aMuslima at a Womenpreneur Talkshow: Trading as Rasulullah (SAW)
Friday, March 7, 2014 ~ Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
aMuslima was graciously invited by one of the Indonesian Political Groups stationed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia- PKS aka Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (translated: The Justice Party) to talk about women & entrepreneurship from an Islamic perspective. This presentation was in the form of a “Talk Show” called Womenprenuer – Business & Trade A-La the Prophet Mohammad (SAW).
The “Talk Show” was comprised of three speakers, including Delina Partadiredja, the CCO of aMuslima.com, Sister Taqiyyah Shams, Master’s candidate from the Umm Al-Qura University, Mekkah, and Sister Anita Dewi, Entrepreneur. Both sisters gave a short comparative presentation on business practices from an Islamic perspective, in particular, on how our Prophet Mohammad traded versus traditional business models.
Subhannallah, did you know that trade and business in Islam is mentioned several times within the Qur’an?
Here they are:
Surah Al-Baqarah 282:
O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down………………And do not be [too] weary to write it, whether it is small or large, for its [specified] term………
An Nisa 29:
O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.
Say, [O Muhammad], “if your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad [i.e. striving] in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command and Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.”
Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend [in His cause] out of what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, [can] expect a transaction [i.e. profit] that will never perish.
But [on one occasion] when they saw a transaction or a diversion, [O Muhammad], they rushed to it and left you standing. Say, “What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers.”
Also listen to this interesting and fun short lecture about Islam & Business by Mufti Ismail Menk.
The Prophet (SAW) himself, started trading since his childhood. His uncle always took him to the land of Shams. In conducting the business, he would always give exemplary attitudes such as always smiling, being honest (he told the customers if the goods were imperfect), never arguing/fighting with another buyer or merchant, he did not commit perjury if the goods were actually damaged, and he was gentle and eloquent spoken. It was even mentioned that he had a very unique way of selling and notified his prospective buyers with the cost of goods and gave freedom to his customers to determine the price of the goods according to their abilities, so buyers were satisfied and did not feel cheated.
In the talk show for the muslimahs, aMuslima gave brief explanations and tips on how to start a business. Taking the concept of a popular book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. He emphasized that everything should start with “Why?” Why are you doing the business? Everybody can answer “What?” and some people may be able to answer “How?” but only a small percentage of people can answer “Why?” If we can answer “Why?” then we can go into the next phase of “How?” How do we make our ideas complete, what methods should we use, what packaging, what model, what is its uniqueness compared to competitors, etc. Lastly is the “What?” What will be offered as in the form of goods or services.
As many expat women who currently reside in Saudi Arabia feel constrained due to excessive lack of mobility, many feel strongly that they would have better opportunities to work in their home country in comparison to where they are living now. But, as Muslims, we shouldn’t complain but should rather find the solution.
What are those solutions?
Here are some obvious ones:
Food service from home. Dress making, sewing, teaching, tutoring (all ages) at home or via online, E-trading aka day trader, accounting services, baby sitting services, writing, and long distance admin assistant.
Not so obvious ones:
In this day and age the un-thinkable becomes the norm. One of our favorite sites that allow you to be remote but to work or have some sort of activity is to look on a “Freelance” online board. These boards show jobs that can be done remotely and on short stints. So for women, in particular, this is great! These websites list all the different skill sets, different categories of work, and real businesses that hire you for real money but without the hassle of going into the office or even staying for a long term.
Here are some of our favorite sites (or I would say more reputable ones):
Check them out! Free profiles are available!
But working on your own time requires some key and very important skills that you must posses:
- Willingness – Drive
- And some money or other capital is needed to start: computer, software for computer, pen, paper, cooking materials, sewing machine. etc.
Money is not an absolute necessity in starting a business; with a small amount of money, you can still start a business. When someone has started a business and is taking it seriously, in shaa Allah, the money will be obtained, for example, by inviting a new partner (an investor), by obtaining a loan from a Shariah bank, from friends/relatives, or from angel investors. If you include people who are not willing to take the risk by borrowing, you have to be disciplined enough to set aside some money to enlarge your capital.
Finally, “If you always stay focused then you will go to the top – it’s as simple as that.” -Heliane Canepa CEO (2001-07), Nobel Biocare.