Friday, February 05, 2010

Unprofessionalism in the Muslim Community

Unprofessional? Who? No, no, not us.

As though being late wasn’t bad enough, to top it off, you are made to feel as though the money you’ve worked for isn’t your right, and they are doing you a favor by paying you anything at all. This Islamic Organization is simply out of money at the time, and you have to wait until they get some. It coincidentally comes to your attention that some employees in higher positions had their checks issued on time and without any delay.

An Islamic school wanted you to teach 2 subjects and pay you as a quarter-time employee. Apparently if you don’t teach 4 subjects to the entire school then you will not be considered a full-time teacher (that isn’t a sarcastic remark). In addition, you were told that your pay was based on 1/4 of the full-time teacher’s pay. When you find out what that rate is, you know that it is much lower than what an actual 1/4 is. They are trying to take advantage of the fact that you are new there and don’t know anyone, or how much they make. Sadly, you do know another teacher, and you realize their dishonesty. As a result, you quit.
. . .
You start to wonder if these organizations had planned to abuse you from the get-go?

But, you haven’t done anything wrong to them, so why would they bother, then you remember Allah SWT’s Words from Surat Al-Hujuraat, “O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin.”

Is it because you are working with Muslim organizations, then your work is “Fe Sabeel Illah” – for the sake of Allah – that people pushing the boundaries shouldn’t bother you?

The short answer is, No. Because if it was, we would all be willing to sacrifice to help get things done, and more importantly to help each other. That executive would give up part of his salary to help you pay your rent on time.

Is it because this is my Muslim brother or sister I should let them fall behind on the payments?

It can’t be, because they are the ones that want you to be there on-time, every time, to work for them. They want flawless work, in a hurry, with an impossible deadline and an insane volume of work to be completed by then. This is a paid position, you were promised a paycheck in exchange for specific tasks and duties, and it is an agreement between you and your employer.

Allah SWT requires us to respect these agreements, as stated in Surat Al-Israa, “…and fulfill (every) engagement, for (every) engagement will be inquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).”

Are all employees doing right by their employers, and inherently the victims?

Of course not. Obviously both cases exist, but, unprofessionalism just breeds more unprofessionalism. The employee that slacks should be fired. The employer that mistreats their worker should loose that employee to a more deserving firm.
. . .
We have reached rock bottom when Muslims sincerely warn other Muslims against getting jobs with Muslim companies or Islamic Organizations, because of the suffering. Why should it be that in exchange for being in a so-called Islamic Environment you will face all sorts of head and eventually heartache?

I’m not writing this with the intention to bash other Muslims or talk smack about the Ummah. On the contrary, I want to point this out and have it addressed and remedied, so that it is no longer the case. I make dua’a that Allah SWT guides us all to the best of manners and etiquette, and that we are among those that take heed of good advice and follow the best of it.

Full piece at: Sumayah Hasan


Tasbeeh said...

This is depressing, but unfortunately true, but especially when you're a volunteers. Some organizations, like CAIR, are good at treating their volunteers, even the really young ones, with respect, alhamdulilah. But I've had experiences that make me really hesitate volunteering, especially in cases where I'm promised I'll be "reimbursed" for whatever money I spend doing so.

Nadia said...

If these organizations are violating wage & hour laws, they should be sued, bottom line. I think sadly that's the only way we'll start to see some change in the professionalism of our organizations.