Ismail Jeilani and the power of saving money

“We need to normalize people like us, Muslims, doing really cool things.”

“We need to normalize people like us, Muslims, doing really cool things.”

On this week’s TMV Podcast, I spoke to Ismail Jeilani, the founder of the groundbreaking app Scoodle, on how to stay debt-free, the power of saving money, and what Scoodle has to offer for both students and tutors.

Listen to our full discussion here:

Ismail Jeilani first made the life-changing decision to not take a student loan for university because of his determination to stay interest and debt free. This was to stay, in his opinion, as Islamic as possible by not involving himself with schemes that would end up dragging him into a world of mounting interest rates.

It’s ok to make decisions because you are Muslim…society and culture can make that unnecessarily difficult for you though. But what’s impossible seems to keep changing.”

While it may be difficult, Ismail managed to work part-time during his university days to save money and pay for his university fees, something that a lot of his friends weren’t doing at the time. While he was putting in those hours doing a part-time tutoring job on the side, Ismail managed to be debt-free and save money at the same time.

The power of saving money is often underestimated, according to Ismail. Part-time jobs and being careful when spending can often be looked down upon, especially in a society that puts pressure on many to socialize by spending money and showcasing material goods, but Ismail hope that many other Muslims like himself can learn to appreciate the power in working hard and saving money to stay as halal as possible, especially when it comes to student debt and loans that include interest rates.

You can even find a lazy way to make money…it’s ok to do that! You just have to prioritze what you care about and make it work. My biggest advice is just saying yes to things, to just explore everything.”

After graduating from university debt-free, Ismail created the app Scoodle, wanting to try out his skills in the entrepreneurial world. Scoodle is an app that connects students with tutors, and is the first in the world that does not charge booking fees. The biggest priority for Ismail is that it should not be about the money, but about how both students and tutors are happy and satisfied using the app and benefitting from it.

With the co-founder of Twitter now investing in Scoodle, Ismail sees his platform growing into a worldwide ecosystem of learning and giving back. Proudly being Muslim and tech-savvy is what has inspired many others as well. Being able to follow certain teachings of Islam, including staying debt-free and interest-free, Ismail hopes that his own personal story, as well as the story of Scoodle, will help other Muslims start their own entrepreneurial projects as well.

People want to build apps that excite everyone, and those are the ones that wil be the most successful. We need to normalize people like us, Muslims, doing really cool things.”

While there is still a long way to go in terms of full representation for Muslims and other minorities in the tech world, Ismail has hopes that it will change quickly. With more and more Muslims able to showcase their talent and skills in the world of entrepreneurship, Ismail sees a bright future for both Muslims and the tech world.



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