Islam and Business
On Fridays, the Islamic Sabbath (weekend is Friday & Saturday), the community gathers for prayers at noon. Offices and many shops are closed on Fridays
The religious festival of Ramadan occupies the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the dates vary each year (according to the moon). During this month many Muslims fast during daylight hours spending time on reflection and purification. Ramadan and its ending, or breaking of the fast (Id al-Fitr, a three-day holiday) impact strongly on business activities. If visiting during Ramadan, be aware that there may be limited time for business meetings.
A number of expressions punctuate conversation and the most common is the term Insh’allah (‘if God wills’), which underlines a strong belief that the course of events cannot be controlled by the individual. While that’s undeniably true, the term Bukra Insh’allah (‘tomorrow, God willing’) conveys the sense that, ‘We will do things as soon as possible but God will determine when that may be’. It is said that in business circles, this often implies a firm, “No. It is not likely that this will happen”. Is this true or not?
Please share your experience of doing business in an Islamic country.