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166 Int. J. Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2013

Islamic Shari’ah-compliant marketing

Munazza Saeed* and Aysha Karamat Baig

Riphah International University College, Main campus, sector I-14 Islamabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan E-mail: myz_munaza@yahoo.com E-mail: ayshakaramat@gmail.com *Corresponding author

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to conceptually demonstrate Islamic Shari’ah compliance in conventional marketing. We build upon two strands of literature. The first belongs to Islamic economics, Islamic business ethics, Islamic banking and finance, consumer rights, and conventional marketing, and the second focuses on Islamic Shari’ah. The lack of extensive research on Islamic marketing makes the profundity of argument limited to a certain extent. Islamic teachings are civilised, good and absolute for all time. Marketing products should be lawful, prices should be fair, and the objective should be to generate reasonable and just profit on sales. Islam does not bear intervention in the market system by hoarding, adulterating, short measuring or other forms of exploitation. This paper attempts to exclusively discuss the concept of Islamic Shari’ah marketing tactics: differentiation, marketing mix, and selling in detail.

Keywords: Islamic Shari’ah; differentiation; marketing mix; selling.

Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Saeed, M. and Baig, A.K. (2013) ‘Islamic Shari’ah-compliant marketing’, Int. J. Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp.166–178.

Biographical notes: Munazza Saeed is a Researcher and working as a Lecturer of Marketing at Riphah International University. She obtained her MS and MBA degree from Riphah International University Islamabad. Prior to that, she completed her BCom from Punjab University Lahore, Pakistan.

Aysha Karamat Baig is a Researcher and working as a Lecturer at Riphah International University. She obtained her MS in Marketing from Riphah International University Islamabad. Prior to that, she completed her BBA from GC University Faisalabad, Pakistan.

This paper is a revised and expanded version of a paper entitled ‘Islamic Shari’ah complaint marketing; theory and practice’ presented at 2nd Global Islamic Marketing Conference, Abu Dhabi, January 2012.

1

Introduction

In contemporary business, the success of companies is reliant on the tactics that are used by the marketing department to sell their products. If marketers do not understand the mind set of Muslim consumers then international investors may not only risk pushing

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away a large proportion of the Muslim market but also find themselves in direct conflict with them (Rogers et al., 1995). The intention behind understanding Islamic marketing is to establish a strong bond with consumers, and differentiate from competitors even though it is new compared to Islamic finance, economics, and banking. Islamic doctrines stipulate all economic as well as marketing operations that might be indigenised or global. In past studies, Sula and Kartajaya (2006) avowed 17 postulates of Islamic marketing that should be applied when institutions propose to rely on Islamic marketing. The authors considered three of these:

predilection towards being different and accompanying a good package through differentiation, being truthful to your marketing mix, and establishing a relationship based on selling. According to Islamic doctrines, submissions to the will of Allah is not just a matter of worshipping Him, but obeying His orders, refraining from things that are forbidden by Allah SWT (described in the Qur’an and Sunnah). As Allah says in the Qur’an: This Day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favours upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your way of life (Al-Ma’idha No. 3). Islam encourages righteous methods of dealing during any business deal and considers commerce as a crucial part of human life; Allah SWT predestined Prophet Muhammad SAWW as a successful businessman before his prophetic life (Antonio, 2007; Trim, 2009) who practiced as a truthful and honest business person. This world is handed over to humans and should be managed in accordance with Allah’s wills (Khan, 1991; Haneef, 1997; Hassan and Lewis, 2007). This trust must be utilised in all aspects of human life, including marketing. The prominence of the study is to elucidate selling, marketing mix and differentiation in the light of Islamic jurisprudence and to explore Shari’ah compliance in conventional marketing. Selected studies have endeavoured to fill in the gap between seller and buyer by recognising the major features of Islamic marketing and evaluating the borders and possible role of marketers as perceived by Shari’ah.

Research questions: Argument is provided that Shari’ah-compliant marketing (SCM) could play its role in modern activities of marketers; the questions that are going to be discussed in this paper follow:

1 What is the need of SCM?

2 What is the conceptual framework of Islamic SCM?

3 How can differentiating, marketing mix and selling be discussed in the context of SCM?

2

Need of Islamic marketing

Imam Ghazali avowed to acquire a thorough understanding of the rules of business transactions codified in Islamic Shari’ah for the person who wants to adopt trade as a profession. Islam emphasises ‘Qat Haldl’ (food earned through lawful means). A person’s whole life represents a series of activities for which he/she is responsible and will be accountable to God; similarly, commercial transactions are part of people’s lives on a daily basis, and in Islam responsibility of each transaction represents a task that must be executed in accordance with Islamic law and teachings. Pious people among Muslims are of the belief that as non-nutricious and junk food spoils our health, food earned

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through unlawful means spoils our spiritual and moral health. According to Islamic marketing all activities should be spiritualistic, ethical, realistic, and humanistic (Sula and Kartajaya, 2006). Actions are already defined in Shari’ah and therefore only will is required from believers who say Allah is our lord and Muhammad SAWW his last Prophet. The Qur’an says: Verily, for the righteous are gardens of delight, in the presence of their Lord. Shall we then treat the people of faith like the people of sin? What is the matter with you? How judge you? (68: Nos. 34–36). The rights of one person with respect to another person are defined predominantly in business transactions, and the rights of company and consumer with respect to each other are honoured as ‘Haqoq-ul-ebad’ which cannot be considered as anyone’s private affair, and may not be concerned with their economic, business, and political life. Islam is effectively operative in commerce and politics as well as in economic, domestic and social life, and condemns political shrewdness, economic exploitation, and individual dishonesty. People, at least Muslims, need to live in a way which is prescribed by Allah and his messenger (Arham, 2010). In one of the Qur’anic verses, Allah SWT said: O you who believe! Enter perfectly in Islam (by obeying all the rules and regulations of the Islamic religion) and follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). Verily, He is to you a plain enemy (Al-Baqarah No. 208).

2.1 Shari’ah-compliant marketing

Islamic course of action guarantees that the interest of all parties in a transaction, like buyers, sellers, business partners, and society, is protected. Islamic laws make businesses able to maintain a balance between their responsibilities towards the company in terms of profits, towards the customer through providing him safe and quality products, towards making sure the welfare of society or a sense of justice is required which dictates one should not be greedy in lawful earning (Saeed et al., 2001). It is the responsibility of the marketer to uphold the trust Allah (SWT) has in him through proper management of the resources bestowed upon him for the betterment of society and the surrounding environment (Abdullah, 2010). Islamic religion merits substantial importance in the field of global business ethics; literature elucidated six categories of ethical principles – truthfulness, trust, sincerity, brotherhood, justice, and science and technology, which are applicable in marketing activities (Hanafy and Salam, 1988). Indeed, truthfulness in advertisement and selling, sincerity in satisfying the needs of customers, ensuring social well-being, brotherhood and justice in dealing with business partners, ensuring fairness to all parties, and the use of science and technology for just practices would lead to sustaining the confidence and loyalty of customers. The core form of the Islamic vision is that any marketing activity that is unethical and negates the concepts of brotherhood and equality of humanity is prohibited (Saeed et al., 2001).

2.2 Muslim scholars’ criticisms of modern marketing activities

Conscious consumption of Haram things, without regret, holds the risk of spiritual or physical punishment in Islamic law or in the world hereafter. Accordingly, Muslims tend to adopt a position of avoidance in the face of doubt. As such, it is now time for marketers that want to target the Muslim market to differentiate according to the needs of the Muslim market. Islamic law is named as Shari’ah law that is formed by Islamic teachings originating from the Qur’an and the Hadith (Al-Qardawi, 2001; Wiechman

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et al., 1996). After the death of Prophet Muhammad (SAWW), the majority of Muslim scholars established a new source of Shari’ah principles that would lead to the solution of miscellaneous problems, generated with the passage of time and cross-cultural activities; that source was named Fatwa. It can permit or prohibit Muslim consumers in certain activities or behaviours such as purchasing, consuming and preferring products or services (Muhamad, 2008). Fatwa-generated principles may or may not be dependent on certain conditions. Fatwa declarations have changed the behaviour of many Muslim consumers towards many products or brands in the recent past. For example, it was circulated through short messages services and e-mails that potato crisps brand Lays (Masala) are not Halal and containing ‘E631 code’ derived from pig’s fat. That message sharply reduced the consumption of that brand in Pakistan. That was later on proved to be bogus but some people still avoid it. Similarly, Fatwa declaration caused the boycott of Danish products following the supposed inauspicious portrayal of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) by a Danish cartoonist (Bibbo, 2008). The consequences of such a Fatwa were shocking for Danish businesses which suffered momentous falls in their sales. Declaration of a Fatwa could harm the images and customer loyalty for almost two billion Muslim consumers across the world. For example, in 2000 the Indonesian Ulama council, MUI, found that an enzyme from pig is used by Chinese Salt ‘Ajinomoto’ in its production processes, and declared Haram from MUI. Fortunately, Ajinomoto confessed their mistake in time and changed that enzyme with another ingredient taken from soy beans. Now Ajinomoto has a Halal certificate from MUI that is lucrative for retaining Muslim customers.

3 Conceptual framework

for retaining Muslim customers. 3 Conceptual framework 4 Targeting Muslim market Being innovative or different is

4 Targeting Muslim market

Being innovative or different is seen as far more important today than it was some years ago. Through differentiation companies can compete in the market. An important factor which is giving rise to the practices of Islamic marketing is the sheer size of the Muslim market, which is usually estimated at between 1.5 and 2 billion consumers representing nearly a quarter of the current world population (Huda, 2009; PRC, 2009), but Muslim consumers are still an untapped market segment. Worldwide, some companies

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are differentiating their services to target Muslim consumers. For instance, Nokia differentiated its services by introducing its mobile phones in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets with a variety of many applications including ‘Islamic organiser’ with alarms for five daily prayers, downloaded Islamic ebooks, and an ecards application that lets people send SMS greeting cards for Ramadan. Unilever promoted Sunsilk Lively Clean & Fresh shampoo for those who suffer from oily scalps due to wearing any head covering. This was the result of continuous research showing that many women who wear a scarf complained of oily scalps. A television commercial was broadcasted accordingly. Unfortunately, well known shoe company ‘Nike’ committed a blunder when they manufactured a pair of athletic shoes in 1996 with a logo on the sole that resembled the Arabic letter ‘ALLAH’ (Almighty). Muslims regard it as really very unethical to produce shoes with the name of God on them. That was a real wakeup call for all companies. It was also a turning point for Muslim consumers to make marketers realise that the Muslim market exists and if they want to target them as consumers they must differentiate their products accordingly, and if not they would lose their positive image in the eyes of Muslim consumers. The type of differentiation that Prophet Muhammad SAWW made was unique for his time; this is significant as differentiating products on the basis of the sellers’ ethics might bring real impact to the quality of the products sold, differentiation of both sellers and products must be coherent, and this would lead to transparency in business deals (Arham, 2010). The differentiation that Prophet Muhammad SAWW made was his moral obligation to tell customers the defects of his products (Al-Fatih, 2009).

5 Marketing mix from an Islamic perspective

Conventional marketing means pushing the marketing substance to the target market according to the identified needs of the target market. That is why companies have been more focused on marketing mix. Although Kustin (2004) articulated that marketing mix consistency is not achievable when implementing a global marketing approach, as standardisation can only be successful in a uniform market, Jain (1989) noted that adaptation or localisation strategies are more appreciated in diverse markets (Akaah, 1991; Kustin, 1994; Duncan and Ramaprasad, 1995). Likewise, when companies have been operating in Muslim countries they must work in a planned and strategised way according to Islam. Righteous deeds are hollow without purity in matters concerned to production, consumption, and marketing, and also selling of products and services that are pure and lawful (Halal). As Prophet Muhammad SAWW said: You are not better than people with red or black skins unless you excel them in piety. Once a Bedouin asked the prophet Muhammad SAWW when the hour (doomsday) would take place? Prophet Muhammad SAWW replied: When honesty is lost, and then wait for the hour (doomsday). Any business activity in accordance with Islamic tenets is endorsed by two principles:

obedience to the honourable order of God and to work for the benevolence and betterment of God’s creations, which involves abstaining from doing harm and shunning unethical practices (Niazi, 1996).

Product: The process of production in Islam is visualised relatively different as compared to conventional marketing as the Islamic perspective integrates moral

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and transcendental essentials within the production decision-making process, directed by the principles of purity, lawfulness, value, existence, and precise purpose (Al-Misri, 1991). The key objective of the production process must be to deliver, promote and gratify basic human needs (Saeed et al., 2001) including the fact that the product must not be creating flatness of mind, public aggravation, corruption or contamination (Al-Ukhuwa, 1983). Moreover, Al-Ukhuwa categorised them into four kinds as unclean organisms (like pig), commodities which made others unclean by relationship, contaminated articles with partial destroyed usefulness (e.g., contagious garment), and products that are useful in their clean form but in contaminated form they are harmful or their usefulness is entirely shattered (e.g., unhygienic, or contaminated olive oil). For instance, Prophet Muhammad SAWW had chosen commodities to sell which are needed by all people and were not rotten (Trim, 2009).

Price: Prophet Muhammad SAWW sold his products at a price which could be absorbed by the market (Trim, 2008). He earned his profit on sales volume (Trim, 2008) using a cost leadership strategy that can be considered effective since one could enter in all market segments with the same price (Arham, 2010). It was not allowed to charge an extraordinary price or to decrease the price with intension such that a competitor would bear loss. Once second Caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattab had been passing by Hatib ibn Abi Balta'ah and found him selling raisins at a much lower price with the objective of putting his competitors up for loss. Caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattab told him: Either enhance your rate or get away from our market (Anas, 1989). Certain activities are proscribed in Islam and might direct towards price escalation, for example involvement of unnecessary middlemen (that would lead to unduly putting up their profit margins – as is the case in real estate in Pakistan), increases in price without any value addition, profit addition with no effort, and involvement of hard labour and alteration in quality or quantity of the product (Shaw, 1996). It was not acceptable to swindle the easy-going customer for illicit gains (Taymiyah, 1982). Pricing policies behind any proffered product must be cost directed accordingly. However, Islam does not prohibit price controls and manipulations to meet the needs of the market (e.g., charging higher prices as a result of natural scarcity of supply of a given commodity or setting a price ceiling to curb opportunistic tendencies among merchants (Abdullah, K., 2010). In Islam, the self-operating mechanism of price adjustments and healthy competition (Munafasah) was in fact encouraged (Al-Qur’an 83:26).

Place: On placing, Prophet Muhammad SAW prohibited the act of monopoly. Governing distribution channels has as an objective to set the price level up, which is condemned by Islamic teachings (Trim, 2009). According to Islamic principles, distribution channels are not supposed to create a burden for the final customer in terms of higher prices and delays (Al-Ukhuwa, 1983). The intent of distribution channels should be to create value and strengthen the standard of living by providing Islamic satisfactory services. Physical distribution can be examined as a set of information, people, equipment, and organisation. These principles have been followed by Islamic institutions. It is not allowed to influence the accessibility of any product with the purpose of exploitation, domination in the marketing channel or application of unnecessary influence over the re-seller’s preference for handling a product (Hassan et al., 2008).

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Promotion: Contemporise trends have been directing companies towards huge investment in advertisements to promote their products. Advertisement is the need of time nowadays, but it must be done in an appropriate manner without exaggeration, just precise and necessary, in terms of quality and contents. Islam proscribed over promising (Trim, 2008) and/or utilisation of emotional sex appeal, romantic language, partially covered young model girls in advertising campaigns to promote a product; this is strictly prohibited within the Islamic ethical framework. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: I have been sent only for the purpose of perfecting good morals. When asked ‘Which Muslim has the perfect faith?’ The Prophet (PBUH) answered: He who has the best moral character (Alghazzali, 1983). For instance, in Pakistan Yunas textiles are advertising their clothing by wearing printed clothes on dummies. It is pertinent to not conceal defects and information dispersed must encourage good deeds by portraying Islamic behaviours. It is stated in the Qur’an:

Let their arise of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam) enjoining Al-Ma’ruf and forbidding Al-Munkar and it is they who are successful (Al-Imran:

104). Consequently, all advertising messages that follow Islamic teachings must be proliferating good morals, like women in a civilised manner and clothing; their role must be symbolised as a positive input for the family and society (Rice and Al-Mossawi, 2002).

People: Islam is in favour of ‘open-minded’ and ‘self-governing judgment’ on the part of the customer. It is prerequisite in Islamic law to think rationally while making any decision in the global market (Ahmad, 1995). Society should not be deprived of honest, free from coercion marketing information. The customer has the right to get accurate information about the product and is pinpointing the status given to him by Islam, as well as of the predetermined rights of his wealth that he spends in purchasing the product of any company. Marketers have no choice for any form of coercion, regard for intellectual truthfulness, and a higher degree of awareness of consumers to make sure that the money of a customer is not wasted.

6 Selling from the Islamic perspective

The product that is to be sold should be of some value, specific, quantified, undisruptive, capable of ownership, and deliverable, and must be in possession of the seller at the time of sale. Islamic business ethics are also against the purchase of stolen goods, as Prophet Muhammad SAWW said: He, who buys the stolen property, with knowledge that it was stolen, shares in the sin and shame of stealing (Beekun, 1997) and extra cost-added features must be identified which affect the buyer’s purchase decisions. To achieve the organisational goals company must be more effective than competitors in creating, delivering (selling), and communicating customer value to its target market (Kotler, 2003). Concern does not surround the fact that companies are trying hard to become more competitive than their competitors, but the issue in Islamic marketing is whether or not they are gaining a competitive edge through a righteous path and that the practice used is in the favour of society. Islamic marketers must be able to incorporate the spirit of Islam in all aspects of marketing activities, from planning to after sale services (Sula and Kartajaya, 2006).

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Islamic marketing also talks about sale and trade in detail. Prophet Muhammad SAWW elucidated the ‘don’ts’ of sale and trade: putting low-quality and high-quality products in the same place (Al-Fatih, 2009), using a descriptive image instead of visual inspection, and inexact expression of quantity and quality of goods (Al-Ukhuwa, 1983) are extremely proscribed. Allah SWT said in the Qur’an: O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves wrongly except it is a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is most merciful to you (An-Nisa No. 29). From the above verse it can be deduced that no business is possible unless both the parties agreed to the deal. Here, ‘wrongly’ has two dimensions. The first is moral prohibitions, like telling a lie, dishonesty, and cheating. Deen (Islam) just confirms these prohibitions otherwise man by intuition knows what is wrong. The second includes those things that are prohibited by Islamic Shari’ah, like interest, Ihtikar, adulteration, Khiyar-e-Aib, selling a fictional commodity, giving less in measure and weight, and taking oath just to sell goods.

6.1 Challenges in adoption of Shari’ah-compliant selling

Marketing decisions are generally based on conventional marketing, through designing strategic philosophy and taking business decisions, marketing decision processes that are based on Islamic marketing are burgeoning, or somehow inexistent. The challenges for doing business in Islamic countries arise from the fact that people have diverse management styles, communication values, and decision-making processes, and are usually dependent on their religious values. Muslims are one of the largest consumer markets in the world, and today the position of Islamic marketing as a new and isolated discipline is exclusive due to an identified need and demand generated by consumers. More significantly, existing schools of brand and frameworks appear to have gaps which require investigation and modification. For any commodity to be Islamic, it must be considered commendable and pure. However, wickedness would not be considered Islamic. While operating in any Muslim country, marketers have to avoid these things in any business transaction; the biggest challenge for them is to operate in accordance with Islamic values and avoid that which is not permissible.

6.2 Riba (interest)

In the past people used to say that Riba and trade are the same as both give profit and increase the capital. If trade is permissible then Riba is also permissible. But Allah SWT denied their claim in the Qur’an: Those who eat usury will not stand on the day of (Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by the devil (Satan). The intent of this part is to promulgate business ethics under the umbrella of Islamic jurisprudence. Trade had been based on mutual consent, cooperation and sharing of profit and loss for both parties; on the other hand, Riba is certainty of profit for one party, but uncertainty of results for the second party. Moreover, it is not permissible to market Riba-based products like those of conventional banks as most Muslim consumers are more likely to get Islamic banking services.

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Ihtikar (hoarding): If one purchases a certain commodity in bulk quantity and stocks

it with the objective to sell it later at a time of scarcity, to earn maximum profit, it is

a clear case of consumer exploitation and condemned by Islam. Prophet Muhammad SAWW said: No one hoarded but the sinner (Sahih Al Muslim No. 3912). The

importer of an essential commodity into a town will be fed by Allah, and the hoarder will have Allah’s curse upon him (Ibn Majah No. 2144). All possible kinds of hoarding are prohibited in the law of trading in Islam.

Adulteration: To make food or drink less pure. While ignoring mutual benefit, one is selling low quality products at the price of good quality products. Nowadays, this is taken as a tool of profit maximisation, with no care of loss on the part of their brothers, which is why the concept of brotherhood is navigated in our religion. Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) said: The one who adulterates is not amongst us (Sahih Al Muslim). Caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattab wasted the milk of milkmen who added water in it.

Taking oath in a business transaction: The traders who take oath in selling to make sure that their products are of good quality or try to sell their products by involving Allah’s name. It is prohibited in Shari’ah to take oath in any kind of business transaction just to make the deal. Nowadays it can be taken as false claims of marketers about a certain product. Abu Huraira (Allah PBWH) said he heard Allah’s messenger (SAWW) as saying: swearing produces a ready sale for a commodity, but vanished the blessing (Sahih Al Muslim No. 3913; Sahih Al Bukhari No. 904).

Khiyar-e-Aib (sale of defective goods): Sellers are not allowed to conceal anything from their buyers during a transaction (Trim, 2008). One cannot market defective goods without explaining the defects in terms of clarity, if found defective. Hakim Ibn Hizam narrated: The Prophet (SAWW) said that: The one who buys and the one who sells have the option to cancel or to confirm the deal, as long as they have not parted or until they part, and if they are honest and described what they sell

truthfully, then there will be blessing in their bargain. But if they are dishonest and concealed the truth then the blessing of their bargain will be wiped out (Sahih Al Bukhari No. 951). The concept behind the above Hadith is that it is proscribed to sell

a thing without describing its defects. A buyer has the full right as destined by Islam to return the commodity in case of any defect which depreciates the value of the goods. Prophet Muhammad SAWW never concealed anything from his customers, including any defects that his products contained. Al-Fatih (2009) also added that informing about the defects of the products sold was something of a must for Prophet Muhammad SAWW.

Sale of Al-Gharar (selling a nonexistent commodity): This refers to the sale of a product which is not present or comes into existence at a later date, and the quality of which is not known. Sellers are prohibited to sell something that does not exist (Trim, 2009). According to Islamic selling, if a non-existent thing has been sold, even with mutual consent of buyer and seller, the sale is void. Prophet Muhammad SAWW forbade the sale of fruit before they look healthy or a sale of what is in the womb of a she-camel.

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Short measuring: Bias in measuring is a scheme to make the trading system impure and clumsy. The scaling needs to be as precise as possible (Trim, 2009). When a trader gives short measures to a customer then the contract is void. As Allah says in the Qur’an: Woe unto the defrauders: Those who when they take the measure from mankind demand it full, but if they measure unto them or weigh for them, they cause them loss (Al-Mutaffifeen Nos. 1-2-3). The upper coated verses were revealed at the time when Muhammad SAWW migrated to Madina; Alama Tabri (R.A) narrated it on the authority of Hazrat Abdullah Bin Abbas R.T.A (may Allah be pleased with him): When Prophet Hazrat Muhammad SAWW went to Madina Munawarah, the people of Madina were defrauders in sale, they were used to selling with dual measures. Prophet Muhammad SAWW taught them to be pure and true in measuring (Tabri tafseer Nos. 1-2-3). Scale must display 1 Kg if the commodity is 1 Kg (Arham, 2010). Islamic trading laws give the lesson of goodness more than justice. The Holy Qur’an stressed the importance of fairness in business transactions as:

And, O my people give full measure and weight justly, and defraud not men of their things, and act not corruptly in the land making mischief. What remains with Allah is better for you, if you are believer (HUD Nos. 85–86).

7

Conclusion and implications

Islamic practices are based on divinity and faith and it can appear, at times, to be in conflict with contemporary conventional marketing practices.

According to the Islamic perspective, such pursuits based on satisfying material objectives alone will impede the rational thinking of people and will make them slaves of marketing firms. Islam, above all, respects freedom and offers a means of freeing human beings from all restraints of enslavement, including that of international marketers.

Islamic ethical guidelines, based on human nature, encapsulate its spiritual dimension and thus cannot be compared with other artificial, purely physical constraints. Since human nature is basically the same irrespective of time, culture, economic status, race or creed, a global ethical business framework based on the Islamic principles of value maximisation will be applicable for all times and across all cultures.

It has been concluded that Islamic teaching of marketing could be used in marketing tactics. Islamic teachings are civilised. They create wisdom of responsibility and accountability in the mind of believers, be they buyers or sellers.

The author’s proposition that Islamic teaching could be used as a marketing tool shows that marketing science could stand very well with religious matters. Islam does not bear intervention in the market system by hoarding, adulterating or other forms of exploitation.

In Islamic business ethics deceiving a buyer is a sin. Islam not only deliberates the relation between Creator and Human but inter-human relations and with the entire universe. This paper clearly indicates that there is no room for dishonesty,

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manipulation, deception or other kinds of malpractice to exist in modern marketing tactics.

Managers should not suppose Muslims to be an identical and already existing segment. They should focus on the business practices that are described by Shari’ah and introduce healthy practices to burgeon and capture a majority of the Muslim market, given that Muslim consumers need great attention and identify important ethical issues in marketing tactics that are conflicting with the philosophy of Islam.

Customer loyalty always remains a prime concern for business organisations, so managers need to be attentive of the religious perception of consumers in order to become successful in marketing their products and achieve public acceptance.

The foremost pertinent point to emphasise is that Muslim consumers feel more comfortable with marketing practices carried out by businesses. Information about the target Muslim market will be valuable for both businesses and Muslim consumers in identifying the gap between Muslim consumer expectations and current business practices with respect to Islamic marketing. Once the gap is known it will make easier for businesses to improve on the present situation.

7.1 Limitations and future research

The lack of research on Islamic marketing makes the profundity of argument limited to a certain extent.

Experimental validation still needs to be done.

This paper has discussed only three concepts of conventional marketing within the Islamic perspective.

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Further reading

Al-Qur’an, translated and interpreted by Marmaduke Pickthall, Al-Qur’an, translated and interpreted by Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan, King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran, Madinah. Al-Qur’an, translated and interpreted by Professor Shah Farid-ul-Haque from Kanz-al-eeman. Ibn Majah. Kanz ul Amal. Mishqat Shareef. Sahih Al Bukhari, translated by Mr. and Mrs. Zaidan. Sahih Al Muslim, translated by Abdul Hamid Sidqiui.