Social Entrepreneurship And Community Transformation Based On Islamic Tasawur


Human are made to live in community in nature. Life alone is unlikely because human nature and needs comes together naturally with its process of life. Entrepreneurial and its activities as part of Islamic Sharia’ is not merely for profit alone. Even entrepreneur offers charity services to community by fulfill their needs to get desired goods and services. This article will further describe about theoretical issues of ideas on standard basis which has been established by al-Quran and Hadith and Islamic scholars. Based on maqasid al-Shari’ah, the economy development in Islam is more stressed on human wellbeing (al-falah), better life (hayat tayyibah), concern on brotherhood (ukhuwwah) and socio-economy justice (’adalah) and also balanced satisfaction (qana’ah) whether in material and spiritual dimension. Human as agent in economy development, caliph as well as trustee need to work based on certain capacity to achieve it while being one is a test from Allah S.W.T. Hence, devoted to human is not the end of world for Islamic entrepreneurs. Meanwhile the absolute measure for this commercial is not limited to self satisfaction (entrepreneurs and customers) but include pleasure to work done, endowed by Allah S.W.T

Keywords: Social entrepreneurshipcommunityIslamic entrepreneurhuman welafreservant of Allah SWTIslamic tasawur


Human resources is one of determinant factors to the economic and community growth. Human role as active agent can be classified to three different dimension which are entrepreneurs, labours and consumers. Entrepreneurial existence and its role is holistic which is very dominant and significant in process development for individual, community as well as to the nation. Generally, the peak of entrepreneurial innovation is considered able to triggered revolutionary changes especially in economy development and human civilization. Entrepreneurship is not only producing creative and innovative individuals but also fulfilling consumer’s dream and need as well as triggered employment opportunities. Indirectly, it is also raises the status of a community and area, thus contributing to the per capita income of the country. Meanwhile in Islamic context, entrepreneurial activities are required because the human’s ability and energy are limited while their dream and need are varies. Therefore, through various contract of purchase as required, the needs can be fulfilled based on their ability. Thus, this commercial field is considered as basis in community development as it can influence the economic development process and can lead to social transformation to the society and nation.

Problem Statement

Islamic tasawur stated that, career as entrepreneur is one of the best area to venture into. Muslims have been called to pursue and persevere in entrepreneurial activities (Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, 1972; Shahadah al-Natur, 1996). This form of encouragement refers to the highest recognition by Shara‟ upon the sincere and honest entrepreneurs. Abi Sa'id narrated that Rasulullah s.a.w has said that

The honest, trustworthy merchant will be with the Prophets, siddiqins and martyrs”. (1987).

This hadith puts the merchant to highest level which will be in the same position with the prophets, siddiqin and the martyrs in the hereafter. Rafiq Yunus al-Misri (2007) explains, to be able to reach this level (truthful and honest) proves to be difficult for business activities often misused and mixed with lies, fabrications and other negative elements. Thus, when they succeeded in passing through all these negatives elements to become trustworthy and sincere entrepreneurs, their dignity will also get raised to be with the prophets, siddiqin, syuhada’ and salihin.

In the meantime, there is also a provision in Islam that suggest to work with others in exchange for a fixed salary. However, the true encouragement geared towards entrepreneurial development. The al-Quran also clearly stated in encourage Muslims to “always trying to find, using all the resources in the world and creating new opportunities for the same purpose” (Refers to surah al-Jathiyah (45):12-13, al-Hijr (15):19-22, al-An‘am (6):141, al-Najm (53):39, al-Nur (24):37, al-Jumu‘ah (62):9 and al-Tawbah (9):24). Understanding behind these verses is not merely working with others, but also includes agriculture, mining, commerce, business, manufacturing and other economic activities which ilustrates entrepreneurship’s functions (AbulHasan M. Sadeq, 1990).

In addition to generalize verses, there are also several verses in al-Quran which specifically mentioned the word business or al-tijarah (Surah al-Baqarah (2):282, al-Nisa’ (4):29, al-Tawbah (9):24, al-Saf (61):10, al-Fatir (35):20, al-Jumu‘ah (62):11) also the word purchase or al-bay' (Surah al-Baqarah (2):253 and 275, Ibrahim (14):31, al-Nur (24):37, al-Jumu‘ah (62):9) in specifically. Allah S.W.T forbids His servants to eat from property of others in a wrong way, but they are obliged to consume from property of others through business according to Shari’a. While the form of business is meant not to refer to activity in particular place alone, but there is encouragement to extend the area from one to another although with force across the sea (Surah al-Fatir (35):12).

Yusuf Kamal Muhammad et al. (2001): states that encourage on entrepreneurship not only based on this commercial activity have been allowed by Allah the Almighty during and after they perform Haj (Surah al-Baqarah (2):198), but it is also viewed as jihad for the cause of Allah (surah al-Muzammil (73):20). Prophet Muhammad pbuh was also asked about the most afdhal job? He replied, “The result of a man's business with his hands and a mabrur purchasing” (Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Hanbal (1993). Meanwhile, Yusuf al-Qaradhawi (2001) conclude that, if business is left effortlessly surely the life will stop and most of the living will die. In other words, this activity is not merely an effort to gain profits while adding capital and effort or as a mechanism of exchanging essential needs, but it is part of worship in offering social services to the community and to build the civilization for the future Muslims.

Furthermore, career as entrepreneurs based on Islamic tasawur is not merely to seek profits for self-sufficiency and family life. In fact, what is more important is entrepreneurs offers charity services to the community by meeting their needs to get the essential goods and services as desired. At the same time, the role is to trigger the economic transformation and to determine the socio-economic achievement of a society and nation. Hence, this commercial activity is not only an individual needs but also as a social obligations which contained in religious bond.

Social Entrepreneurship

Generally, social entrepreneurship can be understood as concern of entrepreneurs, companies or corporate organizations to the rights and welfare of workers, consumers, environmental society and so on. The concept that prioritizes human and nature welfare is universal regardless of the practiced economic system, religious belief, society’s ideology and geographical boundaries. However, the goal and strategy are different from one another as result of ontology differences about human existence and psychology, epistemology conflicts of knowledge and the diversity of methodology and objectives of concern.

Conventional Perspective

In the context of conventional perspective, corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues are seriously discussed by Henry Ford through the idea of ‘business is service’. However, this society issue is less attractive to academicians and entrepreneurs because it is contrary to the concept of investment and to the business terms and contracts (Min-Dong Paul Lee, 2008). Beginning in the late of 1990s, the ideas contained in the CSR began to understand and adopted inside business world which involves government, private sector and individuals. Various international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Bank and International Labour Organization not only support and promote the implementation of this CSR, but also set up a special research unit to strengthen the concept of this social concerns. There are also institutions that assesses and recognizes the implementation of CSR such as United Nation Global Compact (UNGC), Global Reporting Initiatives’ (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, International Organizational for Standardization’ (ISO) standard ISO 14001, Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for New York Stock Exchange, Social Index and Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) for London Stock Exchange and SRI KEHATI for Bursa Efek Indonesia (BEI) (Anitya Ardiyani Puspita, 2014). The government also recognizes the expenses for investment by exempting tax deduction even though it will provide side benefits to the companies.

Islamic perspective

Islamic tasawur sets out the entrepreneurial activity itself is part of Islamic Shari’a. This commercial career is not only to gain profits alone, but it offers services to the society by meeting their needs for the essential goods and services as desired. Given most of the human wants and needs possessed by other individuals, the Shari’a of commerce acts as necessity and mechanism to obtain every means based on the rules and principles set forth. Ali Aslan Gumusay (2015) states that entrepreneur in Islamic perspective is based in three interconnected pillars: the entrepreneurial, socio-economic/ethical and religio-pspiritual. Islam teachings not only agree with entrepreneurship success, but also support it greatly. As a result, it can be claimed that Islam is principally entrepreneurial culture itself and provides proper condition for entrepreneurship development (Mohammad Bagher & Mohammad Reza, 2016).

Theoretically, this Islamic entrepreneurial activity not make production and profits as the ultimate goal but rather serve as a tool because the basis of the driving force in Islamic system is human welfare (Muhammad al-Mubarak, 1974). Hence, the entrepreneurs that makes Islam as a principle, Shari’a as in guidance and by seeking pleasure of Allah S.W.T and gaining profits as their objectives but not surpass the ultimate objectives which are creating social unity, love-loving, compassionate, social harmony and brotherhood (Khaliq Ahmad and Arif Hassan, 2000) regardless getting recognized or not. However, the cooperation from all parties are necessary in order to ensure the harmony and smoothness of the affairs.

Research Questions

In general, Islamic social entrepreneurship is still based on the concept of entrepreneurship itself. The difference is in terms of beliefs, goals, approach and appearance. Islamic social entrepreneurship makes the basics of al-Din as the main fundamentals to translate into human behavior so that any changes made do not slip from the foundation of religion. Thus, the question arose of how the concept of Islamic social entrepreneurship itself?

Purpose of the Study

Tasawur Islam emphasizes that this commercial activity is not only required by individuals, but it also determines the socio-economic achievement of a society and country. However, if this comersial careers is associated with Islam, all their behaviour should be done in a holistic manner based on the Islamic guidelines. Thus, Islamic social entrepreneur not only contains the dynamic and competent features, but also emphasizes the integration with spiritual elements. This article focuses on the concept of Islamic social entrepreneur in Islam.

Research Methods

Description of this article will focus on the question of theoretical concept is based on the standards set by the Qur'an and Hadith and Islamic intellectual scene in order at least one day there is the ability to form not only of thought, even the discipline social entrepreneurship itself based on ethic in Islamic tasawur.


System of Islamic economy is ‘syumul’ which is able to indicate overall and consistent changes in entrepreneurial field. Islamic entrepreneurship not only be able to form the personality of entrepreneurs, but also be able to educate and teach everyone involved in the matter.

Muhammad Nejatullah Siddiqi (1981) stated that, this world possession is a necessity because every human being needs to pass this worldly life before reaching the hereafter. This world life is more a test, while everything given to man is the trust that will be held accountable before Allah S.W.T based on his performance in this world. In other word, man also able to reach level of perfection by managing all of possibilities.

Social Entrepreneurship and Society Transformation

Although the economy development is not going to happen without human, but the achievement will become meaningless if it fails to several condition, such as materials and spiritual which allows individual and society lives in harmony. Islam does not willing the poor to be an abandoned community (Surah al-Baqarah (2):267). In addition to prioritize quality of services and production, the resource allocation method also need to be prioritize as well to ensure the well-being of the community. If wealth is only monopolized by small group in the community while the majority are still shackled by poverty, it will not give benefit to society and all. Islam will never consider this life is as a race, but rather need the concept of mutual help that is built in the form of communication and economy cooperation.

As a caliph, a man’s responsibility is not more than modification which is modify the location and position of the existing things to gain benefits. This is as fundamental to educate the sense of community within an entrepreneur as the acquired property is not an individual’s absolute right. With this, collaboration concept totally refuse life according to secular system like the philosophy of ‘struggle for existence’, instead, Islam suggests, cooperation for existence as living ethics that fits with the philosophy of belief in Allah the Almighty.

Social Entrepreneurship Principles In Islam

In principle, Islamic tasawur stated that only Allah S.W.T is the absolute owner of every property (surah al-Baqarah (2):22). Man only a trustee (surah al-Hadid (57):7) who need to work in obtaining them based on his capabilities while its use also a test for him. Furthermore, the personality of entrepreneur based on Islamic tasawur is different with conventional entrepreneurs in term of spirit and goals. Each of Muslim’s entrepreneurs must believe in Allah S.W.T, conduct operation within Shari’a boundaries and observe the Islamic virtues because each of their actions will be held accountable in the hereafter.

Tawhid as a Fundamental

Tawhid which is understood in Islamic context is more than a philosophy’s lesson on how to initiate a relationship and communication amongst human being under relationship with Allah S.W.T. All humans are brothers. Human being are not only responsible to themselves, but to others as well by cooperating with each other’s to ensure the harmony and social well-being inside community (Sobri Salamon, 1980).

The devotion to human being is not the end of everything to Muslim’s entrepreneurs. As a system based on tawhid, the absolute measure of success of entrepreneurs is not limited to the level of self-satisfaction and consumers alone, but includes pleasure of Allah S.W.T to the work done (surah al- Juma’ah (62):10). This objective will be achieve if everything is done intended because of Allah S.W.T together with the spirit and taqwa (surah al-A’raf (7):96), always glorify Him in every affairs (surah al- Hujarat (49):2), to make Allah S.W.T as the only source of help (surah al-Mulk (67):21) as well as to ensure that they will not neglect in remembering and worshipping Him although with the entrepreneurial activity (surah al-Nur (24):37).

Shari’a as Guidance

The emphasis and implementation of the business production must be carried out in compliance with the Islamic guidelines. In other words, the freedom awarded to the man is not absolute. The freedom of business production must be referred to determination of law by Shari’a which emphasized element of justice and rejects any element of coercion or tyranny to both sides. Such as, to prioritize concept of mutual agreement (to please each other), to implement contract or keep promises (surah al-Ma’idah (5):1), scaling, weighing and perfect measurement (surah al-Isra’ (17):35) and al-Mutaffifin (83):1-3), honesty (surah al-An’am (6):152) as well as trust in protecting buyers and consumers’s rights.

Isma‘il Raji al-Faruqi (1992) explains that, entrepreneurial operation must base on four principles which influence the production process which firstly, Shariah forbid production based on profits per se, it on the other hand encourages meaningful and useful production and services to the community. Secondly, things which are forbidden by Islamic law are not to be produced unless if it a must to produce. Thirdly, the product produced should be shown as it is. Any packaging that may appear to deceive consumers are therefore forbidden. Fourth, Islamic belief should be the base to motivate producers to practice truth instead of fearing punishments set by the government. Meanwhile, Monzer Kahf (1978) stated that, the entrepreneurs must hold to four basic principles based on Islam which are, to know man’s view to other man and nature, to increase production in Islamic ethics, to eliminate waste of natural resources because of laziness and by using Islamic shari’a and learning approach.


Since the Islamic economy is good in morality, so it is very unlikely Islamic entrepreneurial activity get separated with moral values. Islam puts the guidelines for entrepreneurs on how to sell and buy and what is permissible and forbidden to them. ‘Abd Allah ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Tariqi (1417H) stated that, moral characters creates purity, harmony and affection in the relationship between seller and buyer. In this context, Muslim’s entrepreneurs must prioritize moral values by avoiding selling illegal goods, obscuring goods (surah Ali-‘Imran (3):180), eliminating excess output so that the price will not fall (surah al-Baqarah (2):205), buying or selling stolen goods and avoiding swearing during business (surah al-Maidah (5):89).

Those three principles can be implemented when the entrepreneurs realize that they are the trustee in the presence of Allah S.W.T and it will be questioned again in the hereafter. Trust also plays a very important mechanism in achieving goals. Any achievement without trust will lead to many social problems with the workers, customers and other stakeholders. Thus, when the trust is done with the best possible, it will not only guarantee the continuity of business relation but also granted pleasure and rewards from Allah S.W.T. Muhammad Mahmud Isma‘il (t.t.) explain, trust concept can be divided into three category which firstly, to keep trust as part of worship to Allah S.W.T by doing what is ordered and avoiding what He forbids. Secondly, trust to self by what is bestowed by Allah S.W.T on all limbs. Thirdly, trust as a servant covering all business activities with another servant of Allah S.W.T.


Human beings are naturally different from each other in terms of strength, knowledge, practices, work and so on. This natural belief makes the work done by man are different with each other. Hence, human beings unable to live life alone, selfish and greedy. Instead of, they need to be tolerant, to help each other, be affectionate and be cooperative in order to improve the needs of the community. Traders are successful because of consumer’s spending, while consumers are prosperous because of traders who acts as intermediaries. The need of mutuality requires entrepreneurs to interact with other party to lead them to excel. The development of economy in Islam is a concept of comprehensive and multi-dimension in which it encompasses of economic and non-economic affairs and also qualitative and quantitative. The spiritual and socio-economic development in society moves integrated to ensure man’s life is always in the right path. This concept is parallel to Islamic tasawur which disagree that the perfection and protection can only be achieved through the destruction of relation between individual’s emotion and the world. Islamic shari’a is syumul, which rejects the call of monasticism instead being realistic by promote economic activity for the society’s welfare without neglecting the hereafter.


This study received funding from Research Acculturation Collaborative Effort (RACE), Ministry of Higher Education.


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31 December 2018

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Hamid, S. A., Sa’ari, C. Z., Rahman, M. N. A., & Ishak, M. S. (2018). Social Entrepreneurship And Community Transformation Based On Islamic Tasawur. In A. Abdul Rahim, A. A. Rahman, H. Abdul Wahab, N. Yaacob, A. Munirah Mohamad, & A. Husna Mohd. Arshad (Eds.), Public Law Remedies In Government Procurement: Perspective From Malaysia, vol 52. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 708-715). Future Academy.