IMF endorses Islamic finance, warns it must be implemented better

IMF endorses Islamic finance, warns it must be implemented better


(Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund has endorsed the principles of Islamic FINANCE, saying it could prove safer than conventional FINANCE, but the multilateral lender warned Islamic bankers that they must tighten rules and follow them more consistently.

A report released by the IMF this week showed the lender’s growing interest in Islamic banking, which is expanding in much of the world. Last October, the IMF launched discussions with an external advisory group of Islamic finance experts and industry bodies.

The IMF’s report noted that because Islamic banking forbids pure monetary speculation and stresses that deals should be based on real economic activity, it could pose less risk than conventional banking to the stability of FINANCIAL systems.

This claim has long been made by proponents of Islamic finance seeking to drum up BUSINESS; the IMF’s endorsement is likely to add weight to their arguments.

“Islamic finance may…help promote macroeconomic and financial stability. The principles of risk-sharing and asset-based financing can help promote better risk management by both financial institutions and their customers, as well as discourage credit booms,” the IMF said.

However, the industry could fail to achieve its promise – and even have a destabilising effect – if it does not design its rules more carefully and implement them more consistently, the report added.

Christopher Towe, deputy director at the IMF’s monetary and capital MARKETSdepartment, said in a conference call that there were worrying differences in regulators’ handling of Islamic FINANCE, particularly where the industry was relatively young.

“Our analysis suggests that these standards are not being applied consistently, and this could either stifle the development of Islamic FINANCE or encourage its growth in a manner that creates systemic vulnerabilities.”

Towe added: “I think for Islamic finance to achieve the promise that we see it having, to reduce systemic risk, I think that the key criteria are that it has to be truly asset-based, and the requirements for risk-sharing that underly Islamic finance have to actually be applied in practice and not just in principle.”

Other issues which Islamic finance needs to tackle include a shortage of tools to manage the short-term funds of Islamic banks, the limited scope of sharia-compliant FINANCIALsafety nets for banks, and the need for greater legal clarity on the rights of investors, the IMF’s report said.

Some of these issues are now being tackled by standard-setting bodies such as the Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).

Last week, the IFSB said it had finalised a standard on “core principles” for use by regulators as well as a guidance note on liquidity management.

This standard will provide a coherent framework for regulators to use in handling Islamic finance, said Mohamed Norat, senior economist at the IMF’s monetary and capital MARKETS department.

One positive sign, he said, is the growing use of profit-sharing INVESTMENT accounts by Islamic banks; such accounts have loss-absorption qualities which help investors share risk.

In the last two or three years, profit-sharing INVESTMENT accounts have gone from around 2 to 3 percent of Islamic banks’ balance sheets to around 15 to 20 percent, and they are continuing to expand, Norat said.

“So we’ve seen an element of moving towards a more fully risk-based Islamic FINANCIAL system, which is a good sign.”

The IMF will continue working in Islamic FINANCE, conducting research and providing technical assistance to member countries, Towe said. The lender’s spring meetings in Washington next week will include a seminar on Islamic FINANCE, and it plans a global conference on the subject in November alongside Kuwaiti authorities.

The G20 group of nations has included Islamic finance in its annual agenda for discussion.


For a Global Brotherhood Among The Peoples

For a Global Brotherhood Among The Peoples

By Evo Morales Available at:

Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, gave this talk at the summit of the Group of 77 plus China, meeting in Santa Clara, Bolivia, on June 14, 2014.

June 25, 2014 “ICH” – – Fifty years ago, great leaders raised the flags of the anticolonial struggle and decided to join with their peoples in a march along the path of sovereignty and independence.

The world superpowers and transnationals were competing for control of territories and natural resources in order to continue expanding at the cost of impoverishing the peoples of the South.

In that context, on June 15, 1964, at the conclusion of an UNCTAD[3] meeting, 77 countries from the South (we are now 133 plus China) met to enhance their trade bargaining capacities, by acting in a bloc to advance their collective interests while respecting their individual sovereign decisions.

During the past 50 years, these countries went beyond their statements and promoted resolutions at the United Nations and joint action in favor of development underpinned by South-South cooperation, a new world economic order, a responsible approach to climate change, and economic relations based on preferential treatment.

In this journey the struggle for decolonization as well as for the peoples’ self-determination and sovereignty over their natural resources must be highlighted.

Notwithstanding these efforts and struggles for equality and justice for the world’s peoples, the hierarchies and inequalities in the world have increased.

Today, 10 countries in the world control 40% of the world’s total wealth and 15 transnational corporations control 50% of global output.
Today, as 100 years ago, acting in the name of the free market and democracy, a handful of imperial powers invades countries, blocks trade, imposes prices on the rest of the world, chokes national economies, plots against progressive governments and resorts to espionage against the inhabitants of this planet.

A tiny elite of countries and transnational corporations controls, in an authoritarian fashion, the destinies of the world, its economies and its natural resources. The economic and social inequality between regions, between countries, between social classes and between individuals has grown outrageously. About 0.1% of the world’s population owns 20% of humanity’s assets. In 1920, a business manager in the United States made 20 times the wage of a worker, but today he is paid 331 times that wage.
This unfair concentration of wealth and predatory destruction of nature are also generating a structural crisis that is becoming unsustainable over time.

It is indeed a structural crisis. It impacts every component of capitalist development. In other words, it is a mutually reinforcing crisis affecting international finance, energy, climate, water, food, institutions and values. It is a crisis inherent to capitalist civilization. The financial crisis was prompted by the greedy pursuit of profits from financial capital that led to profound international financial speculation, a practice that favored certain groups, transnational corporations or power centers that amassed great wealth.

The financial bubbles that generate speculative gains eventually burst, and in the process they plunged into poverty the workers who had received cheap credit, the middle-class savings-account holders who had trusted their deposits to greedy speculators. The latter overnight went bankrupt or took their capital to other countries, thus leading entire nations into bankruptcy.
We are also faced with an energy crisis that is driven by excessive consumption in developed countries, pollution from energy sources and the energy hoarding practices of the transnational corporations.

Parallel with this, we witness a global reduction in reserves and high costs of oil and gas development, while productive capacity drops due to the gradual depletion of fossil fuels and global climate change.
The climate crisis is caused by the anarchy of capitalist production, with consumption levels and unharnessed industrialization that have resulted in excessive emissions of polluting gases that in turn have led to global warming and natural disasters affecting the entire world.

For more than 15,000 years prior to the era of capitalist industrialization, greenhouse gases did not amount to more than 250 parts per million molecules in the atmosphere.
Since the 19th century, and in particular in the 20th and 21st centuries, thanks to the actions of predatory capitalism, this count has risen to 400 ppm, and global warming has become an irreversible process along with weather disasters the primary impacts of which are felt in the poorest and most vulnerable countries of the South, and in particular the island nations, as a result of the thawing of the glaciers.

In turn, global warming is generating a water supply crisis that is compounded by privatization, depletion of sources and commercialization of fresh water. As a consequence, the number of people without access to potable water is growing apace.
The water shortage in many parts of the planet is leading to armed conflicts and wars that further aggravate the lack of availability of this non-renewable resource.

The world population is growing while food production is dropping, and these trends are leading to a food crisis.
Add to these issues the reduction of food-producing lands, the imbalances between urban and rural areas, the monopoly exercised by transnational corporations over the marketing of seeds and agricultural inputs, and the speculation in food prices.
The imperial model of concentration and speculation has also caused an institutional crisis that is characterized by an unequal and unjust distribution of power in the world in particular within the UN system, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.

As a result of all these developments, peoples’ social rights are endangered. The promise of equality and justice for the whole world becomes more and more remote and nature itself is threatened with extinction.

We have reached a limit, and global action is urgently needed to save society, humanity and Mother Earth.
Bolivia has started to take steps to address these issues. Up to 2005, Bolivia applied a neoliberal policy that resulted in concentration of wealth, social inequality and poverty, increasing marginalization, discrimination and social exclusion.
In Bolivia, the historic struggles waged by social movements, in particular the indigenous peasant movement, have allowed us to initiate a Democratic and Cultural Revolution, through the ballot box and without the use of violence. This revolution is rooting out exclusion, exploitation, hunger and hatred, and it is rebuilding the path of balance, complementarity, and consensus with its own identity, Vivir Bien.

Beginning in 2006, the Bolivian government introduced a new economic and social policy, enshrined in a new community-based socioeconomic and productive model, the pillars of which are nationalization of natural resources, recovery of the economic surplus for the benefit of all Bolivians, redistribution of the wealth, and active participation of the State in the economy.
In 2006, the Bolivian government and people made their most significant political, economic and social decision: nationalization of the country’s hydrocarbons, the central axis of our revolution. The state thereby participates in and controls the ownership of our hydrocarbons and processes our natural gas.

Contrary to the neoliberal prescription that economic growth ought to be based on external market demand (“export or die”), our new model has relied on a combination of exports with a domestic market growth that is primarily driven by income-redistribution policies, successive increases in the national minimum wage, annual salary increases in excess of the inflation rate, cross subsidies and conditional cash transfers to the neediest.

As a consequence, the Bolivian GDP has increased from $9 billion to over $30 billion over the past eight years.
Our nationalized hydrocarbons, economic growth and cost austerity policy have helped the country generate budget surpluses for eight years in a row, in sharp contrast with the recurrent budget deficits experienced by Bolivia for more than 66 years.
When we took over the country’s administration, the ratio between the wealthiest and poorest Bolivians was 128 fold. This ratio has been cut down to 46 fold. Bolivia now is one of the top six countries in our region with the best income distribution.
It has been shown that the peoples have options and that we can overcome the fate imposed by colonialism and neoliberalism.
These achievements produced in such a short span are attributable to the social and political awareness of the Bolivian people.
We have recovered our nation for all of us. Ours was a nation that had been alienated by the neoliberal model, a nation that lived under the old and evil system of political parties, a nation that was ruled from abroad, as if we were a colony.
We are no longer an unviable country as we were described by the international financial institutions. We are no longer an ungovernable country as the US empire would have us believe.

Today, the Bolivian people have recovered their dignity and pride, and we believe in our strength, our destiny and ourselves.
I want to tell the entire world in the most humble terms that the only wise architects who can change their future are the peoples themselves.

Therefore, we intend to build another world, and several tasks have been designed to establish the society of Vivir Bien.

First: We must move from sustainable development to comprehensive development [desarrollo integral] so that we can live well and in harmony and balance with Mother Earth

We need to construct a vision that is different from the western capitalist development model. We must move from the sustainable development paradigm to the Bien Vivir comprehensive development approach that seeks not only a balance among human beings, but also a balance and harmony with our Mother Earth.
No development model can be sustainable if production destroys Mother Earth as a source of life and our own existence. No economy can be long lasting if it generates inequalities and exclusions.
No progress is just and desirable if the well-being of some is at the expense of the exploitation and impoverishment of others.
Vivir Bien Comprehensive Development means providing well-being for everyone, without exclusions. It means respect for the diversity of economies of our societies. It means respect for local knowledges. It means respect for Mother Earth and its biodiversity as a source of nurture for future generations.
Vivir Bien Comprehensive Development also means production to satisfy actual needs, and not to expand profits infinitely.
It means distributing wealth and healing the wounds caused by inequality, rather than widening injustice.
It means combining modern science with the age-old technological wisdom held by the indigenous, native and peasant peoples who interact respectfully with nature.
It means listening to the people, rather than the financial markets.
It means placing Nature at the core of life and regarding the human being as just another creature of Nature.
The Vivir Bien Comprehensive Development model of respect for Mother Earth is not an ecologist economy for poor countries alone, while the rich nations expand inequality and destroy Nature.
Comprehensive development is only viable if applied worldwide, if the states, in conjunction with their respective peoples, exercise control over all of their energy resources.
We need technologies, investments, production and credits, as well as companies and markets, but we shall not subordinate them to the dictatorship of profits and luxury. Instead, we must place them at the service of the peoples to satisfy their needs and to expand our common goods and services.

Second: Sovereignty exercised over natural resources and strategic areas

Countries that have raw materials should and can take sovereign control over production and processing of those materials.
Nationalization of strategic companies and areas can help the state take over the management of production, exercise sovereign control over its wealth, embark on a planning process that leads to the processing of raw materials, and distribute the profit among its people.
Exercising sovereignty over natural resources and strategic areas does not mean isolation from global markets; rather, it means connecting to those markets for the benefit of our countries, and not for the benefit of a few private owners. Sovereignty over natural resources and strategic areas does not mean preventing foreign capital and technologies from participating. It means subordinating these investments and technologies to the needs of each country.

Third: Well-being for everyone and the provision of basic services as a human right

The worst tyranny faced by humankind is allowing basic services to be under the control of transnational corporations. This practice subjugates humanity to the specific interests and commercial aims of a minority who become rich and powerful at the expense of the life and security of other persons.
This is why we claim that basic services are inherent to the human condition. How can a human being live without potable water, electrical energy or communications? If human rights are to make us all equal, this equality can only be realized through universal access to basic services. Our need for water, like our need for light and communications, makes us all equal.
The resolution of social inequities requires that both international law and the national legislation of each country define basic services (such as water, power supply, communications and basic health care) as a fundamental human right of every individual.
This means that states have a legal obligation to secure the universal provision of basic services, irrespective of costs or profits.

Fourth: Emancipation from the existing international financial system and construction of a new financial architecture

We propose that we free ourselves from the international financial yoke by building a new financial system that prioritizes the requirements of the productive operations in the countries of the South, within the context of comprehensive development.
We must incorporate and enhance banks of the South that support industrial development projects, reinforce regional and domestic markets, and promote trade among our countries, but on the basis of complementarity and solidarity.
We also need to promote sovereign regulation over the global financial transactions that threaten the stability of our national economies.

We must design an international mechanism for restructuring our debts, which serve to reinforce the dependence of the peoples of the South and strangle their development possibilities.

We must replace international financial institutions such as the IMF with other entities that provide for a better and broader participation of the countries of the South in their decision-making structures that are currently in the grip of imperial powers.
We also need to define limits to gains from speculation and to excessive accumulation of wealth.

Fifth: Build a major economic, scientific, technological and cultural partnership among the members of the Group of 77 plus China
After centuries under colonial rule, transfers of wealth to imperial metropolises and impoverishment of our economies, the countries of the South have begun to regain decisive importance in the performance of the world economy.

Asia, Africa and Latin America are not only home to 77% of the world’s population, but they also account for nearly 43% of the world economy. And this importance is on the rise. The peoples of the South are the future of the world.
Immediate actions must be taken to reinforce and plan this inescapable global trend.
We need to expand trade among the countries of the South. We also need to gear our productive operations to the requirements of other economies in the South on the basis of complementarity of needs and capacities.
We need to implement technology transfer programs among the countries of the South. Not every country acting on its own can achieve the technological sovereignty and leadership that are critical for a new global economy based on justice.
Science must be an asset of humanity as a whole. Science must be placed at the service of everyone’s well-being, without exclusions or hegemonies. A decent future for all the peoples around the world will require integration for liberation, rather than cooperation for domination.

To discharge these worthy tasks to the benefit of the peoples of the world, we have invited Russia and other foreign countries that are our brothers in needs and commitments to join the Group of 77.
Our Group of 77 alliance does not have an institution of its own to give effect to the approaches, statements and action plans of our countries. For this reason, Bolivia proposes that an Institute For Decolonization and South-South Co-operation be established.
This institute will be charged with provision of technical assistance to the countries of the South, as well as further implementation of the proposals made by the Group of 77 plus China.
The institute will also supply technical and capacity-building assistance for development and self-determination, and it will help conduct research projects. We propose that this institute be headquartered in Bolivia.

Sixth: Eradicate hunger among the world’s peoples

It is imperative that hunger be eradicated and that the human right to food be fully exercised and enforced.
Food production must be prioritized with the involvement of small growers and indigenous peasant communities that hold age-old knowledge in regard to this activity.
To be successful in hunger eradication, the countries of the South must lay down the conditions for democratic and equitable access to land ownership, so that monopolies over this resource are not allowed to persist in the form of latifundia. However, fragmentation into small and unproductive plots must not be encouraged either.
Food sovereignty and security must be enhanced through access to healthy foods for the benefit of the people.
The monopoly held by transnational corporations over the supply of farm inputs must be eliminated as a way to foster food security and sovereignty.
Each country must make sure that the supply of the basic food staples consumed by its people is secured by enhancing productive, cultural and environmental practices, and by promoting people-to-people exchanges on the basis of solidarity. Governments have an obligation to ensure the supply of power, the availability of road connections and access to water and organic fertilizers.

Seventh: Strengthen the sovereignty of states free from foreign interference, intervention and/or espionage

Within the framework of the United Nations, a new institutional structure must be promoted in support of a New World Order for Vivir Bien.
The institutions that emerged after World War II, including the United Nations, are in need of a thorough reform today.
International agencies that promote peace, eliminate global hegemonism and advance equality among states are required.
For this reason, the UN Security Council must be abolished. Rather than fostering peace among nations, this body has promoted wars and invasions by imperial powers in their quest for the natural resources available in the invaded countries. Instead of a Security Council, today we have an insecurity council of imperial wars.
No country, no institution and no interest can justify the invasion of one country by another. The sovereignty of states and the internal resolution of the conflicts that exist in any country are the foundation of peace and of the United Nations.
I stand here to denounce the unjust economic blockade imposed on Cuba and the aggressive and illegal policies pursued by the US government against Venezuela, including a legislative initiative offered at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee designed to apply sanctions to that country to the detriment of its sovereignty and political independence, a clear breach of the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.

These forms of persecution and internationally driven coups are the traits of modern colonialism, the colonial practices of our era.
These are our times, the times of the South. We must be able to overcome and heal the wounds caused by fratricidal wars stirred by foreign capitalist interests. We must strengthen our integration schemes in support of our peaceful coexistence, our development and our faith in shared values, such as justice.
Only by standing together will we be able to give decent lives to our peoples.

Eighth: Democratic renewal of our states

The era of empires, colonial hierarchies and financial oligarchies is coming to an end. Everywhere we look, we see peoples around the world calling for their right to play their leading role in history.
The 21st century must be the century of the peoples, the workers, the farmers, the indigenous communities, the youth and the women. In other words, it must be the century of the oppressed.
The realization of the peoples’ leading role requires that democracy be renewed and strengthened. We must supplement electoral democracy with participatory and community-based democracy.
We must move away from limited parliamentary and party-based governance and into the social governance of democracy.
This means that the decision-making process in any state must take into consideration its parliamentary deliberations, but also the deliberations by the social movements that incorporate the life-giving energy of our peoples.
The renovation of democracy in this century also requires that political action represents a full and permanent service to life. This service constitutes an ethical, humane and moral commitment to our peoples, to the humblest masses.
For this purpose, we must reinstate the codes of our ancestors: no robar, no mentir, no ser flujo y no ser adulón [do not steal, do not lie, do not be weak and do not flatter].

Democracy also means distribution of wealth and expansion of the common goods shared by society.
Democracy means subordination of rulers to the decisions of the ruled.
Democracy is not a personal benefit vested in the rulers, nor is it abuse of power. Democracy means serving the people with love and self-sacrifice. Democracy means dedication of time, knowledge, effort and even life itself in the pursuit of the well-being of the peoples and humanity.

Ninth: A new world rising from the South for the whole of humanity

The time has come for the nations of the South.
In the past, we were colonized and enslaved. Our stolen labour built empires in the North.
Today, with every step we take for our liberation, the empires grow decadent and begin to crumble.
However, our liberation is not only the emancipation of the peoples of the South. Our liberation is also for the whole of humanity. We are not fighting to dominate anyone. We are fighting to ensure that no one becomes dominated.
Only we can save the source of life and society: Mother Earth. Our planet is under a death threat from the greed of predatory and insane capitalism.

Today, another world is not only possible, it is indispensable.
Today, another world is indispensable because, otherwise, no world will be possible.
And that other world of equality, complementarity and organic coexistence with Mother Earth can only emerge from the thousands of languages, colours and cultures existing in brotherhood and sisterhood among the Peoples of the South.
Evo Morales Ayma, president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and pro-tempore president of the Group of 77 plus China

[1] For a recent discussion of this concept, see Raúl Zibechi, Brasil Potencia, now available in English.
[2] A common error of G77 members is to equate anti-imperialist solidarity with political support of member governments. A glaring example was provided by Bolivia’s parliament immediately after the summit, when it awarded a human rights medal to the president of Sri Lanka, whose government is notorious for waging a genocidal war against the country’s minority Tamil nation — strange conduct indeed by Bolivia’s “Plurinational Legislative Assembly.”
[3] United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.



Available at:

A religious scholar in stressing that Malaysia is not a secular country, pointed out three approaches to implement hudud which can be applied to all Malaysians.

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (Usim) senior lecturer Dr Zulkifli Hasan said, during a forum organised by the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) on hudud ‎today, that Muslims in the country, have “long been duped into believing that Malaysia is a secular country when it is not.

“We have for long been duped by this statement. There is not even a word that says ‘secular’ in the constitution or state constitutions before independence … on the contrary, it is essentially Islamiah Malayuwiyyah,” he said during the forum entitled”‘Hudud in Malaysia: Challenges and Implementation” held at the Selangor State Mosque.

Zulkifli said that the position of Islam is superior in the Federal Constitution.

“Malaysia is not a secular country so what’s wrong in implementing hudud? Given the standing of the religion, that is why funding is provided to the Islamic Development ‎Department to ‘strengthen’ it,” he added.

Zulkifli who stressed that hudud is an “ideal set of laws” to only be implemented in an “ideal society”, adding it can be implemented to cover both Muslims and non-Muslims.

“I will highlight three approaches. First, hudud can be made as part of the general laws in the country. It can be made as part of the Penal Code…we Islamise it, have Penal Code 1 and 2, which can be applied to all.

“Only few laws need to be amended with a simple majority for this to happen,” he said, adding that, the Penal Code as it is, already adopts several hudud laws.

However he acknowledged that this will give rise to several issues pertaining to both the Federal and state constitutions.

“Secondly, hudud can be made state enactments, like what Kelantan is attempting to do. This can be done by amending the Federal Constitution if the law is to be applied to non-Muslims.”

Zulkifli said that for this, there needs to be a two-third majority to amend the Federal Constitution and it will again be difficult.

Thirdly, he said, that‎ if the law is to be only applied for Muslims on adultery and alcohol consumption offences stipulated as illegal or “haram” in Islam, it would for the government to grant power to the states to amend their own enactments.

“Hudud can be applicable to all if it touches on matters of public safety and harmony. Especially for offences like theft and robbery,” he said.

“Hudud should not be politicised but instead, seen as a way to strengthen the Syariah Courts and Islamic laws in general. Hudud is not deterrent in nature but to teach.”

Zulkifli said that the negative impression on hudud portrayed by non-Muslim lawmakers has to be countered by holding proper discussions and talks.

When asked if he thinks Malaysia is ready for the law, Zulkifli said while he advocates for the law as a devout Muslim, the implementation framework ‎is still very much vague and often politicised.

“Hudud can be implemented any time, the issue is only the implementation..the law itself is not a problem.”

He said, however, that hudud laws seen to be controversial and oppressive towards women needs to be dropped entirely.

Zulkifli Hasan
Buku fiqh



By Tariq Ramadan Available at:

Culture constitutes an essential element of human life. As people have risen up across the Middle East and North Africa, the diversity of their cultures is not only the means but also the ultimate goal of their liberation and their freedom. Though imperialism was primarily political and economic, it was also cultural; it imposed ways of life, habits, perceptions and values that rarely respected the societies under its domination, that seized control of minds — a true colonisation of human intelligence.

Globalisation extends to culture, often leading, in the societies of the Global South, to self-dispossession. Genuine liberation, the march toward dignity and democracy, requires a “cultural uprising” in all dimensions of its popular, artistic, intellectual and religious expressions. The importance of culture and the arts in undertaking the task of re-appropriation is critical: the tools of thought and tradition must be used to lend shape and substance to the sense of belonging that alone can guarantee the well-being of individuals. If there is no culture without religion, and no religion without culture and if, finally, culture is not religion, the issue must be explored; the complex questions of values, meaning, spirituality, tradition and the arts — the factors that give form to history, memory, nations and identities; that transmit well-being and freedom, or fail to — must be faced squarely.

Arab and Muslim majority societies are riven by religious and cultural tensions that have at times torn them apart. The role of the religious reference is a subject of constant discussion and heated debate over relations with tradition and with Arabic — or other national languages — have set ruling elites and intellectuals at loggerheads. Close examination and study of these experiences leads but to one sole conclusion: we are dealing with a complex, deeply rooted malaise. Its dimensions are manifold: cultural, religious, linguistic and therefore, a fortiori, strongly identity-related.

It cuts across all social sectors, all classes, and all trends of thought, from secularists to Islamists and from atheists to believers, whether observant or not. The attraction-repulsion complex vis-à-vis the West is not new; it existed even before the colonial period. It has created an ambiguous relationship in which imaginations are fascinated and attracted by the now-global Western culture, while the same force of attraction is rejected by the analytical, cultural and ethical conscience that is experienced as self-dispossession, colonisation and on occasion as the violence of cultural rape. The “Arab problem” was never simply one of the violent dictatorships that succeeded political decolonisation; it has always lain in the perpetuation of an alienating and paralysing, if not destructive, intellectual colonisation.

More than intellectual constructs

The process of reclaiming the self is one of reconciliation with meaning. Cultures, along with the religions that shape and nurture them, are value systems, sets of traditions and habits clustered around one or several languages, producing meaning: for the self, for the here and now, for the community, for life. Cultures are never merely intellectual constructs. They take form through the collective intelligence and memory, through a commonly held psychology and emotions, through spiritual and artistic communion. The Arab awakening cannot afford to overlook these, the fundamental dimensions of freedom and of the liberation of individuals and societies. The Islamic reference is of crucial importance and cries out for special attention for, like all religious references, it can have, in particular historical circumstances, a positive, liberating function — or become a reactionary, dogmatic and authoritarian instrument, an instrument of oppression. Its examination must be preceded by political and economic analysis, by systematic reference to studies in anthropology, cultures and religions.

Cultural emancipation is imperative, and will require a holistic approach. If the message of religion is to be reconciled with spirituality, cultural fulfillment can only be achieved through the celebration of and respect for the languages, memories and heritage of all, and with the positive integration of minority ethnic affiliations and dialects.

Negative effects of globalisation

Along with the West, Africa, the Islamic Orient and Asia have fallen into the trap set by the negative effects of globalisation, including but not limited to exclusivist, sectarian if not deadly claims to culture and identity. The same claims are omnipresent in the Arab world as well. Hence the importance of cultural policies, which must be developed in tandem with social policy, drawn from the common ground that determines the sense of national belongs.

Culture lends meaning to a horizon. Everything in the heritage of culture and tradition is worthy of celebration. To achieve cultural liberation means calling into question all possible forms of parallel and/or secondary alienation: economic dispossession is devastating, just as cultural imperialism can be. Spirituality, posited as a point of recall, as a quest for meaning in and through itself, individually and collectively, is an act of liberation. Yet it must be part of an open, constructive involvement that, acting from within society and in full respect of the pluralism that distinguishes those of the Middle East and North Africa, will determine the ultimate goals that body forth the cultures whose substance constitutes the narrative of each nation.

To assert culture, memory and identity is to assert that they are meaningful, to affirm that they are capable of addressing the challenges of the day. To assert one’s self is to become a subject, to take full responsibility for one’s heart, body and mind, as well as for one’s fellows, one’s society, and for nature itself. The imperative of coherence is incontrovertible; the very condition of genuine well-being and freedom. Western societies are today taking stock of the deficiencies that afflict them, that undermine the principles of democracy by maintaining a culture of fear and insecurity. Insecurity of mind is the negative image of peace of heart. Arab societies are undergoing a similar crisis, in a different way perhaps, but with equal intensity.

An awakening required

They suffer from a malaise of incoherence, and no amount of reform, or of political freedom, will resolve the feeling of unease that has sapped the foundations of East and West alike. There is no lack of obstacles to be overcome in the Middle East and North Africa. Both the political and economic difficulties are well known, as is the strength of the people’s cultural and religious references; the potential for spiritual and ethical opening is palpable. What remains is to find the means for their multiform expression. It is time to remind ourselves that in the profoundest of Islamic teachings, believers do not rise to pray during the night in order to find themselves and forget the world; they do so indeed to find themselves, the better to invest the daylight hours with meaning, and to reform the world. The Arab world and Muslim majority societies stand in need of an awakening that is responsible, free of illusions, self-critical and resolutely positive as much as they stand in need of creativity and imagination.

Reconciliation with self, liberation from intellectual and cultural colonialism, not to mention the emergence of an “Arab subject” can only take place when new life is breathed into our relationship with meaning and with ultimate goals, only when imagination, art, literature, painting and music are reclaimed. Science too, along with knowledge and the ways in which women and men express themselves and their imaginations, their hurts and desires, their grief and their hopes. The Arab world is in the throes of another crisis: the crisis of a fettered imagination from which it is struggling to escape, and that has a powerful impact on its very wellbeing. By this token, the Arab awakening must do more than overthrow dictators. It must break free of the fetters that decades of abdication have applied to the order of science, knowledge, esthetics, art and beauty in general.

With grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr Mustafa Ceric



Zulkifli Hasan


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.


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.


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Merungkai Persoalan Krisis di Syria

Merungkai Persoalan Krisis di Syria

Zulkifli Hasan

Berbanding dengan siri kebangkitan rakyat di Tunisia dan Mesir, krisis di Syria mendapat liputan dan analisis yang agak berbeza daripada pelbagai pihak. Secara umumnya, terdapat dua teori yang berkaitan dengan krisis di Syria. Golongan pertama berpandangan bahawa jatuhnya rejim Bashar Al-Assad akan mengukuhkan pengaruh Israel di Timur Tengah. Golongan kedua pula mempunyai teori dan pandangan yang berlainan di mana krisis di Syria dianggap sebagai sesuatu yang ’genuine’ dan penentangan terhadap rejim Bashar al Assad adalah suatu tuntutan jihad. ’Dichotomy’ dan dua teori yang bertentangan ini telah menimbulkan kesulitan kepada aktivis dan badan bukan kerajaan yang sedang memperjuangkan nasib dan kehidupan rakyat Syria yang kini menghadapi krisis kemanusiaan yang sangat membimbangkan. Hingga kini dilaporkan bilangan penduduk yang menghadapi krisis kemanusiaan akan mencecah lebih 2.5 juta.

Pandangan yang menganggap rejim Bashar al Assad sebagai pengancam Israel dan kejatuhannya hanya akan mengukuhkan hegemoni Israel di Timur Tengah ini disuarakan oleh ramai penganalisis politik dan jurnalis antarabangsa seperti Robert Fisk termasuk tokoh ulama iaitu Sheikh Imran Hossein. Robert Fisk di dalam artikelnya bertajuk ”Bashar al Assad, Syria, and The Truth About Chemical Weapons” menyuarakan pandangannya mengenai usaha Amerika memburukkan rejim Bashar al Assad dengan hasrat untuk menjatuhkannya melalui tuduhan menggunakan senjata kimia. Ini disokong oleh Professor Michel Chossudovsky di dalam artikel beliau ”Confronting Iran, Protecting Israel: The Real Reason for America’s War on Syria”. Beliau berpandangan bahawa kejatuhan rejim al Assad hanya akan mengakibatkan Syria dapat dikuasai oleh sekutu atau agen Amerika dan Israel dan dengan itu, Hamas dan Hezbollah dapat dihapuskan sekali gus melemahkan Iran yang dianggap musuh dan ancaman kepada mereka. Terdapat juga segelintir ahli akademik tanahair yang cenderung dengan pandangan ini malahan melabelkan pejuang pembebasan Syria ini dengan gelaran ”pemberontak” dan ”pengganas” yang sama sekali bertentangan dengan mauqif ulama muktabar.

Berdasarkan permasalahan di atas, penulis ingin berkongsi pandangan mengenai krisis yang berlaku di Syria dan cuba merungkaikan beberapa persoalan yang kini membelenggu pemikiran sesetengah pihak. Penulis telah merujuk pelbagai sumber makalah, artikel, buku, berita, laporan, jurnal dan sebagainya termasuk menghadiri syarahan ulama tersohor Syria, maklumat sumber pertama sahabat-sahabat di Syria serta penerangan oleh aktivis yang telah masuk ke Syria. Artikel ini juga ingin memperkenalkan buku terkini tulisan Dr. Zulkifli Al Bakri bertajuk ’Krisis Syria dan Mauqif Ulama’ yang menjelaskan pendirian dan pandangan ulama muktabar mengenai krisis di Syria. Berdasarkan sumber-sumber sahih ini, penulis sangat berkeyakinan bahawa krisis di Syria ini adalah sesuatu yang ’genuine’ dan segala bentuk perjuangan dan bantuan adalah dianggap suatu jihad. Rakyat Syria yang berjihad menentang kezaliman dan kemungkaran diketuai rejim Bashar al Assad ini bukanlah ’pemberontak’ tetapi adalah pejuang pembebasan dan jika gugur dikategorikan sebagai syahid. Bersama-sama dengan rakyat Syria bangun menentang kezaliman, keganasan, ketidakperikemanusiaan dan ketidakadilan adalah suatu tuntutan dan kewajipan umat Islam.

Bagi memahami krisis di Syria ini, perlu juga dilihat terlebih dahulu Syria dari sudut demografi. Syria mendapat kemerdekaan pada 1946 dengan penduduk berjumlah lebih 23 juta. 75% adalah Muslim-sunni tetapi kerajaan Syria dikuasai oleh parti Baath iaitu diwakili minoriti Alawi yang hanya 3-4%. Parti Baath yang minoriti Alawi ini bermazhab Syiah Nusairiah dan berideologi sosialis. Berdasarkan demografi ini, amatlah bermanfaat untuk menelusuri serba sedikit asal usul rejim al Assad di Syria ini. Setelah kemerdekaan Syria telah dipimpin oleh keluarga al Assad. Kemuncak kezaliman rejim al Assad ini telah berlaku pada 1982 di bawah pimpinan Hafiz al Assad (memerintah selama 32 tahun) sewaktu tragedi berdarah di bandar Hamah yang meragut nyawa lebih 40 ribu penduduk, 15 ribu hilang tempat tinggal dan 150 ribu menjadi mangsa pelarian. Bukan itu sahaja, dilaporkan lebih 88 buah masjid dimusnahkan dan infrastruktur awam dihancurkan. Sebegitu ramai ulama dan ilmuan Islam yang dipenjara, diseksa dan dibunuh. Di antara ulama yang menjadi pelarian politik ialah Sheikh Abu Fattah Abdu Ghuddah, Sheikh Said Hawa, Sheikh Muhammad Ali Al Sabuni, Sheikh Muhammad Hashim al Majzub, Sheikh Usamah al Rafie dan ramai lagi.

Bashar al Asad telah mengambil alih pemerintahan daripada Hafiz al Assad pada tahun 2000 setelah Perlembagaan Negara dipinda semata-mata untuk membolehkannya menjadi Presiden yang pada itu belum mencapai umur 40 tahun yang dibenarkan. Beliau meneruskan kekejaman lalu dengan beberapa insiden kemanusiaan seperti peristiwa berdarah Qamisyli pada 2004 dan 2008, peristiwa Hasakah pada 2004 dan peristiwa penjara Soydana. Tragedi 2011 hingga hari ini adalah yang paling trajis di mana telah meragut nyawa ratusan ribu rakyat Syria yang majoritinya adalah Muslim-sunni. Ini disahkan oleh Utusan Khas PBB dan Liga Arab, Lakhdar Brahimi. Malahan kekejaman rejim Bashar al Assad juga telah meranapkan pelbagai kesan sejarah penting Islam seperti Maktabah al Khanji yang dianggap antara perpustakaan tertua dunia yang mempunyai koleksi berharga yang tidak ternilai. Melalui fakta-fakta ini, sudah jelas lagi bersuluh betapa tidak logiknya sebarang pandangan yang menyokong rejim Bashar al Assad atas apa sahaja alasan. Malahan melabelkan rakyat yang menuntut keadilan dengan gelaran pemberontak atau pengganas adalah suatu perkara yang amat dikesalkan.

Selain itu, adalah amat penting juga untuk mengenali Alawi atau Shiah Nusairiah yang pengikutnya menguasai kerajaan Syria. Shiah Nusairiah di Syria ini mempunyai hubungan amat rapat dengan Iran dan Hizbullah. Ini kerana terdapat segelintir umat Islam termasuk di Malaysia yang tidak mempunyai gambaran sebenar malahan memberikan sokongan kepada rejim Bashar al Assad dan menganggap Iran serta Hizbullah sebagai pembela agama dan memberi ancaman kepada Israel. Dilaporkan juga Iran telah membekalkan pelbagai jenis senjata kepada Syria. Ayatullah Ali Khomeini pernah mengeluarkan fatwa bahawa wajib rakyat Iran mempertahankan rejim al Assad. Dalam hal ini, kita perlu merujuk kepada pandangan dan fakta-fakta mengenai shiah Nusairiah ini. Sebenarnya, terlalu ramai ulama muktabar telah terlebih awal memberikan fatwa mengenai kesesatan Syiah Nusairiah. Ibn Taimiyah, Ibnu Kathir, al Zahabi, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Baz dan Sheikh Ali al Sabuni secara jelas memfatwakan shiah nusairiah sebagai sesat. Sheikh Gharib al Sirjani mengatakan bahawa kesesatan shiah Nusairiah ini adalah berasaskan ijma. Oleh itu, sebarang pandangan yang menyokong rejim Bashar al Assad yang juga shiah Nusairiah ini adalah dianggap perkara mungkar dan menyesatkan.

Bagi mengukuhkan pandangan betapa rejim Bashar al Assad ini perlu diperangi dan dijatuhkan, penulis ingin merujuk kepada beberapa pendirian ulama muktabar kontemporari seperti yang dinukilkan di dalam buku ’Krisis Syria dan Mauqif Ulama”. Sheikh Abdul Aziz Baz pada 1982 berfatwa bahawa wajib memberi bantuan kepada umat Islam yang dizalimi oleh rejim Al Assad. Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradhawi dengan tegas menyatakan bahawa wajib bagi rakyat Syria untuk bangkit menentang rejim al Assad malahan menggesa jemaah haji berdoa untuk kehancurannya. Sheikh Ali al sabuni yang baru-baru ini berada di Malaysia dengan tegas menggesa umat Islam untuk melakukan apa sahaja termampu bagi membebaskan rakyat Syria. Ramai lagi ulama tersohor seperti Sheikh Soleh al Luhaidan, Sheikh Muhammad Hasan, Sheikh Aidh al Qarni, Sheikh Muhammad al Irifi, Sheikh Ahmad Qattan dan Sheikh Wahbah al Zuhaili memberikan pandangan yang sama di mana menyeru umat Islam untuk membantu rakyat Syria menjatuhkan rejim Al Assad.

Krisis Syria dan Mauqif Ulama oleh Dr. Zulkifli Al Bakri

Pandangan dan pendirian ulama muktabar mengenai kewajipan membantu rakyat Syria ini disahkan dan disokong oleh Resolusi Muktamar Syria di Istanbul iaitu persidangan para ulama sedunia pada 1-3 Julai 2012. Muktamar ini secara umumnya menegaskan bahawa revolusi rakyat Syria adalah kebangkitan yang hak dan benar dan adalah menjadi kewajipan semua umat Islam untuk membantu rakyat Syria dan menjatuhkan rejim Bashar al Assad. Muktamar ini merayu agar semua negara Islam di bawah pertubuhan OIC serta negara-negara lain untuk memberikan bantuan kemanusiaan termasuk membekalkan persenjataan. Informasi dan maklumat mengenai resolusi muktamar seperti ini dan bukti-bukti kezaliman rejim Bashar al Assad mungkin tidak sampai atau lambat diperolehi oleh umat Islam dan ini menyebabkan ada yang mempersoalkan tindakan rakyat Syria bangun menentang kerajaan Syria. Ini bukanlah sesuatu yang asing kerana rejim Bashar al Asad seringkali cuba untuk menyembunyikan keganasan mereka. Umpamanya telah ramai wartawan yang telah terkorban semasa membuat liputan di Syria seperti Mika Yamamoto, jurnalis Jepun yang sangat aktif melaporkan kebenaran krisis di Syria.

Dunia telah menyaksikan kebangkitan rakyat bermula di Tunisia diikuti Mesir, Libya, Syria dan kemungkinan negara-negara Timur Tengah yang lain. Namun, revolusi di Syria masih dalam proses menuju kemenangan. Malahan persoalan yang lebih besar ialah nasib Syria pasca revolusi. Berbanding dengan revolusi di Tunisia, Mesir dan Libya, krisis di Syria adalah sedikit berlainan kerana ianya melibatkan pelbagai isu geo-politik termasuk permasalahan shiah Nusairiah serta sokongan oleh Iran dan Rusia dan beberapa negara lain. Teori menjatuhkan rejim al Assad sebagai tindakan meningkatkan hegemoni dan penguasaan Israel di Timur Tengah juga adalah satu perkara yang tidak mempunyai asas yang kuat. Pendirian atau mauqif ulama muktabar di seluruh dunia mengenai kewajipan umat Islam untuk membantu rakyat Syria mengesahkan bahawa kebangkitan rakyat Syria adalah sesuatu yang hak dan benar. Kezaliman dan keganasan tidakperikemanusiaan tahap luarbiasa rejim Bashar al Assad adalah tindakan yang tidak boleh sama sekali diterima akal. Rejim Bashar al Assad ini mesti dibawa ke muka pengadilan dan dibicarakan di Mahkamah serta segala keganasan dan kezaliman ini didedahkan kepada dunia supaya tragedi kemanusiaan ini dapat memberi pengajaran kepada semua umat manusia.

Zulkifli Hasan
Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 8000 Muslims were killed here in July 1995.

Top 500 Most Influential Muslims: Saudi King top and Erdogan 2nd

Top 500 Most Influential Muslims: Saudi King tops, Erdogan 2nd and See The Top 50

By Areeb Hasni Available at:

There is a major change in the The Top 500 Most Influential Muslims for 2012 that has been issued for last four years by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.

The RISSC is an independent research entity affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought is an international Islamic non-governmental, independent institute headquartered in Amman, the capital of the Kingdom of Jordan.

This publication is part of an annual series that provides a window into the movers and shakers of the Muslim world. It gives valuable insight into the different ways that Muslims impact the world and also shows the diversity of how people are living as Muslims today.

According to RISSC nominations were evaluated on the basis of the influence that particular Muslims have had within the Muslim community and the manner in which their influence has benefited the Muslim community, both within the Islamic world and in terms of representing Islam to non-Muslims.

For full report, click here

The list of top 50 persons are as follow:

King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey
H.M. King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco
Dr Mohammed Badiem, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar
Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
H.M. King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Professor Dr Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad Al Tayyeb, Grand Sheikh of the Al-Azhar University, Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar Mosque
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia
Hodjaefendi Fethullah Gülen, Turkish Muslim Preacher
Muhammad Morsi Isa Al-Ayyat, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Sultan Qaboos bin Sa’id Aal Sa’id, Sultan of Oman
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hussein Sistani, Marja of the Hawza, Najaf, Iraq
Sheikh Dr Ali Goma’a, Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt
General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy, Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces
Sheikh Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi, Head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars
Hajji Muhammad Abd Al Wahhab, Amir of Tablighi Jamaat, Pakistan
Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah Aal Al Sheikh, Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Dr K.H. Said Aqil Siradj, Chairman of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama
Sheikh Salman Al Ouda, Saudi Scholar and Educator
Sheikha Munira Qubeysi, Leader of the Qubeysi Movement
Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar III, Sultan of Sokoto Nigeria
Sheikh Ahmad Tijani bin Ali Cisse, Ali Cisse Leader of the Tijaniyya Sufi Order, Senegal
President Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey
Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam
Mufti Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan Qaadiri Al Azhari, Barelwi Leader and Spiritual Guide, India
Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan Al-Bouti, Leading Islamic Scholar in Syria,
Seyyed Hasan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, Lebanon
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, Deputy-Head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Mauritania
Mohammad bin Mohammad Al-Mansour, Imam of the Zaidi Sect of Shi‘a Muslims, Yemen
Shah Karim Al Hussayni, The Aga Khan IV, 49th Imam of Ismaili Muslims, France
Justice Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Leading Scholar of Islamic Jurisprudence, Pakistan
Sheikh Mohammad Ali Al Sabouni, Scholar of Tafsir, Syria
Dr Amr Khaled, Preacher and Social Activist, Egypt
President Mahmoud Abbas, President of Palestinian Territories
Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Director of Dar Al Mustafa, Tarim, Yemen, Yemen
Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Jordan
Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation, Qatar
Professor Dr M Din Syamsuddin, Chairman of Muhammadiyya, Indonesia, Indonesia
Maulana Mahmood Madani, Leader and Executive Member of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, India
Habib Ali Zain Al Abideen Al Jifri, Director General of the Tabah Foundation, UAE
Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Founder of Zaytuna Institute, USA
Professor Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Turkey
Professor Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Islamic Philosopher, United States of America
Sheikh Mehmet Nazim Adil Al-Qubrusi Al-Haqqani, Leader of Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order, Cyprus
Sheikh Professor Dr Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Secrtary General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Saudi Arabia
Khaled Mashaal, Leader of Hamas, Palestine
Dr Aref Ali Nayed, Scholar, Libya
Timothy Winter (Sheikh Abdal-Hakim Murad), Scholar, United Kingdom

Zulkifli Hasan
Melbourne Law School