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Advertisement in the Muslim World: A Critical Analysis from the Islamic Perspective

Mohammed Abdur Razzaque ()
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Mohammed Abdur Razzaque: UNSW Business School; University of New South Wales;

International Conference on Marketing and Business Development Journal, 2016, vol. 2, issue 1, 100-108

Abstract: Islam is a complete code of life for Muslims all around the world representing a distinct socio-economic system. It is different from the free market system despite having some similarities to it. Many capitalist business practices that have traditionally been used by Muslim businesses have come under scrutiny and criticism in recent times by many Muslim scholars. One such area is ‘advertising’ which is often viewed as the life blood of contemporary market economy. The Quran, the Islamic holy book, does not prohibit advertising per se. Islam does not have any discernible conflict with the traditional communication and societal roles of advertising and acceptance of the AIDA model (i.e., getting Attention, holding Interest, arousing Desire and obtaining Action); but it does have very strong reservations about the contents of the ads, ad presentation and the way ads use photography, music, dance, nudity etc. From a strict Islamic perspective, ads must conform to the tenets and ethical standards outlined in the Quran and the Hadith, i.e., traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). However, the degree of adherence to these tenets by Muslims vary from country to country - not all Muslim countries are equally strict or liberal. For example, in ultra conservative Saudi Arabia or Iran women generally do not appear in ads; whereas in more liberal Turkey or Indonesia ads often portray playful female characters who often bare a similar amount of flesh as they do in the West. The purpose of this paper is to get a broad understanding of communication in general and advertising in particular from an Islamic perspective. It presents a general discussion on advertising practices in different Muslim countries and presents a critical analysis of those practices in the light of Quran and Hadith.

Keywords: Islam; Advertisement; Ethics; Muslim consumers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: M31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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