As I am writing this, the country is on the eve of Merdeka celebration (Independence day). Never have I imagined I would be stuck here in Sibu, Sarawak tonight. Astaghfirullah, it's rude of me to say so. It is His Will that I am here and Alhamdulillah I am lying down on a comfy bed in this chic hotel room, have had a wonderful dinner and enjoying quiet time after having worked so hard the past few weeks. Alhamdulillah indeed.
By the grace of Allah, on Merdeka day of 2005, I flew to UK to pursue my ambition. On Merdeka day of 2006, I flew out from UK to Dubai after having achieved my ambition. Alhamdulillah. Glory be to the ultimate Planner.
Merdeka to me is the removal of veils layer by layer as we plod on the path towards knowing Allah. The purpose of our creation as has been quoted oftentimes is 'servitude to Allah'. Contemporary sufi scholars like Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi and Habib Yusuf Bakhour al-Hassani have all interpreted 'servitude' as knowing Allah - makrifatullah. I heard them said that with my own ears. So believe me. That He has created us so that we know Him - that we become ariffbillah.
We are veiled from knowing Allah in the true sense or in reality (haqiqah) until death comes to us. Rasulullah s.a.w the exemplar beyond compare, seeked forgiveness 70 times a day for being veiled. What about us, sinners beyond repair (almost)?
What do we know about Him? We know His Names (asma') though many like I still struggle to memorize them in order. But InshaAllah, more importantly we are able to recognize Ar-Razaq, Al-Halim, Al-Wadud and so on and so forth. So we know His attributes (sifat) too bi-iznillah. We could see His actions (af'al) - sometimes He puts us in qabdhu state (hardship), sometimes in basthu state (ease). However, we have been cautioned not to contemplate on His Essence (zat).
Because He is limitless, Huwal awwalu wal akhiru, wa zahiru wal bathinu, He is beyond imagination. Therefore, the veils are unlimited. Henceforth, the struggle for merdeka (freedom) from being veiled is an ongoing process.
Being veiled means being engulfed in darkness. Our struggle is a struggle to leave darkness and move towards the light. Verily we will never know what light is until we come out of darkness.
May Allah increase us in makrifatullah. May we become better in knowing Him. Let's pray (one of my most favorite du'a):
Rabbana atmim lana nurana