The 29th of June marks the beginning of Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic lunar year, observed by Muslims as the month of fasting. During Ramadan Muslims will awake before dawn for “suhur” [a meal taken just before dawn]. As soon as it is dawn, the person is then considered to be in the state of fasting until sunset. At sunset, most Muslims will break the fast with dates or water. This is called “iftar” [the breaking of the fast] and can be followed by a meal. During Ramadan breaking the fast is an occasion for family, friends and the community to get together.*
Things to be aware of
Some individuals will observe Ramadan by fasting during daylight hours. Sleep patterns may be disrupted and may make individuals more tired than usual.
Fasting could cause blood sugar levels to run low, which may make it more challenging for individuals to keep their concentration.
Some individuals may choose to practice their faith more during Ramadan than they might at other times of the year. This could mean that some members of staff may wish to offer prayers during the working day, who would not ordinarily do so.
Top tips and suggestions for managers
Some individuals may prefer to start their working day earlier, or work through lunch hours in order to finish earlier so that they can break fast at home.
If possible avoid holding social team events, such as staff meals and other extra-work activities during Ramadan. Don’t be offended if Muslim staff decline invitations to these functions.
Encourage discussion to support and raise awareness amongst colleagues about Ramadan and support any fundraising activities which may be occurring.
Top tips for working during Ramadan
Balance your work day. Reserve the morning hours for meetings, intellectually demanding work or tasks that require concentration, and save the routine tasks for later in the day.
If you feel comfortable doing so, it is better to let your colleagues and managers know that you are fasting. They will probably be wondering why you aren’t eating and if you do get a little irritable, which can be natural, why you are not your usual self.
It is best to create a dialogue with colleagues or managers about any adjustments you may need. Explain that during this time working through lunch hours, finishing earlier and coming into the office earlier may be preferable during Ramadan. Employers can’t always accommodate flexible working requests, but these requests are more likely to be understood if you take the time to discuss the situation.
Top tips for Staying healthy during Ramadan
If you feel your energy is flagging then try going to the bathroom and washing your face.
During the lunch hour, take a short walk outside and raise your oxygen levels.
Drink lots of water during non daylight hours. Keep hydrated to avoid headaches, and reduce tiredness.
If you are able to, briefly walk around the office every hour for a few minutes.
Remembering to exercise and maintaining a good, well balanced diet are important to avoid feeling tired.
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[email protected] for more information.
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