(needs a new name – work in progress)
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
The Islamic Experiences Manifesto is a set of principles and guidelines which help Islamic Startups and Change Makers steer their decision making and product development in a more Islamic Direction.
The manifesto is a community contributed collection of values, principles, guidelines all based upon Islamic principles from the Quran and Sunnah.
The ultimate goal is to leverage the transformational power of Islamic Principles at solving problems while unlocking the barakah adhering to Islam brings into any initiative.
Need to communicate the problem, purpose, goals!
- Intentional – with Purpose, beneficial for other Muslims, pleasing to Allah
- Halaal & Tayyab – No harm, avoid doubt, ethical, wholesome
- Islamic Identity – Modesty, personality, behavior, interactions
- Inspired, Inspiring – inspired by islam and inspiring others with islam
- Built for Barakah – leveraging islamic the principles of success
- Holistic – touching on all aspects of life
These principles should:
- Form a foundation which help us build truly Islamic Initiatives
- Give us the core islamic constraints & help us build on a solid islamic foundation with clear enough boundaries to protect us from straying
- Give us an understanding of how to address the needs of muslims of all types
Those who adopt this manifesto declare their agreement with it’s principles embrace it as a set of standards they promise to strive to fulfill in their Islamic Ventures.
Islamic Experiences are initiatives undertaken to arrive at some form of Islamic objective whether they are products, services, events, content or media or other types of experiences. This may apply to startups, educational projects, lifestyles, social services or anything else which attempts to improve the lives of people based on islamic principles or targeting muslims specifically.
We have chosen the term experiences because every type of positive human change results from some kind of experience, whether purposely initiated or occurring passively through exposure to information and stimulus, externally and internally.
While experiences are personal, we can most certainly influence positive experiences by putting in place the right mixture of elements to
Principles from Islamic Texts
The following texts contain principles upon which we can base our activities to ensure they our initiatives maintain islamic integrity and bring about the blessings we need for success and islamic impact.
These references do not need to be contained in the manifesto in their full form but can be a set of principles which we link to for more details so we could write a series of articles one about each principle with it’s islamic source and details of how it needs to be applied in context
Deeds are by intention
“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.”
The first Hadith in Bukhari helps us to start with the most important consideration before taking any action. Why? What is our intention behind doing what we want to do. Are we looking to become rich or famous, to do some general good, to please Allah, to help the ummah. We should start any initiative by purifying our intentions, by clarifying within ourselves why we want to do what we plan to do and ensuring the intention is good and pleasing to Allah, as well as being in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah.
Embracing our Purpose
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.
As we know worship includes all things which please Allah and avoiding all things which displease Allah, and so this applies directly to our work, our businesses, our projects and initiatives and all their details. When we approach our endeavours as acts of worship we will be fulfilling the purpose of our existence, we will be please our creator and we will earn the help and blessings of Allah.
Islam as a complete Package
O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.
Allah commands those who believe to enter islam completely, meaning all aspects of Islam applied in every aspect of our lives. We don’t have the option of picking and choosing even in order to attract attention of less practicing muslims or non muslims. If we ensure we adhere to islam in our intentions, our goals, our methods, our interactions, how we present ourselves and our initiatives and what we encourage or facilitate through our products and services we will be fulfilling this command.
Halaal AND Tayyib
O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.https://quran.com/2/168
Allah commands us to eat of the lawful AND good. Our well being comes from firstly consuming only halaal and additionally ensuring what we consume is good and wholesome and not harmful to us.
Modesty in Islam
“Every religion has its distinct characteristic, and the distinct characteristic of Islam is modesty.”– Ibn Majah https://sunnah.com/urn/1292830
If we maintain this distinct characteristic both in our personal lives as well as our businesses and other initiatives we will be promoting the distinction which islam gives to the believer. We dont have the option of embracing diversity with regards to modesty either by promoting it as an option or displaying those who do not adhere to it as just another part of the community. Regardless of who we are targeting with out products or services modesty should be a distinct principle we maintain.
There should be neither harming (darar) nor reciprocating harm (dirar).https://sunnah.com/nawawi40/32
When we intend to do something, to change something, to initiate something we should ensure what we do is not harmful in any way to ourselves or to others. This applies to the end result as well as the process to achieving this end result.
hadith: best of people are most beneficial (can’t find authentic reference)
Change it with your hand
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.”https://sunnah.com/muslim/1/84
This important principles establishes Islam as a force for positive change and warding off evil in society and encourages us to take action when we see something wrong. There are opportunities all around us for to apply this principle, to empower those disempowered or ease challenges faced by others and the highest level of this is to remove oppression. Oppression may come in many forms and may even be through lack of access to education, information or suitable food or clothing for muslims.
Avoid the doubtful matters
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, “That which is lawful is clear and that which is unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters [eventually] falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh, which, if it be whole, all the body is whole, and which, if it is diseased, all of [the body] is diseased. Truly, it is the heart.”[Bukhari & Muslim] https://sunnah.com/nawawi40/6
In islam, Innovation is permissible in worldly matters, but forbidden in religious matters. We are encourages to find newer and more beneficial ways of facilitating ease in all aspects people’s lives in a positive and non-destructive manner. Technological developments however often bring about scenarios which we may not have encountered before causing us to question their islamic permissibility. When we doubt the permissibility of something or are presented with evidence to potential haraam within something we should proceed with caution heeding these important words of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) to avoid falling into haraam. Regardless of how things may change in society with regards to technology, trends or secular laws Islamic Principles are unchanged and new developments need to be scrutinized and validated according to islamic principles.
Maintaining Islamic Identity
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: He who copies any people is one of them.https://sunnah.com/abudawud/34/12
Islamic beliefs, practices and lifestyle are unique and very specific, with specific reasons and goals. These specifics gives the Muslim dignity, respect, honour and purity in this life and protects the muslim from those which which have caused others to deviate. As Islam becomes something strange again, many muslims are tempted to deviate to fit into modern culture and lifestyles, liberal dress codes or behaviors and other un islamic practices. This leaves the such muslims and their islam in serious danger. We should encourage in confidence in Islam, it’s practices, rituals and lifestyle and not bend to copy or prefer modern secular ways of doing things, of thinking and of living just to fit in.
hadith: the likeness of the believer is the likeness of a palm tree (is this one needed?)
Rizq is from Allah
other ayaat related to dawah methodology
- fulfill the purpose of our existence (worship) through the work we do, the products and services we create, the initiatives we promote and the money we earn
- respect the boundaries of Allah in all aspects of our activities
- be truthful in what we communicate and promote
- engage in ventures that benefit muslims and do not harm them
- providing real value and not dressing up what we create to merely make it appear valuable than it really is
- encourage muslims towards islam using islamically appropriate methods and not to compromise merely the make customers happy and spend more money with us
- being proud of islam, it’s beliefs, values, principles and practices and not be be ashamed of it
- to encourage others towards this islamic confidence
- encouraging others towards islam in ways which positively inspire them and not to turn them away from islam or make them feel alienated
- speaking to people in a language they understand and providing them what they need at their level
key concepts to emphasize
- For the sake of Allah
- hard work
- prevention (closing doors to evil)
Concepts to avoid
- Honesty, Truthfulness, Trustworthiness, Genuine
- Not transgressing Islamic rules in visuals, messages, interactions/behaviors
- Selling the actual product and it’s real benefits not faking or exaggerating
- Encouraging muslims towards islam