Remembering the Worker this Ramadan

IWJ-logoby Corey Saylor, for Interfaith Worker Justice

Muslims will be reporting to their place of employment each day this Ramadan--a little tired and a little hungry from this year's 16 hour dawn to dusk fasts--but still committing to an honest day's work, as our faith requires. Ramadan starts July 8 and ends by August 7 this year.

Islam's Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) earned his living as a merchant in the employ of his wife. His integrity in business dealings earned him the nickname "Al-Amin" (the Trustworthy). Among three types of people who will face God's displeasure on the Day of Judgment Muhammad included, "the one who engages a laborer, receives due work from him but does not pay him his wage."

It's human to focus on the physical challenge of Ramadan. A Ramadan that surpasses the physical is one in which we remember that the fast serves as a reminder to be more compassionate.

This year, perhaps a good way to put our Ramadan fast into action is by remembering the Prophet's (peace be upon him) role as a worker, and how we can help society uphold the compassionate ideal Islam sets before us regarding an honest day's work: "You should pay the laborer his wages before his sweat dries."

Interfaith Worker Justice's Labor Day in the Pulpit/ on the Bimah/ in the Minbar program offers Muslims an opportunity to reflect on worker justice and Ramadan during their khutbahs. This reminder of the Prophet as a worker and Islam's imperative of fair treatment for employees can be extended into action that serves your community by participating in IWJ's "Labor Day weekend for Worker Justice."

Learn more about "Labor Day weekend for Worker Justice" and to register an event with your faith community.