Tuesday, July 29, 2014


The family of ISDEV wishes all 'Eid Mubarak. May Allah SWT blessings be showered on us on this 'Eid-ul-Fitri as we strive to persevere and preserve the highest of iman and taqwa, InshaAllah.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Abdullah bin Buraidah narrated from his father: "The Prophet would not leave on the Day of Fitr until he ate, and he would not eat on the day of Adha until he prayed." [Reference: Jami` at-Tirmidhi 542; In-book reference: Book 5, Hadith 13; English translation: Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 542].

Friday, July 25, 2014


Razali  (seated third from, left) captures his triumphant moment with the Board of Examiners as well as his family members who were present throughout the viva session. 

While most people are busy gearing up for the 'Eid festivities that is just around the corner, the opposite is true of ISDEV. The third viva voce session in Ramadhan took place on Wednesday, 23 July, 2014 at C06 School of Social Sciences. RISDEV (ISDEV Postgraduate by Research) student, Razali Othman was ready both physically and mentally to face the barrage of questions that would be posed to him.

However it was obvious that coupled with spiritual readiness, Razali was all set to ensure that ISDEV clinch for the 10th time in 2014 the much coveted "Grade 1" award for his PhD thesis on "Penggunaan Wang Sebagai Instrumen Wakaf Tunai: Satu Kajian Teoritis" (The Use of Money as a Cash Waqf Instrument: A Theoretical Study).

In the newly refurbished Masjid Al-Malik Khalid, ISDEV members standing in a straight line
before performing solat hajat congregationally.

According to Razali, while awaiting for his viva to begin at 9:30 am that day, a melancholic feeling seemed to engulf him especially after the congregational solat hajat which was performed at Masjid Al-Malik Khalid, USM earlier that morning. However his passion towards his research was quickly unfolded when he started to provide further details about his research to the Board of Examiners. His external examiner, Dr. Asmak binti Ab.Rahman, from the Department of Syariah and Economics, Academy of Islamic Studies, Universiti Malaya (UM) admitted how impressed she was with the thoroughness of his research. In the meantime, the viva's chair was Professor Wan Mohd. Fauzy Wan Ismail, from the Centre of Instructional Technology and Multimedia (PTPM), USM.

Razali's viva took a mere hour to conclude. Sitting behind him throughout the viva session was his family members. Associate Professor Dr Rohayu binti Ab. Ghani from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was elated with joy and utter gratefulness for the wonderful news of her husband's excellent results. The viva was a truly family bonding time for Razali. Throughout his candidature as a RISDEV student, he had chosen to be physically apart from his family. His wife revealed that prior to the commencement of his studies, the family had agreed and understood the implications of his pursuit of a PhD. 

A picture of a happy family. Razali (left) the dutiful student introducing his family members to his main supervisor, Prof. Syukri (right). Standing in the centre is Razali's wife, Assoc. Prof. Dr Rohayu binti Ab. Ghani.

There is a woman behind every man's great success. This is so true of Razali. Assoc. Prof. Dr Rohayu had consented to a temporary long distance relationship as a lovely pay-back gesture to her husband who had sacrificed his promotions twice in the civil service because he had chosen to be with her while she pursued both her Master's degree (in the States) and PhD (in the United Kingdom) back then. She is truly a strong woman. For three years, she had to juggle her responsibilities as a mother to their three children and struggled with her health conditions on her own most of the time. Twice she was warded in the hospital, without her husband's presence. However all these did not deter her from encouraging her husband to continue with his passion - embarking in the research for his PhD. She admitted that all these sacrifices was truly worth it as she saw Razali's positive transformation and had begun to accept that ISDEV is indeed very close and dear to her husband.

A dutiful and obedient student, Razali (center) poses with his supervisors, Prof. Syukri  (left) and Dr Zakaria (right).

All in all, Razali declared that with his PhD in hand he now would like to spread the message around on the dangers of fiat money. In addition to being grateful to Allah SWT for his fantastic results, he also profusely thanked his guru, his main supervisor Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh and his co-supervisor, Dr. Zakaria Bahari for their guidance throughout his candidacy as a RISDEV student. Following the footsteps of his nine predecessors in viva this year, Razali's PhD thesis also received the nomination for the "Best PhD Thesis" award.

Congratulations Razali!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Each year, upon the arrival of Ramadhan, ISDEV has never ceased to grab the opportunity to organize Majlis Berbuka Puasa ISDEV  (Ifatr). This year's event was of no exception. In fact this year's Iftar which carried a theme on Ramadhan Disyukri Keberkatan Dicari was made much more memorable and special with the presence of the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Prof. Dato' Dr. Omar Osman as well as the principal officers of the university.

Everything carried out as a jemaah - pictures of before and after Iftar

The annual programme was organised by a special committee consisting of students who called themselves ABI (ISDEV Associate Member). The programme was held on 18 July, 2014 at the Dewan Utama Desasiswa RST and began with the Tahlil recitation followed with a simple Iftar (the breaking of fast) with dates, drinks and Malay traditional kuih (cakes) and shortly after that the congregational solat Mahgrib and dinner. The congregational solat Isya' ensued immediately after dinner followed by the eight rakaat of the nawafil solat tarawikh and three rakaat of witr also performed congregationally.

ISDEV was truly honoured when VC gave some brotherly advice before the programme came to an end that night. According to Prof. Dato 'Omar Osman, ISDEV has the ability to assist USM in producing a vast area of knowledge on Islam for reference especially in the English Language. In addition with more of ISDEV writings published in English, especially the various current researches carried out by ISDEV. This will enable ISDEV publications to reach a much wider audience. With  a more international audience ISDEV can now stretch its wings to be at the forefront on contemporary research in Islam whose presence is felt globally. With such an endeavour, ISDEV will be more well known internationally and thus attract more international students to conduct research with ISDEV.

Prof Adnan Hussein (2nd from right), Deputy Vice Chancellor (Student Affairs and Development) attended the Majlis Berbuka Puasa ISDEV

VC added that ISDEV has the capability to go global. Given that ISDEV had just been upgraded to a Research Centre of Excellence (CoE), a variety of plans and careful implementation pertaining to ongoing training programs as well as appropriate training modules that are suitable for the international market should be planned from now. In fact ISDEV is surrounded by other departments and centres that are ready to assist both in terms of consultancy and any other types of assistance.

The Centre for Innovation and Public Administration (PIPPA), as an example, can help ISDEV dictate programs and develop systematic training modules to increase Islamic publications in English. The VC is convinced that ISDEV can become the focus of international students to study and conduct research related to Islam if such cooperation as envisioned can be implemented.

All seated and having a light conversation with one another. 
A few moments just before the calling of azan for the iftar (break of fast). 

Amongst those present for the programme were the Deputy Vice Chancellors, Prof. Dato' Dr. Muhamad Jantan and Prof. Dr. Adnan Hussein, Director of PIPPA, Dr Haji Musa Ali, ISDEV Director, Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh, ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr.Zakaria Bahari, ISDEV lecturers, principals officers of the university, ISDEV students as well as family members.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months [al-Qadr, 97:3].

Thursday, July 17, 2014


 A fully composed Shahir Akram responding to the questions.

There are three RISDEV (ISDEV Postgraduate by Research) students whose viva have been slotted during the month of Ramadhan. 17 July 2014 saw the second viva session which took place at C06, School of Social Sciences Conference Room. It took a mere one hour for Ustaz Shahir Akram Hassan Al-Hafiz to defend his PhD Thesis. He was able to breathe a sigh of relief upon hearing the great good news that he had been awarded Grade "1" for his PhD Thesis.

 All in silence except the candidate - a picturesque of serene and tranquility during the viva session.

Alhamdulillah. Praise is indeed to Allah SWT as Shahir serves as the ninth candidate to be presented  with a Grade "1" for RISDEV (Postgraduate by Research) students in 2014. His research on 'Aplikasi Kaedah Penaakulan Mantik dalam Penyelidikan Berkaitan Islam' (Application of Logical Reasoning in Research Related to Islam) also received the nomination for the "Best PhD Thesis" award as were the other 8 RISDEV students before him.

 The roundup of the viva in session.

The viva started at 10.15 a.m. and the Board of Examiners took the opportunity to bombard Shahir with a variety of questions. The chairperson for the viva was Professor Dr. Merza Abbas from the Centre for Instructional Technology and Multimedia (PTPM). The external examiner was Associate Prof. Dr. Che Zarrina Binti Sa'ari from the Department of Akidah and Islamic Thought, Academy of Islamic Studies Universiti Malaya while his two internal examiners were Dr. Zakaria Bahari and Dr. Mohd Zaini Abu Bakar. His main supervisor Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh and co-supervisor, Dr Fadzila Azni Ahmad were also present. Shahir was not the least discouraged by the questions and was able to defend his thesis superbly well. In fact it was all sweetness when Assoc. Prof. Dr. Che Zarrina admitted that she felt excited reading his PhD thesis as it was truly a page-turner.

His lovely wife, Nadiatun Nadhirah  (second from right) sitting astutely behind him 
giving her support to her husband.

What was made more special with the viva was the presence of Shahir's beloved wife Nadiatun Nadhirah Mohd Ridzowan who had undoubtedly provided her support, both physical and spiritual, throughout the viva session.

Congratulations Shahir Akram! It is hoped that his success reflects ISDEV as well as USM success and that of Islam too!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


The turnout for the ISDEV Monthly Graduate Supervision in June, 2014 at CenPRIS

ISDEV held its Monthly Graduate Supervision for all its RISDEV (Postgraduate by Research) and MISDEV (Postgraduate by Mixed-Mode) students for the month of June, 2014 at the Conference Room of CenPRIS (Centre for Policy Research and International Studies). This monthly meet was held on Friday, 20 June 2014 at 9:30 a.m. However, this time around, there were representatives from the Universitas Muhammadiyah Sumatera Utara (UMSU)  Indonesia, who wanted to witness as well as take an active part in the monthly supervision.

 Prof Syukri (centre) adressing ISDEV members on The ISDEV Story
 Dr. Muhyarsyah,  Representative to the Rector (right), UMSU, giving some positive comments on his experience participating in the ISDEV Monthly Graduate Supervision 
while Prof Syukri (left) listens attentively.

As in all of ISDEV Monthly Graduate Supervision, a tazkirah in the form of Tabiyyah Pengarah ISDEV was delivered by ISDEV Director, Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh. This time around Prof. Syukri chose to share with ISDEV members the route to ISDEV - The ISDEV Story (a story that he had shared earlier with USM staff when he was invited to speak during the VC-USM Staff monthly meeting). According to him, understanding and taking cognizance of ISDEV existence and route to be a Research Centre of Excellence (CoE) is a step towards ensuring ISDEV members - old and new - are acutely aware of how ISDEV came into being and what exactly ISDEV strives for. The commitment and persistence to strive for excellence and thus bring glory to Islam. 

Dr. Mohd Shukri Hanapi giving a lecture on Transliterasi.

The topic for this month's supervision was on Transliterasi (Transliteration). Dr. Mohd Shukri Hanapi gave a comprehensive talk on the uses, needs and numerous versions of transliterations available in the market and the internet. Thus he highlighted the various styles used in the transliterations of a few common Arabic terms such as the word Quran and Al-Sunnah. He also showed the method used to spell certain words the transliteration way. As a summation of his points it was agreed that ISDEV members will follow the Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka 1992 transliteration version as it was unanimously agreed by all ISDEV members present to be the most user-friendly.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Ziyad related to me from Malik that he had heard a man he trusted of the people of knowledge say, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was shown the lifespans of the people (who had gone) before him, or what Allah willed of that, and it was as if the lives of the people of his community had become too short for them to be able to do as many good actions as others before them had been able to do with their long lives, so Allah gave him Laylat al- Qadr, which is better than a thousand months." [Hadith from Malik Muwatta', Book 19, Hadith No. 706].

Friday, July 11, 2014


After the viva has come to an end, Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan (right) captures the moment 
by taking a photo with the Board of Examiners. 

It is the semester break. It is Ramadhan. To some it is a time to rest and relax. But not so in ISDEV. The semester break and Ramadhan has not slowed down ISDEV pace. In fact they may act as the catalyst that propel ISDEV further to excellence. Thus conducting a viva voce in the blessed month of Ramadhan has not marred ISDEV spirit to strive for excellence. Two viva voce are slotted for this month alone. The first was held on Thursday, 10 July 2014 and immediately a week apart, the second viva voce will be held on Thursday,  17 July, 2014.

 Wan Norhaniza (front) calmly but superbly answered the questions. 

The first viva voce was for RISDEV (ISDEV Posgraduate by Research) student, Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan, which is a testimony of ISDEV commitment to excellence regardless of the period and time. Alhamdulillah. Indeed praise is only to Allah SWT. As ISDEV members and the rest of the Muslim ummah wade through the second ten days of the month of Ramadhan to seek Allah SWT rahmat (love and blessings) Wan Norhaniza has added the tally to ISDEV records of “Excellent PhD Thesis” after defending her PhD thesis on “Indeks Pembangunan Berteraskan Islam: Satu Analisis Konseptual” (Islamic-based Development Index: A Conceptual Analysis) which was held at C23, Social Sciences Conference Room. 

 Prof Joni Tamkin (3rd from right) seeking some clarifications from Wan Norhaniza on her PhD Thesis.

With an air of absolute exuberance which is evident throughout her viva, Wan Norhaniza's passion in her research was obviously shown in a humble yet confident manner when she answered the various questions fielded to her. Working her thesis under her main supervisor, Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh and co-supervised by Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad, the Board of Examiners was impressed with her etiquette, keen interest and understanding of a broad knowledge that she possessed about her research. They unanimously agreed to award her with Grade "1" as well as announced that her PhD thesis deserved a nomination for an "Excellent PhD Thesis" at least at the university's level.

 The ambience at C06 during the mock viva

There are many factors that have contributed to Wan Norhaniza's success. One of the factors is ISDEV strict adherence to the culture of mock viva and congregational solat hajat prior to any viva. Wan Norhaniza's case is not an exception. The mock viva session was held for her the day before at C06, School of Social Sciences and the congregational solat hajat took place at Masjid Al-Malik Khalid at 8.30 a.m. the morning of her viva.

Dr Zahri Hamat (left) posing a question to Wan Norhaniza on the usage of exegesis in her thesis.

The Board of Examiners for the viva voce for that day consisted of the chairperson, Professor Dr. Merza Abbas from the Centre for Instructional and Multimedia (PTPM) USM,  the external examiner, Professor Dr. Joni Tamkin Borhan from Academy of Islamic Studies, Universiti Malaya (UM), two internal examiners,  Dr. Mohd Zaini Abu Bakar and Dr. Zahri Hamat and representing the Dean of School of Social Sciences, Associate Professor Dr. Intan Hashimah Mohd Hashim. The examiners were satisfied and are of a unanimous opinion that apart from the efforts of the candidate and all parties involved, the doa (supplication) from all ISDEV members especially in this blessed month of Ramadhan has added to the blessings of such a blissful news.

A jubilant Wan Norhaniza (right) after the viva expressing her gratitude 
to Assoc. Prof. Dr.Intan Hashimah.

Congratulations to Wan Norhaniza who has diligently followed the footsteps of seven ISDEV Alumni members especially those whose viva were held this year - the likes of Suraya Ismail, Wan Anisah Wan Endut, Mohamad Helmi Hidthiir, Radieah Mohd Nor, Raziah Md Tahir, Mohd. Syakir Mohd. Rosdi and Farid Wajdi who have all made ISDEV proud. It is hoped that both existing MISDEV (Postgraduate by Mixed-Mode) and RISDEV students will closely follow suit of such traditions in excellence. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


The first official meeting of ISDEV since its upgrade as a CoE.

After officially being upgraded to a Research Centre of Excellence (CoE) on 17 April 2014, ISDEV  conducted its first internal meeting on 4 July 2014 at the Meeting Room, C05.

The main purpose of this meeting was to discuss the latest updates and development of ISDEV students after ISDEV upgrade to the CoE status. In addition, the meeting also focused on the direction of ISDEV future and the planning of various programme and activities that will be held around the corner.

ISDEV members giving their full attention during the meeting

The meeting which was almost 3 hours long was chaired by ISDEV Director, Professor  Muhammad Syukri Salleh. It was also attended by ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr. Zakaria Bahari and two other ISDEV lecturers, Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad and Dr. Mohd Shukri Hanapi, ISDEV statistician, Encik Aziz Tahar, ISDEV ASTS as well as 3 supporting staff of ISDEV.

Prof Syukri delivering a tazkirah as his opening remarks

Before proceeding to discuss the main agenda for the meeting, Prof. Syukri took the chance to deliver a tazkirah briefly as his welcoming remarks. Citing ISDEV success now until its upgrade to a CoE, Prof. Syukri cautioned ISDEV members against being too comfortable in enjoying the laurels of this success. He reiterated that it is part of life that in every pleasure derived surely there will be trials and tribulations from Allah SWT.

Thus, if we want something we must do it diligently, always remember Allah SWT, and be rest assured that Allah SWT will surely give us victory and rewards with the work done. However, once we are presented with our wishes or wants, we are not in a position to be complacent and bask in the comfort of the success obtained. He stressed that pleasure (ni'mat) is also a form of a test.

In everyone's view - Wan Norhaniza (standing) writing on the white board the points on one of the agenda discussed where a unanimous decision need to be reached.

The meeting ended at 12:30 p.m. with all the agenda set for the meeting successfully discussed and where and when needed decision by consent of all members reached.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous [al-Baqarah, 2:183].

Friday, July 4, 2014


It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month, which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast. In it the gates of heavens are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and every devil is chained up. In it Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months; whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived."' [Reference: Sunan an-Nasa'i, 2106; In-book reference: Book 22, Hadith 17; English translation: Vol. 3, Book 22, Hadith 2108].


The chairperson (left) introducing the four panellists.
(From right to 2nd left) Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noor Shakirah, Prof Syukri, Dato' Al-Ustaz Ellias 
and Prof. Dato' Omar.

"The basic attitude that should be in every individual to excel is 'taqwa'", this opinion is shared by ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh in the recent programme on "Diskusi Ilmiah: Ramadhan & Kecemelangan Universiti" organised by the Pusat Transformasi Insan (Centre for Human Transformation), USM. The well attended programme was held at Kompleks Cahaya HEPP, Universiti Sains Malaysia, on 2nd July, 2014.

The programme also featured three other panellists made up of USM Vice Chancellor, Professor Dato' Omar Osman, Dato' Al-Ustaz Ellias Zakaria, Director of the Center for Human Transformation and Assoc. Prof Dr. Noor Shakirah Mat Akhir, Senior Lecturer of Islamic Studies with the School of Humanities. The chairperson of that day was Amirullah Zainal Abidin Mohd.

Taking ISDEV recent upgrade to a Research Centre of Excellence (CoE) as a point in reference, Prof Syukri was asked to elaborate on the definition of what he meant by taqwa. According to Prof. Syukri, for an organization to be excellent, it starts at the individual's level. Taqwa is the basic ingredient that each individual must have as the foundation to success.

Prof Syukri (holding the microphone) elaborating on this one poignant but essential point "taqwa"

Prof Syukri provided a practical application of how ISDEV members are brought to consciousness on having the attitude simultaneously practising the characteristics of those who are the muttaqeen. Quoting a few verses of the Qur'an, among the most notable traits of those with taqwa are those who believe in the unseen, perform the solat and give a portion of their rezki (sustenance), believe in what is revealed to them and the books before as well as they believe in the Hereafter.

In addition Prof Syukri mentioned that in ISDEV, each and every member are taught to respect the rights of others. Even if a lecturer intends to use an office equipment, such as a stapler for example, the consent of the owner must be obtained in advance without considering the question of rank or position.Although this practice seems small and insignificant, but ISDEV members are reminded that every action and deed will be judged by Allah SWT even as small as dzarrah (atom). Thus ISDEV does not want its members to underestimate the importance of such a small matter for fear that such actions may act as the barrier of getting Allah SWT help.

A member of the audience took the opportunity to seek the panellists' point of view on 
managing staff to excellence.

This seemingly trivial practise if nurtured from within one's self, then and only then can the traits of taqwa grow and thus navigates one's life.With taqwa imbued in every individual staff there is no need for close surveillance by the head or director of an organization. The inkling of an idea to do some misdeeds in work will by itself disappear as there is fear ingrained in one's self of Allah SWT wrath although that misdeed is not seen or noticed by one's superior or colleagues.

Prof. Syukri (5th from right) and Dato' Al-Ustaz Ellias (6th from right)
with ISDEV members who attended the programme.

With the onset of this "fear of Allah SWT" attitude, will then bring about staff who are honest, committed and sincere in doing a task for the sake of Allah SWT, hence bringing about excellence to the organization.