Radio Islam recently conducted a panel discussion on the topic "Treatment of Domestic Workers and Employees." The two guests were Moulana Mohammed Vanker and Moulana Waseem Laher.
Moulana Laher mentioned some examples of ill-treating domestic workers. He explained that there are times when people don’t understand what they are doing wrong. An example is how we serve them food, the manner in which we pay them, how we speak to them and how courteous we are to them. By treating them in this way, we are creating a negative image of ourselves and Muslims in general. We need to treat people in the way in which we want to be treated.
Moulana Vanker mentioned that in terms of the Shariah we need to treat workers in a dignified manner. We need to understand that we can not manage our tasks without them and attach more value to them. Allah has put us in a position of authority, it could have been the opposite way. We need to respect them and treat them well. They are human beings and are capable of mistakes. We need to be forgiving and understanding of our employees.
Moulana Laher explained the importance of paying the employee on time. Just as how we would be upset about not being paid on time. We need to understand the importance of paying employees on time. We need to understand their economic situation and how valuable their salary is to them. When they are paid on time, they will feel as if their services are appreciated.
Moulana Vanker spoke about situations when employees, break or damage something and how to handle this situation. As Muslims, we need to learn to forgive and understand that they probably did not do it on purpose. Amongst those who will enter Jannah are those who forgive people and swallow their anger. We need to take the lessons from Nabi (SAW) and emulate his behavior.
Moulana Laher spoke on how to get your children to treat domestic workers in a pleasant way. We often tell children how to behave, instead of showing them how to behave. We need to understand that children learn from us and behave how we behave. We can't instruct our children to read salaah if we don’t read our salaah. When we treat domestics in a good manner, our children will learn from us.
Moulana Vanker provided some tips on how to speak to our employees. These included if the wrong that your servants have done to you outweighs the wrong that you have done to them then it will be in your favour. But if it is the other way you will be punished on the Day of Qiyaamah. The Sahabah asked Nabi (SAW) how many times should I forgive my servants, he mentioned 70 times. This emphasises the amount of patience and understanding we should have toward them. They are also human beings and should be treated with respect.
Moulana Laher concluded that we should use these opportunities as a form of da'wah and to be good Muslims. To build a good relationship with your workers, influencing them towards Islam.
Moulana Vanker concluded by saying that we can extend this topic to all workers, and this is an opportunity to become ambassadors for this beautiful Deen. Let us show them the beauty of Islam in this way, by treating them well and in an Islamic way.