Sepintas Lalu Tentang Richard Thaler: Pemenang Hadiah Nobel 2017 dalam Sains Ekonomi

“For example, in 1981, Thaler and Santa Clara University’s Hersh Shefrin advanced an “economic theory of self-control” that describes economic phenomena in terms of people’s inability to control their impulses. Sure, people have no trouble motivating themselves to pick up a $10 bill that they might find on a sidewalk. There is no self-control issue there. But they will have trouble resisting the impulse to spend it. As a result, most people save too little for their retirement years.

Economists need to know about such mistakes that people repeatedly make. During a long subsequent career, involving work with UCLA’s Shlomo Benartzi and others, Thaler has proposed mechanisms that will, as he and Harvard Law School’s Cass Sunstein put it in their book Nudge, change the “choice architecture” of these decisions. The same people, with the same self-control problems, could be enabled to make better decisions.”

Selanjutnya boleh baca di sini: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/11/richard-thaler-nobel-prize-winner-behavioural-economics

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Antara karya-karya beliau yang perlu dibaca:

1) Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics

2) Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness.

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Macam ‘familiar’ idea-idea yang disusun. Pengalaman yang sama bila membaca karya Elinor Ostrom berjudul Governing the Commons. Ada ‘puzzle’ yang perlu dihubungkan, jika mahu kaitkan idea-idea ini dengan kata kunci-kata kunci utama dalam Pandangan Alam Islam seperti Faham Insan, Faham Agama, Faham Bahagia.

Sehingga saat ini, seakan-akan perlu diakui bahawa dunia Muslim kurang mampu menawarkan idea bagi menyelesaikan beberapa cabaran dunia masani. Contoh yang jelas apabila sitasi yang dilakukan dalam kajian di peringkat Universiti Awam, seperti dalam bidang sains dan teknologi, psikologi, sains sosial, kebanyakkannya menjadikan hasil idea-pemikiran yang bercambah di dunia Barat sebagai bahan utama perbincangan.

Dakwaan Yang Tidak Jelas dalam Penjahanaman Pemikiran Intelektual

Sebagai orang awam, saya fikir, tidak mudah untuk membaca, mentelaah dan seterusnya mengkritik dengan cermat, terutamanya isi sesebuah karya yang rencam dan bersimpang-siur penghujahannya sebagaimana karya di bawah ini.

Walau apapun, memadai setakat ini, dapat ketahui apa yang baik dan apa yang tidak kena pada penghujahan dalam sesebuah karya seperti karya di bawah ini; sebagai contoh, apabila penulis menghurai perihal istilah ‘teologi’ dan ‘agama’ dalam ‘Bab 14: Teologi Kultural dan Pengharapan Pada Kemanusiaan’.

‘Penerimaan massa ke atas teologi itu dikaitkan dengan kebenaran gagasan teologi itu, bersama-sama dengan kesolehan si pengajar dan penakrif teologi itu tadi seraya membuat klaim handal sebagai pewaris profetik yang terasal’. (Hlmn. 104)

Persoalan lain timbul seperti penggunaan istilah ‘teologi’ (apakah sama dengan Usuluddin dan Kalam?), istilah ‘agama'(apakah penulis memahami Islam dalam kaca mata ilmu sosiologi yang meletakkan agama sebagai konstruk sosial?), kandungan ‘teologi’ manakah yang dikatakan sudah tepu dan perlu diperbaharui ikut konteks semasa? Dakwaan seperti ini banyak dalam buku ini. Mungkin niat baiknya untuk orang melihat sesuatu dari perspektif dan cara gaya berfikir yang berbeda.

Yelah, mungkin buang masa (memikirkan tentang ini) atau saya tak faham mesej penulis. Tapi jangan salah sangka. Saya memahami konteks penulis mahu mengkritik pengamalan orang Muslim masa kini dalam hidup beragama, tapi jika kritik dilakukan tanpa cermat, saya tidak tahu sudut mana yang dikatakan rasional. Atau memang dakwaan seumpama itu yang dikatakan sebagai rasional -demi untuk mengabsahkan bahawa Muslim hari ini ‘tidak canggih’ dan ‘cakna’ kemanusiaan serta tertutup (jika hendak dibandingkan dengan zaman dahulu(penulis sebutkan zaman kegemilangan Islam yang dahulu lebih terbuka).

Aduh, panjang saya mengomel. Apapun, ini pandangan kerdil saya sebagai orang yang sedang membaca dan belajar.

Anda ada baca karya ini? Kongsikanlah pandangan anda. Kalau tak baca, pergi baca dulu.

Oh, jangan haramkan buku ini ya!

Walau Jelas dan Benar Ilmunya, Tapi Masih ‘Tidak Tahu Apa Hendak Buat’

Pada 3 Oktober 2017 yang lalu, sahabat saya, saudara Syafiq Borhanuddin menulis sebuah artikel berbahasa inggeris dengan tema keutamaan anak muda masani untuk memiliki sikap dan tindakan yang betul dalam memperjuangkan sesuatu agenda bermanfaat. Susulan dari itu, saya kongsikan respon awal saya mengenai artikel berkenaan:

1. Kekeliruan ilmu; seperti mana yang disebutkan Tan Sri Prof. Dr. Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas merupakan faktor utama mengapa kehilangan adab berlaku dalam hidup Muslim.

2. Kekeliruan ini menatijahkan sikap ‘tidak buat apa-apa’ sebab ‘tidak tahu apa hendak buat’ bila melibatkan nas-nas al-Quran dan hadith serta sejarah peradaban Islam yang berkaitan dengan Adab Pada Alam (APA).

3. Kekeliruan ini timbul dengan sangkaan bahawa; Islam adalah agama yang syumul kerana terkandung dalamnya ajaran supaya beradab pada alam. Tetapi realiti yang berlaku ialah, kebijaksanaan amal tanda syumul itu sudah hilang dalam jiwa dan hidup Muslim. Sensitiviti APA lesap dimamah kekeliruan tentang ISLAM.

4. Kerana itu, kuliah-kuliah agama di masjid harus dilihat semula, sejauh mana ianya serius dan faham untuk menyampaikan mesej ‘habblum minal ekologi’. Tahap seterusnya adalah bagaimana faham itu dapat menatijahkan perubahan dalam bentuk amal yang konsisten. Amal ini meliputi aspek amalan isirumah Muslim, penyelidikan dan pembangunan serta inovasi yang dizahirkan dari Faham Adab Pada Alam seterusnya pembuatan dasar dan regulasi berkaitan aktiviti ekonomi dan pembangunan.

5. Untuk bergerak ke hadapan, kita perlu telusuri beberapa pesanan, idea-pemikiran ilmuan kita dalam bidang ini serta kenalpasti cerita kejayaan yang ada dalam kalangan masyarakat kita.

Wallahu alam.

………………………………………….

ONE of the most urgent issues that ought to be resolved in the minds of present-day Muslim youths is to free themselves from the mistaken assumption that there is a dichotomy between knowledge and action.

Once this is gradually resolved, accompanied by a spiritual awakening, emerging thought leaders and professionals will be able to collaborate creatively and innovatively towards addressing systemic problems in the modern world.

Some educated Muslims argue that the main problem of Muslims today is the inability to turn knowledge into action, which assumes that we do have a great deal of knowledge today but not enough action.

This fundamental assumption needs to be re-examined, especially since the majority of educated Muslims today are unconsciously thinking in ambiguous and dualistic terms arising from the influential force of secularisation, taken as a philosophical programme.

Many are not able to tell the subtle differences between what is understood as theory, information, knowledge and wisdom in the worldview of Islam. Many Muslim youths today deem the great ideas propagated by authoritative Muslim thinkers as either impractical or too “academic”.

A “theory” is a learned conjecture, and is not of the same level as knowledge in Islam (‘ilm).

Information becomes knowledge only when facts are interpreted correctly, leading to the right conclusion in agreement with the general truths revealed by God.

Thus, for instance, the science of management in the Islamic intellectual tradition was intimately linked with the vision and reality of truth in Islam as demonstrated in Al-Ghazali’s Nasihat al-Mulk (Council for Kings) or Nasir al-Din al-Tusi’s Akhlak-I Nasiri (Nasirean Ethics).

This realisation can only be achieved with certainty through the “arrival of meaning in the soul and the soul’s arrival at meaning”, as Tan Sri Professor Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas wrote.

Knowledge is therefore an attribute of the soul.

This meaning (ma’na) refers to an understanding of a “place” of a thing in the order of creation (maratib), and can only be achieved from the viewpoint of the learned Muslims throughout the ages, through contemplation (tafakkur), practical devotion (ibadah) and ultimately, God’s grace.

Not everything that one learns in school or university becomes knowledge: it may simply be an accumulation of facts.

This, in turn, is based on the understanding that God has created everything in its proper place or in Western philosophical terms, the “cosmos”.

It is man, out of his ignorance of the proper place of things in the order of creation or the universe (‘alam), who causes “chaos” at the individual and collective level.

Hikmah (wisdom), on the other hand, is defined by Al-Attas as “the recognition of the proper place of things in the order of creation, such that it leads to the proper place of God in the order of being”.

This is not merely theoretical knowledge as understood in the root word of philosophy (sophia), which does not include the element of action as understood by the foremost philosophers and thinkers in Western civilisation.

For this reason, the Prophet Muhammad – who was given the book (kitab) and wisdom by God – is regarded as “mercy for all the worlds”, as he is the recipient of the final revelation that reveals the places of everything in the order of creation.

With such knowledge, the Prophet was able to demonstrate either in speech, silent confirmation and/or action what is the most praiseworthy way of living which is in agreement with the proper places of things created by God.

By implication, genuine Muslim scholars throughout the ages do not merely theorise or philosophise, but articulate their understanding within the enclosure of certainty (yaqin) so that we can live in harmony with the universe and truly serve our purpose of existence.

This was the underlying framework of Muslim polymaths in the past such as Ibn Sina, Ibn Haytham, Al-Biruni, Al-Ghazali, and in the present day such as Al-Attas.

Therefore, any accusation that Muslim scholars and thinkers are merely academics or theoreticians is careless and dangerous. For this reason, the great saints, sages and scholars of Islam – the inheritors of the Prophet – speak of the tremendous importance of adab when seeking knowledge.

By adab, the great luminaries of Islam meant “action in conformity with the proper place of things”. At the basic level, adab towards knowledge includes purifying one’s intention, and examining one’s sincerity, before embarking on seeking knowledge.

At a higher level, adab includes recognising the merits of legitimate intellectual and spiritual authorities of the past and present.

For instance, the knowing Muslim community in the past acknowledged al-Ghazali as the Hujjatul Islam (Proof of Islam) and a Mujaddid (renewer of the religion) of his age.

It is a loss of adab if scholars of lesser intellectual worth are raised to a level higher than that of the truly authoritative masters such as al-Ghazali, who has been erroneously accused by orientalists and modernists as the perpetrator of Muslim decline and intellectual stagnancy.

The biggest challenge, therefore, is not simply to put knowledge into practice, but to cultivate the proper attitude (adab) to receive His light in the form of right meaning, for God knows who is worthy of His knowledge.

And this will naturally lead to – by God’s grace – right action.

Muhammad Syafiq Borhannuddin is Senior Research Officer with Ikim’s Centre for Economics and Social Studies. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/ikim-views/2017/10/03/an-urgent-task-for-muslim-youths-this-generations-challenge-is-to-have-the-right-attitude-and-to-put/#cv1rOXYFrZTs8yuF.99

Sesaat Merenung Tentang Alam (01)

Dalam mewujudkan masyarakat yang beramal pada Islam, salah satu aspek yang perlu dibuat adalah memahami bahawa insan sejagat sedang berhadapan dengan krisis iklim dan alam sekitar.

Krisis ini semakin membarah kerana dipacu hebat oleh dunia sains dan teknologi. Sektor pengeluaran produk dalam ekonomi adalah faktor utamanya. Inovasi plastik, pembungkusan, bahan api fosil dan arang batu, kepelbagaian bahan kimia dalam bentuk makanan dan kosmetik; adalah ancaman insan sejagat.

Jadi, apa yang perlu dilakukan? Semak semula corak kepenggunaan kita sehari-harian. Apa jenis produk yang dibeli? Sama ada menambah sampah atau mengurangkan sampah? Sama ada selamat untuk keluarga atau sebaliknya?

Satu contoh ringkas, siapa sedar bahawa penggunaan botol air mineral pakai-buang menyumbang kepada pencemaran dan merupakan satu pembaziran sumber?

Kalau sedar, elakkan. Itu lebih Islamik dan (sudah tentu) adil.

Tangkapan Akibat Bijih Bauksit

Sehingga kini, sudah hampir satu tahun tujuh bulan keputusan moratorium dikuatkuasakan di kawasan perlombongan bijih bauksit. Pihak berkuasa masih belum dapat membuat keputusan penting mengenainya lagi. Akhirnya, pagi ini rakyat Malaysia digemparkan dengan penahanan 10 Kakitangan Jabatan Kastam di Raja Malaysia (JKDM) dan 9 kakitangan Pejabat Tanah dan Galian (PTG), pada tengah malam tadi. Mereka akan direman 7 hari untuk membantu siasatan kerana disyaki terlibat dengan perlombongan Bauksit secara haram di Pahang.

BAUKSIT DAN MASYARAKAT

Isu Bauksit mula mendapat liputan meluas di Malaysia sejak Julai 2015. Wacana tentang apa itu bauksit dan kegunaannya dalam sektor ekonomi, apakah masalah yang wujud apabila perlombongan bauksit ini semakin berleluasa di Pahang, apakah impak positif dan negatif perlombongan ini; banyak dibicarakan di media massa. Malah, rasa simpati kepada penduduk tempatan yang memberi kebenaran tanah mereka digunakan untuk tujuan perlombongan, turut dijadikan bahan perbincangan masyarakat Malaysia. Kata mereka, tindakan mewujudkan persepsi negatif terhadap aktiviti perlombongan itu akan mengakibatkan ‘periuk nasi’ mereka ditutup kerana terdapat pemandu yang merupakan orang tempatan dan juga para pemilik tanah yang sedang menunggu hasil ‘pelaburan’ masing-masing.

Wacana yang berterusan hampir setiap minggu itu dianggap berhasil apabila kerajaan mengumumkan moratorium atau pergantungan ke atas semua kegiatan perlombongan bauksit di Pahang selama 3 bulan bermula 15 Januari 2016 hingga 31 Mac 2016. Selepas tarikh tersebut, tempoh moratorium terus dilanjutkan sehingga kini.

Tindakan menguatkuasakan moratorium dibuat kerana pendudukan kawasan sekitar mendakwa mereka berdepan dengan pelbagai masalah sejak aktiviti perlombongan bauksit berleluasa sekitar tahun 2014 yang lalu. Sungai tercemar, kesihatan terancam, jalan raya kotor dan udara berdebu, merupakan antara aduan dan masalah yang dihadapi oleh penduduk sekitar kawasan laluan lori pengangkutan bauksit.

BAUKSIT DAN ALAM SEKITAR

Isu bauksit adalah satu contoh daripada beratus kisah dalam tema keadilan alam sekitar di Malaysia. Dalam isu ini, bauksit diakui memberikan nilai ekonomi kepada penduduk setempat bahkan turut menyumbang kepada ekonomi negeri dan negara. Oleh sebab itu, perlombongan bauksit bukan suatu yang terlarang. Namun demikian, aktiviti tersebut tertakluk kepada garis panduan atau ‘SOP’ yang telah dipersetujui.

Sekiranya garis panduan tidak diikuti, sudah pasti malapetaka yang sudah dijangka akan berlaku. Ini dibuktikan melalui tinjauan pelbagai pihak yang melawat kawasan tersebut dan respon balas orang ramai yang merupakan penduduk tempatan yang mendapat kesan negative secara langsung. Lebih tragis apabila 3 orang kanak-kanak meninggal dunia kerana terjatuh ke dalam kawasan lombong yang ditakungi air. Malapetaka ini berlaku kerana para pelombong tidak mematuhi garis panduan yang ada.

HARAPKAN PAGAR, PAGAR MAKAN PADI

Pada masa yang sama, kita digemparkan dengan penglibatan beberapa orang penguatkuasa yang ditahan kerana terlibat dengan salah guna kuasa, khususnya dalam isu perlombongan haram bauksit. Kisah seumpama ini memberikan petunjuk kepada kita bahawa keadilan alam sekitar dan hak masyarakat menjalani kehidupan yang selamat telah dinodai oleh segelintir pihak yang telah diberikan amanah namun dimungkiri.

PENDIDIKAN DAN AMANAH JAWATAN

Peranan pendidikan amat penting pada saat ini. Kita boleh melahirkan lebih ramai tenaga pakar dalam pelbagai bidang, tetapi aspek akhlak dan amanah bukan suatu yang boleh diambil ringan. Kepakaran ilmu pengetahuan dan jawatan hanya suatu kerugian buat umat manusia jika ia dimiliki oleh insan tanpa akhlak dan amanah.

KESIMPULAN

Kesimpulannya, kes bauksit ini adalah manifestasi kerosakan alam sekitar yang berpunca daripada insan yang tidak berakhlak dan pecah amanah. Sikap buruk ini bukan sahaja merugikan diri sendiri, malah turut memberi impak negative kepada kehidupan insan lain dan alam.

Apakah maksud ‘BUKU’?: Refleksi Menonton Movie A.I

Coretan pagi Ahad.

1. Malam tadi menonton cerita lama. A.I (Artificial Intelligence). Seperti dahulu, ia masih memberi kesan emosi kepada penonton seperti saya.

2. Dahulu saya menonton kerana melihat kasih sayang antara robot dan manusia. Kali ini saya menonton dan terinspirasi melihat proses medium penyimpanan data oleh A.I dan ia diguna pakai oleh alien setelah 2,000 tahun A.I terhibernasi.

3. Visual yang terpamer menjadi kandungan penting untuk alien itu memahami cara hidup dan persekitaran serta emosi yang wujud zaman A.I itu hidup dengan manusia.

4. Lalu dengan maklumat2 tersebut, alien membina rumah dan prasaranan sebagaimana yang ada dalam simpanan memori A.I tersebut.

5. Hal ini membuatkan saya mengimbau bagaimana proses untuk memastikan upacara pertabalan Sultan Perak mengguna pakai Hikayat Misa Melayu sebagai salah satu sumber penting untuk mengetahui upacara pertabalan di lakukan.

6. Selepas ini, jika tak kiamat lagi, 100 tahun lagi, video akan diguna pakai untuk memaparkan upacara pertabalan yang telah berlangsung beberapa tahun lepas untuk mendapatkan gambaran tepat atau hampir tepat untuk upacara bersejarah tersebut.

7. Pada ketika itu, bagaimana istilah ‘buku’ digunakan? Ia berbentuk fizikal macam yang kita faham sekarang, atau ia bermaksud ‘kandungan’?

8. Cerita ini sedang elok ditayangkan ketika saya sedang membaca verbatim diskusi antara Umberto Eco dengan Jean-Claude Carrière dalam karyanya berjudul ‘This is not the End of the Book;’.

Sekian perkongsian pagi Ahad ini.

Piawaian No. 57 AAOIFI: Lonjakan Baharu dalam Bidang Mu’amalat Melibatkan Emas

Artikel berikut adalah respon balas kelahiran Piawaian No. 57 iaitu mengenai Emas dan Urusan Perdagangan Emas. Kelahiran Piawaian No. 57 itu dianggap suatu lonjakan baharu dalam arena Mu’amalat Islam hari ini kerana ia merupakan piawaian pertama yang akan menjadi rujukan dunia apabila melibatkan perdagangan(urusan jual-beli emas). Tambahan pula, pihak yang berusaha sedari awal untuk memulakan perbincangan mengenai perkara ini merupakan ilmuan dari Malaysia, iaitu Datuk Dr. Muhammad Daud Bakar dan tim Amanie Advisor.

WHY ISLAMIC FINANCE IS SET TO TRANSFORM THE INTERNATIONAL GOLD MARKET

By:  Raymond Michaels – International Banker

After several years of rather unspectacular market activity, gold came roaring back in 2016. The year saw investment demand for the precious metal rise by 70 percent, while gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) experienced their second-highest inflow of investor interest on record.

Thanks to unprecedented levels of uncertainty across many financial markets—particularly at the beginning of the year when China’s collapsing stock prices sent shockwaves through equities markets worldwide, and then in June in the aftermath of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union—investors piled into gold as a safety measure. The yellow metal is generally considered to be a “safe haven” investment—an asset that won’t lose its value when other financial markets are experiencing undue volatility. Given the volatility that markets experienced after Brexit, therefore, investors were only too willing to seek the relative safety of gold, which resulted in holdings of gold-backed ETFs spiking by USD 4.3 billion in the 24 hours following the result of the referendum and represented the biggest one-day rise in four years.

Towards the end of the year, however, an arguably more profound event took place that could comprehensively transform the gold market. On December 5, the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the World Gold Council jointly announced the issuance of Shari’ah Standard No. 57 on Gold and its Trading Controls. The standard sets out for the first time the rules and guidelines for Islamic investors to participate in the gold market, explaining which specific gold-based products are permissible under Islamic law.

Up until that point, little (and often confusing) guidance had existed for Islamic investors on whether gold could be purchased and owned as an investment, which meant that investors largely stayed away from the gold market altogether. The metal is considered a rabawi item according to the available Islamic literature on the topic, which means it can be traded only on the basis of its physical properties, such as its weight, rather than on its future value or for any speculative purposes. Until the new standard was issued, therefore, those Muslims interested in gold largely confined themselves to purchasing jewellery and coins.

The new standard, however, completely changes the prospects for the Islamic world and allows its current 110 million investors to buy vaulted gold, gold savings plans, gold certificates and physical gold ETFs. Indeed, by late February, the world’s biggest ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust, which has a net balance in excess of $30 billion, had announced through its marketing agent State Street Global Markets that the fund had been certified by Amanie Advisors, a leading Shari’ah advisory firm, to be fully compliant to the new Shari’ah standard. According to Shari’ah scholar Mohammad Daud Bakar, moreover, the standard may also open new gold demand to central banks.

As such, 25 percent of the world’s population now has significantly greater access to the most liquid products available on the gold market. Indeed, the most significant implication of this new development for the gold market is that the Islamic finance industry is valued at a hefty $2 trillion. Standard & Poor’s projects that this figure could rise to $5 trillion by 2020, while the Islamic Financial Services Board expects the 2020 figure to be $6.5 trillion. Although at present the overwhelming majority of holdings are currently invested in Islamic bonds, equities and real estate investment trusts (REITs), the new standard is now expected to open up a massive new source of demand for gold-related products. According to data from the World Gold Council, the most popular Islamic assets have all underperformed when compared to gold, as have the major currencies that are traded in that region of the world. This suggests that Islamic investors will be looking to shift a substantial proportion of their assets into gold products in the hope of more lucrative returns.

Given that this new block of investors can now be unleashed on the gold market, if even a mere 1 percent of the overall value of Islamic investment is allocated to the yellow metal, it would be equivalent to approximately USD 65 billion or 1,700 tonnes of new global demand, nearly double China’s estimated total demand for gold in 2015. Furthermore, given that the global gold demand-supply balance indicates the existence of a small market surplus of less than 200 tonnes at present, the introduction of Islamic investors could dramatically tighten the market, resulting in a hugely bullish outcome for gold prices during the coming years.

Going forward, therefore, investment firms are likely to ensure that their products and services are increasingly accommodative of Islamic investment rules. Given that the new Shari’ah standard also applies to silver products, Canadian wealth-management company Bullion Management Group launched a silver fund, which the company’s founder and chief executive, Nick Barisheff, expects will comply with the new AAOIFI guidance. Malaysia’s HelloGold became the first Shari’ah-compliant online gold platform, allowing investors to access gold through a mobile app; while the Singapore Exchange (SGX) also announced in December that its gold futures contracts are certified as Shari’ah-compliant. Although the contracts do not have much market liquidity at present, SGX hopes it can target Islamic investors in order to rejuvenate interest.

Islamic countries themselves are also now likely to begin offering gold products to investors. Wealth-management companies in countries with more developed financial markets, such as Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, could start to introduce gold-backed ETFs, similar in structure to the SPDR Gold Trust. The new standard may also enable Islamic financial institutions to grow their businesses through the creation of products designed for saving, hedging and portfolio diversification. Although more gold-investment products are expected to be deemed as permissible in the future, derivative contracts such as futures and forwards remain prohibited. Nevertheless, the exposure of what is effectively a new asset class to the Islamic world is bound to have a significant impact on world gold prices going forward.

Source: https://internationalbanker.com/finance/islamic-finance-set-transform-international-gold-market/

Usrah Dalam Kereta: Potensi, Hormat Kritis dan Semangat Zaman

Kisah pagi tadi, dalam kereta.

Seusai hantar anak-anak ke nurseri, saya buka topik pendidikan untuk anak-anak kami. Saya bangkitkan kepada isteri sama ada dia perasan atau tidak perkara yang berlaku sewaktu makan malam tadi. Situasinya; Semasa membaca doa makan, anak perempuan saya cakap, “Kalau lelaki baca doa macam ini (dia jarakkan ketika menadah tangan berdoa), kalau perempuan baca doa begini (sambil merapatkan kedua-dua tangan elok-elok).” Katanya lagi,”Cikgu ajar begitu.”

Saya tidak berapa respon dan biarkan sahaja si puteri berkata sedemikian rupa. Saya hanya senyum dan berkata,’Oh ya ka? Baik-baik. Jom makan!”

Rupanya isteri saya juga sedar akan situasi tersebut. Lalu kami berbincang, agak-agaknya apa tindakan yang sesuai sebenarnya untuk menghadapi situasi tersebut. Kalau ikutkan, mahu sahaja disangkal bahawa cara menadah tangan itu, baik rapat-rapat atau di jarakkan bukan hal pokok, yang penting ikhlas, rendah diri, tadah tangan elok-elok dan fokus berdoa. Tapi saya ambil pendekatan mendiamkan sahaja.

Cara pandang kami sama; iaitu biarkan sahaja kemahuannya untuk berkongsi tentang apa yang dia pelajari di sekolah. Sebagai ibu bapa, kami tidak mahu membantah atau memberi alternatif atau mengajarnya pada ketika itu. Peluang harus diberikan kepadanya untuk ekspresi dan amalkan ilmu yang dia ada. Tambahan pula, itu hal kecil yang bukan menyentuh perkara-perkara usul seperti aqidah, adab (baca: adil, meletakkan sesuatu pada tempatnya) dalam konteks yang penting. Selain itu, mengambil kira juga kaedah dan masa menegur. Kami fikir tidak wajar menafikan atau memberikan ‘alternative thought’ pada ketika itu. Tidak sesuai dan mungkin belum sampai masanya.

Kami mengambil kira juga kemungkinan-kemungkinan jika tindakan dna niat baik kami itu akan mengakibatkan anak-anak kurang hormat kepada guru-guru yang mendidik di sekolah dan seterusnya sehingga mereka besar nanti. Kami tidak mahu anak-anak menjadi sombong dengan guru-guru mereka walaupun ada kalanya didikan guru di sekolah mempunyai limitasi tertentu yang memerlukan konteks tertentu untuk diaplikasikan dalam dunia sebenar. Ini belum masuk lagi didikan yang salah oleh guru-guru di luar sana. Pokok pangkalnya, Guru harus dihormati. Adab pada guru harus disemai. Hormat dan kritis harus dipupuk perlahan-lahan dan berterusan.

Selain itu, kami turut berkongsi dan berfikir untuk sensitif dengan potensi yang ada pada puteri sulung kami. Dia cepat tangkap sesuatu yang dipelajari, agresif, proaktif, ada potensi menjadi pemimpin yang baik, nampak elemen sukakan Ilmu. Semua ini saya percaya potensi bagi setiap anak-anak kecil.

Saya katakan pada isteri, bahawa kita harus sensitif melihat perubahan anak-anak. Moga dengan izinNya, dapat diberikan hikmah untuk mendidik mereka supaya menjadi insan dan pemimpin yang baik. ‘Worst case scenario’ perlu ada untuk dihindari, contoh-contoh wanita hebat yang hidup hari ini dan sirah Nabi harus menjadi penentu ukur supaya terus berwaspada dan berharap yang terbaik untuk anak-anak.

Proses pemberdayaan puteri kami nanti harus dilihat juga dari aspek semangat zaman hari ini yang sudah semakin cakna akan isu penindasan dan ketak-sama-rataan dalam memberi peluang kepada wanita sehingga tema feminism dijadikan kerangka dalam berfikir dna hidup sebahagian insna hari ini. Beban berat kepada ibu bapa hari ini adalah untuk memahami semangat zaman dan yang lebih utama adalah memahami serta amalkan tradisi hidup yang berpaksikan Hidup BerTuhan. Faham Ad-Deen adalah tunjang kepada kehidupan dan hidup beragama mestilah bukan suatu yang bersifat eksperimentasi. Islah (sentiasa perbaiki diri) adalah proses ke arah mencapai Kebebasan yang Sebenar (baca: Islam: Faham Agama dan Asas Ahklak, TS SMN al-Attas, IBFIM).

Begitulah perbualan kami sekitar 15 minit sebelum masing-maisng menuju ke destiasi maisng-masing.

Why Islamic Banking is Not Working in Russia

Artikel di bawah berkaitan dengan isu tadbir urus sistem kewangan di Rusia pada ketika ini yang kelihatannya belum mampu menyokong perkembangan perbankan dan kewangan Islam di sana.

By: Aizhan Kazak

One of the most well-known Islamic banking institutions in Russia is in a precarious position with a senior executive of its parent company being charged with fraud. This case is reflective of the many legal hurdles faced by Islamic finance institutions in Russia.

A year ago, when Tatagroprombank launched The Partnership Banking Center, which operated under Sharia (Islamic laws), many analysts believed in its success. The center also hoped that investments would start flowing to Kazan, the so-called Muslim capital of Russia, which is the capital of the internal republic of Tatarstan.

The Partnership Banking Center started operations in March 2016 as a subsidiary of LLC Tatagroprombank. The center says it provides a wide range of banking services irrespective of the religious beliefs of clients. It works with both individuals and companies and has an agreement with the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia.

At the moment, Robert Musin, one of the main shareholders of Tatagroprombank is facing criminal charges for alleged large-scale fraud. His arrest is tightly connected with his activity in another major bank in Kazan. Tatfondbank, where he was chairman, lost its license in March 2017.

It is still unknown whether Tatagroprombank will share the same fate, although there have been rumors of clients withdrawing funds from their accounts. The bank’s representatives did not provide any information on the fate of the center in the light of recent events.

In addition to these developments, on March 9 the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) decided to reject the bill that would let Islamic banking fully and legally operate in Russia. Rais Suleimanov from the National Strategy Institute believes that one of the reasons for the rejection was the vague statement from Deputy Dmitriy Savelyev who brought in the bill, according to a report on EADaily.

Islamic banking in Russia

Although the first attempts at introducing Islamic banking date back to 1997, most of them never succeeded, despite the fact that Muslim-populated cities were targeted.

The first bank to implement the Islamic financial system in Russia was Badr-Forte bank in Moscow. It was licensed in 1991 and started using Islamic finance methods in 1997. It “carefully lined up the bridges between Russia and the Islamic world,” Adalet Jabiyev, Chairman of Badr-Forte Bank told Global Islamic Finance magazine.

In December 2006 the Central Bank of Russia suddenly stripped the bank of its license on account of continuous noncompliance to standard banking regulations and the Russian federal law on countering the legalization of illegal earnings (money laundering) and the financing of terrorism.

The law states that every first transaction of each client requires a notification of a bank supervisor. Badr-Forte bank, according to the regulator, did not fully comply with this law and had suspicious transactions to the tune of 33.9 billion rubles (about $550 million).

“This did not happen because of the Islamic banking system, there were other reasons,” Nina Mamedova, Head of the Iranian sector at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Science told RBTH.

No Adequate Demand

Since then many other Islamic banking organizations were set up, but most eventually closed down: Amal Financial House, a subsidiary of Bulgar Bank in Yaroslavl, lost its license in 2017, Ellips Bank in Nizhniy Novgorod and Express Bank in Dagestan, established in 2011, were also branded as inefficient and eventually got liquidated in 2013.

They were not banks, but Islamic “windows” inside conventional banks. Since Sharia laws prohibit acceptance of specific interest or fees, these “windows” helped bypass Russian law that states that banks must always charge fees.

The Islamic financial system can indeed be confusing for an outsider. Not many Muslims in Russia are aware of the difference between conventional banks and Islamic banks. In an article in the Central Asia and the Caucasus Journal, Renat Bekkin, Professor of the Russian Academy of Science, wrote that this “inadequate knowledge of Islamic economics” is one of the reasons Islamic banking faces so many obstacles in Russia.

No Developed Legal Framework

Murad Aliskerov, Chief Executive of LaRiba Finance, the biggest remaining Islamic banking organization in Makhachkala, the capital of Muslim-populated internal republic of Dagestan, believes that the failure of the banks is connected with a “purge in the Russian banking sphere, where licenses are being revoked from many other respectable banks.”

The “purge” was proclaimed in 2013, when Elvira Nabiullina, previously Russia’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade, was appointed as head of Russia’s Central Bank. She believed that many banks did not comply with banking regulations, putting Russia’s economy under threat. Over the next couple of years, 293 banks lost their license, some of which were quite big (including Vneshprombank and Intercommerzbank) and financially stable.

LaRiba Finance, however, officially is not a bank and is like the German and Austrian Kommanditgesellschafts (a limited partnership). According to the Russian Civil Code, such organizations are able to run a business that apart from leasing and investing products, can trade, which is something Russian banks are not permitted to do by law.

“Russia doesn’t have a well-developed legal framework for Islamic banking,” Mamedova said. “However due to the growth of the Muslim population in Russia, some forms (of the Islamic banking system) will continue to exist in Russia.”

A Lack of Investment

One of the oft-repeated arguments in favor of Islamic banking in Russia was the expected surge of inward investments from wealthy Muslim countries.

Aliskerov explained that after the 2008 financial crisis “Russia had to focus on other capital markets: predominantly, Asian and Gulf markets, and at that moment there was a discrepancy between China and us [Russia]”.

However, in 2009, Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, stressed during the ‘Russia-Arabic World Business Dialogue’ that Moscow was not seeking investment in the banking sector from the Gulf.

“Lately many countries, and even Western governments, look at the Arabic world as a donor community. We are not one of them,” he said.

“Islamic banking is not essential for foreign investments,” Professor Renat Bekkin told RBTH. “Conventional banks like Globex and Ak-Bars had been raising funds” in line with Sharia.

In 2011, Ak-Bars bank (which still functions) in Kazan raised $60 million in investments from Citibank and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector in accordance with Sharia laws. Three years later, Ak-Bars raised $100 million from Citibank, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft and Emirates NBD Capital Limited.

Source: http://rbth.com/business/2017/03/29/why-islamic-banking-russia-729937

What can we expect from Shariah Standard on Gold?

By: Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar

There is no point of developing a standard, any standard for that matter, if it is of no use for the humanity or special community living on this planet. The same is true with a Shariah standard. Any standard which is to be developed must have a clear set of deliverables in terms of its relevance and impact. What are these deliverables? The following points are based on my own intuitive understanding or perhaps, to some extent, expectation and aspiration.

The most important aspect that this standard aspires to achieve is to dispel the prevailing understanding in the community that gold is a usurious or ribawi item, and nothing much can be done with this precious metal in financial dealings. Therefore, there is no need to work and devote on this kind of standard as most of the dealings with gold will be restricted if not prohibited. Not only the public is having this kind of misaligned thought, even some scholars would have the same line of thinking. Everything to do with financial dealings in gold is straightforward declared as unlawful. Period. This is a wrong approach in everything we do in life. First, we need to ascertain our own raw hypothesis against the sources and evidence of the Shariah and later with the data of life. Second, we need to free our emotions from pre-conceived ideas or conservatism as everything in the Shariah is deemed to be permissible unless proven otherwise. Even if gold has many Shariah complications in some of its transactions and dealings, it is worthwhile to have a Shariah standard for itself to guide the stakeholders what is permissible and what is not. In the same vein, there is no harm to provide a Shariah standard on riba (translated here as interest for the sake of simplicity of understanding as riba includes more than interest) or gharar (lack of knowledge which could be detrimental to one of the parties). This kind of standard will definitely help us to be guided of the very essence of both riba and gharar and not to be confused. There is a benefit of this kind of standard. Surely, a Shariah standard on gold would have many practical and far-reaching benefits and impact compared to both riba and gharar as we shall see later.

Next is value-added academic benefit. Our Shariah and practical knowledge of gold has been scattered and sometimes unsubstantiated, to say the least. We know some aspects about gold in our past reading and research but it has been haphazard and not-in-oneplace. The compilation and indexation of all relevant and pertinent Shariah principles and issues dealing with gold is a contribution by itself. It may not be complete and perfect but it can give the real flavour of how to deal with this precious metal – of course from the Shariah perspective – moving forward. Instead of working from ground zero, the stakeholders at all levels of the community can at least be guided on the basic parameters of Islamic teachings. For those who are analytical and inquisitive enough, they can use the standard to expand the horizons of dealing with gold and their permutation. Nothing can stop them because this is the work of any standard by providing broad and flashing principles for the industry to learn and expand further. Even if you were to ask any Shariah scholar, it will take him some time to put all relevant Shariah principles in his note and articulation. But now, the standard has covered that ground and the scholars will only need to further their research on any other issues which might be overlooked or may need different interpretations based on the data and technology and perhaps the convention of the practice.

The biggest beneficiary of this standard is the financial sector which has been keen to make gold as a Shariah compliant asset for their customers across the board. Obviously, the investors and the customers will also benefit from this offering but the Shariah standard on gold, being the first in the modern history of the gold industry, will motivate all financial houses and firms to align their current products offering if they are keen to have the wider market for their product, by being inclusionary. From the early days of the announcement of the work on the Shariah standard on gold by AAOIFI in collaboration with the World Gold Council, the industry in many parts of the world has responded well to this initiative. Stakeholders ranging from financial institutions to fund management to credit card providers to gold-based- platforms have embraced this movement. Why shouldn’t they? The standard will take of their worries of the issue of Shariah non-compliance as well as the international standard. What else can be better if a product or a service is both Shariah compliant and internationally compatible? The AAOIFI Shariah standard on gold, when officially issued, will play this function well in the eyes of so many stakeholders, not to mention customers and investors and public at large.

As for me, personally speaking, it is a good move towards mainstreaming Islamic finance in the 21st century. For many of us, mainstreaming Islamic finance means making Islamic finance products and services assessable and affordable for everyone in the community at both retail and corporate levels, as well as the government agencies to the effect that the market share of Islamic finance, cumulatively speaking, would be much more overwhelming compared to the conventional one. This is not wrong. This is still high on the agenda in many Islamic financial markets. Nevertheless, I have another theory of mainstreaming which is more impactful than the ‘classical one’. We can’t achieve the fullest sense of mainstreaming of Islamic finance unless we can bring the world best standards and practices to be embedded within our own Shariah architecture and design or vice-versa. The infusion of the World Gold Council standard in the AAOIFI Shariah Standard or vice-versa is a classic example of how the Shariah principles and standards are now compatible to some international standards by working together. This leads me to the next section of the paper.

Shariah and Technical and Prudential Standards of the World

I am not sure whether the Islamic finance community has actually overlooked or has not given much credence and importance to other international technical standards of the world. In any case, the Shariah is a global word and it is meant for global community and humanity in many dimensions of life. Financial is one of these dimensions but the financial world has close correlation to many other issues such as environment, anti-money laundering act, corporate governance, corruption-free, social finance towards caring society, growth and sustainability, financial stability, etc. The great minds of the world community have put many robust and prudential standards to govern the conduct of human to achieve a better, safer and more sustained life on this planet for EVERYONE to enjoy. We need to work and collaborate together for this noble objective. We can’t work in isolation, can we?

Working together can bring down the cost collectively such as the case of fighting against global warming and deadly virus spread. It can also provide a more effective and speedy implementation of anything which is cross-border in character. I am neither suggesting nor implying here that the Shariah community and fraternity must accept all of these standards without having the proper discussion and Shariah due diligence. All what I am trying to articulate and impress is the need to engage more actively with all the relevant standard setting bodies and agencies in all dimensions of life; finance, environment, trade, mining, resources, sustainability, governance, social finance and even media and image consultant providers.

In the beginning of the engagement, it will be difficult to have a common script and narrative between the Shariah and these various industries and their care takers. Engagement is much harder than disengagement in all what we do. We just need to persevere. However, in the due process, a new frequency of communication could be discovered as we have seen in the case of a collaboration between AAOIFI and WGC. If people in the past – before they discovered the language – can survive in their communication using body language that is the universal language, surely we can be better than them. The Shariah language is quite universal as well. The language of karat and other technical worlds in the gold industry are not new to the Shariah. These have been discussed in the books of the classical Islamic law literature using the same language and nomenclature but having the same essence of the intended meaning. Surely, the language of international trade financing or mining or even governance can be found between the lines of rich Islamic law literature. It just needs to be made trendy and fashionable so that people in 21st century would understand without looking at any technical dictionaries.

In short, the AAOIFI and other relevant agencies in Islamic financial space must also go out and engage with other international agencies and bodies in addition to producing the Shariah standards from within typical Islamic practices and issues in the Muslim community. This will bring the Shariah articulation and algorithm to another level altogether. Perhaps to bring the Shariah principles of life from middle ground to high ground to become the overarching template for all international standards and conventions in all business, trade and finance matters. It may be too late now to re-write these standards and conventions but we have all the time and liberty to infuse the good articles and practices of these standards and conventions to our Shariah standards and conventions. I call this infusion as the synthetic infusion which is good enough to create the linkage between the Shariah and the world at large.

Views and opinions expressed by the author of this paper are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect or directly or indirectly represent the official policy of AAOIFI, the WGC and any other institutions the author is affiliated with.

 

Source: https://www.islamicbanker.com/articles/what-can-we-expect-from-this-shariah-standard-on-gold