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As Khadir says Islamic prayers should not take long. If people misuse the facility then it can lead to a lot of problems; for example see the debate at
How does Muslim prayer work in the office environment? Do they get paid during that time? - Yahoo! Answers

From United Kingdom
Dear Repected Members,
Hear in The Gulf it depends on the type of Organization
1. Private Sector : Offer One to Two hour lunch break during Afternoon Prayer Call So the employee gets to go for Lunch and pray without using company time and they have designated wash rooms with adjacent prayer rooms for male & female – This Sector usually work from either 7.30 am to 4 OR 8 am to 5 and depending on how long is your lunch break work can be extended up to 6.
2. Government Sector: They do not offer lunch break as they start 7.30 am to 2.30 pm so you can either take 10 minutes break go for prayer and back to your office Or join the group that pray immediately after calling for 15 minutes in the mosque all government organizations have designated areas for prayers for men & female or u can choose to pray in your office.

From Oman, Muscat
I think this thread is leading somewhere.
comparing Gulf countries with India does not hold water coz they belong to a particular religion where their religious practices over rule the modern systems. Had it not been Oil economy, they would have adopted the systems which are being followed universally.
As far as I know, such practices (giving break to Prayer, be it whatever religions may be) are not followed and encouraged by any decent organisation.

From India, Lucknow
Hi Vanita,
Agreed to what Hussain have mentioned,You actually need to speak to your management and draft a policy on offering Namaz(Prayer) which shouldnt take more than 10 to 15 mins.
One has to hasten his prayers if time is short or not permissible,however taking advantage out of the same and unnecassary prolonging is totally not acceptable.
As to the question wether or not time should be given for prayer is totally depending on the ethics of an organization.
Noorul Haque

From Saudi Arabia, Jiddah
Dear Vanitha,
In my previous company, as their were only few employees who used to for prayers, we had given them 1 hr break for friday prayers only in the mosque that also during lunch hours. This was for staff employees having w/off on sunday. Those who were in shifts, we manage to prepare shift schedule as such that they were provided w/off on friday.
In your case u will have to check the no. of employees plus whether they need to do daily prayer or on friday.

From India, Bareli
Dear Readers

The views and opinions shared by certain respected members here are deviating from the main concern. The company in question here is India Based and cannot be entirely compared with Companies in Gulf or other countries.

Taking prayer break, be it in any religion is not a crime or indecency, so please stop blowing it out of proportion. There are employees who take gala breaks in name of smoke break, coffee break, lunch break etc, the sincerity and dedication of employees to work comes from within, which was conveyed by Mr Shaikh, get to know the employee mentality, employees who are hardworking, motivated and dedicated will eventually perform and contribute towards the organization.

If certain employees (bad apples) are misusing prayer break as excuse to shy away from work or they are unproductive, they will remain so even if prayer breaks are banned, they will find some other reasons.

Islamic prayers (Namaz) don't take hours or special preparation to offer. its a simple 10 minutes task. which any devote person can pray and get back to work judiciously. A small clean corner is enough for one person to offer prayers.

During 9 - 6 shifts, prayers time occur 2 - 3 times, which I feel is acceptable, if employees manage to complete this break within as short time as possible. Even other employees take breaks, chit chatting near coffee machines, sharing grapevine at smoke breaks, or big fat pot lunch breaks. Any one wanna discuss that as unproductive breaks taken by employees ??

Allowing religious freedom is a fundamental right provided by the Constitution of India. including for those who are employed, after all they are located on Indian soil.

There are devotes who like to thank god in their own special way which is not wrong be it person...

Lighting an Agarbatti and doing a small Pooja at the beginning of the shift.
Offering Namaz, giving 10 minutes to pray is no big deal, or dent in productivity as people here are claiming it causes company losses.

The actual problem is employees taking prolonged breaks and misusing freedom from management be it prayer breaks, coffee breaks, lunch breaks or smoke breaks.

Thanks for reading.

Best Wishes

From Kuwait, Salmiya
Hi Vanita,

Gone through the discussion, its seems that many have different opinions on the issue:

In my view following points should be considered while dealing with such situation or formulating any policy on such matter irrespective of ur position or management view:

1. The contract of employment does not generally give such permissions to any category of employees, hence can be denied.

2. In any decent oragnisation the goal of employees are alliened with that of corporate objectives and hence I think such type of special permissions should be avoided which are not in the interest of the organisation.

3. Offering prayer at workplace should not be treated as right by employees, even if some organisations are permitting them to do so.

4. Model standing orders of any state in india also does not contain any such liberty for any category of employees.

5. Developing a culture to support any specefic community shoud be avoided as it can have detterent effects on others and finally on organisation.

6. As far as I think, ur organisation must be a business organisation and not an NGO promoting such type of things.

7. Business jurisprudence also does not allow such type of things.

8. Freedom should not be intepretted as unlimmited freedom.

In nut shell, I don't think it is viable to permit such things for longer and larger public and business interests.

Please do share your / company's final decision on it.

Best Wishes,

Manoj Thakur

From India, Mumbai
Hi Readers

I agree with certain points put forward by seniors here in dealing with the issues. However when a management grants certain amount of breaks to employees, its upto employees how to use them. if an employee is using the break time to offer prayers, this cannot be considered against office culture. however I agree that, no special break or consideration may be given to offer prayers. employees can accomodate that personal practices during approved breaks.

Regarding the rights and previliges granted by companies, its put forward in a very harsh manner here, Employees are not slaves or servants that cant do this and cant do that, be it from any religion.

Organization should be secular and neutral in all aspects of operation. at the same time, restricting personal freedom will lower employee's morale. I say again, I m talking about those who are dedicated to work and not who take religious excuses to run away from work.

Some post mentions that, "Any decent organization will not allow this prayer breaks" if an organization allows its employees to use breaks to offer prayers what is so indecent in that. I m wondering, why call it prayer break ? .. let management allows breaks to be taken as per the work schedules and requirements and leave it to the employees to decide how they want to use the breaks.

Some rule can apply such as :- Not leaving the office premises, encourage to finish break within the allowed time, no nuisance to other employees and KRAs should be taken care of.

Any employees who are misusing breaks should be disciplined be it for prayers, coffeee, smoke or lunch. and yes all the secularity, social fabric, business jurisprudence, office decency, Business Ethics, can be taken care of.

Suggestions of the readers are as if employees are working 9 - 6 straight, without taking any breaks or idle time, its only muslims who are wasting time at the office is it ??

Thanks for reading

From Kuwait, Salmiya
in some of the organizations i have seen muslim employees doing namaz
if you people are utilizing less time for lunch and are good in their regular duties when harm does it does to you.
pl allow them 1/2 hour which is reasonable and adequate as namaz takes more time. for Hindus 15 minutes is adequate. then they themselves will make up that 1/2 hour time elsewhere.
self committed, work conscious people will always work. if transgressors are there - take individual action

From India, Hyderabad
Dear Vanitha
It’s a religious issue I propose you not to stop them, it will bring you more what you feel losing, God bless you on it, only the difference in I slam from other religion is they pray five times a day to thanks God for their health, food, job etc…… God will shower his blessing on you by not stopping them.
Best regards

From Saudi Arabia, Jiddah

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