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Accommodating Inclusivity in the Workplace

Inclusivity in the workplace is key to creating a supportive and positive environment, whether that includes policies, training, working hours and arrangements, language, or culture – to name a few. We’re going to take a look at how businesses can ensure inclusivity when it comes to religious proceedings.

In particular, our findings, supported by Imam Aziz Patel, a member of the University of Chester’s Academic Leadership Group, provide some useful and important information about the Muslim Community and their religious practices.

For Muslim business owners and employees, Friday holds a special significance as it marks the holiest day of the week. On this day they are commanded to participate in a special congregational prayer in the afternoon, according to Islamic teachings.

Are all Muslims required to attend Friday prayer?

Attendance at Friday prayer is mandatory for adult Muslim males, though many women and children also participate voluntarily. However, exceptions are made for those who are travelling, sick or have valid medical reasons.

Many people who do not have time to attend the mosque during the week will make a special effort to attend the Friday prayers at The Mosque due to the obligation and importance. Unlike other daily prayers which can be offered individually. Friday Prayer can only be offered in the congregation behind an appointed prayer leader.

So how should this be accommodated when it comes to business processes?

The timing of the Friday prayer varies depending on the season, but it usually occurs in the early afternoon, replacing the daily afternoon prayer. Therefore, accommodating Friday prayer may require special arrangements during normal working hours where it conflicts with schedules.

This could include things such as:

  • Allowing on-site prayer services if there’s adequate space, and a qualified leader available for workplaces with a significant Muslim population.
  • Allowing for flexibility in working hours during prayer times, to allow employees to travel to and attend the Friday prayer.
  • Implementing hybrid working models to allow for easier travel where necessary.

Each mosque is different when it comes to the length of the sermon and prayer, so communication between businesses and employees is key when it comes to making the correct accommodations.

In addition to Friday prayer, Muslims are also obligated to perform five daily prayers, each with its specific time frame. To accommodate this, businesses can create a private area for Muslim employees to use during their prayers.

By recognising and accommodating the significance of religious obligations, businesses and institutions demonstrate their commitment to fostering an environment where all individuals can thrive, regardless of their cultural or religious backgrounds.

This inclusive approach not only enhances employee satisfaction and engagement but also promotes mutual respect and understanding among colleagues, cultivating a sense of support and belonging in the workplace.

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