Monday, March 8, 2010

FAREWELL PAK LAH – MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PEACE. (21.11.1929 to 6.3.2010)

Professor Abdullah Darus.

That is how I have always thought of you, my friend and my professor. I know that you never considered yourself as anyone’s teacher and always cautioned me to think for my self.

I knew the inevitable moment will come and it did in the form of your daughter’s sms on 6.3.2010 saying that “Pak Lah meninggal jam 11.05pm”. The only thought that came to my mind at that moment was the fact that I could not bear to see you in the weak state that you were in when I last met you. I am just too used to listening to what you have to say. I always have to listen to every single word that you utter because it was too important for me. I am not used to seeing you silent.

I will always remember you as the true professor who professes faith based on reason and knowledge. Your life long dedication to the study and discussion of Quran has touched many people’s lives. You were the first to convincingly demonstrate to me the practical and applicative nature of the Quran in every sphere and aspect of life.

You have always maintained that a truly God-fearing person is a thinking person and that the Setan will always persuade humans to look upon thinking as a burden or an obstacle to faith.

I have learnt so much from you and much more that I wish I could have learnt from you. Your mastery of logic and thought processes baffles me considering the fact that you never went to university. I have met and discussed with many learned academics and as I have told the late Professor Syed Hussein Al-Attas, you are still number one as a thinker. You are proof that formal education is but a myth and academic qualifications are no guarantee of a person’s ability to think deeply. You are a genius Pak Lah and I could never tell you that personally because you told me that praises can be the devil’s workshop.

You have been very generous with your life, meeting many young people, academics, politicians and just about anybody who wants to share your knowledge and you gave it willingly. You shared great knowledge without charging a single cent while I know of many who pretend to teach and yet charge hefty fees. It did not even bother you that many academics took your ideas and did not even acknowledge you. I know Pak Lah, you have taught me that true knowledge belongs to God and it is never for sale. Everyone who is willing can partake of it.

So many things that I have learnt from you rushes through my mind and I just do not know which to focus on at this moment. You so accurately distinguished between the “collectuals” and the intellectuals. One who collects information and the other who thinks. Though it does not matter to you at all, I cannot help but feel sad that society has never bestowed upon you the honour that you truly deserve when lesser mortals are held up in high esteem. We live in a society that only recognises superficialities, paper qualifications and honorary titles.

I have always admired how you use the Malay language so precisely and I will remember that the choice and proper use of words is very important for clarity of thought. You have often pointed out that much of the confusion in people’s minds emanates from the misuse and careless use of words.

I suppose you were a great thinker because you felt it was a divine duty and gift to think and was not trapped by man-made parameters which many academics and people have trapped themselves into. You had no one to serve except God. This I remember Pak Lah and I have been trying hard to emulate. I also learnt from you never to impose our own views on others even though we are passionate about ours. You were a living example of what “redha” means though you never ceased to be active till your last day.

I have always been humbled by your humility and the one other thinker who humbles me with his humility is the Late Prof Syed Hussein Al-Attas. I love both of you very much though I have never expressed it in in the normal way that normal people do. Now, I no longer have the luxury of “harassing” two great thinkers and friends who will oblige me late into the wee hours of the morning. I feel emptiness and I cannot help it. I just do not know with whom I can talk to anymore. In this very mundane, almost predictable and repetitious life, both of you were my strength and source of joyous “entertainment”. I felt alive.

Now I feel I have no one. You have retired from life and I should feel happy for you…but I still feel choked. I would have felt lost if not for your constant reminder that as long as we are alive, that means that our work on earth is not done.

I am eternally grateful to my dear friend, Ramlan for having introduced you to me. That first meeting with you changed my life dramatically. I was stunned by your brilliance, sincerity in pursuit of knowledge and your remarkable clarity of thought.

As you have pointed out, all people die one day but ideas live on. It is your ideas that make me feel that you are still alive. You have lived a path of righteousness and now you have returned to your Maker.

From Allah we come, to Allah we all must surely return.

I bid your farewell and May God bless you, my friend, my professor.

Peace !


Anonymous said...
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sharon heng said...


May he rest in peace. You have spoken so much about him and I have transmitted much of his ideas to my friends in Canada. In fact that was all that you usually email to me!

Just unfortunate that our plan to bring him here is not workable anymore...

Knowing you, I do not know that you will go into some soul searching for some time ..get over it quickly and come back to life.
There is much to be done as in Pak Lah's words: "as long as we are alive, that means that our work on earth is not done".

I hope you finish writing your books... that is what Pak lah would have liked, I am sure.

Peace to you.

Anonymous said...

Salan Bro,

i have met Pak Lah several times through your introduction, many years ago.

Pak Lah is indeed a great teacher. i have discovered and understood the Quran from a different perspective

May his soul rest in peace.

Norhayati Abdullah said...


Since I knew my dad do not have much time in this world due to his health condition, I tried my best to support as a daughter. But no matter how I have prepared myself for this time - it still happened at the time when I least expected.

I was with him holding his hand till the very last moment he fall asleep and not more than few minutes later I felt he grip my hand for a second before he was gone from this life forever. So peaceful..

He was gone in prepared as that was his `doa’ throughout the day. As such, even though I missed him dearly I know it is time to let him go...

Like what you say, he may be gone from this life but his ideas will live on… And we are responsible to continue the un-finish jobs

As his children we have started to compile and sort out all his work in form of books, notes, write ups, cassettes / videos recording & etc. And will keep them in good condition for study references. U and others who share the same interest in sharing knowledge and studies of Quran are welcome to view his works as that would be his wishes to help others in their soul searching for the truth…

Please continue writing and helping other for better understanding.

May God bless you ….Allah maha pengasih kepada pejuang kebenaran….dan kami percaya dia sedang menikmati apa yang telah diusahakannya…

Insan Biasa said...

salam bro, you were still fortunate to have met Allahyarham during his life for I only know him through your blog.. May Allah bless him and us..

Farouk A. Peru said...

Salamun alaikum,

Is this the Pak Lah you mentioned to me years ago (when you introduced me to the gang)?

Maybe we can publish his ideas here (I'm based in the UK) instead of letting them just remain in memories? I'd be happy to compile and edit them? As far as I remember from Jay's words to me, he had some revolutionary ideas.


Jahamy said...


Salam.Good to hear from you. Yes, the same humble genius.

truthmind said...


Finally, I found a writing of Pak lah, or I used to call him Tok Lah. My Arwah Ayah call him Pak Lah.

Those days, during my primary school time, me always visiting to Tok Lah house and listening to their discussion. Most of the topics are about politics and Islam.

And I still can remember he was good at playing the keyboard.

My father was very closed friend with Tok Lah. May his 'fahaman' and knowledge will encourage us to find the truth with the guide of Quran until the end of our life.