How to support your friends and colleagues this Ramadan
The 22nd of March 2023 marks the beginning of Ramadan, a holy month observed by millions of Muslims around the world.
Ramadan occurs once a year and lasts approximately 30 days. Ramadan doesn’t happen at the same point each year as it follows the lunar calendar, so it shifts back by 10 to 11 days each year. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, which in London will be approximately 17 hours a day .
While fasting is a big part of Ramadan, it’s not just about abstaining from food and drink. We spend more time reflecting, praying, spending more on charity and practising patience and kindness.
Ramadan is also a social month. Muslim families and friends come together in the evenings to break their fast with a meal called Iftar. We also have special nightly prayers during this month called Taraweeh which are usually prayed together in the mosque.
Here are some tips on how you can support your friends and colleagues during Ramadan:
- Ask! – It’s important not to make any assumptions when it comes to your team’s needs during Ramadan, as everyone in the Muslim community is different! Build rapport with your colleagues and make it clear that they are free to share their requirements, thoughts and suggestions with you.
- We don’t mind being around people eating and drinking so don’t apologise!
- Our sleeping hours and caffeine intake change, so we might seem tired. We definitely don’t expect any special treatment while fasting, but checking our preferences for meeting hours would be greatly appreciated.
- We will often have additional religious commitments during Ramadan and it may be especially important to perform prayers on time throughout the week. Make sure to check diaries in case our usual break times are broken into little prayer breaks.
- It means a lot to us when you wish us a “Happy Ramadan/Ramadan Mubarak”.
Wishing you a blessed Ramadan that will inspire you and give you strength to win every challenge.