Business Ecosystem in Islam
‘The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked what type of earning was best, and he replied: ”A man’s work with his hands and every (lawful) business transaction.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN ISLAM
Entrepreneurship has gained a lot of importance in the past decade as one of the strongest tools for the development of economy and it has been received a lot of appreciation in the dev-eloped countries. However, talk of the town is that is having a lot of fancy incubation centers, a lot of new startups means that the ecosystem is working extraordinarily? Answer is No.
Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is not totally dependent on number of entrepreneurs in a system but is a dynamic, self-regulating network of many different types of actors. These actors can be connectors, influencers or managers of this ecosystem. Professors in the schools harnessing young minds, industry experts, angel investors or bankers, playing their part in the economic development of the society and affecting this ecosystem.
Another more theoretical definition is that entrepreneurial ecosystem is based on existing resources, enhances existing resources, and develops new resources. In any given circumstances, nations progress through engagement and development of these resources, either be economic or intellectual. Islam as a religion is based on this principle that promotes business, entrepreneurial activity, education and civic networking to grow together as a community by sharing wealth and knowledge.
In Islam, there is a huge focus on entrepreneurial trade and business to create wealth. Because it is very important to understand your forte and use your skills to create a platform that can generate more opportunities for the people to find a livelihood for them and their families. Islam is the flag-bearer of alleviating poverty and to reduce the wealth gap in the society by giving Zakat on the wealth and to maintain the balance in the economy. What will happen to the Zakat? It will then be used to lend to the people who are poorer in the society want to build some-thing of their own and start earning. This will create a chain reaction in the society and completes the theoretical application of the concept of creating more resources by using the existing ones.
In early days of Islam in Mecca, Arabs use to do business and trade within the content and with other parts of the world. However, they had a great quality of never going back on their word, which made them successful in trade and business. Honesty has been very highly valued in teaching of Islam and God blessed this trait as an identity of the holy Prophet of Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) practiced the highest standards of honest trade & business and to taught specific ethics of trade. This comprehensive guide of conducting business to this day remains current and relevant. To this day the Arabs are conducting entrepreneurial businesses and trade with other nations. Be it Dubai, Saudi, Oman or any other Arab country. They are predominantly following the preaching and sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through honest trade and cultivating the culture of entrepreneurship and business.
In a recent article by Mughees Shaukat (Head of Islamic finance, Central Bank of Oman), discussing about the entrepreneurial ecosystem stated that entrepreneurship ecosystem has strengths in opportunity perception, risk acceptance, networking, opportunity startup, human capital, high growth, internationalization and risk capital. Culture support is a medium level pillar in any entrepreneurship ecosystem. However, there are five pillars representing weaknesses in entrepreneurship ecosystem, which are startup skills, technology absorption, competition, product innovation and process innovation.
Islam has always spread the ideology of social welfare and collective efforts to reduce the poverty in the society and make a balance in spending and even in savings. It has provided us all the guidelines to make a better ecosystem that can resonate positivity and give equal opportunities to everyone to build systems for the growth of the society.
Human society and human body have a lot in common. Circulation of wealth in the society should be like circulation of blood in the body. From head to toe it has to be circulated all across the organs providing fresh oxygen and fulfilling their other daily requirements. Wherever the blood will be stopped it would create blood clots. Same is the case with the human society. Wherever the wealth is blocked it would create a lot of disbalances in the society in the form of poverty, illiteracy, and injustice. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "The believers, in their mutual love, mercy, and compassion, are like one body: if one organ complained, the rest of the body develops a fever."