Great Islamic teachings
Maulana Shahzayb Attari Madani
(Teacher, Jami’ah-tul-Madinah Faizan-e-Umm-e-Attar, Karachi)
Although in common usage, labourers are workers who provide support such as transporting construction material and clearing rubble and builders are the skilled tradespersons who execute the technical construction work, within the legal framework of Islam, labour refers to any work which is carried out in exchange for a fixed remuneration.
Islam guides every profession and stipulates fundamental rights to safeguard the interests of both employees and employers in every field. From being paid on time to working in safe conditions, the Islamic view of employment is underpinned by compassion, integrity, and humanity.
In legislating workers’ rights, the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم declared, ‘Do not oblige them to work beyond their capacity. If you do this, then support them,’ (Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 23, Hadith 30; Al Lami’-ul-Sabeeh Sharh Al-Jami’-us-Sahih, vol. 1, p. 210, under the Hadith 30). He further added that ‘When you hire a worker, inform him of his wage beforehand,’ (Nasai, p. 629, Hadith 3862), and thus provided a simple antidote to the toxicity of worker abuse, delays in people’s remuneration, and disputes that arise between labourers and customers. It is so important in Islam to specify a worker’s remuneration and remove all ambiguity that the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم forbade people from commencing work until the labourer is informed of his exact payment, (Kanz-ul-Ummal, vol. 2, p. 366, Hadith 9123). He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also admonished those who do not pay labourers after taking their services: ‘Allah Almighty states, ‘I will oppose three people (i.e. I will punish them severely) on the Day of Judgment: The person who makes a promise on my name and then breaks that promise, the one who sells a free person and spends the earnings on himself, and the person who hires a labourer, takes full work from him, but does not pay him, (Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 52, Hadith 2227).
It is an Islamic and moral duty for us to pay labourers and workers on time for their services. The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم emphasised this in the famous Hadith, ‘Pay the labourer before his sweat dries,’ (Ibn-e-Majah, vol. 3, p. 162, Hadith 2443).
May Allah Almighty grant us the ability to fulfil the rights of labourers, workers, and all those who have rights, on time, just as they ought to be fulfilled. اٰمین
 The amount, method, and time.