_‘How should I deal with my neighbor who has removed her Jilbaab that she used to wear, should I boycott her?’_
Shaykh Albaani answers:
‘Boycotting a Muslim as an individual in an Islamic society is like treating a sick person with cauterization, like it has been mentioned in a proverb and in an unauthentic hadeeth: that the last treatment/cure is cauterization so boycotting is the final treatment.
It is not allowed for a Muslim man or woman to be hasty in boycotting the one who has deviated from his Islaam, rather it is upon us to follow them up, by visiting them, by reminding them about their Deen or by refuting them, perhaps they will return and repent.
If we stay with them and become despondent or we waste our time with them and become neglected and we fear this sickness will transfer to other than its source then we say salaam (farewell) to them, we do not seek the ignorant ones.
All praise belongs to Allaah Lord of the Worlds.’
[Taken from ‘Explanation of al-Adab al-Mufrad’ tape 8 side A]
The Romans sent a man to negotiate with Abu Ubaydah ibn Al Jarraah but when he got there he couldn’t tell which of the Muslims he was as none of them looked to him like a governor should.
Roman: O Arabs, where is your leader?
Arabs: There he is.
Roman: [Upon locking eyes with Abu Ubaydah who was sitting on the ground with a bow on his shoulder and an arrow in his hand] Are you the leader of these men?
Abu Ubaydah: Yes
Roman: Then why are you sitting on the ground? Why don’t you sit on a cushion?
Abu Ubaydah: Allaah is not too shy to tell the truth and I shall tell you the truth about what you have said. I do not have any wealth; I own nothing but my horse, my weapon and my sword. Yesterday I needed some money and I had nothing, so I borrowed some money from this brother of mine (Mu’aadh ibn Jabal) who had some. He lent it to me. If I also had a rug or a cushion, I would not sit on it and exclude my brothers and companions; I would let my brother sit on it, for he may be better than me before Allaah. We are slaves of Allaah. We walk on the Earth, we sit on the ground, we eat on the ground, we lie down on the ground, and that does not lower us in status before Allaah at all. Rather Allaah increases our reward thereby and raises us in status, and thus we show humbleness before or Lord.
So turned out I did alright in my interview and it’s been over a month since I started my new job at the call-centre in the evenings.
The location is really, and I mean REALLY convenient for me. Being near my existing work and new home and so save me some mega money in shoe leather and so far I’m enjoying it, or content as possible at least when working.
However one of the more unsettling niggling matters about starting a new job is learning about how different all the processes and procedures in your new role. It seems things just change, sometimes dramatically from company to company even when they’re vaguely in the same business.
So in some customer service roles I’ve worked in, everything right down to the breaks is strictly regimented, even down to having to a time limit on going to the toilet, in others you are free to come and go as long as the work gets done.
My new job seems to fall somewhere in the middle, but in one respect I have to credit them in that they are very easy when it comes to Salaat, even having a dedicated prayer room and not having to struggle and strive to get this facility and already having it in place is a big blessing.
It makes good business sense for them to do this, probably about 40% of the workforce at least are Muslim and keeping your workers happy is the key to keeping them productive but can you imagine the reward of whichever brothers / sisters it was who asked for this from their workplace?
How they probably needed to push over and over with different managers until finally they succeeded in establishing a room in the workplace so that everyone who came after them including myself earned them more and more good deeds on their scales on the day of judgement?
Saying that… it still shocked me that even though the facility is there, time can be taken for prayers even if it’s not a break time, still some of the brothers and sisters don’t pray.
…Indeed, the prayer is on the believers prescribed (at) fixed times.
From Surah an-Nisa, 4:103
How lazy do you have to be with your salaat to actually not bother even when allowed by your workplace, they set out a place to make it easy for you and even give you a few minutes off outside of your regular break times?
A TAP ON THE SHOULDER
Anyway, so first week out of training I am just sitting taking calls minding my own and all of a sudden I get a tap on the shoulder and turn around and it’s one of the managers who tells me to pick up my notes and headset and to follow, no explanation, other than that and with a great deal of trepidation and annoyance at being touched by a ghair-mahram woman I follow to the managers duty desk and am told to sit down.
Immediately I am thinking what did I do? Am I being fired? Have I done something badly wrong and need retraining or disciplining? Has a non-Muslim or even a Muslim said something about me talking about the deen?
I was fairly sure it wasn’t the last one as I had read up on the companies policies on such matters to make sure I stayed with the rules but you never know who you might annoy and a long time employee can easily make things difficult, even impossible for a temp should they choose to do so.
So I sit down, I’m told to plug in my headset and without warning the manager hits play on the computer and all of a sudden I am listening to one of my calls from during the week, I think it was actually the second call I ever took.
Not only am I listening but the playback in front of me is giving me absolutely everything I did on screen during the whole call, the way my mouse cursor wandered aimlessly from tab to tab, button to button as I sought to find the access to each function and screen at what I hoped was the right moment in the call.
She then asked me how I felt the call went, no feedback straight away. I needed to analyse the call myself first, tell her what mistakes I feel I have made, what I did well, where I could improve and it was definitely something quite different compared to any job I have done before.
It was a very unsettling moment, and since that time and subsequent two other call reviews I have been more than a little conscious that every single call is recorded and can and will be used against you if that particular call gets listened to where you make a total mess of it, then it does come back on you.
Inversely, knowing that when calls and actions are well thought through and carried out successfully then that success will be rewarded, and known about.
NOW FOR A REMINDER…
I’m struck though by the way we don’t take our daily lives as seriously as this as Muslims should. Are all our actions not monitored and we will not be answerable to and be questioned by Allaah for every little thing we do in our lives?
Indeed, your Lord (is) surely Ever Watchful.
Quran translation, Surah al Fajr, 89:14
We believe as Muslims that Allah is Al-Basir, the All Seeing, that Allah is As-Sami’, the All Hearing, that He sees and hears all we do and all everyone does, but does this belief reflect in our actions and if not what does that say about the strength of our belief?
Abu Dharr and Mu`adh bin Jabal (May Allah be pleased with them) reported that: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Fear Allah wherever you are, do good deeds after doing bad ones, the former will wipe out the latter, and behave decently towards people”
Recorded in At-Tirmidhi
That tap on the shoulder can come at any time for us, except then there is no returning to your desk to live on, to try harder, then it is the end of your life on this world and then only a time awaiting in your grave waiting for your judgement before Allah.
Then every one of your deeds will be brought before you, you will answer for all you have done so it is important we correct ourselves in this life, before the end of time here, make tawbah often for our mistakes and sins and ask Allah sincerely for his forgiveness where we fall short.
May Allah make us all among the heedful, those who remember the purpose of this short life, making tawbah where we fall short, ameen