Sisters, if you’re seeking sound advice on some of the challenges faced when trying to sustain a professional career while staying spiritually balanced, then please read on, Dr Aishah Muhammed, our guest writer as written about this subject, sharing her experiences and offering sound and practical advice for the Muslim professional woman.
Muslim women are becoming skilled and educated within professional fields, something we are seeing in exponential growth. From medicine to engineering to accounting to teaching. Whilst there are more and more Muslimahs entering into these fields, there remains a lot of reluctance and questions about how feasible it is to be in a professional career as a Muslim woman.
As a Muslim woman working as a doctor, I have faced some challenges with trying to maintain my hijab in the way I deem appropriate. In my experience, these have been small issues that were dealt with very quickly. I want to share with you my tips on how to succeed in your field without compromising on your beliefs.
Whether you are currently studying or are working, renewing your intentions on a daily basis will help you stay focused. This will help you remember why you chose this career but also will allow you to be productive with your day because you are actively reminding yourself of your reasons for coming to work that day.
2. Speak openly
Praying salah is a concern many sisters have. By being open with your employer that you require scheduled breaks at set times to allow you to pray your daily prayers is the best way to help them understand your requirements. I know Muslims who sneak off to pray, leaving their colleagues wondering where they have gone. While you are fulfilling your obligation as a Muslim, this could cause unnecessary issues within the workplace and for your credibility. This also acts as a great form of Dawah and opens the path for others who may wish to pray but are worried about leaving their duties to do so.
3. Be true to yourself
Entering into a career that is competitive and fast paced can sometimes leave you in a position where you are running to keep up with colleagues. By constantly reminding yourself of who you are, your core beliefs and your purpose in life, you will remain firm on your journey in this Dunya as a Muslim. Remember that Allah will always provide you with what you need in life, therefore, we should not feel we need to change in order to succeed in our careers. If you are destined to be the CEO of your company, this will happen by the will of Allah and you do not need to sacrifice aspects of yourself in order to attain it.
4. Work hard
Following on from the above, working hard is paramount to help you attain your professional goals. You may find you do not get involved in social gatherings and events held in the workplace. This can sometimes make you feel less involved in the team or noticeable. Whilst other colleagues may stand out because of their personality or beauty, be the person who stands out because of their work ethos, knowledge and ability to focus on the job.
5. Be organised
As Muslim women, we often have many responsibilities. We may be a daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt – or all of the above. These responsibilities do not mean you cannot strive in an area that interests you. However, each individual person in your life has rights which need to be fulfilled. In order to do this, being organised with your time is a must. This could be from as simple as meal prepping at the start of the week to going part-time at work to care for those in your life. Use a good planner or your phone to block out time for important tasks that you need to do around the house. Create a morning routine that allows you to have enough time to get your children ready before heading to work. If you are a student the more organised you are, the easier it will be to manage your responsibilities. Get your free study plan to help organise your time.
6. Remember your shortcomings
Sometimes, when we succeed in a field that not many others from our community have excelled in we may
feel like we are “special” or “better”. All success comes from Allah and it is through the opportunities He provides that we reach the levels that we do. While we may be the best doctor or engineer in our department, we will continue to have areas in our life that we need to improve on. As a Muslim women wishing to succeed in a professional career, it is paramount to remember your shortcomings as this will allow you to be understanding to your colleagues and the people you come into contact within your field.
Lastly, there is nothing wrong with quitting a career or job because you would rather be a stay at home mum or pursue something else. Not everyone wants to have a professional career and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. The worst situation to be in is to wake up every morning to go to a job that you dislike and do not enjoy. Ultimately, this will have a negative impact on your mindset and potentially your Imaan – it is simply not worth it.
Dr Aishah Muhammad, a qualified medical doctor and personal trainer, is passionate about helping people improve their health and fitness through positive lifestyle changes. She shares recipes, workout ideas and lots of health-related content. Follow her on her blog grainsandgains.com and Instagram page @grainsandgain.
There you have it sisters, some wonderful advice and tips, please share your comments and thoughts below.
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