Postings are in English and Malay-Bahasa Melayu

Monday, March 30, 2009

Speaking from 'the Sky' on Islamic Economic System


Today I was at Angkasapuri (literally means building in the sky) in Kuala Lumpur for a recording of a weekly radio program on Islamic Economic System.

Angkasapuri is the main governmental building for Malaysia's Ministry of Information and it is also the headquarters for Radio Television Malaysia (RTM). Displayed prominently on the building (which can be seen from miles away) is the national slogan "Wawasan 2020", means "Vision 2020", indicating the year Malaysia intended to be a truly developed country.

InsyaAllah I will be appearing weekly on RTM radio programs as a guest speaker on various topics related to Islamic economy, finance and management (in Bahasa Malaysia and English).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Interview with ARD German Television - Development of Islamic Finance in Malaysia and the World




Today I was interviewed by ARD German Television on the development of Islamic finance in Malaysia and the world. The station is doing a story on Islamic Banking for a programme called Weltspiegel (mirror of the world). It’s a reknown tv-magazine in Germany featuring topics and stories from abroad for the German audience. ARD is the biggest network in Germany and comparable to BBC in UK.

Thanks ARD (particularly Mr Phillipp Abresch, Niki and the team) for giving me the opportunity to explain about Islamic finance to German audience.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Guest at Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC)


Today I was invited to meet visiting German businessmen and consultants at the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC).

My firm, GlobalPro Consulting is forming a smart partnership with a German consulting firm, Pro Tempre International Consultants GMBH. We are exchanging expertise and networking in providing international consulting works.

Thank you Mr Wolfram Lobnitz (Geschaftsfuhrender Gesellschafter...I think it means Managing Partner) of Pro Tempre for the trust in my consulting firm, GlobalPro Consulting.

Coincidently, on the same day (Friday, 20 March) I received a call from ARD German Television requesting to interview me on Islamic Banking for a programme called Weltspiegel. It’s a reknown tv-magazine in Germany featuring topics and stories from abroad for the German audience. ARD is the biggest network in Germany and comparable to BBC in England. They are coming to KL for the special assignment.

I feel humbled by the German interest in my expertise (or my company services) and in getting my views through the interviews. Unfortunately I don't speak German except for knowing famous German brands like BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Solving our problems - prayer in distress



65:2 ....And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out,
65:3 And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.

Quran-Surah At-Talaq: 2-3






In the above ayats (verses), we are told that we can get out of problems and troubles through Taqwa (fear of God) and Tawakal (trust in God).

During this very challenging economic conditions, we should recite more of the above verse as a prayer and most importantly to follow what we are told to do by the Almighty Allah that is to have Taqwa and Tawakal.

In this situation, observing taqwa and tawakal would mean that - first of all - we should not panic; we should remain steadfast and content.

We are also encouraged to recite Lahaula wala quwata illa Billah (There is no power and strength except in Allah)....no matter how clever we think we are, only He can actually make it happen.

To treat the verses just as a wall decoration will not do any help...actions are required.

Believe it and do it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Best of All Time: Who is the most influential and successful person in history?



Prophet Muhammad is the most influential and successful person in History.

What some famous Non-Muslims said about Prophet Muhammad?

Michael H. Hart of USA who wrote "The 100 most influential persons in history" and placed Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) as number one, on the top of the list.

"My choice of Muhammad to lead the best of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.

His complete biography has been authenticated and circulated amongst scholars around the world starting while he was still alive and continuing up until today. One of the first examples we quote from is from the Encyclopedia Britannica, as it confirms:

(Regarding Muhammad) "... a mass of detail in the early sources shows that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were likewise honest and upright men." [Vol. 12]


Reverend R. Bosworth-Smith wrote in "Mohammed & Mohammedanism" in 1946:

"Head of the state as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but, he was pope without the pope's claims, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue. If ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by a Right Divine, it was Mohammad, for he had all the power without instruments and without its support. He cared not for dressing of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life."

George Bernard Shaw:

"I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving the problems in a way that would bring the much needed peace and happiness. Europe is beginning to be enamored of the creed of Muhammad. In the next century it may go further in recognizing the utility of that creed in solving its problems." (A Collection of writing of some of the eminent scholars, 1935).

Lamartine's tribute to the Prophet:

"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could claim to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad?" (Histoire de la Turquie, 1855).

Gandhi:

"I wanted to know the best of one who holds today undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind... I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life."

English author Thomas Carlyle in his 'Heroes and Hero Worship', was simply amazed:

"How one man single handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."

EWolfgang Goethe, perhaps the greatest European poet ever, wrote about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He said:

"He is a prophet and not a poet and therefore his Quran is to be seen as Divine Law and not as a book of a human being, made for education or entertainment." [Noten und Abhandlungen zum Weststlichen Dvan, WA I, 7, 32]

Muhammad, peace be upon him, was nothing more or less than a human being, but he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, 'A Servant and Messenger of God' and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.

A-Z Qualities of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) is the greatest man in history. Volumes and encyclopedias and even libraries have been dedicated to presenting the description of this great man.
Considering the qualities and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) testified to by so many people (Muslims and non-Muslims) throughout history and even testified to by Allah Himself, we conclude the following to be only a partial list of the qualities, morals and virtues of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

A. Articulate - Muhammad (peace be upon him) although unable to read or write throughout his entire life, was able to express himself in clear and decisive terms and in the best of classical Arabic language.

B. Brave - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was praised for his courage and bravery during and after his life by his followers and opponents alike. He has always been an inspiration to Muslims and even non-Muslims throughout the centuries.

C. Courteous - Muhammad (peace be upon him) always put other people's feelings ahead of his own and was the most courteous of hosts and the best of guests wherever he went.

D. Dedicated - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was determined to carry out his mission and present the message with which he had been sent, to the entire world.

E. Eloquent - Muhammad (peace be upon him) claimed he was not a poet, yet he could express himself in the most concise manner, using the least amount of words in a most classic manner. His words are still quoted by millions of Muslims and non-Muslims today everywhere.

F. Friendly - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was noted for being the most friendly and considerate of all who knew him.

G. Generous - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was most generous with his possessions and never wanted to keep anything if there was anyone who was in need. This was true of gold, silver, animals and even food and drink.

H. Hospitable - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was indeed, noted to be the most gracious of hosts and taught his companions and followers to be the best of hosts to all their guests as a part of their religion.

I. Intelligent - Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been proclaimed by many commentators who have studied his life and actions, to be of the most intelligent of all men who ever lived.

J. Just - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was most fair and just in all of his dealings. Whether in business or in giving judgment in any matter, he practiced justice on all levels.

K. Kindness - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was kind and considerate to everyone he met. He tired his best to present the message of worship of the Creator instead of the creations to all he met in the kindest fashion and most considerate manner.

L. Loving - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most loving toward Allah and to his family members, friends, companions and even those who did not accept his message but remained peaceful to him and his followers.

M. Messenger of Mercy - Muhammad (peace be upon him) is proclaimed in the Quran by Allah, as being sent to the entire world as the "Mercy to all mankind and jinn."

N. Noble - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most noble and distinguished of all men. Everyone knew of his fine character and honorable background.

O. "Oneness" - Muhammad (peace be upon him) is most famous for his proclamation of the "Oneness of Allah" or monotheism (called "Tawhid" in Arabic).

P. Patient - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most steadfast and forbearing in all of the trials and tests he lived through.

Q. Quiet - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was often very quiet and never was heard to be boastful, loud or obnoxious on any occasion.

R. Resourceful - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was most clever and resourceful in handling even the most serious of difficulties and problems confronting him and his companions.

S. Straightforward - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was known by all to speak directly to a subject and not twist things around in his speech. He also used a minimal amount of verbiage and considered excessive talk to be vain and unproductive.

T. Tactful - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most delicate and tactful in his dealings with the people. He never scratched the dignity of someone, even though unbelievers often insulted him and maligned him.

U. Unmatched - Muhammad (peace be upon him) is known throughout the world today as the man who most influenced the lives of so many people during his own time and for all times to come.

A non-Muslim writer, Michael H. Hart of USA who wrote "The 100 Most Influential Persons in History" placed Prophet Muhammad as number one, on the top of the list. He wrote, "My choice of Muhammad to lead the best of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels".


V. Valiant - Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave new meaning to the word valiant and he was always most honorable in all of his affairs, whether defending the rights of orphans or preserving the honor of widows or fighting for those in distress. He was not intimidated when outnumbered in battle, nor did he turn away from his duties in protecting and defending the truth and freedom.

W. Wali - The Arabic word, “wali” (plural is owliya) is a bit difficult to bring into English without some explanation. Some say the word means; “protectors” and others have said “darlings” or “those in whom you put full trust and confide everything” . While still others simply offered the word “friends”. The meaning might be closer to the English word, “ally.” This is perhaps, a lot closer in meaning because when a person gives their pledge of allegiance to someone he or she is taking that person as a “wally” and this is called giving “bay’ah” in Arabic. The prophet (peace be upon him) was the living example of the most trustworthy and loyal of all human beings who ever lived on this earth. Anything mentioned to him in confidence would never be divulged nor shared with others. And when he was put in place of authority or “wali” over the people, they found him to be the best of those to be trusted.

X. "X" - Muhammad (peace be upon him) could neither read nor write, not even his own name. In today's world he would have to use an "X" to "sign" a document. He used a signet ring worn on the little finger of his right hand to seal any documents or letters sent to the leaders of other lands.

Y. Yielding - Muhammad (peace be upon him) would yield his own desires and forego his own ideas in favor of whatever Allah directed him to do. While considering opinions from his followers, he often accepted their ideas over his own, preferring to yield in favor of others as much as possible.

Z. Zealous - Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the most zealous of all the prophets of Allah, in carrying out his mission of "Peace through the submission to the Will of God." He truly was the most enthusiastic in regard to delivering the message with which he had been entrusted by Allah; the message of "Laa elaha illa-allah, Muhammadar-Rasululah" (There is none worthy of worship, except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah).

(Muhammad - Prophet of Islam)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Happy Maulidur Rasul - Prophet Muhammad's Birthday



Muslims throughout the world commemorate the birth Prophet Muhammad. The birthday falls on the twelfth day of the month of Rabiulawal, the third month of the Muslim calendar. This is purely a religious festival and is marked as a public holiday an many countries including Malaysia (this year, 9 March 2009).


Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is celebrated by Muslims throughout the nation, with special prayers that are recited at the mosque. Many gather for processions and religious rallies to mark this auspicious day. Feasts are also organised by individuals or by religious and social institutions for the poor and needy.

Let's ponder upon
Prophet Muhammad's Farewell Sermon:

This sermon was delivered by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on the Ninth Day of Dhul Hijjah 10 A.H. in the 'Uranah valley of Mount Arafat' (in Mecca).

After praising, and thanking Allah he said:

"O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.

O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn 'Abd'al Muttalib (Prophet's uncle) shall henceforth be waived...

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the QURAN and my example, the SUNNAH and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed your message to your people".

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(Bahasa Melayu)

Khutbah Terakhir Nabi Muhamamd s.a.w

Khutbah ini disampaikan pada 9hb Zulhijjah Tahun 10 Hijri di Lembah Uranah, Gunung Arafah

Wahai manusia, dengarlah baik-baik apa yang hendak kukatakan, Aku tidak mengetahui apakah aku dapat bertemu lagi dengan kamu semua selepas tahun ini. Oleh itu dengarlah dengan teliti kata-kataku ini dan sampaikanlah ia kepada orang-orang yang tidak dapat hadir di sini pada hari ini.

Wahai manusia, sepertimana kamu menganggap bulan ini dan Kota ini sebagai suci, maka anggaplah jiwa dan harta setiap orang Muslim sebagai amanah suci. Kembalikan harta yang diamanahkan kepada kamu kepada pemiliknya yang berhak. Janganlah kamu sakiti sesiapapun agar orang lain tidak menyakiti kami lagi. Ingatlah bahawa sesungguhnya, kamu akan menemui Tuhan kamu dan Dia pasti membuat perhitungan di atas segala amalan kamu. Allah telah mengharamkan riba, oleh itu segala urusan yang melibatkan riba dibatalkan sekarang.

Berwaspadalah terhadap syaitan demi keselamatan agama kamu. Dia telah berputus asa untuk menyesatkan kamu dalam perkara-perkara besar, maka berjaga-jagalah supaya kamu tidak mengikuti dalam perkara-perkara kecil.

Wahai Manusia Sebagaimana kamu mempunyai hak atas isteri kamu mereka juga mempunyai hak di atas kamu. Sekiranya mereka menyempurnakan hak mereka keatas kamu, maka mereka, juga berhak untuk diberi makan dan pakaian dalam Susana kasih sayang. Layanilah wanita-wanita kamu dengan baik dan berlemah-lembutlah terhadap mereka kerana sesungguhnya mereka adalah teman dan pembantu kamu yang setia. Dan hak kamu atas mereka ialah mereka sama sekali tidak boleh memasukkan orang yang kamu tidak sukai ke dalam rumah kamu dan dilarang melakukan zina.

Wahai Manusia, dengarlah bersungguh-sungguh kata-kataku ini, sembahlah Allah, dirikanlah sembahyang lima kali sehari, berpuasalah di bulan Ramadhan, dan tunaikankanlah zakat dari harta kekayaan kamu. Kerjakanlah Ibadah Haji sekiranya kamu mampu. Ketahui bahawa setiap Muslim adalah saudara kepada Muslim yang lain. Kamu semua adalah sama; tidak seorang pun yang lebih mulia dari yang lainnya kecuali dalam Taqwa dan beramal saleh.

Ingatlah, bahawa, kamu akan menghadap Allah pada suatu hari untuk dipertanggung jawabkan di atas segala apa yang telah kamu kerjakan. Oleh itu Awasilah agar jangan sekali-kali kamu terkeluar dari landasan kebenaran selepas ketiadaanku.

Wahai Manusia, tidak ada lagi Nabi atau Rasul yang akan datang selepasku dan tidak akan ada lain agama baru. Oleh itu wahai manusia, nilailah dengan betul dan fahamilah kata-kataku yang telah aku sampaikan kepada kamu. Sesungguhnya aku tinggalkan kepada kamu dua perkara yang sekiranya kamu berpegang teguh dan mengikuti kedua-duanya, necaya kamu tidak akan tersesat selama-lamanya. Itulah ALQURAN dan SUNNAHKU.

Hendaklah orang-orang yang mendengar ucapanku, menyampaikan pula kepada orang lain. Semoga yang terakhir lebih memahami kata-kataku dari mereka yang terus mendengar dariku. Saksikanlah Ya Allah, bahawasanya telah aku sampaikan risalahMu kepada hamba-hambaMU.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Global Shariah and Legal Aspect of Islamic Finance

(Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, Malaysia)

My consulting firm, GlobalPro Consulting is organising The Global Shariah and Legal Aspects of Islamic Finance on 7-8 April 2009. The conference will be held at the Ballroom, Legend Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

Various fundamental and contemporary issues pertaining to Shariah and legal aspects of Islamic finance will be discussed by Shariah and legal experts. Suggestions or resolutions from this conference will be submitted to relevant authority for further action.

The response is very encouraging with participation of Islamic bankers, legal practitioners, Syariah advisors, university lecturers, religious officers, reps from financial authorities from Malaysia and other countries. We are expecting 100 participants at this conference.

Welcome to Malaysia, the world's leading centre for Islamic finance.

We hope to do justice to you!

For further info please visit the event page.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The First Speaker in the Empowering The Mind Seminar - Faculty of Education, UiTM, Shah Alam




On 2 March 2009, I delivered a lecture on Positive Mental Attitude and The Success Principles in the Empowering the Mind Seminar held at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)'s main campus in Shah Alam (capital city of Selangor, Malaysia). Professor, lecturers, counselors and students are in the audience.

I have been delivering lectures on Islamic finance for 17 years and this is actually my very first time delivering a lecture in a university on motivational / empowering the mind topic. I take up the challenge and really make a thorough preparation for this presentation...as I don't want to disappoint those who trusted me to deliver.

With working experience in various organisations for 18 years and reading/researching some 14 books (my own collection) I prepared 50-page multimedia presentation (plus several video clips). The most important reference is the Book on the top of the third picture above...the Holy Quran. Many verses in Holy Quran encourage mankind to think!

I really enjoy the 2 hours lecture in this well organised seminar. Hopefully they get motivated for a long time to come. Now I am ready to speak on motivational / empowering the mind / success principles topics in 1 or 2-day programs (in-house training or public workshop). I am writing a book related to these topics (a million copies to be sold...hopefully not a million photocopies...the "xerox culture" is killing the writers).

I will upload some video clips and photos of the event when they become available.

Note: UiTM is the largest university in Malaysia with 42,500 students.
Upcoming Events on Islamic Finance, Wealth Management, Business, Management, Motivational Alfalah Consulting, KL-Malaysia: www.alfalahconsulting.com

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