Economic Thoughts of Umar Ibn al-Khattab (IAIS Bulletin no. 10 & 11
9) Economic Thoughts of Umar ibn al-Khattab Umar ibn al-Khattab's ... Participants, whatever sections on Hikmah and Quot...
I A I S MALAYSIA
BULLETIN ON ISLAM AND CONTEMPORARY ISSUES
Nos. 10 & 11, September-December 2012
Seminar Report : 3rd International Conference on Islam and Higher Education The 3rd International Conference on Islam and Higher Education (ICIHE 3), was held at the Pahang State Foundation Complex in Kuantan, Pahang on October 1-2, 2012. Over 25 conference papers were presented by participants hailing from South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Europe and the Americas. The conference focused on discovering the best means of empowering Muslim communities worldwide to manage and advance private higher education efforts. (More p. 3)
ARTICLES In This Issue: • Articles • Research Updates • Event Reports • Hikmah • Quotable Quotes
Thinking Muslims: Being Muslim and Modern (part 2) Previously, we stated that ‘the challenge facing Muslims today is to present Islamic values and principles in authentic terms for the twenty-first century. Thinking Muslims must search for fresh ways to realise and make these values real and effective in our world.’ (More p. 8)
Bribery and Corruption from Shari’ah Perspective
The on-going campaign Malaysia is waging against corruption has gained momentum. Tunku Abdul Aziz called it an “All-Malaysian duty” in which everyone should take part regardless of political affiliation.
Economic Thoughts of Umar ibn al-Khattab
(More p. 9)
Umar ibn al-Khattab’s contributions to Islam are distinguished by his wisdom and practical intelligence, his innovative ijtihad and outstanding leadership. His thoughts on economics are equally impressive. (More p. 10)
Risk-Sharing, Risk Transfer and Risk Management
One area in contemporary finance – in particular Islamic finance – that needs emphasis is the role that risk plays as an incentive for the efficient allocation of resources. As profit constitutes a positive incentive for investment, risk provides a restraining effect. Investors are driven by a hope of profits and restrained by the risk of losses. (More p. 12)
Japanese Poetry and Art Symbolism
Japan developed its own unique forms of poetry with fine combinations of intuition, strict discipline of structure, content, and subtlety. The major forms of Japanese poetry are tanka (short ode), haiku and shi. (More p.18)
Focus: 3rd International Conference on Islam and Higher Education O GOD: YOU are Peace, YOU are the source of Peace, Peace belongs to YOU. So welcome us (in the Hereafter) O LORD with the salutation of ‘Peace!’, and admit us into Paradise the Abode of Peace. Blessed and Exalted are YOU our LORD, Possessor of Majesty and Reverence. (Text from al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasa’i)
The Role of Awqaf in the Development of Islamic Higher Education: The Past, The Present, and Future Prospects
by Michael Scott (contd from page 1)
EDITOR’S NOTE Warm Greetings. This combined issue of IAIS Bulletin on Islam and Contemporary Issues comprises seven articles, as well as reports on seven stimulating conferences and seminars organised by IAIS Malaysia, singly or jointly over the past four months. Two of our significant events included one international conference on the role of waqf in the development of Higher Education, and the other on the role of science and art in civilisational renewal. You will notice our Bulletin has a new cover design which is simplified and neater than before. We also welcome two new staff members to IAIS - Associate Fellow Dr Daud Batchelor and Michael K. Scott as Visiting Fellow, one hailing from Australia and the other from the United States. Michael is a seasoned Muslim world development practitioner and Arabic teacher and translator. Daud is an environmental and political scientist with extensive residence in Asia and his current research focuses on the Afghanistan peace-building process. He has lived in Malaysia for a number of years, in which time he also completed his PhD, and MA at ISTAC. In addition to Professor Kamali’s article on bribery and corruption from an Islamic Perspective and two on Islamic economics by Abdul Karim and Dr Farid Ali respectively, Dr Karim Crow presents the second segment of his article on Being Muslim and Modern. Tengku Hazri calls for a universal concept of law in legal education while Daud writes on West African Muslims who are highlighted for their high dedication to Islamic worship. To complete the variegated mélange of subjects for our readers’ enjoyment, Sheila Ainon dissects the relationship between Japanese poetry and art symbolism. Tengku Hazri also reports on an IAIS Seminar on “Music Spirituality and Islam” which provides an interesting insight on how Qu’ran reading and Sufi ritual integrate rhytm and music into Islamic practices. This issue also presents sections on Hikmah and Quotable Quote for your reading pleasure.
Professor Kamali’s books to appear in Arabic translation The Islamic Text Society (ITS) of Cambridge, UK has published a number of Professor Kamali’s books over the years. As of August 2012, the Beirut-based Arab Network for Research and Publishing has signed an agreement with the ITS to translate eight of Professor Kamali’s books into Arabic. Seven of these are on fundamental rights and liberties in Islam, plus his Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence. This is over 2,500 pages of English text that will be made available in Arabic as a result of this welcome development.
Bulletin Editorial Team :
Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Daud AbdulFattah Batchelor, Michael Scott, Mohammed Farid Ali and Norliza Saleh.
Published by: International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia, Tel: 03 - 7956 9188 Fax: 03 - 7956 2188 www.iais.org.my
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These papers articulated the overarching theme of the conference and explored it in depth: The Role of Awqaf (religious endowments) in the Development of Islamic Higher Education: Past, Present and Future Prospects. ICIHE 3, while building upon the cumulative efforts of ICIHE 1 and 2, effectively increased the number of participants, expanded the diversity of their national and linguistic origins, and sharpened the collective focus. That sharper focus was the close relationship between Islam’s vision of knowledge and its practice, as reflected in the institution of waqf (religious endowment). Participants were given a clear working brief to clarify the demonstrable linkages between theory and practice. In his opening remarks, Conference Chairman Emeritus Professor Osman Bakar welcomed the conferees stressing that such a ‘marriage’ of theory and practice would be the central objective of the conference, a priority that was shared, he observed, by the sponsoring Pahang
State Foundation, IAIS Malaysia, IKIP International College, and International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) East Asia as well as in the personal interest and commitment of His Excellency Dr Adnan Yaakob, Chief Minister of Pahang, and Chairman of the Pahang State Foundation. The conference aimed to “study our past history to learn important lessons for our lives today, and to take the best from our history and tradition and also from contemporary knowledge,” Professor Osman emphasised. In his address, Founding Chairman and CEO of IAIS Malaysia Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali thanked the sponsors for their continued commitment and support while urging the speakers and presenters to come up with actionable policy recommendations for decision makers in the government and industry. He confirmed IAIS Malaysia’s readiness to continue as the main academic sponsor of ICIHE for the fourth year running.
In discussing “Waqf in Shariah and its Contemporary Applications” Professor Kamali underlined the extent to which waqf has played a key role in the transfer of wealth from the wealthy to the needy, possibly even more substantial than that of alms-giving, or zakat. Throughout the conference proceedings, many examples were presented of ways in which the Islamic vision of universal enfranchisement resulted in phenomenal growth in the Muslim community and its institutions of higher learning, through the workings of the institution of religious endowment, or waqf. Conference organisers had jointly put together an impressive programme spanning seven working sessions, with diverse specialist presenters in each session. Participants, whatever their specialisation or their origin, had been urged to make an effort to think of themselves as all being members of the global ummah. “We are all one body today, and the issue of awqaf is an issue for entire ummah,” Professor Osman had stressed, adding that continuity and perseverance were key requirements to the success of any venture of the ummah, and acknowledging the 3rd ICIHE participants and guests for their contribution to the ICIHE in its third iteration. In a communication received subsequent to the close of the 3rd ICIHE, the University of Brunei Darussalam conveyed to Pahang State Foundation and IAIS Malaysia its formal interest in joining the other ICIHE sponsors as
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a permanent co-organiser of future conferences. And turning to the future, in his farewell remarks Professor Osman Bakar announced that employability of university graduates and leadership
development would be a likely theme for the 4th ICIHE which would be held in November 2013 in the city of Madinah, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in cooperation with The Madinah Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and its CEO,
Dr Mohamed Moustafa Mahmoud. The latter presented the closing ‘special address’ of ICIHE 3, paving the way for achieving the required continuity and convening ICIHE 4 in Madinah.
Focus: International Conference on the Role of Science and Art in Islamic Civilisational Renewal The Thoughts of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
by Tengku Ahmad Hazri
On 4 December 2012, IAIS Malaysia in collaboration with the Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture (Turkey) and the Malaysian Turkish Dialogue Society organised the International Conference on the Role of Science and Arts in Islamic Civilisational Renewal, on the theme “Science and Culture as Key Dimensions of Civilisational Renewal: The Thoughts of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi”. Bediuzzaman (“Wonder of the Age”) Said Nursi (1877-1960) was a Turkish scholar during the twilight years of the Ottomans and the founding of the modern Republic of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. He is known largely for his intellectual-spiritual jihad in restoring the rational basis of religious truth and eliminating divisive tendencies between the religious and intellectual sciences. The conference featured nine speakers with Opening Addresses by Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Founding Chairman and CEO, IAIS Malaysia, and Professor Faris Kaya, President, Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture. It was divided into three sessions: (1) “The Role and Place of Knowledge,
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Science, Faith and Morality for a Better Future of Humankind: Said Nursi’s Perspective”; (2) “Said Nursi’s Ideas on Science and Development”; and (3) “Said Nursi and Civilisational Renewal (tajdid hadari)”. The conference deliberated, among others, on Said Nursi’s project to integrate the religious and intellectual sciences, particular modern science, at a time when the dominant ethos was one of conflict and confrontation between the two, taking European historical experience as the universal yardstick and barometer to measure scientific development and progress throughout the world. Consequently, religion is perceived to be the stumbling block to science. Nursi, however, disagreed. He distinguished between the accumulation of empirical data and the conceptual/philosophical framework used to organise the said acquired data. According to Yunus Çengel (Yildiz Technical University, Turkey/ University of Nevada, Reno, US), it is the latter that Nursi argued is infused with materialism. The pivot here is man as the conscious reader of
the cosmic narrative – for many, “science” faithfully reproduces the phenomena of cosmos but Nursi was critical enough to argue that modern science is but an interpretation of phenomena. The key to Nursi’s worldview, as explored by Colin Turner (Durham University, UK) in his paper, is the twin concepts of ma’nā-ye ismī (self-referential) and ma’nā-ye harfī (Other-indicative), two modes of hermeneutics that perceive, respectively, the physical cosmos either as exhausted by itself or as signs/indicators to ontologically higher levels of reality. Nursi based his philosophical synthesis on solid theological ground. According to Betania Kartika Muflih (University of Malaya), Nursi’s philosophy must be understood within the framework of al-tawhid (Divine Oneness), so that all that happens in the universe are seen as the product of universal wisdom and under the direct control of the Wise Lord. On this basis then, Nursi understood the sciences as stemming from the Divine Attributes, i.e. the religious and intellectual sciences stemming from the Divine Attribute of Speech (kalam) and Power
(qudra) respectively. Ismail Latif Hacinelioglu (Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey) pointed out that both revelation and natural phenomena are ‘Books of God’, i.e. the Kitab-i Hakim and Kitab-i Kebir-i Kainat respectively. This provides the unity of sources by which the material and spiritual worlds are seen harmoniously, thus contributing towards a holistic approach to knowledge, which is evident in Nursi’s approach to the Qur’an. His Risale-i Nur (Epistle of Light), a voluminous commentary (tafsir) on the Qur’an, was written for the general audience despite its depth and intensity, for Nursi recognised that the Qur’an addressed both the mind and man’s inner spiritual faculties. The spiritual component of religion carries implications
beyond the person to the collective level. According to Mohammed Farid Ali (IAIS Malaysia), Nursi’s exposition of self-contentment (qana’ah) contrasts it with greed (hirs), and establishes the former as being crucial to the formation of personal character. This personal character connects to the rise and fall of civilisation because spiritual concepts like self-contentment and greed relate to the question of allocation and distribution of resources as well as waste management. Nursi had taken his ideas beyond theory. By his own account, his life was divided into the “Old Said” and the “New Said” which focused on study, contemplation and spiritual transformation. Fadhlullah Jamil (University of Science, Malaysia) placed Nursi alongside scholars and
thinkers aspiring towards reform and renewal (tajdid) in Islam, who censured blind imitation, superstition and deviant innovation. Nursi had even proposed to the Ottoman ruler, Sultan Abdülhamid II for the formation of a religious seminary (madrasah), called the Medresetü’z-Zehra, which would reflect the integrated curriculum that he envisaged. But the plan did not materialise as it was thwarted by the Great War, even though foundations had been laid down for the project. When secularist dictatorship held sway in Turkey, according to Saim Kayadibi (International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)), Nursi’s opposition to it was predicated on the maqsid of hifz al‘ird (preservation of honor), echoed succinctly in his own words, “I can live without bread, but I cannot live without freedom”.
Honouring the Prophet’s Birthday that falls on January 24, 2013 • To honour an old person is to show respect for God. • Charity is a duty for every Muslim. He who has not the means thereto, let him do a good act or abstain from an evil one. That is his charity. • The best jihad is the conquest of the self. • Heaven lies at the feet of mothers. • He who eats his fill while his neighbour goes without food is not a believer. • Powerful is not he who knocks the other down, indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger. • God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds. • The most perfect of the believers in faith is the best of them in moral excellence.
Hikmah • Embroidering meaningless things is to mislead simple minds.
• Definite benefits should not be sacrificed for imaginary harms.
• Forgetfulness is also a bounty. It allows one to suffer the pains of only one day, and causes the rest to be forgotten. - Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Seeds of Reality
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Event / Seminar Reports Islam and Multiculturalism in Contemporary Bangladesh: A Reflection by Tengku Ahmad Hazri
On 12 September 2012, IAIS Malaysia organised a public lecture on ‘Islam and Multiculturalism in Contemporary Bangladesh’ by Professor Golam Dastagir, a philosophy professor at Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Professor Dastagir began by noting how cultures cannot be exclusive but grow in society by nourishing the mind. Bangladesh is hardly a cultural vacuum: there were unbroken spiritual traditions even before the coming of Islam. Sufism, also known as ‘Pirism’ in Bangladesh, was introduced as early as mid-10th century by migrant Sufi saints. But some practices of contemporary Sufis (like superstitious and fatalistic beliefs) cast doubt as to their originality, authenticity and fidelity to the original Sufi doctrines: a survey by Dastagir himself shows that many Sufi orders have no written proof or record of their spiritual lineage or history. Little wonder then, many devotees of the khanaqahs were “hapless and illiterate”. In Bangladesh, the people lost their sovereignty quite early when British imperialism took place in the 18th century. While the Hindus decided to co-operate with the British, Muslims remain resistant and as a result received no share in the power structure, thereby becoming subordinate to both the British and Hindus. Bengali Muslims became conscious of their roots and identity after the partitioning of India to form the state of Pakistan. But Pakistanis generally did not view Bengal Muslims favourably, seeing in them traces of Hindu revivalism. During the Liberation War, Bengalis identified themselves more with secular socialism than with an Islamic state. But after 1971, an activist form of Islamisation took place though the initiatives have been mostly cosmetic, such as the addition of the basmallah to the Constitution’s Preamble and requiring a license to drink alcohol. This was led partly by the Bengali ruling class who initiated a series of measures to improve the ‘Islamicity’ of the state, including the establishment of the Islamic Foundation, renewal of relations with the OIC and the replacement of English with Bengali at education institutions. In 1979, General Zia ul-Rahman countered secular socialism with Islamisation initiatives. But in 2009, a secular government came into power which restored secularism and socialism. This active state effort can be seen in education in the state’s support for the ‘aliya’ madrasas, which, compared to the ‘quomi’ (community-based) madrasas, have developed a more integrated approach to include vocational subjects.
Whither the Dialogue of Civilisations? by Tengku Ahmad Hazri On 18 September 2012, IAIS Malaysia hosted the renowned Muslim public intellectual Chandra Muzaffar for a public lecture on ‘Whither the Dialogue of Civilizations?’ The event was held amidst intense and furious debates regarding the blasphemous and provocative film, The Innocence of Muslims, purportedly made by an amateurish Copt film-maker. The greatest obstacle to civilisational dialogue is the hegemonic structure of global power, and this has to be addressed first before any meaningful dialogue can take place. Little wonder then that hegemonic superpowers are interested in dialogue, mainly as a means to perpetuate their own dominance. Films like the Innocence of Muslims are but a fraction of systemic attempts to provoke Muslims which have been taking place for centuries. At the heart of the antagonism is the power relationship between the Muslim world and the West. In its early stages, there was no such antagonism; in fact there were Christians even in Arabia – and it was in fact the Christian cousin of the Prophet’s (pbuh) wife, Khadija, who recognised him as God’s final messenger as foretold by Jesus (pbuh). Yet the rapid expansion of Islam in the region left the reigning Christian Church, then at the helm of the Roman Empire, feeling threatened and challenged, and this feeling was cemented when inroads were made into the Iberian Peninsula. Accordingly, efforts were made to vilify Islam in various ways, including insults to disparage the reputation of the Prophet (pbuh). The Church even authorised the distortion of the Qur’an in Latin. Later during the “Crusades”, centres of power in Europe tried to win Jerusalem from the Muslims. After this period came the period of colonialism, during which vast lands belonging to the Muslims were taken control of by the West. But Western control over Muslim lands did not simultaneously lead to the conquest of their minds. Uniquely among many other communities worldwide, Muslims have been steadfast and persistent in their rejection of the ideology propagated by global hegemony today, i.e. “secular democracy”. This strength and resilience is partly attributable to the absence of centralised authority in Islam. The independence of the Shari’ah as a transcendent authority was fiercely guarded by independent scholars who have kept the political authority of the caliphs and rulers at bay. If Muslims were to have, say a “global mufti” or ijtihad as part of state bureaucracy, that would have played into the hands of global hegemony. Chandra reasoned along the lines of thinkers like
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Muhammad Iqbal and Malik Bennabi, that the absence of central authority in Islam is largely due to the completion of the message of divine revelation and consequent finality of the prophecy in Muhammad (pbuh), thus man is now equipped to think for himself. Yet ironically, some Muslims today have created their own institutionalised clergy of sorts, despite this being contrary to the Qur’an. Hegemony today is linked to Zionism and Israel, so that intellectuals and politicians who take a critical stance against Israel have to pay a huge price for it, such as Richard Falk, Norman Finkelstein and Paul Findley.
The US-Taliban Dialogue: Future Direction by Abdul Qayum Mohmand The present writer participated in a symposium “The US-Taliban Dialogue: Future Directions” on 18 November 2012 organised by the Qatar-based Forum for Arab and International Relations in Doha. The symposium discussed the obstacles creating impediments for productive US-Taliban dialogue and negotiations. The U.S. occupation and the subsequent developments in Afghanistan have plunged the country into a new cycle of continuous conflict. Considering the growing strength of the Taliban and the growing fragility and vulnerability of the Karzai government the fear of civil war is growing as every day passes. At the same time, both the Taliban and the United States are unrealistic about their positions, their strengths, and their demands. In addition, the interference and demand of the neighbouring and regional countries create more obstacles for peace negotiation between the Taliban and the United States. In order to overcome these obstacles and achieve peace through dialogue and negotiations the United States and the Taliban need to change their goals and strategies. Abdul Salam Zaeef, one of the speakers at the symposium, said that the United States need to drop their demand of the Taliban to lay down their weapons and accept the constitution. “The Kabul regime should pursue real negotiations instead of its staged negotiation theater… The Taliban should adjust themselves to the speed of the world politics, recognise the world affairs, and participate in this high speed process. Only then they would be considered as a player.” Instead of carving the sphere of influence and directing peace negotiations to their own benefits, the neighbouring countries could play a constructive role in solving the conflict. The international community can help respect and secure agreements reached between the conflicting parties in Afghanistan. Efforts should be made by all sides of the conflict to reach political compromise.
Human Rights and Islam by Karim Douglas Crow This was a closed door RoundTable exchange held at IAIS Malaysia on 20 November 2012, presided over by Professor Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali (Founding Chairman & CEO IAIS Malaysia) and Tan Sri Hasmy Agam (Chairman of Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)). Fifty participants contributed to the frank exchange of views, and the meaningful day-long discussion was moderated by Karim D. Crow (IAIS Malaysia). This first collaborative effort between IAIS Malaysia and SUHAKAM had the following objectives: to identify pressing domestic human rights issues in Islam; to facilitate critical appreciation of such issues from the Islamic perspective and promote open discussion, analysis and research; and to explore appropriate mechanisms to intensify internal dialogue within Malaysia in a spirit of problem solving and continuing engagement. The Morning session saw two major presentations: Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali, “Maqasid al-Shari‘ah and Human Rights in Islam”; and Professor Najibah Mohd Zain (Deputy Dean, Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Law, IIUM), “Issues of Human Rights: Past, Present and Future Trends.” The Afternoon session comprised two and one-half hours of honest consultative exchange of concerns among all participants, where specific issues relevant to Human Rights in Malaysia were treated from a variety of perspectives. These included: the conception of and rationale for human rights from an Islamic perspective; gender specific topics and women & children disabilities; sexual minorities (LGBT); death penalty; and women’s rights including Malaysia’s reservations to CEDAW. The sincere wide ranging discussions were guided by the informed parameters of the two morning presentations. In particular Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali explored the potential for developing new resources which the Maqasid al-Shari’ah offer for purpose-oriented rethinking of moribund positions among Muslims. Human dignity and justice have the potential to serve as the matrix for a new architecture of human rights in Islam. Professor Najibah Mohd Zain pointed out the Malaysia-specific constraints on reforming human rights, obstacles to enforcement, and seeking uniformity of state laws. Tan Sri Hasmy Agam provided frank insights into SUHAKAM’s efforts for thirty years, and the urgency for Malaysia to acquit itself properly in its international obligations. All these efforts are predicated upon increased engagement of the Muslim community, and a transformed understanding of Islamic principles.
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THINKING MUSLIMS: BEING MUSLIM AND MODERN (...huwa l-Rahmān al-Rahīm / He is All-Merciful All-Loving) (This article appears in two parts. Part one was featured in the previous issue of this Bulletin)
by Karim Douglas Crow In order to maintain and freshen timehonored principles, the essential vision of the Qur’an and the peerless model of God’s Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) must be creatively drawn on. This is the immovable bedrock providing nourishment for the awakening of our Ummah through transforming Self, Society and Polity. But how do we understand this foundation? Key universal components that in the past were secondary or not emphasised, today need to be brought to the foreground. Some specificities of Muslim mentality in the past, today need to be de-emphasised and recede to the background. Objectively speaking, this process has only just begun among the great majority of Muslims. There are indeed hopeful signs, primarily among Muslim minority communities in the West, in imaginative efforts by civic organisations in Muslim majority societies, and among creative thinking individuals. However, until these efforts become effectively institutionalised, they will remain marginal, and fail to move the majority of Muslims. The crisis in Muslim leadership may not be overcome until there emerges a critical mass of individuals rooted in local societal concerns while exercising compassionate global activity, and who operate from an intelligent basis grounded upon living Islamic principles. The appearance of a more adequate leadership cannot wait for reform of nationalist states, ruling cliques, and selfish power groups. Thinking Muslims may avail themselves of community networks of association and avenues for transnational cooperation beyond the state, and may join hands in solidarity with all peoples striving for shared goals of peace, justice, and security.
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Here are five crucial components that bear the promise of yielding greater adequacy. The first one is the most important, serving as a pre-requisite for the others that follow. A fresh critical self-awareness of ourselves and our legacy: meaning a deep broad contact and exposure to the breadth of Islamic, intellectual, ethical, and spiritual experience. Such an awareness requires adjustment and integration with new modes and applications of the knowledge of our present age—without losing sight of essential Islamic modes of Knowing and Being that provided Muslims with strength and versatility in the past, and continue to harbor important resources which may aid us now. This mode of self-awareness involves training the imagination to capture again the authentic vision of what ‘Islam’ as a religio-social civilisational force for universal good may yet potentially achieve and contribute to the emerging global civilisation. This means carefully examining and understanding the traditions of learning, practice, and organisation— so as to see and grasp what is most adequate to our task, and potentially useful, and what has dried out and no longer adequate or posing stifling obstacles. Sacrificing ancient self-serving myths and self-confirming attitudes. To be truly adequate we should perform an intentional conscious ‘giving up’ wisely practiced with clear methods and goals. This means relinquishing myths about our past and replacing outmoded inadequate conceptions with the search for meaningful ways of being and knowing amidst the conditions of our present realities.
A changed relation with the ‘Other’: the non-Muslim within our own societies, as well as with the global family. This changed setof-relations can only arise out of the new critical self-awareness of ourselves and our legacy if it is to be a genuinely authentic response. Muslims normally pride themselves on Islam’s tradition of tolerance and acceptance of diversity and difference. However, our reality today is increasingly under threat from a exclusivist way of thinking that rejects the non-Muslim ‘other’, as well as the Muslim ‘other’ (including Shi‘ah, Sufis, Philosophers), thereby operating a selfdefeating constricting narcissism. A transformed sense of purpose and action, grounded on a striving for universals within the limits and constraints of our specific regional and historic circumstances. This could be attained by employing more adequate means and methods through individual and collective activity—methods that may be drawn from the varieties of epistemologic, political and economic experiences of modernity—as understood and refined in the light of the timeless principles of Islam’s legal, ethical, intellectual and spiritual disciplines. This transformation requires selfreliance and selfless deeds arising from an increased capacity for suffering and witnessing for the truth – a readiness for self-sacrifice including financial and human resources, personal and collective efforts & energies. It requires more effective sustainable net-working, and the inner awakening of an authentic striving (jihad) issuing from the most committed level of our being. Intensive Engagement with community and our world: engagement exemplifying permanent universal values of
our an the our
Faith. This becomes possible only with a mature acceptance of responsibility in the family, neighbourhood and national arenas, marked by humility seeking guidance and ihsan (most-beautiful-deeds), and global engagement in the international arena has to grow out of engagement with our immediate environment and social realities, otherwise it risks deflection into mere parochial or ethnic projections that only increase misunderstanding. The energy for these factors must arise from within ourselves and the community of Muslims—they cannot be imported or borrowed from without.
Muslims have forgotten and ignored many valuable lessons from Islam’s historical legacy. Perhaps when they experience a sense of shame and shortcoming over such forgetfulness, it might serve to provide a special impetus to go beyond their current impasse and search for more adequate responses, a fuller mode of being in the world yet not of the world. We need to help one another to become enabled to feel our responsibility as thinking humans who care for the well-being of this planet, energising us to strive with sincerity to redirect misplaced energies and aim them in the right direction.
What is most needed at this moment in our history is ‘Empowerment by Mind’ or jihad al-‘aql: creative conceptualisation and fresh thinking on the part of Muslims. Promoting this original jihad as a resource for current and future social and political transformation is increasingly being recognised by spiritually alive thinking Muslims. This is the struggle by means of critical intelligence and mature faith supporting bold action for change by peaceful conduct. We await the awakening of the ‘higher’ dimensions of Islamic teaching, the ethical, spiritual and intellectual resources for renewing Islamic civilisation.
BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION FROM SHARI’AH PERSPECTIVE by Mohammad Hashim Kamali (contd from page 1)
I would also add that it is an allMuslim duty and a calling on the religious conscious of the Muslims of this country to support it. Playing a proactive role in this campaign is a veritable ‘amal salih’ – right moral action)’ that the Qur’an repeatedly impresses on all Muslims – an act also of great social benefit that elevates the standing of the ummah and Malaysia in the international community. Fighting bribery (rashwah) and corruption (fasad) is an integral part of the teachings of the Qur’an and hadith. The Qur’an prohibits ‘devouring/misappropriation of the property of others’ (akl al-maal bi’lbatil – Q 4:29 & 2:188), which is a broad concept that subsumes such other offences as fraud, hoarding, theft, and gambling. The text also condemns those in authority who spread corruption and mischief among people, bestowing favours on some and oppressing others (Q 28:4 &
89:10-12). The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), added his voice to say that all the parties to bribery “the bribetaker, the bribe-giver, and their gobetween,” invoke Allah’s wrath and condemnation upon themselves. It is further reported that the “Messenger of Allah cursed the donor of rashwah and its recipient in all matters that involve a judgement or ruling.” The renowned Companion Abdullah ibn Masud went on record to say: “when a man removes hardship from another and then receives a gift from him, large or small, he has taken something which is haram for him.” The scope of rashwah is extended to financial transactions between members of the public and government officials, which are manifestly favourable to the latter. In this way sale, lease, hire, and partnership that are so concluded fall under bribery. The second caliph ‘Umar b. al-Khattab (d. 644 CE) expropriated the properties some of
his officials had accumulated due to favours they had received. The caliph divided the assets in question and surrendered a portion thereof to the public treasury. This was done to prominent figures, including Abu Hurayrah, ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas, Nafi’ ibn ‘Amr, Saad ibn Abi Waqas, and Khalid ibn al-Walid, the governors respectively of Bahrain, Egypt, Makkah, Kufah and Sham. The practice was later institutionalised under the Abbasid caliph, Jaafar al-Mansur, when a department, known as Diwan al-Musadirin, was established for handling expropriation matters involving government officials, merchants, contractors and others, who worked or conducted business with the government and accumulated disproportionate amounts of wealth. An interesting incident of this involved the two sons of the caliph ‘Umar al-Khattab, ‘Abdullah and ‘Ubaydullah, who accompanied an army contingent from Madinah to
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Iraq. In his eagerness to please his guests, the governor of Basrah, Abu Musa al-Ashaari, told them: “Here is some money which I was about to send to the Caliph. Maybe I can advance them to you to buy some goods in Iraq and sell them in Madinah. Give the capital to the treasury and keep the profit.” They did so, but when the Caliph learned of it, he asked: “Does he (al-Ashaari) give similar advances to everyone in the army?” His sons were present and were ordered to pay both the capital and the profit to the treasury. The pious caliph ‘Umar b. Abd alAziz (d.724 CE) went on record to say: ‘I am of the view that the ruler should not indulge in trading. It is not lawful for an officer also to trade in the area of his office...because when he engages in trade, he may misuse his office in his own interest even if he does not intend to do so.’ Fasad is more general than rashwah as it encompasses dishonesty, betrayal of trust, abuse of power, and deceit in both private and public dealings.
Rashwah refers to private gain from public office or seeking recompense for rendering duties ordinarily considered as non-compensatory. Because of the numerous forms it can take, corruption escapes the idea of a comprehensive definition. It knows no boundaries, applies to rich and poor, to individuals and communities, and tends to have a cultural dimension. Whereas conduct such as officials demanding bribe is considered corrupt in virtually all societies, attitudes vary to gift giving and cronyism between countries and cultures. It is forbidden for government officials to accept bribe of any kind, whether in the name of gift, donation or contribution from anyone in the course of duty. The gift may be specified or unspecified and it may benefit the official directly or in some other way. Other forms of enrichment that materialise through misuse of public assets may amount to a breach of trust (khiyanah) and embezzlement (ikhtilas), which are also prohibited.
A gift that has not yet been received by the official should be returned to the donor, but if this cannot be done, it should be paid to the public treasury. If an official takes bribes or unjustly appropriates the property of another, the ruler is under duty to return the assets to its true owner and to punish the offender accordingly. The result of what bribery leads to is immaterial as all bribery is presumed to distort justice and violate public interest. In a section of their book, The Islamic Attack on Corruption, Zafar Iqbal and Mervyn Lewis wrote: “On the moral plane, there is zero tolerance for bribery in Islam, and Islam rejects the idea that bribery serves as ‘the grease that oils the economic wheels.’” Further, there is no scope for legalising corruption in the name of commission, gift, donation, advances and soft loans whatsoever. The touchstone of differentiation revolves around the question whether these payments and favours would accrue had the suspect stayed at home and had no official position or profile.
ECONOMIC THOUGHTS OF CUMAR IBN AL-KHATTAB by Mohammed Farid Ali (contd from page 1)
Prohibition of Hoarding In al-Muwatta of Imam Malik it is reported that cUmar Ibn al-Khaṭṭāb prohibited hoarding. He said: “There is no hoarding in our market, and men who have excess gold in their hands should not buy up one of Allah’s provisions which he has sent to our courtyard and then hoard it up against us….” He prohibited hoarding because he feared that people with means would buy the stock and block its supply in the market. The unavailability of the stock in the market would not satisfy consumer demand. Taking advantage
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of hoarding. One of the hadiths reported by cUmar Ibn al-Khaṭṭāb’s son cAbd Allah from the Prophet says: “He who holds up food for forty days, he has freed himself from Allah and Allah has freed Himself from him; any people of a courtyard amongst whom a man becomes hungry, then those people (the hoarders) are free of Allah’s liability.”4 This hadith purports that blocking food from the market especially staple food items, which require a continuous supply in the market, could lead to hunger and difficulty. So cUmar Ibn al-Khaṭṭāb’s prohibition from hoarding was not only concerned about the rich monopolising the market, but he was also concerned about the welfare of his people. A group of selfish people by their exploitation could cause disaster in the society in exchange for a dubious profit. Selling at Market Price Umar Ibn al-Khaṭṭāb’s fight against exploitation and social injustice was not one-sided. He gave special care to businessmen as well. Sa’id Ibn Musayyab reported that: cUmar Ibn c
al-Khaṭṭāb passed by Ḥāṭib Ibn Abī Baltacah who was underselling some raisins in the market. cUmar said to him, “Either increase the price or leave our market”.5 Shah Wali Allah alDehlawi in his Izālat al-Khafā quoted the same report with a different chain. In this report cUmar said to Ḥāṭib: “I have been told that a caravan is about to reach from Taif carrying raisins. They will follow your price. So either you increase the price or take your raisins to your house and sell it according to how you want”. Later cUmar went to Ḥāṭib and told him his reason for what he had said earlier, “It was something which I said for the betterment of our city.”6 Here we can see that cUmar Ibn alKhaṭṭāb was concerned about the other sellers in the market. People set a price considering the value and effort involved in supplying a commodity. When one or two individuals ignore the general price and start selling at a lower price, this will affect other peoples’ business and the market will face a loss.
Notes 1. Muhammad Muhammad alMadani, Nażrāt fi Ijtihadāt alFāruq cUmar Ibn al-Khaṭṭāb (Beirut: Dār al-Nafā’is, 1990), p. 167. 2. Malik Ibn Anas, al-Muwaṭṭa’, ed. Ḥāmid Aḥmad al-Ṭāhir (alQāhirah: Dār al-Fajar li al-Turāth, 2005), p. 431. 3. Abu Bakar Ibn al-cArabi, Kitāb al-Qabas fi Sharḥ Muwaṭṭa Mālik Ibn Anas (Beirut: Dar al-Gharb alIslami, 1992), vol. 2, 835. 4. cAbd Allāh Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Abī Shaybah, al-Muṣannaf, vol. 5. Cited through Gamee’ al-Fiqh alIslami software program 1998. 5. Malik Ibn Anas, al-Muwaṭṭa’, p. 432. Translation taken from Aisha A. Bewley, p. 57. 6. Shah Wali Allah al-Dehlawi, Izālat al-Khafā can Khilāfat al-Khulafā’ (Karachi: Qadīmi Kutub Khāna, n.d.), vol. 3, 399.
MUSLIMS IN WEST AFRICA - LEADERS IN ISLAMIC RELIGIOSITY by Daud Abdul-Fattah Batchelor
of this situation they would then release the stock in the market at a higher price. The second part of cUmar Ibn alKhaṭṭāb’s report says: “Whoever brings imported goods through great fatigue to himself in the summer and winter, such a person is the guest of c Umar. Let him sell what Allah wills and keep what Allah wills.”2 This part of the report shows that cUmar did not ignore the rights of importers (jalib). He respected their effort and difficulties in getting the goods from afar and supplying it to consumers. These importers were selling their
goods directly to the consumers, so c Umar gave them discretion in the manner and the price they wanted to sell their goods.3 He limited his prohibition of hoarding to those local businessmen who did not leave the comfort of their houses. Just to monopolise the price, they bought the goods, then blocked them from the market until they could sell them at higher prices.
Muslims in West African countries are the most diligent in performing their Ibadah (daily prayers, Friday congregational prayers and fasting in Ramadan) compared to other parts of the world with only Afghanistan achieving a similar standing. This was a recently published finding of the US Pew Center which conducted 38,000 interviews of Muslims in 39 countries.
Umar Ibn al-Khaṭṭāb’s decision is based on the hadiths of the Prophet which prohibit hoarding. AlMuṣannaf of Ibn Shaybah collected 10 hadiths on the prohibition
Muslim majority countries in West Africa with over 65 million Muslims comprise Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Nigeria
with 75 million Muslims is expected to become a Muslim-majority country within 15 years. The West African region borders the Maghrib countries with the Sahel zone on the southern Sahara representing its northern limit. West African countries display commonalities in dress, cuisine and music. Islam is the predominant religion of most countries while Christianity brought by French, British and Portuguese colonialists is dominant amongst the coastal populations. The nefarious slave trade began shortly after colonisation and delibated local communities.
These countries regained their independence following World War 2. With the exception of Arab League member Mauritania, all are members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which aims to promote the region’s economy. A closer union of Muslim majority states here would seem advantageous. It is encouraging in this respect, to see resource development in border areas of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso being undertaken jointly. The notable high Islamicity levels in West Africa may reflect the continuing influence of Tijaniyya
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sufism as well as the successful Fulani Islamic reformist movements and governments from the mid-1600s until European colonialism with the last state colonised only in 1903. This was the Sokoto state, the largest state in sub-Sahara Africa, centred in northern Nigeria, which was founded by the mujaddid, Shaykh Othman Dan Fodio. He established a successful ’Ulama-led federal state lasting two hundred years.
In terms of mu‘amalah indicators ECOWAS countries fare poorly. More than 50% of people live on less than one dollar a day and the countries lag far behind in education, health and basic infrastructure. In 2011-12, conflicts, food and fuel price increases and a serious drought in the Sahel have slowed growth. The region has been subject in recent years to rebellions in Chad, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal. Since June 2012 Tuareg
Islamist fighters have been attempting to establish an Islamic state with Shari‘ah rule in northern Mali. West African Muslims who are shown to be dedicated Muslims surely deserve our financial assistance (sadaqah) and other support from fellow Muslims worldwide to help alleviate severe hardships and provide opportunities for sustainably enhancing their socioeconomic development.
RISK-SHARING, RISK TRANSFER AND RISK MANAGEMENT by Abdul Karim Abdullah
One area in contemporary finance – in particular Islamic finance – that needs emphasis is the role that risk plays as an incentive for the efficient allocation of resources. As profit constitutes a positive incentive for investment, risk provides a restraining effect. Investors are driven by a hope of profits and restrained by the risk of losses. The underutilisation of risk as an incentive for the efficient allocation of resources may stem in part from a misunderstanding of the role that risk plays in investment. This commonly takes the form of unwarranted assumptions about risk. One of these is that risk can be accurately measured. Another is that there is a difference between risk (which can be measured) and uncertainty (which cannot). In retrospect, both assumptions turned out to be false. No one expected the dramatic collapse in the prices of the collateralised debt obligations (CDOs). Moreover, given that risk turned out to be just as hard to measure (and therefore predict) as uncertainty, the assumption that there is a difference between risk and uncertainty was also discredited. Another issue is that managing risk by intuition has been underrated.
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Intuition takes into account – even if in a vague way – the presence of variables that may be missing from purely mathematical models. Managing risk by way of intuition simply means avoiding investments about which one may have a “bad feeling,” but cannot objectively articulate the source of one’s reluctance. Purely mathematical models by definition cannot account for variables that do not lend themselves to quantification and therefore measurement. Opaqueness or lack of transparency of financial instruments may generate this type of intuitive feeling that a proposed investment may be less than safe. Another unwarranted assumption was that if risk cannot be eliminated, at least it could be transferred to those who can and are willing to bear it. Commonly, risk is transferred by lenders to entrepreneurs by extracting income and capital guarantees from borrowers. Another method used is purchasing de facto insurance on debt in the form of credit default swaps. This risk management strategy, however, has also been discredited by the experience of the last global financial crisis. The crisis showed that while transferring risk to others might work under normal times,
it does not work in extraordinary times, when the failure to meet one’s financial commitments takes place on a systemic scale. At a time of systemic failure, everyone experiences a liquidity crisis, even those who were expected to provide protection from it. The case of AIG (an insurance conglomerate) is a case in point. What has been overlooked is that the best way to manage risk is neither by eliminating it (which is impossible) nor by transferring it (which is undesirable) but rather by sharing it, as indeed is required by Islamic finance. However, risk sharing requires restructuring the relationship between capital providers (financiers) and capital users (entrepreneurs). It requires replacing the creditordebtor relationship with a partnership relationship. In this way risk can be shared. Risk sharing investments, such as equity instruments, do not come with income and capital guarantees. Risk constitutes a powerful incentive for exercising due diligence, a sine qua non for an efficient allocation of resources. By contrast, insuring one’s investments may produce a moral hazard in the form of an illusion of safety (low risk).
completely eliminate it. This is commonly done by transferring it to borrowers. At the same time, however, little attention is paid to risks faced by debtors. This appears to be a rather one-sided approach.
products of “financial innovation” – that were expected to reduce the risks for investors not only did not protect investors from risks but in fact made investors more vulnerable to risk by giving them a false sense of security.
The possibility and risk of suffering losses act as powerful incentives to investors to allocate resources efficiently. Where investors feel there is little or no risk, they may commit resources on a scale greater than what is justified by a more accurate assessment of risk and realistic prospects of returns.
Even the belief that risk can be eliminated by transferring it to borrowers or insurers turned out to be unfounded. Neither borrowers nor insurers in many instances could make good on their promises to pay at a time of systemic failure. The risk was transferred, but not eliminated. Moreover, third parties (such as AIG) to whom the risk was transferred turned out to be unable to bear it. In the end, the risk was transferred to the taxpayers. It does not seem fair, however, to burden taxpayers with the need to pay for the large bailouts of private companies.
Investors who “hedged” their investment by purchasing credit default swaps to protect themselves against defaults of the CDOs fared no better, in so far as a number of companies that sold this “protection,” such as AIG, themselves did not hedge their own positions, and went bankrupt precisely at a time when they were expected to save others (their counterparties) from bankruptcy.
Rather than seeking to devise ways of sharing risk, however, conventional finance – and to a degree Islamic finance – has been seeking ways to reduce risk for lenders, if not
The risk was overlooked partly because many of the investments were touted as safe, in particular the “collateralised debt obligations” (CDOs). In a bizarre turn of events, the very securities –
Thus, in the lead up to the last financial crisis, investors committed substantial resources to investments that in retrospect turned out to be highly risky. Rating agencies made the moral hazard worse by assigning triple “A” ratings to securities that in hindsight did not merit such optimistic ratings. These ratings reinforced the false sense of security among investors that initially arose as a result of the claim that the proposed investments were “collateralised.”
The lesson to be drawn from this is that risk transfer neither fosters an efficient allocation of resources, nor provides protection against risk. By contrast, risk sharing does both. It reduces risks to investors and fosters the efficient allocation of resources – at the same time. In fact, this is one of the most appealing features – at least in theory – of Islamic finance.
Quotable Quotes The more a person follows his intellect and calms down his passions, the closer he comes to the spiritual life and the love of God and of his neighbour.
Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising everytime we fall.
Religion is not a set of doctrines but it is experience. And religious experience is based on the realisation of the presence of the divine in man.
He who smiles rather than rages is always stronger.
Until there is peace between religions, there can be no peace in the world.
-Professor Hans Kung-
The fruit of silence is prayer, The fruit of prayer is faith, The fruit of faith is service, The fruit of service is love, The fruit of love is peace.
The most powerful weapon is the weapon of blessing. And therefore a clever person relies on it. First of all he appreciates peace and calm. He wins with peace, not with war.
Goodwill towards all is the true Religion. Let a man overcome anger by Love.
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THE MISSING UNIVERSALISM IN LEGAL EDUCATION by Tengku Ahmad Hazri
Legal education should embrace a universal concept of law. Although in modern times law tends to be wedded intimately to the nation-state, legal education still should be premised on universal moral or ethical principles beyond any particular society. But it has always been the case that the curriculum of legal education takes national laws to be the objects of inquiry. A global perspective to law demands commitment to principles that transcend the peculiarities and idiosyncrasies of any society, while yet remaining capable of adapting to local conditions. But such principles, often termed “ethics” or “morality”, are sometimes avoided lest agreement on such matters should prove elusive, when developing viable institutions for a rule of law founded on consensus and multi-lateralism. International law for example, relies not on enforcement by a ‘higher authority’ but by the self-consciousness of states. Even legal positivists, for whom law and morality are separate and separable, nevertheless maintain that such distinction functions precisely to preserve morality as a higher standard to evaluate laws. The leading legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin thus argues for the “best moral interpretation” of existing laws and institutions, and a “moral reading” of the American Constitution. Throughout history laws were based on such universalism. For instance, throughout Islamic history, Muslim societies were governed by the Shari’ah, which nevertheless was adapted in various local conditions via the instrument of fiqh (jurisprudence, or literally “understanding”). Scholars thus derived universal bases and principles from the shari’ah, which they termed the maqasid al-shari’ah (higher objectives of the shariah) and used these in formulating substantive laws. This recognition of the universal basis of law prompted Muslim jurists
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like al-Shaybani and al-Awza‘i to conceive of international law or laws of nations quite early in history, long before the likes of Hugo Grotius and Samuel von Pufendorf. But this approach is hardly unique to Islam: the Tao of the Chinese tradition, the dharma of the Hindus, the nomos of the Greeks and indeed, the very term ‘law’ itself was seen to be different from human legislation, prompting Plato to declare that “no man has ever created a law”. The Roman statesman and thinker Cicero thus writes of “true law” as “one law eternal and unchangeable, binding all times and upon all peoples.” In the pre-modern West, law meant more than state legislation. The jurist William Blackstone in the 18th century could identify six “types of law”, including revealed law, municipal law and laws of nature. But the failure of the Enlightenment to provide a rational ground for morality that could function as the basis for social order meant that ethics became thoroughly individualised, consigned to what Alasdair MacIntyre called the “emotivist self”. Parallel to this development was the rise of the modern state, which increasingly came to dominate social affairs in an allpervasive sense. By the 19th century, the state was such a formidable force that jurists had to come to terms with various existing norms that came into conflict with an ever-expanding state legislation, until, the jurist John Austin (1790-1859) conceded that “laws properly called” are only laws enacted by the state or revealed by God. But even the latter came to be increasingly marginalized. If historically law did not convey notions of power and perhaps Foucauldian notions of surveillance and domination, in Austin’s scheme, the power relationship is crucial, for he defined law as the commands of sovereign to political inferiors backed with threats of sanctions or
punishments. That the very word law today is practically synonymous with state law is itself reflective of the powerful Austinian legacy that we have inherited, thanks to the modern state system. The preceding arguments point to the inadequacy of conceiving law—and hence legal science or legal studies— as confined exclusively to the applicable laws of a particular nationstate, for even these laws need to be examined on more solid ethical and moral foundations. Such foundations should not be vulnerable to contingent factors like the political preferences of the ruling government, but rather built upon virtues which reflect human nature and human aspirations themselves. Ultimately, this means the restoration of legal discourse as inseparable from ethical inquiry, and law school curriculum should appreciate and faithfully reflect this restoration. These foundations should be the basis of both enacting legislation as well as for the critical evaluation of policies or judicial decisions, through a comprehensive assessment and rigorous moral interpretation of existing institutions: a holistic and comprehensive framework for evaluating public policies, statutes and judicial decisions. Methodologies need to be formulated to reconcile the competing demands of universalism and local needs, and to arbitrate between competing norms and standards.
Hikmah If you wish for a pearl You must leave the desert And wander by the sea; And even if you never find The gleaming pearl, at least You won’t have failed to reach the water.
- Hakim Sanai, Haqiqat al-Haqiqa
RESEARCH, PUBLICATION AND CONFERENCE PRESENTATION Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali wrote two articles, one on “Censorship: An Islamic Perspective” for The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law, and another on “Law and Society in Islam” for The Oxford History of Islam. He also finalised the International edition of my book “The Middle Path of Moderation in Islam” and completed work on two other book chapters. His presentations as speaker or moderator included several conferences and seminars at IAIS and elsewhere in Malaysia, and two presentations in the UK. He is currently finalising two books for joint publication by IAIS Malaysia and a UK publisher: “Islamic Finance: Issues in Sukuk and Proposals for Reform” and “Islamic Transactions and Finance: Principles and Developments”. The first is due for publication and the second is still under preparation. Dr Karim Douglas Crow moderated panels at ICIHE3 (Kuantan) and other public lectures/seminars. He presented a paper in Ethics in Governance, for a Civil Service Training Workshop at INPUMA. A keynote speaker at 12th Annual Conference for Islamic Higher Education in Surabaya, Indonesia, he presented a paper on “Managing Diversity & Islamic Education”. He chaired the closed door Roundtable convened at IAIS with SUHAKAM on Human Rights and the IAIS Research Fellows Seminar (IAIS). At the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur he lectured Dr Farid Alattas’ Methodology Workshop on the topic, “Texts and Contexts in Islamic Tradition”. He wrote a two part article for IAIS Bulletin entitled “Thinking Muslims”. Dr Daud Batchelor published the article “Shari‘ah – A Topic of Interest in Australia” in the IAIS Bulletin no. 9 and a short article “Muslims in West Africa – Leaders in Islamicity” for IAIS Bulletin no. 10 & 11. His article “Islam open to stem cell research” appeared in the New Straits Times on 7th November 2012. Daud moderated panels at 3rd ICIHE (Kuantan) and the Ibn Sina (University of Malaya) and Said Nursi (IAIS Malaysia) international conferences. Daud has reviewed and edited articles for the ICR January issue. He has developed a methodology for rating well-being in Muslim majority countries and wrote up the approach and results for publication in the ICR Volume 4, Number 2. He is currently researching Afghanistan towards developing a more durable political framework favourable for peace subsequent to the anticipated 2014 drawn-down of NATO forces. Michael K. Scott spoke at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus’ Politics, Human Rights and International Relations Student Group, as a panelist on the Palestine-Israel conflict, coinciding with the historic UN Vote to admit Palestine to the UN as a non-member observer state. He completed translation/adaptation of a text on a prominent Arab world symposium “Religion and State in the Arab World” organised by the Center for Arab Unity Studies in Tunisia in mid-October 2012. He edited, and revised ICR contributions to its January issue, wrote selected items and consulted on the Editorial page and participated in all ICR editorial planning meetings, drafted letters and advertisements to promote ICR subscriptions, and marketing prospects with Cambridge University Press in Singapore. Abdul Karim Abdullah @ Leslie Terebessy completed research on interest-based financing for an article for the January 2013 ICR. He also published a piece on risk (sharing, transfer and management) in the IAIS Bulletin. He was interviewed by Iranian TV during the programme “9/11 Revisited: The Search for Truth Goes On,” organised at the PWTC by the Perdana Foundation. Dr Mohammed Farid Ali delivered a public lecture, “Contentment and Satisfaction” and moderated public lectures hosted by IAIS on topics such as “Islam and Multiculturalism in Contemporary Bangladesh: A Reflection” and “The Art of Da’wah in the 21st Century”. He conducted a workshop on “Microsoft Word for IIUM Thesis Manual” at ISTAC and presented a paper on contentment and Sa’id Nursi at the International Conference on the Role of Science and Art in Islamic Civilisational Renewal that was hosted by IAIS Malaysia. He submitted a paper “The Creative Mufti: Ibn Abidin (d. 1252/1836)” for IAIS Website: Architects of Civilisation and a short article “Economic Thoughts of Umar Ibn al-Khattab” for IAIS Bulletin. He submitted the calligraphic design “al-Hikmah,” for a new IAIS publication. Sheila Ainon Yussof is working on a paper for IAIS Malaysia Policy Issue Papers on empowering family institutions in Malaysia. She submitted her research entitled “Prospects of a Shariah Audit Framework for Islamic Financial Institutions
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in Malaysia” to ICR for its January 2013 issue. She is currently editing an IAIS Book: Islamic Finance & Transactions: Principles & Developments and has submitted an article for the IAIS bulletin on “Japanese Poetry and Art Symbolism” and an article to a forthcoming IAIS Book: Malaysia’s New Shariah Governance Framework for Islamic Financial Institutions: An Impact Analysis.
Prof Anis stressed that zapin cannot be distilled and analysed into artificial constituent units such as “dance” or “music” without compromising its gestalt, for Zapin embraces dance, music and dhikr as a single performative entity. Zapin is thus “played” (main zapin), not “danced” (menari zapin). Zapin can also be seen as a cultural bridge, connecting the Hadrami Arabs with the Malay society, while recognising the special role of the Hadrami sayyids in propagating Islam to this part of the world. At the local (or “meso”) level, zapin is cement for social cohesion and provides the community with a religious identity, providing an avenue to be religious in a creative and artistic sort of way. When interiorised (the “micro” view as Prof Anis described it), zapin functions as dhikr (remembrance of God), particularly when performed and undertaken by devotees of Sufi orders (tariqah), with the zapin music seen as silent dhikr, while the rendition of zapin songs or qasidah is seen as passionate praises to the Divine Names or to the Prophet (pbuh).
Dr Abdul-Qayum Mohmand completed research on peace and security in Afghanistan and a brief article on Development in Islam for ICR. He also submitted a “Viewpoint” piece to ICR, “Why Pursue Negotiations with the Taliban” for its January 2013 issue. He presented a paper to the Panel Discussion: “Peace and Security in Afghanistan: Before and after 2014” at IAIS Malaysia and participated in talks organised to enhance Afghanistan-United Arab Emirates relations, organised by “United Afghan Tribes”(Sharja, UAE). He presented a paper on US-Taliban Dialogue “Negotiations or No-Go Sessions” in a forum in Doha, Qatar, and also a paper on “The Influence of Waqf on the Higher Education of Afghanistan” to the 3rd International Conference on Islam and Higher Education, in Kuantan, Malaysia.
By the three-fold analyses he showed the multi-layered meaning and role of zapin: the macro view connects civilisations and humanity through cultural exchange and dialogue; the meso-view offers space and scope for the locals to indigenise what seems foreign to them while instilling a local sense of ownership; and last but not least, the micro-view affords the transposition of sonoral forms and physical movements of zapin as exterior support for the inward mystical journey.
Tengku Ahmad Hazri continues his research on constitutionalism in Islam, focusing on post-Westphalian strands unleashed by globalisation, international human rights norms, and the diffusion of centers of power (both domestically and globally); and the impact these have on the rule of law generally and in Islam and the Muslim world specifically. He is also helping Prof Hashim Kamali with the latter’s book on the maqasid al-shari’ah (higher objectives of the Shari’ah) and has been editing a Malay translation of Prof Kamali’s monograph, Moderation and Balance in Islam: the Qur’anic Principle of Wasatiyyah. He is also engaged in policy research on education and family-related issues. He contributes to the ICR, Bulletin and IAIS website.
CONVERSION IN MALAYSIA: ISSUES AND REFORM PROPOSALS C
by Tengku Ahmad Hazri
Seminar on Music Spirituality and Islam
Produced and distributed by
On 12 December 2012, IAIS Malaysia jointly organised the ‘Seminar on Music Spirituality and Islam’ with the National University of Singapore’s Department of Malay Studies and the University Scholars Programme, and the Department of Museums, Malaysia. The seminar carried two presentations, by Raja Zulkarnain Raja Mohd Yusof (The National Conservatory of Arts) and Professor Mohd Anis Md Nor (Cultural Centre, University of Malaya). It also featured two performances by Masoud Ariankhoo, who recited the Mathnavi, and Abdullah Shatri, who performed the taqsim al-‘ud. Raja Zulkarnain’s presentation, “An Overview of the Maqams & Music of the Arabs”, introduced the concept of maqam (plural: maqamat) in a mainly pedagogic and descriptive manner, and presented the different types of religious and ‘secular’ music among the Arabs. Examples of the former include the Qur’an recitation, adhan, mawlid, madih al-nabawi and dhikr. He also explained and demonstrated the eight principal maqams of Arabic music, namely, the Ajam, Nahawand, Rast, Bayati, Hijaz, Kurd, Saba and Sekah. Professor Mohd Anis Md Nor’s presentation posed a question, “Zapin: Is it Dance, Music or Dhikr?” In answering this question, he analysed zapin at three levels: (1) macro-level (signifying Arabic-Islamic-Malayic representations); (2) meso-level (as a Malay performance tradition); and (3) micro-level (as dhikr, or remembrance of God). According to Prof Anis, Malay zapin originated from the Hadrami zaffin, which was introduced in the Malay world by the Hadrami sayyids (descendants of the Prophet, pbuh) to propagate (da’wah) Islam. But when zaffin was received in this part of the world, it interacted with various art forms and practices that were already indigenous. The result of that interaction was a new and original performative art, which we now call zapin. By comparing the Malay zapin and Hadrami zaffin, Prof Anis showed the distinctive traits of the former to show how it has actually been a hybrid and syncretistic indigenisation of the latter. Zapin is performed at special functions and ceremonies, such as weddings, circumcision and Prophet’s birthday (mawlid al-rasul).
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International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia Jalan Elmu, Off Jalan Universiti, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 03-7956 9188 03-7956 2188 www.iais.org.my
Mohammad Hashim Kamali Osman Bakar, Zarina Nalla and Hafiz Hassan
Conversion in Malaysia: Issues and Reform Proposals By Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Osman Bakar, Zarina Nalla and Hafiz Hassan Price: RM 15
The Empowerment of Muslim Communities in Private Higher Education Editors: Osman Bakar and Airul Amri Amran ISBN: 978-967-10065-9-7
We at IAIS Malaysia are pleased to present the first of our new Policy Issue Papers (PIP) series, on “Conversion of Minors: Issues and Reform Proposals.” This paper is the outcome of several consultations with prominent Malaysian personalities, judges and NGOs held over a period of one year or so, to address conversionrelated issues of concern, especially related to the status of children
May this book serve as a catalyst, at least at the level of ideas, to the transformation of contemporary Muslim higher education to one that would be more in conformity with the needs of the twenty-first century ummah.
No. 1 • December 2012
IAIS Malaysia Policy Issue Papers: No. 1 (December 2012)
IAIS Malaysia Policy Issue Papers
(Excerpted from Foreword) Price: RM 35
September - December 2012
JAPANESE POETRY AND ART SYMBOLISM by Sheila Ainon Yussof
The Haiku is a popular three-line unrhymed poem restricted by 17 syllables or moras written in three metrical lines of 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasises simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. The object of the haiku poetry is to portray a universalised emotion derived from a natural fact and to achieve an expression of that emotion with economy of words. Japanese poet Matsuo Basho (16441694) was a great haiku master. As a disciple and priest of Zen Buddhism, his work is steeped in that doctrine where everything on earth, from the clouds in the sky to the pebble by the roadside, has some spiritual or ethical significance. William Blake (1757-1827) an English poet, painter and mystic of his time is said to have encapsulated the aim of Zen Buddhism in the following poem: “To see a World in a grain of sand, And a Heaven in a wild flower; To hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour.” The rule of poetry and imagination that Blake had introduced to the Western world during that period was based on the plainness of language but it conjured a powerful
September - December 2012
image and evoked the spiritual message to contemplate on how much is contained in the meanest natural object. There is a difference though from a spiritual perspective between the Western and Eastern mystic: the former sees the world in the grain of sand and tells you all about it, whilst the latter sees and lets his silence imply that he knows its meaning. In the words of Lao Tzu: “Those who speak do not know, those who know do not speak.” Haiku’s philosophy is based on the focus of a brief moment in time; the use of provocative, colourful images; an ability to be read in one breath; and a sense of sudden enlightenment and illumination. This philosophy influenced poet Ezra Pound, who noted the power of haiku’s brevity and juxtaposed images. He wrote, “The image itself is speech. The image is the word beyond formulated language.” Basho had reformed the haiku by introducing into everything he wrote a deep spiritual significance underlying the words. The most famous haiku that Bashō wrote might be literally translated thus: “An old pond And the sound of a frog leaping Into the water.” The poem is laden with three meanings. First, it is a statement of fact. Second, an emotion deduced from that. Third, a sort of spiritual allegory. One can read into the simplicity of this haiku poetry to conjure images of the beauty of such a life of retirement and contemplation, where the sound of a frog’s leap into the water may symbolise the passing of vanity and a leap into the silence of eternity.
Or one can even use the allegory of becoming illuminated after immersing oneself in a deep pursuit of knowledge, as water symbolises knowledge. The humble frog is also used in other civilisations (although not in the form of a poem but a proverb) to symbolise parochialism when man persists to see the world from a restricted vision, or from under a coconut shell, as the Malay saying goes: “seperti katak di bawah tempurung” (like a frog under a coconut shell), as Muslims are encouraged to seek knowledge from cradle to grave and travel to far away lands “and as far as China” to contemplate on the greatness of creation (and the Creator), so you can “see a World in a grain of sand and a Heaven in a wild flower.” Bashō’s poems have consistently reflected those three meanings in his seventeen syllables as seen below:
When haiku is combined with a painting it becomes haiga. Haiga is said to be the haiku’s more visual cousin as it unites a haiku poem, written in calligraphy, with a simple painting. Haiga paintings, like the haikus accompanying them, are usually restrained, with minimal ink brush strokes and light color. Simplicity and irony are quintessential traits of the traditional haiga.
part of his career, Basho practiced haiga as well.
While the haiku and the painting in a haiga share the same space, they are meant to complement, and not explain, one another. In fact, in some cases the haiku and the painting have nothing to do with one another, because, explains Takiguchi (Founder of the World Haiku Club), “if the painting and haiku are (similar), it would mean that one has been added because the other is not adequate.”
“They exalt the most trivial and common place subjects into the universal significance of works of art”, (Fletcher).
Image: The above calligraphy relates one of Bashō’s most famous haiku poems: Furu ike ya / kawazu tobikomu / mizu no oto (An old pond / a frog jumps in / the sound of water).
Quotable Quotes Today the real test of power is not capacity to make war but capacity to prevent it.
- Anne O’Hare McCormick
Peace is our gift to each other.
- Elie Wiesel
Even if people do not know what real kindness is, nevertheless they have it in them. - Confucius
Image: “Banana tree and gate to the banana tree hut,” by Matsuo Basho (1644-94), Idemitsu Museum of Art
“On the mountain-road There is no flower more beautiful Than the wild violet.” The spiritual allegory of this haiku is that the wild violet, scentless, growing hidden and neglected among the rocks of the mountainroad, is likened to the life of the Buddhist hermit, an exhortation to “shun the world, if you would be sublime.” One can even capture another spiritual message: where beauty is said to shine forth in times of adversity just as the beautiful lotus flower grows out of murky waters.
The tradition of collaboration between painters and poets had a rich influence on Japanese poetry in the middle Edo period. But one thing remains certain: Japanese paintings on prints and designs share at least one characteristic with Japanese poetry, which is that:
but with a deep spiritual meaning which finds its way into the visual art forms of the haiga.
Hence the frog, the flowers and all forms of nature, Japanese geishas, the rickshaw pullers, the elements of water and earth, were weaved into the haikus to express a universalised emotion with economy of words
It is my conviction that if we are neutral in situations of injustice, we have chosen the side of the oppressor. The world must learn about respect, listening and forgiveness. - Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Recent Publication MAQASID AL-SHARI’AH, IJTIHAD AND CIVILISATIONAL RENEWAL Author: Mohammad Hashim Kamali Publisher: The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia
Image: “A Little Cuckoo across a Hydrangea” by Yosa Buson
Some of the early masters of this art were Morikawa Kyoroku, Sakaki Hyakusen, Takebe Socho, and Yosa Buson (poet-painter). In the latter
Image: “Rickshaws in a cloud of daffodils” Japanese Kimono prints. Acrylic on Canvas by Sheila Ainon Yussof (2006)
50 pages Price: RM 20
September - December 2012
EVENTS AT IAIS MALAYSIA DATE
Public lecture: Islam and Multiculturalism in Contemporary Bangladesh: A Reflection, by Professor Golam Dastagir
Public lecture: Whither the Dialogue of Civilisations? by Dr Chandra Muzaffar
1 -2 October
3rd International Conference on Islam and Higher Education on The Role of Awqaf in the Development of Islamic Higher Education: The Past, The Present and Future Prospects, co-organised with International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) East Asia and IKIP International College
Public lecture: Dialogue, Multiculturalism and National Unity, by Dr Syed Farid Alatas
17 -18 October
International Conference on Ibn Khaldun: Theoretical and Empirical Relevance, co-organised with Department of Islamic History and Civilization (University of Malaya), Department of Malay Studies (National University of Singapore) and The International Ibn Khaldun Society
The Art of Da’wah in Contemporary Modern Society in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges, by Da’ee Ahmed Moait, co-organised with Islamic Outreach ABIM
Roundtable discussion: ‘Human Rights and Islam’, co-organised with Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)
Forum: The Alliance of Civilisations: Its Significance for Asia in the 21st Century, by Jorge Sampaio, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, co-organised with JUST (International Movement for a JUST World)
International Conference on The Role of Science and Art in (Islamic) Civilisational Renewal: Science and Culture as Key Dimensions of Civilisational Renewal: “The Thoughts of Said Nursi”
Seminar: Music Spirituality and Islam, by Professor Mohd Anis Md Nor and Raja Zulkarnain Raja Mohd Yusof, co-organised with Department of Malay Studies (National University of Singapore), University Scholars Programme (National University of Singapore), and Museum Volunteers JMM
Seminar on Afghanistan: Present Realities and Future Prospects, by Dr Abdul-Qayum Mohmand and Associate Professor Dr Wahabuddin Ra’ees
Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio with the Patron of IAIS Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and CEO of IAIS Malaysia
Tun Dr Siti Hasmah with CEO of IAIS Malaysia, Mohammad Hashim Kamali
Dr Wahabuddin Ra’ees and Dr Abdul-Qayum Mohmand at the Seminar on Afghanistan
September - December 2012
Some of the panelists of the Conference on the Role of Science and Art in Civilisational Renewal
International Conference on the Role of Science and Art in Civilisational Renewal
Participants at the roundtable discussion on Human Rights in Islam
Prof Golam Dastagir at the lecture on Islam & Multiculturalism in Contemporary Bangladesh
Da’ee Ahmed Moait at the lecture on the Art of Da’wah in Contemporary Modern Society
Dr Chandra Muzaffar and participants at the public lecture “Whither the Dialogue of Civilisations?”