The Cheadle Masjid Association (CMA) is an active mosque and community centre in Cheadle, whose philosophy is Education, Cohesion and Community, aiming to facilitate Islamic worship and knowledge, serving the needs of the community.
Imam Abid Khan, the Deputy Imam & Director of Education at the CMA, shares what he thinks about the real Living Wage:
We were approached by a member of Citizens UK in 2017 as they wanted to get the Living Wage campaign rolled out into the faith community and wanted us to get on board and share the message. We hadn’t previous thought of this, we thought the minimum wage was what was to be paid, but when we learned more about ‘in-work poverty’ and how families were struggling to make ends meet despite being paid the minimum wage, we knew that the real Living Wage was the answer and would have such a profound impact on these people’s lives.
For us as Muslims, we want to lead by example in regard to social justice. It is our duty, that whatever sphere or field you are working in, to spread justice and help the communities we are in.
In total we have 20 staff members at Cheadle Masjid, all of which are proudly being paid above the real Living Wage. Staff feel more valued since we made the change and it has improved their performance. We feel like we are upholding our responsibility as a masjid and as Muslims to help those who are working with us.
My message to other places of worship is that we have a moral responsibility to look after those who work with us. As a religious institution, people who live by the morals that God has set us, we have a higher obligation to live up to these standards and uphold the highest level of welfare. How did the Prophet treat those who worked for him? It is quoted in the Hadith that the Prophet stated: “All of you are shepherds and you are responsible for your flock” – so we have a great weight on our shoulders as employers. We should be the champions of such initiatives like this because it is a religious obligation to empower and take care of those who work with us.
Going forward we want to take this to other mosques and places of worship in the Manchester area where we will spread the word and get others on board.