Sunday, June 28, 2015

WIDENING THE ISDEV, USM REACH IN SUMATERA UTARA


Prof. Syukri with USM Vice Chancellor Prof. Dato' Dr. Omar Osman in flight.
ISDEV Director, Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh was recently flown to Medan, Indonesia with some of the top management officers of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Among them were USM Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Omar Osman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni) Professor Dato' Dr. Adnan Hussein as well as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs) Professor Dato' Dr. Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal. They were there on a three-day working visit to widen the USM academic network coverage in Medan scheduled from 4 June till 6 June 2015.

Upon arrival, the delegates hosted a sumptuous dinner at Restoren Lembur Kuring, Medan specially for invited guests of honours from the Universitas Medan Area (UMA), Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU), Universitas Muhammadiyah Sumatera Utara (UMSU), Institut Agama Islam Negeri Sumatera Utara (IAIN) as well as Universitas Pembangunan Panca Budi Medan (UNPAB). Each of these universities sent three representatives for the dinner. ISDEV Alumni members for the Medan Chapter were also among the invited guests for the dinner.
A photo session with the invited guests.
The next day saw the USM delegates attending the MoA Signing Ceremony between the School of Distance Education (PJJ), USM  and UNPAB. Amongst the contents of the sealed MoA would see USM increasing the enrolment of its offshore undergraduate students to 2,000 through collaborations with universities in North Sumatera. This is part of USM efforts to reach a target of 10,000 students registered for distance learning courses by 2020.
Taking a moment off fr a photo sesseion during the "Perjumpaan Kolaborator ISDEV, USM -Medan" 
Meanwhile, for the afternoon session, the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni) and ISDEV Director attended the “Perjumpaan Kolaborator ISDEV, USM-Medan" (ISDEV, USM-Medan Collaborators Meeting) at Hotel Madani, Medan. In this meeting, the Rector as well as representatives from six universities collaborating with ISDEV namely UMA, USU, UMSU, Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN), Universitas Nahadlatul Ulama Sumatera Utara (UNUSU) and Universitas Pembangunan Masyarakat Indonesia (UPMI) were also present. 
Dinner with USM-Medan Alumni.
The meeting was hosted by ISDEV Director and aided by students and ISDEV Alumni members for the Medan Chapter. The main aim of the meet was to discuss further cooperation between USM and these six universities in Medan. One of the outcomes of the meet was the establishment of the Majlis Kolaborator (Perundingan) Pembangunan Berteraskan Islam (The Islamic-based Development Collaborative (Consultative) Council) which combines all the universities in North Sumatera that are collaborating with ISDEV specifically and USM in general. 

Among the main functions of the Collaborative Council is to arrange for a few programme such as lecturers and students exchange programme between USM and the Universities in Medan and joint publication whether in journal or book form that is related to Islamic-based Development. In addition, offer of academic programmes, research and alumni would also be strengthened through this Collaborative Council as a forum for the ongoing development of Islam. The Council is also willing to accept universities from other countries to collaborate with ISDEV and USM in the near future.
Not a moment to lose. The ever diligent Prof. Syukri took time to supervise his student, Kasyful Mahali.
At the end of the meet, all delegates attended a dinner with the USM Alumni members in Medan. Meanwhile, Prof. Syukri took this opportunity to meet up and had a chance to supervise his student, Kasyful Mahali before all of them were flown home to Pulau Pinang on the next day, 6 June 2015.

Below is a brief footage on the Collaborator Council established.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

A NAS A WEEK - 12 RAMADHAN 1436

Aisha reported: I have never known the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, to read the entire Quran in a single night, or to spend the whole night in prayer up until the morning, or to spend a whole month in fasting, except that he did so during the month of Ramadan [Source: Sunan An-Nasa’i 1641; Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani].

Monday, June 22, 2015

PROF. SYUKRI DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT NCOZ 2015

Prof. Syukri (R) with Deputy Mufti of Brunei Darussalam, YM Pehin Dato' Suhaili (L) at Kuantan Airport.
Three ISDEV members, ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh with ISDEV lecturers, Dr Zahri Hamat and Dr Mohd Shukri Hanapi participated at the National Conference On Zakat and Economic Development 2015 (NCOZ 2015). With the theme on "Zakat Pemacu Ekonomi Ummah” (Zakat: The Driving Force of the Muslims Economy) the conference organized by Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) was held at Hotel MS Garden, Kuantan, Pahang on 1 June 2015. 

Prof Syukri was given the honour to address the participants at the conference. He took the opportunity to address the participants by posing a question which was evident in the title “Krisis Ekonomi Kontemporari: Bolehkah diatasi dengan Zakat?’ (Contemporary Economic Crisis: Can it be Solved with Zakat?) before the concurrent sessions began after the tea break. Meanwhile, Dr. Mohd Shukri Hanapi was one the first presenters in one of the concurrent sessions with the title “Perakaunan Zakat Hasil Pertanian Di Malaysia” (Zakat Accounting on Agriculture Produce in Malaysia). Dr. Zahri presented on “Agihan Dana Zakat Kepada Usahawan Asnaf Melalui Pembiayaan Kredit di Baitul Mal Acheh” (Distribution of Zakat to the Asnaf Entrepreneur Through Credit Financing in Baitul Mal Acheh). 
Prof Syukri addressing the participants in his Keynote Address.
The participants of this conference included academics and students as well as practitioners of zakat institutions from inside and outside Malaysia in line with the conference background as a discourse platform to dissect the Islamic economic system especially zakat as a solution mechanism on the economic challenges and issues faced by the Muslim society.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A NAS A WEEK - 5 RAMADHAN 1436H

So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me [al-Baqarah, 2:152].

Friday, June 19, 2015

TAKING THE ISDEV-UNISSA TIES TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Arrived at Brunei Darussalam and welcomed by Dr. Hjh Rasinah (right) and Dr. Siti Sara (2nd from right).
ISDEV Drector, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh and ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr. Zakaria Bahari were at Brunei Darussalam from 19 till 22 May 2015 to further the research agenda through various means of collaborations and academic co-operations between ISDEV and Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA).
Book editing in process - reciting the do'a before commencing the session.
Among such cooperation is the publishing of a book from the results of ten papers presented in the ISDEV- 5th Research University Team (ISDEV-RUT) Workshop that was held last March under the 'Negara Zikir' cluster. The editing process was jointly led by ISDEV Director, Prof. Syukri. The group agreed to have the book published with the title ‘Dasar dan Strategi Negara Zikir’, scheduled to be published this coming October in conjunction with UNISSA’s Convocation Ceremony.
Full of concentration as a focus mind and hard work are needed to discuss future ISDEV-UNISSA collobaration. On the right with balck 'songkok' is the Rector of UNISSA, Dr Norarfan Zainal
There were also discussions on the future collaborations with UNISSA. One such result is the publication of a forthcoming book entitled ‘Visualisasi Pembangunan Negara Zikir Brunei Darussalam’. In addition, the application of new projects and grants were discussed. Two new projects have been identified - the 'Brunei Vision 2035 Revisited' and 'Debt Culture in Brunei Darussalam’.

In the meantime, Dr. Zakaria Bahari had the opportunity to meet up and collect further data for his ‘Istibdal Waqf Project’ with team members from UNISSA,  Dr. Kamaru Salam Yusof, Dr. Fadzliwati Mohiddin and Dr. Hjh Rose Abdullah. A book with the proposed  title on 'Istibdal Wakaf di Brunei dan Malaysia’ is in the pipeline once the research is completed.
Discussing on the possibility of getting research grants from Brunei Research Council with Tuan Haji Amin, Deputy Director of Brunei's Department of Economic Development (JKPE)  who is in-charge of the grants.
Meanwhile, the Rector of UNISSA, Dr. Hj Norarfan Hj Zainal had also agreed and approved the First ISDEV-UNISSA Socio-Academic Laboratory (MASA) to be held for a month at UNISSA, from 27th July to 28th August 2015. During the duration, ISDEV students are scheduled to stay in Brunei Darussalam led by ISDEV lecturer Dr. Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan. The program will be filled with activities such as learning Arabic, recreational activities involving friendly matches between ISDEV and UNISSA, study visits to learn and know more about the culture in Brunei including the way of life and customs of the local people, community service, and academic colloqium.

Apart from the above, ISDEV Deputy Director Dr. Zakaria Bahari will also be in Brunei Darussalam from November 2015 to January 2016 for his proposed sabbatical.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A NAS A WEEK - 28 SHA'BAAN 1436

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to me, “Fear Allah wherever you are, follow a bad deed with a good deed and it will erase it, and behave with good character toward the people.” [Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi; No. 1987; Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to At-Tirmidhi].

LET ALLAH SWT WATCH OVER

One of the verses from the Qur'an that was referred to in the Tarbiyyah Pengarah ISDEV.

ISDEV Monthly Supervision for the month of May, was held at the University Conference Hall (DPU), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) on Friday, 29 May 2015. Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad served as the Chairperson throughout the session.
Listening attentively with utmost concentration.

As usual, the programme started with the Tarbiyah Pengarah ISDEV delivered by ISDEV Director, Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh. He addressed ISDEV members on how important it was to feel that at every single moment, every second, everywhere, no matter what we do, we are always being watched by Allah SWT. 
Evident in his humble and pious demeanour - the much respected and much loved Prof Syukri.

The title Prof. Syukri had chosen to specifically address ISDEV members that month was “Biar Allah yang Pantau” (Let Allah SWT Watch Over). According to him, ISDEV was formed in the name of Allah SWT by striving and proving to the world that Muslims are honest, trustworthy, of good heart and only do things for the sake of seeking Allah SWT countenance. As such, it is only befitting that ISDEV submits to Allah SWT in choosing the rightful candidates to strive in Allah SWT cause simultaneously declaring that ISDEV belongs to Allah SWT.
Ustaz Taha (left) posing a question on whether there is any specific deed, dzikir or supplication that needs
to be carried out to ensure this Rasa Bertuhan has taken root within our inner self.

But, to make all the above truly a reality, there are always challenges and afflictions that can make one feel betrayed, resisted, at wits' end, sad, vilified, maligned and others. However in each and every tribulations and problems there will surely be a way out. The most effective way is the strong innate feeling of godliness which he termed as "Rasa Bertuhan". One way of cultivating this Rasa Bertuhan is to be guided and be inspired by the history and of the Prophets as narrated by the Qur'an. As an example, when feeling betrayed, there is the story of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) who was betrayed by his own elder brothers and the story of Prophet Musa (Moses) when he was betrayed by his followers who deviated from worshipping Allah SWT choosing to worship the dead cow instead. These true-to-account narrations could be used as a motivating factor to just keep striving in Allah SWT cause and to never give up. 
Not wanting to miss a single point - some students diligently jotted down the points from the Tarbiyyah.

In concluding the Tarbiyyah, Prof Syukri stressed the importance of each and every member of ISDEV in particular and the Muslim ummat in general to have imbued within them at all times this feeling of Rasa Bertuhan and realise that Allah SWT is ever watchful. He ardently believes that when this Rasa Bertuhan is fully embedded within man, all human beings will not commit any evil or crime as every deed and maliciousness perpetrated will surely and definitely receive the appropriate retribution from Allah SWT, if not in this tangible world then in the perpetual Hereafter.
Encik Ahmad Sofwan sharing his expertise on Critical Academic Writing.

The programme then continued with the Monthly Graduate Supervision on "Critical Academic Writing " by  Encik Ahmad Sofwan Nathan Abdullah, who is a Language Teacher at the School of Languages, Literacies and Translations, USM. He led this session by providing a detailed explanation on the technical aspects and terms that are required and should be borne in mind at all times for those who were keen to write academically in the English Language. To gauge the understanding of his lecture, he gave some on-the-spot exercises for ISDEV members to practice. ISDEV members showed great keenness and enthusiasm to ensure they grasp the concept and terms explained that day so that they could get a clearer picture. This was evident from the lively questions and answer sessions that transpired throughout his lecture.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

ISDEV MEMBERS DEPART FOR 8th WAPI

ISDEV members at the airport just moments before boarding their flight to Kuala Namu, Medan.

As scheduled today, on 10 June 2015, a total of 84 strong ISDEV members consisting of ISDEV lecturers and students with some family members are flying to Medan in Sumatera Indonesia. The entourage is led by the Lecturer-in-Charge cum ISDEV-Medan Liason Officer, Dr. Mohd Syakir Mohd Rosdi while the Programme Director is a MISDEV'14 (ISDEV Postgraduate by Mixed-Mode) student, Mohd Hafifi Hafidz Abu Bakar.
The 8th WAPI Brochure detailing the necessary information.
The academic trip included a 2-day academic gatherings jointly organized by ISDEV and Universitas Muhammadiyah Sumatera Utara (UMSU). The first is Workshop Antarabangsa Pembangunan Berteraskan Islam Ke-8 (8th WAPI) which will be held on 11 June followed by the 7th International Conference on Islamic Development (7th ICID) with the focus on ASEAN Economic Community scheduled for the next day. The 8th WAPI would see ISDEV students and lecturers presenting their respective working papers.
Final briefing by Programme Director at University Conference Hall,USM on Tuesday 9 June, 2015.
ISDEV Director Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh is given the honour to deliver the Keynote Address for both academic gatherings. For the 8th WAPI, he will address on "Kesilapan Non-teknikal Dalam Penulisan Tesis (Non-TAchnical Mistakes in Thesis Writing) while for the 7th ICID, Prof Muhammad Syukri Salleh will address all participants in his Keynote Address on 'Ekonomi Politik Komuniti Ekonomi ASEAN' (Political Economy of the ASEAN Economic Community: An Islamic Perspective).

In the meantime, all the necessary planning and preparation for the trip is smoothly being handled by the committee members of the programme as well as some helping hands from a few RISDEV students.
Part of the preparations - getting the Luggage Tags ready for all ISDEV members leaving for Medan.
The final briefing before the trip was made on the eve of the trip by the Lecturer-in Charge, Dr. Mohd Syakir at the University Conference Hall (DPU), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Besides informing members of their respective groups and their room mates, all were given the big picture of the five-day trip which ISDEV members are also expected to visit 'Pasar Ikan' or 'Pajak Ikan' as well as book stores on the remaining days. They are also reminded on the importance of performing the obligatory solat Subh and the solat jama' of Maghrib cum Isya' congregationally as a tazkirah session will ensure immediately each time after the performance of the solat.

ISDEV delegates are scheduled to return on Sunday, 14 April and is expected to touch down at Pulau Pinang International Airport around 8.30 p.m.




Sunday, June 7, 2015

A NAS A WEEK - 20 SHA'BAAN 1436

And do not send away those who call upon their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His countenance. Not upon you is anything of their account and not upon them is anything of your account. So were you to send them away, you would (then) be of the wrongdoers [al-An'aam, 6:52].

Friday, June 5, 2015

A BLISSFUL WEEK: ANOTHER TWO SCORED "1"

The two RISDEV students, Ustaz Fakhruddin (R) and Puan Azrin (L) who aced their viva voce 
with their respective supervisors.

Alhamdulillah, praise is indeed to Allah SWT. ISDEV family would like to congratulate both Ustaz Fakhruddin Abd Rahman and Puan Azrin Ibrahim as they served as the 15th and 16th RISDEV (ISDEV Postgraduate by Research) candidates to have passed their viva-voce with flying colours. Both of them were awarded a Grade “1” as well as received the nominations for the "Best Master Thesis”  and  “Best PhD Thesis”  awards at least at the university’s level for their show of confidence yet cool and very calm disposition in defending their written theses.
Ustaz Fakhruddin defending his Master's Thesis.

Ustaz Fakhruddin 's Master Thesis was on “Pembangunan Wakaf Kapitan Keling, Pulau Pinang: Satu Penilaian” (Wakaf Development of Kapitan Keling, Pulau Pinang: An Assessment" while Puan Azrin's PhD Thesis was on “Asas-asas Hisbat dalam Kitab Al-Hisbat FI Al-Islam: Kajian di Majlis Perbandaran Kota Bahru Bandar Raya Islam (MPKB-BRI), Kelantan” (Elements of Hisbah in Al-Hisbat Fi Al-Islam: A Study at the Islamic City of the Kota Bahru City Council).
Ustaz Fakhruddin (seated second from right) with the board of examiners.

Ustaz Fakhruddin's viva was held at on Tuesday, 26 May 2015 while Puan Azrin's viva was held the very next day, on Wednesday, 27 May 2015. Both of the viva voce were held at 10a.m. at C06 Conference Room of the School of Social Sciences, University Sains Malaysia (USM). In both these viva voce, scores of ISDEV students were also present to give their support to the candidates in their intellectual battles.

Ustaz Fakhruddin viva’s Board of Examiners consisted of the Chairperson, Prof. Madya Dr. Abdul Fatah Che Hamat from the School of Social Sciences, USM, external examiner, Prof. Madya Dr. Siti Mashitoh Mahamood from Universiti Malaya (UM) and an internal examiner, Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad while Dr. Zakaria Bahari represented ISDEV Director. In the meantime, his main supervisor, Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh was also present.
Pn. Azrin (seated second from right) with her board of examiners and well wishers.

Meanwhile Puan Azrin viva’s Board of Examiners consisted of the Chairperson, Prof. Dr. Nor Hashimah Hashim from the School of Education, USM, external examiner, Prof. Madya Dr. Asmadi Mohamed Naim from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) and two internal examiners who were Dr. Zakaria Bahari and Dr. Mohd Shukri Hanapi. Her main supervisor, Dr.Fadzila Azni as well as co-supervisor, Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh were also present. The representative for ISDEV Director was Dr. Shahir Akram.
Knowledge can be obtained anywhere. ISDEV students who were present to witness the viva voce took the opportunity to jot down some useful notes and pointers which they gleamed from the sessions.
As usual, true to ISDEV tradition, two strict routines were carried out to prepare the candidates intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Both mock viva and the performance of the nawafil solat hajat congregationally amongst ISDEV members at Masjid Al-Malik Khalid were carried out a day prior to Ustaz Fakhruddin's viva and on the day of Ustaz Fakhruddin viva itself respectively. This is indeed a blessed routine, a reminder to candidates and ISDEV students, to be conscious of Allah SWT at all times and seek for Allah SWT help in facing the potentially gruelling viva voce.
A first in ISDEV viva voce - the recitation of doa to express ISDEV gratitude to Allah SWT
after the results were announced.
Both candidates tried their best to defend the contents of their theses as a number of questions from the examiners were directed to them. Yet they truly deserved the victories as they exhibited excellent composure throughout the viva voce, answering all the questions posed to them collectedly and convincingly. Seeing the two consecutive days outstanding success of ISDEV candidates, spurred ISDEV to begin a new tradition - the recitation of the doa congregationally led by Ustaz Shahir Akram Hassan al-Hafiz before the viva voce came to a close.
Pn. Azrin with her beloved husband cum number one supporter who was there throughout her viva voce.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

AKEPT IS NOW KEEN ON QALB-BASED MANAGEMENT

A glimpse of the seminar in progress.

Two ISDEV senior lecturers had been invited as participants of a 2-day seminar organized by the Akademi Kepimpinan Pengajian Tinggi (AKEPT) with the cooperation of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM). It was held from 22 until 23 April 2015 at Bandar Enstek, Negeri Sembilan. Both Dr. Mohd. Syakir Mohd. Rosdi and Dr. Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan were there not only as participants but they also represented the lecturers of Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang (USM).
(R)- Mr. Ahmed Keeler  and  (L) - Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Wan Zahid Mohd Nordin delivering their
keynote addresses to the participants.

The seminar with the title 'Qalb Based Strategic Implementation for Higher Education Leaders' were  attended by representatives from public universities throughout Malaysia. The seminar focused on two main aspects - Qalb and Leadership - addressed by the two keynote speakers. The first keynote address was delivered by  a member of the Board of Directors of Sime Darby Berhad,  Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Wan Zahid Mohd Nordin on 'Islamic Leadership in Malaysia Public and Private Sectors' which stressed on the practical aspects.

In the meantime,  the second keynote address was philosophical in nature addressed by Visiting Fellow, Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and Distinguished Fellow Faculty of Leadership and Management USIM, Mr. Ahmed Keeler on 'Mizan Initiative: Qalb and Islamic Leadership'. The seminar was also packed with presentations by USIM researchers who were currently researching on the implementation of qalb based strategies on higher education leaders.
Dr. Syakir (R - holding the microphone) presenting his views to the researchers from USIM. 

According to Dr. Wan Norhaniza Wan Hasan, she felt privileged to be given the opportunity and trust to represent USM and ISDEV as a participant in the seminar. She added that she had barely reached one year's service as a senior lecturer at an academic centre that was applying and putting to practice the principles of qalb-based management. As she considered herself new and less experienced compared to other ISDEV lecturers, this seminar had given her the benefits and exposure through the two-way discussions and interactions made with other participants. This provided her with the opportunity to contribute ideas and gave inputs since ISDEV is an institution that applies this qalb principle.
Meeting up an ISDEV Alumni, who is currently the Director of Pusat Islam Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 
Dr. Razali Othman who was also one of the seminar's participants.

Meanwhile, Dr. Syakir said, this seminar did not only empower the mind and knowledge but it had also enriched the qalb of the participants. Besides that, the chance of being together with colleagues from other universities was also well utilized to broaden the academic network with other participants of the seminar.
Dr. Syakir (third from left) taking a photo with some of the seminar's participants.