60221: Is it permissible for a woman to work selling products over the phone?
There are foreign companies in Morocco which also own companies in the west. These companies that are in Morocco offer customer service for the companies that are in the west over the phone, whereby western customers contact the companies in Morocco to ask questions or the company contacts customers who are obviously in the west – Europe – to sell their products over the phone, and the employee attempts to convince the person to buy. The companies market various products and services such as mobile phones, internet, insurance, computers and so on.
These companies have started to increase rapidly, and young men – and even young women – are clamouring to join them as they pay a good salary. The government is also helping with that. Please note that fitnah is widespread in these companies, such as uncovering of women.
What is the ruling on working for them? Is it halaal or haraam?.
It is not permissible for a man or a woman to work in places where women mix with men. The evils of mixing are many. It is one of the most effective ways used by the shaytaan to make the Muslim fall into sin and immorality. Hence Islam blocks the ways that may cause a Muslim to fall into anything haraam.
We have discussed the prohibition on mixing in the answer to question no. 1200, where we mention incidents of female workers who have been exposed to annoyance and harassment. This confirms that the Islamic prohibition on mixing is what will protect a woman’s modesty and chastity, and it is what protects a man from allowing his gaze to wander, and protects him from bad consequences.
There is no reason why a woman should not work if she is with other women like her, or she is alone and answers calls from customers or calls them to offer the company’s products, so long as she observes proper etiquette when speaking and does not speak in an alluring tone to men, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allaah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner”
See also the answer to question no. 27304, which discusses the ruling on how to address women at work, and the answer to question no. 20140, which explains the ruling on a woman working as a secretary for men in the workplace.
And Allaah knows best.