Vol 2, No 2 (2021) 89–101

Halal Busi­ness and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty: Syn­er­gy of Islam­ic Busi­ness Ethics and Culture

Hel­mi Muhammad

Depart­ment of Sharia Eco­nom­ics, Fac­ul­ty of Eco­nom­ics and Busi­ness, Uni­ver­si­tas Islam Raden Rah­mat, Jl. Raya Mojosari No. 2, Kepan­jen, Malang, Jawa Timur 65163, Indonesia.

Cor­re­spon­dence should be addressed to Hel­mi Muham­mad: helmimuhammad@​uniramalang.​ac.​id

Cite this: Nusan­tara Halal J. 2021, Vol. 2 No.2 pp. 89–101 (Arti­cle) | Received 10 Sep­tem­ber 2021 | Revised 25 Novem­ber 2021 | Accept­ed 23 Decem­ber 2021 | Pub­lished 29 Decem­ber 2021 | http://​dx​.doi​.org/​1​0​.​1​7​9​7​7​/​u​m​0​6​0​.​2​0​2​1​v​2​p​0​8​9​-​101


This research aims to exam­ine Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­ture in the halal busi­ness prac­tice and sus­tain­abil­i­ty in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket, Malang Regency, Indone­sia. This study used a sin­gle case study approach with an explorato­ry descrip­tive design. The data were col­lect­ed through an in-depth inter­view with eleven infor­mants through pur­po­sive and snow­ball sam­pling. The obtained data were ana­lyzed using an inter­ac­tive mod­el. To main­tain research qual­i­ty, valid­i­ty tests, data com­par­isons, and data ver­i­fi­ca­tion were car­ried out using tri­an­gu­la­tion of data sources, meth­ods, and sources as well as mem­ber checks. Tri­an­gu­la­tion of data sources, meth­ods and mem­ber checks were used to main­tain research qual­i­ty. The result showed that the Islam­ic busi­ness eth­ic and the cul­tur­al val­ues run har­mo­nious­ly in the busi­ness prac­tice in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket, Malang regency, Indone­sia, which result­ed in eth­i­cal and cul­tur­al val­ues based on reli­gion. This research also for­mu­lat­ed a tra­di­tion­al mar­ket busi­ness mod­el as a local trade­mark with uni­ver­sal fea­tures, which can be adopt­ed by oth­er tra­di­tion­al mar­kets. The har­mo­ny of Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues in busi­ness prac­tice became the key to the sus­tain­abil­i­ty of Titoyu­do’s tra­di­tion­al mar­ket, which has been run­ning for more than half a century.

Key­words: Halal Busi­ness, Sus­tain­abil­i­ty, Islam­ic Busi­ness Ethics, Tra­di­tion­al Market


The halal busi­ness mod­el is a strat­e­gy to increase account­able busi­ness sus­tain­abil­i­ty in addi­tion to achiev­ing a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage [1]. This strat­e­gy is cru­cial due to the increas­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of halal prod­ucts in many coun­tries [2,3]. This phe­nom­e­non indi­cates increas­ing pub­lic aware­ness to rec­og­nize the qual­i­ty and stan­dards of halal prod­ucts [4]. This also sig­ni­fies that pub­lic knowl­edge about halal prod­ucts has helped increase the growth of the halal indus­try. There­fore, halal is not just a new trend but a new essen­tial par­a­digm for human life [5]. The ris­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of halal prod­ucts can also be observed through the call for com­pa­nies to for­mal­ly cer­ti­fy their prod­ucts and busi­ness prac­tices to attain a halal label. This appeal extends not only to coun­tries with Mus­lim pop­u­la­tions but also to non-Mus­lim coun­tries through­out the world [5]. Pub­lic aware­ness of prod­uct halal­ness has encour­aged busi­ness­peo­ple to be more sen­si­tive in run­ning their busi­ness­es because a halal busi­ness does not only pro­duce halal goods and ser­vices but also builds a strong busi­ness strat­e­gy [6].

The esca­lat­ed pop­u­lar­i­ty of the halal indus­try is also accom­pa­nied by more stud­ies on halal. Recent research on halal food secu­ri­ty, blockchain, and halal food chains has been car­ried out [7,8]. Also, stud­ies on halal food prod­ucts and sus­tain­able con­sumer buy­ing behav­ior com­ple­ment the halal trea­sure [9]. Halal stud­ies on oth­er vari­ables have also been car­ried out, for exam­ple, on micro­bial food ingre­di­ents [10], indus­try and logis­tics [11], finance [12], and so forth. The stud­ies on halal prod­ucts and ser­vices have grown beyond the bound­aries of reli­gion and cul­ture because of their ben­e­fits to humans. In addi­tion, in the intense glob­al com­pe­ti­tion, the halal busi­ness also oper­ates fol­low­ing a busi­ness oper­a­tion strat­e­gy based on val­ue for sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Empir­i­cal evi­dence proves that multi­na­tion­al com­pa­nies such as Nes­tle have invest­ed mil­lions of dol­lars in halal ori­en­ta­tion before becom­ing the glob­al leader of halal processed food, while com­pa­nies such as Wal­mart and Car­refour are sig­nif­i­cant sup­pli­ers of halal prod­ucts [13,14]. Clear­ly, they cap­ture promis­ing busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties from the halal sec­tor, espe­cial­ly the poten­tial of the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty seg­ment, known as a “one-bil­lion” mar­ket [15].

The impres­sive poten­tial of the halal mar­ket has shift­ed its posi­tion from the domain of reli­gious (halal) knowl­edge to busi­ness strat­e­gy due to eco­nom­ic and tech­no­log­i­cal fac­tors. Wil­son [16] explained that the val­ues of Islam­ic busi­ness ethics would be ignored because com­pa­nies focus sole­ly on prof­it goals. These eth­i­cal val­ues con­sist of deon­to­log­i­cal ethics, con­se­quen­tial­ist ethics, and virtue ethics, as in nor­ma­tive eth­i­cal the­o­ry [17]. Intrin­si­cal­ly, eth­i­cal val­ues con­tain inher­ent truths and good con­se­quences. The estu­ary is a holis­tic moral virtue that tran­scends right and wrong but is instead trans­formed into a life expe­ri­ence with an eth­i­cal per­son­al­i­ty. In Islam, busi­ness­men must pay atten­tion to busi­ness ethics in their trade to get prof­it and bless­ings. There­fore, the appli­ca­tion of reli­gious and cul­tur­al val­ues is essen­tial in sus­tain­able and eth­i­cal halal busi­ness. In fact, an Islam­ic under­stand­ing of laws is also cru­cial for busi­ness­peo­ple, includ­ing the law of the prod­ucts being trans­act­ed, the trans­ac­tion process, and the pur­pose of ensur­ing the halal busi­ness process [18]. In addi­tion, the inter­nal­iza­tion of moral axioms leads to effi­cient and eth­i­cal busi­ness­es [19] if accom­pa­nied by a sol­id com­mit­ment to Islam­ic ethics [20].

Sev­er­al vari­a­tions of the halal and sus­tain­abil­i­ty stud­ies showed that the­o­ret­i­cal and empir­i­cal dis­cus­sions had been car­ried out in var­i­ous multi­na­tion­al and mod­ern busi­ness­es. Nev­er­the­less, a study on halal and sus­tain­abil­i­ty needs to be car­ried out, pri­mar­i­ly inves­ti­gat­ing the syn­er­gy of reli­gion-based busi­ness ethics and local cul­ture in tra­di­tion­al mar­kets which have spe­cif­ic unique­ness. Aside from being a trad­ing place with human­is­tic char­ac­ter­is­tics that result­ed in “fam­i­ly” rela­tions between sell­ers and buy­ers, the con­ven­tion­al mar­ket also cov­ers the con­cep­tion of socio-cul­tur­al inter­ac­tions, which includes norms, trust, and bar­gain­ing, rein­forc­ing the net­work and loy­al­ty of tra­di­tion­al mar­ket vis­i­tors [20,21]. Cer­tain­ly, vis­i­tors’ strong net­works and com­mit­ment sig­nif­i­cant­ly influ­ence busi­ness trans­ac­tions in tra­di­tion­al mar­kets. Some of those con­ven­tion­al mar­kets are formed by adher­ing to mar­ket days in their oper­a­tions, form­ing the con­nec­tion between busi­ness ethics and cul­ture. Those mar­ket days are Legi, Pahing, Pon, Wage, and Kli­won, which have philo­soph­i­cal mean­ings in the Javanese tra­di­tion. Fur­ther, this fact becomes the empir­i­cal evi­dence for the har­mo­nious rela­tion­ship between busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues in an eth­i­cal busi­ness frame­work, posi­tion­ing it as a fas­ci­nat­ing sub­ject for research.

Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket is in the Tlo­gosari, Tir­toyu­do dis­trict, Malang Regency, Indone­sia. It is one of the tra­di­tion­al mar­kets that fol­low the Javanese mar­ket day in its oper­a­tion. Par­tic­u­lar­ly, this mar­ket pecu­liar­i­ty is in its Pon mar­ket day, which only lasts once every five days a week. This mar­ket sys­tem has been used since 1965. The pre­lim­i­nary data showed that the Pon mar­ket sea­son in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket trans­forms into a place of the crowd with the soci­ety hus­tle and bus­tle from var­i­ous lev­els and activ­i­ties, rang­ing from trade, eco­nom­ic, and social-cul­tur­al activ­i­ties to tourist des­ti­na­tions. Pub­lic belief in the “Pon” phi­los­o­phy is inter­pret­ed as a gold­en yel­low col­or radi­at­ing its light, char­ac­ter­iz­ing mar­keters that trig­ger the com­mu­ni­ty to empow­er them­selves by mar­ket­ing their crops and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty to give added val­ue. Com­mu­ni­ty obe­di­ence to the phi­los­o­phy of Pon mar­ket day is real­ized in busi­ness, and cul­tur­al activ­i­ties in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­kets, result­ing in the selec­tion of Tir­toyu­do in the Vil­lage Devel­op­ment Move­ment (Gema Desa) pro­gram in 2019. Besides, this tra­di­tion­al mar­ket has also attract­ed numer­ous investors in Indone­sia-Japan Busi­ness Net­work. The tra­di­tion­al mar­ket activ­i­ty that has been going on for 55 years has been a des­ti­na­tion for the traders out­side Tir­toyu­do to mar­ket their com­modi­ties and an icon of local prod­uct mar­ket­ing, such as cocoa and cof­fee. Addi­tion­al­ly, this tra­di­tion­al mar­ket has been a tourist des­ti­na­tion that sup­ports the gov­ern­men­t’s “one vil­lage, one prod­uct” and “one vil­lage, one des­ti­na­tion” pro­grams. The suc­cess of the Tir­toyu­do vil­lage in devel­op­ing its eco­nom­ic and cul­tur­al sec­tors is rec­og­nized to have a pos­i­tive cor­re­la­tion with the his­to­ry of the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al Pon mar­ket. This tra­di­tion­al mar­ket only oper­ates in Pon mar­ket days. The Pon mar­ket days, with its phi­los­o­phy, is rec­og­nized as a cul­tur­al her­itage and is imple­ment­ed in the tra­di­tion­al mar­ket oper­a­tions with excel­lent rel­e­vance to Islam­ic ethics, espe­cial­ly in the eco­nom­ic and busi­ness sec­tors. The con­for­mi­ty of Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues can only be prac­ticed in a com­mu­ni­ty that still holds eth­i­cal prin­ci­ples in its behav­ior and actions. For this rea­son, this study exam­ined the har­mo­ny of Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues, espe­cial­ly in busi­ness prac­tices in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket. Addi­tion­al­ly, this study also for­mu­lat­ed a busi­ness mod­el which inte­grates Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues from the per­spec­tive of busi­ness­peo­ple in the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket. This busi­ness mod­el was expect­ed to enrich the exist­ing knowl­edge and can be applied in oth­er tra­di­tion­al mar­kets in Indonesia.

‘Halal’ in the Ara­bic lan­guage encap­su­lates an Islam­ic belief rep­re­sent­ing things and actions per­mis­si­ble under Sharia law [2]. An equal­ly impor­tant term in Halal is ‘Thoyy­ib’, a word that also comes from the Ara­bic lan­guage, which means ‘good and whole­some’ [4]. Based on these reli­gious foun­da­tions, the term Halal is used as an indi­ca­tion of qual­i­ty, con­not­ing con­sid­er­able val­ue, ben­e­fits, and pub­lic reli­gious obser­vance to Islam­ic con­sumers and pro­duc­ers [5]. Con­sum­ing Halal food forms a fun­da­men­tal com­po­nent of the Islam­ic faith. Haram is, con­verse­ly, the dia­met­ric of Halal, describ­ing pro­hib­it­ed or unlaw­ful prac­tices [6]. Haram and Halal are uni­ver­sal­ly accept­ed duti­ful terms that apply to all facets of a devout Mus­lim’s life. In this regard, Islam is not only a reli­gious obser­va­tion, but it also encom­pass­es the duti­ful liv­ing out of a bal­anced way of life.

Food is a rit­u­al­ly fun­da­men­tal com­po­nent of Mus­lims’ dai­ly life. For this very rea­son, Halal food laws, com­pli­ance, and reg­u­la­tion clear­ly car­ry a spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance. Mus­lims do not exist to eat; in fact, eat­ing faith­ful­ly and obser­vant­ly is a reli­gious expres­sion to pre­serve sur­vival and main­tain good health. In Islam, eat­ing is con­sid­ered wor­ship­ful, like prayer, fast­ing, alms-giv­ing, and oth­er reli­gious activ­i­ties. It must be appre­ci­at­ed that Halal food reg­u­la­tions cov­er the com­plete range of oper­a­tions and activ­i­ties that occur from the farm to final con­sump­tion [7]. Thus, unde­sir­able prac­tices that con­sti­tute some fraud or mal­prac­tice along Halal food sup­ply chains are very con­cern­ing for Mus­lim con­sumers [7]. For Mus­lim con­sumers, one of the fac­tors influ­enc­ing food pur­chase deci­sions is reli­gious con­fi­dence in offered prod­ucts. Every Mus­lim is strict­ly oblig­ed to search for evi­dence of good han­dling prac­tices before con­sum­ing Halal prod­ucts [8].


This research used a qual­i­ta­tive approach with an explorato­ry descrip­tive design [23]. The research was car­ried out in 2021 in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket, Malang, Indone­sia, select­ed due to the poten­tial of its unique char­ac­ter­is­tic. The sam­ple was select­ed by pur­po­sive sam­pling to choose the key infor­mant. In the end, we chose the head of mar­ket admin­is­tra­tion or usu­al­ly called mantri pasar, as the key infor­mant. Mean­while, the oth­er infor­mants were select­ed based on the pre­vi­ous infor­ma­tion from the key infor­mants. In this process, we used snow­ball sam­pling involv­ing the sell­ers, user com­mu­ni­ty, fig­ures from the vil­lage, local gov­ern­ment, and many oth­er rel­e­vant par­ties to com­plete the data need­ed. The data were col­lect­ed through the in-depth inter­view [24] with eleven infor­mants. Each inter­view was con­duct­ed for between two to three hours. Fur­ther, the inter­view data were tran­scribed, cod­ed, and ana­lyzed appro­pri­ate­ly using qual­i­ta­tive meth­ods. For the data analy­sis, we used the inter­ac­tive mod­el to ana­lyze the cor­re­la­tion from the results based on the cat­e­go­ry of activ­i­ty in numer­ous cycles. Besides, inter­ac­tive analy­sis was car­ried out con­tin­u­ous­ly from the begin­ning of data col­lec­tion to the ver­i­fi­ca­tion or con­clu­sion-draw­ing process [25]. To main­tain research qual­i­ty, the valid­i­ty test, data com­par­i­son, and data ver­i­fi­ca­tion were car­ried out using the tri­an­gu­la­tion of data sources, meth­ods, and oth­er sources as well as mem­ber checks [26].


Islam­ic Busi­ness Ethics Practices

Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket serves as both a loca­tion for com­mer­cial activ­i­ty and inter­ac­tion in the con­text of social cul­ture. As a trad­ing place, Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket has an essen­tial role in pro­vid­ing eco­nom­ic needs for the peo­ple and increas­ing the eco­nom­ic val­ues. To achieve eco­nom­ic val­ues, ethics are imple­ment­ed in sus­tain­able busi­ness trans­ac­tions. Accord­ing to the field obser­va­tions, gen­er­al­ly, the sell­ers imple­ment­ed eth­i­cal prin­ci­ples that are rel­e­vant to Islam­ic teach­ings prop­er­ly. Those eth­i­cal prin­ci­ples are dis­cussed in the following.

Uphold­ing Trusts (Amanah)

Amanah rep­re­sents the trust­wor­thi­ness that guides a busi­nessper­son in doing trans­ac­tions. Schol­ars and prac­ti­tion­ers wide­ly rec­og­nize the impor­tance of trust­wor­thi­ness because it is the key to inter­per­son­al rela­tion­ships with oth­ers and indi­cates account­abil­i­ty. This trait will lead to the con­sumer’s sat­is­fac­tion and trust through good account­abil­i­ty, as well as loy­al­ty towards busi­ness sus­tain­abil­i­ty. The amanah can be observed through the pos­i­tive cor­re­la­tion between deeds and words, the appro­pri­ate­ness of the report, and the real­i­ty of the trans­ac­tion, as well as hon­or­ing a per­son­’s com­mit­ment. This trait could be seen from the behav­ior of Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket traders who showed prod­uct defects before being sold, show­ing that they did not hide the defects (ghisysyi), kept con­sumers’ orders, did not over­es­ti­mate the qual­i­ty of goods, and offered goods based on the exist­ing con­di­tions. In Islam, amanah refers to the suc­cess of the Prophet Muham­mad in doing busi­ness by build­ing trust as an essen­tial cap­i­tal. The exam­ple giv­en by Prophet Muham­mad SAW by his trust­ful nature has lat­er been proven by mod­ern eco­nom­ic and man­age­ment the­o­ries. These the­o­ries are close to the teach­ings of the Prophet Muham­mad SAW about the dri­ving fac­tors of the econ­o­my and busi­ness pro­ce­dures, which aims to alle­vi­ate pover­ty through entre­pre­neur­ship in the monothe­ism and divin­i­ty par­a­digm [27]. The busi­ness prac­ti­tion­ers who prac­ticed amanah are in line with the teach­ing of Islam that busi­ness­peo­ple should have an ori­en­ta­tion of inde­pen­dence, able to max­i­mize all the resources they have, and pro­vide ben­e­fits for human­i­ty [28]. The func­tion of trust­wor­thi­ness in busi­ness helps some­one always do good deeds and avoid cheat­ing. It is in line with the pre­vi­ous research report­ing the pos­i­tive effects of Islam­ic ethics imple­men­ta­tion in busi­ness [29].

Fair (‘adl)

Fair­ness is the cen­tral norm in eco­nom­ic aspects. Besides, fair­ness or jus­tice is one of God’s names, God’s Infi­nite Jus­tice. God likes peo­ple who are fair and are very hos­tile to wrong­do­ing. The imple­men­ta­tions of fair­ness in the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket were observed from their truth­ful behav­ior by not cheat­ing in scal­ing (tah­fif) and not reduc­ing the weight (ghabn). In addi­tion, many busi­ness or shop own­ers treat­ed the employ­ees fair­ly by not dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing their races, eth­nic­i­ties, or groups. Besides, they also often gave rewards based on the eth­i­cal per­for­mance of employ­ees. The head of mar­ket admin­is­tra­tion only per­mit­ted one per­son to own one stall to dis­trib­ute the places even­ly. From anoth­er per­spec­tive, this fair nature had a pos­i­tive impact in report­ing that the core of mar­ket­ing is the prin­ci­ple of max­i­miz­ing val­ues based on jus­tice (such as fair trans­ac­tions) to achieve the wel­fare of the wider com­mu­ni­ty [30]. Even all busi­ness behav­ior must be based on the prin­ci­ple of jus­tice or fair­ness [31]. Also, fair­ness can­not be ignored to ensure the social wel­fare of the com­mu­ni­ty [32].

Mutu­al Assis­tance (ta’awun)

The Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket, which is dom­i­nat­ed by Javanese and Madurese traders, has a tra­di­tion of mutu­al assis­tance. Often when traders had to do oth­er activ­i­ties and leave their stalls, their neigh­bor­ing trad­er helped with the sales trans­ac­tion ser­vices. In anoth­er con­text, they also helped one anoth­er exchange infor­ma­tion about busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties, price devel­op­ments, and busi­ness expan­sion oppor­tu­ni­ties. Also, traders with suf­fi­cient cap­i­tal or prod­ucts aid­ed oth­er traders in main­tain­ing busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity. For them, achiev­ing com­mu­ni­ty well-being was a core objec­tive that was built on indi­vid­ual growth. It sig­ni­fies that hap­pi­ness and col­lec­tive growth-ori­ent­ed work is their iden­ti­ty and exis­tence. These empir­i­cal facts showed the nature of mutu­al assis­tance (ta’awun), mutu­al coor­di­na­tion, and coop­er­a­tion. In many vers­es, Al-Qur’an teach­es Mus­lims to help one anoth­er and work togeth­er on good deeds (for exam­ple, see Al Maid­ah: 2). The nature of good mutu­al assis­tance includes good deeds (sholi­hat) [33], which car­ries a pos­i­tive impact, such as the for­ma­tion of eth­i­cal behav­ior in busi­ness [34]. Ta’awun requires col­lab­o­ra­tion, group cohe­sive­ness, a mutu­al spir­it in the sense of fam­i­ly, and social sol­i­dar­i­ty, which leads to the ben­e­fit of the peo­ple. Ta’awun prac­ticed by traders or busi­ness­peo­ple in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­kets are in line with the results of pre­vi­ous stud­ies, which stat­ed that uni­ver­sal sol­i­dar­i­ty (ukhuwwah) through mutu­al assis­tance among stake­hold­ers in the form of finan­cial and non-finan­cial busi­ness­es has pos­i­tive ben­e­fits in build­ing sus­tain­able busi­ness resilience [35].

Sin­cer­i­ty (ikhlas)

Traders’ sin­cer­i­ty in run­ning the busi­ness in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket was observed in a vari­ety of atti­tudes such as truth in words and actions, good inten­tions to give assis­tance, hon­esty, as well as free from manip­u­la­tion, false­hood, and cam­ou­flage, and free from ulte­ri­or motives after they do good deeds. In their per­spec­tive, as doing good deeds to oth­ers is the nature of human beings, they must do good deeds. Mean­while, the expec­ta­tion of get­ting a reward after a good deed dam­ages the good­ness itself. Every human being has an oblig­a­tion to do a good deed, be friend­ly, be non-dis­crim­i­na­to­ry, and not com­mit fraud or bribery because of intel­li­gence [34]. This dimen­sion of sin­cer­i­ty is the char­ac­ter of a sim­ple and hum­ble Mus­lim [36]. From a social per­spec­tive, sin­cer­i­ty also can be inter­pret­ed as the con­tri­bu­tion of social respon­si­bil­i­ty of entre­pre­neurs as a form of indi­vid­ual com­mit­ment to the com­mu­ni­ty. Such a view shows human nature as a social crea­ture explic­it­ly has an eth­i­cal norm in the devel­op­ment of social respon­si­bil­i­ty busi­ness con­duct [37]. If it adopts Toy­ota Way, this prin­ci­ple of sin­cer­i­ty is ori­ent­ed towards serv­ing oth­ers, which is ori­ent­ed towards long-term col­lec­tive well-being [38].

Fra­ter­ni­ty (ukhuwah)

Good social inter­ac­tion cre­ates a sense of fra­ter­ni­ty in a com­mu­ni­ty. Inter­est­ing­ly, the traders’ busi­ness in the tra­di­tion­al mar­kets of Tir­toyu­do showed this sense of fra­ter­ni­ty. Their fra­ter­ni­ty was observed when the sell­er still gave the gro­ceries even when the buy­er for­got to bring mon­ey or only brought less mon­ey, the food ven­dors often pro­vid­ed addi­tion­al por­tions, the sell­ers often gave lee­way when buy­ers could not pay their debts, and the shop own­ers gave wages sole­ly based on the per­for­mance and not based on race or eth­nic­i­ty. Tra­di­tion­al­ly, traders are typ­i­cal units that become part of the fam­i­ly, who are help­ing and encour­ag­ing one anoth­er to reach their full poten­tial. These find­ings indi­cate social inter­ac­tions with­in the frame­work of fra­ter­ni­ty or broth­er­hood. From an Islam­ic per­spec­tive, fra­ter­ni­ty is not only built based on blood ties but also based on faith, uni­ty, and equal­i­ty as human beings. The broth­er­hood is also built with­in the frame­work of human wel­fare and good liv­ing [36]. Broth­er­hood as an eth­i­cal prin­ci­ple plays an impor­tant role both in the con­text of mod­ern mar­ket­ing the­o­ry and Islam­ic mar­ket­ing that leads to ben­e­fit [37,38]. Besides, it is also regard­ed as a uni­ver­sal eth­i­cal val­ue [41].


Spir­i­tu­al­i­ty is defined as bring­ing busi­ness from the ini­tial mate­r­i­al dimen­sion to the imma­te­r­i­al spir­i­tu­al dimen­sion. Besides, with spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, human posi­tions God as a source that inspires, influ­ences, and moves the con­science through an eth­i­cal approach to reli­gion. This spir­i­tu­al­i­ty was also observed in the busi­ness prac­tices in the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket. Traders argued that besides being mate­ri­al­ly ori­ent­ed through busi­ness, they also expect­ed to be able to donate and help oth­ers with their busi­ness rev­enue. Also, obe­di­ence to God through prayer oblig­a­tion was not neglect­ed dur­ing busy busi­ness days, and they per­ceived busi­ness rev­enue as a prepa­ra­tion for the after­life. In busi­ness, spir­i­tu­al prac­tice is essen­tial because it shapes the indi­vid­u­al’s char­ac­ter based on reli­gious ethics, which focus on right­eous deeds, such as mod­esty, dis­ci­pline, and hon­esty. This view is rein­forced by the results of pre­vi­ous stud­ies that spir­i­tu­al val­ues can enhance cre­ativ­i­ty [42], com­mit­ment, and inter­per­son­al rela­tion­ships [43]. Besides, spir­i­tu­al val­ues are also report­ed to moti­vate eth­i­cal behav­ior [44], improve per­for­mance [45], have a pos­i­tive impact on spir­i­tu­al health [46], and be more con­cerned with ethics than just pur­su­ing mate­r­i­al [47].

The Cul­tur­al Values

In addi­tion to the eth­i­cal prin­ci­ples men­tioned above, traders in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket also prac­ticed cul­tur­al prin­ci­ples. These cul­tur­al val­ues give a pos­i­tive mean­ing to busi­ness sus­tain­abil­i­ty with­out leav­ing exist­ing local wis­dom. The cul­tur­al val­ues are dis­cussed in the fol­low­ing discussion.

Sedu­lu­ran (broth­er­hood)

Sedu­lu­ran means fra­ter­ni­ty or broth­er­hood. This cul­ture was built by giv­ing under­stand­ing to all tra­di­tion­al mar­ket traders that they were all fam­i­ly. It was preached by com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers in Tir­toyu­do vil­lage and the head of mar­ket admin­is­tra­tion who con­tin­u­ous­ly con­duct­ed gath­er­ing which was called “kumpu­lan”. The event was attend­ed by all traders or their rep­re­sen­ta­tives to strength­en the rela­tion­ship as well as to fos­ter fra­ter­ni­ty in the mar­ket trad­er com­mu­ni­ty. In this con­text, sedu­lu­ran prac­tices include man­i­fest­ing mutu­al assis­tance among traders when­ev­er they encounter obsta­cles. Some­times, the assis­tance was in the form of help­ing to sell or pro­vide infor­ma­tion. In addi­tion, good social rela­tion­ships, such as help­ing in look­ing after the goods or stalls, built the sen­si­tiv­i­ty of fam­i­ly rela­tion­ships. This fra­ter­ni­ty in tra­di­tion­al mar­ket com­mu­ni­ties serves as a cul­tur­al her­itage and a frame­work for main­tain­ing local wis­dom as a Javanese com­mu­ni­ty always holds the prin­ci­ple of fra­ter­ni­ty, both based on faith and fel­low human beings. In asso­ci­a­tion with busi­ness, this sense of broth­er­hood relat­ed to main­tain­ing rela­tions pro­vides busi­ness and mar­ket­ing net­work oppor­tu­ni­ties. This con­cept is in line with the results of pre­vi­ous stud­ies, which stat­ed that broth­er­hood has a promi­nent role in mar­ket­ing [37,38]. The char­ac­ter­is­tics of sedu­lu­ru­an tra­di­tion­al­ly come from the nor­ma­tive-reli­gious envi­ron­ment. Often, traders and local peo­ple apol­o­gize to one anoth­er, show­ing humil­i­ty and care for oth­ers. The cul­ture of apol­o­giz­ing is not in the con­text of admit­ting mis­takes or respon­si­bil­i­ties as it is done in the west­ern world, but it is used to main­tain har­mo­ny in fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty. Fur­ther, this tra­di­tion­al cul­ture of apol­o­giz­ing has con­for­mi­ty with the nor­ma­tive spir­i­tu­al busi­ness cul­ture in Japan that also aims for main­tain­ing broth­er­hood [48].

Ban­caan (eat­ing together)

Ban­caan is a Javanese tra­di­tion that serves var­i­ous foods on banana leaves to be con­sumed togeth­er. Ban­caan was usu­al­ly done by traders when they opened a new store coin­cid­ing with the mar­ket day or dur­ing Pon mar­ket day at Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket. Ban­caan was con­duct­ed as a sign of grat­i­tude to God for the bless­ings they received, which is real­ized by shar­ing food with oth­ers. It was also a form of respect and devo­tion to the ances­tors who cre­at­ed the path enabling the peo­ple to trade or make a for­tune in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­kets. Addi­tion­al­ly, it could strength­en sol­i­dar­i­ty between peo­ple in a com­mu­ni­ty. In the tra­di­tions of Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket, ban­caan began with advice and prayers led by local fig­ures. This rit­u­al aimed to pro­vide a sense of close­ness to God to obtain peace of mind and opti­mism in their busi­ness. The ori­gin of ban­caan, aside from being a cul­ture and local wis­dom, also implied eth­i­cal and spir­i­tu­al val­ues that pos­i­tive­ly affect the peo­ple and busi­ness­es in general.

Ewuh Pakewuh (a form of respect for others)

Ewuh Pakewuh is defined as a form of respect for senior traders. The senior lev­el was deter­mined by their age or their long peri­od of trad­ing at the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket. This cul­ture com­ple­ment­ed a har­mo­nious atmos­phere by increas­ing fra­ter­ni­ty in the tra­di­tion­al mar­ket com­mu­ni­ty. Senior traders usu­al­ly gave good exam­ples to younger traders, such as keep­ing the mar­ket clean, greet­ing one anoth­er, and main­tain­ing the har­mo­ny of the mar­ket envi­ron­ment to cre­ate a cul­ture of feel­ing reluc­tant or hes­i­tant to make a mis­take. The har­mo­ny cre­at­ed in the mar­ket envi­ron­ment among traders, buy­ers, sup­pli­ers, heads of admin­is­tra­tion, and com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers proves that ewuh pakewuh has a pos­i­tive impact on the fra­ter­ni­ty. This cul­ture is not inter­pret­ed as a bar­ri­er and obsta­cle dur­ing an argu­ment that usu­al­ly occurs in the Javanese com­mu­ni­ty but rather as a trig­ger for the cre­ation of a good cul­ture. This empir­i­cal fact dif­fers from a pre­vi­ous study report­ing that the ewuh pakewuh shows the mis­align­ment of peo­ple’s atti­tudes and behav­ior, even hav­ing a neg­a­tive impact on orga­ni­za­tion­al behav­ior [49].

Ngawu­lo Bek­ti (the sense of obe­di­ence to commands)

Ngawu­lo bek­ti, is a local cul­ture that has a pos­i­tive impact on busi­ness sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Ngawu­lo bek­ti is inter­pret­ed as a form of servi­tude in the sense of obe­di­ence to com­mands, writ­ten rules, and applic­a­ble cus­toms. Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket enti­ties such as traders, sup­pli­ers, buy­ers, head of admin­is­tra­tive and com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers had a con­sen­sus of adher­ence to the agreed rules. The vio­la­tion of the joint con­sen­sus would result in iso­la­tion and elim­i­na­tion from the mar­ket com­mu­ni­ty as a form of pun­ish­ment. Their sim­i­lar views enhance their har­mo­nious fra­ter­ni­ty. Besides, ngawu­lo bek­ti cul­ture is also defined as the view that per­ceives trad­ing as a form of human servi­tude to God in the form of car­ry­ing out His com­mands to seek His gifts and good for­tune. Their sense of obe­di­ence was also observed in their obe­di­ence to pray in the mid­dle of trad­ing as soon as the prayer call echoed. Their obe­di­ence was a pos­i­tive result of kumpu­lan or ban­caan through the advice giv­en by the reli­gious lead­ers. Obe­di­ence also emerges because of a sol­id reli­gious foun­da­tion. Lin­ear­ly, pre­vi­ous research also described that every effort is part of the wor­ship that should be com­plet­ed prop­er­ly and the attempt to pro­vide ben­e­fits for oth­ers with a bal­anced ori­en­ta­tion towards the world and the here­after [50].

Nan­dur Becik (cul­ti­vate good will)

Nan­dur becik is a cul­ture to cul­ti­vate good­will. This cul­tur­al val­ue was expressed through the views and behav­ior of tra­di­tion­al mar­ket traders. The traders explic­it­ly stat­ed that every act was an invest­ment with future rewards. This cul­ture was reflect­ed when the traders’ pro­vid­ed drinks, snacks, or can­dy to buy­ers dur­ing the trans­ac­tion. Their close­ness was shown through the cheer­ful dia­logue while enjoy­ing the ser­vice. Although this treat­ment was part of the ser­vice effort, its nature was to cul­ti­vate kind­ness. Addi­tion­al­ly, the prac­tice of this cul­ture is also the imple­men­ta­tion of God’s order, as declared in Al-Qur’an, “so who­ev­er does an atom­’s weight of good will see it; and who­ev­er does an atom­’s weight of evil will see it” (QS 99: 7–8). The tra­di­tion of nan­dur becik was always echoed by com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers in kumpu­lan and ban­caan, so traders car­ried out this trait through var­i­ous forms because every human being must do good and give ben­e­fits. From the per­spec­tive of Islam, the nan­dur becik prac­ticed in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket is part of spir­i­tu­al­i­ty in busi­ness, as it reflects the aware­ness of busi­ness­peo­ple that their prof­its are not only short-term world­ly prof­its but also long-term prof­its in the after­life. Busi­ness­es that run based on spir­i­tu­al val­ues are proven to sur­vive and devel­op well, as the traders of the Tir­toyu­do mar­ket have exist­ed for gen­er­a­tions, since more than half a cen­tu­ry ago.

Busi­ness prac­tices in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket were car­ried out eth­i­cal­ly by still con­sid­er­ing the cul­tur­al val­ues as the local her­itage. The cor­re­la­tion of Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues prac­ticed by Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket enti­ties is also con­nect­ed with the Pon mar­ket phi­los­o­phy itself. Pon mar­ket has the wood char­ac­ter­is­tic, rep­re­sent­ing its gen­er­al flex­i­ble but hard fea­tures. Flex­i­ble means that if bent, it will return to its for­mer posi­tion. Mean­while, its hard char­ac­ter­is­tic refers to seri­ous­ness. Besides, the wood char­ac­ter­is­tic also sig­ni­fies that in the event of good for­tune, it will turn into wood until it becomes frail, and in the event of bad luck, it will turn into fire­wood. From a busi­ness per­spec­tive, Pon mar­ket indi­cates that a good busi­ness must be flex­i­ble and adapt to the envi­ron­ment. Busi­ness flex­i­bil­i­ty requires eth­i­cal behav­ior that does not con­flict with cul­ture as part of an influ­en­tial envi­ron­ment. The sum­ma­ry of the har­mo­nious rela­tion­ship between Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues prac­ticed in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket is sum­ma­rized in Table 1.

Table 1. The Har­mo­nious Rela­tion­ship of Islam­ic Busi­ness Ethics and Cul­tur­al Values

Islam­ic Busi­ness EthicsCul­ture
Uphold­ing TrustNot hid­ing the defects of goods (ghisysyi)Keep­ing the con­sumers’ order­sNot over­es­ti­mat­ing the qual­i­ty of good­sOf­fer­ing goods based on the exist­ing conditionsSedu­lu­ran  Help­ing one anoth­er Look­ing after the oth­er traders’ goods or stallSen­si­tiv­i­ty of fra­ter­ni­ty rela­tion­ship­Main­tain­ing local wis­dom based on reli­gious belief or human relation.
FairNot cheat­ing the scales (tah­fif)Not reduc­ing the weight (ghabn)Treat­ing the employ­ees fair­ly­One per­son to own one stall. Ban­caanEat­ing togeth­er­Sign of grat­i­tud­eRe­spect­ing the ances­torsStrength­en­ing solidarity
Mutu­al AssistancePro­vid­ing assis­tance­Ex­chang­ing infor­ma­tion­Cap­i­tal sup­port for oth­er traders. Ewuh pakewuhGiv­ing good exam­ples to younger traders, such as keep­ing the mar­ket clean, greet­ing one anoth­er, and main­tain­ing the har­mo­ny of the mar­ket envi­ron­ment to cre­ate a feel­ing of reluc­tance or hes­i­ta­tion to make a mistake.Creating har­mo­ny in the mar­ket envi­ron­ment­Giv­ing pos­i­tive effect on the fra­ter­ni­ty framework
Sin­cer­i­tyGood­will­Hon­estyFree of manip­u­la­tion and fal­si­tyFree of ulte­ri­or motives­Good­will is human nature.Expecting a reward will ruin the good­will itself. 
Fra­ter­ni­tyKeep sell­ing the gro­ceries even when the buy­er for­gets to bring mon­ey or only brings less money.Providing addi­tion­al por­tion­Giv­ing lee­way when buy­ers can­not pay their debts​.Giv​ing employ­ees’ wages based on performance. Ngawu­lo BektiSense of obe­di­ence to the agreed rule­sCom­mon views as fam­i­ly­Trad­ing is a form of human servi­tude to Allah SWTObe­di­ence to pray in the mid­dle of the trading
Spir­i­tu­al­i­tyDonat­ing and help­ing one anoth­er­Obe­di­ence to God through oblig­at­ed prayer­Po­si­tion­ing busi­ness rev­enue as a prepa­ra­tion for the afterlifeNan­dur BecikAtti­tude is an invest­ment. Pro­vid­ing drinks, snacks, or can­dy to buy­ers dur­ing the trans­ac­tion­Ser­vice is cul­ti­vat­ing goodwill

Source: Field Data Results

The eth­i­cal val­ues prac­ticed by Tir­toyu­do mar­ket traders, from the per­spec­tive of nor­ma­tive eth­i­cal the­o­ry, deon­to­log­i­cal ethics, and con­se­quen­tial­ist ethics, are clas­si­fied as appro­pri­ate and have good con­se­quences [17]. Any busi­ness requires peo­ple with eth­i­cal behav­ior because these peo­ple present pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions. The syn­er­gy between Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues prac­ticed in dai­ly behav­ior becomes a work cul­ture and indi­vid­ual virtue com­ing from the heart based on strong faith. Jon­s­son (2011) described ethics as a holis­tic virtue that is not con­sid­ered a mat­ter of right and wrong but rather as a way of life that is infused with moral char­ac­ter. In Islam, this eth­ic is named ihsan. Eth­i­cal val­ues in busi­ness guar­an­tee the pro­duc­tion of halal goods that pos­i­tive­ly con­tribute to oth­er lives. The syn­er­gy of Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and local cul­tur­al val­ues shows the high knowl­edge and actions of traders in the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket. Empir­i­cal expe­ri­ence (through reli­gious and cul­tur­al knowl­edge) passed down by pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions has placed traders in a posi­tion of virtue (Ihsan).

Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket has com­bined Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and local cul­tur­al val­ues for more than half a cen­tu­ry. This mar­ket exis­tence shows that busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity is well estab­lished using the busi­ness mod­el from the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket. The busi­ness mod­el cor­re­lat­ing the Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and local cul­tur­al val­ues prac­ticed in the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket are pre­sent­ed in Fig­ure 1.

Fig­ure 1. Halal and Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Mod­el in Tir­toyu­do Tra­di­tion­al Market. 


Sus­tain­able busi­ness prac­ticed in Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket, M alang Regency, Indone­sia, col­lab­o­rates the prin­ci­ples of Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues as a lega­cy of local wis­dom. The busi­ness is har­mo­nious­ly car­ried out by mar­ket enti­ties which include traders, buy­ers, sup­pli­ers, heads of admin­is­tra­tion, and com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers. Islam­ic busi­ness ethics, as a busi­ness prac­tice based on Islam­ic teach­ings, plays a vital role in shap­ing busi­ness with excel­lent char­ac­ter­is­tics, such as uphold­ing trust (amanah), fair­ness (‘adl), mutu­al assis­tance (ta’awun), sin­cer­i­ty (ikhlas), fra­ter­ni­ty (ukhuwwah) and spir­i­tu­al­i­ty. At the same time, the local cul­tur­al val­ues jux­ta­posed in busi­ness prac­tices include sedu­lu­ran, ban­caan, ewuh pakeweuh, ngawu­lo bek­ti, and nan­dur becik cul­tures. Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues are prac­ticed in har­mo­ny by the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket enti­ties because of their excel­lent under­stand­ing of sym­bols, lan­guages, and norms. This har­mo­nious com­bi­na­tion of Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues results in a busi­ness mod­el of the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket, which has become a local trade­mark. Nev­er­the­less, this local trade­mark is uni­ver­sal, allow­ing it to be adopt­ed by oth­er tra­di­tion­al mar­kets. Addi­tion­al­ly, the har­mo­nious com­bi­na­tion of Islam­ic busi­ness ethics and cul­tur­al val­ues is also a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in the sus­tain­abil­i­ty of the Tir­toyu­do tra­di­tion­al mar­ket, as proven by its more than half a cen­tu­ry existence.


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