exemplifies this conflict that I believe I witnessed in his talking with his mother. Within the first 14 seconds, he tells us, his audience, that he has not yet taken his shahada, but then directly follows this statement with the following words:
“I have belief in Allah, and I believe that Mohammed is His last messenger.“
Alhamdulilah, he said his shahada straight away! But it does not appear that he noticed he has already testified his faith in the oneness of God (swt), and in the prophethood of Mohammed (pbuh). After all, what is the shahada other than making a public testimony that you believe these two propositions to be true? Sure, it is more formal to say it in Arabic, but the essence of it is still the same.
Funnily enough, this was also a similar experience that another Korean revert to Islam had. In an interview with sister Bora Song, she tells of her shahada story. She says she gave a camera to her friend as she wanted to have her experience of it recorded, but unfortunately the moment was completely missed because it was over before she realised. The person she went to see only asked her if she knew the shahada, she said yes and repeated it. This, and knowing that the sister sincerely believed the words that she was speaking, was enough for the shahada to have been considered completed. It came as a shock to her as she wasn’t expecting it to be such a simple process; they didn’t even have the camera turned on and it was done before they knew it. This is eerily similar to Jay Kim, although he does not seem to have noticed, essentially he has testified his faith in Islam.
I believe his reasons for not taking the shahada straight away are probably very close to my own delaying prior to my accepting islam. He seems worried about upsetting the people he loves. And so although his inner acceptance of Islam appears to be complete – and for all intensive purposes is a Muslim – he does not appear to be ready to openly admit that this transformation has already been accomplished. I understand this, and can relate. This is one of the major obstacles for new reverts to Islam. Insha’Allah, it won’t take long for him to overcome this, and he will make the final leap soon.
To finish this off, I will quote another Korean revert that Jay Kim has interviewed, named Karam Kim. Jay asks for advice for people who want to become muslim’s, but that might be resisting for one reason or another. To this, Karam says the following:
If you want to be a Muslim you are truly a great person, because most people concentrate on the reality of this life only. They do not think about the true inner meaning hidden behind it. But those who want to be Muslims are trying to find more meaningful things than others. I really think they are great. Also, being a Muslim is making a relationship with myself [Karam Kim] and God. So when we make such a relationship our lives become more meaningful and happy. So do not hesitate! Even if there are opposites [sic] or prejudices from people around you. They are not responsible for my life. I live my life and the responsibility is on me. And on Judgement day, you will be asked what kind of life you have lived. So I understand the difficulty and pressure you feel now, but don’t let it interfere with you life going in the right direction. If you are convinced, just become a Muslim. The difficulties after that depend on God. With His help, many things will be easily solved. You don’t have to be afraid. Other Muslims, including myself, had the same problems and the same experiences. But everyone [who takes their shahada] thinks the best decision is to be a Muslim. Do not hesitate, life doesn’t just end because you became a Muslim; rather than that, I think you can live a happier life.
Alhamdulilah, what great advice. Insha’Allah, Jay will consciously make his shahada more formally soon, and fully embrace our beautiful religion. Subscribe to his channel in the mean time, and make sure to follow his progress and keep him in your dua’s.
What are your thoughts on such matters? If someone says they believe in Allah (swt), and that Mohammed (pbuh) is His prophet, do you think we should consider them as already having reverted, or not? Have you got any similar stories you could share with us in the comments below?