How to support your colleagues during Ramadan

Ramadan is a blessed month for Muslims as it marks the period when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Most Muslims don’t eat or drink during daylight over these 30 days to show devotion to their faith. Children, pregnant women, elderly people and those with medical reasons don’t have to fast. Followers of Islam are also expected to abstain from any sexual activity or bad habits during this holy time e.g. smoking. 

In this blog, we offer advice on how you can show your support for Muslim colleagues this Ramadan, as well as how to get involved in Eid celebrations!

When is Ramadan? 

This year, Ramadan is expected to fall on the evening of Wednesday, March 22 and draw to a close on Friday, April 21, 2023. 

How can I show my support in the workplace? 

Offer flexibility 

Allow your team to take time away from work to observe Ramadan when/if requested. This will show them that you respect the significance of this sacred period and will be greatly appreciated. 

Eid al-Fitr, or ‘festival of breaking the fast’, is a 2-3 day celebration which takes place at the end of Ramadan. This is the most likely time you’ll be receiving annual leave requests, so keep it in mind!

Muslim employees may also require more flexible working hours during Ramadan. For example, a colleague who is fasting may wish to work through lunch and leave an hour early to get back for sunset (i.e. when fasting can be broken). 

Of course, in the world of social work this isn’t always possible but it’s still important to help where you can. For example, swapping shifts with your colleague if it works better with their fasting schedule. 

While it is supportive to let your colleagues have this time off, don’t be assumptive – let each individual decide what is best for them. 

Learn more

While it is your responsibility to educate yourself on the basics of Muslim religion, you can always ask for clarity on anything you’re unsure of – as long as you are respectful. Everyone in the Muslim community is unique and will have different needs during the sacred month. 

Be mindful of those fasting

If you don’t eat or drink all day, you’re going to be tired and have lower levels of concentration. As a colleague, it is important to be mindful of this and be considerate of those you know are observing Ramadan. 

Educate others

Make sure everyone is on the same page and aware of the importance of Ramadan. You could even get your colleagues to share their favourite traditions should they be comfortable doing so. 

Celebrate Eid

Why not host a lunch, real or virtual, to celebrate Eid or get your team together after work to do something fun. 

We hope you found this article insightful and now have the knowledge to make your workplace more inclusive this Ramadan. 

carlette Isaac

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