WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN THE ISLAMIC LEGACY
Women are the strongest pillar of any nation. In today’s world women are not just tied to the kitchen, they are in the main stream in almost all the fields either it’s teaching, running their own business or to be at the space stations, we can find women at all the leading places.
Entrepreneur are people who choose to run their own business rather than work as employees.
Talking about women, they are into running their own business with all the risks and rewards it implies.This is simply called as women entrepreneurship, or it is also termed as “womenpreneur”. Women entrepreneurs uses their knowledge and resources to create new business opportunities.
Their involvement in various entrepreneurial activities has empowered them in sociopolitical, economic and cultural areas and opened access to the decision making activities at home and outside the family, which a very important aspect in a women’s life.
Women start their own business for the need to achieve, a desire to be independent, the need for job satisfaction, and for economic necessity, which makes a women’s personality very strong and confident.
ISLAMIC CONCEPT OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Islam is a complete code of life that promotes peace, harmony, justice and emphasizes on honesty, transparency and proper use of available resources.
Islam is all about equality of both men and women.
Islam has always considered entrepreneurship the most important source of living and has its own entrepreneurship culture and guiding principles based on the Al-Quran and Hadith to guide business operation.
In the Islamic system women are not required to work for their living instead, the responsibility to look after them is either on their parents or husband. But Islam is not against women entrepreneurs working or doing business, rather according to the Islamic law, a Muslim woman has the right to own property, to earn money through business and other professional activities, to enter into legal contracts and manage all of her assets in a way she pleases. She is entitled to run her own business and no one can claim on her earnings including her husband provided that the Islamic standard of propriety and morality is maintained.
Allah says :“And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned, and ask Allah of His bounty. Surely, Allah is ever all-knower of everything” (Al-Quran 4:32).
CONDITIONS FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN ISLAM
There are certain conditions set by our religion for women into entrepreneurial operations that are to be followed strictly; which includes:
a) Women must take consent from her husband or guardian before getting involved into entrepreneurial activities.
b) They must attire Hijab as prescribed by Islam.
c)They must ensure that their home and children are properly taken care of.
d) They must lower their gaze and guard their modesty.
e) Any kind of activity that prevents them from following any Islamic obligation,
like Hijab or Prayer, is not permissible.
f) Islam has prescribed the limits of halal and haram, which both men and women have to observe in all circumstances. They can engage only in halal pursuits.
Besides these conditions, the Islamic ways to conduct life, which includes the basic knowledge from the Qur’an, prayers, trust in God, paying zakat, and thankfulness to God and to people, remembrance of God and forgiveness of other , should be followed and worked upon to attain entrepreneurial success.
The basic Islamic rituals like prayer, fasting, pilgrimage (hajj) and zakat help individuals avoid wrong-doings and sayings, leading effectively to righteousness in all the aspects of life including trade and business.
HISTORY OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN ISLAM
According to the Islamic history, we can find that many women occupied leadership roles of scholars, politicians, businesswomen, jurists and doctors before and after the establishment of Islam.
They conducted trade and business even during the time of the Prophet (PBUH).
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) himself motivated women to get involved in trade and business.
That was the time when powerful and significant women in the so-called Dark Ages were the best entrepreneurs of their times.
LEADING WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR
IN THE ISLAMIC HISTORY
- KHADIJA TUL KUBRA
The first wife of our Prophet Muhammad( PBUH) and the first Muslim Women Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, was a successful and famous business woman or entrepreneur of Makkah.
She was the woman of intelligence and respectability.She was the leading Bussiness lady of her time and her role in the rise of Islam was of encouragement and moral support.
2.ASMA BINTE HAZRAT ABU BAKR (R)
Asma, the daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R), when got married to Zubair, they did not have wealth. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) gave them some land about two miles away from their home. She used to farm and transport the products herself.
- ZAINAB BINT-I-JAHASH
As narrated by Hazrat Ayesha (RA), Ummul Mumenin Zainab bint-I-Jahash, used to process leather and then sew different things from it to sell in the market.
- WIFE OF ABDULLAH IBN MAS’UD
The wife of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud used to meet her expenses by manufacturing and selling handicrafts.
- AL-SHIFA BINTI MUAWIZ
Woman trader Al-Shifa binti Muawiz was elected “commandant” of Medinah market.
Saudah, , the Prophet’s (PBUH) wife, was an expert in lather tanning skins. She sold her tanned goods to trading caravans and local men throughout Medina.
7.MORE SUCH WOMEN
Other women such as Khaula, Lakhmia, Thaqafia, and Bint Makhramah traded in oriental oil based perfumes.
The legacy of these great women in Islam is the heart of a growing religion. By assessing Islam’s history truthfully, we can learn from these women. They showed that by following the teachings and values of Islam, a woman can be a generators in the progress of Islam.