Fatwas on Working for State Departments
Q1951: Is it permissible for government officials to hold congregational prayer during working hours? Assuming it is not permissible, can they still hold it provided that they compensate whatever time they spent praying by working extra time after the official working hours?
A: Because the daily prayers are important, the fact that emphasis has been placed on holding them at the inception of their prescribed times, and given the high merit of congregational prayer, it is most appropriate that the employees work out an arrangement whereby they can hold congregational prayer at the beginning of its prescribed time and in the shortest time possible. However, every caution should be taken not to let this arrangement be misused in such way as to delay the work of other people.
Q1952: A practice by some education centers has been noticed, whereby some members of the staff work as supply teachers in other schools, during official working hours and with the permission of their superiors, and get paid for it. Is it permissible for such officials to do so and receive payment for their services?
A: The permission of the immediate supervisor to let his subordinate work as a supply teacher during official working hours is governed by the extent of his remit. Yet, since the government official receives a salary for working certain hours, he has no right to receive an additional salary [amount] for his work in other schools during the same official working hours.
Q1953: Is it permissible to have lunch during working hours?
A: There is no objection to it provided that it does not take a long time and cannot lead to delaying administrative work.
Q1954: Is it permissible for the employee to attend to his own private affairs during working hours if he has plenty of time to do that and he cannot utilize his idle time in working in other government departments?
A: As for attending to one’s own private affairs at the place of work during working hours, this is governed by the rules and regulations in force and the permission of the official concerned.
Q1955: Is it permissible for government employees to hold and take part in commemorative ceremonies and congregational prayers during working hours?
A: There is no objection to holding congregational prayers, and lecturing on Islamic law and teachings or the like for congregation in the blessed mouth of Ramadan and other days of religious importance provided that it does not violate the rights of the clientele.
Q1956: We work for a military establishment. Since we have to move between two different places, some of our colleagues utilize the journey in attending to some personal matters that may take a long time. Do we have to seek permission for this type of personal concern?
A: Attending to personal matters during official working hours needs permission from an official authorized to do so.
Q1957: Close to our workplace there is a masjid. Is it permissible for us to go and say our prayer at the masjid during official working hours?
A: There is no harm in going to the masjid to take part in congregational prayer that is held at its prime time provided that no similar congregational prayer is held at the place of work. However, one should provide for preliminaries of prayer in order to minimize the period of absence from work during the official hours.
Q1958: An employee works overtime a number of hours every month. Is it permissible for the manager of the department to double the number of hours worked, or give him extra hours, as an incentive? Should there be a problem, what is the view on the overtime money already received in this way?
A: It is not permissible to give false information and receive money for overtime hours that never existed. Any extra money that has been received without entitlement should be returned pro rata. However, should there be regulations allowing the superior to double the overtime hours worked, he can do so. By the same token, the employee can take the money paid for overtime hours approved by his boss.
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