Thursday, June 6, 2013




A Shariah Compliance Standard

By Shaya'a OTHMAN, Adviser to UCSC 

The idea of creating Islamic Quality System started in November 2, 2000, when the Chairman of Institute of Islamic Understanding [IKIM] Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji Abduk Hamid said in his speech at the opening of an expert consultation to formulate a quality standard based on the Islamic perspective, at IKIM that “It is hope that a set of Islamic quality standard, which are accepted and later to be adopted by Islamic nations, can be formulated”. After 8 years in 2008, I started my research to formalize this idea, when I was working as a lecturer and Director of Centre of Excellency in Selangor International Islamic University College [KUIS], Malaysia. My interest in this research carried on when I took a new responsibility as Academic Fellow and Executive Director of Centre of Excellency, at Insaniah College University [INSANIAH], Kedah Malaysia, beginning 2010.

The Founder of 1st Islamic Hotel, Mr Fadil AKGUNDUZ, is seen
here discussing with H.E. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad [Former
Prime Minister of Malaysia], about his 2nd on going Luxury Hotel
Not realizing it, such practices being carried out or put to practices far back in 1996 by Mr. Fadil Akgunduz, the founder and owner of a hotel known today as Caprice Thermal Caprice, at Didim in Turkey. Ironically I was working too, with the group as Chief Executive Office, Asia, since 1995. Briefly, since its operation in 1996 till to date, no-alcohol is served, and all foods are “halal”. The facilities provided are “Muslims-friendly” such as separate swing pools and spa for male and female, a mosque with full time Imam to manage and lead the congregation daily and Friday prayers. 

 CAPRICE THERMAL PALACE Hotel, Turkey is the first Resort Hotel in the world operating since 1996,  operating according to Shariah Compliance.The founder of this Hotel is Mr. Fadil AKGUNDUZ. 
We did research how the west doing their rating for their hotel industry, in Europe, in Australia as well as in United State of America, which are well established and known as “star-rating” in Europe and Australia, and “diamond rating” in United States of America. This “star-rating” was well known worldwide even in Muslim countries. 

The ratings or quality standards do not taken into consideration the sensitivities of Muslim community, in other word, the rating systems or quality standards are not “Muslims friendly”. For examples the availability of alcoholic beverages is part of measuring the quality which is not acceptable to Islam. Thus the "star -rating" and " diamond-rating " are not acceptable by Muslim.

The formulation of this IQS-Islamic Quality Standard For Hotel, while taking the quality of physical facilities provided by the hotel, and the quality of its services to the customers, it is also taking into consideration how the hotel conformed to the Islamic principles such as alcoholic beverage is not available or served in the hotel premises, and all foods served are “halal”. These basic requirements under Islamic principles are the perquisites for a hotel to be considered under IQS-Islamic Quality Standard. Other factors such as separate summing pools or spa for male and female, Muslims prayer facilities such as prayer rooms, and mosque are important measurements for IQS- Islamic Quality Standard.

It is hope that IQS-Islamic Quality Standard For Hotel, will become useful guide line for those who wish to become a “Muslim friendly” hotel, and be considered under various classifications from IQS-1 to the very top of IQS-7 under this IQS-Islamic Quality Standard classification.

On of the largest University in the world with over 
170,000 students in 12 branch campuses and 9 city campuses, 
all over Malaysia, with over 5000 academicians and
University Teknoloji Mara, Malaysia
I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to the co-writer Associate Professor Nor’ain Othman, Deputy Dean [Research & Industry Linkages], Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management, Universiti Teknoloji Mara, Malaysia [UiTM] for making this work possible. My appreciation too, to the technical research team, all from the same Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management, Universiti Teknoloji Mara [UiTM], namely Dr Rozian Mohd Taha, Dr Nor Zuwana Sumarjan, and Dr Salamiah A. Jamal in helping to conduct the research, and making the formulation of this IQS-Islamic Quality Standard. A special thanks to Universal Crescent Standard Centre [UCSC] for adopting and propagating this IQS-Islamic Quality Standard as their guidelines in awarding special award to various hotels according to the standard measurement and levels of classification as spell out in this IQS- Islamic Standard Quality for Hotel.

It is hope that this IQS- Islamic Quality Standard will become as an alternative evaluation systems to that of “star-ranking” systems which are being used in classifying various class of hotel today. It will become useful guide to Muslim tourists in searching suitable accommodations which are ‘Muslims friendly, according to the levels of quality which are acceptable.
The development of IQS-Islamic Quality Standard should not stop at the hotel Industry only. It should be further developed to include other areas for examples in Islamic Tourism Industry, Islamic Banking and Finance, Islamic Insurances, and Islamic Educational Institutions. I believe UCSC can play an important part to spear ahead this development with the collaboration from universities and relevant government agencies.

8 October 2012



Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ismail Ibrahim
Chairman, Universal Crescent Standard Center [UCSC],  Malaysia

One of the objectives of Universal Crescent Standard Center in short UCSC is to create standards which are in conforming with Islamic principles, in various fields, which include but not limited to Islamic Tourism Industry, Islamic Banking and Finance and Islamic Insurance. This move is based on private initiative with the hope to get various supports from universities and government agencies.

IQS - Islamic Quality Standard for Hotel, is the result of
combined  research carried out by both Shaya'a Othman
and Nor'ain Othman. It is being adopted by USCS
The work of Professor Shaya’a Othman and Associate Professor Dr. Nor’ain Othman in formulating IQS-Islamic Quality Standards for Hotel Industry creates the interest of UCSC, to publish it as well as to adopt it, as a guideline of measuring and classifying levels of quality for hotels, not only in Malaysia but also all over the world.
The idea of IQS was also being discussed with
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad [The former
 Prime Minister of Malaysia] to get his input.
From the right - Norain Othman, Ismail Ibrahim,
Shaya'a Othman and Fadil Akgunduz

The significant increase in Muslim Tourists arrivals in the world has put a great demand for accommodations which are “Muslim friendly”. If we exclude Muslims pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, Malaysia is the top preference for Muslims tourist followed by Turkey. 

The easy availability of Halal foods in both countries, make these countries as the preferred destinations of Muslim tourist. It was reported in daily Milliyet of Turkey that the needs for such “Muslim friendly” accommodations in Turkey increased to about 200% just over the past 5 years.

It is timely that a standard of classifying accommodations which are in conformation to Islamic principles should be introduced in the markets. 

The formulation of IQS-Islamic Quality Standard For Hotel and the publication of this book is a step forward of introducing such Islamic standard in Tourism Industry or Islamic Tourism. It will become an alternative to the present classifications or levels of standards which are widely being practiced by the west known as “star-rating’. 

UCSC in collaboration of other  universities and relevant agencieslocally and intentionally,  is planning to develop more IQS –Islamic Quality Standards, not only in Tourism industry but also in other industries.