Entrepreneurship is a relatively well-known topic among literary circles. According to a general definition of entrepreneurship, it is a process of starting a company by exploiting opportunities presented by the overall business environment. As such, the ultimate goal of an entrepreneur is to gain financial prosperity.
However, Islamic Entrepreneurship Model contradicts the main objectives of entrepreneurship by establishing certain goals that encourages businesses to think on a broader scale. According to the concept of entrepreneurship in Islam, a business should be seen as a moral responsibility to carry good deeds that adhere to the teachings of Islam. In simple words, the ultimate goal of a Muslim entrepreneur is not to create wealth, but to ensure prosperity that does not harm others, directly or indirectly.
Interestingly, entrepreneurship is an integral part of Muslim teachings as both Quran and the Hadith offers specific directions on how to undertake entrepreneur activities that will help the entire community. In fact, several new thoughts on entrepreneurship such as sustainable living and corporate social responsibility can be traced back to the teachings of Islam in the 7th century AD. However, there is also a fundamental difference on how corporations approach the topic of social responsibility in Islam. In Islam, entrepreneurs should only engage in activities that are Halal. The Sharia Law defines Halal as anything, including foods that are permissible in Islam. For instance, a Muslim entrepreneur cannot undertake business activities related to Pork and Alcohol. In Quran, Allah specifically forbids Muslims to consume these foods as these are harmful for the human body. Recent research from both Islamic and non-Islamic scholars has confirmed such claims. Regarding social responsibility, Islamic entrepreneurs are also not allowed to indulge in activities related to smoking, gambling or harmful drugs as these are hazardous for the well-being of the community. Theoretically, the concept of Halal is not restricted to business operations. In a broader sense, Islam discourages associating a business with any forbidden activity. It means that Muslim entrepreneurs cannot associate themselves with businesses that are known for dealing in products that are not Halal. In fact, financing and investing in illegal business activities is also forbidden.
In Islam, the motivation for entrepreneurial success is not determined on financial and social grounds. On the contrary, the success of Muslim entrepreneurs is determined by means of achieving the success. Under this definition, gaining financial rewards is not a measure of success. However, adhering to Islamic doctrine is the true reward of a Halal business.
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