At the IQRA Foundation-INCEIF-organised Waqf Seminar on last Thursday 15th December, I had a heartfelt touching incident by the grace of Allah SWT. It was a peaceful reconciliation with my earliest academic mentor (now already a Tan Sri Datuk), who attended the Seminar as a distinguished participant.
I am indebted to him for identifying me as one of his echelons during his Deanship days at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in late 1970's, and subsequently tugging me into the academic world by sending me to study with a reknown neo-marxist Dependency Theorist the late Professor Andre Gunder Frank in the UK.
Unfortunately, we had an ideological clash when I returned home in early 1980's, as I brought back Islam rather than the neo-marxist thinking. We had quite a tough ideological and bureaucratic unpleasantness henceforth, and to some extent personal grudge, due to this difference.
I could really understand how frustrated a mentor is if his echelons are not up to their plan and strategy. But as a student of him, I did it all with a good faith, apart of which was to lessen his burden by attracting our students to a right path. I have chosen the path though I have to be his dissident because of my love of him. For these, my respect and care of him remains forever for I have learnt a lot from his academic brilliance and bureaucratic capability, many of which I have applied in leading ISDEV now.
For these reasons too I have a firm plan during the Seminar, once I observed that he was there. I wanted to go to at least to shake hands with him, however angry he was with me. I was prepared to face anything, as long as I could hold his hand again to gain a barakah of a teacher, moreover I have heard that he is now a changed pious man, and observed how humble he was at the Seminar. This was the first opportunity that I have ever had after he left USM since many years ago.
And Allah SWT is Great! He answered my intention by taking him to me, even before I have a chance to look at him. Amidst the noisy atmopshere after the Seminar, I heard someone calling my name, and it was him! We walked fast to each other, holding hands and hugged each other closely. My tears were rushing out while thinking how generous Allah SWT was in reconciling us, apart from hearing him whispering, praising me of what I have been achieved. Two previously dissenting hearts were now getting back into one, now based on a shared belief and similar struggle, that we have Allah to worship to and Islam to strive for. Many many thanks Allah!
Oh Allah, please forgive him of all his sins, providing him with as much opportunities as possible to serve You, guide him to Your path, and protect him in this world and the world Hereafter.