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The Islamic approach of obligations in mutual relations between employee and employer


  • Ahmed Raja Ahmed Haj Ali
  • Kamaruzaman Bin Noordin
  • Meguellati Achour


Purpose - The exchange approach in management has viewed employee and employer relationship as a mutual relation, and this notion offers a causal explanation for the exchanges that occur between employee and employer. The purpose of the paper is to use the notion of “mutual relations” in the employment context to reflect on similar conceptions from the Islamic perspective and to throw light on Muslim obligations in employee–employer mutual relations seeking for benefits and preventing harm. Design/methodology/approach - This paper draws on observations of other scholars in exchange theories based on reciprocity norm, well-being (maslaha), Islamic spiritual bases (taqwa, seeking for halal), work ethics in Islam and other Islamic teachings play toward understanding the nature of employee–employer mutual relationship from Islamic perspective. Two main social exchange theories (SET) are discussed to give a comprehensive view to the paper’s issue along with the literature reviewed from early Muslim scholars’ works, sayings of Prophet Muhammad PBUM and Holy Qur’an. Findings - The literature indicates that it is possible to identify common ethical and contractual obligations in the employer’s and employee’s mutual relations from Islamic ideology. Given the paucity of research on employment relations in Islam, the paper offers an original perspective on this topic. Originality/value - The paper concludes that a Muslim work obligation has to be based on the understanding of the scope and nature of the contract between employee and employer. Allah (The All-Knowing) knows that even if all obligations in employee and employer mutual relations are clear, human error might occur.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed Raja Ahmed Haj Ali & Kamaruzaman Bin Noordin & Meguellati Achour, 2018. "The Islamic approach of obligations in mutual relations between employee and employer," International Journal of Ethics and Systems, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, vol. 34(3), pages 338-351, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijoesp:ijoes-12-2017-0227
    DOI: 10.1108/IJOES-12-2017-0227

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