The rights of labors, servants, and lessees

Praise be to Allah who bestowed upon us great favors and granted us His Bounties and Generosity. I praise and thank Him for His Favors, and I send peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad, —the master of the former and the later and the Imam of the believers and the grateful,— upon his family, the Companions, the Followers, and those who follow them righteously until the Day of Recompense.

We took some benefits from the previous lessons related to the general rights of a Muslim and the rights of neighbors in particular. We knew that neighbors have some rights which a Muslim should fulfill in his daily life. Islam exhorts us to achieve the meaning of brotherhood, starting from spreading love among Muslims and ending with stopping all types of harm.

In this lesson we shall speak about the rights of a group of people who live among us and amidst our society, most of them are Muslims and few of them are non-Muslims. We brought this group of people by our will because of our need to them to help us in our works, foundations, in our farms and houses. This group is the labors who are coming from all over the world to live with us in this country for some time as workers in farms and factories, drivers and servants, employees in foundations from different nationalities and speaking different languages.

Those people have rights and duties which everyone of us has to ponder over when treating people in general and those under his custody in particular.

Of the most important of these rights is: Taking care of them because we are responsible for them because most of them are Muslims by identity, whereas others have violated the teachings of Islam in some ways. Therefore, you are responsible for them, so do not be keen to make them participate in your life without providing them with something that may benefit them in their Hereafter. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him): "If one man is guided on the right path (i.e. converted to Islam) through you, it would be better for you than (a great number of) red camels."

It is a clear mistake that the employer elude from his preaching mission under the pretext of Satanic insinuation that he is not a scholar, a preacher, nor a knowledge seeker and that he brought him for a certain work. No doubt, those feelings and insinuations are from Satan because a Muslim is a bearer of a great trust which he received from Allah to offer to the worshippers of Allah according to a conspicuous and a sound system. Allah granted the people of this country that sound way and method, and made them adhere to it. Moreover, the call to Allah it is not limited to scholars and knowledge seekers, but it is a trust in the neck of every Muslim according to the volume of knowledge he has and his capacity.

Dear Muslim brother, you should know that from the requisites of this trust is that a Muslim should not be isolated from his society and nation, but he should take part with them in everything he can do such as calling, guiding, and directing them. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression."  Allah (Exalted be He) says: "And who is better in speech than he who [says: "My Lord is Allâh (believes in His Oneness)," and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allâh's (Islâmic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims.""  The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the authentic Hadith: "Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence."  The texts talking about this matter are more than to be counted.

 

Dear Muslim brother, if the people under your custody do not know how to perform Salah, the rites of Islam, and do some innovations or polytheistic actions while they are ignorant, you should exert efforts in teaching them or draw their attention because this is the greatest thing you may do for them in this world and the best act you can offer them in the Hereafter, moreover it will double your actions and bring about continuous goodness. The matter is easy, thanks to Allah, because the country, may Allah guide it to all goodness, has opened offices affiliate to the ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call, and Guidance for educating communities, in addition, the country has certain means to assist in doing this important mission which encourages you to perform it well.

It is needless to say that this mission is not limited to the employer in particular, but the responsibility is common and the trust is general, so every Muslim should have the honor of calling to Allah and conveying goodness to them.

Of their rights also is: Paying their salaries and financial dues that were mentioned in their contracts because one of the Muslim's attributes is fulfilling the obligations. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "O you who believe, fulfill [all your] obligations."  The one who does not do so by not fulfilling the obligations which he had undertaken or delays them from their due times have burdened himself a grievous sin and a painful torment, moreover on the Day of Recompense he shall be retaliated. Imam Muslim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "On the Day of Recompense, the rights will be paid to those to whom they are due to the extent that a hornless sheep will be retaliated for by punishing the horned sheep which broke its horns."  Al Bukhari and Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds),but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him."  `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Give workers their dues before their sweat get dry [before they even take a rest after finishing their work]."

Dear valued Muslim brother, the general rule for a truthful Muslim who fears his Lord is to fulfill the obligations he has undertaken in contracts. So, it is not proper for him to break his promises or neglect them, so he has to fear Allah because Allah counts everything he does. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "They will say: "Woe to us! What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers!" And they will find all that they did, placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice."

Of their rights also is: Not to harm or oppress them because the final destination of oppression is severe and its punishment is accelerated in worldly life in addition to the torment of the Hereafter; and injustice shall be darkness in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned."

Allah (Exalted be He) says: "No doubt! the curse of Allâh is on the Zâlimûn (polytheists, wrong-doers, oppressors)."  Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Verily, We have prepared for the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them (disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh). And if they ask for help (relief, water), they will be granted water like boiling oil, that will scald their faces. Terrible is the drink, and an evil Murtafaq (dwelling, resting place.)!"  The Messenger (peace be upon him) told the Companions that the invocation of the oppressed is answered and that Allah (may He be Exalted) grants respite for the oppressor but when He seizes him, He does not let him escape.

Dear employer, take precautions against harming this kind of people or even oppress them. Of the types of harming them is: Not giving them their dues or delaying them which have been mentioned earlier and we explained its severe punishment.

Dear employer, what will be your situation if your salary is delayed one day? However, the state pays your salary before the end of the month, so why do you delay the salary of that worker who is away from his country and had left his family and children for that salary? Put yourself in his shoe, what would you do? He may invoke Allah sincerely against you and his supplication may destroy you, so give the worker his dues before his sweat dries in order to be safe of oppressing him and so that Allah would bless your work and sustenance.

Of the types of harming them is: Insulting, cursing, and calling them bad names. This happens a lot with servants, drivers, and workers; and the person who does so did not understand Allah's Saying: "Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it)."

Also of the types of harming them is: Burdening them beyond their capacity and making them do what they cannot do or giving them work more than that mentioned in the contract without increase in salaries.

Of the types of harming them also is that the employer would bring more workers than he needs then returning the workers whom he does not need to their countries without using them and without giving them their dues, so they would return to their families after they had burdened them with expenses instead of expanding their living standard. So, if you do not need them, leave them with their families without burdening them beyond their capacity.

Dear valued Muslim brother, what should be noted here is the violation of the state regulations and laws in regard to the newcomers. No doubt that these violations are forbidden and gaining money through them is also forbidden. Of these violations is: Covering them by writing the ownership of the shop by your name and the workers will be working for you, whereas the fact is the opposite where the shop is owned by the newcomer and the one who covers him takes some money for doing that.

Dear Muslim brother, beware of illegal ways of gaining money because ill-gotten money has no blessing.

I ask Allah (may He be Exalted) to show us the truth clearly and grant us to follow it, to show us falsehood clearly and grant us to avoid it, to help us fulfill our duties, for He is All-Hearing, All-Responding and He is the One whose aid is to be implored.

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