Labor Rights and Fair Wage in Islam - Ideals and Realities

Sunday, June 26, 2016: 10:45 AM-12:15 PM
87 Dwinelle (Dwinelle Hall)
Aljawhara Ibrahim AlQuayid, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Islam offers a wide range of principles that set the guidelines for fairness as a whole concept to live by, labor rights and what is considered to be a fair wage. Since Islam is a complete way of life, Muslim employers tend to reflect on Islamic principles when dealing with their employees. However, currently there is no empirical research done that measures the actual application of Islamic principles by Muslim employers in a typical employer-employee relationship. A significant number of literature studies the ideals of Islamic laws in fields of labor rights and fair wages. In contrast, little is known about the realities of Muslims who follow these ideals. This paper attempts to examine labor rights and fair wages, first from an idealistic Islamic viewpoint. And second by comparing the Islamic ideals to the actual behaviors of Muslim employers who are believed to follow Islam’s principles when dealing with employees in terms of treatment, wages, and benefits. The first section will highlight the main aspects of labor rights in Islam, the concept of fairness and how it should be applied to determine fair wages. Moreover, the second section is an attempt to measure the spirituality level of Muslim employers, and whether that has an effect on the way they perceive fairness. Furthermore, It will also examine if employers who are believed to follow their religion ideals are affected more by the current market realities and common perceptions of fairness rather than what is ideal in Islam. In addition, the method used to examine the fairness in treatment, wages and benefits will be a survey created with variables measuring first the level of individual’s spirituality, second their level of awareness in Islamic Ideals and principles in general and in labor rights in particular, third is the measurement of individuals’ perceptions on fairness and discrimination, stemming either from a religious or moral background. By analyzing the variables data, we will be able to set indicators that gives evidence to the assumption that spirituality level have an impact on Muslims’ perceptions of labor rights and fair wage in their daily lives, and particularly in the treatment of employees.