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Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya's Himma: Entrepreneurial Leadership as an Expression of the Islamic Tradition


Risen to a prominent role in the 2030 visions of economical and societal transformation of several Arab nations of the Gulf, entrepreneurial leadership has emerged as a new paradigm of disseminated leadership whose function has less to do with notions of political power and hierarchy and more with the shared task of converting vision into reality. Yet the link between entrepreneurship and Islam has only received limited attention at the individual level thus far. Following the multiple semantic thread of the Arabic word himma, this article seeks to further the discourse by exploring the distinctive account of the word emerging from the writings of the Ḥanbalī scholar Ibn Qayyim al-Ǧawziyya. By bringing into a dialog the implications of this account with the classic portrait of the entrepreneur by the economist Joseph Schumpeter, the contribution of the Damascene scholar comes to light as particularly meaningful and momentous for furthering the discourse on entrepreneurial leadership as an expression of the Islamic tradition and opens the door to further inquiries into a topic of the highest relevance for a new generation of Muslim leaders across geographies.


Entrepreneurial Leadership, himma, Ibn Qayyim al-Ǧawziyya, Joseph Schumpeter, Socio-economical Development



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