Creation of the Islamic Self for Sustainability: Can Muslim Entrepreneu -rship Positively Contribute to the SDGs through Tazkiya and Tarbiya of the Muslim Youth
Amana Raquib, Omar Javaid, Gulnaz Anjum
Published Online: December 2020
The self-esteem, self-image, and subsequently self-worth of young consumers all around the globe, are determined by unsustainable consumption habits. This is equally true for Muslim youth who are as vulnerable to the pressure of building their self-image as consumers. This has led to adverse effects on the ecosystem and therefore, goes against the United Nation’s sustainable development goals (Goal no. 6,7,11-15). This paper argues that by changing the criterion to gauge and establish their self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth, we can influence the degree of sustainability of the consumption patterns of young Muslim individuals. This would subsequently undo the undue pressure on the ecosystem and reduce the damage. This paper explores how the prevalent criteria of determining self-esteem and self-worth are rooted in unsustainable consumerism, trapping the planet’s ecosystem in an ever-expanding vicious cycle of production, consumption, and waste. The paper recommends the Islamic alternative of determining one’s self-worth, which then buttresses one’s self-confidence and self-esteem. The Islamic concept of self, unlike its modern counterpart, is not dependent on extrinsic factors, such as products and services acquired and consumed by an individual, but on intrinsic factors lying within each individual. Taqwa (God-consciousness and mindfulness leading to virtuosity), Qanaat (contentment with what you already have), Tawakkul (trust in the grace of Allah), Tashakkur (gratitude), and Zuhd (frugality) are key concepts and behavioral tools to bring the required transformation to the consumption patterns of Muslims, especially youth. The paper proposes ways to promote the cultivation of an Islamically informed self that derives its worth from virtuosity. This alternative Islamic self-image is to be propagated through education (both at the religious institutions and conventional universities) and Islamic entrepreneurship. Finally, the policy implications of the transformation are discussed in terms of its impact on sustainable development goals.
Self-Esteem, Consumerism, Self-Worth, Muslim Entrepreneurship, SDG, Tazkiya, Muslim Youth, Sabr (Self-Restraint).