Permissible Business or investment opportunities in Islam. By Lawal AbdulAfeez Arishekola
“…Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba (usury).” –
Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 275
Rizq (Sustenance) that’s regular remains one of the way to be independent and be fortified in Eeman and with no doubt it is very important & has an effect on all other worship & other religious aspects including spiritual and mundane ones. As Muslims, become we delve into any Business or investment platforms, it is highly advisable to understand the Shariah (Islamic ruling) on such matter. This will aid us to accumulate Halal rizq as we will be totally accountable for our earnings on the Day of Recompense.
Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) is reported to have said: A person who wishes to engage in business should learn its rules and laws, and if he makes any transaction without learning them, he may suffer because of entering into a void or doubtful transactions
As importance as it is to find Hallal earnings, it is equally a must to understand ‘How’ to go about it in earning Allah’s pleasure, as it was reported from Abdullah ibn Masud, Radi-Allahu unhu, The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said: ‘Seeking halal earning is a duty after the duty.’ In other words working to earn a halal living is itself a religious obligation second in importance after the primary religious obligations like prayers, fasting and hajj.
Islam is a total way of life and the religion that places much emphasis on life and Hereafter, knowing fully well that Allah’s commandments and rulings extend into all spheres of our lives. Islam has given comprehensive rulings for our business and economic life, which is thorough, just and all-encompassing. Muslims should know that all possessions are owned by Allah, and that we are only temporary caretakers. The rulings of Islam in our economic life aim at building a society of equity and goodness where everyone won’t be cheated or trampled upon.
Some of the rulings of the Islamic economic system are as follows:
Muslims are not to deal in interest. “Those who devour usury will not stand….Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury…. Allah will deprive usury of all blessing but will give increase for deeds of charity…” (Qur’an 2:275-6). “O you who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied. But fear Allah, that you may really prosper” (Qur’an 3:130) This prohibition is for all interest-based transactions, whether giving or receiving, whether dealing with Muslims or non-Muslims. It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) cursed those who pay interest, those who receive it, those who write a contract based on it, and those who witness such a contract.
Similarly, Muslims look for different investment products to add to their file. But, before they buy, they must know about what their money are being used for, Islamic law requires that before investing in a company, Muslims must evaluate its business activities and financial records to determine where its primary revenue comes from and how income and expenditures are managed. That information allows them to determine if the investment is halal, or acceptable. If not, it’s haram, or unacceptable.
This resource platform is suggested: https://islamqa.info/en/cat/320
Notable to know is that the fear of Allah should be exhibited in our trade and other transactions.
Also, selling something that isn’t in the seller’s possession before completing the transaction isn’t permissible for Muslims (Read more: https://islamqa.info/en/169750)
General Permissible Businesses/Investments:
Business that generally don’t produce, promote or sell Islamically-forbidden goods or services are considered halal, and are acceptable for Muslim investors. Some classic examples of suitable industries are:
Property and Real Estate Investment, Telecommunications, Construction Services, Food and Groceries, Internet etc
When getting involved in an investment, we need to look deeply into a company’s business to discover its major and minor means of income to know they are totally Halaal.
General Impermissible Businesses/Investments:
“Islamic law identifies business activities as haram when they generate profits in unacceptable ways. Haram business activities include the manufacture or marketing of Alcohol Gambling or gaming activities, Conventional financial services, Pork and pork products, Pornography etc”
Below are some Islamically Orientated Start-Up Business and Investment Suggestions cum Ideas for Muslims:
Recently, the Halal sector is estimated to reach $3.7 trillion by 2019. As such, this is a definite time for Muslims to launch businesses and engage in Halal investments, which either can focus on faith or non-faith based perspectives. Starting a business and investing in businesses is the key to helping individuals to be economically independent and spiritually satisfied. Here are some ideas to help:
1. Establishing an Islamically oriented creche, daycare and providing educational services for children around the community.
2. Providing printing service producing stickers, complimentary cards, leaflets, gift box, outdoor banners and booklets for businesses such as companies, MSMEs, and party takeaways.
3. Muslim wears reached around $253 billion in the last two year and increased in the following years. Create a niche in specialising in modest wears i.e Hijab, Abayas, Khimar, Niqab, Niqab for breastfeeding mothers etc, for Muslimahs and Jalabias and native stitches for Men.
4.Become a social media marketing specialist learn to sell products online through marketing.
5. Set up a quick service doing odd jobs in your community i.e. painting, decorating, fixing leaks etc
6. Offer cooking classes which create Halal dishes and foods. Help teach and train people to become better cooks.
7. Create Halal gift baskets full of goodies which can be given at weddings, as presents and on special occasions and sell to the public.
8. Become an ethical business advisor helping people set up businesses, companies, charities and organisations. You could provide advice on business plans, funding, advertising, income generation, branding and marketing.
9. Set up a website development company. Why not assist clients to create a website to sell goods more easily or help customers improve their designs on existing websites and provide guidance on driving traffic to client’s websites. Use ecommerce digital platforms to sell items to a wider audience.
10. Become a columnist for a newspaper or magazine.
www.fiverr.com and www.upwork.com comes to mind.
If you have any skill that can be delivered digitally over the internet, whether it is writing, editing, translation, web designing, programming, accounting, graphic design, engineering design/drawing, architectural design, animation, HR, customer support, database management, business management, consulting, project management etc. indeed anything you can think of that can be delivered over the internet. Below are the steps you can take right away to become a freelancer.
12. Cryptocurrency Trading.
In my own opinion, I think this aspect still requires ample knowledge by anyone going into it as it is still a very fresh sector and Islamic scholars haven’t really discussed about it, but I’ve provided some resources to aid readers’ quest on the permissibility or impermissibility of cryptocurrency knowing fully well that it is full of risk. Ways of earning through this includes Buying and holding a coin for a long time, Initial Coin Offering ICO (Without lending), Exchange, buying and selling etc.
On the permissibility of cryptocurrency, these resources will help:
On what blockchain technology is, these resources should be helpful:
Blogging is great business that generates lead and income. At any convenient place, you can blog and get paid in Nigerian account. Google AdSense/chitika adsense/propellar ads Consultation on SEO, traffic related issues, Affiliate marketing.
Selling of information products on this site and on AMAZON.
N.B: To be able to get Google Ad sense, you need meaningful write ups always.
14. Computer Repair and other services
Installation of computer software and games.
Typing, scanning and photocopying jobs.
Online application for new and old students
Repairing of electronic gadgets.
General internet solutions.
Just look at what people around you do buy every time and make your research on getting it at wholesale price from foreign countries i.e USA, China, UK, Thailand etc.
Before making online investments, I suggest using offline reviews Google reviews, Internet website marketing hosting review and http://ethanvanderbuilt.com/ to do your due diligence before putting your hard earned money in there.
And for other Muslim Entrepreneurs who are building their start up, permit me to share the words of Mr. Suraj Oyewale (ACA) : “About 13 years after it was founded, Twitter is yet to make profits, Facebook made profits for the first time in 2009, 5 years after founding, Konga, Jumia etc are also yet to make profits. But investors are not in a hurry. They have balance sheet value sunk in there.” As such, you won’t start growing the day you are born, be patient in seeking rewards/profits when building a business and don’t forget to get reputable mentors in that line of business and investment.
In any of the decision you take to accumulate wealth, use Qur’an and Sunnah as your torch to lighten your way and by Allah, you won’t be misguided.