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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.