Divine Revelation

A blog with an Islamic perspective

This article appeared in the Gulf News today


I sent a letter to the Editor as follows

"Kudos to Gulf News for highlighting the condition of toilet cleaners through the article "Cleaners appeal over 12-hour shifts" dated 19/7/06.

I have personally heard heart rendering stories from some of these poor souls. Their punishing work schedule and squalid living conditions make a mockery of any self proclaimed claims towards achieving a just and equitable society.

The Labour Ministry should proactively investigate these cleaning companies for any violations, as workers fear loosing their jobs if they launch an official complaint."

Lets hope they publish it.

Alhamdolillah they did. Read the 5th letter in Letters to the Editor dated 24-07-2006

I will try InshaAllah try to give a detailed perspective asap. (1700 hrs)

So here's some thing that we must always bear in mind

Allah says in the Holy Quran 4:135 (part of the ayat is produced below)

Translation : O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice

Allah also says in the Holy Quran 55:9

Translation: So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance

There are several Hadith(sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) pointing to the importance of having good living conditions, respect and justice to labour .

Here are some of them

Wages ought to be sufficient to cover legitimate needs
AlMustawrid ibn Shaddad relates that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "If someone performed a job for us and has no house, let him have a house; if he has no wife, let him have a wife; if he has no servant, let him have a servant; or if he has no mount to ride, let him have one. He who clamors for anything other than these is being excessive.

This is related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud and its chain is sound.
Commenting on the subject, al-Khattabi says:
"This may be interpreted in two different ways.

The first means that the individual is permitted to have a servant or a house deducted from his wages, which are similar to any other wages. He is not permitted to take anything else.

The second means that the zakah worker has the right to have lodging and a servant. Thus, if he does not have a house or a servant, one may be hired to serve him and a house may be rented for him during the tenure of his job.

Wages must be paid in time
This Hadith is from Al-Tirmidhi and narrated byAbdullah ibn Umar and
Ibn Majah transmitted it in which Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Give the hireling his wages before his sweat dries."

This topic of labour rights and the challenges of striking a balance between labour and Management, employee and employers is quite a topic and I will attempt to delve deeper InshaAllah in other posts. (1900 hrs)

Posted by Arshad on Wednesday, July 19, 2006.

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