What does Ramadan mean to you and how does it inspire you to be a better person?
Faris al Balushi, Oil field employee
Ramadan is the month of spirituality, sacrifice and giving. Everything associated with the month teaches us something. From spending more time in spiritual rituals, sacrificing food to empathise with the have-nots and sharing and caring with the whole community. I try to follow the principles of the holy month and it helps me in improving.
Fahad Mohammed, Relationship manager
It’s a month of sharing and caring and also getting close to your creator. Ramadan is not just about abstaining from food, but from every other excess that we indulge in our daily lives. By avoiding such activities it feels good and makes me more tuned in to concerns of the people around me.
Arif al Balushi, Banker
I associate Ramadan with spiritualness and calmness that comes with it. It is so easy to see that people are so calm and relaxed during the month. There are no harsh words or quibblings, everyone seems to be at peace. To be concerned about others’ feelings and trying to help others are the biggest takeaways for me from Ramadan.
Faisal Mirdad, Private sector employee
Ramadan is a reminder for us to take a moment and ponder about our existence, within our home and in the society. It is a time when we pause to think of others. So for me, it is a time for spirituality and also sharing with others who are not as fortunate as us.
Tahir Usmani, Public sector employee
As much it is a month of sharing and caring, which is associated with charity, it is also a time for strengthening ties with family. It also provides us the opportunity to spend more time with each other without the distractions in today’s world such as mobile phones and TVs. It helps me become a better family person.
How does your daily routine change during the holy month? Does it mean late night outs or stay more at home to immerse in spiritual experience?
Mohammad Uddin Sachchu, Businessman
There is indeed a change especially the kind of food we have. Sleeping patterns have also changed but I am okay. Ramadan is also a time for late night outs but people do it out of choice. I feel spiritual most time of the day.
Saif al Harthy, Designer
Late nights or staying more at home doesn’t have anything to do with spirituality. I feel pious and calm for most parts of the day, maybe because I am fasting. I try to talk less and even ignore if anyone indulges in foul-mouthing on road or at work.
Mohammad Khalid, Businessman
I fast almost every year. So, though there is a change in routine during the holy month, I adapt to it pretty fast. I am usually an early riser as I pray and have my breakfast early. Normally, I work till 9pm but during Ramadan I work till the wee hours.
Junaid Kader, General manager
There is a change in the routine as our food, sleep and work patterns change. But, I adjust well and fast. There is no physical or mental strain to undergo these changes. I dedicate most of my time for prayers and I feel spiritual. This also helps me stay calm and cleanse my body and thoughts of any evil.
Sultan Khalfan, Filmmaker
Sleep is what gets most affected as one has to wake up and eat early during the holy month. I visit the mosque on most days and so feel spiritual.
Do you think your efficiency at work, study etc is affected because of changed timings/routine?
Amal al Lawati, Private sector employee
Your performance may get affected due to change in routine. But if you manage your time well and get enough sleep then you can keep things on track. We usually look forward to fasting during Ramadan as it is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Sultan al Rawahy, Private sector employee
It is quite difficult to begin with as you have to squeeze in a lot of things into your daily schedule. However, the good part is that you can get done with work early during the holy month. I believe efficiency of a person depends on his or her attitude and determination.
Hamida Said, Entrepreneur
People become more productive during Ramadan, since work hours are shorter. However, fasting and heat may make people lazy at times.
Mamun ur Rashid Rumi, Businessman
People generally feel more tired during Ramadan due to irregular timings. It is important that we chalk out a proper schedule even during Ramadan so that we get enough sleep.
Mohammed Lokman, Businessman
I feel Muslims work more during Ramadan. Initially, people may feel low on energy, but I think they get into the routine after a few days. It is an exciting time where you don’t want to miss out on any gatherings or occasions despite being exhausted.
Do you think office hours should be uniform for all employees (Muslims and non-Muslims) during Ramadan?
William Bou Karroum, Communications manager
I don’t think that office hours should be uniform for all employees. However, companies should offer some flexibility in eating and drinking for non-Muslims since their work schedule remains the same.
Haresh Pania, Finance manager
Non-Muslims have been managing fine and I don’t think there should be any relaxation in their work hours. If all businesses close early the country will come to a standstill.
Haider al Lawati, Telecom sector employee
Most Muslims stay up all night and which is why they are given a relaxation in work hours during Ramadan. Daily schedule for non-Muslims remains the same and hence they don’t need any change.
Najma al Sukri, Administration assistant
As a Muslim, you are taught to treat others the way you are treated. So, we should let non-Muslims also enjoy the relaxation in work schedule given to Muslims during Ramadan.
Soumen Patra, Private sector employee
Allowing non-Muslims too, to leave work early could affect businesses. I don’t think such a move is advisable in a challenging economic scenario. This will affect market productivity in the long run.