Saturday, December 29, 2012


Not much happenings after coming home from Ban Nua, Thailand on the 9th December, except a meeting on Zakat Asnaf Revisited at De Palma Hotel in Shah Alam organised by Selangor Zakat Council (LZS) on 19-20th December, a Post-Mortem Meeting on ISDEV Research University Team (RUT) Report Presentation on 21st December, and a meeting on Evaluation for MAPIM Book Award on 27th December.

While I was on my way to Shah Alam on the 18th, a group of lecturers and graduate students of Faculty of Economics and Muamalat (FEM) of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) visited ISDEV and a meeting of Management Committee of the School of Social Sciences was in progress. On the 20th, while I was in the midst of the meeting on the Zakat Asnaf Revisited in Shah Alam, researchers of the ISDEV RUT presented our one-year achievements of the research project to assessors of the Social Transformation Research Platform.

I was supposed to have involved in all the three porgrammes. But since I was away, I have to delegate the tasks to other ISDEV members. The visit by USIM was handled by ISDEV PhD student Shereeza Mohd Saniff, while the meeting at the School of Social Sciences and the ISDEV RUT presentation were handled by Dr Mohd Shukri Hanapi, with the help of Dr Zakaria Bahari and other research members, including ISDEV Academic Staff Training Scheme Fellows.

Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah SWT, all the three programmes were handled successfully, manifesting that ISDEV could be sailed smoothly, even though if I am no more at ISDEV, InshaAllah. ISDEV is not a one-man show business indeed. It is a collective business with trained-next-echelon prepared to handle  future challenging tasks, InshaAllah.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Three days in Ban Nua were really an experience. I had a chance to discuss with and pray behind Dr Tobrani, the Head (Imam) of the Ban Nua community himself. He is a simple but knowledgable and determined young man. I was also honoured to be invited by him and to speak in a dialogue with his guests - community members of Gunung Condong, Bentong, Southern Thailand - who, like many other guests to Ban Nua, came to share Dr Tobrani's experience in developing community from below.

From the experience, four important lessons perhaps could be shared here. Firstly, in any organisation, knowledge is the fundamental pre-requisite. Dr Tobrani has gathered his knowledge from al-Azhar University for his Bachelor degree, International Islamic University Malaysia for his Master degree, and Thaksin University for his Phd degree.

Secondly is the management of knowledge. He disseminates the knowledge to his community to ensure that they understand what should be done in their community. Thirdly is the leadership. One with knowledge and endeavours in disseminating it would not be effective unless he has leadership skills, one of which is manifested through the trust of the people on him as well as his ability in mobilising the people. Dr Tobrani undoubtedly possesses such a skill. Fourthly is the sacrifice. Both leaders and people of Ban Nua could not have developed their Ban Nua village without the sacrifice in every sense. They have the real sense of sacrifice indeed.

Knowledge, management of knowledge, leadership and sacrifice definitely have to be in ISDEV fraternity if ISDEV were to realise its ambition.

Saturday, December 08, 2012


As scheduled, together with 36 other ISDEV fraternity (lecturers, graduate students, and Fellows of Academic Staff Training Scheme, I am now in Ban Nua, Province of Songkhla, Thailand. We arrived yesterday and had a visit to Hatyai Floating Market, heard a briefing from Ban Nua's Community Head Dr Tobrani, and held a dialogue with colleagues from Walailak University, Nakhorn si Thammarat.

At the moment, 3 community engagement programmes are in progress. They are cleanliness and health awareness, library management, and computer lessons for zakat and cooperative managers. ISDEV graduate students, in particular MISDEV12, are in charge of the programmes.

This evening would be a football match between Ban Nua community and ISDEV+Walailak University. This would be followed by an Islamic cultural show by ISDEV, Walalilak University and the children of Ban Nua community. We will be leaving for home tomorrow, InshaAllah.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Last week was full of ISDEV graduate presentations. The first group was Master Mixed Mode batch 2011 (MISDEV11) and the second was Master Mixed Mode batch 2012 (MISDEV12) students. It started with a whole day dissertation presentation by MISDEV11 graduates on 26th, followed by proposal presentation by MISDEV12 on 27th and MISDEV11 again on 29th November.

As a whole, the quality of MISDEV11 graduates disssertations is significantly good, thanks to the close and dedicated supervision by their respective supervisors. The relatively shorter time taken by MISDEV12 graduates to find their research topics and prepare their proposals for presentations too is also commendable. They have proved to be able to adjust themselves with and fit into ISDEV academic culture.

After the presentation, I rushed to Kuala Lumpur to have a short weekend holidays with all my 4 children at Equatorial Bangi. We had dinner at Ana Ikan Bakar and breakfast with nasi belauk at a restaurant in Bangi,  tasted the popular durian creepe bought by Akif at Mid-Valley, lepak-lepak at the hotel swimming pool, and watched Malaysia-Thailand football match on tv in the hotel while having dinner with sup keting and asam pedas bought earlier at a restaurant. On Sunday we drove to Jengka to send Taariq to his Universiti Teknologi MARA, without Akif who has to fly back to his Universiti Sains Malaysia and Afirah who has to drive back to her Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia.

Later in the week, I participated in a Muslim Vice-Chancellors' Forum at Royale Chulan KL. Organised by Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia's Institute of Higher Education Research (IPPTN), and  Malaysia's Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT), the Forum witnessed the participation by various Vice-Chancellors and their representatives from around the globe, with an aim of formulating an injection of Islam into their respective universities.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


This is a story about a Chinese man who believes in One God with many emphases. I met him when `Akif had a minor accident in the USM campus with his daughters a few days ago. I went  to settle the case at the Pantai Hospital where his daughters were admitted. With me were Ustaz Khairul who became my insurance advisor, Ustaz Shahir who became my religious advisor to ensure that I would not oppress the Chinese man in the dealing, and Taariq, representing `Akif who was having a night lecture.

By profession the Chinese man is a counselor, but at the same time he is also a pastor. According to him, he preaches at churches of all Christian sects, except Roman Catholic churches. The difference between the sects, he says, just lies on the different emphasis. The Roman Catholic emphasises on Maryam (Jesus' Mother), while other sects emphasise on Jesus himself. So is Islam, he contended; it emphasises on Prophet Muhammad SAW. In actuality, all religions believe in One God, the same God, he believes. That was one of the reasons why he went to preach at all churches other than the Roman Catholic.

After listening to his long lecture, I asked a little question. If he believes in One God and goes around to Christian religion of all sects, why he is depriving himself by not studying and going to Islam? He was shocked but excited. The discussion suddenly changed from preaching at churches to how he could start to learn about Islam. Alhamdulillah.

In the car on our way back home, we recalled how privileged we were to deal with a talkative person like the Chinese man. While listening to his long lecture, we have an ample time to plan our thinking that could lead him to a more beneficial destination, even with only a sentence. For that I agreed to pay him RM 700 as he requested to settle the accident. Making a person to think, and hopefully to learn about and moreover to embrace Islam is much more precious than the RM 700, In sha Allah.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


In my Director's Tazkirah entitled Tribulations delivered at the ISDEV Monthly Graduate Supervision last Friday (23 November 2012), two statements came out of my speech spontaneously, without me planning them. The first was a philosophical statement I quoted from an Hindustani film that our task is to forgive, but not to seek forgiveness. The second was a tawhidic statement that all ISDEV fraternity should fear Allah SWT, not to fear their superiors.

What I meant to stress in the first statement relates to the necessity to minimise the making of mistakes so as to allow an avoidance of paving a way for seeking forgiveness. This is not to deny the impossibility of not making mistake at all and ask for forgiveness whenever the mistake is made. It rather stresses on not having a habit of making consistent mistakes intentionally or unintentionally just because there is a room for seeking forgiveness. In a nutshell, one, especially ISDEV fraternity, should avoid making mistakes as far as possible so as to allow a maximum perfection to prevail in every deeds one is taken. And definitely, only whenever mistake is made after such a dedicated endeavour, seeking forgiveness is necessary.

In the second statement, I wanted to emphasise that all assignments and tasks of all ISDEV fraternity must be regarded as assignments and tasks from Allah SWT, for ISDEV is an institution that strives to uphold the words of Allah SWT. One therefore has to treat all assignments and tasks as serious, and maximise the efforts in carrying them out to attain a highly successful result so that a good image of Islam in the eyes of all - Muslims and non-Muslims - is created. The real driven force for this is Allah SWT, not the superiors such as  the Director, lecturers, et cetera. If ISDEV fraternity undertake the assignments and tasks just because they are afraid of  their superiors (read human beings), I am afraid they would be trapped into syirk (the sin of idolatry or polytheism). If this is the case, ISDEV will be broken into dust, for there would not be the help and  love of Allah SWT anymore. Instead, ISDEV would become the enemy of Allah SWT.

Oh Allah, please protect us.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Alhamdulillah, the two-day 3rd ISDEV Research University Team (RUT) Workshop held at ISDEV ended successfully today. A total of 21 working papers were presented by ISDEV research members (from Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Universitas Medan Area, Universitas Muhammadiyah Sumatera Utara, Institut Agama Islam Negeri Medan, and Institut Agama Islam Negeri Ar-Raniry Aceh, apart from USM itself) and Academic Staff Training Scheme Fellows.

The papers yielded from the members' second 6 months research of 5 research clusters, namely The Mould and Index of Islamic-based development, The Politics of Islamic-based Development Strategies, The Ethics and Monitoring System in Human Development, Corporate Social Responsibility in Islamic Banking, and Istibdal for Awqaf Development. These research clusters are embedded in a bigger research team themed Islamic-based Development.

I was given the task to lead this 5 year-research team and also two of the clusters, ie The Mould and Index of Islamic-based development, and The Politics of Islamic-based Development Strategies. Within about a year, we have produced nearly 50 papers, some of which have been published in various journals, Alhamdulillah. Many thanks to all ISDEV RUT research team members in and outside USM.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I need to jot down this important note.

Yesterday, Tuesday 20 November 2012 at about 3.30 pm, was an historical moment for ISDEV. In a meeting with (and called by) our Vice-Chancellor, ISDEV sensed a bright light shining along the path to move forward, Alhamdulillah.

The endeavours in brightening that light and attaining the yields definitely necessitate sacrifices. ISDEV lecturers and Fellows of Academic Staff Training Scheme majority of whom were in the meeting, I am sure, understood the Vice-Chancellor's message and prepare to sacrifice in realising that bright future for the sake Allah SWT and Islam, In sha Allah.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I spent the recent weekend, 16-19 November, fruitfully with ISDEV Mixed Mode Master students (MISDEV11) at KEDA Resort, Bendang Man, Sik, Kedah. It was an annual programme of Human Development course. The theme of this year's programme is The Journey of a Caliph: Revolution From Within. Last year, the previous batch spent at SEDIM Resort in Kulim, Kedah.

The aim is to instill organisational skills among the students, apart from equipping them with abilities that are needed in being an Islamic development manager. All the MISDEV11 students have various distinctive talents and potentials indeed. The talents and potentials have been reflected by their abilities they performed at the Resort, some of which are manifested by the following photos.

Delivering Friday Sermon
Debating in a 'Parliament'
Morning Exercise
Chicken slaughtering
Musical Pentomin
Morning Tazkirah after Qiamulail (night prayers) and Fajr prayer
Impromptu entertainment by MISDEV11's guests
The participants

Friday, November 16, 2012


An article of mine has appeared in International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 2 No. 14 [Special Issue - July 2012]. The title is "Religiosity in Development: A Theoretical Construct of an Islamic-Based Development".

The article attempts to seek for an answer for the religiosity in Islam vis-a-vis the conventional understanding of the religiosity; and secondly, it attempts to develop a theoretical construct of an Islamic-based development and visualize the form of development that this theoretical construct entails with. The endeavor is based on  two premises. Firstly, the meaning of religiosity as is held by conventional view is different from the meaning of religiosity viewed from Islamic perspective. Secondly, the focus on religiosity in many literatures is generally confined to the religiosity of the human beings, not on the religiosity of the exogenous aspects of human life such as development. These premises are portrayed in the first section of this paper. The subsequent section then outlines the dimensions of the religiosity in an Islamic-based development. It shows that there are five dimensions of the religiosity of an Islamic-based development, viz. Divinistic, Dogmatic, Holistic Integration, Transitory, and Instrumentalistic. While these dimensions are developed from the basic doctrines of Islam, the deliberations in the earlier section are based on a textual analysis of the available literatures on religiosity.

The article is accessible at:

Thursday, November 15, 2012


One of the happiest moments for a teacher like myself is to see a high achievement of a student nurtured in his institution.

Thanks God, another ISDEV graduate student has passed her PhD with flying colour. Marlina Ekawaty, from Malang, Indonesia, has not only been recommended by the Board of Examiners to pass her PhD with Distinction, but also her thesis to be given a suitable award. Writing on zakat in Malang, Marlina Ekawaty has gone through a viva voce successfully on 1st November 2012.

She is the eleventh ISDEV student to attain such an excellent accomplishment. Before her were Dr Nor Azzah Kamri (Universiti Malaya), Dr Zahri Hamat (Universiti Sains Malaysia), Dr Fadzila Azni Hamat (Universiti Sains Malaysia), Dr Ahmad Azrin Adnan (Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin), Shereeza Mohmaed Saniff (Universiti Sains Malaysia), Radieah Mohd Nor (Universiti Sains Malaysia), Dr Warjio (Universitas Sumatera Utara), Dr Suhrawardi Lubis (Universitas Muhammadiyah Sumatera Utara), Dr Muhammad Yasir (Institut Agama Islam Negeri Ar-Raniry Acheh) and Dr Mohd Shukri Hanapi (Universiti Sains Malaysia).

Amongst them, Dr Fadzila Azni Ahmad has won the USM Best Thesis Award (2009) and Tan Sri Muhyidin Mohd Yasin Best PhD Thesis Award (2009), Shereeza Mohamed Saniff won the USM Best Mixed Mode Student Award (2010), Radieah Mohd Nor won the Tan Sri Muhyidin Mohd Yasin Best Master Thesis Award (2010), and Dr Ahmad Azrin Adnan won the Yayasan Nurul Yaqeen Best PhD Thesis Award (2011). This year, Dr Mohd Shukri Hanapi's thesis is being nominated for the Yayasan Nurul Yaqeen Best PhD Thesis Award (2011). The evaluation process is in progress.

I am certain, InshaAllah, a lot more of ISDEV graduates currently pursuing their graduate studies at ISDEV are following suit.

L-R: Social Sciences Dean Dr Nor Malina Malek, Marlina Ekawaty, myself, Marlina's supervisor Dr Zahri  Hamat and Internal Examiner Dr Hasanah Abd Khafidz, after the happy announcement of Marlina's success

Saturday, November 10, 2012


While in Brunei, I presented a paper entitled “Human Account in Development Studies: An Islamic Analysis” at the 2nd SOASCIS International Conference: Transmitting Spiritual and Moral Values Across Generations in 21st Century: The Challenges to Muslim Education, organized by the Sultan Omar `Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS), Universiti Brunei Darussalam, at Universiti Brunei Darussalam on 5-7 November 2012.

In contrary to the perception of some scholars, this paper shows that the human aspects have indeed been a focus of recognition and an in-depth deliberation in the western ethno-centric development studies. What has become the flaw of these studies is their inability in understanding a holistic concept of human beings, hence inability in penetrating into other human basic components within oneself.

In a nutshell, this paper consists of an expression of three main stances. Firstly, that the western ethno-centric theories undoubtedly are well aware of the significance and the importance of the human and the intangible aspects. Secondly, that this awareness, however, is based on an inexact concept of human beings, defected by some missing dimensions of human beings themselves. Thirdly, in consequence, that the deliberation on the human in the western ethno-centric development theories are confined to a narrow worldly objectives, with productivity and income as their indicators of what they meant as human development. These stances, inter alia, need to be exposed to the students of development studies, particularly in the deliberation on the human beings as actors of development.

Dr Zakaria Bahari

Dr Mohd Shukri Hanapi
Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan
3 other ISDEV members have also presented their papers in this Conference. They were ISDEV Deputy Director Dr Zakaria Bahari who presented a paper on "The Teaching of Islamic Economics: An Analysis of Tawhidic Paradigm", ISDEV Acting Chairman of Islamic Development Management Program Dr Mohd Shukri Hanapi on "From Jahiliyyah to Islamic Worldview: In Search of an Islamic Philosophical Construct", and ISDEV Academic Staff Training Scheme Fellow Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan on "Education Indicators in Development Index: An analysis From the Perspective of Islamic-based Development".

The Conference was also participated by well-known academicians. They are Distinguished Professor Tan Sri Muhammad Kamal Hassan of  the International Islamic University Malaysia, Professor Datuk Osman Bakar (who is also the organizer) of the Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Professor Yasushi Kosugi of Kyoto University, Japan, Professor Abul Fadl Mohseen Ebrahim of University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Professor Jamil Lee Hee Soo of Hanyang Unversity Seoul, South Korea, Associate Professor Yusuf Ma Zhan Ming of Ningxia University, People's Republic of China, Dr Alim Fadil Achmat Salie of University of Detroit Mercy, USA, Professor Dato' Md Salleh Yaapar of Universiti Sains Malaysia, and Professor Datin Azizan Baharuddin of Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia.

L-R: Assoc Prof Dr Jabal M. Buaben (UBD), Dr Mohd Shukri Hanapi (ISDEV), Dr Zakaria Bahari (ISDEV), Prof Datuk Osman Bakar (UBD), myself, Prof Yasushi Kosugi (Japan), Prof Dato' Md Salleh Yaapar (USM), and Dr Alim Fadil Achmat Salie (USA)

Thursday, November 08, 2012


5 November 2012 - With  Asisstant Rector of Kolej Universiti Perguruan Ugama Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) Dr Haji Norarfan bin Haji Zainal (left) - Dinner dscussion on research cooperation on "KUPU's Curriculum Revisited"
3 November 2012 - With Rector of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) Dr Haji Serbini bin Haji Matahir (left) and Registrar of UNISSA Awang Haji Tarip bin Mat Yassin (right) - Convocation dinner
4 November 2012 - With Head of the Supreme Council of Malay, Islam, Monarchy Dr Hadi Md Melayong (left) and Chief of The Brunei Times daily Haji Bujang (right) - Dinner discourse on Brunei's history and socio-economy
7 November 2012 - With SOASCIS Universiti Brunei Darussalam Chair Holder Dato' Professor Osman Bakar on ISDEV-SOASCIS research cooperation on Development Ethic"
8 November 2012 - With Datin Dr Hajjah Saadiah binti Datu Derma Wijaya Haji Tamit (left) and Tuan Haji Rafee (right) of the Academy of Brunei Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam at Wealth Zakat Exhibition
8 November 2012 - With Deputy Mufti of the Government of Negara Brunei Darussalam Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Suhaili bin Haji Mohiddin on zakat and divorce in Brunei Darussalam
8 November 2012 - Discussion with Universiti Islam Sultan Shariff Ali (UNISSA) on research cooperation on "The Politics of Islamic-Based Development" and "Istibdal for Waqf Development"

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


For the fourth time, I am in Brunei again since last Friday, 2 November 2012.

L-R: Brunei's Minister of Internal Affairs YB Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Awang Haji Othman, Chief Syar'i Judge YB Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Awang Haji Yahya bin Haji Ibrahim, and Minister of Communication YB Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, and myself
With the Rector of UNISSA, Dr Haji Serbini Haji Matahir
The aims are three-folds. Firstly, to represent my Vice-Chancellor to the Convocation Ceremony of the Universiti Islam Sultan Syarif Ali (UNISSA); secondly, to participate in the 2nd Conference of Sultan Omar Ali Saifudeen Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS) of the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD); and thirdly, to hold meetings on research cooperation with UBD, UNISSA and Kolej Universiti Perguruan Islam Seri Begawan (KUPU SB).

Presenting a paper entitled "Human Account in Development Studies: An Islamic Analysis" at the 2nd SOASCIS International Conference at Universiti Brunei Darussalam
Together with me are ISDEV Deputy Director Dr Zakaria Bahari, ISDEV Acting Chairman of Islamic Development Management Programme Dr Mohd Shukri Hanapi, and ISDEV Academic Staff Training Scheme Fellow Wan Norhaneezaa Wan Hassan.

In between the programmes, a strengthening of relationship with The Brunei Times is also done. Tuan Haji Bujang, the Chief of The Brunei Times hosted a dinner for us.

We will be leaving for home on Friday, 9th November 2012, InshaAllah.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Parts of the Ban Nua's community and ISDEV fraternity
Today, Tuesday 23rd October 2012, 90 delegates from Ban Nua, Thailand, led by Dr Tobrani, visited ISDEV.

Dr Tobrani leads his community to develop a self-reliant independent Ban Nua (Nua Village, located north of Hatyai) based on Quranic verse that instructs the observation of solah and the payment of zakah. Though initially a poor community with members mostly working as fishermen, the Ban Nua community now becomes the zakat payer (muzakki) rather than the zakat receiver (asnaf). Uniting under the congregation of prayers, the community now owns an active co-operative, school, et. cetera, emerging as an exemplary Islamic independent and self-contained village, endeavoured via a bottom-up grassroots approach.

L-R: Dr Muhammad Ilyas (ISDEV Post-Doctoral Fellow from International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan), Dr Tobrani and myself
Two ISDEV Master students are now researching on Ban Nua's co-operative and zakat efforts. On the 7th till the 9th of December 2012, ISDEV fraternity plans to pay a visit to Ban Nua, after visiting the community for the first time last year. ISDEV is identifying possible aids for Ban Nua's development, particularly on health, computerisation of the co-operative and zakat management, and Islamic entertainment culture such as nasyid, InshaAllah. This is one of ISDEV's bottom billion engagement.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Life at 58 seems to be much busier than before. Since the last post on my 58th birthday, the present is my first post - after almost three months of silence. I was away from office almost every week. At some places, the internet signal was weak or almost none, while at others where there was strong signal, my schedules were tight. The only records that I have are the photos, which hopefully can be downloaded here sometimes, InshaAllah.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Myself today, at the age of 58
Today is my 58th birthday, Alhamdulillah. Amazed at FB for exposing the date, resulting in the pouring of wishes from many corners of the earth - from family members, students, and friends.

The first wish came via sms from Ummu, my youngest daughter, at exactly 0000 hour today, though her bedroom is just beside mine. She has been waiting for that exact moment, I think, as always.

Many thanks to everybody for the wishes, good words, and prayers. I could feel that I am now really a warga emas (gold citizen?). My right knee has been painful while observing terawih prayers. My fasting is also relatively quite a tiring one. But Alhamdulillah, Allah SWT still provide me with an opportunity to serve Him and His religion, the opportunity that I hope would be given till the end, Insha-Allah.
One of the wishes: From my alma mater, the St Cross College, University of Oxford

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


An article of mine entitled "Rethinking Wealth Management: An Islamic Preliminary View" has just appeared in the International Journal of Business and Social Science, Vol.3, No.13, July 2012, p.232-236. It could be accessed via 

The article attempts to rethink about the contemporary state of the wealth management by deliberating an Islamic view on the method, the target, and the stance of the wealth management. Specifically, the paper deals with three following questions. Firstly, how is Islamic way of managing wealth? Secondly, what are the target that actually should be managed, the man who is wealthy and who manage the wealth or the wealth itself? And thirdly, are all human beings should be wealthy? The deliberation comes to a conclusion that an Islamic wealth management should emerge from its own distinctive philosophical and epistemological underpinnings; the target should not only the wealth but also, moreover, the actors of the wealth management, that is the wealthy and the managers of the wealth; and wealthiness is indeed involving a selective process - not all human beings should be wealthy, hence the necessity for an identification method in the selection of the wealthy-to-be.

Sunday, July 01, 2012


Opening ceremony of the KAIB V Conference by Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni Ke Bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, Senior Minister at the Prime Minsiter's Department
With Mufti of Perlis, Dr Juanda (left) and Director of Islamic Centre of Universiti Utara Malaysia, Dr Ismail (right) at the Conference
ISDEV delegates with Ustaz Zulkifli of UiTM Puncak Alam (centre)
Alhamdulillah, while in Brunei, after participating in the KAIB V Conference, we have held fruitful discussions on research cooperation between ISDEV and Universiti Islam Sultan Syarif Ali (UNISSA) and Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

With UNISSA, we came to an agreement in undertaking researches on The Politics of Islamic-Based Development Strategy with Pusat Penataran Ilmu dan Bahasa and Istibdal for Wakaf Development with the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences. There are also possibilities of academic exchanges between ISDEV and UNISSA, under the UNISSA's Research Fellowship programme. The discussion was chaired by UNISSA Acting Registrar Hajjah Surianah bt Haji Alias, assisted by Dr Abdul Nasir bin Hj Abd Rani, the Director of the Centre for Graduate Studies and Research.

Meeting with UNISSA in progress
ISDEV delegates with UNISSA's colleagues
With Dr Abdul Nasir (left), the UNISSA's Director of the Centre for Graduate Studies and Research
With UBD, in particular with the Academy of Brunei Studies and with the Sultan Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS), we came to an agreement in carrying out researches on the following three topics, viz. The Mould and Index of Development in MIB, Ethics and Human Development Management, and Corporate Social Responsibility of the Islamic Banks. Three other potential researches were also discussed. They are Zakat Accounting, Management of Wakaf, and Halal Branding. The discussion was chaired by Deputy Director of the Academy of Brunei Studies, Tuan Haji Mohd Shahrol Amira bin Abdullah.

Meeting at the Academy of Brunei Studies of the UBD
While at UBD, we were also invited for a discussion on ISDEV-UBD collaboration by UBD Assistant Vice-Chancellor-cum-Director of the Sultan Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS), Dr Azman Ahmad. Apart from the research collaboration, there are also possibilities of academic exchanges as well as opportunities for UBD Scholarship for graduate studies.
Discussion with Dr Azman Ahmad, the UBD Asistant Vice-Chancellor
ISDEV delegates with Dr Azman Ahmad
Lastly, at Brunei International Airport, leaving for home by evening flight on 29th June 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I am honoured to have my article published in The Brunei Times daily today, while I am here in Brunei.

The title of the article is "Seven Principles of Islamic Development Based on Malay Islam Monarchy (MIB)". It expresses my conviction that the Brunei's State Philosophy, the MIB, is a fertile ground for a realization of a holistic Islam, including in development.

But to ensure a more systematic endeavors for this, the long term development planning Brunei Vision 2035 is proposed to have seven Islamic-based principles relating to its mold (Islamic worldview), actor (servants and vicegerent of God), time scale (past, present and forthcoming worlds), framework (fard ain), methodology (ibadah), means (natural resources), and ultimate aim (pleasure of God, mardhatillah).

Similar idea was also presented in my paper at The 5th International Conference on Borneo Islam 2012 today. The title of the paper is "The Principles of Islamic-Based Development: A Theoretical Proposal for Malay Islam Monarchy (MIB) in Brunei Darussalam.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Alhamdulillah, landed at Brunei airport safely this evening, together with three other ISDEV members (Dr Fadzila Azni Ahmad and husband, Dr Zahri Hamat and Dr Mohd Shukri Hanapi).

The main aim is to participate in The 5th International Conference on Borneo Islam (KAIB V) 2012, co-organized by Kolej Universiti Perguruan Ugama Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) and Universiti Teknologi MARA Sarawak. Simultaneously, there would also be meetings to establish research networking with Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) and Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UDB), and to develop relationship with The Brunei Times.

The first programme tonight was a dinner with Tuan Haji Bujang and Azrina Abdul Karim, the Chief Editor and Managing Editor of The Brunei Times respectively.

Dinner with the Chief Editor and  Managing Editor of The Brunei Times daily, Tuan Haji Bujang (middle) and Azrina Abdul Karim (right) respectively
Delegates from ISDEV with Tuan Haji Bujang and Azrina at our accommodation, Palm Garden Hotel

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Book shopping at Social Agency, Jl Kaliurang KM 8.5 No 25 YK
Arriving Yogyakarta airport, received by Pak Fudail (1st left)
With the organizers: Dr Priyonggo Suseno (left) of the Universitas Islam Indonesia and Prof Abdul Ghafar Ismail (right) of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Some of the participants
Participants from ISDEV (L-R): Dr Nor Asmat Ismail, myself and Dr Zakaria Bahari
Workshop in progress
Public `newspapers display' at an avenue near our Mutiara Hotel

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I am in Yogyakarta since the 18th of June, participating in The Third International Workshop on Islamic Economic Theory themed Islamic Public Wealth Management, organized by Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII), with the cooperation of EKONIS of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

The title of my paper is "Organizational and Definitional Reconfiguration of Zakat Management". It attempts to explore the problems of the hiccups in the zakat management in Malaysia. I observe that there are two types of hiccup, viz, the organizational hiccup and the definitional hiccup.

The organizational hiccup refers to the hiccup entailed firstly from the over-paternalistic attitude of some of the State Islamic Religious Councils (SIRCs), secondly the problems of centralization versus decentralization, and thirdly the problems of professionalism (especially in the zakat collection dealt with by zakat management centres) versus traditionalism (especially in the zakat distribution dealt with by the SIRCs) in the zakat management system.

The definitional hiccup refers to the hiccup created by the usage of unredefined concepts related to zakat. For instance, zakat is said to have been able to alleviate poverty, but the concept of poverty itself is not redefined according to Islamic teaching. Instead, it remains as a western ethno-centric concepts with western ethno-centric indicators and measurements.The end product therefore is being viewed from that western ethno-centric eyes, even though the instrument is an Islamic institution called zakat.

Both the organizational and definitional hiccups have to be reconfigured accordingly. The former by balancing the centralization with the decentralization (through localization approach) and traditionalism with professionalism. The later by developing authentic Islamic concepts from within Islamic philosophical and epistemological underpinnings.

I will be flying home tomorrow, InshaAllah.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Glad that ISDEV continues to organise its annual ISDEV International Conference on Islamic Development Management (IDMAC). The Call for Papers for this year's IDMAC, the 6th IDMAC12, has been launched. The theme is The Islamic Management of Human Development. The ISDEV News, the official blog of ISDEV (, has posted the Call for Papers, partly as follows:

The 6th ISDEV International Islamic Development Management Conference (IDMAC 2012): Islamic Management of Human Development
29th – 30th August, 2012, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang
Organized by:
Centre for Islamic Development Management Studies (ISDEV) & Social Transformation Platform
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia

Important Dates
Submission of Abstract        : 20th June 2012
Submission of Full Paper     : 20th July 2012
Registration                         : 29th August 2012
Abstract & Working Papers:                
Dr Fadzila Azni Ahmad
Tel: 04-653 4601

Conference website: All are cordially invited. Please also disseminate the news to others.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Today, and also tomorrow, I am fully engaged with the Second ISDEV Research University Team (RUT) Worskhop. A total of 20 RUT team members and ISDEV Academic Staff Training Scheme (ASTS) Fellows presenting a total of 23 papers, researched during the first 6 months of their RUT research projects.

The research, entitled Islamic-based Development and led by me, contains 5 projects, viz. the Politics of Islamic Development Strategies, the Construction of the Mould and Index of Islamic-based Development, Ethics and Monitoring System in Human Management, the Corporate Social Responsibility of Islamic Banks, and the Application of Waqf Istibdal in Development.

The Acting Dean of the Social Transformation Research Platform Professor Osman Mohamad opens the Workshop, witnessed by a total of more than 50 participants, including research team members from Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Universitas Medan Area, Institut Agama Islam Negeri Sumatera Utara and participant from Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Today, the Teachers' Day, MISDEV11 students has a surprise treatment for ISDEV lecturers. It was a Teachers' Day Cake and a khenduri, held immediately after their Dissertation Proposal Presentation.

Earlier at the outset of the Presentation, they stood up together to wish a happy Teachers' Day, very much similar to the routine of the wish the school students do every time a teacher come into their class. Many thanks MISDEV11.

Cutting the Teachers' Day Cake