NOVEL REVIEW: Imamku Lelaki Pendosa by Umie Nadzimah
I am back with a new post and another novel review. For today's post, I would like to share with you guys my review of a novel I just finished reading last weekend. The novel is titled - Imamku Lelaki Pendosa, and it is written by Umie Nadzimah. So let's get started with the review. We shall begin with the author's profile...
ABOUT UMIE NADZIMAH
Umie Nadzimah is one of Malaysia's A-Lister novelists. Most of her novels are bestsellers and have been adapted into movies and television dramas. As a novelist, Umie Nadzimah has won many creative writing awards. Besides writing novels, Umie Nadzimah also writes television drama scripts and train young writers to become a novelist- one of them is me ^_^. Yep, Umie Nadzimah is one of my creative writing mentors besides Sri Diah. As a student and apprentice of Umie Nadzimah, I describe her as friendly, approachable, cheerful, knowledgeable, creative, and open-minded. I am grateful to have her as one of my mentors. Insya'Allah I will be a successful writer like Umie Nadzimah one day. Aamiin. Some of Umie Nadzimah's novels are Jangan Janggu Jodohku, Aku Pilih Bahagia, Lelaki Kiriman Tuhan, Si Baju Kurung Kasut Canvas, and many more.
ABOUT IMAMKU LELAKI PENDOSA
Imamku Lelaki Pendosa (ILP) is Umie Nadzimah's 15th novel. ILP tells the story of a beautiful and kind-hearted young woman named Cahaya Malaika. Cahaya Malaika had a great life. She had a good career as a pharmacist, loving parents and sisters, and a boyfriend named Nik Safri.
The story begins with Cahaya getting engaged to Nik Safri. Everyone was happy with Cahaya and Nik Safri's engagement, except her mother, Mrs. Wahidah. Mrs. Wahidah actually had a dark past and secret that only her husband, Mr. Firdaus knew.
After Cahaya and Nik Safri's engagement ceremony, Mr. Firdaus told Cahaya the truth about her. To Cahaya's surprise, she was not Mr. Firdaus's biological daughter like she thought she was all this while. Before Cahaya was born, Mrs. Wahidah cheated on Mr. Firdaus. Mrs. Wahidah had an affair with her own boss, Datuk Sri Afnan. She later got pregnant with Cahaya. Yep, Cahaya was a love-child.
Cahaya told her fiance about her background. Nik Safri and his family freaked out. Nik Safri's mother, Mrs. Suriati broke their engagement. Nik Safri and his family felt disgusted. Nik Safri and his family discriminated poor Cahaya. Woah.....how cruel. It's not Cahaya's fault.
A few months later, Cahaya met an aristocrat woman named Datin Junaidah. Datin Junaidah was Mr. Firdaus's ex-schoolmate. Datin Junaidah liked Cahaya. To Datin Junaidah, Cahaya was very beautiful. Datin Junaidah wanted Cahaya to be her daughter in law.
Datin Junaidah later introduced Cahaya to her son, Dean Ilyas (the male protagonist). Dean was an almost perfect guy. He was handsome, had a good career, intelligent, smart, polite, a gentlemen, and also a good cook. Cahaya and Dean got married.
During their honeymoon in Bali, Cahaya noticed something strange about Dean. Dean did not touch Cahaya at all. It's like he doesn't have any sexual interest in his beautiful-gorgeous wife. At first, Cahaya thought Dean had a secret lover behind her back. Yes, Dean indeed had a secret lover. But his lover was not a woman. Dean's secret lover was a man just like him. Yes, Dean Ilyas was gay...
So what will Cahaya Malaika do? Will she accept Dean Ilyas for who he is?
MY OVERALL REVIEW
First of all, I like Cahaya Malaika's character. Cahaya is the kind of woman I always want to be. She is not just beautiful. But she is also kind-hearted, sincere, patient, see good things in every situation, and always grateful. Plus, she is always there for the man (Dean Ilyas) that she loves. Cahaya accepts Dean for who he is (although Dean is gay). She never gives up on him. Cahaya's sincerity and kindness make Dean become a straight guy again. Yep, Cahaya heals Dean.
Reading ILP makes me learned 3 life and moral lessons that are important to us as human beings. And the lessons are...
#1 LGBT PEOPLE AND HOW TO HEAL THEM
In Islam, LGBT is wrong and forbidden. However, we, Muslim people must not discriminate those who are LGBT. LGBT people are still human beings. They deserve love and kindness from us. Like Ustaz Ebit Lew (a Malaysian Islamic preacher) once said that all LGBT people have their background story. There are reasons why these people choose to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. Most of them have sad stories. That's why we, Muslims must treat these people with kindness. Only our kindness can change them. After all, Islam is a religion of kindness. Not violence and terrorism.
In the story, Dean becomes gay because he was so depressed with his life. His late father, mother, and elder sister weren't kind to him. Poor Dean was treated badly by his family. And that's how he became gay. Dean believed that being gay will make him happy. When Dean married Cahaya, his life started to change. Cahaya healed Dean. But she did it in a very gentle way. Cahaya only used her sincerity and kindness to open up Dean's heart. And at the end of the story, Dean becomes a straight guy again.
#2 THE POWER OF KINDNESS
Kindness is the most important message in ILP. The author highlighted the power of kindness in her book. Kindness has the ability to open up a person's heart, make a person believe in beautiful things, and make a sinner a good person once again.
As human beings, it is not our duty to discriminate those who have a dark past either he or she is gay or a love-child. Nobody is perfect. That's why we must not be so judgemental of people. After all, everyone is loved by Allah S.W.T. Allah S.W.T is very forgiving. Every saint has a dark past, and every sinner has a bright future, and paradise is open to those who work hard to achieve it.
#3 THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-LOVE
Besides LGBT and kindness, the author also highlighted the importance of self-love practice in her writing. In ILP, Dean doesn't self-love in him, and he was suffering from an inferiority complex. Dean always thinks that he is a terrible person and not as good as anyone else. In one of his healing process, Dean was told to have good affirmations every time he wakes up in the morning. So he did what he was told to do. And that also helps him to become a better person.
Ok, so these are the 3 life and moral lessons I learned from reading ILP. Overall, ILP is a very beautiful and brilliant novel. Umie Nadzimah's style of writing once again touched my heart. I cried in the middle and at the end of the story. The storyline is so heartwarming. Umie Nadzimah's style of writing also makes me able to feel each character in the story. Yep, I can feel Cahaya, Dean, Mr. Firdaus, Mrs. Wahidah, Datuk Sri Afnan (Cahaya's biological father), Anggun (Cahaya's elder sister), Dahlia (Cahaya's youngest sister), Datin Junaidah, Izfairin (Dean's gay lover), and many more.
As a reader, I rate this novel 10/10. I would repeat reading this novel. I believe Imamku Lelaki Pendosa is the best novel I've read in 2020. I also highly recommend all bookworms to read this novel. Yep, Imamku Lelaki Pendosa is a novel you guys must not miss.
Ok, that's all for now. Before I end this post I would like to ask my readers two questions. Has anyone read Imamku Lelaki Pendosa by Umie Nadzimah? If yes, what are your opinion about this novel?
Thank you for reading this novel review. Hope to see you guys again soon.
Fadima Mooneira ^_^
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