Women In The Workplace

Question

It has become increasingly common nowadays to see Muslim Females working as cashiers/receptionists in our shops/work places.

Furthermore, there has been an exponential rise in the amounts of Fairs/souks/night markets taking place in our communities where our muslim females (including Aalimahs) hold stalls and serve male and female customers alike.

The most unfortunate part is that our womenfolk feel that their action is 100% permissible and the partaking of the learned in such events/activities is giving further impetus to the general public to indulge in such activities.

Please advise on what is the Shar’iee stance for Muslim females to work as receptionists in the work places and for them to stand as cashiers in the shops/host stalls where they will be subject to serve Males irrespective of whether they adorn the Niqaab or not.

Answer

A woman is not allowed to leave her house unless out of necessity. If, however the need does arise to leave the house then it will be incumbent on her to adhere to the following conditions:

  1. She will not be allowed to use any type of fragrance.
  2. She will not be allowed to adorn herself with such jewellery which makes a sound and attracts attention towards her.
  3. She should walk in such a manner that her footsteps are not heard by others.
  4. She will not be allowed to walk or use main roads, if she does then she should walk on the side of the road as not to attract attention to herself.
  5. She will be required to wear a Jilbaab (such a cloth that covers her body from head to toe and does not show her figure).
  6. She will be required to seek permission from her husband before leaving.
  7. She will not be allowed to talk to anyone without the permission of her husband.
  8. If the need does arise to talk to a strange person, then she will be required to change the tone of her voice to a harsher tone, so as not to create desire towards herself.
  9. Her gaze should always be fixated on the ground and not looking at strange man.
  10. She will not be allowed to go into such gatherings which are mostly frequented by men.

One will be able to gauge from the above-mentioned conditions that it will not be permissible for a woman to work as a receptionist or cashiers in shops, etc. or even leave her home in order to go into a business environment such as fairs, souks and the like. And if she does, then she will be involved in a number of prohibitions, such as;

  1. Mixing with strange men.
  2. Talking to strange men freely.
  3. Becoming lax with regards to Pardah etc.

Until a woman is not married, her financial needs are the responsibility of her father. Once she gets married, her needs will be seen to by her husband. If she is not married and she has no father or next of kin that can look after her needs, then she should opt to earn a living by running a home-based industry, such as cooking and baking. If she is an Aalimah, she can open up some sort of a Madressah at home for young children and charge tuition fees. Opting for these avenues will not require her to break any of the above mentioned conditions. Apart from these, there are many other permissible avenues available for her to earn her livelihood without the need to go out into a corporate/work environment..

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

حدثنا محمود بن محمَّد الواسِطي، حدثنا زكريَّا بن يحيى زَحْمُوْيَه، ثنا سَوَّار بن مُصعَب، عن عَطيَّة، عن ابن عمر، قال: قال رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «لَيْسَ لِلنِّسَاءِ نَصِيبٌ في الخُرُوجِ إِلاَّ مُضْطَرَّةً -يعني: ليس لها خادمٌ- إِلاَّ في العيدَين: الأضْحَى والفِطْر، وليس لهم نصيبٌ في الطُّرُقِ إِلاَّ الحَوَاشِي»
المعجم الكبير للطبراني جـ 13، 14 (ص: 172)

 خواتين كى مسائل اور انكا حل ص217 ج1 و ص506 ج2

خواتين كى فقهى مسائل ص203

فتاوى رحيمية ص192 ج10

فتاوى رحيمية ص167 ج3 و436 ج8

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