The Muslim community in the United Kingdom contributes an important proportion to the world's economy by being involved in trade and business. Trade, in fact was the profession of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and hence has a special significance for the Muslim community. Today's business world is by and large dependent upon the internet facility. However, the Muslim business community in the United Kingdom is still relatively technologically underdeveloped. While progress is being witnessed at an individual level, there is still something of a collective inertia in relation to the embrace of technology.
|Muslim trade and business accounts for a large and growing proportion of the United Kingdom's economy. Tijara Pages aims at giving these businesses a platform from which their often unsung contribution can be recognised .
Tijara Pages is a venture that intends to bridge this gap. This website, which is still in its infancy, aims to grow into a forum for promoting networking within the Muslim community.
`The idea is that Muslims can access information that is appropriate to their own cultural needs. In the future we would hope to fill trade gaps, and ultimately benefit the community,' says Abu Talha, founder of the website.
But, why, one might ask, would he want to create yet another database when there are already a number of websites up and running?
Talha's answer is simple. While the website runs in more or less the same way as any listings or database website, it is different in a unique way by focusing solely on Muslim needs. For instance, one can find specific entries for halal butchers, Masajid (mosques) or Islamic bookshops on it. The advert of your local medical practitioner and even tailor is only a mouse click away. Gone will be the days when we had to make several calls before finally booking for a halal restaurant in a particular area. One can now click onto this innovative website and search for the appropriate venue, via location.
Talha emphasises that he started this project as a service for Muslims. Hence, Tijara Pages offers free advertising in the hope that this will facilitate uptake. Although the website has only been running for about a year, it has already listed information on some 5,300 businesses and non-profit organizations. For most people this would for be seen as quite an achievement, but Talha has other targets in mind. He calculates that there are approximately 20 million internet users in the UK and he estimates that of these around 600,000 are Muslims. The potential target is therefore enormous and is of course expanding rapidly.There are also paid-for advertising opportunities on the Tijara Pages website but these are purely to raise enough funds to cover the running costs of the project.
The website has an Arabic resonance as the very name 'Tijara' comes from Arabic, meaning 'trade'. However, the website is certainly not just for Arabs and there is much that will be of interest to Muslims and those interested in Muslim culture from all ethnic backgrounds.
In today's fast pace world there is a pressing need for services that will facilitate the day-to-day practice of our faith. There used to be a time, for example, when early Muslim communities struggled to locate a place for prayer. Thankfully things are now a lot easier. A website like Tijara Pages represents a positive step forward and we hope that with time it will grow into a complete and comprehensive database and listings catalogue for Muslim businesses throughout Europe.