"Being a Muslim intellectual is a lonely and tough business. Half of the time, half of your audience do not know what you are talking about; the reminder of the time they are busy undermining everything you stand for and write about."
Ziauddin Sardar was an advisor to Anwar Ibrahim way back in the 90's. He is not on the same level as Nasr or al-Attas nonetheless, his writings on postmodernism and critics on Westernization has served my intellectual apetite quite well! ( See what kind of people Anwar had engaged with. Do not ever dream to produce de-captialistic, de-politicus Anwar Ibrahim version 2.0 if you are still a captive minded Islamic movement. A captive to Project Modernity.)
I am in the midst of revising one subject called Solid, and Hazardous Waste Management for today's (already 12 am) test. Somehow or rather my mind is not really in the state of revising the subject.
Credit to bro. Hasanul, a Singaporean Attasian (or Naquibian) just like me and few others, for highlighting this interesting quote through his cheeky blog.
Am I fit to be categorized as the one being referred to in that quotation? I am not sure but the symptoms are as clear as ever. Final year of my life in UTP has turned out to be the most misunderstood period of my life as a UTPian than I ever thought. I feel like an alien in this place. But I guess, this is the price for defying the conventional way of thinking, be it as a university student or as an Islamic activist.
Is it a dialectic or an intellectual suicide? Depends on your position. If you are fanatic to a particular group, I might be described as maniac who try to challenge the so-called legitimate champion of Islam in campus. In another perspective, people who rationally dissect my arguments meticulously will see the positive view of this euphoria ( yes, as if I am conspiring something against them) as part and parcel of intellectual dialectics in improving the da'wah machinery in campus.
I believe most people had judged me merely based on my writings through this blog. Rausyanfikir the blogger and Rausyanfikir in his ontological being is more than meets the eye. As a blogger, your ideas and thoughts are confined to bytes and pieces of electronic signal. As a human being that being bounded by space and time, your reality and existence carries your true essence as God's creature.
Thank God, in this turbulent time, there are some who still believe and supportive of my effort. To whom it may concern, I pray that God will cherish your life with wisdom.
Now I understand the meaning of hasad, ikhlas and khianat in activism. From my own experience lately, I could imagine the pain of the great ulama' in the past being confronted with the same scenario like this. So it is normal to be misunderstood or worse being labeled as a pest in the struggle. I am not in the same mould of al-Ghazali or Fakhr Din al-Razi but at least I share their spirit of upholding Truth and Reality eventhough your life and reputation will be at stake!
Even great scholar like Prof. al-Attas had walked on this painful path for being firm to his conviction. Man of Truth indeed.
Perhaps, this is just a test to improve myself as a Muslim by submitting myself in its fullest sense to God in whatever condition it might be - good or bad. Sure enough, this is the basic tenet of Islam.
Ah, this is where the relevance of Tassawuf comes into the picture. For this, I have to be very grateful to Prof. al-Attas and his students who have done a great job by being faithful to Islamic tradition in elucidating its spiritual and intellectual dimension through their writings and lectures. I have never seen and 'feel' my religion, Islam being pictured in beautiful manner other than through the lense of Sufism.
No body ever told me about Rumi, Hafiz, Sa'di, Al-Ghazali, Ibn Ata'Allah and other great metaphysicians in usrah before. The sweetness of certainy (yaqin) from the attainment of meaning (ma'na) by the means of knowledge seeking - in ta'dib sense, that I have gone through in few engagements with fellow Attasian scholars have really changed my life not just as a Muslim but as a human being.
It was not easy. Skepticism was there throughout the engagement (it is normal if you were being trained (tarbiyyah) under the rubric of Political Islam) but as time passes by, the Fountain of Certainty gush forth and I was drowned for awhile (Rumi-esque kind of expression).
1400 years of history suddenly become alive.
Again, I ponder about it.
I would give anything for al-Haqq.
"He granteth wisdom to whom He pleaseth; and he to whom wisdom is granted receiveth indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the Message but men of understanding." (Holy Quran, 2:269)