On 17th March 2011, I received a call from the Press Secretary of the then Minister of Higher Education Malaysia, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, asking me to prepare an article urgently for the Minister regarding the idea of establishing a waqf university in the country. I was quite surprised to receive the call and the message but I tried to be relaxed. I started working on it, and the next day I sent the article. The reason why I managed to finish it so soon was because I had already written a draft about the formation of a waqf university when I was preparing for my sabbatical leave the following September.
The call made me realize that the Malaysian Government had also been leaning towards adopting the waqf concept for funding universities and educational institutions. It convinced me that my decision to deal with a waqf university research project was the right one at the right time. From then until now, I have worked on 3 projects related to a waqf university; 2 from UMRG: (i) RG 284-11 HNE: “Towards the Establishment of a Malaysian Waqf University: Conceptualization & Model for Development” and (ii) RP012D-13HNE: “Establishment and Development of a Contemporary Malaysian Waqf University Model: Experience Learnt From Egypt, the UK & the US”.
The latest used an LRGS grant awarded by the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia. Out of the three projects, only the first research which I conducted in my sabbatical days has been completed and the other two are still ongoing. Dr. Asmak Ab Rahman from the Department of Syariah and Economics, Academy of Islamic Studies is the co-researcher for the UMRG projects. She has given strong support for the tasks.
More stories at UMR Bulletin Vol 2 2015