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Traits of a successful Muslim entrepreneur

7 traits of a successful Muslim entrepreneur

January 21, 2024
Assalamualaikum!

I can’t name one successful entrepreneur I know who doesn’t find business challenging.

So if you’re just starting your online business journey, don’t be shocked or surprised if you’re finding it hard to stay consistent on this path.

As a Muslim entrepreneur playing to win the business game in Dunya and succeed in Akhirah with your knowledge…

Know that the reward is BIG. So the path is not easy.

But if you’re programmed to be a high achiever…you simply can’t settle for anything less than excellent. Not in Dunya or Akhirah.

Today I want to share a powerful lesson of our beloved Prophet SAW that helps me in embodying the successful Muslim entrepreneur identity…

To become like the Date Palm Tree.

Ibn Umar narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace be on him) said:

“Amongst the trees, there is a tree, the leaves of which do not fall and is like a Muslim. Tell me the name of that tree.” Everybody started thinking about the trees of the desert areas. And I thought of the date-palm tree but felt shy to answer the others then asked, “What is that tree, O Allah’s Messenger (peace be on him)?” He replied, “It is the date-palm tree.” (Bukhari)

(Side note – Romans identify palm branches as a symbol of victory, while Jews and Christians symbolize the tree for peace and abundance.)

I’m pretty sure the Date Palm tree needs no introduction. It’s famously called ‘The Tree of Life’ in the Middle East.

Let’s dissect this analogy of our Prophet SAW and apply it to the Muslim entrepreneur.

Based on my understanding of this analogy, I’ve illustrated a visual comparison of the character traits of the successful Muslim entrepreneur equivalent to the features of the date palm tree:

7 character traits
Here are 7 character traits of the tree that are must-haves for a Muslim entrepreneur to be successful in everything, especially business:

 

1) It grows quickly and reaches incredible heights like a skyscraper (upto 75 feet tall!). It’s TALL.

 

Do you not see how Allah compares a good word to a good tree? Its root is firm and its branches reach the sky, (always) yielding its fruit in every season by the Will of its Lord. This is how Allah sets forth parables for the people, so perhaps they will be mindful. And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree, uprooted from the earth, having no stability. Allah makes the believers steadfast with the firm Word (of faith) in this worldly life and the Hereafter. And Allah leaves the wrongdoers to stray. For Allah does what He wills.” Quran 14:27

3 takeaways for successful Muslim entrepreneurs:

  • To have a GROWTH-MINDSET
  • To create personal growth QUICKLY. Staying stuck for long periods because of mental/ spiritual blocks is not a trait of the successful Muslim entrepreneur
  • To be CONFIDENT in yourself
  • To have competitive EXCELLENCE over non-Muslims

 

 

2) It survives rough extremes of weather and can withstand tough winds. It’s RESILIENT.

 

Another cool fact is that once it’s grown, it doesn’t need too much water to sustain.

It’s not needy or dependent. In other words, it’s SELF-SUSTAINING.

Takeaways for successful Muslim entrepreneurs:

  • To expect problems, trials, difficulties in business as part of the success process. To strive to become emotionally resilient.

“The believer is like a plant which is continually swayed by the wind, for the believer is continually afflicted by trial; but the hypocrite is like a cedar tree which does not shake till it is cut down.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

  • To do effort for your goals and take responsibility for yourself, rather than blaming or depending on others.

 

Narrated Az-Zubair bin Al-`Awwam:

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “It is better for anyone of you to take a rope (and cut) and bring a bundle of wood (from the forest) over his back and sell it and Allah will save his face (from the Hell-Fire) because of that, rather than to ask the people who may give him or not.”

  • To stay headstrong in dealing with problems, rather than making excuses and finding reasons to give up.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying: “A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in both.” (Muslim)

 

3) Its leaves provide shade for people from the scorching heat. It’s KIND, HELPFUL and SERVES others.

 

Takeaways for successful Muslim entrepreneurs:

  • To reach out to other Muslims and support them with your work
  • To give more than you get (like the tree protects the traveler with its shade even if the traveler doesn’t water the tree)
  • To solve a big difficult problem for others with your potential (like the tree uses its leaves to solve the problem of people getting sun burnt)

“Whoever relieves a believer’s distress of the distressful aspects of this world, Allah will rescue him from a difficulty of the difficulties of the Hereafter. Whoever alleviates [the situation of] one in dire straits who cannot repay his debt, Allah will alleviate his lot in both this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals [the faults of] a Muslim, Allah will conceal [his faults] in this life and the Hereafter. (Muslim)

 

4) It produces the mightiest of all fruits – DATES. Unlike other trees, it creates more fruit as it gets older. It’s PRODUCTIVE, CREATIVE, VALUABLE, and is ENJOYABLE for others.

 

In addition to the fruit, every part of it is used for some purpose. It’s designed TO SERVE. It’s a GIVER, not a taker.

Not to forget, Dates are warrior food.

Jabir b. ‘Abdullah reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) sent on in expedition a detachment consisting of three hundred (persons) and appointed Abu ‘Ubaida b. Jarrah as their chief. Their provisions ran short: ‘Abu ‘Ubaida collected their provisions in the provision bag. and he fed us (for some time). Later on when the provisions ran short he gave us one date every day. Sahih Muslim

Here are some plain facts about it. It produces dates…the wood is used for constructive building material for house walls, rafters and roofing…its fiber can be used for weaving carpet, wall coverings, household items like brooms, baskets, furniture…the Palm wax is used for candle-making…The stones of dates are used for medicine…Palm leaves have many uses…Palm Oil has many uses…Even its dead leaves can be used as mulch. It produces the largest seed (the Coco de Mer palm tree seed can weigh over 60 pounds)

Bottomline – Every part of the Date Palm tree has some use.

Takeaways for successful Muslim entrepreneurs:

  • To create value and be of service for others
  • To be more of a giver than a taker.
  • To be productive with your time and energy

“You are the best community ever raised for humanity—you encourage good, forbid evil, and believe in Allah. Had the People of the Book believed, it would have been better for them. Some of them are faithful, but most are rebellious.” Surah Al-Imran, verse 110

 

5) The outside of a palm tree is made of the same material as what’s on the inside. It’s AUTHENTIC.

 

Most trees have bark on the outer layer but the date palm tree doesn’t. It’s the same on the outside and inside.

Takeaways for successful Muslim entrepreneurs:

  • To stay honest in your communications with prospects, clients, and partners
  • To stay true to the promises you make to prospects, clients, and partners so they trust you
  • And when you mess up – which you will because you’re human, to clean up immediately after and ask for forgiveness from Allah SWT

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

‘The trustworthy, honest Muslim merchant will be with the martyrs on the Day of Resurrection.” 

 

6) The heart of the tree is white. It has a PURE heart.

 

Takeaways for successful Muslim entrepreneurs:

  • To keep renewing intentions for everything you do and keep them pure.
  • To stay through spiritual practices – Spirituality is at the heart of success for the Muslim.

“Verily, in the body is a piece of flesh which, if sound, the entire body is sound, and if corrupt, the entire body is corrupt. Truly, it is the heart.” (Muttafaqun ‘Alayh)

 

7) It can live for more than a century! It’s LONG-LASTING and DEPENDABLE.

 

This can be equivalent to the work of a Muslim serving as SADQAH-E-JARIAH for years, decades, or even a century.

Takeaways for successful Muslim entrepreneurs:

  • To create a body of work that helps the Muslim Ummah for decades after you’re gone, or even a century so it continues to add sadqah-e-jariah for your Akhirah

In short – it’s nothing less than INCREDIBLE. It’s hard to beat.That’s the identity to strive for to reach the Big Win. (winning big in Dunya and Akhirah)

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