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Muslims in Non-Islamic Countries & Prayers During Work Hours January 6, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Islam , add a comment

Muslims in non-Islamic countries and in non-Muslim owned businesses have a constant confrontation on account of prayers. Many companies in non-Islamic countries avoid hiring Muslims because of this reason. Many Muslims opt for entrepreneurship over employment due to this reason. Some are very religious and some are just OK.

At Compare Infobase we’ve evolved a co-existence model. We have no issues with Eid Prayer Breaks during Ramazaan/ Ramadaan  and on Friday we have no issues at all as they move their lunch break to go out for prayers. Many colleagues do take a prayer break within office and have brought in their prayer mats and rolled them. It is not that everybody is comfortable, a few have openly objected and a few have passed unacceptable comments, but by and large the team has cooperated.

In many offices in India it is not the same, employees have to choose between timeout for prayers and job, it is the same in the US too. There are offices which have a flexi-timing and are based on minimum number of hours logged in, these offices have no challenge at all and ignore Namaaz breaks. Main challenge happens in factories and assembly lines and it becomes big if the staff insist in taking leave of absence together.

It is important to note that going to a Mosque is not essential, prayers can be done just about anywhere, I believe that office and the staff must accommodate each other. At the same time it is also important to adhere to deadlines. I had a colleague who was a devout Muslim and a devout co-worker. He would do all possible to make both the responsibilities co-exit, he would come early on days he was observing Roza and leave early and on even Fridays when there was work pressure and deadlines on hand, he would open his prayer mat  and ensure that he is done fastest possible and back on work.  It worked wonderfully.

I believe not hiring Muslim force because of their religious requirements is wrong and I also believe that insisting in concessions and accommodation beyond what is must on part of Muslim colleagues is also wrong. There has to be an attempt towards accommodation and adjustment and not towards discrimination or an appeasement.


Beyond pause, Beyond Wisconsin August 12, 2012

Posted by simarprit in : Uncategorized , 3comments

Pause, think and act. No life must be allowed to go waste. Six lives lost at Wisconsin Gurdwara Sahib must live beyond their mortal being. Sikh community needs to move beyond Wisconsin to ensure there are no more mistaken identity cases, ignorant must be educated and educated must be encouraged to being an evangelist.

How does a community go about educating masses about what they are and what they believe in, without being pushy and fundamentalist? It need not be an aggressive approach but one which is an assertive demur to misrepresentation and profiling, it should be sustainable over a few decades. “I am a Sikh” & “what it means to be a Sikh” are two starting points. There has been tremendous buildup over last one week, this buildup needs to be consolidated.The message needs to be spread far and wide and the message has to be of the community’s core being – Sarbat da Bhala  May everyone be blessed.

Quick Takeaways from Gurbani January 18, 2009

Posted by simarprit in : Golden Temple, Punjabis, Sikhism, Uncategorized , add a comment

Here are some quick takeaways from Gurbani. They all lead to a good life. 


In the beginning, the Lord created the Divine Light, And all mortals were His creation;
From the Divine Light spawned the universe, so who is good and who is bad?

As in Gurbani: Avval Allah noor upaya, Kudrat ke sab bande;
Ek Noor te sab jag upjaya, kou bhale kou mande.


The Truth existed in the Beginning, The Truth existed through the Ages;
The Truth exists now, and Nanak says that the Truth will exist in the future.

As in Gurbani:

Aad sach, Jugaad sach; Hai bhi Sach, Nanak hosee bhi Sach.


Oh Lord! Grant me this boon, that never shall I desist from doing noble deeds;
Nor while fighting the enemy should I ever be afraid, but with a firm resolve achieve victory.

As in Gurbani: Deh hai Shiva var mohe ehe, Shubh karman te kabhoon na taron;
Na daron ar seo jab chahe lado, Nischay kar apni jeet karon.

Teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji November 14, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Punjabis, Sikhism , 17comments

When you are born, and where you are born has a bearing on who you are and what you become.  Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born  in 1469, around that time  – invasions, terror and blood-bath were leading to a large scale unrest in the pious land of five rivers.

Guru Sahib’s inherent nature of not accepting what was told and taught at its face value led him to evolve as an original spiritual thinker. He believed in listening, understanding and having first hand knowledge before expressing or forming his own opinion.

He listened to people of all faith and cultures.

He read extensively about the religion he was born in – Hinduism, and the dominant religion of the region Islam. He also studied Buddhism in depth.

He travelled widely to famed and acclaimed seats of learning of those times. Traveling towards the east he stayed  at Haridwar, Varanasi, Kamrup in Assam and  Jagananth Puri in Orissa  and visited/ camped at many other important towns and schools of thought. His journey towards south of Punjab took him to temples and places of worship spread across the four states in the southern part of India and Sri Lanka. In his jtravels  to north,  north east and west of Punjab he covered the holy lands of Tibet, mainland China, Mecca (Saudi Arabia) and Baghdad (Iraq).

Guru Sahib desired a Sikh  to- (Sikh – origin the Sanskrit word Shishya – Student)

believe in one God

do selfless worship at all times (not only in the time of need)

do service to humanity without any self interest

share and care, especially with those who are in need

earn an honest living by ensuring that no action leads to cheating or exploitation

shed all inequalities, rich – poor, men – women, higher caste – lower caste

be compassionate

be open to the view of others on all matters

practice brotherhood and not be self-centered

be not scared of death

Guru Nanak Dev Ji is also refered to as Baba Nanak or Nanak Shah.  The currency of Empire of The Sikhs established by Maharaja Ranjit Singh was Nanakshahi

Guru Sahib passed away peacefully in 1539 at Kartarpur, his teachings are a way of life to millions of people all over the world.