Wives are not domestic servants

cookingKhai Zem Mat Sani

HOUSE chores are not women’s obligations rather it is the duty of the husband to provide domestic help/ assistance to perform the tasks if they can afford to do so, said a speaker during a lecture at the Knowledge Convention held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) yesterday.

Dr Hjh Mas Nooraini Hj Mohiddin, faculty dean of Syaria and Law at the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) in her speech titled ‘Wasatiah Shaping the Excellence of Women’ said that a wife is not intended to be used as a domestic servant, instead she is only responsible for child raising.

“According to Islamic teachings, basic housework such as cooking, washing and tidying up the house are not the obligation of the wife but it is the responsibility of the husband to do the household tasks which include hiring a house maid to perform the house chores,” she said.

“However, if the husband is not in the position to fulfil the obligation then the role of the wife to lend a (helping) hand is very clear,” she said.

Dr Hjh Mas Nooraini Hj Mohiddin

Dr Hjh Mas Nooraini Hj Mohiddin

The faculty dean further said that for a husband who is able to provide all the needs for his family, Islam does not encourage his wife to work.

“This will give more time and space to housewives to perform their duties as mother and ‘educator’ to their children and carry out their responsibilities as wives.

“The balance can be seen from the division of labour in which a husband becomes the breadwinner and a wife is responsible to take care of her husband’s asset and raise children,” she said.

However, women could play their part if their husband cannot afford to hire domestic assistance. “Her job is not merely to raise and take care of the children but also to see that all of the house chores are done in joint effort to bring about a happy family and raise the most excellent children.”

Dr Hjh Mas Nooraini also said that tolerance between spouses is important in order to achieve wasatiah in the family institution.

In her speech, she also said that Islam does not forbid women to involve in the working world. “Working is an act of worship. However, Islam puts the conditions for women who have career to maintain their family welfare,” she said.

“Women have an advantage and ability that are proven through numerous studies. They have a strong emotion which is important in dealing with people.

Women often doing their works thoroughly and could do much work in a short period of time,” said the speaker, adding that women can do multiple tasks and able to settle it short time.

She went on to say that women could work if there is a need, such as to accommodate her family and parents.

Apart from financial purposes, women are also urged to practise menutup aurat (safeguarding their modesty) at the workplace to avoid persecution, obtain the consent of their husband, the ability to juggle between work and family and if the children are not doing well in their education, wives are encouraged to quit from their work.

The Brunei Times
Friday, November 13, 2015



‘Suicide a grave sin in Islam’

ISLAM condemns suicide including martyrdom under the guise of religion, said a lecturer from Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA).

In an interview to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Ustazah Norasiah Hj Amai yesterday said suicide is a grave sin in Islam as taking one’s life is considered an act of ingratitude and defiance against Allah SWT.

“Some scholars claim killing yourself for the sake of religion is allowed, but that is a minority view. Most scholars agree all forms of suicide are forbidden in Islam,” she said.

Based on rulings of the Quran and hadith, Muslims who commit suicide are punished in hell for eternity.

However, Ustazah Norasiah pointed out the doors of repentance will remain open for those who seek forgiveness from Allah SWT.

“Tendency to sin, such as contemplating suicide, is an indication of weak faith,” she said, advising Muslims to strengthen their relationship with Allah SWT through prayers.

Noting the complex nature of suicide motives, she urged people with suicidal thoughts to seek professional help. She also called on the community to reach out and offer support to suicidal individuals who have become disconnected from others.

“We shouldn’t isolate or berate them, because that is only going to drive them closer to the edge,” remarked the UNISSA lecturer.

According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, connectedness is crucial for individuals who may be vulnerable to suicide.

Studies show social isolation can increase the risk of suicide while having strong human bonds can be a preventative measure.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that over 800,000 people die by suicide globally every year. Suicide is also the second leading cause of death for youth aged between 15 to 29.

Although suicide rates in Brunei are not made public “as it is a sensitive issue”, Ustazah Norasiah believed a number of cases and attempts have occurred in the country.

She further said there is a need to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

“We have an obligation as Muslims to prevent this tragic loss of life. Awareness starts at home, so parents must teach their children that suicide is not the way out,” she said.

Observed every September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day is aimed at spreading the message that “suicide prevention is a realistic goal and governments worldwide should work together to find solutions to this growing health problem”.

Suicide should not be seen as an inevitable cause of premature deaths throughout the world, said the WHO in a statement.

The Brunei Times

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


8th International Islamic Borneo Conference: ‘Da’wah must be carried out more aggressively in Borneo ‘

ISLAMIC da’wah efforts should be supported by all levels of society in order to preserve the glories of Islamic civilisation in Borneo, said the rector of Universiti Teknologi Mara Sarawak.

Professor Dato Dr Jamil Hj Hamali highlighted this during the adjournment of the eighth International Islamic Borneo Conference (KAIB VIII) yesterday at the Rizqun International Hotel which was coordinated by Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), Universiti Teknologi Mara Sarawak and Islamic Da’wah Centre Brunei.

Twelve resolutions were made following the two-day conference held at UNISSA.

Among the resolutions, Professor Dato Dr Jamil highlighted that da’wah activities must be carried out more aggressively in the communities within Borneo through methodological approaches and monitoring.

“Especially the youth; they should be given strong religious knowledge and awareness of the importance of the relationship between ethnic and racial solidarity,” he said.

“All parties must play their role to create interaction and positive social integration in the society for the purpose of preaching,” he added.

Professor Dato Dr Jamil said in regards to the economy and education among Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak, they must be strengthened as a medium to enhance the position and continuation of the Islamic communities of the two states.

He highlighted that Brunei has been successful in strengthening the implementation of Islamic values in its community, especially through the collaboration between UNISSA, the State Mufti’s Office and the Islamic Da’wah Centre embolding Islamic da’wah within the sultanate.

Muslims in Borneo should also ensure that the ASEAN community in Borneo fulfils the Maqasid Syariah(noble objectives of Islamic Law) concept by taking into account the needs, stability and sensitivities of all parties, Professor Dato Dr Jamil said.

Professor Dato Dr Jamil then highlighted that the development of Information and Communication Technology and media should also be harnessed as a means of making da’wah activities more effective and proactive.

He added that dai’e (inviters to Islam) and academic experts should also work together in maintaining the Islamic education system in Borneo by maximising the efforts of relaying knowledge and understanding of Islam to the community, especially in rural areas.

The rector also touched on the verification of halal statuses in the food industry, consumables, cosmetics and other products, as it should be streamlined among the authorities across Borneo.

Reviews of the arrival of Islam in Borneo manuscripts in connection with the preachers and Islamic civilisations should also be expanded, as there are many manuscripts that have been collected but have not been studied, he said.

Professor Dato Dr Jamil added that mosque structuring organisations should also be strengthened and expanded as one of the Hisbah institutions that realises the objective of zakat and wakaf institutions in Borneo.

He said the conference has resolved to maintain and strengthen the good relations and cooperation between the Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah governments.

He concluded by thanking His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, for his consent to organise the seminar.

The Brunei Times

Friday, September 4, 2015


Islamic financial literacy will protect public from scams


Izzan Kassim

ISLAMIC financial literacy should be made accessible to everyone to protect members of the public from financial scams and fraud.

In a speech delivered at yesterday’s opening of the Thematic Workshop on Islamic Financial Literacy, Deputy Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Hj Yusoff Hj Ismail said a lot of people lost their income owing to various financial and investment scams. He said financial education can help in solving this problem.

Dato Seri Setia Hj Yusoff Hj Ismail

Dato Seri Setia Hj Yusoff Hj Ismail

Dato Hj Yusoff said that the change in the socio-economic landscape as well as advances in technology is part of the reason why individuals need to equip themselves and their families with the knowledge and skills to manage their personal finance.

“As Muslims, we should be literate regarding Islamic finance,” he said.

The deputy minister added that several commitments carried out by Muslims such as almsgiving (Zakat), commerce and Syariah-compliant investment and the handling of orphans’ assets should follow the exact guidelines set by the religion.

But he said members of the public should be also be made aware and taught the concepts of Islamic finance.

“Detailed and accurate information on (Islamic finance) should be shared,” he said.

It is vital to provide a guideline for the public, said the deputy minister, adding that this will allow them to make correct decisions and choices on financial matters.

He stressed that savings, financial planning and investments should all comply with Syariah.

As a result, the public’s belief and trust on how Syariah-compliant financial institutions are should be strengthened, with more efforts put in to improve the quality and sharing of information. He added that education on Islamic financial literacy should be expanded at the school level.

“Syllabuses that are related to Islamic financial literacy should be merged more aggressively into the curriculum,” he said.

Dato Hj Yusoff said that this would require teachers to be well-versed on the subject. He suggested that it could also be implemented through a fitting co-curriculum activity.

The Brunei Times
Thursday, February 26, 2015


‘Use caution with Islamic financial institutions’: Professor

finance-talk-poster-1Nabilah Haris

CONSUMERS should be careful and knowledgeable when dealing with financial institutions even though they are Islamic in name, said a scholar from Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali.

Professor Dr Mahmood Mohamed Sanusi, a professor from the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences at the Islamic university, gave the advice during a talk entitled “Does the Islamic Financial Institutions Customer Need Consumer Protection?”

“The protection of consumers is an important matter that should be taken seriously,” said Professor Dr Mahmood, adding that the practices of some Islamic financial institutions should be taken into consideration. The situation is not unique to Brunei, he said, but throughout the region.

Professor Dr Mahmood Mohamed Sanusi

Professor Dr Mahmood Mohamed Sanusi

He said that while various aspects of financial institutions, including Islamic ones, are questionable, the financial products they offer should provide some insight into whether their practices are Syariah compliant.

Claims that their practices are according to fatwas should not satisfy the consumer and may only be a form of marketing to draw consumers into practices that may lack Syariah compliance.

“The contract which spells out the relationship between the consumer and the bank will show how genuine their business is,” said Professor Dr Mahmood, adding that defects with some Islamic banks are in their legal documentation whereby they “do not distribute justice between parties”.

He said legal documentation must be Syariah compliant so that the terms of the contract and the price will be fair and equitable to consumers.

During the course of the talk, he also shared complaints from both Malaysia and Brunei that involved consumers having to deal with issues of Islamic financial institutions in civil courts.

In conclusion, Professor Dr Mahmood said Syariah scholars face a major challenge of having the Islamic financial industry accept that not all forms of conventional instruments such as options, futures and derivatives can be made Syariah compliant despite being practiced in the financial market.

“Once conformity to the Syariah is achieved, the legality of an Islamic bank’s financial products will not be a contentious issue nor be doubted by Muslims,” he said.

The talk was held yesterday at UNISSA’s Jubilee Hall.

Professor Dr Mahmood has published works in reputable academic journals, including the International Journal of Financial Services, Arab Law Quarterly, Journal of Money Laundering Control (Cambridge University) and IIUM Law Journal.

The Brunei Times
Sunday, February 1, 2015


UNISSA of Brunei signs MoU with Fatoni University in Thailand

fatoni uniIzzan Kassim

UNIVERSITI Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fatoni University in southern Thailand to expand its strategic partnership in the academic field with other higher education institutions in the region.

The MoU will prepare both universities for academic collaborations, holding seminars and researches as well as a programme which mobilises staff and students in specific fields.

Signing the MoU on behalf of UNISSA was its Rector, Dr Hj Norarfan Hj Zainal, while Fatoni University Rector Dr Hj Ismail Lutfi Chapakia signed for the Thai university.

Among those present to witness the signing were UNISSA’s Assistant Registrar, Dean of the Faculty of Arabic Language and Islamic Civilisation, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Syariah and Law and the Head of Public and International Relations Unit, as part of the UNISSA delegation.

The UNISSA delegation also made a working visit to the Hatyai and Pattani campuses of Prince of Songkla University (PSU), and held two discussions during their visit.

Rector of UNISSA Dr Hj Norarfan Hj Zainal (L) and Rector of Fatoni University Dr Hj Ismail Lutfi Chapakia (R) signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities yesterday at Fatoni University in southern Thailand.  Photo Courtesy of UNISSA

Rector of UNISSA Dr Hj Norarfan Hj Zainal (L) and Rector of Fatoni University Dr Hj Ismail Lutfi Chapakia (R) signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities yesterday at Fatoni University in southern Thailand. Photo Courtesy of UNISSA

A statement from UNISSA said that the delegation had a discussion with the Vice-President of PSU, Phicit Reringsangvatana, at the Hatyai campus as well as at the the Islamic Studies College at PSU, which was chaired by its Director, Dr Yusuf Talek.

UNISSA stated that the discus sion with Dr Yusuf was fruitful and resulted in an agreement for a student exchange programme between the two universities.

Under the agreement, the Islamic Studies College at PSU will send five of its students to UNISSA in January next year to study at the university for two semesters.

The statement said that it was also agreed that both universities will be conducting a collaborative research on the “Application of Akham Al-Hudud in Shariah Islamiyyah: A Comparative Study Between Brunei and Aceh”.

In May next year, both universities have also agreed to conduct an Arabic Language Camp over a one-week period, from May 24 until 30.

Meanwhile, the delegation discussed academic and non-academic activities that has been agreed upon as part of a previous MoU with Phicit Reringsangvatana.

UNISSA said that the MoU between UNISSA and PSU though its Islamic Studies College was signed last year on November 25. Earlier this year, PSU also made a working visit to UNISSA in September.

Yesterday, the UNISSA delegation also visited the Halal Preparation Institute while at PSU.

The Brunei Times
Thursday, December 11, 2014

fatoni univ


Brunei ready for Syariah law

brusharRasidah HAB

BRUNEI is ready to implement the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013.

Any criticisms and challenges that come with it are normal, said Deputy Dean of Faculty of Syariah and Law, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) yesterday.

“Criticisms are normal. There will never be a 100 per cent acceptance (with regards to religion by others). We see this as a challenge to prove that what we hold is the truth,” he said.

Dr Abdurrahman Raden Aji Haqqi said this in an interview at the sideline of the closing ceremony for the two-day seminar on Understanding Syariah Criminal Law for Youth at Plenary Hall, International Convention Centre.

Brunei faced many criticisms for its decision to implement Syariah Law, however Dr Abdurrahman Raden said “We already have the determination, so trust in Allah SWT.”

Dr Abdurrahman Raden Aji Haqqi. Photo: BT/Rasidah HAB

Dr Abdurrahman Raden Aji Haqqi. Photo: BT/Rasidah HAB

Dr Abdurrahman Raden cited Surah Al-Imran, verse 139: “So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.”

He added Brunei is wise in its move to implement the law in phases, as it gave sufficient time to disseminate information on the law.

Brunei will implement Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 in phases. The first phase of the Order will be enforced on April 22. The second phase will come into force 12 months after the Syariah Courts Criminal Procedure Code is gazetted. The third phase will come 24 months after that.

A total of 1,000 youths from various educational institutions, governmental agencies and associations attended the workshop that was held as a sideline activity of the seminar. Dr Abdurrahman Raden was one of facilitator for the workshop. He also presented a working paper on the beauty of Syariah Criminal Law on the seminar’s first day. Targeted at youths, the seminar and workshop aimed at strengthening the confidence of youths in Syariah Criminal Law.

“The seminar and workshop is takzir (reminder) for the youths, to deepen their knowledge on Islamic law. This will strengthen their confidence. Previously, they only know about jenayah (criminal law) from what they learn in religious schools,” he said.

“Previously, they may have not realised the comprehensiveness of the law. Now, they are equipped with the knowledge to become the young ambassadors for the law. These youths will be the one who will give the understanding to others on what syariah law is about,” he added.

The Brunei Times
Fri, 18 April 2014