English Essay on “Dignity of Labour in Islam” – Compositions on “Dignity of Labour in Islam”
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was among the pioneers who gave dignity to labour. The Islamic concept of brotherhood eliminated all discriminations between human beings. “By the blessings of Allah, you have become brothers to one another”, stated the Quran, while the Prophet himself declared that one who carried a load of firewood on his back was better than the person who begged. And these concepts were translated into action with meticulous details.
It was in the battle of Ahzab that Prophet Muhammad was seen working with his other Companions, digging the trench, breaking stones and removing the debris to the extent that his whole body was covered with dust. And also in the building of the Prophet’s Mosque at Madinah, the, Prophet lent his hand in lifting bricks and mortar and raising the walls. His Comparisons joined with him in his work and recited poems to this effect: “Who can sit idle when the Prophet of Allah is working? This will be a great transgression indeed.
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) in his Farewell Address in the year 10 A.H gave a death-blow to all the differences of caste, colour, creed and race which divided humanity into hostile groups: “All men are sons of Adam and Adam was of dust. Neither the Arab has any superiority over the Ajam nor the Ajam has an superiority over the Arab, neither the white has any superiority over the black nor the black has any superiority over the white. They are all brothers and equal in the eye of Allah, the Creator of the whole universe.
It was the result of this universal teaching that Belal, the African, Suhaib, the Roman, and Salman, the Iranian, became the relatives qf the Quraish. The sons of the desert being free from the shackles of caste and the divisions of tribe, became a united nation capable of conquering the Roman empire.
Historians have recorded the fact that when the Prophet entered his home and found people preparing food, heat once began to help them by kneading flour or doing other sundry jobs: The Prophet used to do his own shopping and while doing so he asked his neighbours if they needed his help in their work. A number of old women of the locality used to get this service regularly from the Prophet.
It was the effect of this precept and practice that the Companions and followers of the Prophet upheld and enhanced the dignity of labor. The first Caliph, Hazrat Abu Bakar, was known to work for wages and so was also the fourth Caliph, Hazrat All who often lifted water from a well on a wage of one date fruit pr bucket of water.
Domestic servants rising to be mighty monarchs and receiving all allegiance from men of the noblest stock are not un-known in the Muslim history. Belal was venerated by the companions of the’ Prophet and the great Caliphs addressed him with the title of Syed. Another example is of the Prophet’s slave Usama Ibn Zaid, who was given .the command and leadership of an army. No doctrine before the advent of Islam went so far in creating and establishing a classless community and society in which the humblest was given equal opportunities to rise to the highest position and the distinctions of birth and occupations were completely obliterated.
The ruling nations at that time in Europe and Asia were highly rigid and were divided into Patricians and Plebeians and in South Asia particularly, the caste system had given the workers and labourers the lowest place in the social order. This distinction persisted despite all the efforts of the reformers.
The Prophet of Islam is described as the “symbol of blessings” in this world and the title of Rahmat-ullil-Alamin is not without its significance, for in whatever walk of life one looks around, one finds that the liberalising and escalating effect of the doctrines, preached by the Prophet, reign supreme. And nowhere, perhaps, the emphasis is greater than on raising the status of the working class.
The greatest legacy of Prophet Muhammad’s teachings is that no man is a chattel or property of someone, be he a dignitary or feudal lord. All are subjects of Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe.
Prophet Muhammad gave birth to an entirely new social order based on equality of man. He completely eliminated slavery, demolished the tribal society and ushered in an era in which men of various professions and pursuits were accorded equal respect and also given equal opportunity to serve mankind. In contrast, in the most advanced nations the discrimination on the basis of race and colour still persists and has not been fully eliminated.
It cannot he denied that it was the teaching of IsIam that exercised considerable influence on the minds of the thinkers of the West and men like Martin Luther, Goethe, Voltaire and Rousseau and Carlyle came out vehemently preaching the gospel of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.” Carlyle found Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) as the hero among Prophets and underlined the fact that “work and work alone is noble.” We cannot leave unmentioned the far reaching effects exercised by Islam on several eminent liberal personalities of the West.