Women in the Workplace

read time: 3 minFor sisters, many of us are either pursuing degrees or academic qualifications for the purpose of securing work opportunities, due to necessity or just to enjoy the much sought after ‘sense of Independence’.

An Islamic consciousness would usually drive a sister to wonder: “To work or not to work?”

So when one of the Shuyookh was asked this question, this was his response:

❝There is a need of women to work at certain times/situations eg. widow,single, divorcee with no male mahrams to care for her or husband not working etc, but where does she work? Amongst men? Does she speak to them and they to her? She laughs with them and they laugh with her, asking each other about their affairs? She has a delightful time with them, and they have a delightful time with her, until her Hayā’ (modesty) goes away, where she wouldn’t have any significance?

No! A woman can work, however, with guidelines. Our religion has simplicity and ease and it has softness and it deals with different circumstances and with different situations, as it must be done. Does her going out to work neglect her marriage/husband/children which is her primary role/responsibility?

“We have not neglected in the Kitāb (i.e. Qur’ān) a single thing.” – Qur’an [6:38].

One does not find anything in this Deen [a matter], except that it has a way out. However, free-mixing, adorning herself and forbidden acts? The Deen does not accept this.

I say that a woman is concealed and honoured. If we need her to work in a field for woman, then she is welcome to work there, or else she adheres to her house and Allāh will suffice her from His bounty. Many of the girls argue that they are in need of a profession. However, I say that their need for the Taqwā of Allāh is given precedence over their need for a profession.

If she fears Allāh, then Allāh will suffice her profession and give her a way out, but for the ‘way out’ to be harām? Not at all! The ‘way out’ (given by Allāh) will never be in harām.

We are not against women working, but we are against where a woman works. We do not want her to be a toy that is played around with. By Allāh, the One Who there is no Diety except Him, today, just today during ‘Asr, I was informed of a story of a girl working amongst men, until she became a toy between their hands. So a cousin of hers came to her (for marriage), but she replied to him “I am not suitable for marriage”. She outwardly proclaimed to her cousin: “I am not suitable for marriage. Due to the affect of frequently free-mixing with these (men), I have lost the most honourable thing I hold (my chastity). The wolves played around with me until they took the most honourable thing I hold, so who would accept me as a wife for him?”

He (the cousin) is consulting with me. He asks, “Shall I conceal her and take her (to marry)? Should I conceal her due to her exposure and accept her as a wife to me, or what should I do?” What caused her to reach that extent? Because she took sitting around with men as a light matter, so fear Allāh.

We do not wage war against women working, but rather we’re against where a woman works.❞

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