Fatwas regarding Working Hours
The scholars of the Standing Committee (Lajnah Daimah) were asked about the employees who are obliged to stay in office during the working hours, but instead are hanging out to shop without any permission of their boss. What is the ruling for such deed?
The answer: “ It is not allowed for an employee to go out of the office during the working hours for shopping, whether he or she was permitted by the boss or not. Because it contradicted the rules set for the civil servants. Such practice caused the neglect of works which were trusted to him and the rights of other muslims (society), or at least the works wouldn’t be accomplished appropriately.
It is narrated by Abu Ya’la and al Askari, from Aisha -may Allah be pleased with her- that the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,
إن الله يحب إذا عمل أحدكم عملا أن يتقنه
“Verily, Allah loves, if one of you works his task with his best.” Similar redaction also narrated by al Baihaqi and Thabrani.” (Fatwa of the Lajnah Daimah, 23:415)
Ibn Uthaymeen was asked about an employee who was late to be in his office, until about half an hour or in some condition, an hour, or even more, or who left the office half an hour before the working hours ended. What is the ruling for such practice?
He answered, “It seems like this case need not any answer, because the salary is a compensation of work. As that civil servant disliked if his salary was trimmed even just a bit, he was also obliged to not lessen the country’s right at all. An employee should not be late to be in his office, as he is not allowed to return home before the office hours ended.”
Question: “But some people reasoned that he returned home before the office hours ended because there were no more task left in his office, since the were just a little tasks.”
Ibn Uthaymeen commented, “ Certainly the employee was bounded with the working time, not the amount of tasks itself. The salary he got was a compensation for him staying at the office or his workplace, from so and so time until it’s end, whether or not there were tasks in that office. Thus, if the salary was related to time, then that employee should accomplish his obligation regarding the office hours. If he didn’t, the salary for his corrupted time was considered as devouring other’s possessions wrongfully.” (Taken from: Liqo al Bab al Maftuh, 9:14).
Ibn Uthaymeed also received a question regarding some employees who returned home before the office hours ended or left out amidst the office hours, although they went back to it, or were late to the office. What is the ruling for such conditions?
He replied, “It is unlawful for the employees to return home before the office hours ended, being late to go to their office, and leaving the office during the working hours. Working hours are the right of the country and function as a compensation for the salary they received, spent from the country’s money. But if there were urgent needs to leave the office during the working hours, and with the permission of their boss, also those needs didn’t push them to neglect their works, I hope that such matters were alright.”
Sheikh Shalih al Fauzan was asked about some employees who, due to lesser supervision, left the office before the midday prayer to enjoy a lunch with their wives, and returned to the office to stay there until the end of the working hours. Is such practice allowed?
His replied was, “ An employee has an obligation to stay where he works during the office hours, from the beginning until the end of it. He should not go home or take care of his private business during the office hours, since he is obliged to stay at the office during those hours, although there are no supervisions around. Because to the employees, or civil servants, the office hours belong to their job, not them, since they have sold those hours to obtain their monthly salary. Hence, they shouldn’t reduce the office hours because of his private interests, unless the affairs that are permitted by the employment regulation.”
Ibn Jibrin was asked,” Is it alright for an employee to left his office during the working hours, reasoning that he has no more task to do at the office, whereas he received a high salary compared to the tasks he is responsible of?”
His replied was, “An employee or a worker is not allowed to left his office until the end of the working hours, even though there are no more tasks for him to do, whether his salary is high or not. But if there were urgent needs that forced him to leave his office, such as sickness, or other urgent needs that forced him to leave his post, then he was allowed to leave his office according to his needs, and after that he should go back to his office. Because the office hours are the right of the country or the company where he works. It is different if he works as a free agent or free line; if so, it is alright for him to go everywhere he wants after he accomplished his obligation appropriately. “
Author: ustadz Aris Munandar, M.Pi.
Article of www.syaria.com