Working for a non-Muslim government.

Q713 :Could you please comment on the permissibility of Muslims being employed by non-Muslim government?

A713 : The answer depends on various variables. What we can say, however, is that if the government concerned is not in an actual state of war with any Muslim country, then the Muslim individual must consider the nature of the job he will be doing. If it is calculated to benefit the people or stop something evil from happening to them, then he may go ahead and do that job. What such a Muslim employee must do is to ensure that his work does not place him in a position where he has to compromise any principle or part of his faith. He must also not do any type of work which helps any anti-Islamic creed or philosophy to strengthen its roots or to spread. On the other hand, if he can make use of his position or his work in order to make Islam come to be reviewed in less hostile light, or if he is able to promote a favorable image of Islam, then he should not hesitate to accept that work. He should indeed balance out the benefits he believes will accrue to Islam or to Muslims as a result of his work against the harm that might result from it, or at least against the benefits which non-Muslims will gain from his work. It is even more important to consider whether it is permissible for a Muslim to work for a tyrannical government which is clearly hostile to Islam and which rules over a Muslim country. This is a very tricky situation which each individual has to consider on the basis of his circumstance in the light of what he is required to do. Generally speaking, however, we can say that if a person is able to promote something of benefit or stop something evil as a result of his work, then he should not hesitate to accept such employment. A clear example is that of a teacher, regardless of the subject he teaches. A teacher who is committed to the cause of Islam is able to influence his students and help them recognize the importance and benefits of implementing Islam. If every Muslim was to refuse to work as a teacher at the schools of his country because the government is hostile to Islam, then teaching posts will go to people who are either hostile to Islam, or, at best, neutral to its cause. Such a situation is likely to perpetuate the domination by forces opposed to Islam in a Muslim country. That eventuality is totally unwelcome.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )