Working in offices or outdoors can cause many challenges for Muslims. who are trying to live their life according to Islamic values. but for a new Muslim these challenges can be greater, especially during the time of their evolution from their old life to their new life. being a working Muslim is a challenge.
For most new Muslims who have grown up in the West. it’s usually a given that once they leave school or university they will look for a job to support themselves. Decisions about what type of work they do is usually based on the principles that they adhered to before Islam. But once they have accepted Islam as their way of life, another set of values and strategy come to play. In Islam, the responsibility of supporting the family financially falls to the husband or the father. so if a man is able to work, he should do whatever is necessary and legal to meet his responsibilities. But for a woman, if she is married and her husband can support her, she would be able to not work at all. This concept can appear quite odd to a woman raised in the West.
Tips For Working Muslims
Even if the activity of the workplace is lawful, there may be other challenges that have to be overcome in order to fulfill your Islamic responsibilities.
Praying the obligatory prayers at work within the correct time for prayer is something that many people find challenging, especially new Working Muslims who are just learning to pray. It may be that they are nervous about telling the people they work with that they became Muslims, or it may be that their particular type of work makes it difficult to take breaks at the times they would need to.
The earlier you take steps to work out how to start praying at work, the easier it is for you as a working muslim. In most Western countries there are laws that enable people to perform religious obligations at work but still there are many problems working Muslims are facing in west especially when it come to praying at work.
Khalwah (Men and Women in Solitude) :
Avoiding being alone with someone of the opposite gender, or Khalwah (solitude). This can be quite challenging in many workplaces for working muslims. If as a woman you do have to work closely with men. try to follow the general rule when in mixed gender situations, i.e. wear hijab, stay in the open or have others around you whenever possible. avoid intense eye contact and touching, avoid personal topics COMPLETELY. And men should do likewise when with women. It will help to avoid potential problems for working Muslims. Insha’a Allah.
Starting to wear hijab at work is a massive step for many new working Muslim sisters. They imagine that it will completely change their relationship with their colleagues and may even cause some people to reject them altogether. This rarely happens in reality. Most working environments are generally tolerant of diversity these days. and the difference is felt more by the person putting on the hijab rather than the people around her. as it’s a very significant step in her life, than it is to her colleagues.
Another area that some working muslims find difficult is how to manage with work-based socializing. both within the workplace and after work. It’s preferable to develop relationships with people of the same gender at work. although the challenge here can sometimes be how to avoid being pulled into gossip or vulgar conversations and to avoid alcohol-linked activities and yet still retain a friendly relationship. Pulling away from these types of situations may start to change your friendships. but if you focus on the fact that you’re doing it for the sake of Allah it will make it easier. Your interests will start to shift too.
“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman. and has faith, verily, to them will We give a new Life, a life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.”(An-Nahl 16: 97)