Many followers of a religion do not dare to question the methods of the personalities who run religious institutions. To add, there is a lack of governance over those practitioners in religious leadership positions.
“Among the unethical practices that I have observed is the mismanagement of funds in raising charities and institutions,” British Muslim entrepreneur Muddassar Ahmed told Vulcan Post.
“So I thought that a platform that directly connects users to licensed professional service providers ensures that users get what they pay for while service providers receive payment for their services,” he said. he explained how his ImamConnect site was born.
Its launch in August 2020 was also timely, as the pandemic has led many members of the Muslim community to be underserved due to restrictions on physical meetings.
ImamConnect was first launched in the UK, but Muddassar saw fit to bring it to our shores in early 2021 based on a few of his observations.
A growing e-commerce industry
Along with his personal respect and affection for Malaysians after working here for a few years, Muddassar added, “The Malaysian market is active and often on the radar of investors and tech startups.”
“In addition to this, the tech and e-commerce sector enjoys strong support from the Malaysian government through various sector and industry policies, making it an ideal location.”
Granted, we are now seeing a lot more support for these sectors, with the MDEC even targeting 875,000 MSMEs to adopt e-commerce by 2025.
Abroad, these foundations are more established, hence ImamConnect’s initial focus on the UK and US markets, allowing it to have a stronger network of suppliers from these countries.
As of now, ImamConnect lists 5 service providers in Malaysia who can help with Islamic design, education, and homeopathic therapy, for example.
Muddassar acknowledged that it was still a small group, but said they were planning to hire more people in Malaysia to focus on recruiting providers.
Transparency is the key
From what I can see, ImamConnect has taken the necessary steps to give users peace of mind. For each provider listed, the information is displayed transparently.
Users can see the provider’s bio, qualifications, categories of services they can offer, even what level of verification they went through before being listed, and more.
On the site, the service charges are also indicated in advance to allow more transparency and more competitive prices. As participation as a user or service provider is free, ImamConnect monetizes by taking a percentage of transactions.
Once ImamConnect’s Malaysian listings are more populated, we may see providers offering a variety of services ranging from marriage and family affairs to birth and death, counseling and support, and courses and Training.
Some of these include child care, matchmaking, funerals, wills and inheritance issues, interfaith engagement, videography and photography, and more.
Muddassar shared that a constant demand for ImamConnect here came from UmranTV, a Malaysian YouTube channel with 36k subscribers, which has already hired services from the platform.
“In the current pandemic situation, we plan to actively promote ImamConnect through online initiatives and word of mouth for the initial phase, and when things get back to normal we hope to start field engagements,” a- he declared.
Do not replace, but complete
One thing I brought up in Muddassar was the possibility of making ImamConnect accessible in Bahasa Melayu as well, as a large part of our Muslim population here is better versed thus allowing for better and easier market penetration.
Right now, English seems to be the default, which can’t be helped as the majority of service providers joining them say their languages are concentrated in the West. Muddassar was quick to make sure that having Bahasa Melayu on the site is something they are working on.
After all, that would be advantageous as ImamConnect is confident in the traction it can gain here and therefore plans to open a regional office in Malaysia.
“Since its inception, ImamConnect has worked with Malaysians, including our founding team member, Zain al-Haddad. Having an office in Malaysia would also mean better outreach in the Australasia region, ”Muddassar said.
It recognizes that as ImamConnect grows, it has the capacity to impact the landscape of Muslim services and their providers, but rather than replacing it, it serves to complement existing institutions.
“We will always need traditional institutions like mosques and schools, this is our home. But ImamConnect can help Muslims around the world stay connected to their faith when physical contact is not available. “
“By aligning our model with Muslim values, we will improve both the standards and the incomes of Muslim service providers by fostering a global community with which they can connect. ImamConnect could change the way religious services are delivered forever, ”he concluded.
- You can read more about ImamConnect here.
- You can read more about e-commerce related topics here.
Featured Image Credit: Muddassar Ahmed, Founder and CEO of ImamConnect
Our sincere thanks to