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“Notes: Mr. Sharif Banna Lecture on Muslim Entrepreneurship in the Digital Age”

There are three concepts that Muslims should understand in order to become a good muslim entrepreneur. The three concepts are:

  • Muslim and Islam
  • Entrepreneurship and wealth
  • Digital age

Firstly, entrepreneurship is a state of mind. Entrepreneurship not just about you doing business, trading, selling products, get profit, and then making wealth out of it. Entrepreneurship is a mindset of someone who can be a creative problem solver. His mindset is not just about making profit, but using creative, innovative, and critical-thinking ways to find a solution to answer the problem that the society facing. What differentiate Muslim entrepreneur and non-Muslim entrepreneur? What should an entrepreneur do to be called a “Real Muslim entrepreneur”?

In everything we do, as Muslims, we know that we should follow the halal rules. We consumed food, we’re using products, these things should be the halal ones. Also when we do businesses. But as Muslim entrepreneur, it is not just about doing halal business; selling halal products, using halal money, but also we should target to have a thayyib way of doing it.

Thayyib means good, kind, humane, ethical. Example you have a halal meat selling business. The meat is halal, but what about the way the animal, say cows, treated before they go to slaughterhouse? Did the cows feed properly? Did they transported from the farm to the slaughterhouse in good condition? That is ethical things. That is the thayyib part. Muslim entrepreneur should also aim for what Mr. Banna called, the baraka effect. Baraka is not just about numbers. It is about getting more beneficial for others.

There also some qualities a Muslim entrepreneur should have. The first quality is taqwa, that is the relationship you have with Allah. The second is ethics, as discussed previously. The third quality is a muslim entrepreneur should be linking halal with thayyib. Fourth, be an amanah person. Amanah means trustworthy, dependable. Amanah is at the very heart of a muslim entrepreneur. Fifth, have a dream, not a vision. Look at your legacy, what do you want to leave behind after you gone? Sixth, create a movement, not a brand. Think bigger than just sell products.

In the digital era, there’s challenges, but also opportunities.  Some of the challenges are people now can manipulate human behavior through technology, such as Youtube knowing what recommendation it should give to you after you search for something once; they think, they want instant success, and the impact of technology itself in our brains.  Opportunities you can have from digitalization of the world is that you can create something global, but personal. Democratization access to audiences. And the scale of something to become known to the entire world is getting easier. This is the opportunities a Muslim entrepreneur should be aware of to create a long lasting businesses.

Credits to Khonza Hanifa – FKM 2014

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