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Lainai Kijang - ISRA Consultancy, in conjunction with Bank Negara Malaysia, organised an intensive workshop on applied Shari’ah research in Islamic finance from 12 June until 14 June 2012. ISRA Consultancy took the initiative to provide this training due to the requirement of the Shari’ah Governance Framework that each Islamic institution shall have an internal Shari’ah research function to ensure accurate reflection and dissemination of Shari’ah-related matters.
The objective of this training was to prepare the participants to be competent Shari'ah researchers capable of analysing the current state of affairs of the industry, conducting research and applying appropriate tools/methods to solve the problems faced by the industry, address its present needs, and develop Islamic financial products. With limited seats, a total of 20 people, comprising Shari'ah officers and those who undertake Shari'ah research functions at Islamic financial institutions, participated in the training.
Five modules were presented. The first module, presented by Prof. Dr. Ashraf Md. Hashim and Dr. Mohamed Fairooz Abdul Khir, focussed on understanding the different scopes of research, including new products and structures, validity of conditions, processes and applications, combining contracts, and revising existing products. The second module presented by Puan Nor Alida Yahaya was on the concerns and constraints of the industry. The module heightened the participants’ awareness of the importance of establishing efficient communication and interactions among relevant parties within the financial institution.
The third module, presented by Ustaz Lokmanulhakim Hussain, introduced Jami' al-Fiqh software as one of the major electronic references in fiqh for research purposes. The utilisation of this digital resource saves a lot of time compared to library research. The participants were supplied with the software, worth about one thousand ringgits. The training continued with the fourth module, presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Said Bouheraoua on textual reading of primary references in the fields of fiqh al-muamalat. This module provided the participants with exposure on how to deal with classical texts. The last module, presented by Dr. Md. Som Sujimon, was on research on relevant contemporary rulings and views and finding proposed solutions. Finally, the participants were divided into several groups and assigned issues to solve by applying the techniques that they had learnt during the training. Each group presented their findings to all the participants.
The participants’ comments in the evaluation feedback forms were very positive. They requested a second round of similar training to be provided by ISRA Consultancy in the near future. Even though the duration of the training was reduced to three days from the five-day training offered in 2011, the quality was still remarkable. The training, which was structured for maximum learning and understanding through a combination of lectures, group discussions, case studies/problem-based learning, short assignments/exercises, presentations and evaluation, met its objective. Al-hamdulillah.
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