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Mistakes We Have Made

As a company we know three things to be true:

  1. We are not perfect and we will make mistakes
  2. We want to have a learning attitude to mistakes
  3. Rather than cover up our mistakes, we want to be transparent about them

So this page documents mistakes we have made, situations where we as a company have failed to uphold our values, and also what we learnt and what we're doing to course-correct. 

The mistakes focus solely on those kinds of mistakes that would affect external people's perception of our reliability and work quality. So for example we don't go into how we might have improved our hiring process, or our engineering methods etc.

Mistakes

  • 2018 - 2021 - We used to include generic music in some of our earlier videos and tiktoks and, while we appreciate there may be a diversity of views on the subject, we as an example-setter feel like we should go for the unambiguously fine route: no musical instruments.
  • 2019 -  we wrote an article giving our views on celebrating Christmas or not. In retrospect this was us writing about things we do not necessarily have domain expertise on, and we have since deleted this article. Our editorial policy is now much more tightly focused around our area of expertise.
  • 2021 - When we released our zakat calculator we promised a free portfolio health check to users of the calculator. We said it would follow "shortly" after Ramadan. Unfortunately we then went through a major engineering overhaul and 6 new engineers joined the team. We also ran into some unexpected regulatory and technical hurdles. We sent an email apologising to the people who had used the calculator in January 2022. The portfolio health check will be delivered inshAllah early this year and the zakat donors from last year will be the first people to see it. What we've learnt from this incident is that we should avoid putting timelines on highly technical products like this until the product build is mostly done and the timeline is much clearer.
  • 2021 - 2022 - We did a series of paid video reviews for a number of companies. We always labelled these as ads and negotiated with companies to be able to speak our mind on the topic. However we realised that some (not all) companies were just not that keen on us truly speaking our mind. So as of February 2022 we have switched away from doing paid video reviews entirely. Now we have ad slots as part of our videos, but the sponsor doesn't get any preview or say in the content itself.
  • 2022 - We did a paid video review of Wahed Invest's new app and for the first 5 days of that video's release we did not have the "paid promotion" tag labelled on Youtube. This was an inadvertent oversight and we have now improved our systems on that, as well as making it a standard practice to label the affiliate/partner relationship within the video itself going forward
  • 2022 - we released an email without an unsubscribe option. This has now been rectified in future emails of that template.
  • 2019 - 2021 - Consistent with legal industry standard, we did not password-protect our Islamic wills when we sent them out to customers. While we were confident our systems were robust during this time, not password-protecting wills and sending them as attachments to recipients marginally increased the risk of a hacker intervening and intercepting such a document. Since mid-2021 we have implemented password protection and we now do not send will documents over email to customers. We are also taking a number additional security steps that are detailed here.
  • 2020 - We published a video on insurance and its permissibility and in it we weren't as clear as we should be that we actually support the Islamic insurance movement, regardless of our personal views. We have since corrected the point via the description of the video.
  • 2020 - We published a video on islamic mortgages and we feel that the way we represented the other side of the argument was not fair and could be seen as mocking (regardless of intention). We are planning to reshoot a better, fairer version of this video later this year.

If there are any other mistakes you feel we have made, please tell us here.