Working in a place where men and women mix is haraam and has many bad effects. This has been discussed in the answers to questions no. 50398, 6666 and 39799. See also the answer to question no. 27304 which mentions the ruling on speaking to women at work.
We have mentioned this here because the questioner refers to “my female colleague at work”. Your passing on her question and saying that you have spoken with her mean that we are obliged to advise you, before answering your question, and tell you that both of you should look for work where there is no mixing. The questions to which we have referred you spare us the need to repeat the discussion on working in places where men and women mix.
With regard to piercing the ears of females, there is a difference of scholarly opinion on the ruling. The Hanafis and Hanbalis are of the view that this is permissible. The Shaafa’is are of the view that it is not allowed, and Ibn al-Jawzi and Ibn ‘Aqeel, who were Hanbalis, agreed with them. They did not quote any texts as evidence that it is not allowed, rather they said that it causes pain, and that wearing adornment in the ear is not essential, and is not so important as to allow causing pain to the female for this purpose.
The one who studies the texts of the Prophet’s Sunnah and the lives of the female Sahabaah (may Allaah be pleased with them) will see that the more correct view is the former, which is that it is permissible. The texts which indicate that include the following:
1 – It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came out and prayed, then he delivered a khutbah – and he did not mention any adhaan or iqaamah – then he went to the women and exhorted and reminded them, and told them to give charity, and I saw them taking off their earrings and necklaces and giving them to Bilaal, then he and Bilaal went back to his house.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4951) and Muslim (884).
According to another report narrated by them both:
They started throwing their earrings and necklaces.
2 – It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: Eleven women sat and promised one another that they would not conceal anything about their husbands … the eleventh one said: My husband is Abu Zar’ and what (can I say about) Abu Zar’? He has given me many ornaments and my ears are heavily loaded with them. … ‘Aa’ishah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: I am to you as Abu Zar’ was to Umm Zar’.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4893) and Muslim (2448).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of what Abu Zar’ did by filling the ears of Umm Zar’ with jewellery until they became heavy.
With regard to piercing the ears at the top, it seems that it makes no difference whether they are pierced at the bottom or at the top, depending on whether this is customary in a woman’s environment. We should note that it is not permissible for a woman to show the jewellery that she is wearing on her hand, ear or neck.
Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about piercing a girls’ nose or ear for the sake of beautification.
The correct view is that there is nothing wrong with piercing the ear, because one of the aims that is achieved by that is wearing permissible jewellery. It is known that the women of the Sahaabah had earrings that they wore in their ears. The pain is light, and if the piercing is done when the girl is small, it heals quickly.
With regard to piercing the nose, I do not remember that the scholars said anything about it, but it is a kind of mutilation and deforming of the appearance as we see it, but perhaps others do not see it that way. If a woman is in a country where putting jewellery in the nose is seen as a kind of adornment and beautification, there is nothing wrong with piercing the nose.
Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (11/ question no. 69).
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said:
There is nothing wrong with piercing the ears of a girl in order to put jewellery in her ears. This is still done by many people, and even at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) women used to wear jewellery in their ears and elsewhere without being rebuked for it.
With regard to it hurting the girl, the purpose of it is in her interests, because she needs jewellery, and to adorn herself. Piercing the ears serves a permissible purpose and is allowed because of need. Just as it is permissible to carry out surgery and cauterize her if that is needed on medical grounds, it is also permissible to pierce her ear in order to put jewellery in it, because it is something that she needs, and it is something that does not hurt very much, and does not have a great effect on her.
Fataawa al-Shaykh al-Fawzaan (3/324).
And Allaah knows best.