Should She Continue Working In Place Where She Mixes With Men?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I am a
muslim woman raised with basic Islamic teachings but
overall in a more Western way - educated abroad in a
European university, and worked thereafter in a large
multinational following what is traditionally known as
the "career path". This way of life has been
encouraged by the parents and the lifestyle under
which I have been raised. Furtheremore as my parents
are no longer working I have become the financial
support for the family. I am currently living alone at
31 years in a Western country where there are no Arabs
or Mulsims around. And due to my Islamic upbriging
find myself islolated from my surroundings as I have
no interest in going to parties, bars, dating etc....
My choices are 2. To return home under the parents
umbrella and settle for any work to keep me busy and
if lucky find a husband. This will however mean
sacrificing income at least for the short term which
will be difficult for the family as well as
sacrificing a very good position at the company I am
in. Or alternately continue in this career path hoping
that someday I will meet a good muslim man who can
help me live a more mulsim way of life.
What is the isalmic point of view in such instances.
Praise be to Allaah.
The choice facing our sister is a choice between what
is right and what is wrong, between what is halaal and
what is haraam.
Hence we can only advise our sister to protect the
best thing that she possesses, which is her religion
and chastity, and to stay with her family so as to
protect herself and be among those who will protect
her. Perhaps Allaah will make it easy for her to find
work that is acceptable according to sharee'ah, and a
righteous husband. We give her the glad tidings of the
hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him): "Whoever gives up something for the sake
of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something
better than that." (Classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani
– may Allaah have mercy on him – in Hijaab al-Mar'ah
How many brothers and sisters have left their work–
even when they were earning lots of money – leaving
for the sake of Allaah after learning that the
environment they were in went against Islamic rulings,
then Allaah opened many ways for them and gave them a
bountiful provision, and guided their hearts to
something better than they had been following before.
We also want to remind our sister about her parents,
and tell her that staying with them and taking care of
them is much better than being apart from them. She
should not pay attention to their wishes that she
should do work that is not acceptable according to
sharee'ah. Many people are keen for worldly things,
and they do not pay attention to the forbidden and
objectionable things that may surround the work their
daughters and sons do.
Striving for the purpose of this transient world at
the expense of one's religion is not something that we
accept for our sisters or daughters, or for the sister
who is asking this question.
You should not pay any attention to the fact that this
is an international company or that the salary is
tempting. That does not mean anything if it also
brings the wrath of Allaah. It is bad enough that you
are with non-mahram men at work, let alone that you
are in a country where there are no Muslims. Moreover,
you may have to travel without a mahram to the kuffaar
countries and stay among them. You may be living in a
house on your own, which poses a danger to your
religious commitment, your person and your honour, as
is quite obvious. The Islamic texts indicate that it
is haraam for women to mix with men, to travel without
a mahram and to settle among the kuffaar.
Your idea of isolating yourself of which you speak may
not last for long, because of the many temptations and
the lack of help and support. The path of evil starts
with one step, and if a person follows it, it may be
difficult for him to think of himself and his
Hereafter. By the Grace of Allaah towards you, you are
seeking advice and knowledge of the Islamic rulings,
so do not feel any regrets about this world. Simple
things are sufficient for the one who is content with
what Allaah gives him; it is greed that destroys taqwa
and robs people of their common sense.
There is nothing to stop you from looking for work
that is acceptable according to sharee'ah, especially
since some companies now employ people at home,
letting them do their work via the Internet. This may
be a suitable alternative, especially for Muslim
We ask Allaah to guide you to that which will be
beneficial for you, and to protect your religious
commitment, for He is the One Who is the Guardian of
that and is Able to do that. May Allaah bless our
And Allaah knows best.