The late Sheikh Sayyed Mutawalli Ad-Darsh, former chairman of the UK Shari`ah Council, may Allah have mercy on him, issues the following Fatwa:
“Strikes are a relatively recent development- a feature of modem industrial relationships in democratic societies. In Shari`ah, it would fall under the category of ‘Urf or custom, which is considered a legitimate basis for lawmaking. The Fiqh talks about ‘Urf which is peculiar to a political locality or a group of people such as workers today (Unions).
As-Shatibi, one of the great constitutional jurists or Fuqah’ speaks about customs changing from time to time. Once these customs become a way of life they have to be considered as a basis for the Shari’ah.
Imam as-Suyuthi, a Shafi’ie scholar said: “Know that consideration of customs is referred to in so many Fiqh problems that nobody can enumerate them.”
Strikes have evolved as an industrial practice that can be called a custom.
Muslims may not jump headlong into strikes because some scholars say that an employee has no right to withdraw his work or his skill unless there is first a negotiation between him and his employer.
Hence, the first step from an Islamic point of view is for the worker to air his grievance and seek arbitration. In the event of the employer becoming intransigent the employee should indicate that unless his grievance is addressed, he is going to cause disruption.
Of course, Ibn Taimiyyah says that if an employee has no grievance, he is not allowed to withdraw his labour.
In case he persists in his strike, the authority has the right to compel the employee to work – with reasonable force.”
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May Allah guide you to the straight path, and guide you to that which pleases Him, Amen.