Come What May Camel

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In the excitement of things, some businesses mistaken foolishness for entrepreneurship. Here are 3 common examples (with some possible excuses given):

  1. They fail to do a proper plan before executing the business (no time, too troublesome, just not as exciting as executing the plan itself).
  2. Should they write up a plan, they tend to miss out or go fuzzy over one component after the execution bit: the financial projections; the short term and long term forecasts of the revenue your business aims to generate (numbers and marketing creativity don’t go together).
  3. Making split second decisions not based on tacit knowledge, but an unfounded gut feel (all experienced entrepreneurs do this, don’t they?)

Let’s now take a cue from this hadith:

One day Prophet Muhammad, noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah.” [at-Tirmidhi]

Let’s analyze the hadith. The camel to the bedouin is just like the business to the businessman: it is an important asset which helps in his sustenance. The bedouin too, is worthy in the sense that he has God in his heart, and trusts God to take care of his asset. While this in itself is praiseworthy, the Prophet PBUH corrects him and recommends something even better, which is to ask the bedouin to put in some effort, take action, and tie the camel first, and then to put his trust in God.

Such is the  concept of tawakal in Islam; not to leave your fate in God’s hands in a fatalistic fashion, but to first do what you can and trust that the end result is the best because God is all knowledgeable and all wise. It is about doing what you can, to the best of your abilities, in your locus of influence, of deciding what you need to do and executing it first, then leaving the rest (including results) in God’s hands.

See also:  3 Key Processes in Islamic Marketing

In other words, plan your business first, then when executed, have faith that the results of your efforts are what is best for you from Him. After all, there can be no regrets from trying your very best, and trusting Allah in a good light with your results, come what may.

About Author

I have +10 years of unique industry and academic marketing experience in various sectors of the Islamic Business ecosystem, including integrated marketing communications of Zakat (Islamic alms-giving), product and brand management of Wakaf (Islamic endowments), and marketing and feasibility studies in Islamic Education. My Masters thesis studied factors affecting halal-food purchasing by non-Muslims in Singapore. I’ve also spoken at seminars and conferences including the Global Islamic Marketing Conference. I’ve published several works as academic journal paper, books, newspaper commentaries and website articles. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

2 Comments

  1. I like this example to teach my 25 years old children who tended to be a little secular. How do I reach young men who are secular about religion?

    • Nurhafihz Noor on

      Thanks. That’s a tough question, and I don’t have the definite answer to that. But from my own experience, it may be a combination of factors such as the right teachers who understand and can adapt to the secular flavour, coupled with consistent sessions and lessons which can bring relevance to them. I can’t stress enough the importance of teachers, and not leaving them having an over-dependence of self-study with books from the shelf. A supportive environment with the right dose of positive social pressures such as those from peers certainly help too. I wish you well in your good intentions to bring others closer to religion, and may Allah SWT reward you.

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