This October 2016 issue of IAIS Malaysia’s flagship journal, Islam and Civilisational Renewal, contains six substantive articles (all with actionable policy recommendations), four viewpoints, four event reports and two book reviews.
The first of our substantive articles is by Yasushi Suzuki, Professor of Economics at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan, and a recent Visiting Fellow at IAIS. Entitled ‘Sufism and Suzuki Shosanʼs Japanese Zen Teachings,’ it compares and contrasts traditional Sufi and Zen teachings; after identifying a common core to both traditions, Yasushi argues that Sufism has a ‘universality’ which makes it easily relatable to other faiths. If Muslims were to revive Sufism, it could therefore act as a powerful rival to the exclusivism propagated by Islamic fundamentalism.
The second of our articles is by IAIS Research Fellow, Mohammad Mahbubi Ali. Entitled ‘Takaful Models: Their Evolution and Future Direction,’ it presents an important exploration of the rapidly emerging takaful (Islamic insurance) industry. After describing its most recent developments and limitations, Mahbubi advocates musharakah ta’awuniyah (cooperative partnership) as a possible future direction. This concept would reshape insurance as a contract of cooperation and shared responsibility for mutual assistance. Mahbubi acknowledges, however, the need to further examine its commercial viability and practicality.