Don't mix Deen with Business - Myth or True?

Don’t mix Deen with Business – Myth or True?

April 13, 2024
Assalamualaikum!
Our brothers and sisters in Palestine are deeply suffering on this Eid. While Ramadan was the perfect opportunity for each of us to make a lot of dua for them and give Zakat and additional charity to help them, we can’t stop.

Let’s start today’s newsletter with a dua for them, May Allah SWT end their pain, give them comfort and safety of their homes, and give them victory over the oppressors, May Allah SWT give them all the happiness and success in this world and the HereAfter for their immense sabr in this great test. Ameen.

I hope your Eid went well and you’re slowly getting back into a healthy routine after Ramadan. 

While I’m doing well in terms of getting back into my flow state, I had to suffer from a few days of headaches because of this…

A common concern for after Ramadan is how to CONTINUE the spiritual habits one has developed in Ramadan.

There’s no denying the fact that after Ramadan things begin to revert to the way they were pre-Ramadan.

And you may feel unaccomplished when you look back at the way you spent it- “I wish I had done more Ibadah. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time sleeping.”

Or even depressed when you look at your post-Ramadan “situation”- “Wow, it didn’t even take a SINGLE day after Ramadan ended, before I went back to my old bad habits. What’s wrong with me?!”

Our carefully constructed self-discipline begins to crumble and our spiritual habits start desecrating. 

As if all your spiritual work is wasted the moment you commit the first post-Ramadan sin. Nuh-uh. 

You can’t undo 30 days of work in 1 day. 

You can, however, undo 30 days of work in 30 days (or less).

If you are not conscious of this transition period from an environment of high-intensity Ibadah to low-intensity Ibadah, you may be headed toward your old ways or worse… a performance slump from post-Ramadan blues.

2 observations on why this happens:

1) Something amazing leaves us – extra blessings and special barakah effects of Ramadan.

2) Something horrible comes back to the fold with full force – Shaytan.

“[Satan] said, ‘Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].’” (Qur’an, 7:16-17) 

I share some mindset tips and a Post-Ramadan action plan in this post. Give it a read and create your post-Ramadan reset plan.

Now let’s begin with today’s newsletter.

 

A Common Online Business Myth in Muslims

 

I have been hearing a certain type of mindset in Muslims that is honestly a total myth keeping SO many talented new entrepreneurs stuck.

In today’s newsletter, I’d like to share a big myth about turning your knowledge into an online business. (note that these are specific beliefs in the Muslim community around an online course/ coaching business)

 

Mixing Deen with business? 

 

“Don’t mix Deen with business.”

It’s understandable why this myth exists among Muslims. We’ve grown up not fully being taught how to think or speak about money as Muslims. (I’ve had to relearn everything I was taught growing up by studying the perspective in the Quran and Sunnah)

Deen is a code of conduct for everything we do in life.

So how can you separate Deen from business? 

You can’t. And you shouldn’t

Because when you keep business separate from Deen, you don’t follow the Deen in your business. You end up practicing secular tactics in business! 

I used to believe in doing business without ‘compromising Deen’.

I’ve realized that’s only the first step. 

We must take it a step beyond not ‘compromising’. That’s just the bare minimum that’s expected of a Muslim. To earn ‘halal’ Rizq. 

But to truly win in business as a Muslim, we must STRATEGIZE and PRACTICE the business model, marketing strategy, and sales process using Deen (Islamic beliefs, principles, and practices). 

“O believers! Be mindful of Allah and seek what brings you closer to Him and struggle in His Way, so you may be successful.” (5:35)

I’ll walk through 3 common problems for Muslim entrepreneurs that we’ll attempt to solve using simple principles of our beautiful Deen.

 

Problem # 1: Which business model can you implement to earn income as a knowledge worker/ coach? 

 

Solution: Let’s apply how you can use Deen (Islamic beliefs, principles, and practices) to pick the BEST business model that’ll help you succeed in business as a Muslim;

The sunnah principle is to sell your product with integrity and honesty:

Hakim ibn Hizam reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Both parties in a business transaction have the right to annul it, as long as they have not separated. If they are truthful and clear with one another, there is blessing in their transaction. If they lie and conceal something, the blessing of their transaction will be eliminated.” (Sahih Bukhari)

What’s the business model that makes it easy to maintain your integrity at the highest level?

In my experience, here are some good examples; 

  • [Online Programs] Creating authentic, truthful and valuable free content. Creating and selling your own paid program that is valuable, helps people, and you truly believe in.
  • [Affiliate Marketing] Selling somebody else’s product you have personally used, helps people, and you truly believe in.

 

In my understanding, here are some bad examples; 

  • Using Marketing and sales tactics with exaggerated manipulative copywriting.
  • Plagiarizing other people’s hard work and passing it off as your own. 
  • Selling/ sponsoring somebody else’s product you have not personally used, are not sure whether it helps people, or you don’t truly believe in.

 

Problem # 2: What kind of online information product would be the best to sell? 

 

Solution: Let’s apply how you can use Deen to pick the BEST digital product that’ll help you succeed in business as a Muslim;

One sunnah principle is to sell with reasonable profit margins;

Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “May Allah’s mercy be on him who is lenient in his buying, selling, and in demanding back his money.”  (Sahih Bukhari)

“Give full measure and weight with justice.” (6:152)

Which information products can you sell with good and reasonable profit margins?

In my experience, here are some good examples; 

  • High ticket programs or memberships with done-WITH-you and done-FOR-you support for the more financially able (since this is the highest level of support you can offer, the *cost of delivery is high so keeping the price high is the only sustainable way to provide such support and it keeps the profit margins reasonable). 
  • Medium ticket programs or memberships with community support (since this is a medium level of support to offer, the cost of delivery is low-medium so keeping the price low-medium is a sustainable way to provide community support and it keeps the profit margins reasonable). 
  • Low ticket programs with self-paced support for everyone. (since this is the lowest level of paid support you can offer, the cost of delivery is low so keeping the price low keeps the profit margins reasonable). 

 

*cost of delivery = money, time, effort it takes to deliver on the promise of your program.

In my opinion, here are some bad examples; 

  • High-priced self-study courses. (since this is the lowest level of support you can offer, the cost of delivery is low so keeping the price high means you’re keeping profit margins higher than they need to be). 
  • Overly priced minimal support memberships. (since this is a low-medium level of support to offer, the cost of delivery is low-medium so keeping the price high means you’re keeping profit margins higher than they need to be). 
  • No real value in free content or support for the free community. (you’re only focused on promoting your product and earning higher profits, and have created no way of giving and supporting the free community)

 

Keep in mind, that pricing your products is not a black-and-white thing. You need to study the demand-supply in your niche market. 

And accordingly, you want to learn how to create amazing offers that are a win-win for your ideal client so pricing becomes a no-brainer. 

 

Problem # 3: How should I market/ promote my program and sell? 

 

Solution: Let’s apply how you can use Deen to pick the BEST marketing strategy that’ll help you succeed in business as a Muslim;

An-Nu’man bin Bashir said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain, and between them are matters which are not as clear. I will strike a parable for you about that: indeed Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has established a sanctuary, and the sanctuary of Allah is that which He has forbidden. Whoever approaches the sanctuary is bound to transgress upon it, Or he said: ‘Whoever grazes around the sanctuary will soon transgress upon it, and whoever indulges in matters that are not clear, he will soon transgress beyond the limits,” (Sunan an-Nisai)

What sort of marketing strategies can you use to promote your program without going near the boundaries of Allah SWT and His Prophet SAW?

Good Examples; 

  • Writing, speaking, or creating content that adds value to somebody’s life and shares authentically how your program can help someone. 
  • Offering free coaching sessions or live classes to let people who are interested in working with you experience your work so they can make an informed decision before investing in working with you. 
  • Creating free content and support materials similar to your paid programs to allow people to experience your work before investing in your programs. 

 

Bad Examples; 

  • Dancing on TikTok or vlogging your entire personal life on YouTube to get attention, create engagement, and earn more. (Islam teaches us to protect ourselves from Nazr, respect privacy, and practice modesty)
  • Creating clickbait content that is full of fluff, has zero value, and does not deliver on the claim of the content ‘title’. 
  • Creating “automated” webinars and claiming them to be “live webinars” to trick more of the audience into attending and buying.
  • Creating pushy and sales-y webinars, or pushy sales calls that offer no clarity, value, or truthful information.

 

It was narrated from Abu Qatadah Al-Ansari that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Beware of taking oaths a great deal when selling, for it may help you to make a sale but it destroys the blessing.” (Sunan an Nisai)

 

Takeaway: 

 

No matter what sort of business or career path you choose, earning halal money while doing permissible work is a part of Deen. 

You can’t separate Deen from career/ business. 

The only way to succeed in your business as a spiritually conscious Muslim is to use the principles and practices from Sunnah.

If you want to work with me personally and implement these lessons to start and grow your online Muslim program/ coaching business, I run a 1:1 and a private group coaching program that does exactly that. We offer premium done-for-you services as free bonuses on a first come first serve basis. I’d love to talk and work with you. Book an assessment call with me here

If anything I wrote for you today empowered you to think in an Islamically aligned way, then I’ve done my job with this newsletter.

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