FIQH DEMOKRASI DAN PRU13

MEMAHAMI FIQH DEMOKRASI DAN KAITANNYA DENGAN PRU13

Zulkifli Hasan

Pendahuluan

Tarikh PRU13 masih lagi menjadi tanda tanya. Rakyat Malaysia hingga kini tertunggu-tunggu tarikh PRU13 yang bakal menentukan halatuju Negara. PRU13 merupakan sebahagian daripada proses demokrasi. Ia bukan segalanya tetapi sangat signifikan kepada sesebuah Negara yang mengamalkan sistem demokrasi dan sepatutnya dipandang serius kepentingannya oleh segenap lapisan masyarakat.

Demokrasi sering kali dikaitkan dengan ideologi barat yang tidak boleh diterima dan diamalkan oleh sesetengah pihak. Hatta ada segelintir golongan yang menolak demokrasi secara total dan ada juga yang menganggapnya sebagai perbuatan menyekutukan Tuhan. Dalam konteks dunia masakini khususnya setelah terbinanya konsep negara bangsa, konsep demokrasi ini juga seharusnya difahami dengan makna yang lebih luas dan terbuka. Malahan, jika diteliti secara objektif, didapati kebanyakan negara maju dan negara-negara yang menguasai teknologi tinggi, berpengaruh, berkuasa dan terkehadapan adalah terdiri daripada negara-negara yang mengamalkan demokrasi. Manakala negara yang tidak mengamalkan demokrasi termasuk negara yang melaksanakan Shari’ah adalah negara-negara yang mundur dan bermasalah. Keadaan atau fakta ini sahaja boleh menggambarkan secara tidak langsung pengaruh dan kesan demokrasi yang positif.

Ulama kontemporari terutamanya ulama haraki secara umumnya menerima demokrasi sebagai salah satu wadah dan saluran untuk melaksanakan Islam sebagai satu gaya hidup. Demokrasi yang mengutamakan hak asasi, kebebasan dan keadilan adalah sama sekali tidak bercanggah dengan syariat Islam malahan ia sangat seiring dengan tuntutan maqasid Shari’ah. Bersesuaian dengan signifikannya isu ini, artikel ini menghuraikan pandangan peribadi penulis mengenai konsep Demokrasi dalam Islam dan menyentuh secara khusus aspek al Hurriyyah dan kaitannya dalam konteks amalan politik di Malaysia. Penulisan ini tidak bermaksud untuk membincangkan secara mendalam konsep demokrasi dalam Islam tetapi bermaksud untuk memperjelaskan teras utama dan teori asas yang sewajarnya menjadi perhatian semua dalam membincangkan topik ini.

Konsep Demokrasi

Penulis melihat demokrasi itu sebagai sesuatu yang progresif dan dinamik iaitu sistem yang berpusatkan kepada kuasa rakyat atau ”al-sha`b masdar al-sultah (rakyat adalah sumber kekuasaan)’ bagi menjamin hak-hak dan kebebasan. Dalam konteks demokrasi Islam, ia lebih daripada sekadar hak dan kebebasan tetapi merujuk kepada amanah menegakkan syiar Islam di muka bumi ini. Oleh kerana Islam meletakkan musyawarah sebagai asas atau teras sama ada dalam aspek politik, ekonomi, sosial dan sebagainya maka penulis beranggapan bahawa demokrasi yang diamalkan pada waktu ini juga menepati ciri-ciri syura ini dalam bentuk yang baru. Dalam erti kata lain, demokrasi yang berstruktur dan bebas ini boleh juga dianggap sebagai proses penginstitutian konsep syura dalam bentuk yang lebih segar, moden dan sesuai dengan waqi’ moden. Walaupun diakui bahawa ada segelintir pihak dikalangan gerakan Islam sendiri yang menolak demokrasi, namun penulis menerima konsep demokrasi ini sebagai suatu perkara yang relevan malahan menepati kehendak Shari’ah. Penulis menganggap bahawa prinsip-prinsip demokrasi yang bertepatan dengan hak asasi manusia sesungguhnya juga terkandung dalam ajaran Islam, seperti keadilan (‘adl), persamaan (musawah), musyawarah (syura) dan sebagainya.

Kebaikan dan Keburukan Sistem Demokrasi di Malaysia

Apabila membicarakan kebaikan dan keburukan sistem demokrasi di Malaysia, mahu tidak mahu penulis ingin menyentuh daripada aspek budaya dan amalan politiknya. Secara umumnya Malaysia mempunyai infrastruktur demokrasi yang baik seperti Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya, badan eksekutif, legislatif dan kehakiman yang dijamin oleh Perlembagaan. Namun yang menjadi isunya di sini ialah dari aspek budaya dan amalannya. Kebaikan dan keburukan sistem demokrasi ini bergantung kepada dua aspek ini.

Sehingga kini, budaya dan amalan politik di Malaysia masih berteraskan kepada sentimen perkauman dan peribadi. Bagi menjamin demokrasi yang lebih baik dan bertepatan dengan prinsip Islam, Malaysia memerlukan tranformasi politik yang berpaksikan ilmu dan etika. Penulis berpendapat sekiranya budaya dan amalan demokrasi sedia ada di Malaysia ini tidak dihijrahkan atau ditransformasikan, maka kita hanya akan terus-terusan mewarisi dan mengamalkan sistem demokrasi yang kurang upaya dan natijahnya ialah implikasi keburukan itu pasti mengatasi apa sahaja kebaikan yang ada.

Al-hurriyyah (kebebasan) dalam Politik Islam

Al-hurriyyah atau kebebasan merupakan salah satu daripada matlamat demokrasi. Dalam isu ini penulis sangat tertarik untuk merujuk karya Sheikh Rashid Ghanoushi bertajuk Al-Hurriyah al-‘Ammah fid-Dawlah al-Islamiyyah (Kebebasan Umum dalam Negara Islam). Buku ini penulis anggap sebagai karya penting dalam wacana pemikiran politik Islam kontemporari. Dalam buku ini, Sheikh Ghanoushi melihat demokrasi sebagai natijah daripada proses dan perjuangan yang sangat panjang untuk mendapatkan kebebasan dan hak. Kebebasan dan hak ini jugalah yang menjadi asas kepada politik Islam. Islam secara jelas menjamin kebebasan. Hal ini juga diungkapkan secara serius oleh Sheikh Rashid Ghanoushi dalam buku terbarunya bertajuk ”Al Dimuqratiah wa al Huquq al insan fi al Islam” diterbitkan oleh Al Jazeera Centre.

Dalam konteks realiti dunia masa kini, al hurriyyah atau kebebasan yang dijamin melalui proses demokrasi yang berpaksikan ilmu dan etika itu merupakan unsur utama yang mesti dicapai sebelum dapat meneruskan agenda menegakkan syiar Islam. Penulis sangat yakin berdasarkan dalil yang sahih dan sejarah yang panjang bahawa Islam itu hanya akan subur dan segar di mana sahaja al Hurriyyah itu didokong. Al hurriyyah yang penulis maksudkan di sini bukan bermakna kebebasan yang ditafsirkan berdasarkan pendekatan sekular ataupun ’humanistic approach’ tetapi ia merujuk kepada al Hurriyah yang didefinisikan oleh epistemologi Islam bersandarkan wahyu.

Asal Usul Sistem demokrasi

Adalah tidak adil mengatakan bahawa demokrasi itu sepenuhnya berasal dari barat bahkan menyatakan bahawa demokrasi itu suatu konsep yang boleh membawa kesyirikan sepertimana yang difahami oleh segelintir umat Islam juga adalah tidak tepat. Walaupun, demokrasi itu dipelopori oleh masyarakat barat tetapi harus difahami kedinamikan sistem demokrasi yang ada pada hari ini. Ia telah melalui satu proses yang amat panjang bahkan melibatkan pertumpahan darah, perang saudara, konflik agama, krisis antara bangsawan dan rakyat dan sebagainya.

Sekiranya dilihat secara teliti, perjuangan untuk mendapatkan demokrasi itu merupakan usaha suci rakyat semata-mata untuk mendapatkan kebebasan dan hak daripada golongan penindas bahkan membebaskan mereka daripada sistem perhambaan secara langsung atau tidak langsung. Ini sangat bertepatan dengan ajaran Islam yang secara jelas menjamin kesamarataan hak dan kebebasan. Pengaruh daripada ketinggian dan ketamadunan Islam yang hebat di zaman pentadbiran Umayyah, Abasiyah, Uthmaniah dan Andalus yang sudah pasti terjaminnya ’al hurriyyah’ pada waktu itu juga, sangat memberikan kesan yang hebat kepada tercetusnya gerakan kebangkitan di Eropah yang akhirnya menatijahkan demokrasi. Penulis sangat yakin bahawa idea dan prinsip-prinsip demokrasi yang diperjuangkan oleh masyarakat barat juga menerima pengaruh intelektual Islam dengan terbuktinya karya-karya agung ilmuan Islam yang menjadi rujukan di barat.

Fiqh Demokrasi dan Hubungan Dengan Bukan Islam

Bagi maksud perbincangan ini, penulis ingin mengutarakan beberapa konsep yang perlu dijadikan dasar dan tasawwur sama ada di negara majoriti penduduk Islam dan juga di mana orang Islam adalah minoriti. Konsep ‘al Ukhuwat al Muwatinun’ dan ‘al Ukhuwat al Insaniyyah’ yang dianjurkan oleh pemikir kontemporari seperti Yusuf al Qaradhawi, Tariq Ramadhan, Fahmi Huwaidiy dan Muhammad Fathi Uthman perlu dijadikan topik perbincangan dan diberikan ruang yang sewajarnya untuk dijadikan satu pendekatan politik yang lebih segar dan berkesan khususnya dalam mengolah semula konsep ukhuwah dan hubungan dengan bukan Islam.

Di antara isu yang hingga ke hari ini ditimbulkan ialah hak-hak kaum minoriti di sesebuah negara yang majoritinya penduduk Islam dan ini termasuk Malaysia. Hakikatnya, ramai yang mengklasifikasikan kaum minoriti bukan Islam ini sebagai ahlu Zimmah. Menjelaskan konsep ahlu Zimmah dalam konteks masyarakat pada hari ini, Yusuf Al Qaradhawi di dalam bukunya ‘Al Din wa al Siyasah’ berpandangan bahawa istilah ini lebih bersesuaian digantikan dengan ‘al Ukhuwat al Muwatinun’. Pandangan ini amat bertepatan kerana istilah ahlu Zimmah ini asalnya terpakai kepada kaum minoriti yang membayar jizyah untuk mendapat jaminan perlindungan manakala pada hari ini kaum minoriti seperti di Malaysia adalah berbeza.

Istilah ‘al Ukhuwat al Muwatinun’ ini dilihat mampu memberikan tasawwur baru kepada metod dan pendekatan politik kepada golongan bukan Islam. Siddiq Fadhil seorang intelektual dan ulama haraki ini juga berpandangan bahawa konsep saudara senegara adalah amat bertepatan dalam merujuk kaum minoriti bukan Islam di Malaysia. Beliau memetik beberapa ayat Al-Qur’an yang tidak hanya menyebut persaudaraan keagamaan (Sesungguhnya orang-orang mukmin itu bersaudara) – al-Hujurat:10, malahan ada juga persaudaraan setanahair seperti yang dirakamkan oleh Allah Subanahuwata’ala di dalam beberapa ayat seperti (…akhuhum Nuh…) – al-Shu`ara’: 105, 106, (akhuhum Lut) al-Shu`ara’: 160,161, (akhuhum Hud) al-Shu`ara’: 124, dan (akhuhum Salih ) al-Shu`ara’:1 42. Kata akhuhum dalam ayat-ayat ini secara jelas member makna saudara. Malahan dalam aspek ini, Yusuf Al Qaradhawi mengesyorkan skim cukai yang sama rata ‘dharibah takaful’ dengan mengambil kira status sebagai warga negara atau saudara senegara dan bukan lagi dalam bentuk jizyah. Ini disepakati oleh Fahmi Huwaidi di dalam bukunya ‘Muwatinun la Dhimmiyun’ yang berpandangan bahawa istilah ahlu zimmah ini perlu digantikan dengan istilah yang lebih tepat dalam konteks negara bangsa.

Kerap kali menjadi topik hangat mengenai Islam mutakhir ini merujuk kepada isu tohmahan ketidakupayaan syariat untuk melindungi hak-hak asasi manusia. Tohmahan ini juga merupakan salah satu faktor menjadikan dakwah Islam dilihat tidak bersifat universal dan sering mendapat salah tanggapan umum. Persepsi seperti ini boleh diperbetulkan melalui konsep ’al Ukhuwat al Insaniyyah’ atau saudara sesama insan yang dibicarakan dengan terperinci oleh Yusuf al Qaradhawi. Istilah ini bukanlah perkara baru bahkan ia sebenarnya bertepatan dengan ruh ayat 70 surah al Isra yang bermaksud ”Dan sesungguhnya telah Kami muliakan anak-anak Adam”. Ayat ini dengan tegas mengatakan bahawa Allah memuliakan manusia dan mengiktiraf hak-hak asasi yang sebahagian besarnya adalah menjadi kewajipan setiap individu. Melalui intipati ayat ini, kerajaan, parti-parti politik, institusi dan mana-mana gerakan dakwah perlu memberi perhatian kepada pengutamaan dalam melindungi dan memperjuangkan hak-hak asasi manusia agar dapat dilihat keuniversalan Islam itu secara hakiki.

Hakikatnya, jika dihayati dasar-dasar dan perintah Allah di dalam al Quran dan sunnah rasulNya, terlalu banyak nilai-nilai dan prinsip-prinsip yang secara jelas menyentuh kewajipan menjamin hak-hak asasi. Dalam aspek ini, Muhammad Fathi Uthman di dalam bukunya ’Huquq al Insan baina al Shari’ah al Islamiyah wa al Fikri al Qanun al Gharbi’ menyatakan bahawa Islam lebih unggul melindungi hak-hak asasi manusia berbanding agama lain tidak kira sama ada ia bersifat peribadi, pemikiran, politik, undang-undang, sosial dan ekonomi. Sehubungan dengan itu, parti-parti politik, gerakan dakwah Islam, institusi dan individu boleh mengambil pendekatan yang lebih terbuka dengan mengambil kira nilai-nilai yang bersifat universal. Gerakan dalam bentuk yang lebih universal ke arah menjamin keharmonian dan kerukunan masyarakat merupakan pendekatan yang amat relevan dalam konteks masyarakat masa kini.

Fiqh Demokrasi dan Tahaluf Siyasi

Antara perkara yang sehingga kini masih menjadi perdebatan ialah isu perkongsian kuasa dengan bukan Islam atau dalam istilah tersohornya iaitu ‘tahaluf siyasi’. Ironinya, di saat amalan politiknya sudah jelas termasuk di Malaysia bahawa sudah terlaksana konsep perkongsian kuasa ini untuk sekian lamanya, masih ada segelintir umat Islam yang kembali mempersoalkan keharusan ‘tahaluf siyasi’ ini. Hinggakan sudah ada gerakan dan arus baru yang cuba mempengaruhi umat Islam menentang bentuk perkongsian kuasa dengan bukan Islam walaupun dari segi fiqh waqi’nya adalah tidak realistik.

Isu tahaluf siyasi ini sebenarnya boleh difahami dengan mudah sekiranya fiqh sirah itu difahami secara menyeluruh ditambah dengan kefahaman konsep al ukhuwat al muwatinun dan al ukhuwat al insaniyah yang dibicarakan diatas. Terdapat beberapa peristiwa penting di mana Rasulullah mendapatkan khidmat orang bukan Islam termasuk kisah Hifl al Fudhul dan amalan para pemerintah Islam terdahulu di mana kesemua ini secara tidak langsung membuktikan keharusan untuk bertahaluf siyasi ini.

Antara bentuk ‘tahaluf siyasi’ yang paling awal dalam sejarah Islam ialah ketika Rasulullah menganggotai Hilf al fudhul iaitu sebuah pakatan di kalangan orang-orang musyrikin untuk memelihara keamanan dan melindungi golongan mustad`afin. Siddiq Fadhil di dalam ucapannya semasa Konvensyen Wadah Percerdasan Umat menukilkan peristiwa ini sebagai bukti jelas keharusan untuk bertahaluf siyasi ini. Malahan beliau merujuk kepada hadith yang disabdakan oleh Rasulullah yang bermaksud “Andainya sesudah Islam (sekarang ini) aku dipanggil untuk menyertai (pakatan) seperti itu lagi, nescaya aku akan menyahutnya”.

Kisah Hisham ibn Amr al Amiriy yang memperjudikan nyawa dan kehidupannya apabila membantu Rasulullah dan keluarga ketika peristiwa pemulauan selama tiga tahun juga mesti dijadikan rujukan dalam memahami isu ini. Hisham ibn Amr al Amiriy masih lagi tidak beriman kepada Allah tetapi secara sukarela membantu Rasulullah atas dasar kemanusiaan dan inilah yang dinamakan sebagai ‘al ukhuwat al insaniyah’. Ini diikuti oleh kisah Abdullah Ibn Urayqith yang menjadi penunjuk jalan Rasululullah ketika berhijrah ke Madinah. Abdullah Ibn Urayqith adalah orang bukan Islam dan Rasulullah bersetuju dengan Abu Bakar al Siddiq untuk menggunakan khidmatnya dalam peristiwa hijrah yang paling agung itu.

Mungkin penjelasan oleh Yusuf al Qaradhawi dalam bukunya Min Fiqh al Dawlah fi al Islam mengenai isu ini adalah antara yang terbaik untuk dirujuk. Yusuf al Qaradhawi menjelaskan bahawa isu memilih wakil rakyat tidak termasuk dalam bab imarah atau wilayah malahan wakil rakyat bukanlah dianggap sebagai wali. Kedudukan ini mengharuskan untuk umat Islam melantik wakil mereka dari kalangan bukan Islam. Wakil rakyat hanyalah individu yang mewakili masyarakat dalam kawasan tertentu yang bertanggungjawab untuk menyuarakan kepentingan rakyat dan tidak berautoriti untuk menentukan hukum hakam sesuatu perkara. Dalam konteks di Malaysia, wakil rakyat sama sekali tidak terlibat dalam menentukan hukum hakam kerana bidangkuasanya hanya melibatkan hal ehwal masyarakat setempat yang diwakilinya. Bukan itu sahaja, Yusuf al Qaradawi juga berpandangan bahawa memberikan ruang orang bukan Islam untuk menganggotai majlis perwakilan juga adalah salah satu tuntutan untuk berlaku adil kepada semua.

Fiqh Intikhabat (Pilihanraya) dan Kewajipan Mengundi

Secara umumnya, masih ramai yang mengambil mudah tentang kewajipan mengundi. Mungkin keadaan di Malaysia yang majoritinya Muslim antara faktor perkara ini diambil mudah. Berbanding di Malaysia, kuasa undi Muslim di Negara majoriti orang bukan Islam adalah sangat signifikan seperti di Eropah dan Amerika. Hinggakan ramai ulama termasuk Rashid Ghanoushi yang mewajibkan umat Islam untuk mengundi walaupun calon yang dipilih itu bukan Islam. Dalam situasi ini, umat Islam adalah diperlukan untuk mengundi calon yang kurang mafsadahnya sama ada kepada Muslim mahupun kepada Islam itu sendiri.

Bagi membicarakan aspek ini, mengundi harus dilihat sebagai sesuatu yang lebih daripada tanggungjawab sebagai warganegara. Kewajipan mengundi wakil rakyat mahupun ahli parlimen perlu dianggap sebagai ibadah dan ianya sangat dekat dengan konsep kesaksian. Dalam aspek ini, Yusuf al Qaradawi menekankan bahawa mengundi itu merupakan salah satu bentuk penyaksian yang tidak boleh ditolak apabila sampai masanya. Malahan tidak mengundi boleh dianggap sebagai menyembunyikan penyaksian yang bertentangan dengan tuntutan Islam.

Amat menarik untuk meneliti pandangan Siddiq Fadhil dalam analisanya mengenai konsep kesaksian dalam konteks pilihanraya ini. Beliau berpandangan bahawa kesaksian melalui peti undi ini merujuk kepada “pernyataan sikap dan penilaian yang jujur terhadap kelayakan seseorang calon dan partinya, berdasarkan kriteria asas: qawiyyun amin (kuat dan dapat dipercaya) dan hafizun `alim (berintegriti moral dan berkompetensi intelektual)”. Dalam aspek ini, beliau juga menekankan kelayakan bukan sahaja merujuk kepada calon yang ingin dipilih tetapi juga pengundi-pengundinya yang harus memenuhi syarat kesaksian iaitu saksi yang adil (keadilan).

Secara ringkasnya, dapatlah difahami bahawa fiqh intikhabat ini menuntut umat Islam untuk menyatakan penyaksian mereka kepada calon-calon pilihanraya yang layak melalui tanggungjawab untuk membuang undi. Islam melihat mengundi bukan hanya tanggungjawab sebagai warganegara tetapi ia merupakan ibadah dan kewajipan yang mesti dilaksanakan bersesuaian dengan konsep kesaksian dalam Islam. Kegagalan untuk menyatakan penyaksian ini melalui undi boleh dianggap sebagai salah satu bentuk penyembunyian kesaksian yang dilarang dalam Islam. Bayangkan sekiranya umat Islam cuai untuk melaksanakan kewajipan ini dan akhirnya calon yang dipilih membawa mafsadah kepada agama dan Muslim itu sendiri, pada waktu itulah kita akan memahami betapa pentingnya kesaksian ini dizahirkan melalui undi.

Fiqh Demokrasi dan Demonstrasi Aman

Antara elemen fiqh siyasi yang dibicarakan secara mendalam oleh ramai fuqaha kontemporari termasuk Yusuf al Qaradhawi, Rashid Ghanoushi, Tariq Ramadan dan ramai lagi ialah keharusan untuk berdemonstrasi dan protes secara aman. Walaupun telah ada fatwa yang melarang rakyat untuk berdemonstrasi bersandarkan hujah bidaah, perbuatan yang terkeluar dari kaedah Islam, sadd al zarai’ dan lain-lain, penulis sangat tertarik dengan metod Yusuf al Qaradhawi menyantuni pandangan ekstrim ini dengan penuh berhemah. Dengan melihat fiqh waqi’ sesuai dengan perkembangan dunia Islam, beliau mengambil pendekatan yang sangat dinamik dan pandangan beliau ini adalah sangat signifikan dalam mempengaruhi gerakan kebangkitan Islam di dunia.

Amat menarik pandangan Yusuf al Qaradhawi ini apabila beliau secara santai menjawab tohmahan ini dan menolak pandangan yang menyatakan demonstrasi aman ini adalah haram. Bagi menguatkan hujah ini, beliau memetik peristiwa Umar al Khattab di awal pengIslamannya di dalam buku bertajuk ’Thaurah Shaab’. Beliau menukilkan bagaimana Umar al Khattab meminta restu Rasulullah untuk menyatakan kebenaran di jalanan bersama-sama dengan beberapa sahabat yang lain. Rasulullah telah memberi keizinan dan restu baginda dan sejurus itulah Umar al Khattab mengetuai sahabat-sahabat yang lain berdemonstrasi secara aman menyatakan kebenaran di depan kaum Musyrikin Mekah pada waktu itu. Peristiwa itu dirakamkan sebagai antara demonstrasi jalanan yang paling awal dalam sejarah Islam.

Keharusan berdemonstrasi aman ini bukan sahaja dapat dibuktikan melalui peristiwa Umar al Khattab di atas malahan ia juga bersandarkan kepada kaedah usul fiqh dan qawaid fiqh. Dengan menggunakan kaedah masalih mursalah, perantaraan mempunyai hukum yang sama dengan tujuan, sadd al zarai’ dan dalil daripada al sunnah, adalah boleh disimpulkan bahawa demonstrasi jalanan dan protes secara aman adalah harus. Bahkan adalah berdosa besar kepada pihak berkuasa yang mencederakan pendemonstrasi ini dan mereka dianggap sebagai golongan yang zalim dan bakal menerima azab Allah.

Penutup

Artikel ini secara ringkas memilih dan membicarakan beberapa isu berkaitan dengan fiqh demokrasi dan kaitannya dengan PRU13. Isu-isu terpilih yang diketengahkan ini adalah sangat relevan bagi memahami konsep demokrasi, pilihanraya, kewajipan mengundi, hubungan dengan bukan Islam dan lain-lain bersesuaian dengan semangat untuk melalui PRU13 yang bakal menjelang tiba. Penulis merujuk kepada pandangan-pandangan ulama dan pemikir kontemporari yang amat bersesuaian dan bertepatan dengan konteks semasa dan masyarakat setempat. Fiqh demokrasi dan fiqh intikhabat ini perlu difahami secara jujur dan ikhlas oleh umat Islam dan seterusnya diaplikasikan dalam kehidupan. InsyaAllah, satu masa nanti umat Islam akan dapat menyaksikan kebangkitan Islam yang pastinya akan menjadi rahmat untuk sekalian alam.

Penulis akui bahawa sesuatu yang idealistik itu agak sukar untuk dicapai dalam masa yang singkat bahkan perlu melalui perjalanan yang berliku-liku. Imam Hasan Al Banna yang menubuhkan Ikhwanul Muslimin pada 1928, bibit kejayaannya hanya dapat disaksikan ketika kejayaan Revolusi Tahrir pada 2011. Sebagai seorang Muslim, warganegara Malaysia, sudah tentu penulis mengimpikan satu sistem politik demokrasi Malaysia yang sihat dan beretika. Bukan itu sahaja, penulis mengharapkan politik Malaysia satu hari nanti dibudayakan dan disistemkan dengan politik berasaskan fakta, ilmu, kebenaran dan etika yang semuanya ini bersandarkan kepada prinsip-prinsip Islam. Pada waktu itu, semua dasar, polisi, perancangan dan agenda politik dipandu oleh rasa amanah dan tanggungjawab atau taklif menegakkan syiar Islam di muka bumi ini.

Rujukan

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Al Qaradhawi, Yusuf. (2010). Al Watan wa al Muwatanah. Kaherah: Dar al Shuruq.
Al Qaradhawi, Yusuf. (1999). Min Fiqh al Dawlat fi al Islam. Kaherah: Dar al Shuruq
Bayat, Asef. (2010). Islam and Democracy: What is the Real Question?. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
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Ghanoushi, Rashid. (2012). Al Dimuqratiah wa al Huquq al Insan fi al Islam. Qatar: Al Jazeera Center.
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John L. Esposito, John Obert Voll. (1996). Islam and Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Tamimi, Azzam. (1993). Rachid Ghannouchi: A Democrat Within Islamism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Uthman, Muhammad Fathi. (2010). Huquq al Insan Bayn al Shari’ah al Islamiya wa al Fikru al Qanuni al Gharbi. Kaherah: Dar al Jamiah al Jadidah.

The Strange Alliance of Clerics and Businessmen in Saudi Arabia

The Strange Alliance of Clerics and Businessmen in Saudi Arabia

ZVIKA KRIEGERMAR Available at: http://m.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/03/mcmecca-the-strange-alliance-of-clerics-and-businessmen-in-saudi-arabia/274146/

The mosque is one of Islam’s most important religious sites, to which all Muslims face while praying. The sections being destroyed date back to the Ottoman and Abbasid period and are the last remaining parts of the compound that are more than a few hundred years old. “One column which is believed to have been ripped down is supposed to mark the spot where Muslims believe Muhammad began his heavenly journey on a winged horse, which took him to Jerusalem and heaven in a single night,” The Independent reports.

Though the Saudi government argues that the demolition is part of a plan to expand the Grand Mosque complex to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims to the site, it seems strange that the theocratic government, controlled by extremist Wahhabi clerics, would so wantonly destroy Islamic holy sites. It is a paradox I encountered when I visited Mecca a few years ago reporting a story for The New Republic about the growing commercialization of Islam’s holiest city:

A report by the Saudi British Bank (SABB), one of the kingdom’s biggest lenders, estimates that $30 billion will be invested in construction and infrastructure in Mecca over the next four years from local and foreign companies. Up to 130 new skyscrapers are anticipated, including the $6 billion Abraj Al Bait Towers, a seven-tower project that, once completed in 2009, will be one of the largest buildings in the world, with a 60-floor, 2,000-room hotel; a 1,500-person convention center; two heliports; and a four-story mall that will house, among 600 other outlets, Starbucks, The Body Shop, U.K.-based clothing line Topshop (Kate Moss is a guest designer), and Tiffany & Co. En route to the hajj, pilgrims already have the opportunity to stop at cosmetic superstore MAC, perfumery VaVaVoom, and Claire’s Accessories. H&M and Cartier are on the way. “All the top brands are flocking here,” says John Sfakianakis, SABB’s chief economist. “The only thing missing is Filene’s Basement.”
It is not surprising that commercial interests are flocking to the city: Approximately 2.4 million pilgrims visited Mecca in 2008, and some estimate that the number could rise to 20 million within the next few years. But developers and retailers have found an unlikely ally in Wahhabi clerics, who consider the veneration of historical sites to be a form of idolatry, and are happy to see all them demolished.

“It is not permitted to glorify buildings and historical sites,” proclaimed Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Baz, then the kingdom’s highest religious authority, in a much-publicized fatwa in 1994. “Such action would lead to polytheism. … [S]o it is necessary to reject such acts and to warn others away from them.”

A pamphlet published last year by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, endorsed by Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, and distributed at the Prophet’s Mosque, where Mohammed, Abu Bakr, and the Islamic Caliph Umar ibn Al Khattab are buried, reads, “The green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet’s Mosque,” according to Irfan Al Alawi, executive director of the London-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation. This shocking sentiment was echoed in a speech by the late Muhammad ibn Al Uthaymeen, one of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent Wahhabi clerics, who delivered sermons in Mecca’s Grand Mosque for over 35 years: “We hope one day we’ll be able to destroy the green dome of the Prophet Mohammed,” he said, in a recording provided by Al Alawi.

The unholy alliance means that a handful of archeologists and conservationists, as well as foreign NGOs, are the only voices trying to prevent the destruction of these sites. The recent demolitions at the Grand Mosque are just the latest victims of this intersection of commercial and religious interests:

Sami Angawi, the founder and former director of Mecca’s Hajj Research Center and the most vocal opponent of the destruction of Mecca’s historic sites … estimates that over 300 antiquity sites in Mecca and Medina have already been destroyed [by 2008], such as the house of the first caliph, Abu Bakr, which was leveled to make room for the Mecca Hilton Hotel. (According to Ivor McBurney, a spokesman for Hilton, “We saw the tremendous opportunities to tap into Saudi Arabia’s religious tourism segment.”)

Over protests by groups like the Islamic Supreme Council of America and the Muslim Canadian Congress, Saudi authorities have authorized the destruction of hundreds of antiquities, such as an important eighteenth-century Ottoman fortress in Mecca that was razed to make way for the Abraj Al Bait Towers– a move the Turkish foreign minister condemned as “cultural genocide.” An ancient house belonging to Mohammed was recently razed to make room for, among other developments, a public toilet facility. An ancient mosque belonging to Abu Bakr has now been replaced by an ATM machine. And the sites of Mohammed’s historic battles at Uhud and Badr have been, with a perhaps unconscious nod to Joni Mitchell, paved to put up a parking lot. The remaining historical religious sites in Mecca can be counted on one hand and will likely not make it much past the next hajj, Angawi says: “It is incredible how little respect is paid to the house of God.”

According to the Washington-based Gulf Institute, almost 95 percent of Mecca’s millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades alone. When I questioned Habib Zain Al Abideen, the Saudi deputy minister of municipal and rural affairs, head of all the kingdom’s hajj-related construction projects, about the destruction of historical sites in Mecca, he seemed unconcerned about their religious significance. More important to him was that the hajj was “a good opportunity to visit Mecca and Medina, do some shopping, make a vacation out of it.”

Regards
Zulkifli Hasan

P1050950
With Dr. Nizam and Dr. Syahmi in front of the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy (The world famous painting of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper is inside this building).

THE ROLE OF RELIGION BEFORE AND AFTER THE ARAB UPRISINGS

THE ROLE OF RELIGION BEFORE AND AFTER THE ARAB UPRISINGS 22/02/2013

Tariq Ramadan Available at: http://www.tariqramadan.com/spip.php?article12780

There are two schools of thought about the Arab uprisings, and both are inappropriate, mistaken and ultimately will prove to be counter-productive. The first is that the social, political, economic and cultural influence of Islam in Arab societies can only be understood through the prism of Islamist organisations. The largely Muslim protestors who have been the driving force behind the Arab awakening would like society to evolve in ways consistent both with tradition and the modern era. But that doesn’t mean western-style modernity and its ideas on freedom, democracy and knowledge.

“We are not finished with Islam,” warns Olivier Roy. It remains to be seen what the nature of Islamic society will be once the heat of the uprisings has cooled. Will it remain very different to that of West alterity, perpetuating a historical relationship founded on a balance of power, on trauma and tension? Or will it simply vanish, merging into what former Spanish Prime Minister José-Maria Aznar has called the “single civilisation of the civilized” that he sees as the ultimate stage of globalisation?

Given that globalisation of our economies, cultures and communications is generating crises that no society anywhere in the world can avoid, the key issue is twofold. Is the West, despite its strong culture and with all the means at its disposal, in a position to eliminate the tensions that plague the very order it has been instrumental in creating? Can other civilisations – China, India, South America and majority Muslim societies – contribute to building the future by offering another vision, other priorities and other goals? And in doing so, can they help to find solutions to global problems and reform our world?

The second of these two questions – seen from a point of view of Islam as a civilisation and as a religion – takes on its full importance. In the onrush of globalisation, with the blurring of familiar landmarks and with tensions proliferating, what can the Islamic reference hope to offer at a political, social, economic and cultural level? And what should be its ethical contribution? To recognise objectively that people are attached to Islam does not necessarily mean that the Islamic reference will automatically enable believers to break free from the restraints that in the past and the present have often held them back. Muslims need to use their faith, principles and guidance more constructively and creatively to determine how to live their lives with greater assertiveness and belief in themselves. It is critically important to feel confident and not be so defensive as to automatically play the role of the victim. We must avoid falling into the traps of fatalism and conspiracy theory to explain the Arab awakening.

In other words, can Arabs, and Muslims in general, emerge from the uprisings in such a way that they refuse to see the history of the Arab spring either in Western terms or as an instrument of Western power? Muslims must therefore reconcile themselves with their own traditions and ask themselves the sort of questions that will make it possible for them to define themselves in contemporary terms. The same reference must commit them to participating fully in history, making them active subjects endowed with free thought and masters of their fate.

The big question is how ready are Muslim populations to contribute fully to the debates and the challenges of our times? We are witnessing a profound Arab awakening that it is possible to get rid of dictators. Yet the situation remains unsettled in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and above all Syria. The Islamists have won in Tunisia and Egypt, but they are facing attacks from within, especially from the Salafi groups trying to take advantage and gain popular support. There is clearly an internal religious struggle over who is the true “representative” of Islam. And there are also divisions among the Sunni Muslims that divert them from tackling priorities like education, social justice, economic stability and anti-corruption policies. At the regional level, the opposition between Sunni and Shia is having a dangerous impact with people falling into the sectarian trap in their attitudes to the civil war in Syria. Islam could provide a set of ethical values and principles that helps populations to reconcile their differences through their common legacy of history and culture. But instead of providing a common reference, it can also divide people and prevent them from moving on and addressing their true problems. We are now seeing religious populism spreading as Salafi literalists take advantage of an Islamophobic video that is resulting in blind violence and a rejection of the United States and the West. The non-violent and disciplined way in which millions of people chose to get rid of their dictators risks being lost to violent minorities who use emotional politics to create internal divisions.

Egypt is a good example, and itself faces a serious and complex situation. The violent clashes between opponents and supporters of President Mohammed Morsi have produced deaths and injuries just as Egypt should have been moving toward democracy and political stability, but the two years since late January 2011, when protests against Hosni Mubarak started, have witnessed increasing turmoil and confusion. Islamists and secularists are at each other’s throats. The emergence of the literalist hardliner Salafis, the shadowy role of the armed forces along with direct and indirect foreign involvement, have all combined to block Egypt’s attempts at normalisation. Never have democracy and stability seemed so far off as today.

By examining several key factors, though, we can still make some educated guesses about short- and long-term developments. Certain forces, particularly the Salafis, are doing everything they can to divert Egypt away from democracy. Some elements of the former regime like the armed forces and the secularists are working behind the scenes to increase tensions and undercut the new Morsi government. Their aim is to bring the country’s political transition to a halt. When President Morsi mentioned pressure tactics, plots and manipulation in a recent speech, he was describing the situation quite accurately. Some of his opponents are using manipulation and destabilisation tactics; others, populism and mass agitation.

The West should breathe a sigh of relief. The assumption of power by the Islamists may well offer them even more opportunities than under the former dictatorship. Little fault can be found with the pragmatism demonstrated by the Islamists in recent years, and their abandonment of some principles of political ethics has been eye opening. The latent power of the Islamist movements as an opposition force has turned to weakness since taking power: their obsession with recognition and national and international credibility has forced them to make a great many compromises and has trapped them in contradictions that sap their strength.

The paradox is striking: the dangerous political opponents of yesterday’s Egypt may in power become today’s weak allies. Weakened by authority and wielding objectively limited power, the Islamists find themselves facing political forces that include both Salafis and secularists and institutions, both financial and military, that undermine their ability to bring about reforms. The outlook could not be more serious: far from there being a genuine Arab spring, the Middle East as a whole has shown no awareness of transnational political imperatives. On the contrary, nationalist and sectarian ideologies are handing Arab countries over to foreign powers and their interests.

Religion is everywhere in the wake of the Arab uprisings, but not in the best way. The Middle East is going through a very difficult time with all the Muslim majority countries being destabilised. So it is up to the elites in Arab society to take responsibility in facing up to these challenges. Without the commitment and determination of religious scholars, intellectuals and business leaders, there is little doubt that Muslim majority societies will head for an upsurge of religious populism. Yet there is hope, providing Arabs and Africans can harness positively their history and their religious and cultural references, their language and their singularity.

Regards
Zulkifli Hasan
11012009320
Vigil for Gaza

Britain to promote London as major Islamic financial hub

Britain to promote London as major Islamic financial hub

Available at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/03/13/293385/islamic/

The UK government has established a new task force with the ambitious objective of promoting the capital city of London as a centre for Islamic financial activities, local media reported.

The plan dubbed ‘Islamic Finance Task Force’ has been launched to make London a preferred choice for Muslims around the world to make investments and do business in the city as the European financial hub, the economictimes reported.

Greg Clark, financial secretary to the UK Treasury and co-chair of the task force described the project as a “perfect example of our ambition to promote London as a leading financial centre and attract inward investment for the wider economy.”

The project is being introduced as a bid to counter increasing competition from global Islamic hubs such as Dubai [United Arab Emirates] and Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia].

The task force is also planning to host the World Islamic Economic Forum in London in October, which is the first time that the forum is being held outside Asia or an Islamic city.

“We expect the global market for Islamic financial services to experience significant growth over the coming years, but feedback from decision makers in the Middle East and South-East Asia suggests there is a lack of awareness of the UK industry and that we should be doing more to promote the sector,” said Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, senior minister of state at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the second co-chair of the task force.

“There are also major opportunities to attract investment into the UK as demand for Islamic finance increases from private investors and Sovereign Wealth Funds,” Warsi added.

Britain’s minister of trade and investment, Lord Green, and minister of state for international development Alan Duncan will provide additional ministerial support to the team.

Regards
Zulkifli Hasan
P1050491
Oxford University

Profit Shortfall Slows Shariah Bank Expansion: Islamic Finance

Profit Shortfall Slows Shariah Bank Expansion: Islamic Finance

By Yudith Ho Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-05/profit-gap-slows-shariah-bank-growth-islamic-finance-correct-.html

Islamic banks say their small scale and a lack of risk-management products makes it harder for them to compete, after Ernst & Young LLP warned lower profitability threatens to slow expansion of the $1.8 trillion industry.
The average return on equity at Shariah-compliant lenders was 11.6 percent in 2011, compared with 15.3 percent at their non-Islamic counterparts, according to a December report by Ernst & Young that covered 12 countries. The use of hedging and treasury solutions is lagging behind, Haszeri Hussin, head of Islamic global markets at Hong Leong Islamic Bank Bhd. (HLBK), a unit of Malaysia’s fourth-biggest lender, said in a March 1 interview.

Financial holdings that comply with the religion’s ban on interest will grow at least 11 percent in 2013 to more than $2 trillion, compared with average annual expansion of 19 percent over the past four years, Ernst & Young forecast. Shariah banks had an average $17 billion of assets in 2011, less than the $65 billion for non-Islamic lenders, resulting in operating costs as a proportion of holdings that were 50 percent higher, said Ashar Nazim, the company’s global head of Islamic banking.
“Most Islamic banks have very basic risk infrastructure and most of these institutions operate in domestic markets which are highly competitive,” Nazim said in a Feb. 28 interview from Bahrain. “Growth is becoming more challenging to achieve.”
‘More Conservative’

The International Islamic Financial Market, a Bahrain-based standards-setting body, only endorsed the Shariah-complaint equivalent of interest-rate swaps in Malaysia in November 2011 and then announced a globally accepted format last March.
Banks including CIMB Group Holdings Ltd. (CIMB) and HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) asked Indonesian authorities to allow Islamic products to be used to hedge against exchange-rate swings, Adiwarman Azwar Karim, a member of Indonesia’s National Shariah Board, said in August. Shariah-compliant currency hedging products, available in Malaysia and some Gulf Cooperation Council countries, are not widely used. The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.
Islamic “banks are forced to be more conservative in their investments as the risk-management tools aren’t there,” Raj Mohamad, managing director at Singapore-based consulting company Five Pillars Pte., said in a Feb. 25 interview. “Overheads are much higher as a proportion because of their small size.”

Slower growth may damp demand for Shariah-compliant bonds, sales of which have dropped 12 percent this year to $7 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Issuance reached a record $46.4 billion in 2012.

Wage Costs

AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics in Lahore, Pakistan, estimated last month that there is a global shortage of about 50,000 professionals in the industry. That has led to costs rising for Shariah-compliant lenders as they are forced to pay higher wages to attract and retain staff, Ernst & Young’s Nazim said.

The average yield on global Shariah-compliant notes was steady at 2.85 percent yesterday, the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index shows. The premium investors demand to hold the securities over the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, widened one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 176 basis points.

Islamic debt sold internationally has returned 0.5 percent this year, according to the HSBC/Nasdaq index, compared with a 1.4 percent decline in emerging-market notes, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index shows.

Small Base

Shariah banking may still grow about 50 percent faster in coming years than the overall financial sector in several major markets, according to the Ernst & Young report. Indonesia’s industry may expand fivefold to $83 billion by 2015, while Turkey’s may triple in size in the next decade to more than $100 billion, it said.
“All in all Islamic banking growth will still outpace the conventional, because of the smaller base and increasing awareness,” said Five Pillar’s Mohamad. “More and more people see Islamic finance as a value proposition instead of just a religious choice.”

The lag in profitability was more pronounced in Southeast Asia, where the ratio between profit and equity was 14 percent for Shariah lenders and 19 percent for the non-Islamic banks, according to the Ernst & Young report. The study compared non- Islamic and Shariah lenders in Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The total assets figure was based on data from 22 Islamic banking markets.

Market Share

Shariah-compliant financial holdings make up 19 percent of Malaysia’s banking system and 4.2 percent of Indonesia’s, central bank data show. That compares with 49 percent in Saudi Arabia and 33 percent in Kuwait.
“Only once the market share is equal can Islamic banks truly compete in terms of profitability,” Hendiarto Yogiono, finance director at PT Bank Muamalat Indonesia, the nation’s second-largest Islamic lender, said in a March 1 interview in Jakarta. “We are now focused simply on expanding our loans business until profitability eventually improves as a function of larger scale and a more mature industry.”

Regards
Zulkifli Hasan
SDC10199
Estadio Santiago De Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain

IFSA milestone for Islamic finance

IFSA milestone for Islamic finance

Our Islamic finance industry is poised and ready for more great things.

By Badlisyah Abdul Ghani Available at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2013/03/04/ifsa-milestone-for-islamic-finance/

Often times, when a general election draws near, I usually get a bit nostalgic and proud of what my country has achieved within 56 short years as an independent and sovereign nation.
It also gets me excited about what else we, as Malaysians, can do to better ourselves as a nation of dreamers and builders.
Naturally, as a Malaysian who has been involved in the Islamic finance industry globally, I am especially proud of what my country has achieved in this field over the years. The industry’s humble beginning in Malaysia started formally in 1963 when Lembaga Tabung Haji was established by the government to facilitate savings among Muslims in a syariah-compliant manner to prepare for their haj.

I am too young (since I was not born yet at that time) to know what actually transpired then, but I am glad it did happen because it led to the creation of the first regulated licensed Islamic bank in the world, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, 20 years later. A great many things happened after that, including the establishment of the first licensed takaful company in the world, the first licensed Islamic window operations and the first licensed Islamic asset manager.
Islamic finance was the epitome of the democratisation of the financial market in Malaysia. It brought about real financial inclusion for all.

There are just too many deliberate and structured developments that the industry players, the government of the day and the financial regulators did since then to develop the industry for me to mention here. As such, suffice for me to say that they were generally positive developments that helped propel Malaysia further as a global leader in the industry every step of the way.

Nonetheless, what I will identify as the most important development made, which helped change the world’s view on Islamic finance, is the institutionalisation of a comprehensive legislative, regulatory, legal and syariah framework for the industry in Malaysia – the first of its kind since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. I dare say that this can and should be considered as one of the most significant paradigm shifting events in mankind’s modern hi story. All Malaysians should hold their heads high for this contribution to modern civilisation.

Thirty years haved passed and today, as a result of the comprehensive framework established, Malaysia has become the largest, deepest and broadest Islamic finance market anywhere in the world with the most comprehensive product offerings – from the simplest basic savings product to the most sophisticated investment products for everyone and anyone in the country, be they individuals or corporate bodies, residents or foreigners, Muslims or non-Muslims.

Clearer sense of destiny

As I contemplate on what to expect in Malaysia post the 13th general election (GE13), I can’t help but be excited with the prospect of Islamic finance moving forward. The reason for my excitement is because finally after 50 years of existence in the country, Islamic finance is being given the needed facelift and makeover.

Unbeknown to many, come May 2, the comprehensive legislative, regulatory, legal and syariah framework that has propelled the Malaysian Islamic industry to be where it is today will be overhauled, refreshed and strengthened in the much-awaited Islamic Financial Services Act (IFSA).

Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry is ready to move forward.

The new IFSA, read together with the Central Bank Act (CBA), provides a much stronger and more effective platform for Islamic finance, unparalleled with any other platform anywhere else in the world.

Islamic finance is now, for the first time, completely institutionalised as a component of the Malaysian financial market by parliamentary legislation.

Its future posterity and prosperity cannot be subjected to the whims and fancies of any individual who may or may not believe in Islamic finance.
Any fundamental change in the industry must now be congruent with what Parliament has set and if it is not, then only Parliament can make the change.
The sanctity and certainty of syariah management and governance in the industry has also been embedded and institutionalised comprehensively in parliamentary legislation.

The IFSA and the CBA clearly define the different duties and responsibilities of all parties in the industry in regard to syariah-compliance and help clarify the relationship between the financial regulators, the licensed financial institutions and the judiciary. It is the first time such thing has ever been done in the world. As a result, the certainty of doing business in the Islamic finance industry will be better than ever and will provide a very conducive platform for the industry to grow bigger and better. Perhaps it is time people look at doing global sukuk issuance under Reg S or 144A using Malaysian law instead of English law.

I anticipate there will be a period of adjustment for the industry in Malaysia as we take in the various changes that the industry will have to go through post the IFSA.

Once everything settles down, I foresee many new product offerings coming up and the Islamic financial institutions attaining a more enhanced competitive edge in the market vis-a-vis conventional riba-based financial institutions. I see the industry entering into its next 50 years of development with a renewed confidence and clearer sense of destiny.

Yes! Our country’s GE13 is coming and as much as I am intrigued like everyone else about the possible outcome of our democratic election, the one thing that I am sure of is that irrespective of the election result, our Islamic finance industry is poised and ready for more great things. I would urge all my fellow proponents of Islamic finance to be ready for the next push.

Regards
Zulkifli Hasan
P1170460
Cairo, Egypt