Sunday, September 2, 2007

Are we Being Independent ?

"Allah memberikan satu misal perbandingan: Seorang hamba abdi yang menjadi milik orang, yang tidak berkuasa melakukan dengan bebasnya sesuatu pun; dan seorang lagi (yang merdeka) yang Kami kurniakan kepadanya pemberian yang baik (harta kekayaan) dari Kami, maka ia pun membelanjakan hartanya dengan bebasnya, samada secara bersembunyi atau berterang-terang; adakah kedua orang itu sama? Segala puji tertentu bagi Allah (dan Allah jualah yang berhak disembah), tetapi kebanyakan mereka (yang musyrik) tidak mengetahui (hakikat tauhid itu)" - An-Nahl 75

The nation is still in the state of celebration. Yes, we celebrated our 50th Independence from the British on 31st August 2007. Everywhere we go will see signs of celebration be it in terms of flags, banners or posters. Few will go even further by dressing themselves up with the national flags. We could also see many cars, buses, lorries and trucks flagging the Jalur Gemilang with pride. Turn on the TV or radio and we will almost be incessantly reminded about how our past leaders fought hard to achieve the independence that we are enjoying at the moment. Yes, in a glance we have indeed become independent and almost everyone could not agree more.

As a person who was born post independence, I could not really feel the suffering of those leaders that have fought for our independence. I am very sure that they have indeed sacrifice a lot for us and I just hope that Allah will reward them accordingly. My late father had often described to me how difficult the life before the independence especially during the Japanese occupation. My late father was in fact one of the lucky ones who survived the torturous life of the Japanese forced labor. As a teenager, he was taken away by the Japanese to help them build the infamous railway lines. According to him, we was a bit fortunate because he was selected to become a cook and hence spared the strenuous and laborious work on the field. My late father also vividly recalled on how his relatives had thought that he had gone forever with the Japanese but soon were very surprised to find out that he was still alive. Well, as a moslem, we beleive that only Allah can take one's life..not a second earlier, not a second later.

To me, independence is really about having a choice. The more choices we have, the more independent we should be. However, we must not forget that the choice that we make will come with the consequences of that choice. What we are now is due to the choice that we made in the past. People may argue that sometime the choice that we made was due to external factors and did not really due to our own judgement or will. Well, to some extend, that might be true. Some of us for instance, started thier lives on a much better condition than others. Some may start thier lives with a lot of struggle and handicaps. But, everyone has to make thier own decision given the conditions they are in with, sometimes in thier lives. I really don't agree with the beleive that one should be responsible not only to his or her own doing but also others. For me, blaming others for our own judgement is very sinful. That's why in Islam, nobody can't take the burden of dosa of someone else. After all, the greatest nikmat that is bestowed upon us from Allah is Iman and our choice must not runaway from this premise. What makes us different from other beings in this world is our freedom of choice. And if we can decide on a given set of choices based on the guidance from Allah and his messenger Muhammad S.A.W, we are actually freed from making a bad choice and that is what a true meaning of independence to me...

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