Followers

30 March, 2011

The Job Culture and its Effects

Let us start pondering from the religious angle before we select our line of education and our profession. How we plan and search the job market before making decision. Can’t we plan for a profession that has least involvement in secular systems and riba?
Narrated Abu Saeed and Abu Hurairah: The Prophet PBUH said: "Mentally deficient rulers will come to you, and make the most evil, worst people near to them, and delay the prayer (not pray it at the fixed time). Every one of you, who realizes that, must not be policemen, not a corporal, not a collector and not a treasurer with them."

Aslam’s driving back home after a tiring day at the bank. He’s pondering how the work load just keeps on increasing. He puts a terrible mental and physical effort at the workplace. He is a ‘practicing’ Muslim. He prays five daily prayers. It’s amazing how a passionate Muslim like him can miss the point that he’s actually serving a Riba-based organization. The whole banking system has Riba in its roots. In the beginning he asked few scholars about it and decided to quit the job after a couple of years when he is ‘settled’. It’s been ten years now, and how can he possibly leave the job now after so many hard earned promotions? At times he’s made to ponder ‘who’s he serving…the hubs of Riba?’, and Qur’an mentions dealing in Riba as declaring war against Allah. But the laborious times spent provide him with an excuse: ‘Allah Knows my condition, I don’t want to be here, but I have to’.
The Job-Culture drains out all our energies. We spend most of our time in contract based jobs. There is so much research on which education line to choose, and which job market has vacancies. But, even the Muslims who take good care of their religious obligations never ask themselves: “Who am I serving?” And if they do ask themselves, their hard-work and sweat gives them false justifications. It is tough to convince yourself that all these years you’ve been in a profession that Allah wouldn’t like to see you in. The holy feeling that you attached with your ‘halal’ money was fake. And once we fall in this circle of earning a living, we start compromising on our life. Priorities start to change. After so many years of education, and money spent on you by your parents, you are not ready to let them down, and put a check on the ‘standard’ you wish to achieve in your life. At the day end, you compromise on the demand of religion, you kill your conscience, and you enter into the loop of earning a living of a certain standard.
A little glance on the life style of the Sahaba should open our eyes. They had the skills to spend a luxurious life. But, they were so much involved into their religious obligations that they could hardly meet their daily life expenses. Umar رضى الله عنه when he was the Khalifah of a large empire, one of the mightiest rulers that the world has even seen, was seen wearing a cloth that had fourteen patches on it. Don’t we remember how various Sahaba had tied stones to their stomach out of hunger when they were digging the trench? Don’t we remember how Prophet Muhammad abhorred decoration pieces in his home? They didn’t decorate their homes as if they would live in them for ages. They didn’t full their closets with dozens of new clothes. The truth is, we are not ready to sacrifice our love for luxury, gadgets and an ‘easy’ life, and out of our extreme affinity we indulge in haram means to reach our goal.
People spend their whole life in flats bought on mortgages. We seek interest based loans for education. Muslims in the west deal with wine and sell it in their shops. Interest based transactions are a common thing for them. They find no harm in working in restaurants dealing with haram meat and pork. They drive taxi at night because it’s a busy time for pubs and bars. And Muslims back home are easy in serving secular government and armies that are essentially the allies of our enemies. We’d find it terribly incoherent to start a music gathering with the word of Allah. We’d find it utterly disgusting to start a fashion show with a sermon. But, we don’t realize the absurdness in our jumbled up life. If we have submitted our will to Allah, do we doubt that he’d provide us our due share through halal means? If we can’t cut down our life standard for the sake of Allah, what Muslims we are?
In this time of high-demands when Muslims are in grave difficulties around the globe. Many are dying out of hunger. Many are being butchered by our enemies daily. We are at war at many places around the globe. We are being led by rulers whose life-style and mood is monitored and controlled from somewhere else. Secular Systems are being imposed on us. The rule of Allah is not exhibited anywhere on the entire globe. In this time of dire need, we are supposed to cut down our worldly efforts, and direct most of our time, energies, and skills for the bigger cause: the cause of Islam. Yet, we are busy making a living, and that too the haram way.

يأتين عليكم أمراء ؛ يقربون شرار الناس ويؤخرون الصلاة عن مواقيتها فمن أدرك ذلك منهم ؛ فلا يكونن عريفا ولا شرطيا ولا جابيا ولا خازنا

Narrated Abu Saeed and Abu Hurairah: The Prophet PBUH said: "Mentally deficient rulers will come to you, and make the most evil, worst people near to them, and delay the prayer (not pray it at the fixed time). Every one of you, who realizes that, must not be policemen, not a corporal, not a collector and not a treasurer with them."
Reference: Ibn Hibban 4586, Abu Ya’la 1115, Tabarani Majma Sagheer 9498 and Majma Zawaid 9225, Classified as Sahih by al-Albani in Silsilah As-Sahiha (Hadith # 360)
All we need is a little realization that in this world we are just like travellers. All we need is a flashback on the lifestyle of the Sahaba. We need a reminder of our duties as a Muslim. Let us start pondering from the religious angle before we select our line of education and our profession. How we plan and search the job market before making decision. Can’t we plan for a profession that has least involvement in secular systems and riba? Let us sacrifice our Dunyah for a better Akhirah.
“Allah, the Exalted, is Tayyib (Good and Pure) and He only accepts that which is Tayyib. Allah has indeed Commanded the believers with what He has Commanded the Messengers, He said, “O (you) Messengers! Eat of at-Tayyibat (all things good and pure), and do righteous deeds. [23:51] and, “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you”[2:172]. Then he (the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) mentioned a man —who has been traveling for such a long time, that his hair has become messed up and he has become covered in dust— and who is raising his hand towards heaven (and praying), ‘O my Lord. O my Lord,’ while his food is from Haram (impermissible source), his drink is from Haram, his clothes are from Haram and he was fed (and grew up) from Haraam therefore, how can his pleas be accepted?”
Reference : Sahih al-Muslim

Author: Mohammad Awais Tahir

The author may or may not have the same views on the topic and would not like to be quoted on what has been said above. The author, however, deems nothing wrong with changing opinions, hence, he does not wish to amend/remove posts that do not resonate with his current thinking. 
“Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth.”

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12 comments:

khurram khan said...

Aslaam o Alaikum,

Awais Bhai can u please justify how can an engineer work in an organization where foreign dealing is not involved??? means most of the muti-national (even local) companies in pakistan where engineers are performing their duties have their shares in the foreign stock exchanges (in other words interest based system of earning money ) and contracts with certain mark-up ... how would u look into this situation ... ... kindly elaborate it .

Rizwan Alam said...

Not an iota is above to disagree with. Worth reading Masha’Allah. One can only think for an excuse to bring forward but in the end finds that he is guilty. There are so many examples in Sahaba’s (ra) that there is no way out in arguing things. There is nothing like “OK! You are exempted”.

May Allah bless us all with Halal livelihood, and bless those who are striving for it.


Apart from it Awais bhai, Insha’Allah soon I will be changing my profession as I am very close now to take decision. Need your prayers.


JazakAllah kher for putting before us an issue rarely discussed.

Muhammad Awais Tahir said...

@ Khurram Khan

Disconnecting yourself from riba totally is not possible if you lead a 'normal' life. Thats only possible if you become self sufficient, live in Jungles where you don't have to go through any transaction with any state. Because the central banking system of all states is based on Riba. We are living in a time Prophesied, when the Dust of Riba enters the nose of us all. So, you should try and remain away from the direct riba transactions and from entering into a job which is essentially a service to hubs of riba.

Muhammad Awais Tahir said...

@ Rizwan Bhai !

Yes, its time bhai. Please do it soon. Haven't we had enough tension because of this already? May Allah forgive our sins! Please do it very very soon Bhai.

Anonymous said...

This is a very important issue to deal with...but due to weakness of faith it falls back...if someone wishes to devote full time for Islam but again question comes how he will take care of his family...this part is totally against the way of the companions.

There is a gap present somewhere...

syed asif

Anonymous said...

assalam'alaykum awais bhai, jazak Allaah khair for yet another excellent read, masha Allaah la quwwata illa billaah!
well, i need ur advice akhi as for this job of police.
what if one wants to serve the 'society' using the authority one enjoys in police?
i mean one's not going to protect the secular regime, but to stay in contact with masses...? u may say tat there are other ways as for this but the kind of authority and power of order tat a csp officer has, is way above than tat of a common man, a man in street who doesn't evenn hav others lyk him around. (no jamiyat), so what say can a man lyk this hav in society? but if a man who wants to serve humanity and wants to bring deeni youth into this 'system', what is ur stance at this? as they say, we can only cure this 'system' by getting 'into' it...
i may be mixing it all up...but yes i am greatly confused bhai, need ur kind advice, and i believe u can surely help in sha Allaah! :)
tell me here, refer me sm book, whatever!
wa assalam'alaykum! :)

Syed Hassan Ahmed said...

JazakAllah for this really good article.

It is sad to note how week our faith has become when we lower our trust in Allah to provide us with Halal means of income and then chose to work in a bank or any firm which profits directly from Riba.

I sincerely request all my muslim friends who happen to be entangled in a bank or any other Riba based firm to leave their current job and put their utmost trust in the Almighty Allah. With a sincere heart, pray to Allah to help you in finding a better (Halal) source of income.

Allah Himself has said in the Holy Quran:
"Wallahoo Khair Ur Raziqeen"
"AND ALLAH IS THE BEST OF ALL PROVIDERS"
(Surah 62, Verse 11)

Muhammad Awais Tahir said...

I've added another hadith that must be there under this topic. See the hadith of Sahih al-Muslim in the end.

Muhammad Awais Tahir said...

@ Anonymous

Wa 'alaikum as salam wr wb

The primary purpose of a police as an organizational body of the state, is to protect the authority of the state and implement its laws. And the purpose of the army is to protect the boundaries of it, and that essentially too is the protection of the state.

If you want to really help people, then do what really benefits them. Spend your time to relieve them from the darkness and jail of secular systems, to the magnanimity and freedom of Islamic System. Rather than becoming a part of the team that sacrifices to protect secular states. A clear cut statement of Prophet Muhammad in al-Bukhari and al-Muslim makes it very clear : " He who fights to make the Kalimah (order) of Allah supreme is on the path of Allah"

And I don't agree with the proposition that to rectify a system you have to join the core part that controls the system. Prophet Muhammad rectified Makkah, by an invasion from outside, and not by becoming a part of it.

I might have not answered fully, if you can please contact me at Gtalk or facebook, and we can discuss it further, in sha Allah.

May Allah give us all the understanding of religion.

Syed Hassan Ahmed said...

JazakAllah for this really good article.

It is sad to note how week our faith has become when we lower our trust in Allah to provide us with Halal means of income and then chose to work in a bank or any firm which profits directly from Riba.

I sincerely request all my muslim friends who happen to be entangled in a bank or any other Riba based firm to leave their current job and put their utmost trust in the Almighty Allah. With a sincere heart, pray to Allah to help you in finding a better (Halal) source of income.

Allah Himself has said in the Holy Quran:
"Wallahoo Khair Ur Raziqeen"
"AND ALLAH IS THE BEST OF ALL PROVIDERS"
(Surah 62, Verse 11)

Rizwan Alam said...

Not an iota is above to disagree with. Worth reading Masha’Allah. One can only think for an excuse to bring forward but in the end finds that he is guilty. There are so many examples in Sahaba’s (ra) that there is no way out in arguing things. There is nothing like “OK! You are exempted”.

May Allah bless us all with Halal livelihood, and bless those who are striving for it.


Apart from it Awais bhai, Insha’Allah soon I will be changing my profession as I am very close now to take decision. Need your prayers.


JazakAllah kher for putting before us an issue rarely discussed.

Kashaziz said...

Assalam Alaekum. Jazak'Allah khair for raising a valid question. I would like to add some thoughts into it.

Lets get back to the basics. What kind of education we are giving to our kids? Most of us (city dwellers) send their children to:

a) English medium schools that follow British/US curriculum, are more westernized than those they follow.
b) Schools that are localized version of (a) - teaching in what I call "Pinglish"
c) Schools that have a facade of Islamic values (adding a  Subhan'Allah here, Jazak'Allah there) but are more or less a combination of (a) and (b). These days parents prefer these schools thinking (in error) that these schools are providing education based on Islamic morals and principles.
d) Last but not least, the Maddaris. Most middle and upper-middle class parent prefer not to send their kids there, reciting stories of torture and abuse.

So, what kind of education our kids have received and what is their mindset with respect to selecting a profession when they reach the decisive age? If they have passed through any of the above "academic institutions", they are ready to serve and become another cog in the capitalistic factory.

It is very hard for individuals, trained for more than decade to serve others, to become self employed right after graduating from a school / madrassah, or whatever.

This is why when we look at most successful entrepreneurs in West, majority of them are drop-outs.

Also, how we (as individuals or groups) are encouraging and helping others if they want to quit their suspected sources of income? Say, if somebody works in a bank and wants to leave the job and start his own business, who will provide qard-e-hasana to him?

In the end, I would to reiterate that we have to start from the basics. We have to educate and raise our kids in a way that they transform into self employed, self sustainable human beings, Insha'Allah.

Allahul Musta'an

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