Employer-Employee Relationships in Islam: A Normative View from the Perspective of Orthodox Islamic Scholars

  •  Muhammad Osama Mirza    


Management researchers have recently started investigating normative teachings of different religions regarding workplace related issues in order to understand the influence of religious beliefs on lives of people. In line with these studies, some researchers have presented normative understanding of Islamic teachings about employment relations in the light of their reading of the Qur’an, sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and writings of earlier Muslim scholars. These scholars have completely ignored the views of orthodox Islamic scholars in the process of understanding the teachings of Islam. This is quite worrisome as orthodox Islamic scholars are considered by majority of Muslims as the authoritative spokesperson of Islam (Zaman, 2002). Furthermore, the neglect of orthodox Islamic scholars strengthen the view put forward by Ul-Haq and Westwood (2012) that Islamic management and organization knowledge is mis-represented and/or under-represented in Western academic discourse. In line with the recommendations given by Ul-Haq and Westwood (2012), this work is an attempt to understand Islamic teachings from Islamic epistemological grounds by giving voice to orthodox Islamic scholars. The findings of the study show that, not only there are some differences in the understanding of orthodox Islamic scholars and Western academic scholars, orthodox Islamic perspective on employer-employee relationships offers a more detailed analysis in terms of explaining conditions associated with permissibility of workplace related issues.

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