I Don’t Get It

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My husband just texted me not too long ago saying that his boss called him and fired him.

He worked there for a total of three days.

He got the job on Wednesday, after being fired last Friday from a job he worked a whole week at. That was the food truck job he was so excited about. It came without warning, in the form of a termination letter given to him along with his paycheck. No other explanation was given other than “it’s not going to work out”, no matter how many times my husband asked for one. Since we were left to guess, we decided it must’ve been either because the boss did a background check and found out about his record, or because he’s Muslim (Bashir said his phone played the adhan aloud one day and his boss remarked about him being Muslim the next). Of course, we will never know for sure.

When Bashir got the call today, he was told the same thing: it’s just not going to work out. This was especially disheartening because after the interview (which was Tuesday), the boss wanted him to come in the next morning to “try him out”. He told the boss that day when he came in that he would have to leave right after lunch as he had another job interview scheduled. The boss told him, “I think you don’t need to worry about that interview”, and so he was hired.

For three whole days.

This is not the first (or even second) time this has happened. Since we’ve been married, there have been plenty of jobs he was let go from without explanation. There have also been some he was fired from, because of his criminal record (at least those folks were decent enough to offer an explanation). There were also those he was fired from because he did something wrong, and then there were those he quit for various reasons, like we’ve all done at times.

All in all, the longest job he ever held lasted two years. Most of them lasted a few weeks or months, rarely enough time to even file for unemployment. Between those roughly 40 jobs he’s worked, have been extended periods of unemployment. The longest one lasted several years, mostly at my request because we were both tired of the uncertainty and I thought it would be less stressful if he just stayed at home with the kids, and I just paid the bills off my salary.

That worked until we split up last year, when he had no choice but to support himself. Part of that included financing a car so he would even have a way to get to work. He had just started his job, so I co-signed to help him get the financing. If that car doesn’t get paid for, it falls back on me….and right now I can’t swing those payments and his insurance along with everything else. I know, that was my choice and the price I pay for it, but there’s still a bigger picture I’m trying to understand.

What makes it hard to understand is that what has actually happened in Bashir’s employment history, is not consistent with who he is as an employee. Naturally, I tend to believe that people who lose jobs over and over are poor workers. I believe that hard workers can keep a job for a while. The problem is, my husband IS a hard worker. I’ve worked with him before at some jobs, and visited him at plenty of others. I see how he cleans, interacts with customers and gets along with coworkers. He is the guy that should be able to keep a job until HE decides to move on. Yet, his experiences have not been consistent with that, and I know his criminal record can only account for so much of that. So in the glare of this huge inconsistency, I seek the answers:

…Why can’t he just have a job for years like anyone else? Even plenty of ex-felons manage to pull this off, even if it means working at minimum wage. It really feels to me like the majority of what’s happened with Bashir’s jobs have been outside of his control, and in spite of his dedication. That’s why I am asking Allah, why is it this way? It just doesn’t make sense?

Islamically, I know I have the right to be fully financially supported by my husband. If we were going by the book, I would be able to use any earnings of my own as I like. I never got caught up on that. It never mattered to me what my husband brought to the table, because I married him for who he is as a person, not what he could do for me.

What is saddening me is that it seems like he is being prevented from doing for himself, in spite of his drive and hard work. His own bills are only a few hundred dollars a month, but he can’t even cover them without consistent work. Is it really too much to ask that Allah let him have a simple means of rizq that won’t go away anytime soon? It doesn’t have to be much. It doesn’t even have to fulfill my rights. Just enough so that he can take care of himself, and I can take care of what the whole family benefits from (house, electric, food etc).

Bashir has in shaa Allah an interview today with a pizza restaurant, a setting he has a lot of experience in. Also, his Muslim friend tells him there is an opening in his company for a driver (not sure what industry, but Bashir has experience there too). I am hoping something comes through for him. If it has to be where he works a few days or weeks here and there, and that’s how his bills get paid, then we have no choice but to accept it. But having a job that lasts at least a few years seems such a basic and simple thing, I wish I could understand why it seems Allah goes out of His way to prevent it from being something Bashir can have.

I admit, the ongoing nature of this situation has me feeling and thinking ways I would rather not. Though Bashir has his flaws, his ability to be a good worker is not one of them. He was always good about being punctual, congenial, and keeping his place of employment in top shape. I don’t feel he deserves this, or for it to have gone on this long. Yet it’s happening, and I wish I knew why…so I could know how to best support him and our family while it’s the case.

It’s a really discouraging feeling. Ya Allah, please help clarify what’s going on, and please take care of Bashir’s needs like You do for so many.

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