Edited by Abbas J. Ali
Chapter 7: Brand Islam and the marketing of Muslim ethics to a global audience
The ancient Muslim tradition of commerce along the silk roads and spice trade routes has been given a facelift and rebranded into a phenomenon termed ‘Brand Islam’ by Wilson et al. (2013). Here is a revival of the celebration of profiting from prophet hood (Wilson, 2012a). Today, the terms Islamic marketing and branding have emerged as new business specialisms, following the caravan of Islamic finance and halal commerce, founded on a desire to bring Islamic principles and for them to travel beyond the Muslim world. At the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), held for the first time outside of the Muslim world, in London on 29–31 October 2013, the Malaysian prime minister, H. E. Dato’ Sri MohdNajibTun Abdul Razak, recounted the story of Khadijah, the first convert to Islam: ‘Of all the merchants in Mecca, she was the most successful; an entrepreneur who managed an international trading empire. One day, she hired a young man by the name of Mohammed (pbuh), who she would eventually marry.’ This was the same Mohammed (pbuh) who at the age of 25 married 40-year-old Khadijah and then, later, as a 40-year-old man, received a revelation from the angel Gabriel, thus anointing him as the Prophet of Islam. We are seeing Muslims searching for a way to reach out and harness the spirit of spirituality in a post 9/11 era.
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