For the third consecutive Monday, I was at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) again yesterday. I attended a viva-voce of Zulkifli Daud of the School of Economics, as an external examiner of his PhD thesis entitled Compliant Behaviour of Zakat Payment via Formal Institution in Aceh, Indonesia. The Board of Examiners has passed him but with a number of corrections.
As the two previous Mondays, the flight from Penang was at 7.10 am. My PhD student cum the Fellow of ISDEV Academic Staff Training Scheme, Shahir Akram ferried me to the Penang International Airport early in the morning, shortly after our congregational fajr prayer at my residence. For the two earlier trips, ISDEV Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr Masakaree Ardae from Thailand was the one who rushed me to the Penang airport.
How nice to have ISDEV fraternity who are always ready to help each other. It is definitely different from the time in the 1980's when I was about to introduce the field called Islamic development and establish committed group to work on it. Undeniably I have `friends' then, but I dare not ask them to help me in any sense, even to give a ride to the airport or to send to or pick up from a workshop for car services. I did not know exactly why, but I could recall how our relationship was more of an `intellectual relationship' rather than `personal relationship'. If there was any meeting point, it was just a meeting of mind, not a meeting of heart.
This, Alhamdulillah, have changed. I am surrounded by committed members of ISDEV who are not only developing and integrating their intellect together, but also integrating their hearts to work for Islam. This is one of the outcomes of heart-to-heart approach that ISDEV is adopting, I think. Thanks God.