Should Muslims be entrepreneurs or focus on careers?

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I think there’s multiple factors to consider on both sides.

One point to consider for the case of encouraging entrepreneurship is that ultimately many or most of these existing non Muslim companies which we work for are facilitating in activities that are directly or indirectly harmful to Muslims and/or Islamic principles.

By entrepreneurship we’d have companies that are both for benefiting Muslims and implementing Islamic principles.

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A crude example of harming Muslims is how many of these companies we work for are directly or indirectly funding operations in places like China and Israel which ultimately is facilitating oppression.

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A basic example of violating Islamic principles is how debt oriented a lot of these companies are and the amount of interest therefore is generated in the macro system.

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While I agree completely with you @Khalil, I would add, that working in these companies sometimes is a necessity as they are the leading companies in the world such as JP Morgan as an example, once gained enough experience, you can use that valuable experience and start your own business such as wahed invest. As I’ve heard many of their workers used to work for this giants and gained skills and knowledge and experience that are sought for in the whole world.

While I am more on the leaning of Muslims becoming entrepreneurs and such, I would also equally strongly argue for Muslims to go into fields that complement their skills with, be it working for government, be it working in law firms and the list goes on… Through those companies and societies we can support and help Muslims from within.
A scholar once said, a nation without knowledge is a nation destroyed… My point of mentioning this quote is because the people need to excel in their fields, even in non Muslim companies and support and help the Muslims from within.

I would say for my first conclusion, the questioned posed is a bit divisive, it’s not a one or the other, rather, I believe it is a multi platformed response and for each individual, it is different.
We must have Muslim entrepreneurs but we must also have Muslims representing us in the public and private sphere as well. They are both as important as eachother

A company doesn’t necessarily have to be harmful to Muslim activities or beneficial. It should simply be ethical in finances and also offer social benefit. It should identify a problem and offer a solution in an ethical fashion.

The thing is eventually one must give way. If you’re serious about being an enterpuner, then your job is only a financing tool, you can’t really be career focused in developing yourself in a particular field. Unless of course, that career is directly relevant to your business and you want to gain experience or importantance.

My case for Muslims being entrepreneurs is (positives):

  • follow the sunnah of doing business
  • a steeper learning curve
  • greater profits at the end
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I’d say an additional point there is being proactive in society which is forgotten Sunna, yes a career achieves that, but building a business opens up jobs and increases wealth much faster.

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My case for not solely working for another company (which if one is ‘successful’ is often a non Muslim owned and run by non Muslims):

  • values at times seem to conflict
  • potential issues with salah and other priorities
  • higher tax (generally) than running a business

I agree and I think a lot of people are actually starting to realise how hardly they’re worked in their career and often don’t end up with a huge amount to show for it

That’s a very valid point, I feel that its starting to become a common aim for someone to build their skill set at a company and then start their own career later down the line. My main concern would be how much impact this time will have on one’s deen, given the compromises it at times entails.

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As a working man, it is verryyy difficult to juggle work and then study the Deen, especially since the rate of living has gone up, the highest it’s ever been, I am finding myself finding new jobs and additional jobs to counteract it and so less time to actually study. It is quite vexing to say the least and having your own business isn’t easy either. You literally work everyday for the beginning of the business. So you have to sacrifice. Almost to say, pick your poison, both will heal eventually, which one are you capable of doing. They both have benefits and yes Muslim entrepreneurs are a positive, but every Muslim being an entrepreneur is a negative. We need engineers and doctors and teachers to be working in the companies and do their part.

I would conclude, never understate or underestimate the power of working for companies. They are an amazing arsenal to have to represent us. We must look to represent the Muslims in all fields and we must balance it. Take what you are good at and either turn it into something amazing and enter into companies and spread the Dawah through that way too. Let’s not close ourselves off

Of course the caveat to this would be working at an organisation that enables you to firmly practice your faith and manage your responsibility.

The opportunities for dawah is a great point, one that I almost forgot about

I think the issue is that with a full time job, by the time you come home, one barely has the time to attend to their family duties and responsibilities, as well as there Islamic duties that there’s almost no time or energy left to invest into entrepreneurship

That’s not even considering that entrepreneurship takes time, money and effort.

Being in a full time job almost becomes like a rabbit hole or cycle. One that for most, they only have the luxury to escape when they retire (maybe with a pension) or if they were wise enough to invest over time with things like Wahed