The Apprentice- How far will YOU go?

By Majed Iqbal– Its Wednesday night, BBC 2, and 9pm sharp. Millions of people in the UK have been glued to their screens ready to see the Hit TV show “The Apprentice”. He is the hard-nosed businessman who learnt life the hard way. Sir Alan Sugar, the son of a tailor, who left school at the age of 16 At the age of 21 he founded Amstrad which later floated on the London Stock Exchange.

He is one of the government’s team of figureheads who travel around schools and universities encouraging young people to have an entrepreneurial spirit.He’s now looking for an apprentice; someone to work for him. Fourteen contestant’s ruthlessly battle for the position.

It’s the final week now. Will it be Simon or Kristina? By now, any of us who has watched this show will have realised that its cut throat. There are no friend’s, only foes. It’s a competition out there of the Survival of the fittest. Nobody cares about the next person. You ONLY defend yourself. All the smiles are Fake, the laughter is empty and the kind gestures and nice presentation is all deception.

The Work Ethic

For some people, the apprentice programme may have come as a shock’. For others, we have seen this already in our workplaces. It’s nothing new. In fact some of us may have become the victims of this type of work Culture and Work Attitudes.
Most people are very materialistic wishing to gain as many pleasures as they can. Therefore working to earn money which they can use to fulfil these pleasures is a main goal. Hence, the better job you get, the more you have to enjoy life with. All the apprentice contestants were on good jobs. In fact Katie was earning 90K while last years contestant Tuan drove a Ferrari! If they have it all, then why do they want more?

The possible traps

As we are living in a materialistic society, we too can become victims of this type of thinking. Today you will see Muslims selling Alcohol in restaurants. Go to a Muslim Newsagents, you see the father putting his daughter at the counter who ends up selling Pornography magazines to customers. All in the name of Profit and earning a living!What is driving such people to do this? It is no different to what the contestants of the Apprentice believe in. Work has become a religion in itself. Time is limited and you need to maximise your enjoyment in this world.

Indeed there will be many challenges which face us too, especially in the workplace. They will be in different shapes and forms depending upon where you work and your profession.

Compromising situations?

It’s running busy Friday afternoon. There’ lots of work to do before close of day. Other people are working through their lunch and munching away on their sandwiches. What do you do? Do you leave for Jumma prayer or stay in and work like everyone else? The Messenger of Allah (saw) said “A person who leaves three Friday prayers consecutively, Allah puts a seal on his heart.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)
Will we fall for the charms of women who dress seductively at work? Statistics state that many girlfriend/boyfriend relationships begin with people in close contact to you. The workplace being a perfect breeding ground for that. Katie and Paul in this series; does that ring a bell? Ibn Abbas reported that he heard the Prophet give a speech in which he said: ”No man should be in seclusion (Khulwah) with a woman except with her Mahram”

The apprentice lifestyle distances people from their close relationships. We hear about this in our own communities where sons and daughters move away and are more worried about their careers than anything else. Islam placed great emphasis on maintaining relationships with family, cousins, kith and kin. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari narrates that a bedouin came to the Prophet (saw) while he was travelling. He asked, “Tell me what will bring me near to the Garden and keep me far from the Fire.” He replied, “Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him, perform the prayer, pay zakat, and maintain ties of kinship.”


There is nothing wrong in pursuing a career, providing you remember that there is a purpose to life which is beyond acquiring goods. We carry an understanding about life which affects the way we behave. We carry concepts and ideas like halal and haram (lawful and unlawful) which shape our attitudes, values, opinions and actions. Compare this work ethic to the contestants on the Apprentice.Allah says “But seek the abode of the Hereafter in that which Allah has given you, and do not neglect your portion of worldly life, and be kind as Allah has been kind to you, and seek not corruption in the earth” (Surah Al-Qasas verse 77)

The last thing we want is for Allah (swt) to say to us “I’ve had enough of you, you’ve made too many excuses, you’ve gone off and done what you wanted to do, you’ve disregarded protocol and you’ve simply broken the rules of the game. It’s the end of the game for you……………YOUR FIRED


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