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how to balance it all

What does it really take to set up a side business with a full-time job

Disclaimer: This article is different from the regular articles you receive from me. I know for a fact that many of my Balance Deen and Dunya students are already running a business (some even with a day job!) or they’re thinking of starting a side business, and if you relate to that then read on.

Maybe you want to make a consistent income from your business while working only 6 hours a day, taking weekends off, and waking up whenever you want. Or maybe your business dream is to run your company in a scalable way where you’re not the bottleneck.

Whether your business dreams are just brewing in a secret part of your brain or you’re already running a side business but you’re not quite ‘there’ yet, here are a few questions to get you thinking about your business as a high performing Muslim:  


Why do you want to have a successful business? What is the driving force at the heart of your business and how does it align with your Akhirah and with your purpose in life as a Muslim?


    This is where you step into the shoes of the ‘future you’ and imagine what life would be like as a successful business owner:

    What does a highly profitable and successful business look like to you in terms of revenue, and lifestyle?

    • Stop doing
    • Start doing
    • Do less
    • Do more


    This is where you step back into the reality and take a long hard look at your life right now:

    1. What does your current work structure look like? What are your current time constraints?
    2. How many hours can you take out from your current schedule to dedicate to your business?
    3. How many hours can you dedicate to learning new skills to excel in your business?
    4. And finally, ask yourself: Which activities can you remove from your life right now… in other words, how can you simplify your life to make room for your business? This is where you reset your priorities.

    This hadith is a Muslim business owner’s compass:

    Narrated from Abu Hurairah and he (one of the narrators) said: “I do not know except that he attributed it to the Prophet (ﷺ)” – “Allah says: ‘O son of Adam, devote yourself to My worship, and I will fill your heart with contentment and take care of your poverty; but if you do not do that, then I will fill your heart with worldly concerns and will not take care of your poverty.*” *Sunnan e Ibn e Maja#4107*

    ‘Devote yourself to My worship’ has many meanings. Worship is not just limited to the spiritual acts of Ibadah. The true essence of worship is in renewing your intentions before doing anything and thinking ‘would this act please Allah SWT? And if it would, how did the Prophet SAW teach me to do it so it pleases Allah SWT?’

    That means when you set up your business in a way that pleasing Allah SWT is positioned at the center of it, Allah SWT adds barakah and ease into it and takes care of the finances, amongst everything else.

    If the heart of the business is diseased (controlled purely by worldly desires), then the help of Allah SWT is lifted from it and no matter how visibly ‘financially successful’ the business is, the person faces anxiety, depression and Allah SWT makes their matters difficult for them.

    Having a halal business and letting spiritual drivers guide your business is applaudable at so many levels. Some of these spiritual drivers could be:

    1. You are earning a halal income. (Money earned through halal ways has barakah in it)
    2. You are solving problems for people by selling good-quality products/ services
    3. You are strengthening the Muslim economy by building an interest-free business and reducing the economic disparity by paying larger amounts in Zakah. And if your business serves the Muslim community, then you’re inviting more Muslims to spend on shariah-compliant products/ services, hence, circulating money within the Muslim pool.
    4. You are in a position to support the poor, the needy, and the Muslims that are working for our Deen Fi sabilillah.
    5. You are feeding your family (which itself is an act of Fard Ibadah for the male earners and charity for the female earners)
    6. You are not living from paycheck to paycheck and have the financial freedom to take a step back and spend more time on Deen (you can spend that time expanding your knowledge of Deen, taking Islamic courses and doing dawah).
    7. —— (this space is for you to fill)

    For Muslims, doing anything mindlessly without purpose is not an option. This holds true for starting and growing a business. So many entrepreneurs are just focused on the money aspect of their business. 

    While financial drivers are mandatory for running a business, Muslim business owners can’t afford to ignore the spiritual drivers from the fear of losing themselves in Dunya and losing out on Akhirah.

    Now it’s your turn – tell me in the comments below if you’ve already started a business on the side, or are thinking of starting a side business with your job. Do you want me to write more on making proper time for and planning your side business using guiding principles from our Deen?

    1 Comment

    1. Atia Iftikhar

      السلام علیکم ورحمة الله
      Yes sister I’m thinking of starting a small business that i could run part time along with my studies and online tuitions. But i couldn’t find the way out. I don’t know what’s the right time and right scheduling. Please write more about it. It’s the need of the time.
      May Allah Subhanahu wataala reward you with the best in this world as well as in the hereafter…aaammeeeennn


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