ROLE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
IN POVERTY ALLEVIATION
THROUGH ISLAM

Religiosity is an element that one envisions through his heart, his conscience’s vibrations and his particular attitude. The religious beliefs of people impact their various facets of life along with their living standards.

Since the dawn of human history, financial independence has always been a prerequisite. As a result, religion predominantly impacts the individual’s money-making preferences, choices and decisions to advance their financial conditions. In the contemporary era, entrepreneurship is one of the most successful means to achieve financial independence. Islam as a religion is a complete code of life that includes the comprehensive grasp of social, cultural and economic features of development of enterprise as well as entrepreneurial practices. By joining the dots, Muslims possess a natural inclination towards entrepreneurship and no wonder it is inherent in Muslims. The reason is Islam was originated in a trading city and was disseminated by merchants. When we evaluate entrepreneurship through Islamic lenses, then it is an economic activity with ethical and moral underpinnings.

The Holy Quran clearly states; “Allah has made business legitimate for you (Surah Baqarah, Ayat-275). Profit motivation – the basis of entrepreneurship – is considered legal and moral in Islam when it is free of interest (Riba), exploitation, greed and speculation and it is not the ultimate goal of the entrepreneur. In the view of scholars; Chapra and Islam, profit maximization leads to unfair business, but Almighty Allah has given explicit directions in the Quran. We’ve turned you into a middle way nation. Allah Almighty cautiously states in the Holy Quran: “If you are believers, fear Allah and give up whatever riba you have left.” Hence, Islamic entrepreneurship is a blend of economic as well as religious components. Entrepreneurship is all about value creation and hence it is at heart of all Islamic values. It defines value in terms of social impact, wealth creation and indeed for economic development. Alms, Sadqah, Waqf and charity (Zakat) are instances of Islamic philanthropic ideals that boost entrepreneurial activities, involving the establishment of social enterprises. Among these Zakat is a most notable act and one of Islam’s pillars that is considered as an obligatory charity for Muslims. Zakat, which is dispersed as seed money (investment) within the entrepreneurial framework is capable of alleviating poverty in the society. The Holy Quran emphasized the importance of Zakat; “Establish regular prayer and give Zakat; and obey Allah and His messenger. Quran (33:33).” Zakat is a direct means to create social and economic value.

It becomes the responsibility of an individual to provide 2.5 percent of savings as Zakat if one is capable of it. This is accomplished in entrepreneurship not only by individual entrepreneurs giving away their profits, but also by cultivating a culture of giving. Entrepreneurs can foster a giving culture within their businesses and start-ups, thereby contributing to the greater good. Giving back has an influence on people and communities, regardless of how large or small the donation is. Zakat aims to enrich the destitute rather than just provide them with a means of subsistence. It functions as a social philanthropic giving instrument, and if correctly handled, the receivers can set up small enterprises to manufacture goods and cover their basic requirements. The effectiveness of Zakat in alleviating poverty is determined on the methods employed to distribute funds in a given society. Zakat funds are distributed through government and non-government organizations in countries like Indonesia, Egypt, Malaysia, and many other Middle Eastern countries.

Today’s society must foster a climate that encourages entrepreneurship and eventually, wealth creation in all people. In today’s world, earning money has a negative connotation. What people don’t realize is that wealth isn’t necessarily evil; if it’s attained on purely Islamic terms. Building a culture of entrepreneurship nowadays is no longer a necessary skill, but it is a must, particularly for Muslims in Pakistan. The requirement stems from the urgent necessity for all Pakistani citizens to escape the country’s economic vulnerability, which has resulted in deterioration in many areas of the economy, causing the economy to stagnate, worsening the country’s situation if left unaddressed. However, in the eyes of Islam, entrepreneurship and trade are components of life that are categorized as muamalah issues. The issue is intimately linked to horizontal relationships, such as those between individuals who will be held accountable in the future. Man is required to flourish the world and lead it in a more positive way, as well as to seek rizq.