Monday, November 01, 2004

Writing articles for journals, hiring unveiled women, hiring non-muslims, being alone with a woman in a shop

Question: May I write articles for a journal or a newspaper which publishes images of people (including women with open aurat)? May I write articles for a web-site which also has images of people? (surely the article itself is about good)

Answer: Yes.

Question: I'd like to open a retail outlet in the near future. May I hire as a seller a woman who doesn't cover aurat?

Answer: No, because this entails encouraging her to do haram.

Question: May I hire a non-muslim? And how should I make a working schedule (if a seller is not a person who perfoms namaz, should I include some pauses in work during zuhr, asr and Friday prayers)?

Answer: You may hire a kafir, but it is better to hire a muslim. You should not let anyone sell for you during Friday prayer (since buying and selling is forbidden during it). You don't need to make a schedule for the other prayers if they are not muslims since they won't be using the time for valid prayer. If they are muslims, then you should use your position as an emplyer to make them pray the 5 prayers, but be wise in how you do this. It is not about setting off time, but about getting them to pray as they are obligated to do.

Question: Is it permisssible to hire only 1 seller in a shop, so if a strange woman/man (a buyer) comes, they'll be alone in the shop? Does this refers to a separate section (room) in a big shop?

Answer: A man and a woman cannot be in a room alone together if they cannot be seen by a third party (someone they would be embarassed to see them touching). It is OK for a woman and a man to be alone in the same building, if they are in different rooms. However, if there is only one exit from the building for both of them, and there is only the two of them in the building, then none of the two can be in that exit hall or corridor alone.

And Allah knows best....