1st May: It’s a day for the workers:
Next week on the 1st of May, the International Workers’ Day or Labour Day will be observed throughout most of the countries of the world. In Bermuda, Canada and the United States Labour day is celebrated on the first Monday of September.
This day is to commemorate the victory of the struggle by workers to safeguard their rights including fight for the ‘eight hour day. This was not achieved without general strikes and loss of lives in the movement to safeguard the rights of workers.
Work is Ibadah:
Seeking out for ones’ livelihood is also ibadah- service- to our Cherisher Allah SWT.When a worker makes effort to work and earn a lawful livelihood to able to provide for the personal needs and of his dependants he is considered to be in state of ibadah : worship.
This deed of Ibadah is in addition to performing the other prescribed obligatory and recommended practices such as Salat, Sawm, Haj, Khums, Zakat, Sadaqa, Maintaining good relations.
For the purpose of our creation is clarified in the holy Qur’an:
“And I have not created the Jinn and Men except that they should serve (ibadah) Me” (Sura Adh Dhaariyat 51:56)
Work that earns Divine honour:
In performing any act of ibadah there are several conditions necessary to be fulfilled when performing a deed in Islam. In the case of Salat some of the conditions include Qibla direction, Taharat, Niyyat and other requisites. It is important that these are fulfilled for the validity and acceptance of this service to Allah SWT.
Likewise when undertaking this ibadah of work there are some conditions to pay attention towards attaining acceptance as an ibadah of the effort expended in seeking livelihood.
When undertaking any work or occupation an aspect to which one needs to pay attention is the right of the body. The hand is an important organ of the body which a worker utilizes to perform work:-ibadah.
In stating the right of the hand in the famous epistle called Risalatul Huquq –the Charter of rights- our fourth Imam Zaynul ‘Aabidin a.s states:“….it is the right of your hand that you should not extend it to what is forbidden to you, otherwise you will earn punishment from Allah…..and you should enhance the honour of your hand by withholding it from unlawful things…..”
Whilst being in work or having a profession is an honour, it is honourable to honour the right of the hand by undertaking the work that earns Divine honour and refrain from that which Divine wrath is poured. The success of achieving Divine honour is in undertaking the types of work /occupations that is lawful /permissible in Islam.
As we take a break to enjoy the bank holiday on 7th May let us observe the forthcoming Labour Day /May Day with gratefulness to Allah SWT for blessing us with the tawfiq to continue striving in undertaking work /occupation that is worthy of Divine honour and rewarded for being ibadah.
Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah
With salaams and duas
Fazle Abbas Datoo