THE LEARNING MODULES FOR MUSLIM
CONVERTS: A STUDY IN PUSAT DA‘WAH ISLAMIAH IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
HAJAH AZALINAH HAJI ZAINAL ABIDIN
A dissertation submitted in fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and
Heritage (Uṣūl al-Dīn and Comparative Religion)
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences
International Islamic University Malaysia
Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah is the sole Islamic propagation center in Brunei responsible for spreading the teaching Islam to the people. Pusat Da‘wah is also responsible in overseeing the welfare of those who converted to Islam by providing assistance and guidance. It is the focus of the study to examine the learning sessions used by Muslim converts in Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah in Brunei, which begin after embracing Islam. The modules used are contained in four main learning schemes which are currently conducted at Pusat Da‘wah. Each of these schemes has its own set of modules selected by Pusat Da‘wah that is deemed as important and necessary for the learning of the new converts. The study uses critical analysis in order to know the sufficiency of these modules in giving the necessary knowledge and guidance to the new converts.
The study has identified that most of the current modules used by Pusat Da‘wah have benefitted the converts greatly by giving them knowledge and guidance to lead their lives as Muslims. The Islamic educational background of more than half of the converts before embracing Islam also aided greatly in making their learning easier.
However, several shortcomings were also apparent in some of the modules and in the way the learning was conducted. The study is also the first that focuses on the learning modules for the Muslim converts in Brunei Darussalam.
I certify that I have supervised and read this study and that in my opinion, it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Master of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Heritage (UÎËl al-Dīn and Comparative Religion).
Wan Mohd Azam Bin Mohd Amin Supervisor
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Master of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Heritage (UÎËl al- Dīn and Comparative Religion).
Abdul Salam Muhamad Shukri Examiner
This thesis was submitted to the Department of UÎËl al-Dīn and Comparative Religion and is accepted as a fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Heritage (UÎËl al-Dīn and Comparative Religion)
Thameem Ushama Head, Department UÎËl al-Dīn
and Comparative Religion
This dissertation was submitted to the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences and is accepted as a fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Heritage (UÎËl al-Dīn and Comparative Religion).
Ibrahim Mohamed Zein
Dean, Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences
I hereby declare that this dissertation is the result of my own investigations, except where otherwise stated. I also declare that it has not been previously or concurrently submitted as a whole for any other degrees at IIUM or other institutions.
Hajah Azalinah Haji Zainal Abidin
Signature ……… Date………..………
DECLARATION OF COPYRIGHT AND AFFIRMATION OF FAIR USE OF UNPUBLISHED RESEARCH
THE LEARNING MODULES FOR MUSLIM CONVERTS: A STUDY IN PUSAT DA‘WAH ISLAMIAH IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
This dissertation is dedicated to:
My beloved husband and children
For their endless love and continuous support and understanding that give strength for me to continue my journey in finishing this Master’s
degree and completing this work.
May Allah subḥānahu wa ta‘āla bless them and reward them with His
In the name of Allah the Most Merciful, most Compassionate.
All praises to the Almighty Allah, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful, and peace and blessing upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions. Thank you to the Almighty Allah for the strength, patience and perseverance that You grant me. Without your guidance and blessing, I would not be able to complete this research.
I would also like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Dr Wan Mohd Azam Bin Mohd Amin, for his patience, understanding, guidance and supervision from the very beginning until the research came to completion.
My sincerest thanks and gratitude also goes to all the officers, teachers and staff at the Conversion and Muallaf Preservation Section, for allowing me to conduct the research there and for their invaluable assistance in providing me with the information needed to complete this dissertation.
I would also like to extend my appreciation to my friends and colleagues at the State Mufti’s Office, for their friendship and encouragement, for the discussion and suggestions during the process of writing this dissertation.
I am most appreciative of my family members, my beloved parents, Hj Zainal Abidin and Pg Hjh Azizah, my brothers and sisters for their moral support, love, prayer and advice they have given me throughout my study and my life.
To the important people in my life, my beloved husband, Abdul Haadi bin Haji Tali, who has encouraged me to take this journey, thank you so much for your support, understanding and patience. Above all thank you so much for raising our children so wonderfully and patiently during my absence. To all my children, Wa’iz, Khayra and Zahra, mummy always loves you. All of you have always been joy and happiness for me. Thank you for brightening up my days. May Allah grant all of you His blessing and grace and may Allah bless all of you with humility, knowledge and great future.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Abstract ... ii
Abstract in Arabic ... iii
Approval Page ... iv
Declaration Page ... v
Declaration of Copyright ... vi
Dedication ... vii
Acknowledgements ... viii
List of Tables ... xii
List of Figures ... xiii
List of Statutes ... xiv
Transliteration Table ... xv
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ... 1
1.1 Background ... 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem ... 4
1.3 Research Questions ... 5
1.4 Objectives of the Research ... 6
1.5 Scope of the Research ... 6
1.6 Significance of the Research ... 7
1.7 Research Methodology ... 8
1.8 Literature Review ... 9
1.9 Justification of the Research ... 12
1.10 Chapter of the Research ... 12
CHAPTER TWO: THE ROLE OF PUSAT DA‘WAH ISLAMIAH IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM ... 14
2.1 Introduction ... 14
2.2 Background of Brunei ... 14
2.2.1 Brief History ... 15
2.2.2 Demographics ... 16
2.3 Background of Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah ... 17
2.3.1 Vision of Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah ... 18
2.3.2 Mission of Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah ... 18
2.3.3 The Goals or Objectives of Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah ... 19
2.3.4 The Structure of the Organization ... 20
2.3.5 The Divisions of Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah ... 20
2.4 The Conversion And Muallaf Preservation Division and the Conversion and Muallaf Guidance Unit ... 22
2.4.1 Background and Function ... 22
2.5 Muslim Converts in Brunei Darussalam ... 23
2.5.1 Introduction ... 23
2.5.2 Definition of Mu’allaf or Muslim Converts ... 25
2.5.3 The Procedure of Conversion in Brunei... 31
2.6 Conclusion ... 34
CHAPTER THREE: THE LEARNING MODULES FOR MUSLIM
CONVERTS IN PUSAT DA‘WAH ISLAMIAH ... 36
3.1 Introduction ... 36
3.2 Background ... 36
3.3 Description of the Learning Modules ... 38
3.3.1 Scheme 1: Bimbingan Pengenalan Islam 10 Hari (10-Day Introductory Course to Islam) ... 38
184.108.40.206 The Content of BPI10 ... 39
3.3.2 Scheme 2: Skim Bimbingan Asas Saudara-Saudara Baru 14 Hari (14 Days Basic Guidance Scheme for New Converts) ... 41
220.127.116.11 The Content of SBA14 ... 42
3.3.3 Scheme 3: Skim Bimbingan Lanjutan (I) 14 Hari (14-Day Advance Guidance Scheme I) ... 44
18.104.22.168 The Content of SBLI ... 44
3.3.4 Scheme 4: Skim Bimbingan Lanjutan II 14 Hari (14-Day Advance Guidance Scheme II)... 45
22.214.171.124 The Content of SBLII ... 46
3.4 Other Guidance Classes ... 46
3.5 Other Activities and Programmes ... 49
3.6 Analysis of the Content of the Module and its Source ... 50
3.6.1 Scheme 1: Skim Bimbingan Pengenalan Islam 10 Hari (10-Day Introductory Course to Islam) ... 50
3.6.2 Scheme 2: Skim Bimbingan Asas 14 Hari (14-Day Basic Guidance Scheme) ... 58
3.6.3 Scheme 3: Skim Bimbingan Lanjutan I (Advance Learning Scheme I) ... 73
3.6.4 Scheme 4: Skim Bimbingan Lanjutan II (Advance Learning Scheme II) ... 83
3.7 Analysis of the Methods of the Learning Modules ... 92
3.7.1 The Method of BPI10 ... 92
3.7.2 The Methods of SBA14, SBLI and SBLII ... 94
3.8 Conclusion ... 95
CHAPTER FOUR: THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE LEARNING MODULES ... 96
4.1 Introduction ... 96
4.2. Analysis of Interviews with the Converts ... 96
4.2.1 Background of the Converts... 96
4.2.2 Scheme 1: Bimbingan Pengenalan Islam 10 Hari (10-Day Introdcutory Course to Islam (BPI10)... 99
4.2.3 Learning Scheme 2: Skim Bimbingan Asas 14 Hari (SBA14) ... 104
4.2.4 Learning Scheme 3: Skim Bimbingan Lanjutan I (SBLI) ... 107
4.2.5 Scheme 4: Skim Bimbingan Lanjutan II (SBLII) ... 111
4.2.6 Other Problems Faced by the Converts ... 113
4.3 Analysis of the Interviews with the Teachers ... 115
4.3.1 Background of the Teachers... 115
4.3.2 The Teachers’ View on the Courses ... 116
4.3.3 Problems Faced by the Teachers ... 119
4.4 Strengths and Weaknesses of the Courses ... 122
4.5 Conclusion ... 124
CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION ... 125
5.1 Introduction ... 125
5.2 Summary and Findings ... 125
5.3 Recommendations ... 130
5.3.1 Reorganization of the Modules or Revision of the Schemes ... 130
5.3.2 Updating and Coordinating the Curriculum ... 131
5.3.3 Publishing Proper Textbook ... 131
5.3.4 Conducting Short Courses for the Converts... 131
5.3.5 Conducting the Schemes in English ... 132
5.3.6 Extending the Duration of the Schemes ... 132
5.3.7 Information through the Media ... 133
5.3.8 Training Programmes for the Teachers ... 133
5.4 Closing ... 134
BIBLIOGRAPHY ... 135
APPENDIX I: MAPS OF BRUNEI ... 140
APPENDIX II: INTERVIEW GUIDE QUESTIONS FOR THE CONVERTS ... 141
APPENDIX III: INTERVIEW GUIDE QUESTIONS FOR THE TEACHERS ... 144
LIST OF TABLES
Table No. Page No.
2.1 Number of converts in Brunei from the four districts (2006 – 2011) 24 2.2 Number of converts according to racial background (2006 – 2011) 25
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure No. Page No.
4.1 Composition of number of converts according to the attended scheme 97
4.2 Number of converts according to gender 97
4.3 Number of converts according to duration of converting to Islam 98
4.4 Knowledge of Islam before conversion to Islam 99
LIST OF STATUTES
Constitution of Brunei (Part II, Article 3)
Religious Council and Kadis Courts Act 1984 (Chapter 77, Part VIII)
Religious Council and Kathis Courts Enactment 1955 (Religious Council and Kathis Courts (Converts) (Amendment) Rules 1977)
Rules of Islamic Da‘wah Centre (1984)
Arabic Transliteration Scheme (According to IIUM Thesis Manual) Consonant
term Transliteration Arabic
term Transliteration Arabic
’ z q
b s k
t sh l
th ṣ m
j ḍ n
ḥ ṭ h
kh ẓ w
d ‘ y
Arabic term Transliteration Arabic term Transliteration
a + ā
i + ī
u + ū
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Islam, through the teachings of Prophet Muhammad SAW, calls and invites all human beings to the path of Allah SWT and this call or invitation is called da‘wah.
This invitation extends to those who have no knowledge of Islam, to learn and study it, to understand it and believe in it. This call or invitation is also directed to those who are already Muslims, to increase their knowledge of Islam, and to practice it as perfectly and devoutly as possible and to remember to always stay on its path. The intent of da‘wah is to spread the universal message of Islam to all human beings, regardless of colour, race and nationality, as a complete way of life for all.
Consequently, the result of da‘wah would produce converts to Islam, which adds to the number, growth and strength of the Muslim ummah. This increasing number of converts is very important and is always seen as a measure of success of Islamic da‘wah. However, what is equally important is the converts’ commitment and conviction towards Islam, not just as faith and belief but as their way of life.
In most cases of the converts, Islam is new to them and most of them do not have any or very little knowledge about Islam or of being a Muslim. Thus, proper guidance, in the form of advice, education and information is necessary in order to provide them with the essential knowledge in leading their life as Muslims. This too will help to build their conviction and strengthen their belief and faith in Islam, especially at the early stage after the conversion, and bring them towards a strong commitment and deeper understanding of Islam in their lives. In the early stage after
conversion, converts are usually given guidance through programmes designed specifically for the new Muslim converts. Nowadays, these are usually provided by da‘wah or Islamic organizations, foundations or agencies, with the purpose of providing knowledge and information about Islam. These organizations and agencies also provide assistance, such as financial assistance, work and career assistant programmes and so on. This is done so that the new converts will have all the essential knowledge they need to lead their lives as Muslims, to understand Islam better, to know their roles and responsibilities, as well as ease the changes, difficulties and problems that might be faced by the converts in changing from their previous way of life to a new way of life as Muslims.
In Brunei Darussalam, Islam has taken root after the first Sultan of Brunei, Awang Alak Betatar embraced Islam and took the name Sultan Muhammad Shah in 1368 AD. However, there were several indications which show that Islam had come and had been spreading among the people of Brunei earlier than that. It was only after the conversion of the first Sultan, that Islam became the official religion of the state and Islamic teachings were taught and preached openly by Muslim preachers.1 Since then, Islam has been spreading in Brunei and continues to grow until today.
The position of Islam in Brunei is further strengthened when it is proclaimed as the official religion of Brunei in the Constitution of Brunei Darussalam2, where it is stated that the practice of Islam adopted by Brunei is in accordance with the Shāfi‘ī3
1 Pehin Tuan Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned P.S.S.U.B D.S.L.J, Islam in Brunei: During the Reign of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, edited and translated by Haji Mohamad Amin bin Hassan, (Brunei Darussalam: Brunei History Centre, 2008), xxi – xxviii.
2 Constitution of Brunei Darussalam, (Part II Religion and Adat Istiadat, Article 3), Constitutional Documents, the Authority of Brunei, 2004, 48-49.
3 The Shāfi‘ī school of fiqh is one of the four major schools of fiqh and it belongs to the ahl al-sunnah wa al-jamā‘ah group. The name of this school came from the name of its founder, al-Imām MuÍammad bin Idrīs al-Shāfi‘ī. There are two phase of the Shāfi‘ī school; the first is the one that was collated and spread in Baghdad and known as al-Madhhab al-Qadīm or the Old Creed. The second is after Imām al-
school and the ahl al-sunnah wa al-jamā‘ah.4 In fact Brunei has its own state’s philosophy (falsafah negara) which is known as Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB) or Malay Islamic Monarchy5, which is considered as the base or foundation of the government, the country and the people, where the government and the people always strive to follow the teachings of Islam in all aspects of life.
The importance and the concern of conveying the message of Islam shown by the government has led to the establishment of Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah6 (PDI) or the Islamic Da‘wah Centre, under the Ministry of Religious Affairs. It is given the role and responsibility of spreading the message and conveying the teachings of Islam to
Shāfi‘ī moved to Egypt where he revised or changed some of his former views and this is known as al- Madhhab al-Jadīd or the New Creed. With the formation al-Madhhab al-Jadīd the older creed was abrogated. (Māni‘ bin Ḥammād al-Juhnī, al-Mawsū‘ah al-Muyassarah fī al-Adyān wa al-Madhāhib wa al-Aḥzāb al-Mu‘āṣirah, (Riyāḍ: Dār al-Nadwah al-‘Ālamiyyah li al-Ṭibā‘ah wa al-Nashr wa al- Tawzī‘), 1, 123).
4 Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamā‘ah is a name given to a group of people who followed and practised the teachings of Islam as taught by Prophet Muhammad SAW in their faith and belief. They were named ahl al-sunnah due to their adherence to the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW and named al-jamā‘ah because it is the belief of a group of Muslims who are unanimous on the truth and are not divided in matters of religion, who followed the way of the true leaders and did not go against them in any matters related to ‘aqīdah (faith or belief). They are the followers of the traditions or ḥadīth or the triumphant people or the delivered group. Their belief and practice is called ‘Aqīdah ahl al-sunnah wa al-jamā‘ah.
(Al-Mawsū‘ah al-Muyassarah fī al-Adyān wa al-Madhāhib wa al-Aḥzāb al-Mu‘āṣirah, 1, 36).
It was later gathered, organized and summarized by a great Usūl al-Dīn scholar Abū Ḥasan
‘Alī al-Ash‘arī and then also by another great scholar, Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī. (Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr. Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, Aqidah Ahli Sunnah wal-Jamaah; Penyelamat Ummah, (Brunei Darussalam: Jabatan Mufti Kerajaan, Jabatan Perdana Menteri), 28-29.
The ‘Aqīdah ahl al-sunnah wa al-Jamā‘ah is also defined as the belief or practice of the truly faithful who believed in Allah SWT, in the Oneness of God and obedience to Him, who believed in His Angels and Books and Messengers and the Judgement Day and in Destiny. (Al-Mawsū‘ah al- Muyassarah fī al-Adyān wa al-Madhāhib wa al-Aḥzāb al-Mu‘āṣirah, 1, 36).
5 Pehin Tuan Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned P.S.S.U.B D.S.L.J, Islam in Brunei: During the Reign of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, edited and translated by Haji Mohamad Amin bin Hassan, (Brunei Darussalam: Brunei History Centre, 2008), 15.
6 The official site for Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah is (http://www.religious- affairs.gov.bn/index.php?ch=bm_about_div&pg=bm_div_dakwah) and it is managed under the Ministry of Religious Affairs website. The spelling of the official name of Pusat Da‘wah in this site is as used in the title and throughout the content of this dissertation. There is also another site that contains information about Pusat Da‘wah, however this site is maintain under the Prime Minister’s Office official website and uses the spelling of Pusat Dakwah Islamiah at the head of its page.
(http://www.pmo.gov.bn/index.php/pusat-dakwah-islamiah). For this dissertation however, the researcher will refer to the site run under the Ministry of Religious Affairs and use the spelling of the name of Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah as found in this site and as officially and currently used by Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah.
both Muslims and non-Muslims in the country. Pusat Da‘wah is also given the responsibility to see to the welfare of the Muslim converts in Brunei and this includes providing follow-up learning programmes for converts after conversion. In order to achieve this, certain programmes and modules have been designed to fit the needs of the new converts to learn and understand and practice Islam. In a way, such programmes and modules are introduction that serve as the basis of their understanding and knowledge about Islam and serve as the first step of their continuous learning about Islam in the future.
Thus, the programmes or modules or curriculum used for the converts are very important to give them clear understanding about Islam and being Muslims, so that they will be able to lead their life according to Islam, and able to meet any challenges posed by the modern world while remaining strong and true to Islam.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The numbers of conversion to Islam are increasing over the years in Brunei.
According to the annual report and statistics made by the Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah, there were 464 people who embraced Islam in 2008 and the number increased to 533 in 2009. In 2010 and 2011, the total numbers of converts were 640 and 537 respectively.7 These converts comprised of the local residents, the permanent residents and the temporary residents that come from different ethnic backgrounds, cultures, races and nationalities.8 The reasons for conversions to Islam also differ, such as embracing Islam due to marriage to a Muslim spouse, or influenced by the
7 “Penyata Keramaian Orang yang Memeluk Ugama Islam Seluruh Negara Brunei Darusalam dari tahun 1971M hingga 2011M”, prepared by the Conversion and Muallaf Preservation Division, Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah.
8 “Penyata Pengislaman Orang yang Memeluk Islam Mengikkut Puak/Bangsa, Ugama Asal dan Kerakyatan Seluruh Negara 2008-2011”, prepared by the Conversion and Muallaf Preservation Division, Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah.
surrounding culture or interaction with Muslim friends, or resulted from the activities of da‘wah and many others. With regard to these differences, these cause certain difficulties and problems especially in the process of learning about Islam.
Pusat Da‘wah as the one which is responsible in providing guidance and knowledge to the converts has prepared certain curriculum or modules or programmes especially for the converts to learn about Islam. Some of the curriculum and modules have been used since 1989. Others date back to the year 1990, while a more recent module was added in 2009. The content of the curriculum mostly has remained the same over the past years and has never been officially reviewed. However, slight modifications and additions were made with the purpose of making it easier for the converts to learn, and to provide them with the relevant information that they need to know in living their life as Muslims. Thus, if the curriculum or the modules are sufficient and good, it would produce a positive effect. The converts would be able to learn and understand the basic teachings of Islam and this in turn will make it easier to continue learning more deeply about Islam for them in the present and future.
Therefore, the research will identify and examine the curriculum and modules for the new Muslim converts used by Pusat Da‘wah. The researcher will also evaluate their relevance to the current needs of Muslim converts in Brunei and the effectiveness of the modules. Thus, the study will look into the current curriculum and modules used by Pusat Da‘wah as well as the programmes or activities that might be related to the learning modules.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research has attempted to answer the following questions:
1. What are the curriculum/learning modules used by Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah and are these modules sufficient for the learning of the new converts?
2. What are the methods used by Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah and are they suitable for the learning of the new converts?
3. Are there any difficulties or problems faced by the teachers and the participants in the teaching and learning of the modules?
4. What are the steps that should be taken by Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah in fulfilling the current demands of the converts and in solving the problems faced by the teachers and participants?
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
The objectives of the research are as follow:
1. To analyze the content of the modules.
2. To evaluate the effectiveness of the learning modules for Muslim converts used by Pusat Da‘wah.
3. To explore the converts’ understanding and appreciation of Islam based on the modules.
4. To identify the difficulties or problems faced by the Muslim converts and Pusat Da‘wah and to suggest the steps for improvement.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE RESEARCH
The research is focused on the learning module for Muslim converts currently used by Pusat Da‘wah. Programmes or activities related to the module are also consulted as part of the scope of the research. However, any other programmes or activities organized or conducted by Pusat Da‘wah for Muslim converts, which are not related
to the module, such as business aid, career and financial assistance for new converts and any other outreach programmes would not be included in the scope of the research. The Muslim converts who have participated in the courses conducted will also be included in the research.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH
The significance of the research lies in the fact that it attempts to analyze the curriculum or modules currently used by Pusat Da‘wah and to ascertain that the curriculum or modules or programmes currently used by Pusat Da‘wah are able to fulfil the needs and demands of the new converts in order to understand about Islam. It also identifies the challenges or problems in the process of learning and teaching about Islam faced by the participants and the teachers. The research will hopefully lead to new ideas for improvement of the curriculum or modules used by Pusat Da‘wah which will contribute more to effective teaching and conveying the message of Islam, not just to the new converts, but also to Muslims and non-Muslims in general.
This research is also the first that will focus on the learning module for Muslim converts in Brunei. Since Pusat Da‘wah is the only da‘wah agency in Brunei, such study is important to the converts and Pusat Da‘wah in determining the effectiveness of the module in imparting Islamic knowledge and promoting a better understanding of Islam and the sufficiency of the curriculum to meet the demands and the needs of the converts in particular, as well as of others. In addition, since the curriculum or modules have never been revised formally, this research hopefully can serve as a preliminary review, which can lead to a full revision that can be conducted by the Pusat Da‘wah.
8 1.7 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The research is conducted based on several qualitative methods:
1. The first method is library research, collecting information from printed and electronic materials such as books, journals, magazines, newspapers, reports as well as Internet sources.
2. The second method is critical analysis of the learning modules used by Pusat Da‘wah Islamiah in order to determine the sufficiency of the modules to the learning needs of the new converts in understanding Islam.
This includes the study of the contents and methods of conducting the modules.
3. Using a set of questions, several interviews are conducted with converts who have participated or are participating in the learning schemes. The researcher has conducted interviews with 53 participants; where 18 of them have completed all courses or schemes, seven of them have participated up to the third course, another 18 have completed the second course, while ten out of 53 have only attended the first course. The researcher has also interviewed nine teachers who are conducting the courses. The languages that are used in the interviews are Bahasa Melayu and English, depending on the competency of the converts using either language.
4. Non-participant observations of some of the courses are also carried out by the researcher.
9 1.8 LITERATURE REVIEW
To the best of the researcher’s knowledge, no study has been conducted relating to the scope of this research in Brunei, which focuses on the learning module for new Muslim converts. However, there are several studies that have been done regarding da‘wah to non-Muslims in Brunei.
One of the studies that has been conducted regarding da‘wah to non-Muslims in Brunei is a Ph.D thesis entitled “Penerimaan dan kefahaman tentang Islam dalam kalangan masyarakat Dusun dan Murut di Brunei Darussalam” by Hajah Rasinah binti Haji Ahim (2010).9 This research pertains to the understanding of two major groups of aborigines in Brunei regarding the teaching of Islam and their acceptance of Islam, as one of the activities of da‘wah to Islam in Brunei.
In addition, there are a lot of studies that have been conducted relating to the learning module or curriculum for Muslim converts but these studies are conducted outside of Brunei.
Among such studies is conducted by Rosmani binti Husain (2004) titled
“Modul bimbingan saudara baru: Kajian di Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Kelantan (JAHEAK)”.10 The researcher analyzed and evaluated the effectiveness of the module as well as the methods used based on the converts’ understanding of the teachings of Islam. In addition, the researcher also investigated the practice of the teachings of Islam in the daily life of the converts and explored the link between understanding the teachings of Islam and practicing it in daily life.
9 Hajah Rasinah binti Haji Ahim, “Penerimaan dan Kefahaman Tentang Islam dalam Kalangan Masyarakat Dusun dan Murut di Brunei Darussalam”, (Ph.D thesis, Universiti Malaya, 2010).
10 Rosmani binti Husain, “Modul bimbingan saudara baru: Kajian di Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Kelantan (JAHEAK)”, (Master Dissertation, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2004).