So I’m attempting to embark on one of the most challenging journeys in academia. A Doctorate. Every time I mention I want to do a PhD to someone with a PhD, they usually call me mad.
To be fair, that has never really deterred me from wanting to go for it.
At ten years old, I remember asking myself, ‘am I going to go to University.’ At that age, I always thought of University like - Ferris Bueller's Day Off - a wild adventure where anything was possible. I doubted that I would even make it into University; I just thought it was expensive and exclusive to only white people. The latter point probably manifested because there was no example I could look up to, and many educated black people around me were excluded from professional jobs due to the location of their qualifications. Many of my family were educated, but they were cast to do manual labour jobs. It was extremely common for me to meet Uncles and Aunties who were Doctors, engineers, economists in their home country but coming to the UK, those qualifications and experiences were deemed worthless. They were forced into doing demeaning jobs and rebuilding themselves from the ground up. Systemic exclusion. Utter nonsense.
When I reflect on my current position, being able to apply for a PhD; I am in awe at the greatness of Allah (SWT), Alhamdulillah 🤲🏾. I was not bright academically at school, very average, and my primary school at one point once assessed that I was disabled. In year ten, I took life very seriously.
- Because I wanted to make my mum proud, she sacrificed everything for my brothers and me.
- At that particular stage in life, paths became more apparent; many of my friends got involved in organised crime or the illicit trade of drugs.
So I had no other choice than to try my best in education and see where it took me because life on the road is not the one, lost too many friends. But I always made sure if I was going to pursue education, I do it on my terms, do subjects I love and not take action that will reflect great for my secondary school but negatively on my studies.
In my final year of university, I asked myself, ‘what do I want to do?’ I wanted a career aligned with my purpose of serving my creator. A job in finance was ruled out because of the sectors close interaction with interest
I loved economics, but I knew conventional economics was a load of nonsense. After watching Four Horsemen and critically analysing conventional economics, I believed there must be an alternative economic system to alleviate some of our societal problems and not create new ones. So I decided to defer my job hunt and pursue a masters. Luckily for me, the International Political Economy MA program at King’s College London was exactly what I was looking for.
I thoroughly enjoyed the program because it showcased the interconnectivity between politics and economics. As a result, showcasing the mechanisms in which the Global North maintain economic and political supremacy at the expense of committing innumerable injustices towards the Global South. Plus, the course made me discover my love for books and learning.
Come the summer of 2019, I had just gotten married, and I handed in my masters dissertation. From then on, I was on the hunt for a job. I tried to look into political risk analyst roles but wasn’t successful. The UK then went into lockdown, and I started applying to anything. I successfully got a job at PwC as an auditor knowing full well I hated audit. Then inevitably, my contract got terminated because I failed two audit tests. There I was in the wilderness of unemployment searching for what I would like to do? One day I decided to pop a question on the Islamic Finance Guru Forum, and...
My soul ignited.
My original intention to study economics was to help me understand how the world works. Through my studies, I’ve understood the current neoliberal capitalist system was designed to ensure Global North supremacy and further enhance their concentration of power. Introducing a new economic system is needed to ensure we live in a sustainable, equitable and fair world.
My Islamic worldview dictates how I perceive reality, and for that reason, I want to explore;
- What made the Islamic Golden Age thrive?
- What led to the Islamic Golden Age demise?
- Can we integrate Islamic Economics into Global South economies?
- Can Islamic Economics lead to sustainable economic development?
- Can Islamic Economics prevent wealth inequality?
- Can Islamic Economics ease social tensions?
- Ultimately will the introduction of Islamic Economics lead to a more cohesive society?
I want to find answers to those questions and explore them further.
I firmly believe that the Global North will always remain in some form of capitalism. Still, through the Global South, I want to embark on the journey as to how Islamic economics could be integrated into these countries and break the shackles of poverty around their legs.
I’ll be sharing my steps along the way, and I’ve already delved into these questions. My main goal through sharing is meeting and collaborating with like-minded people, so please do holla.
Peace out ✌🏾