Most Muslims are familiar with popular Muslim brands like Modanisa, Muzz (formerly Muzmatch), Muslim Pro, and more. These successful Muslim businesses have been able to tap into the Muslim market because they saw the need for products, tailor-made for the Muslim consumer, that mainstream brands were not serving.
Today, both Muslim-owned and mainstream companies have woken up finding themselves grappling with the demand for Muslim-targeted products and services. This is a good thing actually; well, at least the demand part, not so much the grappling part.
The best part, however, is not about the impressive numbers. It is not about the fact that the global halal economy is expected to reach $3 trillion in 2023. The best part of all this is that Muslims are no longer feeling insecure about who they are. They are embracing their identity, especially the younger generation. They want brands to serve them their needs without the usual tokenism and stereotype labeling. Equally important is that Muslim business owners can make this opportunity their own and realize the wish of the young Muslim generation.
This goes way beyond selling hijabs or halal nail polish online. This is about empowering fellow Muslims. Think about it! When your child is in high school and is wearing the attire that she loves and feels comfortable in without feeling the pressure of looking like someone who has a different set of beliefs about modesty, you have lifted a heavy burden off her shoulders.
While the above example may seem trivial, it is not. Not if you look at the rate at which the youth commit suicide these days. The suicide numbers among preadolescent children are going up and it is mostly girls who end up committing suicide.
We know now that since the rise of social media, suicide rates have risen exponentially. Under a utopian discourse, one would talk about an Islamic alternative platform where body shaming and bullying were not present. While this may be a far-fetched dream, Muslim businesses can still contribute to the ‘Ummah”(Muslim nation/society) by helping to strengthen the Muslim identity among the Muslim youth.
Farhana Akthar, the author of The Generational Diversity of Religious Orientations of Muslims in Britain, explains that whereas most first-generation Muslim migrants perceived Islam as an aspect of their ethnic identity, younger generations want a “purified, universally oriented Islamic identity, in other words, a religious orientation towards Ummah (Muslim community) nationalism”.
Islam teaches us that running a business is not solely for profit. A major part of business in Islam is serving the needs of the Ummah and having a positive impact on it; by extension, this is relevant to society as a whole. Now that we are living in times where Muslims are thirsty for products and services that match their beliefs and identity, Muslim business owners should celebrate this opportunity with wonderful innovations.
This thought is what propelled the owners of Muslim Ad Network for more than a decade to help Muslim-owned businesses reach millions of Muslim customers online. MAN has assisted hundreds of organizations in reaching over 250 million Muslims, in 190 countries and has served over 1 billion advertisements, proving that this is a worthwhile journey for all Muslim businesses to embark on.
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