Sunday, August 05, 2007

Fasting : Scholars Reject Women Be Allowed To Work Half Day

From Utusan Malaysia Online

Translated by kilamxx

Scholars rejected the proposal by CUEPACS (Congress Of Unions Of Employees In The Public And Civil Services) that the government shortens the daily working hours of female employees by half during the fasting month of Ramadan.

The general opinion overall is that the proposal would raise problems in the workflow and in fact some see it as a way to exploit the holy month in avoiding work.

The excuse given by CUEPACS that the proposal would give female employee, especially those living in the Klang Valley, the chance to go home earlier to manage the housework including the preparation of food for the breaking of fast was dismissed as inadmissible.

The Perlis Mufti, Dr. Mohd. Asri Zainul Abidin, said the proposal was impractical and hoped the government would take into account the views from various quarters before deciding on the issue.

“There is nothing in the teachings which said that work should be set aside just for the breaking of fast, but instead the emphasis should be on performance of pious duties or worship,” he said when contacted here today.

He added, it would be better to encourage the reading of the Holy Quran, thus increasing the good deeds (pahala) and continue working to increase productivity.

Yesterday, CUEPACS President, Omar Osman proposed that the government shortens the working hours of female employees to half day during the Ramadan month which is expected to begin on 14th September.

The excuse was that the traffic congestion during the fasting month exposes them to the risk of accidents besides the responsibility of managing the children and the preparation of food for the breaking of fast.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Mufti of Pahang, Datuk Abdul Rahman Osman said, religion has never differentiated the way of working within the month of Ramadan with any other month.

“There is no evidence or reasoning in Islam which compels us to shorten the work time during the fasting month just for the sake of preparing food for the breaking of fast.

“There are only some Hadiths which allow one to lessen the workload a bit but not to the extent of incurring difficulties on others,” he explained.

He said a compromise can be reached whereby the working hours for female employees may be slightly shortened.

“A one or two hour remission may be allowed but not until a half day.

“But this should be made up for by coming in to work earlier,” he said.

Free lance preacher Mohd. Daud Che Ngah described the proposal as an attempt to ‘evacuate’ the women from the ‘battlefield’.

“Why should they be allowed to get home early on the excuse of preparing food for the breaking of fast while the men are left to toil hard at the workplace?” he asked.

The breaking of fast should not be the highlight of the month of Ramadan. The emphasis should be on how we fill up the days and nights with our good deeds and piety.



At 6:00 PM, Blogger dyz said...

Interesting article!

In the first place, women responsibility in islam is not work.If they were able and did focus fully on this, this question won't arise as they'd already be at home taking care of the family

As a working lady, I understand why the request. However,if ladies work, must follow working world ethics of coz.

It bothers me when I work - I somehow will miss out my responsibilities as laid down in islam. our lifestyle nowadays is a mixture of modern and islamic. It doesn't always gel well.. must choose...

Allah knows best

At 11:46 PM, Blogger kilamxx said...

Hi Dyz,

Thanks for reading my blog.
I tend to agree with you in that Muslim women face difficult choices when it concerns working outside the home.
I know deciding on which to prioritize is easier said than done but I think we should always use the Quran and Sunnah to guide us.


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