Saturday, March 29, 2014


What else can a teacher feels when his student embark with an award, other than feeling so thankful to God?

This was exactly what I felt when Nor Hanani Ismail was announced as the winner of the Best Islamic Research Prize (Al-Qur'an and Sunnah) at the SAPLI 2014 during the conference dinner at Terendak Seni Restaurant, Seri Begawan, Negara Brunei Darussalam on the 20th of March.

I believed that she deserved the Prize not only for her excellent paper and presentation, but moreover because her successful encounter with a quite challenging tribulation. When she was about to leave for Brunei, her two children, both of them, suffered a high fever.

But for the sake of Allah SWT, she left her children to her husband with a confidence that Allah SWT will surely take care of them, as she was leaving to work for Allah SWT. This was a brave action indeed. Sure enough, her two children recovered quickly by the time she was in Brunei.

The Prize came from the organiser, but implicitly it actually came from Allah SWT. That should be the firm belief of a faithful servant. ISDEV holds to this belief.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Right now I am at Inter-University Postgraduate Seminar 2014 at Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), Brunei Darussalam, witnessing one of ISDEV four PhD students presenting their researh papers. 

Nor Hanani Ismail at the moment is talking about Data Validity Indicators in Islamic Research Methodology. She will be followed by Razali Othman who will talk on The Use of Fiat Money in Cash Waqf, Shereeza Mohamed Saniff on the Development Actors in Constructing Contractual Documents in Islamic Finance, and Murni Yusoff on Islamic Relationship Marketing.

They are presenting their papers in one similar session, Alhamdulillah, giving a chance for audiences to listen to the trend of ISDEV thought at once.

We landed Brunei two days ago, on Tuesday 18th March and will here till Saturday 22nd March, InshaAllah.

We will move to Kolej Universiti Perguruan Ugama Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) after the presentation for a meeting on research collaboration and come back to UNISSA at 2pm to participate in a Roundtable Meeting on Graduate Seminar. At 4pm we need to be at Rizqun International Hotel for an occasion organised by Pehin Dato' Abdul Rahman Haji Abdul Karim, a member of ISDEV's Advisory Panel who plays host to our visit, and at 7.30pm at Terendak Seni Restaurant for Conference Dinner.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


This morning, after having my breakfast, the lady owner of the nasi kandar stall asked me: "What do you think of the MH370? Can you guess where is it now?".

My spontaneous answer is simple: "Only Allah knows, I do not know. If I were to draw an analysis from various analyses, you and I will be more confused. But if you still insist on my opinion, I firstly need to know in which side you are. If you are on opposition, the analysis would be different from the analysis for a pro-establishment".

We ended our conversation with a laugh.

Indeed, it is unwise to guess and manipulate, moreover to analyse and disseminate uncertain news based on unconfirmed information. Yes, it may enhance our mental gymnastic exercises, but reflecting on and asking for Allah's forgiveness for everything that our country in general and MAS in particular have gone wrong is a better wiser endeavour.

In so doing, two that I can think of, of what MAS has gone wrong. Firstly, the providence of alcohol on board, and secondly, the unIslamic uniform of the stewardess. If Royal Brunei Airline and few Middle-Eastern airlines can survive without alcohol and sexy stewardess, why can't MAS?

Unfortunately, let alone eliminating the alcohol service and changing the unIslamic uniform of the stewardess, the stewardess of AirAsia and Malindo that followed are having even a sexier uniform, definitely with the approval of the Malaysian authorities. What have gone wrong seems to be intensified, not avoided at all.

And now we ask Allah for help without repenting? Allah has helped Prophet Yunus from the big fish (nun) and forgave him due to his repentance. We too, in praying for the safety of MH370 and its passengers, should have done the same, that is performing both the solatuh-taubah and solatul-hajat. 

Solatul-hajat alone without the solatuh-taubah is insufficient. Firstly we need to ask Allah for forgiveness for what MAS and the Malaysian authorities have done wrong thus the necessity to return to the right path; and secondly to ask Allah for help for Allah is our Sole Almighty Helper. As Captain Nuruddin was saying: "science is a creation, while Allah is the Creator". Seek the Creator's help in solving the problem of the creations, within a pure intimate Creator-creations relationship.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014


I am on four days leave, beginning today till Friday February, the 7th. The aim is not to have a rest, but instead to be away from office to read and examine a few Phd theses.

They have been back-logged for quite sometimes and I  now realise that I could not do it in the midst of the normal office routines. I need to really concentrate on them with less interruption, away from the academic crowds though still accessible via phones and messages if there is any urgent matter that need my attention and action.

I feel very guilty indeed to hold the theses, for as my wife continuously remind me, they are the future of the students. It is indeed unwise to keep the future of the students standstill, which otherwise could have been moving forward earlier if they have passed their PhD.

Oh Allah, forgive me for my weakness. I pray that the students are able to defend their theses in near forthcoming weeks when my reading of the theses are completed, InshaAllah.