In today’s environment, there are many factors as a Muslim we should investigate in order to avoid un-necessary Zina. However, it is difficult for Muslim brothers and sisters to find the right job or a halal job, one that is ethical and clean, but most importantly, that offers a halal environment. Most of us are caught up in open office environments, often mixed environments with no specific code of conduct between the two genders, particularly those living in the west. As per the current statistics, it is clear, Muslims are perhaps one of the most misinterpreted identities in western countries, and as such, their needs are often overlooked. These backgrounds are seldom protected from social dramas, love stories, tensions, and what is now known as “office politics”.
“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is a sin. And don’t get each other to spy or backbite. Would anyone like to eat his dead brother’s flesh? No, you would abhor it… But fear Allah. For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” [Chapter 49, Verse 12]
The problem is how do you face such a situation as a Muslim who wants to be successful and reflective of their religion? And consider a halal job with a halal setting, but in the broader field of the Muslim community, one can imagine the impacts of such an answer.
Join Ethical Work Environment, a Halal Job: Imagine the situation, you’re working in a supermarket stacking the shelves and helping customers find things (that are right in front of them) and bantering with the team in the backroom. Life is good. But then the disaster strikes, and you have been told to look after the liquor aisle. It is bad enough you must face work with a non-halal environment, at least make sure the income you earn is halal. As a rule of thumb, image if you an IT manager your job is intrinsically acceptable, but if you’re a loan-issuer at a bank your job is intrinsically unacceptable. When you sell credit cards, your work is unreasonable. When you sell your newsagent lottery tickets and alcohol, your work is morally unacceptable.
- Never forget your religious parameters: Never forget our fundamentals of being Muslim, we follow our rules toward Allah. Hence always ensure, Prayer times, Friday Prayer breaks, fasting, not shaking hands with those of the opposite gender whatever it is, make sure it becomes apparent as soon as you join.
- Be helpful and polite: Each of us will experience suffering or pain at some point in our lives that affects us. Exploring the importance of helping others from an Islamic perspective is therefore significant. Helping one another is a way to overcome our sorrow, and it can help us in our worship of God. Don’t form mini-groups within the office, you don’t want to be associated with ‘them lots’ or ‘those over there’ is neutral, and you’ll avoid 99% of office politics. This is especially true if they are a group of Muslims/Non-Muslims in your office, being pleasant to both sides.
- Opposite Sex Attraction: “O Messenger! Declare [the Message] which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not carried His Message…”—Al-Maa’idah (5:67) If this is Allah’s command to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), our example, why then do we think our responsibility is different as it narrates to what the Islam teaches us about physical desires, sex, and marriage? Hence if you find yourself getting attracted to a member of staff in the office (it happens, we’re only human! & Shaitaan is working hard to take us off-track) ask Allah for advice & potency, and start doing voluntary fasts, it’ll push these thoughts away and set your mind straight.
- Have Barakah in your actions! Every morning make sure you pray the two rak’ah of Duha (minimum 2, you can pray up to 8 rak’ah if you want) before you go to work, it’ll help put barakah/blessing in whatever you do. Constant remembrance of Allah always, do a lot of Dhikr!
- Never gossip/backbite. (Gheebah): It’s prohibited in our religion and will only lead you to trouble. I remind you here of the perilous repercussions of backbiting. Moreover, regarding gossip, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said in a simple hadith that a person who leaves what’s none of his/her business is a sign of their excellent Islam. If other people start gossiping, attempt to change the subject, or ignore it, never add fuel to the fire!
If you follow these tips, you will not only be productive in the office but also gain Ajr (good deeds) from Allah Subhanahu WA Ta’ala, the most glorified, the highest InshaAllah!