Here are 4 things you can do at your workplace to make life a little easier for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan

A Muslim man prays as he and others assemble to spot the crescent moon, on the eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque in Ahmedabad, India, May 6, 2019.
  • During the holy month, Muslims wake up early to eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor, and they break their fast with a meal referred to as iftar.
  • Other acts of worship such as prayer, reading the Quran and charity are also encouraged during the holy month.
  • But what if you're not a Muslim and more so you have a number of Muslims in your workplace. Is there anything you should do so you don't come across as insensitive to your fasting friends during Ramadan?

Ramadan, which began on May 6 in most countries across the globe, is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.

It involves abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations from dawn to sunset. Other acts of worship such as prayer, reading the Quran and charity are also encouraged during the holy month.

During the holy month, Muslims wake up early to eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor, and they break their fast with a meal referred to as iftar.

But what if you're not a Muslim and more so you have a number of Muslims in your workplace. Is there anything you should do so you don't come across as insensitive to your fasting friends during Ramadan?

The good news is there is a tonne but here are just 4 simple things you can do at your workplace to make life a little easier for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.

1. Try not to schedule a work lunch

For the 30 days of Ramadan, Muslims around the world will abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, therefore, be thoughtful and don’t try to schedule a work lunch meeting.

That doesn't mean however that you shouldn't carry on business as usual.

2. Try being a little accommodative

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslim co-workers are required to follow a strict timetable of when to eat and when to pray so when your Muslim co-worker comes to you and says, "Starting tomorrow, can I start work early so I can leave sooner?", please try to be accommodative.

3. Try not saying 'I should fast, too. I need to lose weight'

In today's weight-obsessed world, losing weight is fast becoming a fad but please don’t mistake Ramadan for another umpteenth weight loss challenge. Ramadan is much much more than that. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and there is also a verse in the Quran that prescribes fasting for all Muslims who are mature and healthy enough to do so for the full day.

So Muslims fast as an act of worship, a chance to get closer to God, and a way to become more compassionate to those in need. Fasting is also seen as a way to learn patience and break bad habits.

4. Try not to shame and bully Muslims who are not fasting

Please understand that not every Muslim can be able to fast for health reasons so when you see your Muslim co-worker feasting on an American burger don’t go all religious on them of cheating and not being a good Muslim.

As with any diet or lifestyle change, there are risks to fasting and as much as all Muslims would love to join their fellows in fasting, sometimes it is not possible.

Individuals with compromised health or those who are being followed by a physician for any health conditions are recommended to consult a doctor before trying it in order to be monitored for some of the side-effects.

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