Ramadan is the most anticipated month of the year for many Muslims around the world. It is a time to give back, pray more and reconnect with old family and friends.
The holy month is also a time where many adopt their best behaviour. Before the commencement of the month, many Muslims send messages or call each other asking for forgiveness if they had wronged them in any way. We hear less bad language and see more consideration, respect and patience. After all, fasting is not just about abstaining from food, but also from bad behaviour.
A friend of mine donates to the poor every day, helps stack the fridges at Mosques and even smiles more and speaks more politely. To me, she becomes the best version of herself throughout this month. Another friend waits for Ramadan every year to follow her healthy routine. She eats healthier food, works out before iftar to burn fat, and by the end her skin glows and she feels stronger.
My two friends, along with many others, give Ramadan 100 per cent. They never miss Tareweeh prayers at the Mosque at night and ensure they are doing their best every day. They even plan their days accordingly to ensure that they have good deeds spread out.
Unfortunately, these friends are not as committed to their good behaviour the rest of the year. After Ramadan ends, they slowly return to their old routines, doing less good deeds and wishing that Ramadan lasted a whole year instead of a month. They tell me how they miss giving back and how they long for the peaceful feeling they carried inside.
Ramadan is a month where good deeds are rewarded more, hence why many tend to do more. Things aren’t so different in business. If you hear that an investor is be interested in your venture, you become more productive and perform better to attract capital to your business. You might find yourself behaving differently, putting in more hours at work and if your business is shortlisted for a prestigious award you want to win to have your name associated with it.
But imagine if this is how you performed all year round? Imagine if you gave your business 100 per cent in the same way my friends do during Ramadan.
I remember how my full commitment to one of my businesses paid off. From the emails I wrote and the posts that went out on social media, to even the colours and illustration on our packaging, nothing happened unless I was sure that yes, I had given it my all. And boy did that feel different. I had given my venture a 100 per cent, and the results proved my commitment had worked. We received positive feedback that elevated our business to the next level.
Since then, my mission has been to give every single task my best, to do it as if the whole world is watching. Why should I wait for an opportunity or someone to be interested in what I am doing to do better? I create my own opportunities and that is only achieved by investing fully in it.
Ramadan is my favourite time of the year because it pushes people to be and do their best. Going without food and water makes us stronger and teaches us patience. I get excited when I see the passion entrepreneurs have when they first launch their business, and the effort they invest into their venture. I would like to see that attitude more often, because continuing on that same path will make a difference. It's not easy, just as the first days of fasting are hard, but within weeks you will find yourself getting used to that excellence in business behaviour.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati journalist and entrepreneur, who manages her marketing and communications company in Abu Dhabi