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Planning and Leading a Complex Team Activity

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Ramadan is the Month of Work, not slack!

All Muslims around the globe and of course all Muslims in Oman are celebrating the once-a-year Holy month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a month of fasting and praying. Fasting is meant to educate us about spirituality, humility and patience. During Ramadan, Muslims who are fasting only eat and drink after sunset until sunrise. Ramadan is a month of fasting and worshiping, as well as that of work and production.

Why slacking during Ramadan?! During the blessed month of Ramadan, unfortunately, you will see some Muslims slack off, show up late at work (or not showing up at all), sleeping on the job, procrastinating, and doing the least possible at the workplace. These types of behaviors are inconsistent with the very spirit of this holy month. Islam does not advocate a special working mode during this month, whereby many people turn it into a month of eating, watching TV and staying up late. In fact, these behaviors affect any workplace, and are not permissible in Islam. Negligence in performing duties during Ramadan is not permissible and is against its teachings.

Ramadan Working Hours In the Sultanate, the Government and the Ministry of Manpower has reduced the working hours to five hours/day for Ministries and Governmental establishments, while six hours/day for private sector companies. Muslims need to rethink the concept of work, especially during the month of Ramadan.

Tips for Muslim employees * Resist detrimental and negative emotions of anger, envy, and greed. Refrain from and avoid gossiping. * Besides your duties and work obligations, use the time of fasting for spiritual contemplation. * Be disciplined about your eating and sleeping habits at nights, when you are not fasting. Minimize watching TV and other entertainments that may affect negatively in your day of work. * Reduce your breaks and rest time to the limit. Take only the break for prayers (e.g. Duhr Prayer).

Tips for expatriates and non-Muslim employees * Do not eat, drink or smoke in public, even inside your car, during Ramadan. This is actually illegal, and against our norm and culture. * Dress more conservatively, especially in public areas. * Avoid loud music and dancing, even inside your car, as you will be seen as being disrespectful. * If you are a manager or a supervisor, allow Muslim employees to break 10-15 minutes from work for prayers (e.g. Duhr prayer). * If possible, do not schedule fasting employees for regular night shifts in order to be more flexible in performing extra prayers (e.g. Taraweeh, Qiyam-Al-Layl, etc.)

Bottom Line
All Muslims – Remember the Holy month of Ramadan is about fasting, praying and working hard…not forgetting the special last 10 days of this month, as Quran indicates ‘the last 10 days is including ‘Laylat Al Qadr’, which is a night better than a thousand month’. So work, and don’t slack.…...

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