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The Andalus Institute, & Making Money the Halal Way

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Author: Althea Chokwe

To the outsider, Islam is a strict religion. Extending past tenets and a holy book, Islam is meant to be a way of life for its nearly two billion adherents. The terms halal and haram are thrown around often, but their meaning is tremendous to the faith. Halal is “permissible,” and haram is the exact opposite; these two categories are used to classify everything from food to music to legal matters. An interesting aspect of this black-and-white system pertains to financials and business ventures. No Muslim is allowed to engage in business that goes against the religion; working while in accordance with religious doctrine is mandated. Although most settle with an average line of work, some go out of the way to promote Islamic values and be successful simultaneously, a decision considered most ideal.

For Muhammad Al Andalusi, a philosophy as this is part-and-parcel with his calling. 27 years old and living in Saudi Arabia with a wife and kids, Al Andalusi relies on teaching Arabic to fund a fast-paced, flexible lifestyle, often documenting his travels through the Middle East and elsewhere on social media. The entrepreneur founded the Andalus Institute in 2019, intending to help other Muslims learn classical Arabic, the language of the Qur’an. A job like this definitely earns the halal stamp, but it continues further to the point of actively contributing to Islam. Knowledge of Arabic is seen as preferable, if not mandatory, since Muslims value the original Qur’an more than any translated version.

While Al Andalusi does not engage in the field of Islamic theology, his institute piques Muslims’ intellectual curiosity, plus that of others learning Arabic for professional and social reasons. Besides an understanding of and appreciation for the Qur’an, the Andalus Institute represents Al Andalusi’s decade-long quest to learn Arabic in its most eloquent form, an uphill battle that required him to relocate from Europe to Egypt for six long years. These studies forced the entrepreneur to change his daily habits and mindset drastically. Attaining multiple years of progress in Arabic within a year alone made Al Andalusi downgrade to a phone that was obsolete compared to the regular smartphone model. In his own words, Muhammad saved time without the distraction of an app-laden device, a tactic that he directly credits with his quick advance in the Arabic field.

The intense focus with which Muhammad perfects his craft is part of his spoken philosophy of seeking elm, or knowledge. Al Andalusi, as a teacher, uses every opportunity he can to communicate some rule or tip of the Arabic lexicon on Instagram and Facebook. His job consumes every part of his life, an observation that elucidates the level of commitment Al Andalusi has for the school he created. He already enjoys respect and awe amongst the online Muslim community, with other high-profile influencers recommending the Andalus Institute to non-Arabic speakers. Considering the importance of Qur’an recitation and study, teaching classical Arabic was always going to be a successful endeavor. Before 2019, Al Andalusi had worked on other online startups for a European audience whilst in the United Kingdom, yet he could not maintain an acceptable profit margin. One day, it reached the point where the Spanish native took time off and locked himself away, minimizing contact with even his family. He read for hours at a time, patiently waiting for a better business idea to manifest itself. That period was a time for questioning and soul-searching, which was logical because entrepreneurship is an extremely volatile field. Additionally, Al Andalusi had dropped out of school at the age of 16. He recalls not being interested in the traditional Western system anymore, a strong opinion for a teenager. Al Andalusi had no regrets, but paying off a $9,000 debt would not be easy without a university degree.

That same introspection is what Al Andalusi teaches each cohort that enrolls in the institute. There is no point in striving for a higher purpose such as religion without looking after oneself first. At the start of the program, everyone listens to a video of Al Andalusi outlining the study and sleep habits he expects them to adapt to maximize their productivity. In case you were wondering, the entire curriculum is meant to be finished within 15 months. Of course, one can stay as long as they like and there is lifetime access to the user portal, but the Andalus Institute makes sure to boast that students, as long as they do as they are told, become fluent within the intended time frame. While everyone is different in terms of goals and outside commitments, mental preparation is Al Andalusi’s way of ensuring no one overstays their visit. For a $2,000 price tag (at a generous discount of $997 for the time being), such guidance and care make the offering quite appealing to even the busiest customer.

In all honesty, the scaffolding and design of the Andalus Institute stem, for the most part, from Al Andalusi’s personal experiences. The vocabulary-first methodology is what the founder used to learn, not just Arabic, but French and English, also, as if the features of the school are what Al Andalusi wishes he once had to facilitate his own educational experience. Even the students notice and it is apparent that this modus operandi builds trust between a business and the clientele. Couple this with Muhammad’s constant presence on social media, giving the world a glimpse of behind-the-scenes goings-on, his followers feel that they know him through and through.

The language guru is a great friend of transparency, a trait that renders him approachable, as well. For a mostly Muslim consumer base, his willingness to discuss personal views on Islamic decrees and to differentiate himself from other influencers with a scholarly, studious persona is highly attractive. Even if the rest of the world may view Islam as narrow-minded, harsh, or unaccommodating, practicing Muslims love it precisely for the motivation and high standards set. And, while the halal versus haram debate is at times head-scratching and mind-bending, there are many answers to secular questions overlooked.

Al Andalusi proves that it is possible to financially thrive and be an ardent follower of the Islamic faith simultaneously. And he can show that he is right: the Andalus Institute rakes in between $20K and $50K each month, starting to do so only six months after its inception. With the advent of other Islam-centered YouTube channels and startups, the online presence of yet another Muslim entrepreneur is speaking to a wider trend of more representation and diversity. As a result, due to the rarity of his sort, Al Andalusi has gained much loyalty. Identity is not the sole reason, but years of working on his main money-making skill are significant in explaining Muhammad’s success thus far. Through a halal business, Al Andalusi relates to his audience in a powerful way. The businessman is their fellow Muslim, advertising a product where they all benefit in a plethora of ways, most notably spiritually, making the institute’s program irresistible for followers to not purchase. It is apparent that relatability and authenticity are integral in the business model of the Andalus Institute.

You can connect with the author on LinkedIn here.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

Outsourcing Front-End Development Services: Insider’s Guide

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Outsourcing front-end development services has become increasingly popular in recent years as companies look to access specialized skills and expertise, and save on labor costs. According to the Global Outsourcing Survey made by Deloitte, the top reasons for outsourcing front-end development are to access specialized skills (57%), cost savings (50%), and to free up internal resources (49%).

This article will cover some frequently asked questions (FAQs) in a Q&A way to help you make an informed decision when considering outsourcing front-end development services. We’ll address concerns such as how to find the right vendor, how to communicate effectively, and how to manage the project to ensure success. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the considerations and best practices for outsourcing front-end development services.

What is front-end development?

Front-end development, or client-side development, refers to designing and implementing a website’s or application’s user interface (UI). It involves creating the layout, visual design, and interactive features that users interact with when they visit a website or use an app.

Front-end developers use a variety of programming languages and technologies to build the UI, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They also need to have a strong understanding of user experience (UX) design principles and be able to create visually appealing and intuitive interfaces that meet the needs of the target audience.

Front-end development plays a crucial role in the user experience of a website or application, and it’s an essential part of any digital product. The work of a front-end developer often intersects with that of a UX designer and a back-end developer.

Why should I consider outsourcing front-end development services?

As mentioned in the intro, there are several reasons why outsourcing front-end development services may be an excellent option for your company. One of the main reasons is cost savings. Outsourcing is often more cost-effective than hiring in-house developers, especially if you only need front-end development services for a specific project. 

Also, a company can benefit from a vendor’s specialized skills and experience and the ability to scale its development resources as needed. This can be especially useful for companies with fluctuating project demands or in need to quickly ramp up or down their development efforts.  

In addition, outsourcing front-end development can allow a company to focus on its core competencies and improve the overall quality of the product, as well as save time by delegating the development work to a vendor. 

How do I find the right front-end development company to work with?

Finding the right front-end development company to work with is crucial for a successful project. Start by defining your project goals, timelines, and budget, and research potential vendors with experience in the technologies and frameworks relevant to your project. 

Review the company’s portfolio and case studies to get a sense of their past work and the types of projects they have experience with. Glassdoor, Trustpilot, LinkedIn, GoodFirms or Clutch are some platforms to do this. Consider the company’s culture and values. You can also request references and speak with past clients to get an idea of the company’s track record and how well they handle challenges like yours. 

What should I consider when choosing a front-end development company?

There are several factors to consider when choosing a front-end development company. Technical skills and experience are crucial, as the company will be responsible for building and implementing the UI of your website or application. Check if the company has experience with the technologies and frameworks you need for your project.

Effective communication and collaboration are also essential. Verify that the vendor has a track record of working well with clients and can effectively communicate and collaborate with your team. Cultural fit is also important, as you will be working closely with the vendor for the duration of the project. It’s a good idea to have a face-to-face or video call meeting to get a sense of the company’s culture and see if it aligns with your own.

Finally, consider the company’s pricing and business model. Make sure the company is transparent about its rates and fees and that they align with your budget. Also, consider whether the company offers flexible pricing options or packages that may be more suitable for your needs.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s a good idea to request proposals from a few different vendors. This will allow you to compare and contrast their approaches and determine the best fit for your project. 

Bringing it all together

In summary, outsourcing front-end development services can be an easy, cost-effective, and efficient way to access specialized skills and expertise. By carefully considering factors such as technical skills, communication and collaboration abilities, cultural fit, pricing, and business model, you can find the right vendor to meet your needs and achieve success with your project.

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