Fasting Ramadhan In The Office! Reply

At My Work Place!

Fasting Ramadhan  In The Office!

Time for Compassion, Touch, Kindness and Feelings!

As the Holy Month of Ramadhan has started as from Monday August 1st 2011 it would be deemed to be beneficial to say a few words on the subject – especially addressed to those not fasting in comparison to the majority that do! Some Dos and Some Do Not’s!

Suffice to say that it is the month where relationships and interfaces are tested to the maximum – not only with those
not fasting – but even amongst those that do fast – which actually and reality – and in the whole senses and purposes should not be so. It would be a shock to many that their fasting is not accepted by not following the teachings and the
requirements of fasting!

First of all there is a general feeling that especially in the start days of the fasting month is where most road accidents, fatalities and injuries do happen – so one has to be extra careful and vigilant during this month. The same can be said for the few days ending of the month. The breaking of fast times are the most dangerous as people just rush home! This is mainly due to lack of patience, care, feelings – and taking quick short cuts and in competitions! This is the time to use your defensive driving skills to the maximum – and do not be surprised as many things unexpected and untoward do go through! It is better to be careful and late – than never – and to just join the maddening crowds!

Not wanting to dwell on this, but many of the expatriates non-Muslims friends have asked me in private why they are
expected to go along with those fasting – and required to eat, drink and smoke in private. Many decent companies have concealed private quarters where expatriates non-Muslims can go to have their meals and teas and coffees. At
least in Oman we are more considerate and flexible – and not the same in other countries. But even here some things are changing too – adversely and not for the better either. So please be cautious and extra careful.

A long time ago I had an American expatriate peer who thought it would not offend anyone if he was chewing his
gum continuously in the corridors – and more irritating in meetings! Forget about the fasting month – the idea of chewing gum itself and talking to others is something many people – let alone the rigid, rightists and conservatives abhor and is frowned upon!

I recall an incident when an European visitor asked if he could take his cup of coffee to the meeting. In all fairness to the guy he liked to have his coffee in such meetings – and he was not being purposefully wicked or annoying! But he was shocked to find a great uproar – even amongst the ones that were normally more tolerant and liberal. So extra caution and care too is here called for. It is only one month – so no point in upsetting unnecessarily the natives!

I can hear some of you asking me why there are a few cases of some of the believers that seem to flout the rules too?
There are accepted exceptions – like for the ladies in their pregnancies and menstrual cycles, the sick like extreme diabetic and sick and ailing cases – or travelers just come in – of course not to be missed are the few truants ones
too. Like in each basket there are spoilt fruit or rotten eggs – so they too cannot be missed! But there are laws too in the country for whether you are a Believer or not – like my Lebanese Christian good friend who was smoking as he
was driving!

It is better to be extra careful especially nowadays as you do not know what reaction or reception you may get – even from those you thought you knew very well before! Things have now just changed!

Ramadhan Kareem – Take Care!


 Majid Al Suleimany,

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