ISDEV Director, Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh had been given the honour to speak to USM staff in June at the USM Vice Chancellor Monthly Gathering With Staff. The auspicious occasion was held on 12 June, 2014 at the University Conference Hall (DPU). It was attended by the Vice-Chancellor himself, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs), the Registrar, other top management officers and supporting staff. Prof. Syukri took the trust bestowed on him seriously and sought to speak from the heart by sharing the ISDEV story.
Prof Syukri started his talk by giving the stark reality that it had actually taken ISDEV a very long period of time to get to where it is now. ISDEV started as a seed of an idea in 1981 and 33 years later ISDEV is now a Research Centre of Excellence (CoE). That same period of time is equivalent to the duration of his career.
Prof Syukri's speech span on the various forms of hardships faced by ISDEV, ISDEV philosophy and methods as well as what the future entails for ISDEV in particular and USM staff in general.
ISDEV success is not without any trials and tribulations. In fact there were aplenty. These tests were presented in various forms such as physical, psychological and even to emotional attacks. Some of the physical tests included the removal of the parking space reserved for ISDEV Director, removal of the ISDEV sign on the door, the scattering of ISDEV members' shoes when they were all arranged neatly outside ISDEV office, while some of the psychological and emotional tests were in the form of clash of ideologies, ISDEV and ISDEV members were the subjects of mockery and the non-confidence stance on ISDEV adopted by the senior management at one point of time. Besides grappling with these trials from outside ISDEV, there were also tests presented from within ISDEV, for example, in the form of some of the members' idiosyncrasies which at times pose a danger to the unity in thoughts and actions of ISDEV members. However these hardships were regarded as mere FERTILIZERS for ISDEV to grow and flourish.
The work ethos of ISDEV is greatly shaped by ISDEV philosophy that strongly believes that whatever work is done in ISDEV the intention must be clear - it is for the sake of Allah SWT. Real success is only in the Hereafter. Working hard, being laborious and making sacrifices are opportunities of getting spiritual rewards (pahala). Thus any work embarked is with the determination to glorify Islam, bring honour to USM and to benefit the ummah.
The work ethos is translated through some specific methods. Among them are:
- Relying solely on Allah SWT (through love and affection among members and love for Allah SWT: doing the main practices - prostration of thanks (sujud syukr), congregational prayers, solat hajat, observing nawafil fast on Mondays-Thursdays, and trustworthiness and honesty, etc.
- Non-confrontational (Harmony)
- Recognize the jurisdiction of a person, even a sweeper
- Akin to Water
- Mindful at all times of Akhlaq (good, noble and of exemplary characters)
- Building the Mirror = Excellence (scholarship of teaching and learning through heart to heart with love, research, publications, etc.)
Finally Prof. Syukri shared with all USM staff present about his thoughts and aspirations of the future for ISDEV in particular and USM in general. He frankly feared of passing down a great big burden to ISDEV successors as there is a lot of work that need to be done as a CoE. To him ISDEV as a CoE is just the beginning. All else prior to this were just mere trainings. Although therein in him lies a silent yearning to be young again so that he could continue to carry this big heavy responsibility and trust, he is comforted by the strong belief that ISDEV successors will provide the continuity to excellence. They are guided in a jemaah (congregation) that has a common direction as well as consistency of action in ISDEV.
Prof Syukri ended his speech with a request to all the audience present to continue help ISDEV. To him it is a simple formula to follow because helping ISDEV is the equivalence of helping Allah SWT and helping Allah SWT is a means in itself of helping the well-being of the ummah and mankind (including the non-Muslims). He reminded the audience not to make the trials and tribulations as a precursor to giving up and losing hope. In fact these tests must be regarded as a catalyst for all to strive even harder especially for Islam so as to attain success whether at the individual (staff), department or institution's level.
|A passionate Prof. Syukri on ISDEV . Sharing from his heart with the pulse of USM - the staff.|