Sunday, October 31, 2010


Last words for MISDEV09 students during the Knowledge Blessing Night: "Firstly, do not escape uplifting Islam by arguing on mutasyaabihat verses as an excuse, and secondly, do not trap with jealousy after getting the knowledge of truth"
Two subsequent weeks after returning from Aceh were filled with quite hectic but lively schedules.

It began with the presentation of the Dissertation by Master Mixed Mode 2009 students (MISDEV09), followed by the presentation of Research Proposals by Master Mixed Mode 2010 students (MISDEV10), Monthly ISDEV Director's Tarbiyyah, ISDEV Knowledge Blessing Night (Malam Restu Ilmu) for MISDEV09 who are completing their study shortly, and Monthly Graduate Supervision.

These did not include normal lectures and tutorials, individual thesis supervision, meetings, management of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin Best Thesis Award 2010, and other administrative works.

Yes, it was quite hectic and tiring but very enjoyable and pleasant. The quality of the Dissertations and Research Proposals of the MISDEV09 and MISDEV10 respectively have been improved tremendously; the message of the Director's Tarbiyyah has been transmitted to the ISDEV members smoothly; the MISDEV09 Knowledge Blessing Night has been held meaningfully; and the Monthly Graduate Supervision has been attended by ISDEV graduate students from abroad and from within Malaysia almost fully.

In addition to the above, the individual thesis supervision has led to the possibility of the PhD thesis of Warjio to be a winning PhD thesis; and almost all of the evaluation reports for the Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin Best Thesis Award 2010 have came in on time.

Alhamdulillah, how fruitful the weeks were.
Parts of the ISDEV fraternity during the Knowledge Blessing Night
Brotherhood gestures after congregational prayers
Dinner during the night
Blessing the knowledge: From ISDEV lecturers to MISDEV09

Saturday, October 23, 2010


With Deputy Governor of Aceh
This is my last posting on Aceh trip.

In between the scheduled programmes, we were given opportunities to meet at various occasions and establish networking with many important figures in Aceh. Among them were former (two-terms) Bupati Bapak H. Syamsunan Mahmud who is presently the Ketua Dewan Pertimbangan, Aceh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Executive Director of the Aceh Chamber of Commerce and Industry  Bapak H. Kahnir Rajiun, Head of Banda Aceh Parliament Bapak Yudi Kurnia, Head of Majelis Permusyawaratan  Ulama Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Professor Dr Teungku H. Muslim Ibrahim, Head of  Banda Aceh Bank of Indonesia Bapak Mahdi,  (Informal) Adviser to the Aceh Governor on Human Resources Development Professor Jasman J. Ma`ruf, and Secretary of Aceh Development Planning Agency (Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Daerah Aceh, BAPPEDA) Bapak Dr. Warqah Helmi.
Alhamdulillah, the trip to Aceh was a short but very fruitful one with many accomplishments. Praying that Allah swt will help ISDEV to help post-tsunami Aceh, InshaAllah.

Speech during a morning coffee at Solong Coffee restaurant. On my right is Head of Banda Aceh Parliament Bapak Yudi Kurnia
Morning coffee with some Aceh figures (R-L): a Professor of IAIN Ar-Raniry, Head of Mental Hospital, Dean of Faculty of Economics of Universitas Syiah Kuala, Informal Advisor (on Human Resource Development) to Aceh Governor, and former Bupati Bapak Syamsunan Mahmud
With Brother Asnawi (4th from right), the owner of Solong Coffee Restaurant in Ulee Karing, Banda Aceh
With Head of Majelis Permusyawaratan  Ulama Provinsi Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Professor Dr Teungku H. Muslim Ibrahim
Head of  Banda Aceh Bank of Indonesia Bapak Mahdi

Friday, October 22, 2010


Invited to a wedding ceremony

Brotherly hospitality extended to us by Acehnese hosts during our four days trip was amazing. One of the joyful hospitality was the meals. We were provided with all kinds of local foods, at many occasions, and all of the foods were very tasty and good.

The photos are the proofs.

1st night: After dinner at Bapak Syamsunan Mahmud's house (5th from left)
2nd night: Dinner at Bapak Ridwan Nurdin's house
3rd night: Dinner hosted by Dr Nazaruddin A. Wahid at a seaside restaurant
Breakfast at Mess Bank Indonesia
Lunch at a wedding ceremony
Lunch at a popular restaurant, not far from the campus of Universitas Syiah Kuala
Lunch at a wedding ceremony
Local snacks
Fried prawns
Lamb curry
Cucumber drink
Local snacks

Aceh coffee
Last day: Lunch near Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport before flying home

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Dialogue on tsunami
In Aceh, ISDEV Master (Mixed Mode) students also had an opportunity to involve in a dialogue with graduate students of Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Ar-Raniry in Banda Aceh. The topic of the dialogue was `Tsunami'.
Sisters Nur Illani and Azirah reperesented the ISDEV Mixed Mode Master students (left) while two brothers represented the IAIN Ar-Raniry (right). It was indeed a valuable experience for both of the ISDEV sisters.

Associate Professor Dr Abdul Fatah Che Hamat (right) represented me to present a souvenir to the representative of the graduate students of the IAIN Ar-Raniry
After the occasion

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


BAPEDDA's Secretary Dr. Warqah Helmi on the development approach of the post-tsunami Aceh

During the trip to Aceh, a visit to Aceh Development Planning Agency (Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Daerah Aceh, BAPPEDA) was also done and a dialogue was held with BAPEDDA's Secretay Dr Bapak Dr. Warqah Helmi and his staff to learn and understand about development approach that have been undertaken by the Aceh authority after the tsunami.

We were told that there are seven priorities formulated by BAPPEDA in developing the post-tsunami Aceh. They are as follows:

1. Empowerment of the economic of the society, enhancement of employment and reduction of poverty;
2. Development and rehabilitation of infrastructure and energy resources as enabler to investment;
3. Enhancement of the quality of education and just learning opportunities;
4. Enhancement of the quality and just health facilities;
5. Development of Islamic Shari`ah, social and culture;
6. Creation of good, clean and healthy governance ;
7. Handling and reduction of the risk of disasters.

I extended my conviction of the necessity to reconstruct post-tsunami Aceh through Islamic-based development and outlined the principles embedded in it. It was well-received. Both parties hoped to keep in touch for any further cooperation.

Before the dialogue
After the dialogue: Dr Warqah explaining about the souvenir he was about to give to me
In front of BAPEDDA's office: Before leaving BAPPEDA for another program at IAIN Ar-Raniry

Monday, October 18, 2010


Tha banner of the Wisata Spiritual Tsunami Aceh
One of the main missions to Aceh on the 9th until 12th October was to visit tsunami-affected locations with the view to share the suffering of the victims, feel the greatness of Allah swt, and observe how post-tsunami Aceh has been reconstructed. All these were to relate to the Islamic tasawur as is thought in Islamic Epistemology and Tasawur course taken by the ISDEV Master (Mixed Mode) students, who were also the organizers of the trip.

The tsunami-affected locations visited and other activities related to the Wisata Spiritual Tsunami are reflected in the following photos.
The bus that ferried us around Aceh
At Masjid Raya which was saved by Allah swt from the tsunami
At one of the mass graveyards accommodating around 146,000 tsunami victims
A boat that trapped on the second floor of one of the houses during tsunami and saved 59 lives
In front of Mesjid Baiturrahman, another mosque miraculously saved by Allah swt in spite of its short distance from the sea and the area around it was devastated tremendously
Entrance to the grave of one of the great Islamic scholars in Aceh, Syiah Kuala
The grave of Syiah Kuala which was not affected by the tsunami although very near to the sea and the surroundings were destroyed by tsunami almost completely
`Kapal Terapong' (Floating Ship), originally an off-shore electrical supplier, brought by tsunami kilometres away to the land
ISDEV normal practice: Congregational fajr prayer at students' accommodation at the Mess Bank Indonesia
Another ISDEV normal tradition: Tazkirah after every congregational prayers
Reflection on the Wisata Spiritual Tsunami before leaving back for Penang
Another reflection by brothers

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Dr Nazaruddin A. Wahid, the Dean of the Faculty of Shari`ah, IAIN Ar-Raniry (left) and me signing the MoU at the Opening Ceremony of the International Conference on Islamic Economics and Finance, 11 October 2010
During the trip to Aceh, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) also has been signed between ISDEV and the Faculty of Shari'ah, Institut Agama Islam Negeri Ar-Raniry, Banda Aceh. The programs planned in this MoU are as follows:
  1. Academic visits incorporating short term visits of Scholars including visiting lecturer and external assesor/examiner;   
  2. Joint research and development activities, including assistance with the development of relevant centers within each University; 
  3. Participation and co-sponsoring of international conferences, seminars, workshops and academic meetings
  4. Upgrading knowledge of lecturers through continuing professional development (CPD), post-doctoral program and sabbatical leave programmes;    
  5.  Exchange students at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Exchanging gifts after the signing ceremony

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Speech during the Closing Ceremony of the Conference
At the Aceh's International Conference on Islamic Economics and Finance organized by the Faculty of  Shari`ah of the Institut Agama Islam Negeri Ar-Raniry, I talked on `Islamic-Based Development for Post-Tsunami Aceh: A Theoretical Construct', while Dr Fadzila Azni Ahmad spoke on `Total Quality Management (TQM) in Islamic Financial Institutions: Can It?'.

Speech on the Islamic-Based Development for Post-Tsunami Aceh
Dr Fadzila Azni Ahmad on TQM in Islamic Financial Institutions
In my speech, three main points were put forward.

Firstly, I expressed my conviction that Aceh must develop via an Islamic-based development strategy for four reasons. First, Aceh is a Muslim majority province; second, Aceh has proven to be able to become a strong Islamic government with outstanding civilization during 16-17th Century and there is a great possibility to revive it; third, Aceh used to be blessed with Islamic rulers and fighters whose spirit are definitely still around within the hearts of the post-tsunami Acehnese; and post-tsunami Aceh is facing with huge challenges from exogenous systems and cultures which could only be overcome by Islam.

Secondly, I briefly overviewed the development approaches in Aceh after tsunami and concluded that they could be hardly considered as Islamic-based development approaches.

Thirdly, I outlined a theoretical construct of the Islamic-based development approach for post-tsunami Aceh, consisting of 7 principles, viz. the mould is Islamic tasawwur, the actors are servants and vicegerent of God, the time-scale includes pre-birth, present and Hereafter worlds, the framework is obligatory knowledge (fard `ain), the methodology is ibadah, the means is the natural resources, and the ultimate aim is the pleasure of Allah (mardhatillah).