How's Your Work?

The subject is one of the most frequent question that I encounter until now after I started working. It's already 4 months since I started my first job here in Malaysia. Back in Australia, I always wonder what would it be like to actually work as a Software Engineer. Well, this is my first actual degree-related job. I was previously a painter, a carwasher, and a petrol pump cashier. Each of them perfectly planned by Allah SWT which really prepared me for this work.

I've heard people said that working is tough. I was told that if I'm not strong enough, I won't be able to commit myself to any other after hours activities. As soon as I get home, I will be too tired to do almost anything. That really haunts me for quite sometimes. I ask myself will I be able to face that day and emerge as those who will be successful?

And life is indeed a test for which of us is best in deed.

It turns out that what I fear back then is not what I am facing during my actual work life. It is something different, and yet it is still a test. My observation tells me that each and everyone of us are being test with a different kind of tests. So for you guys out there who are still preparing for midyears and finals, I am telling you that the test that we will be facing is something that will actually tests us, no matter what sort of form or shape that it will take.

Here's some helpful list to get you prepared for what may come (let us pray it's not) in your near future:

  • Too tired after work, fail to commit yourself to after hours activities
  • Unhealthy environment and free mixing in workplace
  • Boss wants you to cheat the client, so the company will benefit in the world but not in the hereafter
  • Boss wants you to work until late midnight. Yes, I did say midnight.
  • You end up working as a software engineer although you spend the last 4 years of your degree in some other discipline. (Well it's not really that bad actually)
  • After each meeting with a client, you were force to shake hands with a non-mahram client
  • Tempted to came in late, and go back early, which obviously gives bad impression on how a Muslim should behave in the workplace specifically.
  • Not performing in your work, which again, is not the example that we as Muslim should show.
  • You only have 4-5 hours of actual free time, but you need 8-10 hours to complete the ever-growing To Do List in your real life. Yes, for those workaholic it is important to remind yourselves that you guys do have a real life.

And there you have it. So the question is, what is the best thing to do to prepare for them?

A great scholar by the name of Sayyid Qutb once were held in prison (before he was finally sentence to death as a martyr), and he was badly beaten and tortured during the day. But at night, what he did totally puzzled most of his prison mates. As a normal human being, should not we rest and sleep when our whole day was spent working all out? In this case, he is not spending his day sitting in front of computer fixing bugs, or supervising technicians at the oil rigs. He is beaten to almost death condition. And yet, his night was spent praying and asking Allah's forgiveness, and to give him strength to face the day's test. What kind of human is this? This is a criterion of a martyr. Which reminds us of our beloved prophet Muhammad PBUH in one of his hadith, after Sayyidatina 'Aisyah asked him why is he praying all night while all his past and future sins have been forgiven:

Afalaa akuuna 'abdan syakuura?
Can I not be a thankful servant?
(Tidak bolehkah aku menjadi hamba yang bersyukur?)
It all comes back to your heart. Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves.

Verily, the rising by night (for Tahajjud prayer) is very hard and most potent and good for governing (the soul), and most suitable for (understanding) the Word (of Allah). (Al-Muzammil:6)
Build its strength, while we still can.

Mohd Rusman Arief A Rahman
Biro Media Pembina DHL,
Software Engineer


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