One thing everyone needs irrespective of his/ her job profile that is RESPECT. Whether the person is servant or owner of a company. That is what Islam talked about precisely too. However, people forget human behaviour when it comes to their maid or servants.
I come across many reports that talk about the vicious behaviour of owners of a company or house towards servants, who we call office boy if it is a company. The reports are not restricted to some country or community but it can be seen and observed across the world.
According to Independent eight United Arab Emirates (UAE) princesses convicted in Belgium over ‘inhumane’ treatment of servants. The report further goes on explaining that a total of 23 women from African countries were smuggled into Belgium and treated like hell. The workers were forced to put in long hours, did not have proper sleeping quarters or food, were not allowed leave their residential premises for even a minute.
Well, this is the one case I stated above. There are many such cases that demonstrate how servants are treated around the world. Let me share what I encountered when I visited a small company for a client meeting.
once upon a time I visited a small company for a meeting where I happened to strike a conversation with an office boy there. The conversation started with introduction and then led to a point where he started sharing his ordeal experiences in his company.
Let’s say his name was Pankaj. Pankaj said that though the office hours is ten in the morning to eight in the evening but, he has to stay beyond the official hours because the owners (there were two owners) insist him to stay longer. “the owners don’t bother if I had a meal or not. They just make me run here and there round the clock,” said Pankaj. He further added that, “They made me work so hard but pay very little that I survive hand to mouth.”
This ruthless behaviour is unacceptable in Islam. Without a doubt, if we analyse Islam we will come to know that Islam has given much respect to servants. It is said that give labour/maid/servants wages before his or her sweats dried.
Abdullah ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Prophet said: “Pay the labourer his wages before his sweat dries.”
Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet said: “Whoever employs someone to work for him, he must specify for him his wage in advance.”
The above discussion demonstrates how generous one’s behaviour should be towards servants. We should fix up wages then pay the wages as soon as work is done without any humiliation or anything that go against self-respect.
A story from the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) life will prove all the inhumane behaviour with maid/servants unacceptable.
Once upon a time a person called Zayd who was a slave and sold to many before he was bought by Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Then, people would buy and sell salves so there is no point of protesting against this tradition. What should be surprising and learning for all of us that Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) would treat Zayd so admirably that when Zayd’s father and uncle wanted to buy him back from Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) he refused to go with them and wanted to stay with Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) only. So was the approach towards Zayd of Prophet Muhammad.
No matter what religion you belong to, remember that you are also someone’s servant. If you treat your maid/ servant inhumanly then you could be the target someday. If you hold wages of your servant then your wages could be held.
Huraira (Peace Be Upon Him) narrated that the Prophet said: “Allah Said, ‘I will be the opponent of three on the Day of Judgment:…and one who hires a workman and having taken full work from him, does not pay him his wages.‘”
Treat your servant as you treat your family members because they are also human and need respect and compassion.