This is a document outlining the development of a Code of Business Ethics for SMBF.
The document outlines.
- The Islamic principles underlying a code of conduct, these are drawn from the primary Islamic texts – The Quran and Hadith – and academic articles and books by Islamic business scholars seeking to articulate a code of Islamic Business ethics on the basis of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
- An outline of a set of practical applied business ethics which may form the basis of a code of conduct expected from SMBF members.
‘We create networks to support Muslim businesses and professionals across the world, in order to empower and inspire the international Muslim community.’
The purpose of a code of conduct
All members of SMBF should embody noble character, morality, and ethical conduct (akhlaq) in their business activities in the Muslim community (ummah) and in dealings with other non-Muslim communities.
At the core of Islamic business ethics is a commitment to trust, honesty, and fair treatment of all stakeholders involved in business activities. We believe following Islamic ethics in our business activities is an act of worship and will produce positive business, personal and social outcomes.
This code of ethics is intended to enable SMBF to build a Muslim business network which builds trust and encourages cooperation, collaboration and community amongst Muslim business owners and professionals.
Core Islamic ethical assumptions
The SMBF business ethics are based on core principles from Islam.
- God’s unity (tawhid) – a person’s relationship with Allah, through the unity of the economic, religious, and social aspects of our life
- Justice and balance (adl) – equity and balance, to behave justly to all. Do things in a proportionate manner and avoid extremes. (Qist) – to give everyone and everything their proper due, share, portion, measure, allotment, or amount. A person should be just in every aspect of their life to all people, things and at all times.
- Trusteeship (khilafah), people are entrusted with the resources given to them by Allah. (Amanah) the wealth and resources that mankind has access to are not owned but are in trust from Allah and we are responsible for their stewardship, care, and use.
- Moderation (wasat or I’tidal) – eliminating excess and deficiencies and seeking a sense of balance. Maintaining the balance between the needs of the body, mind and soul while providing everyone and everything their due.
- Benevolence (ihsaan) kindness to others – is an act which benefits persons other than those for whom the act proceeds without obligation. Conducting business activities and working to the highest standards to the best of your abilities for the love of Allah.
- Free will – a person’s ability to act without external coercion and to be responsible for their actions within the parameters of Allah’s creation and as Allah’s trustee on earth.
As a member of SMBF I commit to the following code of business ethics in my business and professional activities.
My customers and the clients I serve:
My primary responsibility is to provide the best quality products and services to those who use our products and services.
- I will work to improve my costs of operation in order to charge reasonable prices.
- Products and services will be delivered in a timely and efficient manner without errors to the best of my ability.
- I will be truthful and transparent when describing my products and services to customers or clients.
- I will not deny products or services to any customers on the basis of race, religion, gender, or national origin.
My suppliers and distributors
- I will source good quality suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, or business to business services to ensure I meet the needs of my customers in the best manner possible.
- I will ensure my suppliers and distributors make a fair profit.
- I shall neither offer nor accept any bribe, or other un-Islamic inducement in transactions with suppliers and distributors or any other stakeholders.
- I will be transparent and honest in dealings with suppliers and honour the fulfilment of contracts, commitment, and promises.
- My business commitments and obligations will be in a written contract agreed by all parties in accordance with Islamic principles.
My employees, workers, and volunteers
- I will ensure every employee, worker or volunteer will work in safe and clean conditions.
- I will ensure my employees and workers will receive fair and adequate salary, wages and benefits paid in a timely manner and in accordance with their contracts.
- I will ensure volunteers will receive fair, adequate, and timely reimbursement of legitimate expenses incurred in voluntary activities for my organisation.
- I will ensure employees, workers and volunteers will have ample opportunities to develop their education and skills.
- I will ensure employees will be free to make suggestions, criticisms, or complaints without fear of retribution or victimisation.
- I will safeguard employees, workers, and volunteers’ rights to privacy, protect them from any form of bullying or harassment and respect their dignity at all times.
- I will ensure the company, directors and managers will clearly communicate to all employees, workers or volunteers what is expected of them in carrying out their work and duties.
- I will conduct all consultation and negotiations with employees, workers, and volunteers in good faith and with integrity.
- I will encourage every employee, worker, and volunteer to take personal responsibility to ensure their actions agree with Islamic values and the Code of Ethics of the company.
- I will expect and encourage my employees to honour their obligations to work diligently and protect the secrecy, interests, resources, and privacy of the business.
- I will not engage in monopolistic or unethical behaviour which precludes others from competing with my business, organisation or accessing employment opportunities.
- I will compete fairly without engaging in un-Islamic tactics, such as bribery, fraud, deception, hoarding, price manipulation, trading in uncertainty and products I do not possess.
My stockholders and investors
- I will work to the best of my ability to ensure a fair return to my stockholders and investors, by following the principles of Islamic business ethics.
- I will only engage in business activities which benefit others and society (halal) and will not engage in harmful business activities (haram) such as the production and sale of alcohol, prostitution, gambling, trading in stolen goods, interest on capital (riba), or any other activities which go against Islam.
- I will use investor and stockholders’ funds in a cost-efficient manner in all activities when developing the business, including research and development in products, services, or the expansion of the operations of the company.
- I will compensate our employees and workers equitably and offer them the option of purchasing a stake in the business in accordance with Islamic principles, which will not negatively affect their salary or benefits.
- I will maintain appropriate financial reserves and resources in the business to enable the operation of the business in difficult times.
- I will exercise careful judgement over the use of company finances and resources and avoid unnecessary, wasteful, or excessive expenditure to ensure I provide an Islamically acceptable rate of return to my shareholders and investors.
- I will support the community in which I live as well as the whole ummah, in an ethical, professional, and personal capacity where possible.
- I will be a good citizen, paying my fair share of taxes and contributing to the welfare of the needy and destitute.
- I will follow national and international law in all my personal and business activities.
- I will pay my zakat annually.
- I will protect and enhance the environment and natural resources, in my capacity as a Khalifa on the earth, and ensure my use of the environment and natural resources for business and professional activities is sustainable.
- I will treat all equally and fairly the community and not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, disability, or gender according to Islamic principles, as all are equal in the eyes of Allah.