I am in debt, aware that I may be evicted soon, and uncertain of how I will continue, in any weeks henceforward. I want, primarly, for wage-work. Perhaps irresponsibly — my desperation being no excuse for it, but while I have hoped it will “work out” — I have “floated” checks for the rent, such that I have hoped to have payed before they will clear in the bank, but I cannot conceive of how that will become. Whether it was foolish of me or not, I had abandoned a fairly unskilled job (easy to get employed at; needing of barely any credentials and no formal certifications) with a governmental bureaucracy, some months ago — being fed up with the strains of it. I had expected that I would be able to find day-labor employment, enough to cover bills, food, and rent. I was able to cover food and rent, with such, for one month, but I had not found any such work, during the time of last month. At the end of last month, I was brought to cease avoiding a commitment upon my knowledge that Islam is the true religion. I have taken the shahada, begun to make the prayers. I am more worried about my material/fiscal difficulty than that I will learn the foundations of Islam, thoroughly; I can conceive of means for such learning, but of work, I am nearly clueless of how it will become, while I will not sell myself into disbelief. I have not wanted to entangle my acceptance of Islam with concerns about wage-work. Yet, with my debts and my primary want for work and regular wage, I have hoped that, inshaa Allah, I would find work, in clear coincidence with Islam. I have expected that I will be employed by nobody — having come to think as if I will be misunderstood by most persons, or will find nobody whom would understand that I am capable at useful skills — whether at web-development, POSIX/UNIX-related software-systems work, manual labor, or whatever I can promptly learn at, such that I have had any discernible experience about. Still do I hope that I will find regular employment, though I cannot conceive of how it will become. I had come to think as if it would be like a rejection of the soundness of Islam, if I would take up employment with any agency that I would regard as being distinctly secular in operations — viz. affecting of nothing discernible but for exchange of materials and currency, in the employment of however-many persons, whatever would be the more ends of it. As I think of it, it is like as if I would be trusting in secular agency, then, in clear abandonment of trust unto the ummah. It has been like a turmoil to me, that I have not known what more I can do, while I consider that I must exert myself to do something, before my burdens would come crashing down on me, on my parents, and on whomever more might help. Then, even if my parents could help me, still is it such that I think would not be of much use, if I am not clearly, gainfully employed. I am not sure if there is any “Muslim jobs resource”, yet even if there was, if there were no job openings in Fresno, I may be incapable of making any great use of it. There are no means that I know of, whereby I would leave this city. I do not intend to make my life or my person into a lever for demanding that the ummah would be able to employ Muslims, such that we would not be so entwined with secular industry. I cannot demand such. I but wonder if knowledge does support that it would be reasoanble if the ummah would be able to employ Muslims — inshaa Allah — with no need for us to turn ourselves towards exclusively secular (whether or not it would be termed “western”) contrivance. Then must I direct the wondering towards knowldgable scholars, or be at loss for it — is it not so? Abject while it might be in form, the question that I most hope to ask: For (inshaa Allah, clear) resolution of my need for work, and my hope for regular wage on work (let alone that I am obligated to budget and pay, in resolution of my standing debts, then) What can I possibly do? I want to work. I would not mind being joined in the starting of a commercial agency — have been through some education about business, already, and I think I understand it well — but I cannot conceive that a “new business” would be a sound grounds for employment, to begin with. Neither have I any of what might be referred to as “seed capital”, and neither can I expect anyone to be joined with me, for this; to my mind, it seems like a thoroughly utterly unlikely end of expectation. I am certain that I would most enjoy work that would be made upon clearly Islamic grounds. If I would be employed, otherwise, it would be like to me, as if I was splitting my life between service to Islam and service to secular industry. “Outsourcing” or “consultancy”, I cannot expect anyone to accept me at, if (1) I would not be trusted as being capable and skilled, as about software, writing, social organization, office-work, or however else, or (2) there would be nobody who would find cause to be as like a “client” to me. My resume seems like it would be a bare skeleton, or a somehow interpretive work, if I would write it out. Inshaa Allah, your advice would occur as peace to my heart and resolution to my understanding. May Allah aid and protect the believers in right striving for Islam.
You have enquired what you should do to earn an income. It is very pleasing to note that you wish to remain dedicated to Islam. May Allah keep you steadfast, Ameen.
I am not in a position to assist you on the type of employment you should seek. However, to earn an income is compulsory and an act of worship and virtue. If you do not get any ideal employment, you should not turn down other opportunities to earn an income. Accept whatever Shariah compliant employment you get and then continue your search for an ideal employment. Also make dua to Allah for that. After all, He is our Sustainer and Cherisher. We make dua that Allah grant you barakah and blessing in your Islam, life and all your endeavors, Ameen.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai