Shari’ah Scholarship Award, International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance, Malaysia

The International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) invites qualified students with excellent academic achievements and active in co-curricular activities to apply for the Shari’ah Scholarship Award (SA) to pursue their higher education at either local or overseas universities. The Shari’ah Scholarship Award is part of the Fund for Shari’ah Scholars in Islamic Finance, which was established to enhance knowledge, research, talents, and intellectual discourse in the field of Shari’ah in Islamic Finance. The Fund represents Bank Negara Malaysia’s commitment to strengthen the development of the Islamic financial industry.


  • Postgraduate (Master or Doctorate) and Undergraduate studies at recognized institutions of higher learning in the field of Shari’ah or Islamic finance studies equivalent;
  • CIFP, only for those possessing Shari’ah degree or its equivalent, or currently attached to the Shari’ah department/unit of any Islamic finance institutions;


  • Applicant shall have appropriate Shari’ah background as indicated above;
  • The scholarship is open to citizens of all countries;
  • Applicants have to secured admission at a recognised institution of higher learning;
  • Applicants are required to pursue either a bachelor, CIFP , master or doctorate programme, as defined above, in a fulltime mode;
  • Applicants are required to obtain a CGPA of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or 4.5 (on a 5.0 scale) or 80% (on a 100 point scale);
  • Current students enrolled in the programmes specified above may also apply for the scholarship;
  • Applicants should not be in receipt of any other scholarship award or financial assistance.

An application for a scholarship must be submitted by hand or through registered post or courier service with the following documents, which must be in English:

Application form. Please download here;

  • Photocopy of personal identification document (passport/identity card);
  • Offer letter from the institution of higher learning;
  • Certified copies of academic certificates and transcripts;
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation (only for a postgraduate application). Please use provided template.
  • Thesis/draft proposal (only for Master & PhD application by research or coursework & research); and
  • Other relevant materials to support the application, if any.

There is no employment bond attached to the scholarship.

Application timeline: Applications are invited and accepted throughout the year.

Schedule of the interview session:-

  • February 2014
  • June 2014
  • September 2014

ONLY shortlisted applicants will be notified and called for the interview session.

All duly completed applications are to be forwarded to:

Shari’ah Scholarship Award
International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA),
Lorong Universiti A, 59100 Kuala Lumpur

Q: What is the meaning of an ‘Offer Letter’?
An ‘Offer Letter’ is an official letter of admission from an institution of higher learning confirming your placement at the institution. Normally the letter shall indicate the name of the programme, registration fee, registration date and venue for the enrolment.

Q: Which result/CGPA are you referring to?

  • For PhD application via coursework or coursework and research, please attached both the current and Master programme CGPA and transcript;
  • For PhD application via research mode only, please attached the Master programme CGPA and transcript;
  • For Master application – attached current and/or first degree CGPA and transcript;
  • For Undergraduate application – enclosed current semester or first semester CGPA and transcript. Priority shall be given to those pursuing a double degree or major-minor programme.

Q: Can a first-semester, first-year undergraduate student apply for the scholarship?
No. The undergraduate scholarship is offered based on the result of at least the first semester examination.

Q: If I do not meet the CGPA requirement, can I still apply?
No. Application will not be entertained.

Q: Can a part-time student apply for the scholarship?

Q: I am not a Shari’ah degree holder, but I am interested in pursuing my master’s/PhD in Islamic finance or CIFP. Am I eligible to apply for the scholarship?
As a rule of thumb, a non-Shari’ah degree holder would not be eligible to be considered for the scholarship. However, those holding a degree related to Islamic studies and having two-years working experience in Shari’ah matters in an Islamic financial institution could still be considered.

Q: I am a non-Malaysian Shari’ah degree holder and intend to pursue my further studies in the field of Islamic finance elsewhere, not in Malaysia. Am I eligible to apply for this scholarship?
No. Non-Malaysian intending to pursue studies elsewhere, i.e. not in Malaysia, is not eligible to apply.

Q: What is your classification of ‘ Shari’ah’ ?

  • This scholarship is exclusively for students who possess specifically bachelor degree in Shari’ah or its equivalent such as Bachelor in Shari’ah, Muamalat, Fiqh Muamalat, Shari’ah Law, Islamic Jurisprudent etc.
  • Applicant must pursue their study in Shari’ah, Fiqh, Shari’ah law, Islamic Finance/banking or its equivalent;

Q: If am not a Shari’ah degree holder, but I will pursue my Master or PhD in Islamic Finance programme at a recognized institution of higher learning Malaysia, am I eligible?

Q: I don’t have thesis proposal yet as currently I’m finishing my coursework. I don’t have any specific topic or particular supervisor. Do I still need to enclosed the draft proposal?
Yes. For those pursuing the coursework and research mode that shall only begin thesis writing during the second year, you are still required to submit your draft proposal which should be related to Muamalat or Islamic Finance.

Q: When is the deadline for submitting my application?
You may apply at any time; there is no closing date.

Q: How do I apply?
Please download the application form and attach all required documents. Incomplete application form and documents will not be entertained.

Q: How can I know the status of my application?
Only shortlisted candidates shall be informed of the interview session via e-mail. If you do not receive any news from us within two (2) months of the date of application submission, your application is deemed to be unsuccessful.

Q: Can I send my application by e-mail?

Q: What does the Shari’ah scholarship cover?
The scholarship covers all related academic fees, subsistence allowance, books, equipment and end of study or thesis/dissertation completion assistance. For those studying outside Malaysia, return airfare, warm clothing and relocation assistance shall also be provided.

Q: Will I be bonded with ISRA or BNM upon graduation?
No, but you are morally expected to serve the Islamic finance industry whenever there is availability of a suitable position.

Official Scholarship Website:

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