When we talk about implementation and practice of Islamic economic system as a whole, we must look at every aspect of Islam as well. Marketing is one of the most important aspects of economics having a wide meaning and sense. Marketing involves each and every action that one performs during the time of production to selling or offering goods and services to the people. Therefore, the concept of marketing is the integral part of economy and without the concept of marketing; the economic practice cannot be performed. Marketing involves the process of attraction and awareness of certain product or service among the public and target market. In this respect, we should analyze and consider the concept of marketing with very deep thinking keeping in view the injunctions and ethical standards of Islam.
If we talk about the concept of marketing in an Islamic economy, the first stage is the consideration and thinking of launching regarding the certain product or service in the market. We must keep in mind the injunctions of Islam here and consider the nature of the certain good and service with respect to Halal and Haram. At this stage, anything that is prohibited by Islam and has no value according to Islam must not be chosen for marketing or selling as the earning would be prohibited in this regard. Any business transaction that is based upon interest or gambling must not be considered for marketing. In case of leisure, any game or activity based upon gambling is not allowed therefore casinos or other these types of activities must not present in an Islamic society. In case of educational courses, any course or education that has any contradiction with the injunctions of Islam and leading to the implementation and practice of activities that have contradiction with Islam must not be promoted or marketed among public. In case of any confusion or ignorance about something, the Shariah scholars might be consulted in this regard.
If certain product or service is Halal then the next step is the production, branding and packaging of the product. At this step, various things must be considered according to different products or services. In this respect, every product or service must be produced with appropriate standards or instructions as provided by the law of the land and Islam. For example, in case of food business, the food must not be injurious to health. In this way, healthy and Halal ingredients must be used while cooking. The food standards must be followed, and, in this respect, the relevant food inspector has a duty to inspect whether the certain food standards are followed or not. This process must be free from any obscenity and vulgarity as the Muslim must not choose obscenity as a marketing tool to attract people.
After the finalization of branding or packaging, the role of advertising or publicity arises. Advertising or publicity is the most important activity of marketing, after the finalization of certain product or service, in this age of competition. This process must not be included any such activity that is against the injunctions of Islam. Advertising and publicity of goods and services must be performed in an ethical manner without any vulgarity or obscenity. In this respect, the proper code of conduct must be designed keeping in view the injunctions of Islam. The advertising or publicity of certain product or service must not be involved any step that might the reason of any kind of loss to the competitor. This activity might spread abhorrence in the society and bring bad impact upon the economy and unhealthy competition in the society.
While advertising, the product must be portrayed towards the positive advantage and benefit to the society and not portray the negative or prohibited use as some things might be used for prohibited things and prohibited works as well therefore, the Muslim producer must also realize at this aspect that the Halal thing must be used for Halal means rather than for Haram means. While offering certain product or service, one must not tell a lie while doing promotional campaign of goods and services and tell the truth about the certain product or service with exposing and exhibiting those qualities that are present in the relevant good or service. In case of offering certain good or service, any hidden condition must be expressed clearly either it is published or conveyed verbally. Therefore, any aspect of cheating must be abolished.
In advertising, the advertisement media i.e. electronic, print or otherwise has also the duty to investigate about the genuineness of certain product or service and must not disseminate wrong information in any respect. It must not advertise or publicize the product or service that is prohibited by Islam and must also not advertise or publicize the product or service in a manner that is prohibited by Islam.
[box type=”note” align=”” class=”” width=””]The writer is a Karachi based freelance columnist and is a banker by profession. He could be reached on Twitter @ReluctantAhsan[/box]