Turkey builds up new Islamic finance tools

Turkey builds up new Islamic finance tools

ISTANBUL – Reuters Available at: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-builds-up-new-islamic-finance-tools.aspx?pageID=238&nID=47901&NewsCatID=346

As Turkey seeks to boost political and commercial ties with the Gulf and diversify its borrowing, one of the Muslim world’s most dynamic economies is developing an Islamic finance industry which could rival current volumes in Malaysia – the world’s top sukuk issuer – within a decade.

The new rules, which were sent to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s office for approval this week, will allow Turkish corporates and banks, as well as the Treasury, to issue the world’s most widely used types of sukuk, giving them access to a wider pool of investors via a global market estimated at more than $100 billion.

“Islamic finance is just like halal food, there may be two reasons to choose it,” said Mustafa Cetin, head of financial institutions at the Turkish arm of Bahrain-based Islamic lender Al Baraka.

“Either you prefer interest-free products or you find the cost of borrowing, the taste, attractive.”

Turkey’s islamic banks are known locally as ‘participation banks’ in part reflecting public sensitivities. But nervousness about Islamic finance has eased in recent years, helped by growth of the sector in Western economies. Just over a year after its debut dollar-denominated sukuk issue, Turkey’s Capital Markets Authority (SPK) is finalising regulations on five new types of Islamic bond as the country aims to become a major issuer of Islamic debt.

Turkey aims to turn its economic and cultural capital Istanbul into a major financial centre. It foresees $350 billion of infrastructure spending on the project, with Islamic finance expected to be one of the major sources.

Turkey has begun to open the doors to giving new banking licenses after the 2001 banking crisis, with no exception for interest-free Islamic banks, called participation banks.

As of now four banks have operated in the participation banking industry: Bank Asya, Türkiye Finans, Albaraka Türk and Kuveyt Türk. They constitute 5.3 percent of the Turkish banking industry. The state-run banks, Ziraat Bank and Halkbank, will also establish new participation banks.

ZUlkifli Hasan
With my family in Istanbul





Ramadhan is the greatest month and the best time for self-regulation and self-training. There are numerous benefits to those who are fasting during Ramadhan either from spiritual or physical perspectives. The positive effects of Ramadhan and fasting have not only been mentioned in al Quran and al Sunnah but also by many scientific researches. In fact, there are few institutions that have been established to promote fasting as a way to prevent and heal diseases such as “Fasting Center International Incorporation” in the United States of America. This brief article attempts to highlight several interesting findings about Ramadhan and Fasting effects from four different perspectives namely economic, health and sciences, psychological and social point of views.

Understanding the Wisdom of Ramadhan and Fasting

Economic Perspective

According to the study undertaken by the University of New Hampshire led by Iranian-born finance Professor Ahmad Etebari, stocks in largely Muslim nations outperform during the month of Ramadhan. It is found that on average, stock returns are 9 times higher during Ramadhan than other times of year. The phenomenon is called the “Ramadan Effect.”

Between the stock markets of Bahrain, Oman, Turkey, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, the report identified a trend of considerably higher returns during Ramadhan as compared to other months. The study found that the average returns for the 15 countries from the database of 1989 to 2007 were 38% during the month of Ramadhan as compared to an average of 4.3% during ordinary months. The research reveals that that the social cohesion and institutional feelings attains during Ramadhan help influence the investments behavior.

Health and Science Perspective

In 1994 the first International Congress on “Health and Ramadhan”, held in Casablanca, entered 50 research papers from all over the world from Muslim and non-Muslim researchers who have done extensive studies on the medical ethics of fasting. The congress made recommendations that Ramadhan fasting is an ideal method for treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin dependent diabetes, obesity and essential hypertension.

Allan Cott, in his famous book “Why Fast”, states that fasting has the effects to clean out the body; to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and to let the body heals itself. Another interesting finding refers to the ability of fasting habit to slow the aging process based on a research conducted by Dr. Yuri Nikolayev, Moscow scientist and dietician/nutritionist. This finding is supported with another research by Dr. Alvenia M. Fulton, by which his experiment indicates that fasting is the ladies best beautifier, brings grace charm and poise, normalizes female functions and reshapes the body contour.

Psychological Perspective

As regard to psychological point of view, it is empirically proven that fasting can bring positive effects to psychological and mental health. At this point, Dr. Sabah al-Baqir from Medical Faculty of University of King Saud reveals that fasting will generate specific hormone which may relieve tension and to make a person to feel better physically and mentally.

Social Perspective

Crime Rate

I believe that this is phenomenal in many jurisdictions all over the world. According to the statistic produced by the Iranian Police Department, the Iran’s overall crime rate and murder rate have declined during the holy month of Ramadhan. There has been a 32% decline in homicides and the overall crime rate has dropped significantly. It is worth noting that the homicide rate in Iran is six murders per day and Iran stands 50th in the world in the homicide rate.

Family Institutions

Ramadhan is the best time for family and social gathering. The Maktoob Research in UAE conducted a survey on the opinions of 6,128 adult Muslims from across the Arab world about Ramadhan. The survey reveals that 96% of Muslim Arabs observing the fasting month and it is also found that 86% of those surveyed tend to observe iftar as a good opportunity for family gatherings. This finding indirectly indicates that fasting during Ramadhan can strengthen the family institutions and community as well as provide best opportunity for the unity of the ummah.


Considering to numerous hadith on the rewards and benefits of sadaqah (charity) during the month of Ramadhan, it is observed that the willingness and efforts for charity and donation are significantly increased. According to Lung Transplantation Research Center, National Research Institute of TB and Lung Disease, Tehran, Iran, organ shortage is the most significant problem that they face for the activities of trans¬plantation systems. In this regard, they carried out a survey on the Muslims’ behavior during holy month of Ramadan pertaining to organs donation in Iran. Interestingly, the survey reveals that the number of applications for organs donation in Ramadhan increase to 154% as compared to other months with a total of 11528 organ donations as opposed to 4538 applications in the previous month. This phenomenon indicates that Ramadhan seems to provide a great opportunity to promote organs donation across the Muslim world.


Ramadhan is the greatest and best month of the year. It is one of the blessings of Allah to the Muslim that He enables us to fast in Ramadhan. The blessed month of Ramadhan and ibadah of fasting not only offer us with great rewards from Allah but also with so many benefits either from economic or health and science, psychological or social perspectives. With this priceless opportunity from Allah to us, it is hoped that we can keep the spirit of month of Ramadhan not only during this blessed month but at all times and throughout the year. InsyaAllah.


Azizi, F. (1987). Evaluation of Certain Hormones And Blood Constituents During Islamic Fasting Month, Journal of Islamic Medical Association, November.
Cott, A. (1977). Fasting Is A Way Of Life. New York: Bantam Books.
Hassan Abohghasemi, Nasim Sadat Hosseini Divkalayi and Fariba Seighali. (2011). Contribution of religion to blood donation: Iran experience, Asian Journal of Transfusion Science, 5(2), pp. 185–186.
Katayoun Najafizadeh, Fariba Ghorbani, Sajjad Hamidinia, Mohammad Ali Emamhadi, Mohammad Ali Moinfar, Omid Ghobadi,Shervin Assari. (2010). Holy month of Ramadan and increase in organ donation willingness, Saudi Journal of Kidney Disease and Transplantation, 21, pp. 443-446.
Maktoob Research. (2008). Region-wide Survey on Ramadan Traditions and Practices. Dubai: Maktoob Research.
Scott Malone . (2010). Markets in Muslim Lands Rally During Ramadan-Study. http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/08/03/stocks-ramadan-idUSN0317695120100803.
Soliman, N. (1987). Effects of Fasting During Ramadan, Journal of Islamic Medical Association, November.

Zulkifli Hasan
At Masjid al Nabawi, Madinah al Munawwarah during Ramadhan 2012

Islamic finance needs global sharia board – IDB president

Islamic finance needs global sharia board – IDB president

Available at:

KUALA LUMPUR/SYDNEY: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB), a Jeddah-based multilateral institution, has called for the creation of a global sharia advisory board that can offer greater uniformity for the Islamic finance industry, its president said on Thursday.

A centralised format to the supervision of sharia-compliant banking products is gaining favour across the globe, as regulators seek to standardise industry practices and improve consumer perceptions.

“IDB and IFSB (Islamic Financial Services Board) should study ways for creating globally acceptable references for the industry for the benefit of all,” IDB president Ahmad Mohamed Ali said at a conference in Kuala Lumpur.

“This could include striving for the concept of a globally accepted sharia committee or body, which would be able to assist all Islamic financial institutions and bring them in line with a uniform standard.”

Malaysia pioneered the country-level sharia board and in recent months several countries have introduced central boards of their own, including Dubai, Oman, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Countries like Oman have gone as far as imposing term limits on the sharia scholars who are members of these boards, while also requiring they abide by a code of conduct.

Islamic scholars are experts in financial and religious law, but they are not certified or accredited like other professions, so regulators are increasingly developing ways to ensure the hiring of experienced and financially literate scholars.

A global sharia board would also allow the industry to address low penetration rates in majority Muslim countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey and Egypt where the industry’s share of banking assets remains below 10 percent.

A global sharia board would provide a more structured approach to the industry, which has its core markets in the Gulf and Southeast Asia.

“This is very important as it gives a much needed structure to the industry, thus enabling it to be more stable and allowing it to grow further,” Ali added.

Ali also called for the IFSB to assist the IDB and its member countries in providing technical assistance, while urging the industry to focus on Islamic microfinance and youth employment.

The IFSB is one of the main bodies setting standards globally for Islamic finance, although national financial regulators have the final say on their implementation and enforcement. – Reuters

Zulkifli Hasan
Kyoto, Japan

Guru Sebagai Murabbi, Mudarris, Mualim, Muaddib Dan Mursyid “Selamat Hari Guru”


Dr. Zulkifli Hasan


Sebuah negara yang disegani di dunia memiliki satu ketamadunan yang mempunyai masyarakat yang berdisiplin, berhemah tinggi berilmu, beriman, bertaqwa serta berakhlak mulia. Pada tahun ini hari guru bertemakan “Guru Malaysia: 1aspirasi, 1agenda”. Walaupun tema ini masih lagi boleh didiskusikan tetapi ia sekurang-kurangnya masih lagi menyimpan hasrat murni pendidikan iaitu pembinaan kualiti akhlak terunggul atau “towering personality” bagi memastikan kejayaan pembentukan bangsa yang cemerlang, gemilang dan terbilang.

Demi mencapai pembentukan akhlak terunggul, ianya memerlukan kegemilangan ilmu dan pendidikan bagi menjadi pemangkin kemakmuran dan kemajuan. Sejarah telah membuktikan bahawa kegemilangan sesebuah negara bergantung kepada kecemerlangan rakyatnya dan orang yang berperanan besar mewujudkan kegemilangan tersebut, ialah guru. Dalam erti kata lain tidak akan adanya doktor, jurutera, saintis, professor, menteri, ahli korporat dan sebagainya tanpa adanya didikan awal dari guru.

Mutakhir ini kita sering mendengar rungutan ibubapa dan masyarakat terhadap guru. Aduan mengenai guru mendera pelajar, tidak terlatih, tidak ikhlas mendidik, mengajar sambil lewa dan sebagainya sering dipaparkan di dada akhbar mahupun di kaca televisyen. Kajian juga mendapati bilangan kes saman guru di Mahkamah juga meningkat dari masa ke semasa. Sesetengah pihak seringkali menyalahkan guru apabila dikaitkan dengan gejala keruntuhan dan kerasukan moral dan syahsiah generasi muda ketika ini. Faktor-faktor ini serba sedikit telah melemahkan semangat guru untuk menaburkan bakti secara ikhlas di dalam proses pendidikan dan pembelajaran. Kerap kali guru melahirkan rasa tidak puas hati dan kekecewaan mereka apabila pengorbanan mereka tidak dihargai bahkan disalahanggap oleh sesetengah pihak. Guru yang telah semakin terhakis keikhlasannya tidak akan dapat menumbang bakti dengan cemerlang ke arah pembentukan peribadi dan kualiti akademik generasi muda negara. Hal ini mesti diberikan perhatian dan persepsi masyarakat terhadap institusi pendidikan dan pendidik itu sendiri perlu ditransformasikan ke arah yang lebih adil dan seimbang.

Peranan pendidik yang paling utama adalah untuk menyampaikan ilmu pengetahuan agar dapat membina rohani, jasmani, emosi, intelektual dan sosial pelajar yang seimbang. Dalam melaksanakan tanggunjawab ini pendidik yang baik mestilah mempunyai ciri-ciri tertentu seperti yang telah ditunjukkan oleh Rasulullah Sallallahualaihiwasallam. Islam amat menitikberatkan ilmu pengetahuan dan meletakkan darjat yang tinggi kepada orang yang menyebarkan ilmu. Ini telah dirakamkan oleh Allah Subhanahuwataala di dalam surah al-Mujadalah ayat 11 yang bermaksud: “Allah meninggikan darjat orang yang beriman dan di antara kamu, dan orang-orang yang diberi ilmu pengetahuan agama beberapa darjat”. Ayat ini menunjukkan bahawa orang yang berilmu mempunyai darjat yang lebih tinggi di kaca mata Islam lebih-lebih lagi orang yang menyebarkan ilmu pengetahuan seperti pendidik sama ada di peringkat rendah mahu pun di institusi pengajian tinggi.

Sebagai seorang pendidik yang diberkati Allah, mereka mestilah menjaga akauntabilitinya selaras dengan kesucian dan keberkatan profesion ini yang melibatkan proses transformasi ilmu pengetahuan. Secara umumnya, para sarjana Islam telah mengemukakan bahawa pendidik perlu memainkan fungsi seorang guru dan mencapai martabat sebagai pendidik (mudarris), penyampai yang benar (mualim), murabbi (pengasuh dan pendidik dengan kasih sayang, muaddib (pembentuk adab dan akhlak) dan mursyid (pembimbing ke arah kebaikan).

Akauntabiliti Seorang Pendidik

Akauntabiliti seorang pendidik merupakan perkara yang amat penting untuk dipelihara oleh setiap pendidik. Secara umumnya akauntabiliti ini merujuk kepada tanggungjawab seorang pendidik kepada setiap perkara mahu pun hasil kerjanya. Sebagai seorang yang profesional, pendidik perlu memelihara dan melaksanakan tanggunggjawabnya dengan penuh ikhlas dan sebaik mungkin. Ini adalah kerana pendidik merupakan pihak yang bertanggungjawab menghasilkan sumber manusia yang baik dalam pelbagai bidang demi keperluan negara bahkan umat seluruhnya. Secara ringkasnya akauntabiliti akademik ini boleh dibahagikan kepada tiga aspek utama iaitu kepimpinan, profesionalisme dan ketelusan serta kerahsiaan.


Aspek kepimpinan ini merangkumi segenap aspek kependidikan termasuk pengajaran. Kepimpinan yang dimaksudkan adalah keupayaan mencorak, mengemudi dan memandu dalam proses pencapaian matlamat kecemerlangan institusi. Pendidik yang mempunyai ciri kepimpinan yang baik akan dapat mengatur strategi institusi dan berusaha mempertingkatkan kualiti, berusaha penambahbaikan kecekapan dan kejituan ilmu dan proses penyebaran ilmu pengetahuan.


Profesionalisme dalam konteks pendidik merujuk kepada keupayaan dan kecekapan melaksanakan sesuatu tanggungjawab berdasarkan kepada panduan ilmu dan latihan, serta kepakaran. Di dalam melaksanakan sesuatu perkara seorang pendidik yang profesional adalah terikat dengan etika profesion yang merangkumi etika dalam keilmuan, etika sikap dan etika kemahiran.

Sebagai contoh seorang pendidik perlu menyerlahkan elemen-elemen penjagaan tingkahlaku seperti, cara berpakaian, berkomunikasi, tidak mengadakan hubungan dengan pelajar, mematuhi masa, menghormati rakan sejawat, mengelak plagiarisme, kerja berpasukan dan menjaga kerahsiaan. Para pendidik juga menjaga amanah ilmu bukan sahaja bertindak untuk memperkayakan ilmu dalam diri sebaliknya sentiasa menyalurkan idea-idea dan ilmu yang ada pada mereka baik kepada pelajar mereka disamping mempunyai integriti yang tinggi
Profesionalisme juga menitikberatkan aspek ketelusan dan kerahsiaan. Pendidik mesti sanggup menerima teguran-teguran dan ini akan dapat meningkatkan lagi proses pengajaran dan pembelajaran. Dari aspek kerahsiaan, pendidik perlu menjaga hal kerahsiaan ini umpamanya soal penyediaan soalan peperiksaan dan juga maruah pelajar yang mempunyai masalah peribadi.

Pembudayaan Kualiti

Adalah menjadi kewajipan seorang pendidik untuk memastikan setiap hasil kerja mereka sesuatu yang berkualiti dalam semua aspek pengajaran dan yang berkaitan. Kualiti ini dapat dinilai melalui sumber manusia yang dilahirkan. Oleh itu pendidik perlu mempergiatkan aktiviti ilmiah dalam perkongsian ilmu, perluasan ilmu dan rangkaian tokoh-tokoh keilmuan, diinstitusi tempatan dan luar negara.

Ciri-Ciri Pendidik Unggul

Secara umumnya para ilmuan Islam telah menggariskan beberapa ciri pendidik unggul. Adalah menjadi kewajipan kepada semua pendidik untuk berusaha memenuhi kesemua ciri ini dan seterusnya mendapat keberkatan dari Allah Subhanahuwataala pada setiap perkara yang dilakukan. Ciri-ciri ini dapat disimpulkan seperti berikut:-


Mudaris berasal dari perkataan arab yang bermaksud mengajar ataupun pengajaran. Pendidik hendaklah bertanggunjawab menyampaikan ilmu yang ada padanya kepada pelajarnya yang boeh membina pemikiran, rohani, jasmani,emosi dan juga sosial. Apa yang diketahuinya hendaklah disampaikan kerana kerja pengajaran adalah sebahagian daripada amal soleh. Manakala enggan menyampaikannya adalah merupakan satu kesalahan.


Pendidik sebagai mualim boleh didefinasikan sebagai mengajar atau menyampaikan limu kepada orang lain dan mengamalkan apa yang disampaikan di samping berusaha menambah ilmu pengetahuan. Mualim mempunyai rasa belas kasihan kepada pelajar dan menganggap mereka seperti anak sendiri. Mualim mengajar kerana Allah Subhanahuwataala dan bukannya kerana ganjaran dan tidak mengharapkan balasan daripada pelajar.


Murabbi bermaksud memperbaiki, memimpin dan mentadbir. Pendidik sentiasa menyayangi pelajar dan menasihati dan membimbing dalam pembentukan syahsiyah mereka. Pendidik juga adalah kaunselor dan penyebar nilai budaya yang elok dan menjadi contoh kepada pelajar.


Muaddib bermaksud mendidik ke arah memperelokkan lagi akhlak pelajar. Pendidik yang muaddib merupakan individu yang bertanggungjawab dan melaksanakan pendidikan peradaban dalam pengertian yang luas dan mendalam terhadap peribadi dan kehidupan pelajar. Muaddib seorang yang memberi ilmu dan mendidik mereka dalam akhlak dan adab yang baik. Pendidik juga mendidik pelajar agar tidak merendahkan ilmu pelajaran lain selain dari yang diajar olehnya. Pendidik mendidik pelajar melalui akhlak yang baik daripada hanya penyampaian secara teori sahaja.


Pendidik yang mursyid bermaksud sebagai penuntun jalan hidup yang benar dan betul dengan nilai dan sikap yang benar dan berperanan sebagai hamba Allah Subhanahuwataala dan khalifahNya dimuka bumi. Mursyid menunjukkan kepada jalan yang benar dari sudut ilmu kesufian dan memberikan petunjuk kepada jalan yang lurus. Pendidik mempunyai tingkah laku baik dan terpuji, bersih dari akhlah tercela, tidak taasub atau fanatik, zuhud pada amalan dan perbuatan dan mempunyai tokoh kepimpinan. Syarat untuk menajdi pendidik yang mursyid ialah beliau mestilah alim dari segenap perkara atau disiplin ilmu, menyimpan atau menutup keaiban pelajar-pelajarnya dan pengajaran terkesan di dalam hati pelajar.

Kesemua ciri-ciri seorang pendidik unggul seperti di atas perlulah diamalkan secara berterusan dan dengan penuh iltizam. Pendidik perlu ada sifat mendidik pelajar kerana Allah Subhanahuwataala, berperibadi mulia, menjaga kehebatan dan kehormatan diri, memiliki ilmu dan kaedah pengajaran dan bersifat kasih sayang. Bukan itu sahaja ciri-ciri ini perlu diamalkan dan diserlahkan dari semua aspek termasuk kepimpinan, profesionalisme, tingkahlaku, pembudayaan kualiti dan khidmat masyarakat.
Langkah Memelihara Akauntabiliti Seorang Pendidik

Mendidik Kerana Mencari Keredhaan Allah Subhanahuwataala

Seorang pendidik perlu memastikan niatnya untuk bersifat ikhlas terhadap Allah Subhanahuwataala dalam segala amal pendidik yang dilakukannya. Allah telah merakamkan dalam al-Quran surah al-Bayyinah ayat 5 yang bermaksud ”Dan tiadalah mereka itu diperintahkan, melainkan supaya mereka menyembah Allah dalam keadaan mengikhlaskan agama kepadanya”. Ini dikuatkan lagi dengan sabda Rasulullah Sallallahualaihiwasallam yang bermaksud: ” Sesungguhnya Allah tidak akan menerima suatu amalan melainkan apa yang ikhlas kepadaNya dan yang ditujukan hanya untukNya. (Riwayat Abdu Daud dan an-Nasai).
Pendidik hendaklah menunjukkan setiap pekerjaan yang dilaksanakan itu hanya semata-mata kerana Allah kerana hanya dengan keikhlasan beliau akan mendapat keredhaan dan keberkatan bahkan akan dikasihi dan dihormati oleh pelajar mahupun masyarakat.

Peribadi Mulia

Pendidik bukan sahaja menjadi ”role model” atau pun ikutan kepada pelajar menerusi sifat spiritual seperti ikhlas, jujur, sabar, kasih sayang, warak dan takwa, bahkan menerusi sifat-sifat fizikal atau lahiriah seperti tutur kata, tingkah laku, kebersihan diri, pakaian, tempat tinggal dan lain-lain. Justeru itu, bagi mencapai keberkesanan proses pembelajaran dan pengajaran serta pembentukan peribadi mulia, Islam mengutamakan tutur kata, tingkah laku yang baik dan nasihat berguna serta menarik. Hal ini dapat dilihat jika kita merujuk dakwah yang dijalankan oleh Nabi Musa dan Nabi Harun, ketika mereka menyampaikan seruan agama kepada Firaun yang amat zalim seperti yang difirmankan oleh Allah Subhanahuwataala dalam al-Quran surah thaha ayat 43 yang bermaksud:-” Pergilah engkau berdua kepada Firaun, sesungguhnya dia derhaka. Katakanlah kepadanya perkataan yang lemah lembut, mudah-mudahan ia akan dapat pengajaran atau takut kepada tuhan”.

Menjaga Kehebatan dan Kehormatan diri

Sudah menjadi tanggapan masyarakat mahupun pelajar bahawa seorang pendidik adalah seorang yang mempunyai kehormatan diri dan kehebatan ilmu pengetahuan. Oleh itu, sudah semestinya pendidik untuk beramal dan berpegang teguh dengan ilmu yang dimilikinya. Setiap amalan mestilah dilakukan dengan istiqamah dan seterusnya menjadikan diri untuk lebih bertakwa kepada Allah Subhanahuwataala. Pendidik tidak sepatutnya melakukan perkara yang berlawanan dengan ilmu yang dimiliki kerana ini akan menjatuhkan kehormatan diri dan mengurangkan rasa hormat pelajar kepadanya. Hal ini telah dirakamkan oleh Allah Subhahanahu Wataala di dalam surah al-Maidah ayat 44 yang bermaksud:-” Adakah patut kamu menyuruh manusia membuat kebajikan dan kamu lupakan diri kamu sendiri sedangkan kamu membaca kitab Allah, tidakkah kamu berakal”.

Memiliki ilmu dan kaedah pengajaran

Pendidik sememangnya perlu memiliki ilmu yang mantap dan mendalam dalam bidang yang diceburi. Pelajar akan lebih yakin dan mudah menerima ilmu yang disampaikan sekiranya pendidik benar-benar menguasai ilmu tersebut. Selain itu, pendidik juga perlu kreatif dan inovatif dalam menggunakan kaedah atau teknik pengajaran berkesan. Dalam dunia moden masa kini, pendidik perlu arif dalam penggunaan teknologi dan dalam masa yang sama sentiasa mempelbagaikan teknik pengajaran agar lebih berkesan dan menarik minat pelajar.

Bersifat kasih sayang

Pelajar merupakan golongan yang masih muda dan perlukan perhatian oleh pendidik mereka. Oleh itu pendidik mesti mempunyai sifat kasih kepada pelajar dan menganggap mereka seperti anak sendiri. Dengan sifat ini, pelajar akan lebih mudah mendekati pendidik dan dapat meluahkan masalah mereka. Sifat ini juga akan dapat menerbitkan suasana mesra di antara pelajar dan pendidik dan seterusnya akan memudahkan lagi proses pentarbiyahan dan pembentukan peribadi mulia.


Secara umumnya, seorang pendidik harus mencapai martabat seorang pendidik iaitu murabbi, mudarris, mualim, muaddib dan mursyid. Kedudukan seorang pendidik yang mursyid menjadikan setiap ilmu pengetahuan yang disampaikan akan menjadi lebih berkesan dan mudah diterima oleh para pelajar. Terdapat beberapa ciri utama seorang pendidik yang membolehkan mereka dapat membimbing pelajar dengan baik dan berkesan. Ini termasuk mendidik kerana Allah, berperibadi mulia, menjaga kehebatan dan kehormatan diri, memiliki ilmu dan kaedah pengajaran dan bersifat kasih sayang.

Akauntabiliti seorang pendidik merupakan perkara yang amat penting untuk dipelihara oleh setiap pendidik dan ini meliputi dari aspek kepimpinan, profesionalisme dan ketelusan serta kerahsiaan. Sesungguhnya sebagai seorang pendidik, beliau mestilah berusaha untuk memenuhi ciri-ciri seorang pendidik yang mursyid di mana mampu untuk membimbing pelajar bukan sahaja untuk mendalami ilmu pengetahuan yang disampaikan malahan dapat memberi panduan kepada mereka untuk menjadi insan yang berguna dan berjaya. Akauntabiliti pendidik mesti dipelihara demi menjamin keutuhan institusi keilmuan yang sememangnya dipandang tinggi oleh Islam.

Bersempena dengan hari guru ini, marilah kita bersama-sama melahirkan perasaan kasih sayang dan terima kasih kepada semua guru-guru. Menghargai guru merupakan salah satu sifat mahmudah yang amat digalakkan. Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam telah merakamkan penghargaannya kepada guru di dalam beberapa hadis diantaranya ialah yang diriwayatkan oleh Imam Ibnu Majah, bermaksud “Sesiapa yang mengajarkan sesuatu ilmu, maka ia mendapat pahala orang yang mengamalkan ilmu tersebut, pahalanya tidak kurang sedikitpun dan pahala orang tersebut.” Di dalam hadis yang lain riwayat al-Imam at-Tirmizi, Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam bersabda: “Sesungguhnya Allah dan seluruh malaikat-Nya serta penghuni langit dan bumi, sehingga semut yang ada di dalam liangnya dan ikan yu, semuanya memohon kerahmatan ke atas orang yang mengajarkan kebaikan kepada manusia.” Selamat hari guru kepada semua pendidik di muka bumi. Terima kasih dan doa kepada semua guru-guruku, semoga Allah menempatkan guru-guruku di kalangan para solihin di dunia dan akhirat.


Al-Ghazali. (2006). Ihya Ulumuddin. Kuala Lumpur: Darul Fajar.
Ahmad Mohd Salleh. (2004). Pendidikan Islam. Selangor: Fajar Bakti.
Abdullah Ishak. (1989). Sejarah Perkembangan Pelajaran dan Pendidikan Islam. Selangor: Ar-Rahmaniah.
Ulwan Abdullah Nasih. (1981). Tarbiyatul Awlad Fi Islam. Cairo: Darul Salam.
Yaakub Isa. (1994). Guru dan Pengajaran yang efektif dalam Ahmad Mohd Salleh. (2004). Pendidikan Islam. Selangor: Fajar Bakti.

With late Dr. Ashgar Ali Engineer in Bangkok, renowned Muslim scholar from India

Islamic finance: Attractive for non-Muslims?

Islamic finance: Attractive for non-Muslims?

Available at: http://www.zawya.com/story/Islamic_finance_attractive_for_nonMuslims-ZAWYA20130512065501/

Would a non-Muslim do better to back ethical rather than Islamic funds? Prof Dr. Volker Nienhaus, Adjunct Professor at INCEIF, explores the fascinating issue.

It is often claimed that Islamic finance is not only for Muslims. This has two meanings: (1) Islamic financial institutions will not turn away non‐Muslim customers, and (2) non‐Muslims can provide Islamic financial services. In practice, one can find examples in both directions.

The large number of non‐Muslim participants in Takaful schemes in Malaysia is an often-quoted example for the first and the asset management for Shari’ah-compliant funds an example for the second direction. But the message that Islamic finance is also for non‐Muslims is often much more ambitious, namely that the market potential of Islamic finance is far greater than just the population of Muslim countries and Muslim minorities in non‐Muslim countries.

If Islamic finance is for all, the whole world is the potential market for Islamic finance, and growth could be virtually unlimited. This, however, implies that Islamic finance has to offer the world something that is superior (or at least not inferior) to what it already has. It is by no means self‐evident what that could be: Shari’ah compliance as the constitutive element of Islamic finance is in itself rather irrelevant for non‐Muslims. It could be macro‐systemic or micro‐commercial or ethical implications of the observance of Islamic law which make it appealing to non‐Muslims.

For suppliers of Shari’ah-compliant financial services and infrastructure services (such as indexes, tax consultancy, asset management, stock screening, IT support, executive training, legal advice, rating services) Islamic finance obviously was an attractive option. Since most of the Shari’ah-compliant instruments are functional equivalents of conventional products, the necessary adjustments to serve Muslim clients was technically not too complicated for conventional financial institutions.
Once they had learned the Shari’ah restrictions, conventional institutions tapped into an initially highly liquid and not too competitive market with good margins. They did this via Islamic subsidiaries, windows or special products for selected clients. Later the structuring and issuing of Sukuk were added to the service portfolio. The major challenges of banking, capital market and insurance (Takaful) products lay in taxation and in the structuring of contracts in such a way that they satisfy Shari’ah criteria and are enforceable under the law of the land. This became a very lucrative business for western tax consultants and (in particular British) law firms.


While it is mainly the profit motive on the supply side, it is far less obvious what might bring customers to Islamic financial institutions. There may be similar financial incentives that motivate western corporate clients to acquaint themselves with Islamic modes of financing: The oversubscription of most Sukuk indicates a high demand which, in turn, could translate into lower financing costs compared to conventional bonds (or even equity‐type instruments).

But what has Islamic finance to offer to the retail client? One argument is that the general observance of Islamic finance principles would create a more stable, efficient and just financial system. For a while it seemed that nearly everybody – politicians, businessmen and ‘ordinary people’ – was searching for a better alternative to the crashed “capital market capitalism”. It is debatable whether Islamic finance would really be a superior alternative – at least as long as it is predominantly a replication of conventional techniques and Shari’ah engineers structure prototypes even of those complex derivatives that were held responsible for the collapse of the conventional system.

But even if one would accept the arguments of the proponents of a superior “true” Islamic financial system, one has to realise that the enthusiasm for a fundamental reform of the financial system has evaporated. Fundamental alternatives such as narrow banking or limited purpose banking were on the radar screen of politicians and central bankers only for a (very) short while (and were received with much scepticism in general and strong criticism by lobbyists of the old system in particular).

Basel III (or ‘Basel II+’ as some commentators have called it) is definitely not a fundamental reform, and Wall Street is today occupied not by protesters but again by bankers and brokers. The persistently high unemployment and fiscal austerity measures are now on the top of protest agendas in many countries.

So if it is not ‘systemic superiority’ that will attract non‐Muslims, then there must be something in Islamic finance that the customers see as individual benefit for themselves. This “something” could be the pricing of Islamic products or their quality.


The pricing of Islamic savings products (unrestricted investment accounts usually based on Mudarabah contracts) seems to be very much in line with competing conventional products, i.e. the rate of interest for savings or term deposits. But this implies that investment account holders do not get a compensation for the risk they have to take due to the profit and loss sharing character of the underlying contract.

But even if one ignores this risk, savings products do not look particularly attractive for non‐Muslim investors who can get the same return without the risk of the underlying contract. The practice of participatory contracts is such that not only downside risks are factually eliminated or ignored, but also upside chances for fund providers are curtailed in favour of the managers of funds. This is achieved, for example, by regular adjustments of profit sharing ratios (at the discretion of the bank) or by “incentive fees” by which all profits above a benchmark rate are skimmed off by the manager of the funds (which could be the bank in the case of investment accounts or the issuer of Musharaka Sukuk who runs the business).

Such practices have factually turned nearly all Islamic savings and investment products into fixed income instruments (usually benchmarked against LIBOR or a national alternative from the conventional sector), and the participatory character of the original Islamic contracts are lost.

The pricing of Islamic financing products is also more or less in line with conventional alternatives (as are required collateral). This is an achievement in view of the higher complexity of contractual and transactional arrangements (in particular in corporate finance) and of the additional costs of Islamic banks for securing the Shari’ah compliance of products and processes. However, during the last crisis customers of Islamic banks had to realise painfully that the complexity and implied rigidity of sales contracts used for financing purposes could drive the prices of long‐term Islamic financing (in particular home financing) to excessive levels.

An Islamic bank re‐sells assets (e.g. a house) to the client at a price that is determined by the amount to be financed today (the ‘loan’ amount) and the cumulated financing mark‐ups (the cumulated “interest” payments) for the full contracted financing period (e.g. 10 years). This sales price has to be paid in instalments over the whole financing period.

If a client wants to terminate the financing prematurely, say after two years, the bank can claim the repayment of the initial amount and mark‐ups for two years plus a penalty for early termination, as it would in a conventional interest‐bearing loan contract. The sale contract entitles the bank to claim the full sales price which includes mark‐ups for periods in which the financing is no longer provided. Such claims were actually made by Islamic banks, and it was only by the interventions of courts and central banks that clients were protected against such claims which were deemed unfair and
factually usurious.

With such experiences, non‐Muslims who can opt for a conventional loan may not be too enthusiastic over Islamic modes of long‐term financing, even if the initial pricing looks competitive.


If it is not the pricing, then the product quality is left. In what respects could Islamic finance products be superior to conventional products? As long as Islamic finance products are intentionally structured as replications of conventional ones, and as long as even those genuine products such as Musharaka Sukuk which could have a unique risk/return profile are transformed into fixed income instruments, the difference in quality cannot be found in the product structures (ignoring the Shari’ah compliance, higher complexity and legal risks).

If Shari’ah compliance does not alter the economic characteristics such as the (commercial) risk/return profile, non‐Muslim will not look for qualitative differences in the instruments as such but in the types of transactions and businesses for which the instruments are applied. Here proponents of Islamic finance often underline the ethical qualities of Islamic banking and capital market products.

One argument is that Islamic finance is more just and fair than conventional finance because providers and users of funds share returns and risks or profits and losses. It is considered unjust in conventional finance that the entrepreneurial partner bears all the financial risks while the provider of funds receives a risk free income. This violates the basic principle that rewards (from financing) are justified only if they are combined with risk. There are two problems with this position.

The minor problem is that there is no ultimately risk‐free income for financiers in conventional finance – companies and governments can go bankrupt, thus there is always a credit risk. The major problem is that participatory finance (i.e. the sharing of returns and risks or profits and losses) does factually not take place in Islamic finance (except contractually but not factually in the ‘deposit business’ of Islamic banks).


The other argument is that Islamic financial institutions observe ethical principles in their financing and investment decisions. No funds for Haram activities – this is taken seriously in Islamic finance, at least in principle. But is that enough to attract non‐Muslims?

A minor problem is that Shari’ah boards in some jurisdiction have allowed “tolerance criteria” for investments in Haram activities, provided the Haram business is relatively small and a kind of byproduct of a basically permissible business (such as running an airline and serving or selling alcohol
on board).

However, such tolerance criteria can become tricky if they are too lax: suppose the tolerance level were set at 10 per cent of the turnover of a company. A company that generates 50 per cent of its turnover [e.g. $50 million of a total of $100 million] from the production of tobacco or alcohol or weapons could not be financed in a Shari’ah-compliant manner.

But if this company is absorbed by another company of (at least) four times its size (i.e. a total turnover of $400 million) and so far zero prohibited business, the new larger company (with a total turnover 100 + 400 = $500 million) would generate only 10 per cent of its turnover from prohibited business. As a result, exactly the same business that was clearly Haram in the first instance can now be financed in a Shari’ah-compliant manner.

A major problem is that the avoidance of a rather limited list of Haram businesses is not “much ethics” for those who should be attracted to Islamic finance because of its ethical dimension. First, the “old style prudent banker” (who is still alive in many places) would also shy away from the financing of many of the haram businesses. But more important: individual savers who look for ethical savings products or institutional investors who want to add responsible investments to their portfolios can find already a much wider and more sophisticated choice of products in the non‐Islamic investment universe.


The avoidance of investments in “sin stocks” (shares of companies with businesses similar to those prohibited in Islam) and the observance of ethical criteria in faith‐based banking finance have a long tradition dating back to the 19th century. But after business scandals in the 1990s and a strong growth of ecological movements in many western countries, ethics, social responsibility and sustainability ranked high on the agenda of international organisations such as the OECD and the UN system and gained considerable attention from financial institutions and asset managers.

The now widely used term for the consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in investment decisions is “responsible investing”. This generic term comprises a wide range of different approaches and strategies which are summarised by the European Sustainable Investment Forum as follows:

Sustainability themed investments are investments in themes or assets linked to the development of sustainability with a focus on specific or multiple issues related to ESG.
Best‐in‐Class investment selection is an approach where leading or best‐performing investments within a universe, category, or class are selected or weighted based on ESG criteria.
Norms‐based screening is based on the screening of investments according to their compliance with international standards and norms, in particular those of the OECD and the UN system (including Global Compact, ILO, UNICEF, UNHRC).
Exclusion of holdings from the investment universe means that specific investments or classes of investment are excluded from the investible universe such as companies, sectors, or countries engaged in weapons, pornography, tobacco and animal testing; this approach is also referred to as ethical‐ or values‐based exclusions.
Integration of ESG factors in financial analysis is the explicit inclusion of ESG risks and opportunities by asset managers into a traditional financial analysis and investment decisions based on a systematic process and appropriate research sources.
Engagement and voting on sustainability matters is the active use of ownership rights through voting of shares and engagement with companies on ESG matters in order to improve their ESG performance; it is a long‐term process, seeking to influence behaviour or increase disclosure.
Impact investments are investments made into companies, organisations and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon the circumstances.
The responsible investment business is supported by a sophisticated infrastructure, including data and index providers, screening consultants, legal advisors, marketing companies, specialised asset managers, industry associations and lobby groups. Although the volume growth of the RI industry is mainly driven by an increasing engagement of institutional investors (especially pension funds), retail clients can find customisable and interactive web‐based screenings of responsible investment funds and tests of their performance.

The volume of responsible investments exceeds by far the global assets of the Islamic finance industry (estimated at $1.3 trillion by 2011): the volume of assets under management (AuM) in responsible investment funds in Europe alone is estimated at EUR 6.8 trillion by 2011 [Eurosif: European SRI Study 2012] which is half of the total European asset management industry (and the AuM of the European asset management industry accounts for approximately 33 per cent of the global AuM).

Obviously, there is a huge market for investments with a ‘responsible’ dimension, and Islamic finance structures fit well into this scheme as an exclusion strategy. But to capture a wider share of this market, Islamic finance has to make considerable progress.

Similarities in the structure (form) of processes in Shariah-compliant and responsible investing cannot hide the fact that there are fundamental differences in substance. Conventional and Islamic institutions apply an “exclusion” filter on the first‐level of their screening process and exclude prohibited (haram) businesses. Islamic fund managers have to limit the investment universe further by filtering out companies with an unacceptable level of interest‐based assets and liabilities.

Such financial ratios are not a major concern for conventional responsible investors. What is a major concern is how the actual investment objects are chosen from those which passed the exclusion filter(s). Here lies the major difference: while Islamic financial institutions (like ‘non-responsible’ conventional institutions and responsible funds that apply only an exclusion strategy) decide on the basis of financial performance criteria, the majority of responsible investment funds (which combine exclusion with other strategies) take additional non‐financial criteria such as the ESG performance into account. This is where the attraction lies for individual and institutional investors (such as Western pension funds) who are looking for responsible investment opportunities.


For the time being, Islamic finance has not much to offer in this area: The exclusion strategy alone is probably not the most appealing one of all responsible investing strategies. Given the widespread poverty in the majority of Muslim countries, themed investments with high relevance for poverty alleviation (e.g. sanitation, healthcare or renewable energy related themes) and impact investment strategies could make substantial contributions. Western funds have shown that such strategies can yield a satisfactory return on investment.

Unfortunately, Islamic funds or financial institutions with such profiles are extremely difficult to find. If they do exist, they are virtually invisible for non‐Muslims.

While even universal banks with a strong investment banking arm rediscover the retail client and acquire deposit collecting institutions (such as Deutsche Bank who bought the German Postal Bank), Islamic retail business is scaled down – most visible by the closure of HSBC Amanah in the UK. This could be seen as an early warning sign.

Given meagre market shares of 10 per cent or less of total bank deposits from the general public even in many Muslim countries where Islamic finance is operating since two decades or (much) more, it becomes apparent that Islamic finance as it is practiced today is not so well received by the average Muslim. Thus it may be a good idea not only to look for non‐Muslim clients, but also to target the 90 per cent or more of Muslims who still prefer conventional finance.

Maybe they have similar problems as non‐Muslims have to appreciate a difference in substance that could compensate for increased contractual complexity and legal risks without higher returns or superior product qualities. The responsible investing movement is a great opportunity for Islamic finance, but also a great challenge at the same time.

Zulkifli Hasan
Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II, Kota Bharu

Egypt’s new economic ministers prioritise IMF deal, Islamic finance

Egypt’s new economic ministers prioritise IMF deal, Islamic finance

Available at: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/70968/Business/Economy/-Egypts-new-economic-ministers-prioritise-IMF-deal.aspx

Finance Minister Fayad Abdel-Moneim and Planning Minister Amr Darrag stress IMF-mandated economic reform aimed at reducing the budget deficit is an immediate priority

Ministerial change won’t affect IMF negotiations: Cabinet spokesman
Egypt’s newly-appointed economy ministers highlighted the importance of continuing the efforts exerted by their predecessors to ensure Egypt’s economic future in their first public statements on Wednesday.

The finance ministry’s highest priorities over the coming period will be to complete negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over an economic reform plan required to secure a $4.8 billion loan, said Egypt’s new Minister of Finance Fayad Abdel-Moneim.

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Amr Darrag also told reporters in his first press conference on Wednesday that obtaining the loan was among his foremost duties, because it would signal that Egypt’s government is on the right track regarding the country’s economy.

Darrag will take over the bulk of the responsibility of negotiating Egypt’s loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which is expected to be finalised by the end of May.

Abdel-Moneim, who pledged to continue with the policies in place at the ministry as part of the economic plan previously set by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, added that at the top of his to-do list was securing the approval for the state budget from Egypt’s upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, and the passage of amendments to the taxation laws currently debated in the council.

In April, the ministry of finance handed the Shura Council the draft budget for the fiscal year 2013/14 (beginning on 1 July 2013) that includes a projected deficit of LE197.5 billion.

Last week, the Shura Council postponed debating a new income tax law, citing insufficient information on the potential effects of the law from the finance ministry.

The new tax legislation is needed to meet the conditions for the IMF loan.

Darrag said that reducing the budget deficit to 9.5 percent of the GDP is among the challenges currently facing the government.

The 2013/14 budget deficit is around 7 percent higher than the revised figure for the current 2012/13 fiscal year, which is forecast to reach LE185 billion by 30 June.

The cabinet should work hard to boost the country’s net international reserves to reach at least $20 billion in the coming period, according to Darrag.

Egypt’s foreign currency reserves currently stand at $14.4 billion. The reserves have plunged by more than half since the January 2011 uprising, when they stood at around $36 billion.

Abdel-Moneim, who has a doctorate in Islamic banking and was an economy professor at Al-Azhar University before becoming minister, stressed his eagerness to start issuing sovereign Islamic bonds to finance public projects, which he described as an important addition to the range of financial instruments on offer, as a significant segment of investors prefer equity to debt instruments.

The new finance minister also stressed the importance of implementing a maximum wage for government employees, which will be 35 times as high as the minimum wage.

Since the January uprising in 2011, successive interim governments have promised to impose wage caps to meet one of the key demands of the revolution, social justice.

In June 2011, Egypt’s then transitional government granted public servants a monthly minimum wage of LE700 ($120).

The minimum wage was supposed to come into effect at the start of July, the beginning of the 2011-2012 financial year, but was only implemented for government employees on permanent contracts.

Zulkifli Hasan
In front of house of Imam al Shafii Rahimahullah, Cairo, Egypt

Can Egypt’s Islamist finance minister cut a deal with the IMF?

Can Egypt’s Islamist finance minister cut a deal with the IMF?

Available at: http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/05/07/can_egypts_islamist_finance_minister_cut_a_deal_with_the_imf

The big news in Cairo is that a long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle has finally become a reality. President Mohamed Morsy swore in nine new ministers today in a move that increases the Muslim Brotherhood’s representation in the government. The shakeup comes as Egypt is deep in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about a $4.8 billion loan intended to help the country jumpstart its stagnant economy.

The IMF talks mean that the replacement of Egypt’s finance minister is the most important change to come out of the reshuffle. The new finance minister is Fayyad Abdel Moneim, who previously worked as an economics professor at al-Azhar University, the oldest Sunni Muslim educational institution in the world.

Abdel Moneim, however, may not have a great deal of experience cutting deals with the IMF. According to his biography published on the prospectus of an Islamic capital holding, where he served as sharia advisor, he has made his career entirely in the insular world of Islamic finance. He received his Master’s degree and PhD from al-Azhar University, the oldest institution of Sunni Muslim learning in the world. His Master’s thesis tackled the issue of how the money supply should be organized in Islamic thought, while his PhD thesis addressed the performance of Islamic banks in Egypt.

The new finance minister parlayed this knowledge of Islamic finance into a successful career in the field. He was the manager of the Islamic Research Center in Cairo’s International Islamic Investment and Development Bank, a consultant to numerous Islamic banking enterprises, and conducted research “on the international economic crises from an Islamic economic perspective,” as well as “the economic roles of the Islamic country in the Prophet’s and major eras.”

A strict interpretation of sharia forbids paying interest, or engaging in other activities that form the basis for the modern banking system — Islamic finance is an effort to align Islamic law with today’s investment practices. Sharia-compliant financial products boomed in the 2000s, and Islamic finance assets hit $1.3 trillion in 2011. The growth may be impressive, but Islamic finance is still a niche field – the Islamic bond market, for instance, represents only .1 percent of the global bond market.

The IMF has studied Islamic finance in the past, and some of Egypt’s ultra-conservative Salafist leaders have made their peace with the prospect of an international loan. A deal, therefore, is still likely possible — and a government spokesman was quick to argue that “[t]here will be no impact on the IMF discussions,” according to Bloomberg. But with negotiations having already dragged out for the entirety of Morsy’s term, that may not be good enough.

Zulkifli Hasan

With my family in Luxembourg