How Islamic finance and a more ethical capitalism go hand-in-hand

Friday, January 25, 2013

Though wealth creation is the primary goal taught by top businessmen, social impact is considered to be a more fulfilling outcome for others. Money is not timeless, but what you do with that money can be. The light you instil in the uneducated, the medicine you provide to the ill, or the food and water you provide to the malnourished is far more enduring than the car you drive or the house you buy. Most advocates of social entrepreneurship believe that creating a business with a social impact leaves much more than just a humble footprint behind.

The concept of social entrepreneurship however is not new despite the recent rise in press coverage. It has existed since the 6th century and one particular group was taught the importance of such business: Muslims.

Muslims live their lives in accordance to the teachings of their founder, Muhammad, who led his life as a humble merchant and was the “trustworthy one” by all those who knew him. His teachings and examples of business dealings were strongly linked to humanitarian values where the poor, the sick and orphans took precedence. He acknowledged the suffering of people in surrounding environments and continually created solutions for them while creating a system that would ensure their care long after his passing.

The mention of Muhammad is significant to understand how today’s Muslims are encouraged to create wealth; supporting the notion of an existing relationship between Islamic business and social enterprise.

Source: The Guardian (link opens in a new window)

social enterprise