Why I’m Currently Writing a Book about Shari‘ah-compliant Investing in the Stock Market

I was a typical guy. I was also a typical guy like you or most of you. On financial matters, I thought I had a ‘strong’ tawakkul (reliance on God).

Immediately after graduation from college with a bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies Major in Islamic History, I was immediately hired by the university, thanks to having graduated as magna cum laude and the 1994 top graduate in the entire Mindanao State University System (with eight campuses across Mindanao).

I was 21 then. Fresh graduate. Earning income for the first time. Instructor 1 – the lowest faculty rank. The beginning of living with paycheck after paycheck.

As a ‘typical’ guy, my formula in matters of personal finance is the ‘typical’ one:

Income minus expenses equals saving

What does it mean?

It means that from the existing income I have had, I would spend for my living and family expenses, and at the end of the month, I would save or was supposed to save the unspent amount.

“In the end, how’s your saving?” I can almost hear you asking.

Well… not so well. In fact, not at all.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, you may say. Without that strong motivation for saving, let alone sufficient knowledge about any investment tools, I did save none – month after month – for more than four years.

What’s the culprit? The amount of monthly income was just good enough for the expenses. At times, it was not even enough when there was an emergency or unforeseen expenditures such as anytime hospitalization of my late ailing father or any of the family members.

No wonder, when I got married three days before I turned 25 in September 1999, I incurred a P25,000 worth of debt from my sister-in-law. Obviously, it was meant to supplement the wedding expenses.

Al-hamdulillah, I was able to repay the debt after about six months.

Even after attaining such liberation from debt, my new family situation – paycheck after paycheck – was the same. Practically no savings at all. Why? The same culprit. Neither did we have any investment – except, perhaps, our family house which stores around 10,000 books on the second floor while we stay on the first or ground floor.

That was the background story of a ‘typical’ guy with this ‘typical’ personal finance formula:

Income minus expenses equals saving

In practice, this formula turns into this:

Income minus expenses equals ZERO

Yes, cero. Cipher. Sifar. If not negative.

It essentially remained as such for more than a decade; that is, until 2013.

In an airport bookstore – on May 29, 2013, to be exact – I happened to grab a copy of 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich (https://amzn.to/3t5AZZ6) by Bo Sanchez. (I was not at all familiar with Bo then.)

What attracted me was the subtitle, How You Can Create Material Wealth and Gain Spiritual Abundance at the Same Time. My immediate impression was that it talks about balancing and equilibrium – the material and the spiritual, which I liked. I remembered then a Prophetic saying (hadith) which states to the effect, “Live in this world as if you will live forever and prepare for the hereafter as if you will die tomorrow.”

No doubt, without this subtitle, I would have never purchased a book entitled 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich. The reason was that words such as ‘rich,’ ‘wealth,’ and ‘money’ I would always associate then with materialism and greed. (Please forgive me for this myopic view!)

To make a long story short, Bo’s book became my first book on personal finance or financial literacy. Soon after that, I saw myself grabbing other books by him. Through those books, I was also introduced to classics in personal finance, such as Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad (https://amzn.to/3tFTWkj), George Samuel Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon (https://amzn.to/3tQi2c5), and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist (https://amzn.to/3tfnpkw).

Bo Sanchez’s biblical citations throughout his books inevitably called to mind some already known facts and concepts to me:

The human and wealth resources management by Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) (‘a)[1] indicated in Surah Yusuf (Chapter: Joseph), the 12th chapter in the Qur’an which is described as ahsan al-qasas (the best of stories);

The longest surah in the Qur’an (Surah al-Baqarah 2:283) which instructs about designating witnesses and putting into writing a business transaction, in general, and getting a loan, in particular;

The importance of charity (infaq or sadaqah)[2] and to be charitable (munfiqun, musaddiqun, or mutasaddiqun) in what we better know now as acquiring good karma;

Prophet Sulayman (Solomon)[3] and Dhu’l-Qarnayn,[4] two personas mentioned in the Qur’an, who are both extremely affluent and men of faith – are paragons of material and spiritual abundance, you may say.

No wonder, in the succeeding year or two, I would devour other books and magazines on personal and professional growth, investment, and entrepreneurship. And I put these books in a separate section of our family library.

In early 2015, along with my personal website (www.mlimba.com), I also bought the domain www.muslimandmoney.com and started blogging on personal finance, investment, and entrepreneurship. On its “About Us” page, I describe this niche website in these words:

“It is about planning and action. It is about attitude and management. It is about prayer and productivity. It is about acquiring streams of lawful income. It is about self-esteem and financial freedom. It is about spiritual-physical equilibrium. It is about self-empowerment to empower others.”[5]

I also clarified what the website is NOT in this manner:

“MuslimandMoney.com is NOT a quick-rich scheme. It is NOT a magic formula of wealth. It is NOT a scam. It is NOT a dialogue between two equals (Muslim and money). It is rather a forum to declare the former’s mastership and the latter’s servanthood, and not the other way around. It is NOT about greed. It is NOT about materialism. It is NOT even about money per se.”[6]

A few months after launching the website and subsequently opening its Facebook Fan Page (https://www.facebook.com/muslimandmoney), I began receiving questions such as these: “Can I Like it even though I’m not a Muslim?” “Can we invite non-Muslims to Like it?” “Is MuslimandMoney.com for Muslims only?”

I answered such questions, thus:

“God willing, even a non-Muslim who is interested to learn more about personal finance, investment, and entrepreneurship will find the website worthwhile to visit. He or she will also understand better how his or her Muslim friend is supposed to treat money – as servant and not master, as a means and not an end. In the same manner, a Muslim could relate a lot to the discussions of Bo Sanchez, a well-known Philippine-based Catholic layman preacher, investor, and entrepreneur, about ‘the Truly Rich’. It is because we do share the moral values of moderation, saving, helping others, condemnation of extravagance, abhorrence to materialism, and campaign against greed, among others. The Bible says, ‘For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.’ (1 Timothy 6:10) Similarly, it is thus reported in a hadith, ‘Love of this world is the root of all sins.’ (Usul al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 315)”[7]

A year after launching the website, I also wrote and published my first book on personal finance, which eventually became the first in my Muslim and Money Book Series.[8]

Aimed at assuring the prototypical newlywed couple in my mind of increased sustenance after marriage, Muslim Couple and Money (https://amzn.to/3usheMc) expounds on eight practical financial tips they can follow in matters of financial wealth, marriage and money, money formula, income, savings and investment, expenses, and finally, debt.

In November 2016, I presented a paper, “Debt Management in Behavioral Economics and Personal Finance as Reflected in Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah,” (https://muslimandmoney.com/debt-management-and-supplication) at the 3rd International Conference on Islam and Human Sciences held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Keeping in mind the prototypical newlywed couple who might have incurred debt at the onset of their life in marriage, as I did when I got married, I decided to modify and expand the paper. I turned it into a book as Muslim and Debt: 5 Practical Steps to Freedom from Debt (https://amzn.to/3Gnn3x3), which was eventually published in April 2020 and became the second title in the Muslim and Money Book Series.

As you might have noticed, it took me more than three years to finish expanding the paper and publishing it as a book. The reason for this delay was very personal. Until 2019 I had a ‘consumer’ debt, and I could not afford ‘preaching’ to others ‘5 practical steps to freedom from debt,’ which I myself failed to follow faithfully. Actually, the modification and expansion of the paper was already done in late 2017. I just waited for the time when I could repay the debt before publishing the book.

Thinking again about the prototypical newlywed couple. I was imagining they have kids by then. That’s why as early as April 2018, I published the second book, 12 Financial Stories for Muslim Kids, https://amzn.to/3KsO70P.

As a little background to the conception of the book, it was then my daughter’s first summer vacation after graduation from elementary. Over lunch I was mentioning to her the articles I was planning to post at one of my blogs – www.MuslimandMoney.com – and also the book – Muslim Couple and Money (https://amzn.to/3usheMc) – I was currently writing then.

Curious enough, she asked, “Papa, do you have also a plan to write ‘Muslim Kid and Money’ for us youngsters?”

Almost spontaneously, I replied, “Yes, I also want to… Can you help me in this project?”

“How?”

“In your spare time, read short stories and then select 12 stories you like most. And then I am going to edit the stories and give some annotations or explanations.”

“How should I select?”

“Do you mean the criteria for selection?”

“Yes.”

“You select the 12 stories whose moral lessons in personal financial literary and behavioral economics you like most.”

“Papa, what do you mean by ‘behavioral economics’?”

(Expectedly, she no longer asked about personal finance or financial literacy, as she has already some ideas about it due to our many earlier conversations – especially during meals. In fact, as early as in Grade 2, she was already selling items to her classmates and schoolmates.) 

“Behavioral economics is simply a method of economic analysis that applies psychological insights why people make economic decisions – buying, selling, consuming products and services, etc. – the way they do.”

“Okay!”

That’s how the said father-daughter joint project began.

Apart from blogging at and maintaining the Muslim and Money website and writing the three books, my advocacy for personal financial literacy also extends to my speaking engagements and lectures. This includes my short talks at wedding ceremonies[9] and lectures at the National Police College on “Opportunities for Personal and Professional Growth,” “Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurial Governance,” and “Retirement Planning.”

Speaking about the prototypical couple, my intended primary readers of the book series – who by this time are no longer ‘newlywed’ – I imagine them to have already the basic knowledge of personal finance, been freed from the shackles of consumerist debt, and starting to teach financial education to their little kids.

So, this couple now begins to regularly build their savings and explore all available investment portfolios. In my case, while still learning about investing in the stock market myself, I started in mutual funds where I let the bank be my manager to invest my money in the index fund. I also found myself then posting blogs about shari‘ah-compliant companies in the Philippine stock market.[10]

While in that learning stage, I had to find the right answers to such questions as what is investing? Why should and where can I invest? What is the stock market and why should I invest there? Is it possible to shari‘ah-compliantly invest in the stock market? How about the Philippine stock market? How can I do such shari‘ah-compliant investing in the Philippine stock market? After doing the shari‘ah-compliant investing, what are the next things should I do?

This upcoming book is exactly intended to offer you in a silver platter the answers to those questions. Aside from providing a proper mindset for investing and an overview of the Islamic finance and investment principles, I will walk you through each of the steps in the stock investment process. In the end, our aim is to make your investment journey a walk in the park, so to say, insha’ Allah.  

Obviously, this step-by-step guide in the making is intended for those who are new to stock investment and the Philippine stock market – the newbies, neophytes, or uninitiated. It is meant for those who want to make investments in the stock market for the long term. It is neither an expert’s advice nor aimed at a short-term investment or what we call ‘trading’. Due diligence in following each of the steps is henceforth advised.

Join me in the next three months of writing this ‘walk in the park’ of shari‘ah-compliant investing in the Philippine stock market!


[1] The abbreviation, “‘a” stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, ‘alayhi’s-salām, ‘alayhim’us-salām, or ‘alayhā’s-salām (may peace be upon him/them/her), which is mentioned after the names of the prophets, angels, Imāms from the Prophet’s progeny, and saints (‘a).

[2] See, inter alia, Qur’an 2:271, 264, 276; 9:60, 104; 17:29, 100.  

[3] See, inter alia, Qur’an 2:202; 21:79-81; 27:15-19, 40; 38:32-40.

[4] See Qur’an 18:83-98.

[5] “About,” Muslim and Money Website, https://muslimandmoney.com/about.

[6] “What muslimandmoney.com is NOT,” Muslim and Money Website, https://muslimandmoney.com/what-muslimandmoney-com-is-not.

[7] “M&M Question and Answer #1,” Muslim and Money Website, https://muslimandmoney.com/mm-question-and-answer-1.

[8] See “Products,” Muslim and Money Website, https://muslimandmoney.com/products.

[9] See, for example, “Newlywed Couple and Personal Finance, Muslim and Money Website, https://muslimandmoney.com/newlywed-couple-and-personal-finance, March 13, 2016.

[10] See, for example, “PSE Finds 60 Securities Compliant with Shariah,” Muslim and Money Website, https://muslimandmoney.com/pse-finds-60-securities-compliant-with-shariah, January 10, 2018.

5 Responses to Why I’m Currently Writing a Book about Shari‘ah-compliant Investing in the Stock Market

  1. […] Writing a Book about Shari‘ah-compliant Investing in the Stock Market” (March 14, 2022, https://muslimandmoney.com/why-im-currently-writing-a-book-about-shariah-compliant-investing-in-the-…), which serves as the first in this series of Book Writing Posts, I have mentioned my BIG WHY in […]

  2. Shatifa Mnape says:

    Assalaam alaykum.
    I read whatever you have written here…really it’s impressive. I’m also impressed tht intrigues me towards it. But, will it work for a society i live in? I need to make changes in my life and live as if i will be here forever, again i want to live as if I’m dying tomorrow. Can i count on you, dr Limba? By the way, I’m multilingual and do is my husband.

    • I will mention this in the book:

      “In a situation when we die earlier than our supposed retirement, the money that we have invested will provide for the daily expenses of our family. And if we die many years after retirement, the money we have invested will address our expenses at that time when we can no longer work due to physical disability and old age. Oftentimes, it is not a wise idea to rely on others – not even on our own children.”

  3. Sharifa says:

    Or there are some spelling mistakes as i was typing quickly.
    I’m multilingual and so do my husband
    My name Sharifa Mnape
    Studied in tehran University a family friend in iran….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.