Labour rights in Is­lam

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - Muham­mad Rashid

IS­LAM is a com­plete code of life which guides its fol­low­ers in ev­ery field of life. Ev­ery per­son in so­ci­ety have a sta­tus, Is­lam de­fines fixed rights to ev­ery­one. Ac­tu­ally, Is­lam is the faith which es­tab­lishes to the hu­man rights in the world. Al­though so­ci­ety fol­lows th­ese rights and du­ties, in cra­dle of peace. Those peo­ple who earn with strug­gle, gain dig­nity and re­spect. Is­lam up­grades to so­cial sta­tus, dig­nity and rank of labour­ers. Is­lam likes those peo­ple who earns through strug­gle from le­gal ways ei­ther phys­i­cal or men­tally.

Beg­ging is strictly for­bid­den in Is­lam. The peo­ple have been dis­cour­aged in Is­lam, who earn through il­le­gal ways and with­out strug­gle. Is­lam is the first faith which gives vast and com­pre­hen­sive rights. This faith is the great­est stan­dard bearer of labour­ers. Im­por­tance of labourer’s rights can be imag­ined from this Ha­dith in which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said that pay the wages to labour­ers be­fore his sweat is dry. To­day West is shout­ing for labourer’s rights but Is­lam had fixed the labourer’s rights 1400 years ago.

Qu­ran and Ha­dith per­suade us to earn hon­est liveli­hood and search the grace of Al­lah. As Al­lah says in Qu­ran: “So when the (Jumu’ah) salah (prayer) has fin­ished, you may scat­ter through­out the land, and seek the bounty of Al­lah, and much re­mem­ber to Al­lah , so as to you may be suc­cess­ful” (62:10). In this verse Al­lah Almighty said to earn hon­estly. Holy Prophet (PBUH) said with the aim of seek­ing to hon­est liveli­hood is the duty of ev­ery Mus­lim. The Farewell Hajj of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is the char­ter to the hu­man’s right. Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: “Al­lah likes to the skill­ful be­liever.” Al­lah likes to hard labour­ers, so that he does not re­quire hin­der to oth­ers. Al­lah dis­liked the one who ac­quires knowl­edge (only) to earn profit from it. Al­lah’s Mes­sen­ger said one is best who has earn­ing best. More­over he said the earn­ing best when one’s earn from own hand.

The im­por­tance of labourer can be found through the life of our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Once an An­sari (na­tive of Mad­i­nah) came to Al­lah’s Prophet (PBUH) and asked for help. He in­quired if he has any­thing in his house­hold? The An­sari replied: he has a blan­ket and a cup of drink­ing water. The Prophet said him to bring both items. Af­ter, the man brought the items, Al­lah’s Mes­sen­ger (PBUH) took them up into his hands and said, ‘Who will pur­chase th­ese two items?’ One of his com­pan­ion of­fered one dirham for both. He (PBUH) again said, ‘Who will pur­chase them for more than one dirham? An­other com­pan­ion of­fered two Dirhams. He (PBUH) gave both items to the com­pan­ion. He (PBUH) gave the two dirhams to the An­sari, and said, ‘Get some food with one dirham, and pur­chase an axe with the other dirham.’ The per­son did so. The Prophet (PBUH) set the han­dle of axe with his own hand and handed over the axe to the An­sari and said, ‘Go to the for­est, cut down the woods, and sell the woods in the mar­ket. Come back af­ter two weeks.’

When he re­turned, he had ten dirham. He pur­chased some ce­re­als and clothes with those dirham. Al­lah’s Mes­sen­ger (PBUH) said, ‘‘ This is bet­ter for you. If you will go for beg­ging, then your face will be blem­ish on the Day of Judg­ment.”

Ac­tu­ally Is­lam cre­ates such think­ing in peo­ple that they feel proud in earn­ing. The Prophet’s fol­lowed the teach­ings and took ev­ery pos­si­ble strug­gle to earn hon­est liveli­hood.

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