M.U.P.P.I.E.S, G.U.M.MIES, if you are thinking they are characters from Sesame Street, you have got it all wrong.
M.U.P.P.I.E.S or the original meaning Muslim Urban Professionals is one of the coined term created by an organization to represent the Modern Professional Muslim. They are not the only one. Other new jargon used in the Global Islamic Economy space is G.U.M.Mies or Global Urban Millennial Muslims. So who do these group mostly represent?
Who are they?
Introducing the Millennial Muslims or some term it as Generation M is new kind of young Muslim identity that has emerged globally in the past decade. It is a global group that believes that faith and modernity go hand in hand, and that they have every right to enjoy the best that life has to offer them. Most are young and have therefore grown up in the shadow of September 11 and in the land of the internet. One in three Muslims worldwide today are under-15 and two in three are under-30. These young Muslims are comfortable in their own skin bringing together faith and modernity. They feel faith can make the world a better place and modern life can support them in improving their religiosity.
The rise of the Modern Millennial Muslims. Why now?
For today’s generation of young Muslims, they are I.T native users. With the technology disrupting all industries, the Faith industry is not left behind. Digitalisation has causes boundaries to dissolve away, Muslims all over the world are now able to connect with their co-religionists anywhere in the world, irrespective of culture, language, geography, race or affluence. Historically, however, the ummah could only be an emotional and spiritual attachment, for practical reasons. News is relayed first-hand via social media, and most significantly, they can exchange ideas about what it means to be Muslim today. The result is a shared identity built on values, a sense of solidarity and a shared community of purpose.
The Modern Muslim
This new online space has given rise to a whole range of Muslim lifestyle activities ranging from religious devotion to Halal travel diaries, Halal Food reviews, Muslim fashion blogging, YouTube videos, new Muslim music to charitable campaigns. There’s a new look, sound, language and culture for our futuristic faithfuls.
Londoner, Shahzad Younas created and founded the MuzMatch. Shahzad focus on building a mobile app to help Muslims around the world to find their perfect marriage partner through Halal match making.
Have Halal Will Travel focuses on seeking out gourmet halal dining options wherever you are in the world, tapping into the growing halal foodie culture, along with sharing experiences and recommendations. Modanisa offers fashionable young women to discover the latest modern and contemporary hijab fashion and modest women's dresses.
At the other hand, CollabDeen the community collaboration platform focusses on being the complete community platform which incorporated both faith and lifestyle elements. Community administrators from mosques, organisations or Islamic community centres can now take a breather as the platform provide them the technology to be more efficient and productive in managing their communities from events to fundraising and membership management.
Business communities are not left behind as the platform also connect businesses to communities and users. The technology which CollabDeen provide will disrupt the Islamic Market including the Global Islamic Economy.
For everyday users, CollabDeen is the complete Muslim companion app. Using Augmented Reality, users are able to find Qibla direction, Mosques, Mussollahs, Community centres and Halal businesses.
Cyberspace has given Muslim centric companies access to wide audiences, allowing the economics of the internet to enable their businesses to flourish. And equally, having access through the internet to a vast array of products and services specifically tailored to their hope to live a full Muslim lifestyle, this has allowed them to purchase these products and reinforce their shared Muslim identity. The digital space offers these young Muslims a blank canvas on which to paint this new culture and identity in their own terms.Alongside the important physical rituals that anchor Muslim life – the Haj, the prayer, the fast, the mosque, the concern with immediate community – the online world is just as important to the Millennials Muslims as the real world; it shapes and reinforces their global identity and is a place where they share with the wider global non-Muslim world about who they are and what motivates them.
The internet’s democratization of knowledge has opened up access to religious learning for young Muslims in a way that was not previously possible. This has had many positive aspects, including online religious academies and the accessibility of scholars through Facebook status updates, even sharing sermons via Facebook. Now there are celebrity scholars, whose lectures are shared tens of thousands of times, and whose quotes get turned into memes and who have millions of followers on Twitter.
The role of the internet in the emergence of this new market segment that believes faith and modernity go hand in hand. It is a space where they can ask questions, gain knowledge, set up businesses and build solidarity.
So what’s next?
Too often “Muslim” equates to one ethnicity or culture when in fact the ideals of the ummah, which put egalitarianism front and centre, are forgotten. With India’s Muslim minority at 311 million people about to become the world’s largest Muslim population – eclipsing Pakistan at 273m, Indonesia at 256m, Nigeria at 213m and Bangladesh at 182m people – and the internet user base across India almost doubling, from 233m in 2012 to 462m users this year, the digital ummah is likely to offer hope to realizing the diversity of the ummah.
With the rise of the inclusive digital ummah, it will help to put an end to those labels. Instead, the hope is that people will know them for who they are and that it will be a space where they can fully live out their faithful modern lives