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Islamic Ruling on Jobs

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Fatwa By : Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Language English
Reference By Islam Q&A
Addition Date 29/08/2013
She Has Given Up Working As A Pharmacist And Is Now Teaching Quran
I left my well-paid job as a pharmacist, which was also prestigious. I did this to have no contact with men, and to give my full time for learning Islam and the different recitations of Quran. Now I work as a teacher in a Quran school with a simple salary. I am happy, but everyone around me is blaming me and saying what I did was madness. What is your opinion?.

Praise be to Allah.

Mixing between men and women at work has bad effects and obvious negative consequences for both men and women. That includes:

1. Haram looking. Allah has enjoined believing men and women to lower their gaze. He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All‑Aware of what they do.

31. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent” [An-Noor 24:30-31]

 In Sahih Muslim (2159) it is narrated that Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about an accidental glance, and he told me to avert my gaze.

2. It may lead to haram touching, such as shaking hands. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If one of you were to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle, that would be better for him than touching a woman who is not permissible for him.” Narrated by at-Tabarani from Ma’qil ibn Yasar; classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami’, no. 5045.

3. Mixing may lead to a man being alone with a non-mahram woman, which is haram because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No man is alone with a woman but the shaytan is the third one present.” Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2165); classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih at-Tirmidhi.

According to another report: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not be alone with a woman who has no mahram with her, for the third one present will be the shaytan.” Narrated by Ahmad and classed as sahih by al-Haakim, and al-Dhahabi agreed with him; it was also classed as sahih by al-Albani in Ghaayat al-Maram (180).

4. Another negative consequent to which it may lead is a man becoming infatuated with a woman, or vice versa, which results from mixing and prolonged interaction.

5. That may lead to the break up of families. How many men have neglected their homes and lost their families because they have become attracted to a female colleague at school or at work? How many women have lost their husbands and neglected their homes for the same reason? How many cases of divorce have taken place because of haraam relationships formed by the husband or wife, for which mixing at work was the main cause?

For these reasons and others, Islam forbids the mixing that leads to these evils. The evidence that mixing is haraam has been discussed in detail in the answer to question no. 1200.

If you have given up work because of the issue of mixing with men, then you have done well, and you have done what is required of you, and there is the hope that you will be rewarded for that and you will find happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. If a person gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will compensate him with something better than it.

This compensation that comes from Allah is not only material, rather it may also be peace of mind and contentment, and being enabled to do righteous deeds. All of these may be part of the compensation given by Allah.

With regard to learning and teaching Quran, this is one of the best of deeds and greatest acts of worship, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.” Narrated by al-Bukhari (5027).  

Muslim women and girls need people to teach them to read correctly and help them to memorize the Book of Allah.

But if you need to work, and you can find an opportunity in your specialty (pharmacy) that is free of mixing, there is nothing wrong with you doing that, and you may be able to teach Quran in addition to doing that.

Happiness does not come from status or appearance, rather it comes from faith and piety, and being close to Allah, and being content with what He has given you, so do not pay any attention to what others say.

We ask Allah to increase you in guidance and piety.

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A