Friday, January 30, 2015

TOWARDS BEGINNINGS AND ENDS OF THE PURSUIT FOR A PhD

On 12 January 2015, two RISDEV (ISDEV Postgraduate by Research) students were given the opportunity to present at the ISDEV Graduate Discourse. Nor Hanani Ismail defended the final draft of her PhD thesis while Ekarat Sitisan had to defend his PhD proposal. They presented before a group of 30 attendees consisting of ISDEV lecturers and postgraduate students at the Meeting Room of C05.
All within her fingertips - Nor Hanani managed to impress everyone as she defended her final draft of her PhD thesis.

The two candidates were given 30 minutes each to present their PhD thesis and proposal. Nor Hanani presented her PhD thesis on "Kaedah Naqd Al-Hadith Sebagai Kaedah Penentu Kesahan Data bagi Penyelidikan Berkaitan Islam” (The Naqd Al-Hadith Method as a Method for Data Validity for Research Related to Islam). In the meantime, Ekarat Sitisan who hails from Thailand, presented his PhD thesis proposal on "Islamic Corporate Social Responsibility in Islamic Bank of Thailand”.
Ekarat Sitisan defending his PhD thesis proposal.

Both of these candidates tried their best to explain in details the contents of their PhD thesis and proposal. Scores of questions to them ensued their presentations which included questions fielded by ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh as well as ISDEV Visiting Fellow Dr. Mohsina Munir and Dr. Nasri Naimi. 
Experienced supervisors and examiners, Dr. Zakaria (right) and Prof. Syukri (left), did not miss out to give their feedback on the student's presentations.

After a detailed evaluation and comments given by ISDEV lecturers, both of them finally received the good news that they could proceed to the next stage of their PhD theses with modifications to be carried out based on the feedback given by the evaluators - Dr. Zakaria Bahari for Nor Hanani Ismail’s thesis and Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad for Ekarat’s PhD thesis proposal.
Dr .Mohsina Munir (right) and Dr. Nasri Naimi (left) giving their comments.

Both candidates expressed their gratitude to Allah S.W.T and to their respective supervisors and co-supervisors for the guidance in helping them move to the next level of their pursuit in their PhD.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ISDEV HONOURED BY THE VISIT OF MAINPP DELEGATES

A brotherly atmosphere at C05 in which the visit took place.

As a new Research Centre of Excellence (CoE) that focuses its research on Islam, the Centre for Islamic Development Management Studies (ISDEV) was recently honoured with the visit of six delegates from Majlis Agama Islam Negeri Pulau Pinang (MAINPP) on 15 January 2015. MAINPP representatives made clear that the main aim of visiting ISDEV was to strengthen the Islamic ukhuwwah (brotherhood) between these two institutions besides establishing cooperation through the various researches conducted in ISDEV. 
Prof. Syukri giving a general introduction on ISDEV to MAINPP delegates.

This visit is a follow-up to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between ISDEV and MAINPP. ISDEV Director, Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh who chaired the meeting, gave a detailed overview of ISDEV which included the various academic courses offered, past and on-going research that ISDEV is embarked in as well as ISDEV plans for the future. 
MAINPP delegates showed their keenness with the current research embarked by Dr.Shahir (right)
who is seen providing a brief overview of his research.

Based on the briefing, the MAINPP delegations led by Dr. Daniel Haji Zainal Abidin (MAINPP Council Member) was impressed with the various achievements ISDEV had accomplished. The delegations expressed their keenness to transform selected researches of ISDEV for the general public's consumption that can be of great benefit specifically to MAINPP and to the whole Islamic community in general.
Dr. Daniel (left) impressed with the research embarked by ISDEV while others  MAINPP Council members listened with interest

At the end of the discussion, both institutions have reached a consensus in which five research groups are formed. Among them are:
1) Masjid Cluster
Head:  Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh
Member: Dr. Mohd Syakir Mohd Rosdi
2) Waqf and Asset Cluster
Head: Dr Zakaria Bahari
Member: Dr. Shahir Akram Hassan
3)Zakat Cluster
Head: Mohd Shukri Hanapi
Member: Dr. Zakaria Bahari
4)Human Development and Index Cluster
Head: Dr. Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan
Member: Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad
5)Development Institutions and Quality Cluster
Head: Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad
Member: Dr.Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan

With the establishment of these five research groups, it is expected that related researches can run smoothly and that both institutions will be able to benefit from the findings obtained. The results of the research is hoped to be able to be disseminated to and practised by the Islamic community so as to have a more holistic way of life at all times with the Islamic worldview.
A group photo of ISDEV and MAINPP to commemorate the visit.

Besides Dr. Daniel Haji Zainal Abidin, the meeting was also attended by Dato' Sazali Haji Hussein (Secretary of MAINPP), Putri Irhanan Sapeli (Manager of Baitulmal Section, MAINPP), Ustaz Fakhruddin Abdul Rahman (Head of Waqf, MAINPP), Ustaz Rosidi Hussain (MAINPP Council Member), and Ustaz Afnan Hamimi Dato' Taib Azamudden (MAINPP Council Member). In the meantime ISDEV members who joined the meeting were ISDEV Deputy Director Dr. Zakaria Bahari, and ISDEV lecturers, Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad, Dr. Mohd Shukri Hanapi, Dr. Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan, Dr. Mohd Syakir Mohd Rosdi, Dr. Shahir Akram Hassan, ISDEV Senior Assistant Registrar Encik Kamarudin Mohamed Ismail Merican and ISDEV Statistician, Encik Aziz Tahar.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A NAS A WEEK - 5 RABI'UL AKHIR 1436

'Aayishah Radiyallahu 'Anha reports, that: "It was not the nature of Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam to talk indecently, nor did he engage himself in the use of obscene language. Nor did he shout and talk in the bazaars (which is against dignity). He did not avenge a bad deed with a bad one, but forgave it, and thereafter did not even mention it" [Shama'il Muhammadiyah, Book 48, Hadith 347].

Friday, January 23, 2015

ACCOMPLISHED VOLUNTEERS: THE FLOOD RELIEF MISSION IN KELANTAN

Due to the floods disaster that have adversely affected Kelantan early January 2015, many volunteers made their way to the state to lend a variety of aides whether physical or financial in shape. The same goes with ISDEV. Answering the call by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to its staff and students to join the flood relief mission as USM Volunteers was seen as a golden opportunity that was not to be missed by 11 ISDEV students who voluntarily participated in the mission.  
The second batch of USM Volunteers - seated in front are three representatives from ISDEV,
Nur Inani (right), Lenny and Ade Yunita (centre and 2nd from left respectively).

Three students, Lenny Luat, Ade Yunita and Nur Inani Ismail joined the second batch of USM Volunteers for the flood relief mission in Kelantan. They were off to Kelantan on 7 January 2015 together with another 92 volunteers comprising mainly of USM Main Campus staff.
For ease of accessibility - lorry is the most efficient way to get to the schools which are off the main road.

Upon arriving in Kelantan, the three of them felt suffocated when they saw the aftermath of the disaster that befell the population concerned. However the spirits to give help never fade and without wasting time they immediately continued their way to Sekolah Kebangsaan Ladang Kerilla, Tanah Merah and quickly proceeded with the cleaning and sprucing up task at hand.
Collecting rain water to help with the cleaning process.

The three of them were involved in cleaning the remaining mud and dirt that was left behind by the floods. They toiled tirelessly from morning till late afternoon to ensure that the school is clean, safe and ready for the new school term.
Cleaning works in progress.

As Lenny, Ade and Inani, took their journey back to USM from Kelantan on 9 January 2015, the third batch of USM Volunteers were sent to Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Sam, Kuala Krai. This third batch of USM Volunteers consisted of eight ISDEV students - Siti Nor Ain Mayan; Sofyatul Azlyn Shariffuddin; Norhidayati Nadiha Mukri; Syaidatina Siti Aishah Ab Aziz; Siti Romilah Mat Yajid; Nooramira Ghazali; Norhazriah Mohamed @ Ismail and Norazira Ali.

They were given the task to clean and get the school ready for the new school term too. Cleaning this school proved to more challenging as they need to ensure the entire school and the school equipments were totally cleaned. The bleak furniture belonging to the school had been washed away by flood water and inevitably landed in an empty space nearby. The cleaning up was a daunting task as limited water resources were available. Indeed these tasks tested the students' physical and mental prowess. 
Gathering the furniture in one place before cleaning them all.

According to Ade Yunita who joined the second batch, even she felt  a sense of suffocation to witness the effects of such disasters as this was her first experience although 10 years ago her own country, Indonesia, was struck by the Tsunami. At that time she was not able to be a volunteer as she did not have a chance to be directly involved in helping the victims as she was pursuing her studies. She was grateful for the opportunity to join this flood mission as the lessons she learned and the self-reflection she made to witness with her very own eyes the Power and Will of Allah S.W.T provided her with the resolute belief that for verily if Allah S.W.T ordained for something to happen, then it will happen and no force can stop or question the event. According to Ade, all that can be done is to remain patient, persevere and steadfast to the test sent by Allah S.W.T.

The eight ISDEV students - from right to left  - Syaidatina Siti Aishah; Noramira; Sofyatul Azlyn; 
Siti Romilah; Norazira; Siti Nor Ain; Norhidayati Nadiha and Norhazriah.

In the meantime for Norazira Ali, who loves to be involved in humanitarian mission, the experience of being in Kelantan has uplifted her spirits more in the cause of humanitarian activities. Norazira who had joined the humanitarian mission to Gaza in December 2012 described such experiences as those that could not be obtained anywhere. All these experiences have  made her to be a more grateful person and constantly appreciative with what she has. She always remind herself to avoid being proud of all the ‘rezeki’ (sustenance) that Allah S.W.T has given as she believes that all those ‘rezeki’ should be shared with other creatures of Allah S.W.T.

Hopefully the experience of these 11 ISDEV students can inspire other ISDEV members to willingly come forward and sign up as volunteers. It is hoped that ISDEV students will not miss the chance to join any humanitarian mission not only for self-interest, but also for the sake of helping other fellow human-beings as well as getting the insights and find the beauty of Islam amidst adversities as achieved by these 11 USM Volunteers from ISDEV.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DR.WAN NORHANIZA AND DR. SHAHIR AKRAM RECEIVE THEIR INAUGURAL RUI GRANT

Dr. Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan had succeeded in obtaining her inaugural grant of University Individual Research (RUI) with the title of the study on "Indikator Pelaku Pembangunan Dalam Indeks Pembangunan Lestari Islam" (The Islamic-based Development Actor's Indicator in Islamic Sustainability Index).

Her official appointment as a senior lecturer of the Centre of Islamic Development Management Studies (ISDEV) was only recently made in September 2014. She was blissfully surprised with the news of her success in obtaining the RUI grant as she did not expect her application to be approved so soon.
Dr. Wan Norhaniza during an interview session with a member of the ISDEV Editorial Team

She was amazed when she received the great good news on December, 26 via email. However she is grateful for the new experience she gained in writing and preparing the RUI grant proposal as well as her embarkation into the academic arena. Dr Wan says that she is greatly indebted to the guidance of ISDEV lecturers especially ISDEV Director, Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh in preparing and meeting the RUI requirement.

According to her, the time period provided for 24 months to conduct the study will be used wisely. She had already prepared a schedule for her plan of action in the near future. For the first step, Dr. Wan will hold a discussion with other co-researchers such as Dr. Zakaria Bahari and Dr. Atih Rohaerti Dariah from Universitas Islam Bandung, Indonesia (UNISBA) for the purpose of having preliminary studies which focuses on Darut Tauhid, Bandung.
Dr. Wan's co-researcher Dr. Artih Rohearti Dariah from UNISBA

In addition, Dr. Wan has also made careful planning by dividing the research into three main sections such as “Pelaku Pembangunan” (Development Actors), “Pembangunan Lestari Islam" (Islamic Sustainability Development) and lastly “Indeks Pembangunan” (Development Index). This is to facilitate the research being done in a systematic and orderly manner. At the same time, Dr. Wan has also recently been appointed as a co-researcher for the research project on "Islamic Based Development Policy in the Context of Negara Zikir Brunei Darussalam". ISDEV Director, Prof Muhammad Syukri Salleh is also involved in this research.

With the grant, she hopes the research can be carried out as quickly as possible. She also hopes that the research will enable the sustainable development model to be at least at par with other dimensions of development thus contributing to the glory of Islam as well as that of ISDEV.
A grateful Dr. Shahir Akram for the approval of his RUI grant.

In the meantime, Dr. Shahir Akram Hassan Al-Hafiz has also obtained his inaugural grant of University Research Individual (RUI)  on "Pengaplikasian Rukyah dan Hisab di Asia Tenggara" (The Application of Rukyah   (Moon Sighting) and Calculations in Southeast Asia" for the period of 24 months.

His main objective that drove him to conduct the  research was the existing differences of opinions on the issue of falak (astronomy) in every country in Southeast Asia which is due to the different methods adopted by each country. As an example, Malaysia and Indonesia use the same method of Rukyah and Calculations in determining certain dates yet there are still differences of opinions in fixing the date for Hari Raya as the festive dates in Malaysia and Indonesia are currently not fixed on the same date. This provided him the impetus to apply for the research grant research to identify whether this application method type of research has the ability to solve the said differences of opinions.

As in Dr. Wan, Dr. Shahir too have set in the detailed plans to conduct the research together with his co-researcher Dr. Mohd Shukri Hanapi of ISDEV together with an astronomy expert from Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) Terengganu, Associate Professor Dr. Baharuddin Zainal.
Dr. Shahir's co-researcher Associate Professor Dr. Baharuddin Zainal of UniSZA

Dr. Shahir added that since his research is focused on countries in Southeast Asia, his team has scheduled the research to be conducted for the first 12 months in Brunei Darussalam followed by  Malaysia,  Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

He hopes this study will provide a positive perception on the field of study as well as to popularize astronomy and become an injector of interests for researchers and students to further explore the science of astronomy.

Congratulations to Dr. Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan and Dr. Shahir Akram Hassan Al-Hafiz! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A NAS A WEEK - 28 RABI'UL AWWAL 1436H

So he began (the search) with their bags before the bag of his brother; then he extracted it from the bag of his brother. Thus did We plan for Joseph. He could not have taken his brother within the religion of the king except that Allah willed. We raise in degrees whom We will, but over every possessor of knowledge is one (more) knowing [Yusuf, 12:76].

Thursday, January 15, 2015

HEARTENING NEWS FOR ISDEV LECTURERS & SUPPORTING STAFF

With the blessings of this New Year 2015, ISDEV received good news both involving ISDEV academicians as well as ISDEV support staff.
A thankful yet still much humbled ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh.
One of the four ISDEV lecturers who received the confirmation on the promotion.

In line with ISDEV elevated stature as a Research Centre of Excellence (CoE), it is truly befitting indeed that towards the close of 2014, five ISDEV lecturers were given the confirmation of their official promotions. First is Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh who is upgraded from a Grade B Professor to a Grade A Professor. The other four are Dr. Mohd. Shukri Hanapi and three newly appointed ISDEV lecturers Dr. Mohd. Syakir Mohd. Rosdi, Dr. Syahir Akram Hassan Al-Hafiz and Dr. Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan who are all now holding permanent posts as Senior Lecturers at ISDEV. In addition, each of them also received the great good news of their promotion from Grade DS 45 to a DS 51 officer.
The latest senior lecturers of ISDEV (from right to left) Dr. Wan Norhaniza, Dr. Shahir Akram and Dr. Mohd Syakir.

In addition to receiving this good news on ISDEV lecturers, ISDEV has now an additional two support staff. Encik Kamarudin Mohamed Ismail Merican who had previously served at the School of Communications, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) is now ISDEV Senior Assistant Registrar with effect from 5 January 2015 while Encik Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Shariff who had previously worked with the School of Mathematical Sciences, USM serves as ISDEV General Office Assistant. 
The two USm staff who had just joined ISDEV, Encik Kamarudin (left) and Encik Mohamed Ibrahim (right)

With the upgrade and promotion of ISDEV lecturers as well as the expansion of ISDEV workforce with the coming of the two new ISDEV support staff, ISDEV is believed to not only be able to continue its excellent work and academic records but also move ISDEV further towards a more rapid progress, in sha Allah.