In this month’s Point of View spotlight, we spoke to Inclusion Officer, Layla Abdi about her experience of practicing her Muslim faith in the work setting. She talks about the importance of being in a work environment where you feel comfortable enough to practice your faith, how she finds a balance between working and fasting, and why she loves her faith.
Read on to hear from Layla.
Why is it important for you to practice your faith in the workplace?
“For me, it’s important to feel confident to practice my faith as it’s such a big part of my life. I feel comfortable enough to take a few minutes away from my working day to pray my daily prayers in a quiet corner in the office without fear of discrimination.”
During Ramadan, how do you find balancing working and fasting?
“I like to start my working day a bit earlier before the hunger, thirst, and fatigue kick in. I try and plan my workday in advance to maintain a healthy work life balance during Ramadan. I also plan my meals in advance so I can use any extra time and my energy on my working day and worship.”
What does a day of practicing your faith alongside your work responsibilities look like?
“I’ve been lucky enough to always have worked in a faith-friendly work environment so practicing my faith and maintaining my work has never been a problem. A working day normally includes a few minutes planning my day and ensuring that I’ve accounted for salah/ prayer time when creating my to-do list. I usually pray my Dhuhr/afternoon prayer during my lunch break as it gives me the perfect opportunity to pause, relax, and reflect. Then we normally have the afternoon prayer Asr, in which I take a few minutes to break in the afternoon to connect with Allah (God). This way I can once again boost my productivity and accomplish much more in the final hour(s) at work.”
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
“I love sharing my faith and celebrating Ramadan or Eid with my Muslim and non-Muslim colleagues. I believe we should encourage people to celebrate each other as a part of our inclusive workforce.”