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  1. #1
    SEB's Avatar
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    Working in management position at work

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    I have come across the below hadith and wanted some advice. The hadith is:

    Abdur Rahman ibn Samurah reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said to me, “O Abdur Rahman, do not ask for authority. If it is given to you at your request, you will be held fully responsible for it. If it is given to you without your request, you will be helped by Allah in it.”

    Ibn Hajar said, “The meaning of the tradition is that whoever seeks authority and is given it will forfeit his support from Allah, due to his desire. Another benefit in it is that seeking the mandate to judge is discouraged, including authority, judiciary, enforcement and so on, as whoever desires them will not be helped by Allah.”


    My question is, does this hadith also apply to management jobs at work? I am a manager of an admin team at the moment. Very few people know about it, as I don’t like to talk about it outside of work. Even at my workplace, colleagues tend to only know my position on a need-to-know basis.

    I am concerned by this hadith if my job is halal. Also, I am looking into other jobs at the moment as most of jobs have a management part to it. Would it be wrong to apply to them based on the above hadith?

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    HabibUrrehman's Avatar
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    Re: Working in management position at work

    Quote Originally Posted by SEB View Post
    I have come across the below hadith and wanted some advice. The hadith is:

    Abdur Rahman ibn Samurah reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said to me, “O Abdur Rahman, do not ask for authority. If it is given to you at your request, you will be held fully responsible for it. If it is given to you without your request, you will be helped by Allah in it.”

    Ibn Hajar said, “The meaning of the tradition is that whoever seeks authority and is given it will forfeit his support from Allah, due to his desire. Another benefit in it is that seeking the mandate to judge is discouraged, including authority, judiciary, enforcement and so on, as whoever desires them will not be helped by Allah.”


    My question is, does this hadith also apply to management jobs at work? I am a manager of an admin team at the moment. Very few people know about it, as I don’t like to talk about it outside of work. Even at my workplace, colleagues tend to only know my position on a need-to-know basis.

    I am concerned by this hadith if my job is halal. Also, I am looking into other jobs at the moment as most of jobs have a management part to it. Would it be wrong to apply to them based on the above hadith?
    You clearly misunderstood this Hadith. There is nothing wrong in acquiring positions of authority for Muslims. In fact it is compulsory for Muslims to lead in every aspect of life especially in western countries. Practicing Muslims will always take care of their employees on personal level because he/she knows that it’s Allah who has given him/her this authority and he/she will be asked about what he did with his/her authoritative position.
    We hear so many cases where non Muslim managers treat their employees badly, some even sexually harass their employees. So as a manager you can set a good example for your non Muslims employees and that can be a dawah in itself. Keep your intentions right and seek Allah’s help with anything you do and inshallah this will be counted as an act of worship for you.

    Islam is very simple and easy so keep it simple and don’t make things hard for yourself and your family.

    Allah knows best!
    Last edited by HabibUrrehman; 12-07-2019 at 04:00 PM.

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    SEB's Avatar
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    Re: Working in management position at work

    So why does this hadith say that you should not ask for or desire authority? Surely, by applying for and getting this job, that is a form of 'asking'? The only reason I can see is for people who use positions of authority to show off which is something I avoid. It is still bothering me a lot, especially as I now looking into changing jobs as well.

  5. #4
    HabibUrrehman's Avatar
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    Re: Working in management position at work

    Quote Originally Posted by SEB View Post
    So why does this hadith say that you should not ask for or desire authority? Surely, by applying for and getting this job, that is a form of 'asking'? The only reason I can see is for people who use positions of authority to show off which is something I avoid. It is still bothering me a lot, especially as I now looking into changing jobs as well.
    First of all the authority mentioned in that Hadith is about political and religious authority which is taken by force or by deceiving others. This Hadith is not talking about the work force. What you are talking about is related to work force and there are several examples in Muslim history which shows that acquiring a managerial job is fine and highly recommended. There are several companions who ran successful businesses and had several people working for their trade business. They overlooked and managed these people. Imam Abu hanifa was also a well know merchant and had several people who used to work for him. Who was managing them? Imam Abu Hanifa.

    Now a days in work force there will always be someone working under you if you work in a company who believes in promotion and professional growth. You can’t make enough to support your family if you decide to stay at the bottom of that ladder just because who are trying to avoid any authority over others.

    Second, applying for a job does not mean that you will get the job. You need to go through interview process and if you get the job, it’s not because you wishes for it but it is because Allah helped you to get that job. Now let’s look at this from political point of view as well. When a prince wants to be the next king then that’s clearly wanting to have an authority over other people. And yes Allah does not help such people who seek for authority to rule over people. Examples of this are found in ummayd and Abbasid dynasties and all other so called caliphates which came after them. On the contrary, we see that rightly guided caliphs did not seek to have any authority over people and were chosen by their own people. When Umar (ra) died, he asked that the next caliph to be chosen from the 6 Sahābah. Few of those pulled their names because they did not want to be a Caliph but other still remained in contention for next caliph means they wanted to have the authority. But eventually, they all chose Osman(ra) as the third caliph.

    This last point also illustrates that now a days it is encouraged and necessary for Muslims to run for Congress or senate in a non Muslim country because that how we can protect our identity and pass laws which can support Muslim culture and practices.

    Finally let’s also look at some authority which many of us have on our kids. Now many of us wanted to have kids but that one reason for many of us to get married. Should we avoid having any kids because it will give us an authority over them? Surely not, our kids are a trust given to us by Allah and we need to take care of that responsibility. Similarly our jobs ( managerial or non managerial) are a trust given to us and we need to do them with the best of our ability.

    I hope that you find these arguments helpful and hope you appreciate what Allah has given you and use that to spread the true message of Islam. Be good to those who report directly to you and set good moral standards for yourself and them to follow.
    Last edited by HabibUrrehman; 12-07-2019 at 05:38 PM.

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    Re: Working in management position at work

    The hadith about not to desire authority is not wanting to be ruler or governor of a city etc as we should fear we won't be able to fulfill its responsibility so taqwa should make us not want leadership positions. Also not wanting to be 'someone big' in a leadership position is the humble way

    Our four rightly guided caliphs never wanted to be Caliphs, they were pressured by the people into accepting those roles

    A hadith says that the future Mahdi (as) will be forced to accept his position too as he wouldn't want it

    But its OK to aspire to be manager of a company as its the natural aspiration to get promoted in work to achieve a higher pay. Also its not the same as ruling a country or a district and the responsibility is easily manageable for experienced staff of the company

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    Re: Working in management position at work

    Yup brother Habib has a point that if Muslims do not aspire to lead in the West with their goodness and Islamic principles then the only alternative is the kuffar with their inhumanity and ignorance, but maybe the Islamic way will be to pressurise Muslims who we think will be good in leading rather than aspire ourselves to lead?

    And once that person is pressured into reluctantly accepting to be the leadership candidate, then he/she can start 'promoting themselves' as that's the only way in the West

  9. #7
    HabibUrrehman's Avatar
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    Re: Working in management position at work

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmed. View Post
    Yup brother Habib has a point that if Muslims do not aspire to lead in the West with their goodness and Islamic principles then the only alternative is the kuffar with their inhumanity and ignorance, but maybe the Islamic way will be to pressurise Muslims who we think will be good in leading rather than aspire ourselves to lead?

    And once that person is pressured into reluctantly accepting to be the leadership candidate, then he/she can start 'promoting themselves' as that's the only way in the West
    To be honest, any practicing Muslim would like to stay away from becoming part of dirty political system in the West. It suits more to the likes of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. I dont endorce many of the things these Muslim US congress women have sided for but I can understand that they have to compromise on so many things to push for the issues being faced by Muslims. If you would ask Muslims leaders in USA like Yasir Qadhi, Omar Sulyman and Hamza Yousaf, I am sure they will not like to run for the office.

    For Omar Sulyman I can cross my fingers because I have recently seen him involving in some political debates.

  10. #8
    Ahmed.'s Avatar
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    Re: Working in management position at work

    Quote Originally Posted by HabibUrrehman View Post
    To be honest, any practicing Muslim would like to stay away from becoming part of dirty political system in the West. It suits more to the likes of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. I dont endorce many of the things these Muslim US congress women have sided for but I can understand that they have to compromise on so many things to push for the issues being faced by Muslims. If you would ask Muslims leaders in USA like Yasir Qadhi, Omar Sulyman and Hamza Yousaf, I am sure they will not like to run for the office.

    For Omar Sulyman I can cross my fingers because I have recently seen him involving in some political debates.
    Cross your fingers???

    that's a Christian thing!!!

    Us Muslims should 'hope in Allah'

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    HabibUrrehman's Avatar
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    Re: Working in management position at work

    @Ahmed You are right. Thanks for the correction.
    Jazak Allah Kair

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    Re: Working in management position at work

    Just being involved in the local council level is of great benefit to Muslims. For example, when only kuffar are councillors and mayor's, they favour their fellow Whites giving them the best housing, spending lots of money beautifying their areas etc etc while housing Muslims/ non-White in slum neighbourhoods and not creating decent facilities for them etc, but when Muslim Luthfur Rahman became Mayor of Tower Hamlets Borough in London, he changed all that and treated all equally

    When a Muslim, Rokhsana Fiaz became Mayor of Newham Borough, she scrapped the fee for residents getting bulky household waste disposed of by council as making things easier for poor working class families was her priority rather than the kuffar principle of greed and extortion

    If only the anti-voting Muslims would understand!


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