Maid abuse in Muslim countries

Today I read a news report published by The Brunei Times titled “Abused Indonesian maid dies in M’sia”. According to horrifying details the Indonesian housemaid died in a Malaysian hospital a week after being found beaten and locked in a bathroom at her employers’ home.The poor maid was rescued by police after a visitor to the house alerted authorities that she was being held against her will in a bathroom. Authorities said she had a deep cut in her leg and bruises all over her body. The news stories about the abuse of maids are frequently seen these days and unfortunately most of the news are emerging from Muslim majority countries. It is really weird that the people who are so highly educated and so called civilised’ can be so inhuman when it comes to dealing with servants and maids. No one among us would like to teach our children to be cruel towards human being, yet so many of us actually resort to this kind of violence at our own homes. Being a Muslim I cannot digest the idea of a Muslim employer committing such a heinous act. How can a Muslim be so oblivious of the teachings of Islam about rights of servants?Especially when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) constantly warned the Muslims that they will be called to account, in the hereafter, if they failed in their duty to be just and merciful to the slaves and servants. In fact, he emphasised this to such an extent that it is reported by Hazrat Ali (R.A.) that the last words, spoken by the Holy Prophet (PBUH), (at the time of his death) were, “Observe Salaah (the prayers), Observe Salaah And fear Allah with regards to your slaves and servants.”This shows the importance that the Holy Prophet (SWT) attached to their rights – that he even stressed its significance upon his followers at the time of his departure from this world.
In another Abu Hurairah (RA) relates that he heard the Messenger of Allah (SWT) say “Whoever beats the slave or servant unjustly, revenge will be taken from him on the Day of Judgement.”
So keeping all this in mind, no God fearing Muslim can ever think of even scolding a servant without a valid reason, let alone the torture and dreadful abuse of the maids that we are reading about almost daily in newspapers. It is pertinent for all of us to take note of the teachings of Islam regarding servants and maids so that we don’t have to regret our actions on the day of judgment when no one would have any authority but Allah (SW). We should place ourselves in the position of maids and servants and than imagine what would we expect from our employer. We must also not forget the fact that this is only a blessing of Allah (SWT) that we are not a servant or maid instead we have been given resources to hire one. I wish all of us could always treat those who are under our authority justly and mercifully. Meanwhile the governments and societies must not condone such acts and strict laws should be formulated to discourage such practices.

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