The Development Of Shariah-Compliant Gold Investment (SCGI) Instrument: An Analysis Of A Delphi Process

Abstract: This paper provides the analysis of a Delphi process for develop Shariah-Compliant Gold Investment (SCGI) instrument. A 2-round Delphi technique was employed to achieve consensus among participants for the items of SCGI. The participant comprised of 13 persons who are expert in Islamic muamalat, while the 4-point Likert Scale questionnaire was used on every round in order to obtain their agreement. The results indicated that the total of experts agreed for 33 items SCGI instrument which is embedded in three dimensions: (i) investor and investment institutions; (ii) products and prices; and (iii) the contract offer. The items were obtained showing high consensus and accepted frequency (IQR=0 or 1; mdn=4.00). The findings also showed that the Delphi was an efficient method to achive agreement of expert opinion on the SCGI instrument.

The Development Of Shariah-Compliant Gold Investment (SCGI) Instrument: An Analysis Of A Delphi Process


Academy of Contemporary Islamic Studies

Universiti Teknologi MARA

Shah Alam, Malaysia


Faculty of Islamic Studies

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Shah Alam, Malaysia


Academy of Contemporary Islamic Studies

Universiti Teknologi MARA

Shah Alam, Malaysia


Academy of Contemporary Islamic Studies

Universiti Teknologi MARA

Shah Alam, Malaysia

Keywords: Gold Investment, Rasch Model, Shariah Compliant

1 Introduction

People are very obsessed with making investments in the elements of wealth, such as gold investment and it happens all over the world including Malaysia. This is because gold is a precious metal that is also a symbol of power, wealth, success and beauty. Based investment gold is considered as a good investment compared to other investments on a variety of factors such as low risk, liquidity and a good long-term record. Current reality also shows overwhelming response from the public towards gold investments. This is shown by the appearance of numerous companies offering a variety of investment and most are not in accordance with law. 

Until 10 April 2015, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has listed 207 companies and websites that do not have licenses and permission to operate mainly in the field of investment gold (BNM, 2015). However, the attraction of gold in terms of profitability caused people willing to spend thousands of dollars to make an investment even though they have to face the risk of losing their money. Dewan Rakyat (Malay for House of Representatives, literally People’s Hall) had to disclose the investment amount of gold held by the Company Genneva Malaysia has banned estimated at between RM4 billion to RM10 billion, involving 35,000 investors. Investigations conducted by BNM expected the company unable to pay back the investment returns because its liabilities exceeded the existing assets (Bernama, 2012). For Muslims, this has caused problems in terms of law if gold transactions do not take into account the will of Islamic law. Thus, this study aims to develop Shariah-Compliant Gold Investment (SCGI) instrument agreed upon by Fiqh experts as an added value for the benefit of gold investors, investment institutions and society as a whole.

2 Gold transactions in accordance with Islamic

Al-Quran give an idea of gold as a material of wealth (Ali-‘Imran, 3:14; Ali-‘Imran, 3:75; Ali-‘Imran, 3:91; al-Nisa’, 4:59; al-Tawbah, 9:34) and goods worth which is last until the end of time (al-Isra’, 17:93; al-Kahf, 18:31; al-Fatir, 35:33; al-Zukhruf, 43:35; al-Zukhruf, 43:73; al-Zukhruf, 43:71). Humans either male or female, they make gold as one of pleasures enjoyed in the world (Ali-‘Imran 3:14). Writings on Islamic law in all schools whether Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali discuss the function of gold as a medium of exchange, hardware, jewelery, weapons of war, clothing, rings, alternating limbs, payment of zakat, usury, gold transactions and so on (Sanep and Salmy, 2012).

Islam put the special provisions relating to gold compared to other metals such as copper and iron. Special regulations relating to usury in gold transactions have been created to prevent profits earned by oppression and price manipulation. Rasulullah SAW said: (Converted) gold with gold, silver with silver, wheat with wheat, barley with barley, dates with dates, salt with salt, scales should be the same weight, shall be submitted directly. If the type of (stuff) is different, then sell as you want without suspending submission (Muslim, 2010).

The hadeeth divides the two categories of goods, namely (a) currency such as gold, silver, dollar and so on; and (b) basic food items such as wheat, rice and barley. There are three conditions in gold transactions in accordance with Shariah: (i) Gold transactions with the gold must be deposited immediately upon contract and have the same weight; (ii) Gold transactions with other currencies must be deposited immediately when the contract took place without a strong or effective, but without the weight or the same; and (iii) Gold transactions with other stuff does not have any conditions such as the above two conditions. Gold transaction methods are shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1 Gold transaction methods in Islamic view

  Currency CategoriesFood Foundation CategoriesOther goods Categories
Currency CategoriesGold      
Food Foundation CategoriesWheat      
Other goods CategoriesHouse      


 Transaction submitted immediately upon contract and have the same weight.
 Transaction submitted immediately upon contract without delay or owe without having the value or the same weight.
 Transaction may be deferred or immediate debts without having the value and the same weight.

Source: (Muslim, 2010)

3 Literature Review

Many studies have argued about the position of gold in the Islamic economy. Ibn Taymiyyah describes gold and silver as currency worth renowned as a natural and customary thing that is different from others (Ibn al-Taymiyyah, 1999). In fact, al-Ghazali in his work, al-Ihyaa ‘mentions the gold dinar and silver dirham serve Allah SWT as a measure of the value of other property and mediator among the mankind until there is a tool of exchange that can assess goods (al-Ghazali, 1993). This is also acknowledged by Ibn Khaldun (2002) through his work, al-Muqaddimah certifying gold and silver as the most stable property and wealth in the history of the world economy, but different from other goods as exempt from being exposed to the fluctuations in market prices. Al-Qaradhawi (2010) also sees the importance of gold as a currency in terms of Shariah, it is also associated with other legislation such as dowry, a hadd offense of stealing, payment of diyat and zakah (charity law). The interests and the stability of the gold price expressed desires of the world’s community whether in the past and the present at any time and place, including in Malaysia to use golds.

There are also many studies carried out in connection with shariah conditions of gold consumption, but specific studies on gold investment are rarely carried out. Normally, the study focused on the use of gold in general, as a function of gold (al-Ghazali, 1993; Ibn Khaldun, 2002), gold transactions law (Ibn Baz, 2013; Ibn Khaldun, 2002) or a mechanism for the implementation of gold as a currency (al-Maqrizi, 1957; Sanep and Salmy, 2012).  Study on gold as an investment instrument is rarely done. Even so, there are a few brief review of the concept of investment gold. Azman (2012) discussed about investment gold from the Islamic perspective through several contracts mainly sales and purchase. Meanwhile, there are two analytical studies on gold investment products, namely by Lokmanulhakim et al. (2012) who made the analysis from the aspects of Shariah compliance and Lokmanulhakim et al. (2013) who made the analysis from the aspects of payment obligations of zakah.

In addition, the guide to check the existing Shariah-compliant products in Malaysia and around the world does not cover specifically on the investment gold.  The criteria of Shariah-compliant developed by standard agencies around the world, such as Dow Jones Islamic Market Indices, Financial Times Stock Exchange, MSCI Global Islamic Indexes, Standard & Poor’s Syariah Indices, Meezan Islamic Fund Pakistan and Malaysia Securities Commission (SC) is generally for capital markets rather than to submit on gold transactions in particular. In fact, every standard agency has different criteria in classifying the securities as Shariah-compliant. Different standards of various parties expressed different Shariah-compliant results. (Derigs and Marzban, 2008; Ho et al., 2012).

Gold transactions guide is only presented in general by Islamic bodies, such as council for fatwa in a country, the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). However, all these standard and criteria have led to the general guidelines of fiqh and Islamic contracts related to currency transactions. Instruments or fairly comprehensive guide on gold transactions which comply with Shariah is the agreed parameters of gold investment (JAKIM, 2012a) and certified by MFK in discussions of 96th from 13 to 15 October 2011. Nevertheless, the guidelines contain 23 items that need improvement, and this acknowledged by MPS financial institutions in Malaysia in the resolution of discussion of the 8th time on May 29, 2012 which concluded that these parameters need to be updated and further studies need to be done (JAKIM, 2012b).

Thus, (i) the lack of specific studies on gold investment; (ii) the differences existing Shariah-compliant standard and no inclusion including gold transactions criteria, as well as (iii) the lack of PPE MFK parameter is an empty space to be filled and to be answered via this study. Shariah-compliant criteria on gold transactions to be identified, analyzed, prepared and created to fill the hollow space specified.

3 Method

3.1  Delphi technique

Delphi technique was used to build the instrument in this study. This technique is used to obtain the consensus among experts (Helmer, 1968). It was developed by the RAND Corporation researcher for the US Air Force in the early 1950s (Dalkey and Helmer, 1963; Ludwig, 1997). The usage has now been widespread in education, administrative management, policy assessments, program planning, business and others.

Past studies have proven more effective Delphi to generate ideas from other methods (Ludwig, 1997) as ‘several heads are better than one’ (Dalkey et al., 1972). This technique allows experts to combine individual decision to obtain a conclusion altogether. (Helmer, 1968). Through this technique, an expert participant is getting more freedom to give an opinion (Helmer, 1968) as well as can filter out opinions of other panel (Dalkey et al., 1972). In short, Delphi technique serves as a voting procedure (Hill and Fowles, 1975), a judgement tool, as well as to improve forecasting methods (Dalkey et al., 1972).

3.2. Participant

The study participants consisted of 13 experts of Delphi. The appropriate number because the number is too big takes a long time. (Ludwig, 1997; Linstone and Turoff (1975), while the number of participants is too small, it does not reflect the representation of the target issue (Hsu and Sandford, 2007). The size of 13 participants met the size recommended by the majority of researchers, namely between seven (Dalkey and Helmer, 1963) and 15 participants (Delbecq et al., 1975; Linstone and Turoff, 1975; Martino, 1983; Ziglio, 1996) and appropriate with an average sample size of their, between 10 and 15 participants as proposed by Delbecq et al. (1975) dan Ziglio (1996).

The expert panels were identified through the nomination process instead of random selection (Ludwig, 1997). The participants were selected from those who are really expert, knowledgeable and experienced in issues of study (Ludwig, 1997). Martino, 1983) as well as to ensure a comprehensive view of the entire spectrum will be represented (Loo, 2002). In addition, the expert panel also consists of those who have knowledge of the issues being studied as well as motivated to remain involved until the completion of the study (Linstone and Turoff, 1975; Ziglio, 1996).

This study chose 13 participants among the qualified Delphi experts: (i) have at least a Master degree in Shariah; and (ii) government mufti; or Shariah advisers in financial institutions; or researchers of Muamalat in Shariah research institutions; or Shariah professors in public university. Those who have been selected comprised of (i) Two members of the National Fatwa Council; (ii) Two members of the Shariah Advisor at BNM; (iii) Two Members of the Shariah Advisor at SC; (iv) Two researchers at the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA); (v) Two heads department of Shariah (Islamic Banking); and (vi) Three academicians (in Muamalat) at public universities.

3.3 Delphi round

To obtain a consensus, the Delphi technique does not specify a required round. Delphi round is over and stopped only when the expert panel had reached an agreement among themselves. This technique usually conducted in three rounds (Ludwig, 1997), but can be done between two and 10 rounds to get a strong consensus (Martino, 1983). The study was used two rounds of Delphi technique with the same expert panel. Round was stopped because the aim of getting agreement among participants has been reached (Martino, 1983). This amount was also considered reasonable because of differences of expert opinion already declined in the second round (Helmer, 1968).

The first round of Delphi seeks to validate data and get expert consensus on 34 items were built based on a literature review. Questionnaire was an instrument that has been used in open and closed for getting specific informations about the content of the study (Custer et al., 1999). The data collected was used to build the questionnaire for the next round. The second round of Delphi aims to get agreement among experts on items that have not been agreed upon as well as new items proposed in the questionnaire for the previous round. Thus, the questionnaire in this round consists of three parts, namely (i) items that have not been agreed; (ii) items that are changing the structure of sentences; and (iii) new additional items. The instrument was distributed to the panels in this round also included with the analysis of their responses in the first round. Each participant may change their existing level of agreement in the first round to avoid disparities in terms of agreement score among the experts can be bridged. However, they were not allowed to add any new items in the second round.

3.4. Instrument

This study used a questionnaire designed from Shariah-compliant Gold Investments instruments (SCGI) containing three dimensions; (i) Investors and gold investment institution (5 items); Products and the price of gold (17 items); and (iii) Contract offer of gold investments (11 items) as shown in Table 2.

Table 2 Gold transaction methods in Islamic view

A. Investors and Investment InstitutionA01 Investment institutions only allow investors who are aged 18 years and above to make a contract. A02 Investors’ representative must be 18 years and above ketika when making a contract. A03 Investors agreed with the contract without any element of coercion. A04 The operation of the investment institution is registered with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) / Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM). A05 The investment institution has a member of the Shariah Advisory for gold investment products.
B. Products and prices  B01 Product (gold) which is invested physically exist. B02 The gold has full ownership. B03 The gold is transferable. B04 Gold can be known by looking at the physical, or determine the nature of the sample and the rates. B06 Gold (either coins, ingots, etc.) known by the both parties to enter into contracts. B07 Gold purity levels (based carat or percentage) are known by both contracting parties. B08 The weight of the gold is measured accurately based on the current standard weight measurements. B09 The weight of the gold must be accurately known by both contracting parties. B10 The gold can be delivered on the spot without delay. B11 Submission (taqabud) of the gold occurred before the two contracting parties separated (essentially like the physical delivery of gold or hukmi like the actual weight of the gold into the account). B12 Gold which has been transferred can be obtained by the owner (buyer) at any time without any restriction. B13 Gold which has been transferred operated freely (tasarruf) by the owner (purchaser) without any restriction. B14 The price of the gold is known by both contracting parties. B16 Payment can be made on the spot without delay. B17 Submission of full payment (taqabud) occurs before the two contracting parties separated. B18 Payment is made in cash (such as using cash, a legitimate cheque, bank draft, credit card, debit card or money transfer). B19 ‘Lock price’ which contains gold delivery delays or payment is a promise (wa’ad), offer from only one side which can be cancelled at any time.
C. Contract offer  C01 There were contract (offerings and acceptance) made whether verbally, in writing or online. C02 The contract is done through the meeting of the investor and the investment institution either through a physical meeting or through SMS, a phone call, email, facsimile or online. C03 The contract does not met with a long silence or conversations which are of no relevance to the contract. C04 The contract does not have any conditions that could prevent the ownership. C05 The contract does not have any conditions to buy back the gold between the two parties. C06 The contract does not have any conditions between both parties to give grants (hibah) which is must be fulfilled. C07 The contract does not have any element of debt (loans) which are combined with sales and purchase (salaf wa bay’). C08 The contract does not have any affixes as a form of hilah (fraud) that is to conceal the loan contract which guarantees a return. C09 The contract does not have any element of gambling. C10 The contract does not have any increase in the weight in gold exchanged (trade-in) with the other gold. C11 The contract does not have any conditions to lease that gold to sell to others buyers.

The Questionnaire used in the each round of Deplhi. The form of questionnaire instrument is very suitable for obtaining information of a phenomenon of a large population size. Before Delphi questionnaire was conducted, the instrument that had been prepared in advance tested through a pilot study on two expert respondents consisting of a syariah adviser involved in the industry and one that is involved in the academic field in university. Once updated, the questionnaire was distributed to all participants (involving experts) that includes two rounds.

The questionnaire contains closed responds item Likert Scale 4-points which contain high levels of ‘Strongly agree’, ‘Agree’, ‘Disagree’ and ‘Strongly disagree’. The first round of Delphi consists of 34 items while the second round consists of 35 items. The main purpose of the questionnaire method at this stage is to get the approval of the experts regarding the given questionnaire items. Therefore, the questionnaire items which are not agreed removed until there is an agreement in the second round.

3.5  Data analysis

Statistical Package For Social Science Program (SPSS) was used to analyze data in the two rounds of Delphi. Hsu and Sandford (2007) proposes the percentage of votes in the range specified for determining consensus on each round of Delphi. Thus, Ulschak (1983) chose the 80 per cent of consensus for a seven point scale, while Green (1982) put 70 percent for four-point scale. Other researchers such as Hasson et al. (2000) also proposes a descriptive analysis of Central Tendency Measure (TCM), such as mean, median, and mode or Dispersion Measure, such as standard deviation and inter-quartile range (IQR). However, the median score is often used to avoid the influence of extreme score, such as in calculating the mean score (Hasson et al. 2000). Therefore, this study chose the median and IQR score for consensus among experts, such as the selection of many other researchers who are apply the Likert Scale (Hill and Fowles, 1975). Determination of an agreement is based on the median score for four-point scale is at least 3.25 (Green, 1982). IQR score is determined by the method of interpretation by Saedah and Paris (2011) as shown in Table 3.

Table 2 The degree of consensus based on Inter Quartile Range value (IQR)

IQR ValueThe Degree of Consensus
0.00 – 1.00High consensus
1.01 – 1.99Medium consensus
≥ 2.00No consensus

Source: (Saedah and Paris, 2011)

4 Results

4.1 Validity and realibility

A good measurement requires precise and consistent instruments. (Zikmund et al., 2010). Thus, a good instrument must meet two key criteria for measurement purposes, namely validity and realibility which are high (Zikmund et al., 2010) so that these questions can be answered by study subject. Validity is accuracy and appropriateness of a test or instrument to measure what is supposed to be measured. Realibility is the consistency and stability of an instrument procedure, namely score or answer obtained is the same or almost the same when the same items are tested over and over again at a different time (Zikmund et al., 2010; Marican, 2005). It aims to identify whether the instruments measured produce the same results when used again in the same respondents or in the other population samples (Marican 2005). This means the achievement of respondents who answered an instrument is consistent and consistent at all times.

Validity of the instrument in this study proved through content validity and implemented through various measures as proposed by other researchers, namely verification of supervisor on structured questions inventory, certification by an expert on items content constructed and the pilot study. For this purpose, the researchers have prepared a questionnaire and inventory submitted to the supervisors to verify that the instrument is in line with the objectives of the study. In addition, the validity of the content of the questionnaire instrumentation that was circulated in the survey research are on a high level as it has been certified and agreed by the 13 experts of Muamalat as a result from the two rounds of Delphi conducted.

The reliability of the instrument is carried out via the triangulation of data, expert validation and pilot study and tracked through the implementation of the external or internal consistency (Marican, 2005). External consistency method in this study examined through the review and approval of items with the triangulation of data and an agreement among muamalat experts. The internal consistency of the method is to find the correlation of each item with the total score for all the items in the questionnaire and interviews conducted. Through this method, the items obtained a high correlation value is considered to have high reliability. For this purpose, reliability scale of Cronbach alpha used for getting the value. As a result, reliability of the questionnaire instrumentation for the Delphi technique is proven through the pilot study with coefficient alpha scale is between 0.8 and 0.95, which means the reliability is excellent and high (Zikmund et al., 2010).

4.2 The first round of Delphi

The results of the analysis of the first round Delphi, there is acceptance, maintenance, improvements and additions to the PEPS item. In the dimension of “Investors and Investment Institution, the majority of participants had reached an agreement at a high level to agree on all items with a median score was 4.00 (mdn=4) and IQR value of 0.00 to 1.00 (IQR=0-1). The high agreement is obtained from items A02, A04 and A05 to reach the score IQR = 0 while items A01 and A03 score IQR = 1. The majority of participants also agreed on the dimensions of “Goods dan Gold Price” with a high level agreement to approve most of the items listed in mdn=4 and score IQR=0, ie on all items except for item B05 and B17. There is an agreement among experts at a moderate level to disagree with both of these items with score mdn = 2 and IQR = 1.5. However, both of these items are still retained in the questionnaire for the second round until an agreement is reached on the item. In the dimension of “Contract Offer”, all the experts have reached a high level of agreement to agree on all items with mdn score = 4 and IQR = 0 except for item C10 (mdn=4; IQR=1).

In the formulation of the first round Delphi shows a total of 32 items has reached a high level of of agreement among the majority of participants of experts to approve the item (IQR = 0-1). Therefore, all these items have been accepted as SCGI instruments. There are two items (B17, C02) experienced improvement in terms of sentence structure and two items (B05, B16) have a simple agreement among the experts. In addition, this round also obtained a new item on the dimensions of the ‘Contract Offer:

C11 There is no requirement for a contract to rent back the gold to be sold to another party.”

4.3 The second round of Delphi

The second round consists of 35 items has resulted a high agreement (IQR=0) among experts whether they agree or disagree. Two items that have not been agreed in the first round of Delphi, namely B05 dan B15 had reached a high agreement among experts (IQR=0) to disagree the items with mdn=2. Thus, both of these items have been dropped from the SCGI instrument. The experts also agreed at a high level (IQR=0; mdn=4) to approve the items of B18 and C02 with the change of the sentences structure. In fact, all of Delphi experts also agree on a high level to approve the proposed additional items in the first round with a score of C11 (IQR=0; Mdn=4). Two items (B18, C02) which amended sentences structure called the instrument as well as the new item (C11). As a result, the study through the first and second rounds has obtained a total of 33 items were agreed upon at a high level (IQR=0-1; mdn=4) by all experts to approve it.

5 Conclusion

The study has reached the objectives to develop instruments of SCGI to reach agreement among the experts. The findings of this phase of the study showed a high agreement among panel of the experts of Islamic Muamalat. Consensus score obtained, namely IQR=0.00 or 1.00 and mdn=4.00 is greater than the level set for this study (mdn<3.25). Agreement among the experts which covers three dimensions and 33 items are obtained in the second round of Delphi technique.


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