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nt. J. Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 31, No. 2, 201
Copyright © 2017 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Entrepreneurial intentions from an Islamic
perspective: a study of Muslim entrepreneurs in
School of Economic and Business,
Faculty of Business and Economics,
South East European University,
Dini Turipanam Alamanda
School of Economic and Business,
La Trobe Business School,
La Trobe University,
Kingsbury Drive, Bundoora 3086, Melbourne, Australia
Faculty of Economics,
Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo
Abstract: Entrepreneurship is part of the way of life in Islam, which has its
own way of doing business as stated in the Quran and Hadith. In Islam,
intention is an important factor in identifying someone’s motivations and
characteristics in establishing entrepreneurial activities. This study aims at
providing insights on the dimension and concept of entrepreneurial intentions
from an Islamic perspective on Muslim entrepreneurs in Indonesia. A survey is
166 G. Anggadwita et al.
conducted over 250 Muslim entrepreneurs in Indonesia as a source of primary
data to investigate the intentions and characteristics of Indonesian Muslim
entrepreneurs, including their motivations in choosing an entrepreneurial
career. Based on prior researches, entrepreneurial intentions in the perspective
of Islam has sincerity and worship God (activities of spiritual, social and
economic) as two primary attributes. This study confirms that all human
actions, particularly regarding to entrepreneurial activity, have always begun
with intents and impacts on the entrepreneurial characters of five main
attributes: fathonah, amanah, siddiq, tabligh, and istiqomah, and may have
been contributing to promoting a further success of Muslim entrepreneurs.
Keywords: entrepreneurial intentions; entrepreneurial characters; Islamic
perspective; Muslim entrepreneurs.
Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Anggadwita, G.,
Ramadani, V., Alamanda, D.T., Ratten, V. and Hashani, M. (2017)
‘Entrepreneurial intentions from an Islamic perspective: a study of Muslim
entrepreneurs in Indonesia’, Int. J. Entrepreneurship and Small Business,
Vol. 31, No. 2, pp.165–179.
Biographical notes: Grisna Anggadwita is a Lecturer of the School of
Economic and Business, Business Management of Telecommunications and
Informatics Department, Telkom University, Indonesia. She teaches courses in
entrepreneurship, small business management, e-commerce, and business
process. Her research interests include entrepreneurial intention, technology
management, women entrepreneurship, business incubator, and innovation
Veland Ramadani is an Associate Professor at South-East European
University, Republic of Macedonia where he teaches both undergraduate and
postgraduate courses in entrepreneurship and small business management. His
research interests include entrepreneurship, small business management and
venture capital investments. He has authored around 60 research articles and
12 text-books. Also, he serves as a member of editorial and reviewer board of
several international journals.
Dini Turipanam Alamanda is a Lecturer of Business Statistics, Mathematical
Economics, Strategic and Games, and Strategic Management in Faculty
Economics and Business, Telkom University. She joins the interest group of
strategic and decision making and game theory application and modelling is her
Vanessa Ratten is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at
La Trobe University. Her main teaching and research areas are management,
innovation and entrepreneurship. She has written numerous books and articles
on areas including sport entrepreneurship, European entrepreneurship, Asian
entrepreneurship, technological innovation and cloud computing.
Medain Hashani is an Acting Dean of Faculty of Economics, AAB College,
Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo, where he teaches both undergraduate and
postgraduate courses in accounting and research methodology. His research
interests include accounting, revision and investments.
Entrepreneurial intentions from an Islamic perspective 167
Entrepreneurship has been widely recognised as accelerating the economic development
(Hisrich et al., 2012; Ramadani et al., 2014, 2013b). It may have been contributing to the
development through the creation of employment opportunities, increased wealth and
income, and the linking of local economy to the global arena (Henderson, 2002). Religion
is basically posited as a set of rules governing the relationship between humans and God,
humans and their fellows, and humans and the environment (Kahmad, 2000; Robertson,
1998). Kenneth Boulding (1970) has stated that religious may have influenced the
economy. Although science and technology, investment and natural resources are factors
that have been influencing the development of the economy, religion has also been
considered as an important element in shaping the work ethic of the community.
Furthermore, religion has been stated as having an important role in shaping the
economy of a country. According to Weber (2002), the economic progress of several
countries in Europe and the USA under capitalism is mainly affected by the Protestant
Ethics. Another study conducted by Bellah (1985), which has stated the value of hard
work to achieve success, is also present in Tokugawa religion that has been the critical
foundation of Japanese capitalism building with a marvellous economic development.
Besides, Bellah (1985) has also considered Chinese entrepreneurship as being grown and
thriven within the Confucianism faith. In short, religion may have been affecting
entrepreneurial activities, a person’s decision to become an entrepreneur, a company’s
management style, and a networking among entrepreneurs (Dana, 2009, 2010; Dodd and
In particular, Islam is a religion that also encourages entrepreneurial activities
(Audretsch et al., 2007). In Islam, intention is an important factor in identifying the
characteristics and motivations of a person in establishing entrepreneurial activities. In
short, intention is critical in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad has said that all the deeds
depend on the intention, and that all the action depends on the intention. Besides, the
Prophet Muhammad has also said: “The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and
every person will get the reward according to what he has intended” (Hadith Bukhari),
while according to Allah SWT in the Quran: “Whoever works righteousness, whether
male or female, while being a believer, We will grant him a good life-and We will reward
them according to the best of what they used to do” [Quran: Al-Nahl 16:97]. However,
the current spirit and interest of Muslims to establish their entrepreneurial participation
by applying business ethics in conformance with Islamic values are in fact relatively low.
The benefits of entrepreneurship include jobs creation, thus contributing more to the
welfare of Muslims in particular and all mankind in general.
In recent decades, concerns on entrepreneurial intentions have been increasing among
policymakers, academia and practitioners. Ajzen (1991) has stated that an intention is a
motivating factor that influences behaviour, indicating how planning efforts are being
made to conduct an action. In fact, every human action is preceded by at least an
intention. In particular, entrepreneurial intentions are influenced by a number of factors
within an integral framework, which involves various internal, external and contextual
factors (Johnson, 1990; Ratten, 2013; Stewart et al., 1998). Internal factors include
168 G. Anggadwita et al.
socio-demographic factors, character and traits, e.g. age, gender, work experience, family
background and others that may affect a person’s entrepreneurial behaviour (Johnson,
1990; Nishanta, 2008). External factors include elements of the environment and
contextual conditions. Ajzen (1993) has noted the person’s intentions towards
entrepreneurship as being regarded as a main predictor for becoming an entrepreneur. In
sum, entrepreneurial intention is a commitment to involve in generating new ideas and do
something new or differently for the ultimate purpose of creating wealth for individuals
and adding value to the society (Tan, 2007).
Still, prior studies on Islamic entrepreneurship are quite limited, hence this study
would act as part of literature on Islam focusing on entrepreneurial intentions. To get into
existing literature, Islamic religious laws are investigated, particularly ones associated
with entrepreneurial intentions and characteristics of entrepreneurs who have run
businesses to obtain the blessing of Allah SWT. Thus, this study aims to provide an
overview of the concepts and dimensions of entrepreneurial intentions from an Islamic
perspective as an initial step to achieve an entrepreneurial success. The aim is taken by
observing a notion in which the success of Islamic businesses may have been depending
on a combination of ethical, social, and economic environment according to Islamic
religious laws (Anggadwita et al., 2015).
To deliver a good structure of explanations, this paper is organised as follows:
Section 2 elaborates potential relations between Islam and entrepreneurship, while
Section 3 attempts to elaborate the research design; findings are presented in Section 4;
then, Section 5 provides discussion and conclusions on the research results.
2 Islam and entrepreneurship
In 2010, the Pew Research Center has found that Muslim population covers 23.2% of the
world’s total population. The growth of Muslims in the world has strengthened Islam as a
religion and put Islamic teachings in various sectors, including entrepreneurship. Muslim
entrepreneurs may incorporate Islamic principles in their business, while company’s
spiritual concepts may possibly be taken by Muslim entrepreneurs in running their
business into both system and corporate culture. Islam would thrive if Muslim
entrepreneurs are able to apply the teachings of Islam with goodness either in life or in
Furthermore, Ghoul (2015), Ramadani et al. (2015a) and Vargas-Hernández et al.
(2010) have proposed that entrepreneurship is part of Islamic culture, while Islam invites
all Muslims to become entrepreneurs. Besides, Kriger and Seng (2005) have argued that
Muslims may see economy as a tool for spiritual purposes, where prosperity means a
good life. Islam considers the positive extrinsic aspects of works, while the work ethic of
Islam argues that an involvement in economic activities is obligatory. Based on
the Quran, Islam supports a free-trade, and profit is legitimate as long as it is consistent
with Islamic ethics and not exploits others (Yousef, 2000; Ludwig, 2001). Islamic
teachings have also shown a positive relationship between Islam and the values of
intrinsic jobs. Then, Yousef (2000) has explained that any work is considered a source of
independence and a means to encourage personal growth, self-esteem, satisfaction, and
Entrepreneurial intentions from an Islamic perspective 169
The concept of entrepreneurship in Islam is based on cooperation, generosity, and
benevolence. In parallel, Islam strictly prohibits any monopoly, exploitation, fraud or
usury transactions. Thus, every Muslim entrepreneur should maintain good deeds and
avoid evil by being honest, fair and accurate in every transaction (Ismail, 2006).
Vargas-Hernández et al. (2010) have argued that “Islam is a complete way of life. There
is no separation between business and religion. Islam has its own entrepreneurial culture
and principles based on the Quran and Hadith to guide business operations... People the
first should be a Muslim, then a businessman”. On the other hand, Farid (2007) has
conducted a research over Muslim entrepreneurs in Egypt and found that religion is a
major force in shaping personal and managerial values, including attitudes toward
status/wealth, contribution to society, family relationships, personal and professional
fulfilments, and economic security and jobs.
According to Krueger (2007), entrepreneurship is intentional in nature and may come
through a choice and not by accident. Besides, an entrepreneurial intention indicates any
effort a person is willing to make to conduct entrepreneurial behaviour. In fact, an
intention is based on three primary motivational factors that influence the ultimate
behaviour (Liñán, 2004; Liñán and Chen, 2009). In 2015, Olmosa and Castillo have
suggested that the theory of personality traits (kindness, need for achievement, risk,
extroversion, tolerance for ambiguity, inner control, and neuroticism) is the most
plausible theory to explain entrepreneurial intentions among students. Besides, Gray et al.
(2006) have explained that in Islam an entrepreneur is supposed to be one who works
hard and possesses expertise and management skills. The holistic characteristics of a
Muslim entrepreneur have embedded the rule of metaphysics, which is abstract such as
sin, merit, hell and heaven that may have been becoming the triggers to many human
behaviour in establishing the structure of their entrepreneurial development (Faizal et al.,
3 Research design
The current study aims at analysing entrepreneurial intentions from an Islamic
perspective. Sources taken include primary and secondary data. A survey was conducted
over 250 Muslim entrepreneurs selected by using a random sampling to get a better
profile of Muslim entrepreneurs in Indonesia, including their current situations,
intentions, characters and religious perspectives. The response rate was found at 83%.
The survey was conducted during September to November 2015 in several cities in
Indonesia. Descriptive method and content analysis are taken in the data analysis.
Content analysis is a type of document analysis to describe and quantify the phenomenon
in a systematic and objective way (Krippendorff, 1980; Wamboldt, 1992; Sandelowski,
1995). The method allows researchers to improve their understanding of a set of data to
test theoretical issues. Content analysis was first used in the 19th century (Harwood and
Garry, 2003) as a method of analysing various types of documents (Cole, 1988) such as
newspapers, magazine articles, advertisements and political speeches. In the current case,
the content analysis was taken to analyse a relationship between findings from the survey
170 G. Anggadwita et al.
with Islamic religious laws contained in the Quran and Hadith. Thus, content analysis
method may help researchers establish a conceptual framework to describe the
importance of developing entrepreneurial intentions of Muslims based on these two main
Islamic sources. After analysing contents, a descriptive analysis was then conducted to
elaborate entrepreneurship in the perspective of Islam. According to Elliott and Timulak
(2005), there are three key aspects in a descriptive approach, focusing on fact-finding,
point out the important features of the phenomenon, and the triangulation strategy.
4.1 Profile of respondents
Women cover a bigger portion of the participating respondents with 53.6%, while male
only covers 46.4% of all respondents. The results show that 54% of Muslims
entrepreneurs in Indonesia have been managing micro-businesses (turnover less than
300 million/years), while 26% have small businesses (300 million – 2.5 billion/years),
16% are managing medium-sized businesses (2.5–50 billion/years), and only 4% are
currently managing large businesses (> 50 billion/years). With respect to their presence in
the business world, 15% of Muslim entrepreneurs have been starting a business less than
a year, 25% between one to three years, 30% between four to six years, 15% between
seven to ten years, while 15% have at least a business for more than ten years.
Furthermore, Muslim entrepreneurs in Indonesia appear to start a business when they
were between 25–35 years old. There are 28.8% who answer that they started their
businesses while younger than 25 years old. Besides, 41.6% started their own businesses
in between 25–35 years old, 17.6% between 36–45 years old, and 12% started their
businesses when they have reached beyond 45 years. In terms of educational background,
the majority of Muslim entrepreneurs has obtained higher education degrees. About 48%
have had undergraduate/master/doctorate degrees, while 8% have associate degrees, 36%
graduated from senior high school, and only 8% have junior high school as their latest
Next, Indonesian Muslim entrepreneurs do businesses in various sectors, in which
44.8% are operating in the culinary sector, 7.2% in handicraft, 2.4% in apps technology
(mobile apps, games, etc.), 33.6% in fashion, 2.4% in design, and the rest 9.6% in other
sectors. In other words, most of Muslims entrepreneurs in Indonesia have managed to
establish their businesses in the culinary sector.
On the other hand, an important question is related to the motivations of Muslim
entrepreneurs in starting their own businesses. About 48% of the respondents state that
their main motive is to satisfy personal interests such as profit gathering, recognition,
social status and a desire to have their own business than working for others in
companies. The number is followed by 30% respondents who are motivated by creating
jobs for others, thereby reducing the level of unemployment, while 10% of the
respondents are motivated by a desire to improve the welfare of the community. Then,
the rest 12% are motivated by a chance to meet the economic needs of their families.
Entrepreneurial intentions from an Islamic perspective 171
Table 1 Profile of respondents
No. Profiles Categories Frequencies Percentages (%)
1 Gender Wanita 134 53.6
Pria 116 46.4
2 Age Less than 25 years 72 28.8
25–35 years 104 41.6
36–45 years 44 17.6
More than 45 years 30 12
Junior high school 20 8
Senior high school 90 36
Diploma 20 8
Bachelor degree/master/doctor 120 48
Culinary 112 44.8
Handicraft 18 7.2
(mobile apps, games, etc.)
Fashion 84 33.6
Design 6 2.4
Others 24 9.6
5 Motives Family needs 30 12
Improve social welfare 25 10
Creating jobs 75 30
Personal ambition 120 48
4.2 Entrepreneurial Intentions
4.2.1 The importance of intentions
An intention is the will, plan and purpose to do something. Based on the study, all
respondents state that intention is important in starting any activity. In fact, there are
various perspectives of the respondents in understanding the definition of intention.
Figure 1 exhibits perspectives of the respondent on the definition of intention.
Furthermore, the results show that 74.4% of respondents are referring intention as the
willingness/desire to do activities. About 11.2% of respondents consider that intention is
the sincerity in doing something. It is parallel with Islamic laws, which state that
intention is an act of worship to get closer to Allah SWT. Based on the definition,
intention refers to sincerity. The rest 14.4% are distributed equally into two groups,
which respectively state that intention is the seriousness and the state of goals and
purposes. These following opinions suggest the importance of intention in initiating any
activities from a religious perspective.
“Intention is the basis of what we do. Without the intention, what we do would
not be taken seriously.”
172 G. Anggadwita et al.
Figure 1 Respondents’ perception on intentions
Another respondent state:
“Intention is a statement regarding the specification of an activity, including its
motivation and purpose. A statement means there will be indicators that must
be met in order to achieve objectives, including ways to achieve goals, and is a
prayer to achieve a goal because anything verbally stated is a prayer.”
For a Muslim, running a business is an act of worship that must begin with an intention of
the sacred, the right way, the right purpose and results. The right intention may obtain a
guarantee of success of Allah SWT. Islam gives a great attention because it is the driving
spirit of our bodies. Ones will only be rewarded when ones intend to do activities because
of Allah. Imam Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalani has said that “indeed intentions, it’s back on
sincere, and sincerity has no partner for Him”.
4.2.2 Entrepreneurial intentions from the perspective of Islam
Entrepreneurship from an Islamic viewpoint is an aspect of life included into mu’amalah,
which cover issues related to horizontal relationships between people and would be
accountable in the afterlife. Entrepreneurial spirits found in the Quran verses Hud: 61,
Al-Mulk: 15 and Al-Jumuh: 10 indicate that human is ordered to the prosperity of the
Earth and bring it to a better direction, while also instructed to seek luck. Entrepreneurial
spirits found in the Quran are described as follows:
And to Thamood, their brother Saleh. He said, “O my people, worship God,
you have no god other than Him. He initiated you from the earth, and settled
you in it. So seek His forgiveness, and repent to Him. My Lord is Near and
Responsive” [Quran: Hud 11:61].
“It is He who made the earth manageable for you, so travel its regions, and eat
of His provisions. To Him is the Resurgence.” [Quran: Al-Mulk 16:97]
“…commerce is like usury. But God has permitted commerce, and has
forbidden usury.” [Quran: Al-Baqarah 2:275]
Figure 2 presents the results of an identification over the entrepreneurial intentions of
Muslim entrepreneurs in Indonesia.
Entrepreneurial intentions from an Islamic perspective 173
Figure 2 Entrepreneurial intentions and motives of respondents
Based on the survey, 36% of respondents have the entrepreneurial intention to receive the
blessing of Allah SWT, while there are 30% of respondents have the entrepreneurial
intention to worship Allah SWT. Besides, 18% have the entrepreneurial intention to
achieve personal ambitions, e.g. social status. Then, the rest 16% have the entrepreneurial
intentions to looking for profit. From an Islamic perspective, intention is more critical
than its results (Syed and Ali, 2010). Based on the study on the importance of
entrepreneurial intentions in the perspective of Islam, some respondents state:
“Good intentions will surely guide activities and deliver good business results.”
“Good intentions are realized with a good action as well, and will lead to good
Furthermore, any intention must be accompanied by sincerity, but sincerity alone is not
enough to guarantee our deeds accepted by Allah SWT if it is not in conformance with
Islamic laws provided in the Quran and Hadith. In addition, this study suggests that an
entrepreneurial intention is a form of worship to God. Some respondents state:
“If our intention is good then the business would be a good thing anyway, more
useful for others, and blessing of course.”
“The intention is the most important thing in worship. Entrepreneurship is one
form of worship to Allah SWT, but we cannot just rely on the intention of
worship in our business, but also real efforts.”
Muslim entrepreneurs who are involved in doing business is one of the manifestations of
worship to describe the obedient and subservient to Allah SWT and get His blessing. As
stated in the Quran verses Adh-Dhariyat, 51:56, “I did not create the jinn and the humans
except to worship Me”. The current study also discovers that entrepreneurial intentions in
Islam give some basic principles for Muslim entrepreneurs to conduct businesses
according to Islamic laws. Muslim entrepreneurs hold rules, including no harm to others,
the rules of buying and selling based on the Islamic laws, and establishing good social
174 G. Anggadwita et al.
4.3 Entrepreneurial characteristics
Prior researches have shown that the characteristics of entrepreneurs are associated with
their performance to achieve the success or failure of their efforts, which is measured by
looking at business survival or growth (Bailey, 1986; Cooper et al., 1988; Perry, 2001).
According to Ramadani et al. (2015b, 2015c, 2013a), a successful business requires a
relevant education, proper knowledge and skills, and a commitment to choose proactive
rather than reactive actions. These include experience, persistence, perseverance,
self-confidence, which are also considered as important characteristics for a successful
development of any business. Besides, this study looks at the characteristics of Muslim
entrepreneurs from the perspective of Islam based on their intention to perform an
entrepreneurial activity. Based on the survey, the characteristics include smart, honest,
trustworthy, able to communicate well, and the consistency and courage. Some
“Entrepreneurs must have the characters of honesty, trustworthy, and able to
“Entrepreneurs must have the characters of honesty, consistent and
“Entrepreneurs must have an honesty, and trustworthy.”
“Entrepreneurial must have the characters of smart, honesty, trustworthy,
ability to communicate well, consistent and courageous.”
Those characteristics are parallel with the characteristics of the prophet Muhammad
1 Fathonah means intelligent and competent. Prophet Muhammad had fathonah
character in entrepreneurship, as revealed by his genius for trade.
2 Amanah means trustable. An entrepreneur must be honest in any business operation
in order to develop a confidence in him and the business being built. Some factors
that may drive a person to not be amanah include a desire for financial gains
(wealth) in ways unjustified by religion, e.g. manipulation, corruption, collusion,
bribery, etc. A professional Muslim must possess amanah, which indicates reliability
and responsibility. Amanah character must be absolutely owned by a Muslim
entrepreneur to avoid any action that may harm others. Besides, the character of
trustable may possibly be possessed if ones maintain an awareness in which any
activity taken, including at work, is always known by God and ones will be held as
3 Siddiq means truthful and has a high integrity. An entrepreneur must continuously
keep one’s words and deeds to get liked by others, including employees and
consumers. In the Prophet himself, not just his words are true, even his deeds are
also true, which is in line with his words. Siddiq character listed in the Quran
An-Najm 53:4-5, “It is but a revelation revealed. Taught to him by the Extremely
Entrepreneurial intentions from an Islamic perspective 175
4 Tabligh means to convey (communicative). Tabligh character listed in the Quran,
“That He may know that they have conveyed the messages of their Lord. He
encompasses what they have, and has tallied everything by number”
(Quran Al-Jin 72:28).
5 The last is istiqomah that means character (consistency of courage).
5 Discussion and conclusions
Islam promotes the critical importance of intentions and behaviour in every step of
someone’s life. It is proposed because the values of one’s work have become merely
worship or not largely depend on their intentions to do something. One needs to do
something with a mere intention of realising that Allah SWT monitors all activities being
performed. Thus, a Muslim must be grateful and does the provisions on the right path,
and realises that what one gets must be accountable to Allah SWT. In fact, sincerity may
also reduce the manipulation or exploitation of others for personal reasons.
Furthermore, the concept of entrepreneurship from the perspective of Islam may have
covered an important role in terms of either law, social or economic issues. From a
religious viewpoint, entrepreneurship is a highly recommended activity to improve the
welfare of the people. On the social side, entrepreneurship may impact social conditions
by creating jobs and reducing unemployment. On the economics side, entrepreneurship
may impose an impact on public revenue and economic growth of a country. In
particular, entrepreneurial intention is interpreted as the first step of a process of
establishing a long-term business (Lee and Wong, 2004). Krueger (1993) has given a
notion that entrepreneurial intentions may reflect one’s commitment to start a new
business and is a central issue to consider in understanding the entrepreneurial process of
establishing a new business. In sum, any entrepreneurial activity should start from the
intention of entrepreneurs to run a business and then achieve a success.
Next, the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) has been highlighting intentions as the
main factor that motivates human behaviour, which is determined by three key elements:
attitude towards behaviour; subjective norms; and perceived behavioural control (Ajzen,
1991). Therefore, an understanding of one’s intention to entrepreneurship may reflect the
tendency of people to set up businesses in real terms (Jenkins and Johnson, 1997).
According to Mokhlis (2009), religion is one of the most universal and significant
influences on attitudes, values and behaviour at either individual or community level.
Entrepreneurial intentions in the perspective of Islam aim at devoting any action to
the worship of God. This study puts worship as a Muslim activity in conducting religious
teachings, which include spiritual, social and economic activities. Spiritual refers to
activities that include human’s relationship with God to get the rewards through
worships, which must be taken by Muslims in conformance with His commandments and
teachings. Social activities, i.e. the relationship among humans, refer to ones that Allah
says in the Quran Al-Hujurat 49:10, in which “The believers are brothers, so reconcile
between your brothers, and remain conscious of God, so that you may receive mercy”.
Thus, every Muslim must respect each other. Economic activity is a worship taken by
human to meet their needs and create a wealthy life. Human was first created for the love
of wealth as stated in the Quran Al-‘Aadiyat 100:8, “And he is fierce in his love of
wealth”. The wealth includes ones created by humans to meet the needs of life for
176 G. Anggadwita et al.
themselves and their families. In addition to creating wealth for their own good, people
are asked to share their profits to support the society. The spirit of Islam puts an emphasis
on a collective development of the society (Kriger and Seng, 2005). Then, doing a charity
through economic activities is also part of the responsibilities of Muslims as a khalifah
According to Dana (2009), religion is a distinguished foundation of entrepreneurship,
while any entrepreneurial phenomenon is largely dependent to the issue of ethical
behaviour within the society. Dana (2009, 2010) has underlined that religion is neutral
and does not prohibit entrepreneurship, in which business ethics may form an
entrepreneur to be a better human being based on moral and norms applicable within the
society. In Islam, entrepreneurial characteristics are founded on principles stated in the
Quran and Hadith to guide entrepreneurial operations (Oukil, 2013). Entrepreneurship is
part of the Islamic culture as shown by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions.
Islam has always suggested all Muslims to be innovative and active entrepreneurs.
On the other hand, a successful entrepreneur is usually associated with some
particular characteristics as an asset for one’s success. Hisrich (2014) has proposed
those particularities to include discipline, a desire to succeed, an action-oriented, a
goal-oriented and having a huge spirit. In general, characteristics that must be taken by
Muslim entrepreneurs include honesty, truth, justice, love of God as a priority, humble,
avoids corruption (Beekun, 1996), generosity, and a motivation to help others (Mushtaq,
2001). Muslim entrepreneurs are bound by Islamic laws and rules during the
implementation of any entrepreneurial activity, so they must have the ability to run a
business with good, transparent and fair intentions as well as actions, and avoid any
The current study has identified the characters of Muslim entrepreneurs in Indonesia,
including fathonah, amanah, siddiq, tabligh, and Istiqomah. The findings are supported
by Trim (2009), which has revealed that the credibility and capability of the Prophet
Muhammad are contained in four superior characters, i.e. FAST (fathonah, amanah,
siddiq, tabligh) plus ‘I’ (istiqomah). Entrepreneurial intentions from the perspective of
Islam are the initial step of doing things, and therefore contribute to entrepreneurial
characteristics. In details, fathonah indicates the character of a smart entrepreneur related
to an intention of how entrepreneurs attempt to continue to learn and understand the
concept of entrepreneurship and may then improve their competencies. Besides,
characters of siddiq and amanah must be taken by every entrepreneur, wherein any
intention comes from the heart so that one may be determined as trustworthy or not, has
integrity or not, being truthful or not, in which all of them depend on the intention. Next,
the character of tabligh indicates that an entrepreneur should be able to convey
information and communicate with others. Then, istiqomah proposes that all efforts
should be consistent with the intentions since the beginning. Thus, Muslim entrepreneurs
with these characters have put an impact on the success of their businesses, indicating
ones as successful Muslim entrepreneurs.
In sum, this study delivers a significant contribution to literature on entrepreneurship
by proposing an understanding of the relationship between intentions and characteristics
of entrepreneurs to their success. Besides, this study outlines the legitimacy of
entrepreneurship in Islam with a particular reference to primary sources, i.e. the Quran
and Hadith. This study attempts to focus on Islamic entrepreneurship based on an
entrepreneurial goal to get the pleasures of Allah SWT to perform all the principles and
teachings of Islam.
Entrepreneurial intentions from an Islamic perspective 177
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