Jan 4, 2012

Yes, Women Can Work! (Part 3)

by Khadeejah Islam

Click to view Part 1 and Part 2 of this series

Areas where women can lend their productivity

There are many areas where women can work. It can be at home or outside the home. It can be on a small scale. It can be freelance (not working for a fixed employer). It can be a field which you love. It can be paid or non-paid. The following are some (there might be many other) options, out of which, the first is obligatory and the rest are voluntary (you have the option of choosing). The voluntary options have to be chosen after consultation with the guardian (whether it is father or husband) and also after a deep assessment of the family needs, for instance, if you just had a baby, it is better to stay with him/her than to venture outside the home. During those times, you can still be productive by choosing the voluntary options which are home-based. Whatever you choose to do, do it for the sake of Allah alone; do it for an Islamic cause; and do it within the Islamic boundaries.

Home-making: “Islam regards her role in society as a mother and a wife as the most sacred and essential one. Neither maids nor baby-sitters can possibly take the mother's place as the educator of an upright, complex free, and carefully-reared children. Such a noble and vital role, which largely shapes the future of nations, cannot be regarded as ‘idleness’.” [1].

Business: You have a plethora of options regarding products/services which you can sell and base your business upon. Remember to be creative. That will add an extra boost to your business insha’Allah. The following are examples:

Clothing (including hijab materials): This is good for those who have interest in fashion designing.
Home-made food items, such as pickles, confectionery, etc., or food-chain franchise.
House-hold items. This covers a wide range of goods, such as candles, quilts, dry flowers, crystal/glass items, etc.

Jewellery designing: This is still an unconventional field. The job entails constructing exquisite pieces of jewellery using precious stones and metal ores.
Selling exceptional skills that you may have (in the form of services), such as being a writer, a photographer, a make-up artist/hair stylist, a doctor, an architect, a teacher, etc.

Writing/Journalism: You can either publish your own book, or work as a journalist. “One should be careful to ensure that the style, contents and goal are beneficial and that the story helps to explain something about Islam and serves as an effective means of teaching and guiding people.” [2].

Halaal Photography: Consult a local scholar to know the various rulings on photography. You can take photos of the nature and inanimate objects.

Medicine: “Islam calls us to learn all kinds of beneficial knowledge. Branches of knowledge vary in status, the highest of which is knowledge of sharee’ah, then knowledge of medicine, then the other fields of knowledge.” [3]. We are badly in need of female doctors. I have been to a hospital recently and I was quite disappointed to see a shortage of female doctors. I am sure most of us are comfortable in discussing “girly” issues with female doctors only.

Architecture: Apart from designing the framework of various structures, such as buildings and bridges, you can also engage in interior designing.

Teaching: I feel this is a noble task. You can choose to impart either beneficial secular or Islamic knowledge/skills, or both. There are a variety of subjects to choose from.

Event Management: You can take the charge of organizing an event, whether it is a wedding or an Islamic lecture, and managing its decoration, its food, its crowd, etc. It will be especially gratifying if you are able to pull off an event at a minimal cost and much to the pleasure of the attendees.

Film-Making: I think this is one neglected area. We have a shortage of Islamic films and documentaries. If more people take up projects in this area, we will have sufficient halaal entertainment. This could also be an effective da’wah tool.

Social Working: This is mostly non-paid, although a few organizations may pay you for volunteering. You have many causes to support, for instance, breast cancer awareness campaign, suicide prevention, alleviation of poverty and unemployment, da’wah projects, end to domestic violence and repression of women, AIDS awareness campaign, helping the disabled, and the list is really endless.

Environmentalist: Again, this is a neglected area. We have few people who are taking actions to recycle, to keep the world cleaner and greener, to conserve water and electricity, to reduce global warming and pollution, to protest against massive tree-felling or hill-cutting, and to take care of birds and animals. “If any Muslim plants a tree or sows a field, and a human, bird or animal eats from it; it shall be reckoned as charity from him.” [4].

Art: There are many options of halaal art. You can engage in Islamic calligraphy, glass painting, and drawing pictures of nature, abstract, or inanimate objects.

Web Development: You can develop a website for a company and even choose to manage its content.

[1] The Status of Women in Islam, Dr. Jamal Badawi. http://islamswomen.com/articles/status_of_women_in_islam.php
[2] http://islamqa.com/en/ref/4505/
[3] http://islamqa.com/en/ref/10471/
[4] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim. http://www.islamreligion.com/category/98/

Please share your views on this series below so we can continue to bring you more beneficial content, inshaAllah :)


Salaam Aleikum, sister, this article is very good mashAllah it has listed some awesome ideas of halal  work. I believe that the best job a woman can do, if she has children, is to care for  them, teaching them the deen. Sometimes this job requires the woman to work outside of her home. Jazak Allahu Khairun

MashaAllah, very good article sister.

JazakAllah khair!
Please share it with others if you like.

Walaykum assalam!
Glad to know that you enjoyed reading this! Please share it with others if you like.
Wa iyyaki!

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