Office Romance: An UnIslamic and Dangerous Path

Posted on November 29, 2007



An office romance, work romance, or corporate affair is a romance that occurs between two people who work together in the same office, work location, or business. It tends to breach nonfraternization policies and is a foreseeable business expense.

In its 2003 nationwide survey, Vault found that 47 percent of workers have participated in an office romance and an additional 19 percent would be willing to do so if the opportunity arose. Vault’s 2003 Office Romance Survey is based on responses from over 1,000 professionals at companies nationwide. In addition, 13 percent of respondents said their employer had a policy regarding office dating, 51 percent said their company has no policy, and 36 percent said they didn’t know whether one existed .

The relationship between affair partners at work can be as wide as intern and president; company CEO and member of the board; supervisor and supervisee; company representative and client; boss and secretary, and so on. And it can be between peers or colleagues at the same level in the organization. It can concurrently or after the fact come to be interpreted as sexual harassment . Intra-office romance between an executive and an employee can presage sexual harassment claims, to which email records bear witness .

Office romances are generally believed to be unhelpful to the welfare and effectiveness of the business and to the network of relationships that comprise it. They contain the potential for abuse, alliance, and distraction . Thus they are discouraged and even prohibited in some company policy. Describing an office relationship as a romance can be cover for a form of workplace bullying .

The suspicion that an advantage is gained by ‘sleeping with the boss’ in a competitive environment ensures that these transactions occur by stealth. To have a powerful influence on the opportunities placed in one’s path, one does not have to engage in sexual intercourse. A special relationship could be enough to gain leverage where business opportunities are in short supply. This fuzzy boundary can be nuanced by practiced players in order to provide deniability when required. Neither does one have to be directly involved in the affair for the knowledge of it to be useful currency — discretion in exchange for advantage.

Please click here to read the remainder of this article.

Sample Real Case of Muslim Engaging in Work Romance:

abdul   – India


A Double Cross Affair


As salamu `alaykum


May Allah bless you for this service that you provide in His cause.


I am in my late 30s, working in a reputable governmental senior position, and I possess high academic degrees. I have been married for a good 8 years, and I have a young son, a loving wife, and we are expecting a second child soon, in sha ‘Allah.


I have been involved in a serious love affair since college to a Muslim girl. We continued our relationship for over 5 years. Due to circumstances that are favorable to either side, we had to part our ways. She got married and after 2 years, I got married. The girl (lady), whom I had an affair with has been married for 11 years and has 2 children, and also works in a reputable public sector senior position in our home country.


We were apart for many years as we broke up, and got to know each other’s whereabouts throuh e-mail around 3 years ago. We used to have the occasional contact without any deep feelings for each other. She is a Muslim, but not very religious though; and I am a sincere practicing Muslim. I have performed ‘Umrah thrice.


Of late, the lady and myself have been deeply involved via e-mail., daily chats, and even phone calls. She says she is madly in love with me, and I feel it, after having know her for so long since we were young. She has a husband who says she is too loving, and too dependent (not financially, but otherwise – he is rich.) She loves her children very much.


We are in different parts of the world, but the feelings we have for each other is beyond explanation, and this is one which confuses me. I love my wife very much, but when talking to this lady I am involved with, I don’t feel guilty at all as in double crossing my wife etc. She tells me that she also does not feel guilty, or that she is double-crossing her husband. However, when we go home, and see our respective spouses, we feel bad at having gotten involved with each other, but the next day, we repeat it all over again. We even talk of having a physical relationship when we meet.


I want to put an end this relationship for ever, do tawbah, repent, and not return to the relationship ever, but something pulls me back everytime I decide. The girl is sensitive, and I don’t want to hurt her. We are mature enough to know there is no happy ending to this relationship, and this would have to stop at some point, but we are happy to let it continue as long as it continues. Could you please advise me on how to go about the situation? I have thought of all possible avenues, but the girl would be deeply offended. I don’t want to continue the relationship out of fear for Allah. Please help.


Wa salam

Answer to above case from Scholar:

As salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh


My dear brother, you say “ She is a Muslim, but not very religious though; and I am a sincere practicing Muslim“. I am not sure what makes you more religious than her, only Allah (SWT), can be the true judge of that, but one thing for sure, you are both weak willed, and driven by your desire for each other.


You both seem to have an abundance of love, which could benefit many if redirected to those in need through some reputable charity, but as your abundant love is misdirected towards each other. Abundant love? What else could be why you are both capable of loving your spouses and your respective families without a shred of guilt?


“Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: There is no divorce except in what you possess; there is no possession, there is no sale transaction till you possess. The narrator Ibn as-Sabbah added: There is no fulfilling a vow till you possess” (Abu Dawud 12: 2185).


If your relationship is not going to turn into a disaster by destroying both families, you will have to gather enough courage, pray Salat-ul Hajah, fast for a period of three days, and make one final e-mail to apease your guilt for hurting this married woman and mother that you have been involved with and say goodbye, without explanation (an explanation will only provide an emotional gateway for the both of you to maintain this extramarital affair), and when you have ended the message block her e-mail, and set up another e-mail account, and then get on with the wonderful marriage that you do have. There is no easy way out when your desire is in control of you, but to just do what has to be done. From what you imply, this woman is emotionally dependent on her husband, which may be a bit of a burden to him, so from her end she can always volunteer at some orphanage the love and attention that she has been giving you, which will be returned to her unconditionally by the orphans, and you can do the same at a local charity of your choosing.


“Jabir heard Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) say: When a woman fascinates any one of you and she captivates his heart, he should go to his wife and have an intercourse with her, for it would repel what he feels” (Muslim 8: 3242).

Islamic Position on Adultery

Dear brother in Islam, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.
Islam has taken a firm and decisive stance against Zina (fornication or adultery). Allah, the Almighty, commands in explicit and unequivocal words:
(And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way) (Al-Isra’ 17: 32).Thus, Islam not only prohibits Zina, but also closes all the avenues and means leading to it. This is achieved by prohibiting every step and means leading to stimulating desires, opening ways for illicit sexual relations between men and women, and promoting indecency and obscenity.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: Adultery in Islam is one of the most heinous and deadliest of sins. Its enormity can be gauged from the fact that it has often been conjoined in the Qur’an with the gravest of all sins: shirk or associating partners with Allah.The enormity of this sin is no small measure due to its dire consequences affecting individuals, families, and societies. Among these are that it entails infidelity and erodes the trust and tranquility that are the foundations of a fulfilling family life; it dissipates one’s energies; it undermines peace at home; it corrodes the purity of one’s soul and hence destroys one’s faith; finally, it exposes the person to the wrath of Allah, thus resulting in eternal damnation.It is no wonder then that Allah and His Messenger have sounded dire warnings against adultery in so many ways.

To list only a few instances: Allah says in the Qur’an, (And come not near unto adultery. Lo! it is an abomination and an evil way) (Al-Isra’ 17: 32).(And the servants of the Beneficent) are those who do not invoke another god with Allah, and who do not…commit fornication/adultery, for whoever does that shall receive the penalty; for him shall the torment be doubled on the day of resurrection, and therein he shall abide forever, disgraced, save him who repents and believes and does good works; those, Allah shall change their misdeeds into good works. And Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate) (Al-Furqan: 68-70).

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever guarantees me that he will guard his chastity, I will guarantee him Paradise” (Al-Bukhari).Abu Hurayrah reports that the Messenger of Allah said, “No one commits adultery while still remaining a believer, for faith is more precious unto Allah than such an evil act!” In another version, it is stated, “When a person commits adultery he casts away from his neck the bond that ties him to Islam; if, however, he repents, Allah will accept his repentance” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nisa’i and others).


Please click here to read the whole response on adultery.