I am a Pakistani having legal status and studying in US for more than a year now. My education is being financed by my family from day 1. I, like many others at my university have not been able to find a job on-campus due to shortage in jobs. An overwhelming majority of the people who do not get jobs on-campus mostly work off campus despite the fact that international students here in US are not allowed to work off-campus. It is not a serious misdemeanor but definitely not legal as well. I have resisted the temptation of working off-campus since I came here because I hold the view that a Muslim should abide by the law.
However I am graduating in two months now. I do not want to continue to ask for more money from my family, especially after I graduate as they have already done quite a lot for me. But at the same time it would not be possible for me to survive here for a longer period of time without working off-campus and without getting money from my family. After I graduate I wish to find a proper job here in US. For that I will have to stay here for a few months, otherwise I will have to go back to Pakistan.
I need your suggestion in view of our religion. Should I leave everything and go back to my country even if that mean after spending so much money and time here, I should not even look for a job so that I get some good experience. Or do u suggest that it would be okay if I take up off campus job temporarily for a few months after I graduate to look for a proper job?
My dear brother, your concerns regarding being financially independent of your family are commendable. I agree with you that one should strive to the fullest to take over financial responsibility from the family as soon as possible. Nevertheless, resisting the temptation to take up any job off campus since it is not legal is what the spirit of every Muslim should be. God has exhorted us to honor all the agreements that we enter into. Obviously, the implicit agreement that we make with the country we reside in is that we shall abide by all the rules and regulations. It is sad that we care less about this important aspect of our obligations toward Allah and toward those with whom we confirm a contractual arrangement.
I would strongly suggest that you try your very best to persist on the path of righteousness, not allowing yourself to waver. While doing so, you should try to get advice and explore all the legal options available to you. If, ultimately, you are left with no option than either to break the law to continue your studies or to return without gaining the desired experience, then I would strongly recommend the latter. Rest assured, your actions are not hidden from the Merciful King. For all the steps that you take in His direction for His goodwill alone, you shall experience the doors of His Mercy opening upon you, at the times when you will need His mercy the most1
May 26, 2003
- Edited by Moiz Amjad. [↩]