Tayib Hasan: “I researched the Muslim Entrepreneur Network, and what I learned is potentially devastating for our community.”

The following article was sent to Muslim Reviews by Tayib Hasan, a Londoner who has followed the activities of MEN closely and wishes to contribute towards raising awareness. This article is his own research and is not the “dossier” that the Muslim Reviews is currently working on.

The Muslim Entrepreneur Network are a group of internet marketers who target Muslims primarily through social media. They present themselves as “experts” in business, often relying on personal success stories and a sound track record. But all is not what it appears to be.

When they began, I saw their courses as just one of many provided by internet marketers across the Western world, although theirs were different in that they sought to create a niche within the ever-expanding ‘Muslim market’.

The initial courses were your run of the mill types that utilised the “get-rich-quick” marketing techniques many have become accustomed. I would argue that no one really saw them as a threat worth calling them out over. For example, I would imagine most people considered their exaggerations about their self-worth (supposedly $1bn+) and their over-priced courses to be small fry, since their market penetration in the British Muslim community was low at the time. However, in April 2017 all of that changed.

Rocky’s entrance

Last spring, they brought on Rocky Mirza as a new partner – the older brother of MEN co-founder, Com Mirza. He was presented as a ‘maths genius’ who is apparently richer than his younger sibling, who if you remember, is infamously worth $500 million, and even as a reputation of being the ‘500 million dollar man’.

MEN used Rocky’s supposed genius to market their new programme called ‘Leverage’ – a membership-based programme promoted by Haroon Quraishi (another MEN founder) as ‘guaranteed to build you a profitable business in 2017’. To join this programme people paid £5,000+ to have an online content website business built by MEN. It was effectively a simple transaction of ‘paying for a service’.

What was astonishing, was how quickly upon taking all the funds from members, MEN had changed their objective from ‘creating a content creating website’, to a ‘franchise of a fitness boot camp’ – a sharp turn for Leverage members.

As information about this new fitness business was being rolled out, I had alarm bells ringing almost immediately. The most pressing one was: how you can sell a franchise before it had even been launched and how you can sell something that doesn’t exist?

Trust us, no contract needed

More worryingly, as this new ‘franchise’ was being marketed to members and people were buying into the hype, no member had at that moment been offered formal business contracts. When asked by members about this, Rocky Mirza declared that such a stipulation would ‘tie him down’. He is on video claiming that he wants to create ‘a family’ built on ‘trust’ and that providing contracts makes this difficult.

This is clearly an unIslamic proposition; a non-starter in any business deal, yet we find that MEN argued for this kind of deal. Listen below:

Not long after, we then learn that the objective of Leverage changed again, this time from a franchise business to a ‘wealth management company’ or some sorts, like a hedge fund that invests clients’ money and gives returns on investments. My question is, do you not need to be registered with the FCA for such investment schemes?

The Leverage programme went from being a content website, to a ‘franchise’ of a fitness business, to its current form – a ‘hedge fund’ that invests its customers’ money for financial returns.

Halal is for the table only

At each of these stages, the Muslim audience were being wowed by religious rhetoric, extravagant claims of profit, and guarantees of becoming ‘financially independent’. Rocky reveals to his audience that a business being Islamically permissible to invest in is not his primary concern, as ‘halal and haram’ stops with the food he eats, and that it does not influence his business decisions. This is actually what he says:

He goes as far as saying that his way of verifying halal and haram is not by asking reputable people of Islamic knowledge, rather he asks himself if it is permissible – and if he thinks it is, that is enough.

Many people I have spoken to about the rapid changes and developments agree with me that our Ulama and Islamic leaders should have been consulted to address these red flags. Unfortunately, from my understanding so far, no such attempts had been made.

Focus on membership

We learned that since April 2017, MEN tasked the original members of the Leverage programme to bring in new people to purchase their ‘fitness franchises’, which brought total membership from 300 to 5000, with each new member paying a minimum of £5,000, even though the entire Leverage programme remained largely ambiguous and not understood by early members.

Bear in mind that whilst this push for new members was continuing, the original 300 members had not yet received their contracts stipulating what they had ‘signed up to’, nor were the ‘fitness franchise’ materialised.

Many Leverage members, and even people close to the administration of MEN, began to wonder if MEN’s behaviour mimicked that of a pyramid scheme. Consider the similarities: there is no real focus on getting money from paying customers, and all the focus (and income) appears to be from an ever-ballooning membership.

The focus on recruitment via Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) techniques can be seen in this video:

Same model, different clothes

If the above does not cause you worry for our Muslim community, we are now learning about the past business successes of Rocky and Com Mirza, and that their grandiose claims were just marketing ploys to pull the wool over our eyes.

We learn that Rocky Mirza’s track record is far from impressive. He has a string of failed businesses dating back from the early 90s that have come to litter the internet as derelict buildings in a barren wasteland (see full list at: http://bit.ly/2p6RRfZ). There is literally no successful business that Rocky can claim is currently active, not even one. Surely a supposed billionaire can publicly cite one profitable business?

His brother, Com, suffers from the same problem of not being able to prove his successes – let alone proving his $500 million worth – and there should be many examples, since he was apparently involved in numerous acquisitions and IPOs.

What we find apparent when looking into the brothers’ history is their lack of actual business successes, their reliance on hype, a clever PR mechanism, and a tendency to fail on the businesses they start up.

So, it was of no surprise to the eagle-eyed that Rocky is continuing his streak of non-delivery. First, with the content creation websites, and then with the ‘fitness franchise’. More worryingly, we find that the same franchise model was in fact used by Rocky for some of his past businesses, such as ‘Houser’ – a company Rocky had abandoned.

You can read comments by investors that were left reeling from Rocky’s past actions, here: http://www.ricksblog.com/2010/03/is-weblo-about-to-screw-you-seems-to-be-the-case/#.WqRh6-jFJph

A hat-trick

Amazingly, despite MEN not fulfilling their promises to their members, they have pulled yet another rabbit out of the hat by introducing their ‘Empty Trip’ app. This app is their latest incarnation for increasing membership – where this time, it is not individual Muslims they target – but mosques, charities and taxi companies. In similar fashion to how they marketed their previous ‘money-freedom wonder-drugs’, their sales pitch webinars were full of familiar exaggerations, hyper-promises, and phoney numbers.

One example that really did it for me was when Rocky claimed their Empty Trip app was valued at 100 million dollars from investors, which he then declined so it could be taken advantage by mosques first:

An app worth 100 million dollars, without a single paying customer? Notice how Rocky struggles to communicate this to the audience.

A false economy

Their approach is simple: artificially create scarcity and get your immediate audience to make an irrational – and often a highly emotional decision. They hard sell the idea that acting fast, or ‘being the first’ means greater potential returns and then literally go off on a tangent on how life becomes so wonderful thereafter.

Much of their sales pitch depends on the well-crafted illusion of MEN founders being extremely wealthy who could easily go it alone but are only selling to mosques out of the goodness of their hearts.

From people close to the founders, we learn that neither of the Mirzas are as rich as they claim, while the other two founders are in fact struggling with their own finances.

How big of a difference will that make to the audiences’ perception? What many find truly abhorrent is how their targeting has progressed from private individuals and small business owners, to charities and mosques – and to do so with such a misleading nature.

You can view some of the outrageous claims from the following link: http://bit.ly/2Gflvb3

Empty Trip and empty promises

This attempt to sell virtual franchises to mosques has since been packaged into new campaign called the ‘Debt-Free’ Mosque initiative. They propose that £25,000 will give mosques a stake in this revolutionary taxi app that will change the way people travel and make mosques ‘debt-free’ in the process –  an app they valued at $100 million, no less.

Yet, on closer inspection, we learn that the app is just one of the Mirzas’ many business ideas that is not trading, tested in the UK market, or even approved by the Transport for London.

We further learn from Freedom of Information requests made by a member of the public, that MEN have not even applied for a license. But has this stopped MEN from selling their franchises for potentially millions of pounds? The answer is no. They plan big things for their taxi app, especially as we approach Ramadan, a time when mosques traditionally campaign for donations towards major infrastructure projects.

People are waking up

MEN’s targeting of mosques has set off alarm bells for once silent observers, including myself. The allegations against MEN are serious; their misleading and outrageous statements are questionable under Shariah principles of business.

More people are speaking out, especially after Com Mirza’s business partners openly accused him of being an outright fraud. Undeterred from Com Mirza’s legal threats, his ex-partners: Jagger Babuin and Wael Rajab are accusing him of embezzling investor funds from his upcoming cryptocurrency Habibi Coin, as well as accusing him of lying to the world about his accomplishments and business acumen. In a recording of the moment the partners confronted Com, we hear the latter acquiesce to allegations for a range of alleged crimes and agree to reimburse the partners for the money they lost. Listen below:

This recording appears to disprove Com’s earlier allegations against five out of the six investors for running away with investors’ funds – an allegations Com made against the five when Habibi Coin investors raised questions about misappropriation of funds. That is an entirely different story in itself, and perhaps for another day. After the release of Jagger’s recording, Com has gone into a sort of hiding, periodically surfacing to announce upcoming ‘clarification’ of what happened – the ‘truth’ as he calls it.

It’s been over a month and he is yet to come out, notwithstanding, the original partners of Habibi Coin have begun a legal action against Com in the UAE.

Marketed here, registered elsewhere

This is where we are at right now. MEN are still selling ‘franchises’ of non-trading business to mosques across the UK. The co-founders of MEN have dismissed every sincere call for arbitration from a mutually agreed person, and brushed off criticism for a lack of transparency as mere ‘hate’. They claim that it does not concern people outside of the Leverage membership.

Yet, it is the Leverage members and ex-members who have raised many of the doubts about the lack of transparency.

For example, we learn from one of their members that a recently written contract states that the ‘Leverage Muslim Entrepreneurs’ is not a British-based company. This essential fact was never disclosed to the original members; perhaps people would have decided differently if they had known from the start the business was a non-UK entity.

Another crucial information stipulated in the contract was how Leverage Muslim Entrepreneurs was ‘not an investment instrument’ – adding more confusion to the mix.

After looking at all the claims and counter-claims, one thing is apparent – there is no shortage of ambitious and aspirational Muslims who dream of being part of a business that may give ‘financial-freedom’ – to quote MEN’s own words.

Unfortunately, this group may lack the knowledge to conduct adequate due-diligence and therefore be ripe to be taken advantage of, especially when their biggest sentiment – their religion – is used in the marketing.

Seen it before

We have seen MEN’s tactics used across the internet, especially in the USA, where false persona and hyped marketing gets ‘gurus’ noticed by ordinary folks. But in reality, these so-called gurus are just ordinary people, and in the case of MEN founders, arguably unsuccessful and, according to reports by people close to some of the partners, financially struggling. For example, one of the founders claiming to be a multi-millionaire is actually living in social housing.

It is my hope that what little I (and others) do, helps people make better financial decisions, and not fall for rosy-words of slick marketers of the Muslim Entrepreneur Network.

21 Responses to “Tayib Hasan: “I researched the Muslim Entrepreneur Network, and what I learned is potentially devastating for our community.”

  • Wow they really messed up, using Deen and Deen influencer sites to target Muslim, that was which i fell for it only because thier ad was on most trusted well known sites, I would have never signed up for any of this scams!

    What I learned from this mistake was make informed decisions and research before giving anyone money

    • Mustafa
      5 years ago

      Did you pay them any money?

      • What I really meant was dissapointment of their marketing scheme using Deen to target practicing muslims to trust them and buy it. Not scam.
        Yes I paid for ecom Empire Academy $2000 for the course and 1000 for materials, ads, apps, monthly shopfy fee and pro

        I just cancelled and closed my dropship shopify store after having it run for year. which got me nowhere, I i nvested my time into this course, Webinars tech stuggle as I’m not very good with commputers, and got myself sick, disappointed my husband. Not easy and the ongoing support they promised is not really there , after the their hype and excitement mechanism time passes, it gets quiet and your on your own with bunch of newbies struggling to help you. These things take a lot of time and it’s not for everyone, definitely not for me at this time.
        May Allah SWT guide us all and forgive our mistakes

    • Assalamu alaykum,

      After reading the description of Zarina regarding ecom Empire Academy, there is another course I invested in which was similar. It was taught by Muslims and they charged close to $2000 and taught dropshipping on Shopify. I got no where in the end as well and it sounds very similar to what Zarina wrote. Allahu alam if it is a normal outcome or if I was taken advantage of.

    • Brother in islam
      5 years ago

      Dear Brothers and Sisters,

      I am a corporate litigation lawyer, having reviewed the information above and just using my expertise in these matters.

      I would wholeheartedly recommend you report any incidents that you feel you were treated unfairly.

      FCA has an initiative and policy towards Treating Customers Fairly.

      Please report it using this link ;


  • The likes of Abu Abdisalam, Abdur Rahman Green, and Wasim Kempson need to make their positions known, becuase they were used to let these guys into the community.

  • Jagger Babuin
    5 years ago

    There are several others that were intimately involved with Habibi Coin – another ex partner in specific was Kevin Alexander. He can further attest to what type of person Com Mirza is and give his thoughts as to whether or not it was a legitimate project. (He shares the same sentiments as the rest of us regarding Com). At this time it’s pretty apparent to the world what type of person that we are dealing with. From speaking actively to dozens of MEN or ex MEN members and viewing a lot of research they have done it is also very apparent to us that Rocky Mirza is preying on the Muslim community under the guise of being a devout religious man – thus engendering trust that allows him to solicit MEN membership and ultimately raise funds. More light will be shed on this matter in the coming weeks. For now I applaud those having the courage to speak out regarding these matters and sincerely hope that people start to take a much closer look at the Mirza’s. Some extremely serious allegations are being raised and I think anyone who is privy to this information should have SERIOUS reservations as to whether or not they are the type of people that you want to trust with any type of funds.

  • k rahman
    5 years ago

    i payed a couple of thousand pounds men for their programme to sell private label goods.they had a video course available to paid members?I wnt through part of the videos and were informative,i havent finished the entire video tutorials as of yet,they were with ridwan and some other bloke? Is this course/program part of the fraud too? Is this a separate entity or project? if it is a fruitless marketing campaign can i get my money back?

    • Muslim Reviews
      5 years ago

      We are raising awareness about the activities of the Muslim Entrepreneur Network and their partners, which includes Harun Rashid – the “other bloke” in your comment.

      Whilst we are not going to the extent of claiming their operations are a “scam,” since that’s for authorities to determine, we are making observations and raising awareness about their business ethics. The service you are likely referring to is the eCom Empires Academy; for this we have raised concerns about marketing techniques and the use of potentially misleading statements to gain customers. Having said this, perhaps you may feel the service is good and you are finding value in it. Unfortunately, we cannot advise anyone about their businesses decisions, but perhaps help them towards some due-diligence.

  • Koyes Ali
    5 years ago

    Haroon Qureshi has a lot to answer for.

  • Mujahid
    5 years ago

    If you ever believed these guys you are just pure idiots. There is no such thing as get rich quick scheme.

  • Abdi Mohamed
    5 years ago

    I have never had connections or association with MEN or the other entities mentioned here. However, your research on these firms certainly highlights unethical behaviour and practices which the ummah needs to be aware of.

    Baarakallahu feek.

  • JazakAllah for sharing this article and applying some research to it. You’ve highlighted some concerns and plenty of people turn to others for guidance and leadership. Everything related the products you’ve said sound like a scam related to Pyramid and Investment funds with no FCA regulation or contacts. InshAllah I hope they get reported to the FCA….


  • Slave of Allah
    5 years ago

    Allah will expose those who use his deen to make quick money. I hope this guys come clean and leave their ego behind. SubhanAllah the time will come when they will stand in front of the creator of the heavens and world.

    How will they respond?

  • The thing that be bewilders me is how we all got sucked in by a cabal of guys from east London with no track-record in anything: academic, entrepreneurial, in business etc.

    I suppose all the high fives and jumping up and down in their videos worked and got people to believe in their hype!

  • Hussain
    5 years ago


    Recently Com Mirza appeared on Islam channel 806 in U.K. marketing for potential customers for his business,
    Few years back Haroon Quraishi did the same.

  • Khalida DuBose
    5 years ago

    I also wonder if I can get my money back!

  • I can’t belive I was such a fool to get vacuumed into this hyped-up nonsense. My only consolation is that there were a lot of other people who were taken for a ride too, so I’m not the only gullible one out there!

  • i have already reporetd these people to trading standards.
    they would appear to be nothing but a bunch of scammers, preying to the good intentions of Muslims who would genuinely want to build network of honest people engaging in business togther.
    what MEN is doing stinks of being a rip-off and therefore the worst kind of Riba you could imagine.

  • Adnan Amin
    4 years ago

    Class action lawsuit anyone?

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