This is going to be one of those posts that might be viewed by some people as morbid or backwards. I am going to write about something that is very close to my heart. For quite sometime now, I have been wrestling with directions of research, purpose of research, purpose of life etc. As a muslim I cannot get away from the fact that what I do now will be questioned in the hereafter. I knew about this ever since I was old enough to understand about religion and life. However the gravity of the issue just hit me only recently. As muslims we believe that when we die (all of us will, eventually), there will only be three things that will be of benefit to us: 1. Pious (soleh) children that will pray for the parents, 2. Meaningful knowledge 3. Our charity ( I hope I translated those correctly) . Since we are on the subject of research I am only going to elaborate on number 2. Knowledge can be so many things. It can be as simple as a cooking recipe shared with others so that they can also savour yummy dishes or it can be as complex as the theory of relativity (which looked simple on paper) and the discovery of DNA. Meaningful knowledge (which are results of meaningful research), however must be viewed and evaluated with respect to a certain framework. Examining it from the islamic point of view (as I must, because after all I am muslim) knowlege or research must be meaningful in the islamic way. This means that I must ask questions like: Is the knowledge or research beneficial to the ummah? How can we make it beneficial to the ummah? How can we share (among us and the rest of the population) the knowledge? Will it bring us back ultimately to Allah? The last question is important because I really believe that knowledge seeked and gained through meaningful research will and should lead us back to Allah. It should increase our iman and takwa. It will make us realize how great the Almighty is and it will make us realize that we are just humble servants always seeking Allah's grace and mercy.
I will end this with a beautiful doa taken from Nazul's blog http://www.ipteknikkeukm.blogspot.com/. I hope Nazul won't mind :-)
Ya Allah sesungguhnya apa jua yang dilangit dan dibumi serta di antara keduanya milikmu yang abadi. Aku bersyukur di atas segala nikmat yang kau pinjamkan pada ku, keluargaku dan seluruh kaum kerabatku. Di atas keberkatan mu, rahmatmu, pemurahmu, kasihmu dan sayangmu, aku memohon agar kau sempurnakan penyelidikanku ini dengan ilmu yang manfaat untuk aku sebarkan bagi memperkasakan Islam dan menyelamatkan umat Muhammad yang lain. Berikan kejayaan dalam pengajian untuk ku, rakan-rakan yang seperjuangan denganku. Peliharakanlah kesejahteraan keluargaku, rakan taulanku, pensyarah-pensyarah yang membimbingku, limpah kurniakan segala kemurahan rezekimu kepada kami semua, dan jadikan kami terus bertaqwa padamu mengikut sunnah Rasulmu.Amin Ya Rabbal Aalamin"