Islamic marketing: insights from
a critical perspective
Department of Marketing, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to encourage a critical dialogue within the realm of Journal of
Islamic Marketing. It invites marketing scholars and practitioners working on various topics related to
Islam and Muslim societies to adopt fresh theoretical and methodological positions that would enhance
the understanding of multiple marketing and market dynamics in Muslim societies.
Design/methodology/approach – The author uses a critical approach.
Findings – The author suggests that the advancement of knowledge in the area of Islamic marketing
requires reﬂexivity and self-critique.
Research limitations/implications – The paper highlights the constructive value of critical
approach to the development of marketing theory and practice.
Originality/value – This paper reﬂects the author’s personal viewpoint on the production of
knowledge and improving practice in the realm of Islamic marketing.
Keywords Islam, Information dissemination, Marketing theory, Islamic marketing, Marketing, Markets,
Paper type Viewpoint
The idea of writing this manuscript emerged from a meeting I had with Dr Bakr
Ahmed Alserhan (the founding editor of Journal of Islamic Marketing ( JIMA)) in the
United Arab Emirates University in Alain. The purpose of my visit was to discuss the
progress of JIMA. Amongst my key questions were: why start JIMA? Why now? What
is meant by Islamic marketing? What are the boundaries of Islamic marketing? Can the
Journal accommodate critical perspectives? Is JIMA part of the project of Islamisation
of knowledge? Due to space constraints, I do not intend to explain the details of our
long discussion in this short article. I would like to expand on these topics in sufﬁcient
depth (as they deserve) on another occasion. Here, I stick only to one point which was
central to our conversation: the importance of reﬂexivity and self-critique to the
advancement of knowledge in the realm of Islamic marketing.
Our meeting was more fruitful than I had expected. I should confess that before
talking to Dr Alserhan, I was somehow sceptical of the launch of JIMA as I thought it
would further widen the gap between Islam and the rest of the world. JIMA, I thought,
would not only not help inter-cultural understanding and communication amongst
scholars and practitioners of marketing, but also further intensify the
institutionalisation of binary oppositions of Islam versus the West or the non-Islamic
world. Bakr’s opinion, on the contrary, was that JIMA was intended to bridge the gap
between scholars and practitioners in different parts of the world and enhance an
understanding of various marketing dynamics and phenomena in the Muslim world.
This is what I truly hope will happen. A key viewpoint that Bakr and I shared was that
achieving this objective relies on the degree of commitment of authors who wish
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Received 10 April 2011
Journal of Islamic Marketing
Vol. 3 No. 1, 2012
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited