Being Muslim in Business: What Does it Mean?
L ooking at the diversity of muslims all contributing to making London the global community condensed into 33 boroughs that makes London. Its contributing factor to the diversity and tolerance to this great city is something to be celebrated.

London being (arguably) the greatest modern city on earth, has a remarkable ability to absorb, nurture and provide for practically all races, creeds, faiths, and orientations, and never more so or so rapidly than in the last half century. Its doubtful that there isn't a nation on earth that does not have a representative living here.

In recent years there has been a somewhat blurring of lines in some part as to what it means to be a Muslim in the world today, who is regarded as a Muslim and who is an infidel, even amongst themselves.

To be a classic Muslim in business is not:

  • To engage in certain types of trade. In some quarters, to take out loans or mortgages that charge interest is not halal, nor is it kosher from our understanding.
  • To Sell or profit from the sale of intoxicants, be they alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, with the exception of prescription medication. But walk into a local convenience store in London and there is a high probability you'll be served by a Pakistani who will accept cash for cigarettes and alcohol.

You'll see in the popular soap opera Eastenders, the Muslim character Masood indulging in a tipple or three in the Queen Victoria. A high proportion of the 2000+ Indian restaurants in London serve alcohol and are owned and managed by Bangladeshi Muslims.

There are lesbian and gay Muslims, there are black and white Muslims, there are brown and pink Muslims, and there are Muslims as varied and as diverse as this great city, actively contributing to the richness and multiculturalism of its social mix as well as the economy and culture.

There are Muslim businesses that are just like any other business but they choose not to engage in finance that charge interest or pay it. They do not invest in pubs, bars, or betting shops, or websites or publications that distribute adult pornographic content. Conversely there are also some that do.

London is the largest Islamic finance-trading hub outside the Islamic world! Where is the Islamic finance for small business? We are going to find out!

Our point is not to judge either way, the point we are trying to make is simple. If there are some of you out there that would like to set up a business, refinance an existing business, take out a mortgage or need a personal loan and the mainstream banks may not look so sympathetically at your situation, there may be an alternative form of finance available. London is the place to find it.

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