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A group photo at the steps of Masjid Ban Nua 

In order to realize the aspirations to learn through experience and travels in the pursuit of knowledge just as was practised by leading Islamic figures of the past, ISDEV fraternity visited Ban Nua in Hatyai, Thailand from 8 to 10 November, 2013.

The Ban Nua Project is part of the fulfillment of the coursework for SIW505-Epistemology and Islamic Tasawwur. In addition the project brings along a great mission of strengthening the relationship between ISDEV members with the Muslim community in the village of Ban Nua.

MISDEV'13 Muslimah busy preparing for the trip to Ban Nua 

The Project carried the theme ‘Empowering Grass Root Development: Case of the Ban Nua Community in Thailand’ received a close knit cooperation with three institutions - ISDEV USM, Kolej Universiti Perguruan Ugama Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) Brunei Darussalam and Walailak University.

An interview session with Prof. Syukri (right) by the crew of TV Al-Hijrah

The Project was organised by MISDEV’13 students. For the first time since the annual visits to Ban Nua, the crew of TV Al-Hijrah was with them throughout the duration of the project. In fact the project was aired for about 15 minutes on 24 November 2013 at about nine in the morning in the segment of ‘Assalamualaikum : Ban Nua’.

Gotong Royong at the Masjid Ban Nua

Rearranging the books at the mini library

Among the activities held was the sharing of languages, culture, management, health to all participants and the locals of Ban Nua. The activities were in the form of gotong-royong (mutual cooperation) in cleaning the masjid’ssurrounding compound, class for basic Thai language, sports and recreation, management and improvement of the mini library, nasyid (Islamic religious songs) practice, Islamic personal grooming for the Muslim ladies and personal hygiene.

A session just for the Muslimah : Islamic Personal Grooming

On the way back to USM, there was a short stopover at the Floating Market to provide opportunities of ISDEV members to buy souvenirs and Thai delicacies to bring home to their loved ones as buah tangan.

With the children of Ban Nua at the Floating Market

The experience of organising and going through Ban Nua Project itself has been valuable indeed. The education imparted on the sense of the real Islamic ukhuwwah between ISDEV and the Ban Nua Community is everlasting. 

A feast - eating in Jemaah at the Masjid Ban Nua


Welcoming MISDEV'13 at the DPU
13 Sept - ISDEV welcomes the new batch of Masters in Social Science (Islamic Development Management) students on 28 August, 2013 at the University Conference Hall (DPU). 41 new students have been accepted to pursue their Masters (Mixed-Mode) for the academic year 2013/2014. In continuation of ISDEV tradition, this new batch of students is collectively known as MISDEV'13. 

ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr Zakaria Bahari (standing) welcoming ISDEV new students
Old and new -  every student is attentively listening to the briefing

The Ta'aruf Session (or Orientation Programme) for MISDEV'13 started at 10:00am with a welcoming speech and briefing by ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr. Zakaria Bahari. He started by introducing to the students on what ISDEV is all about. Then he gave a brief general overview of the structure of ISDEV, the courses to be attended by the students, introduced ISDEV lecturers as well as the modus operandi of the class to the batch of MISDEV'13.

The lovable personalities of ISDEV lecturers - (left to right)
Dr Zakaria, Dr Fadzila Azni,Dr. Zaini and Dr Zahri

In the spirit of ukhuwwah as exemplified by our beloved Rasulullah SAW, the current MISDEV'12 are regraded as theAnsar community while the new batch of MISDEV'13 are regarded as the Muhajirin community. The seniors as well as RISDEV students (consisting of PhD students and fully research mode Masters students) were also present to witness the seal of the brotherhood in ISDEV that day. 

Bersalam-salaman (Shaking of hands) as part of sealing Islamic ukhuwwah
The new batch of students is rather a unique mix and a first for ISDEV. Among MISDEV'13 students there is an ex-YB, a few full-time primary school teachers as well as international students from Yemen and Vietnam. Another first for ISDEV is that the student from Yemen is only well-versed in English and Arabic while the student from Vietnam is well-versed in Bahasa Melayu and Arabic.

A simple spread for the Jamuan Aidilfitri for all to enjoy

At the end of the session, there was time and space for everyone to mingle around, all within the dictates of the Shariah. ISDEV took the opportunity to invite one and all for a simple Jamuan Aidilfitri (Aidilfitri Feast) since everyone is still reeling in the festivities spirits back from their hometown for the Raya recently.


ISDEV members at the waiting bay before boarding the flight

13 May - The journey of ISDEV academic expedition began on 21st April, 2013 until 27th April, 2013. A total of 51-strong delegation from ISDEV led by ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh left for Medan Indonesia.

ISDEV - A strong presence felt at WAPI-6

Participants of WAPI-6 posing with Prof. Syukri (centre)

The first task was on the 22nd April 2013, where all the delegates presented their respective papers in the 6th International Workshop on Islamic-based Development (WAPI-6) at Universitas Muhammadiyah Sumatera Utara (UMSU).

The well attended "ICID the 5th" at the Conference Room of Hotel Madani

On the 23rd April 2013, ISDEV delegates then attended the 5th International Conference on Islamic Development (ICID the 5th) that was held at the Conference Room of Hotel Madani, Medan with the theme on Islamizing Development (Islamisasi Pembangunan).

Prof. Syukri Salleh delivering his opening remarks

Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh delivered the opening remarks with the prologue on "Islamizing the Thoughts on Development" (Islamisasi Pemikiran Pembangunan).

Authors of Chapters in the book "Politik Pembangunan Islam"

In addition to this conference, the launch of the book entitled ‘Politik Pembangunan Islam’ by Dr. Warjio took place during the opening ceremony of this conference.

The book launch of 'Manusia Menurut Hidayah al-Quran' at UMA
A group photo at the end of the book launch session at UMA

Then on 24th April, 2013, ISDEV delegations were also invited to Universitas Medan Area (UMA) to witness the launch of another book entitled ‘Manusia Menurut Hidayah Al-Quran’ by Haji Ismet Junus, the Director of UMA Islamic Centre. This networking between UMA and ISDEV USM is hoped to continue and strengthened in the near future.

A place to remember by ISDEV delegates - The beautiful and serene Danau Toba

The next day was a trip in the form of an academic tour to Parapat, Danau Toba. All passionate ISDEV delegations went to Parapat, Danau Toba on 25th April 2013 to experience the beauty of nature and strengthened the ukhuwwah(brotherhood) with one another. The experience and knowledge gained by the delegates on this tour were indeed priceless. ISDEV delegates also managed to visit Pulau Tomok, Samosir for sightseeing.

Razali receiving the award from Almarhum Dr Suhrawardi's wife, Puan Latifah

In a tribute to Almarhum Dr Suhrawardi, ISDEV introduced the "Dr. Suhrawardi Award" for the best paper presented at WAPI-6. This year, the award went to Encik Razali Othman and Puan Khatijah Othman.

An act of sealing ukhuwwah.
 Congregational solat followed by a Tazkirah every subh and maghrib

The seven day academic expedition was a success. All the delegates experienced a whole new perspective on being a traveler (musafir) and the strong ukhuwwah felt among one another was sealed  further during this trip.


A mixture of intensity yet calmness was felt in the Meeting Room of C05

10 May - When it comes to the end of the semester, each student would be busy with final assignments and preparations for the final examinations. The same goes with ISDEV Master students (MISDEV’12). The last three weeks of this month is akin to a nightmare to all of them because each of them will be presenting the proposal of their dissertations.

Mohd Hafez Sabri (left) presenting his proposal

For the first week, a total of 6 students had presented their dissertations. They were Mohd Hafez Sabri, Surita Hartini Mat Hassan, Farah Farhana Johari, Rhodhiyah Johari, Mohd Syahmi Mohd Miswan and Nurul Nadiah Md. Salleh.
Farah Farhana presenting her proposal

Their proposal presentations which was held at the Meeting Room of C05 started at 10am and only ended after 1pm. This group of MISDEV’12 students presented their dissertation proposals in front of their supervisors as well as three other ISDEV lecturers who all acted as evaluators. ISDEV lecturers freely gave their comments and suggestions on how the students in each of the proposal presented could improve their research as well as their dissertations proper.

Shahmir (right) posing a question 

The evaluators for the session consisted of ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh, ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr.Zakaria Bahari, and ISDEV lecturers Dr. Fadzila Azni as well as Dr. Zahri Hamat. The remaining 11 candidates will be presenting their dissertations on May 15 and May 22.


The Malam Graduasi ISDEV

25 April - All the 18 students who registered for the Master in Social Science (Islamic Development Management) in 2011 under ISDEV had successfully completed their studies. As part of ISDEV tradition, the Malam Graduasi ISDEV (ISDEV Graduation Night) is held during the eve of USM Convocation ceremony for the MISDEV ’11 cohort as well as graduating RISDEV students to celebrate their achievements. This year it was held on Friday 12 April, 2013

In celebrating this auspicious occasion 18 MISDEV’ 11 students had successfully completed their Masters Degree while 2 other students had successfully completed their PhDs. With the theme ‘Ruhban fi al- layl wa fursan fi al-Nahar'(similitude of a priest by night and a warrior by day) the event was held the Dewan Utama Pelajar Desasiswa of the Universiti Sains Malaysia.

ISDEV Lecturers (Left to right) Dr Mohd. Shukri, Dr Zahari, Dr Zakaria,
Prof Muhammad Syukri, Dr Zaini and Dr Fadzila Azni

At the event besides the students, ISDEV lecturers including ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr Zakaria Bahari, Dr. Zaini Abu Bakar, Dr. Zahri Hamat, Dr. Fadzila Azni as well as their family members and the students parents, loved ones and relatives were also there to join in the celebration of excellence.

The event began with a congregational Maghrib prayer led by Taha Mohd Omar followed by a brief Tazkirah delivered by Ustaz Shahir Akram as an positive injection to the soul before proceeding with the next item in the programme.

One of the 12 MISDEV'11 students who won the award

As a symbol to the opening ceremony of the event, upon the launch of the night by ISDEV Director, Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh, a multimedia presentation on the trials and tribulations that the MISDEV’11 students had gone through for the three semesters were screened. It was then followed by the presentation of certificates for “Outstanding Dissertation” and “Outstanding PhD Thesis Award” by ISDEV Director to the 14 graduates in recognition of their excellence in academic writing.
Recipient of Oustanding PhD Thesis Award - Dr Marlina Ekawaty

Recipient of Oustanding PhD Thesis Award - Dr Heri Kusmanto (left)

This includes two of the outstanding PhD thesis award received by Dr. Marlina Ekawaty and Dr. Heri Kusmanto.

Soutul ISDEV in action

Besides, the award presentation ceremony, guests were also entertained with the rendition of nasheed by the group “Soutul ISDEV” comprising of ISDEV students itself.

ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh,
delivering the Closing Speech

Before adjourning the event, Prof Syukri Salleh in his closing speech reminded all those who present that the quest and striving hard for knowledge will never end as long as there is interest, effort and the will to pursue and not to fail or to surrender; to seek knowledge regardless of age and strive hard, very, very hard not only for self interest but alos due to one’s love for the beloved sanctity and religion of Islam.

All eyes were on the The Multimedia Presentation


The "Malam Restu Ilmu for MISDEV '11" held at the Banquet Hall, USM

20 Feb- It has become a tradition in ISDEV that newly enrolled MISDEV students organize a simple yet memorable program which is part of ISDEV culture. This tradition is symbolically referred to as "Malam Restu Ilmu" for the graduating MISDEV students. For this year the "MAJLIS RESTU ILMU" was held on the 8th of January, 2013, at the Banquet Hall of USM. The significance of such program is to enable ISDEV lecturers to bestow their blessings to all MISDEV'11 students the knowledge that has been shared and imparted into the students who have just completed their studies.

The program saw almost all ISDEV members including students, lecturers and their family members attending the program. The night started with the congregational Maghrib prayer. Ustaz Syahir Akram led the solat followed by his Tazkirah Maghrib. This was thereafter immediately followed by a celebration interlude of presenting gifts to newly-wed and newborn within ISDEV members. The gifts were all presented by ISDEV Director, Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh.

Ustaz Shahir (holding the microphone) giving the Tazkirah Maghrib
ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh presenting gifts
to a newly wed ISDEV member
After performing the congregational Isyak prayer, Prof.Syukri then gave his welcoming speech followed by a  multimedia presentation on the trials and tribulations of MISDEV'11 as "students of ISDEV". The night was dedicated to them as they are the ones who will be graduating soon.
The delectable spread for the special occasion
A delectable dinner was served while ISDEV members leveraged the opportunity to strengthen the bonds and catch up with one another family members who also attended to enliven the night. The program ended at 11.00 pm.


One the slides prepared by a MISDEV'11 student

7 Jan - A total of 18 MISDEV'11 students have successfully presented the final draft of their dissertations before they completed their tenure as postgraduate students of ISDEV. The presentations which took place for two days on 26 November 2012 and on 29 November 2012 were held at the Conference Rooms of C06 and C23 respectively of the School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

A serene Sister Yusra after presenting her final dissertation
No seat was spared in C23

ISDEV students were all required to attend the presentations for both days to participate and engage in the academic exercise in accordance with the spirit of al-birr (helping one another for betterment) and al-taqwa (piety). ISDEV members provided additional inputs through opinions and comments on how the students in the MISDEV'11 cohort can best improve their dissertations. Simultaneously the sessions exposed MISDEV'11 students to a near real situation of a viva voce as well as provided the platform for them to hone their public speaking skills.

Some of the lecturers (left to right):
 Dr Mohd Shukri Hanapi, Dr Zakaria Bahari and Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh

In a serious mood - ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr Zakaria Bahari (centre)
stressing a point

ISDEV lectures including ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh, ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr Zakaria Bahari, and ISDEV lecturers Dr. Zaini Abu Bakar, Dr. Zahri Hamat as well as Dr. Mohd Shukri Hanapi attended the sessions and collectively evaluated each student's dissertation. They provided key inputs to MISDEV'11 students' dissertations which were definitely useful to streamline and improve the contents of their researches  before finally submitting the final copies for examiners' review.


Picture For Keeps - the lovable children of Ban Nua
18 Dis - MISDEV'12 successfully  organized an academic cum friendship trip to Ban Nua, Thailand from the  7th until 9th December, 2012. 40 delegates from ISDEV consisting of ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh, lectures as well as students joined in this programme. This academic visit also serves as cordial gesture of a return visit of the 90 delegates strong entourage from Ban Nua Thailand, led by Dr Tobrani,  who visited ISDEV on the 23rd October 2012.

Officiating the Programme - Dr Tobrani welcoming ISDEV delegates 
Officiating the Programme - the affable Prof Muhammad Syukri Salleh 
As a request from Dr. Tobrani, the programme was packed with useful activities such as a "Cleanliness Campaign" among Ban Nua school children, a nasyeed teaching session focused on Asma Ul Husna and Salawat, reorganizing the Mini Library of the Ban Nua community as well as an IT session with focus on "Excel" dedicated for the Ban Nua's zakat managers.
Part of the cleanliness program - teeth brushing sessions
Reorganizing the mini library
Teaching session of the nasyeed on Asma ul Husna  
An Excel Workshop in session 
There was also a friendly football match between ISDEV brothers with Wailalak University students as one team playing against the Ban Nua community team. The ISDEV-Wailalak University team won the match on penalties after extra time. 

Ustz Shahir (ISDEV) seconds before scoring the goal for the ISDEV-Walailak Team

A Great Game - The football team from ISDEV with Walailak University and Ban Nua  players
There was a distinct uniqueness in Ban Nua. First ISDEV delegates learned from the trip hands-on on what  Islamic development from the grassroots is in reality. Second they also learned what is meant by knowledge management by upholding the simple rule of "Perform the solat and pay the zakat”. Third the importance of the masjid  as a centre of administration. Fourth was on how zakat is effectively used to help the poor and fifth was the sacrifice made by the villagers of Ban Nua in building the masjid.
At the Floating Market
The self-sustaining Ban Nua community living amid a non-Muslim majority country is a true walk-the-talk inspiration to all ISDEV members.


In front of Baan Nua Mosque
11, 12, 13 Nov - A memorable trip to Thailand organized by USM MISDEV' 11, have shown a big success. The trip had taken place in 3 different areas in South Thailand- Nakhorn Si Thammarat, Baan Nua and Hat Yai. The purpose of the trip is to gain a better understanding on the subject SIW505- Islamic Epistemology & Tasawwur.
The journey began on the bright Friday morning with the group of 52 delegates including lecturers, researchers and students departed from USM Penang at 8 am with the target to reach Walailak University which is located in the district of Nakhorn Si Thammarat at 5 pm.
Walailak University
In the middle of the journey, we stopped at Sadau for Friday Prayer and lunch. The very outrages spicy foods from Thailand had become the first hurdle for most of the delegates. At 7 pm (Thailand time), the delegates arrived safely at Walailak University even thought it is 2 hours behind the real schedule. The greetings from Walailak University was overwhelming.
Walailak University President, Dr. Keerath Saguansai
The opening ceremony of the night started with the reporting speech from Islamic Studies and Muslim Community Development for Peaceful Social Integration of Walailak University (ISWU) President, Associate Prof. Dr. Chairat Siripatana. All delegates were very delightful when the Walailak University President, Dr. Keerath Saguansai waited for almost 2 hours to give the welcoming himself and be part of the MoU signing ceremony. Before the MoU signing ceremony took place, Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh, the Director of ISDEV gave his appreciation speech to Walailak University. The MoU signing ceremony between ISDEV and ISWU went smoothly. The purpose of this collaboration is to develop a good relationship between ISDEV and ISWU. This collaboration enhanced the strength of ISDEV and ISWU in continuing their journey together. The night ended with a very delicious dinner prepared by Walailak University.
Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh, the Director of ISDEV
After the signing of the MoU (L-R: Dr Chairat, Dr. Keerath Saguansai and Prof Syukri)
On the second day, the event continued with the presentation by Associate Prof. Dr. Chairat Siripatana regarding Walailak University and ISWU. Dr. Fadzila Azni then continued to share with ISWU about ISDEV. Two MISDEV11 students, Dalfiza and Marhamah also presented their experiences in ISDEV. The event then continued with the ISDEV-ISWU-AMRON Intellectual Dialogue.
Dr Fadzila Azni Ahmad
L-R: Dalfiza and Marhamah sharing their experiences
The second place to visit is Baan Nua. After 3 hours journey from Walailak University, we reached Baan Nua mosque safe and sound. The event at Baan Nua started with the dinner. After performing Maghrib prayer, the delegates were separated into groups. It was surprised when all the delegates were divided into group of 5 or 10 people to stay at the home stay provided by the Baan Nua mosque. Then the event of the night continued with the welcoming ceremony from Baan Nua mosque committee. The delegates were so lucky to have Ajan Razak as the translator. After the event, the delegates were then served with a late night supper. After that the delegates went back to their home stay separately to experience the local lifestyle of the Baan Nua community.
The Baan Nua Mosque
Baan Nua village tour
One of the houses of Baan Nua villager
The third day has finally arrived. On the bright sunny morning, we were given the opportunity to have a tour around the village of Baan Nua. After a very enjoyment tour, the delegates were then proceeded to Hat Yai. We arrived Hat Yai at 11.30 am, to shop and tour around Hat Yai city.
Shopping at Hat Yai
At 2.30 pm, it's time for us to return USM, Penang. On the way back, the delegates stopped at Al-Bukhary Mosque, Alor Star, Kedah and had the opportunity to perform prayer. At 9 pm, the delegates arrived safely in Penang. This memorable trip was a priceless life time experiences that every one of the delegates were very anxious to come back to Thailand if they were given another opportunity. MISDEV'11 had the best opportunity to gain much info regarding Islamic Epistemology and Tasawwur.
At Walailak University


20 April - After three semesters struggling through the challenges of the Masters in Social Sciences (Islamic Development Management) programme, now MISDEV'10 students could finally find relief and bask in the glory of their success. They had completed their studies at the Masters level and officially graduated from ISDEV.

In line with ISDEV tradition, a special ceremony known as "Malam Graduasi Isdev 10' was held at USM Banquet Hall, to celebrate their success with their family members and loved ones in attendance as well.

A total of 12 students were honoured that night of which six students received the highly regarded "Anugerah Disertasi Cemerlang ISDEV 2012' for the distinction they received in their dissertation writing.

Congratulations to the graduates!
Dr Suhrawardi (right) receiving ISDEV Outstanding Thesis Award from Prof Muhammad Syukri Salleh (main supervisor) and Dr Zakaria Bahari (co-supervisor)

Muhammad Taha receiving ISDEV Outstanding Dissertation Award from ISDEV Director Prof Syukri

Shahirah receiving ISDEV Outstanding Dissertation Award from ISDEV Prof Syukri
Juniza's family

ISDEV Nasyid Group, Shoutul ISDEV, entertains the guests


Welcoming and Orientation Session

ISDEV welcomed its third batch of Master students recently on 5 July, 2010. 14 students attended the said orientation programme. The welcoming session started at eight in the morning of the Meeting Room of C05 with a Ta’aruf Session and Welcoming Speech by the Chairperson of the Islamic Development Management Section, Dr Fadzila Azni Ahmad. This was followed by a briefing on the MISDEV programme by Brother Khairul Faizi.

Although ISDEV Director, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh, was away as a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, MISDEV ’10 still had a chance to listen to his welcoming remarks and general advice on being a student of Islam to them. The programme ended with the “Sahabat Programme” where each student of MISDEV ’10 was allocated a senior sister/brother from MISDEV ’09.

Some of the students


Out of 21 successful applicants of the Master of Islamic Development Management (MISDEV) programme, 15 have registered yesterday, Thursday 3 July 2008. Such a number is considered as encouraging in view of the fact that this is the first time the programme is offered. The number is at par with other older Master programmes at the School of Social Sciences and in some cases, may be higher than some of them. This excludes the possibility of late registration by the rest of the successful MISDEV applicants as the registration duration is stretched until 18 July 2008.

During the registration yesterday, the students have been introduced to the programme lecturers and briefed by programme Coordinator Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh, apart from having breakfast with them and other senior graduate students (by research).
Some of the new students registering for the programme
Briefing by programme Coordinator Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh

Some of male students

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