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Ramadhan 2021: A day in the life of a fasting person…

Category: Faith, Faith & Culture, Religious Observance, Religion, PA Housing, ramadan, islamic, religious, islam, month of ramadan, ramadan in workplace, faith & belief

Religious Beliefs

Ramadhan is a holy month in Islam, within which Muslims observe fasting from dawn till dusk.

Fasting is also one of the 5 x Pillars of Islam. It is a time to reflect, observe patience, to give to those less fortunate and to reconnect with Allah (God).

Suhoor 3:30 am: This is the time to pack those sustaining and energy foods to keep you going throughout the day! For me, its normally a bowl of cereal or some toast with a glass of milk. This has certainly changed over the years with sensible choices now, and gone are the days I chose the leftover curries, donner meat (yes, I did!) or fried flatbreads!

Fajr (the dawn prayer): The fast now commences from dawn, and the morning prayer is performed. Many Muslims will also recite the Holy Quran for some time before returning to bed/starting their day!

The working day: Nothing will change here! We power through and perform our normal duties. Some may spend a few minutes thinking about morning brews, however, don't succumb to our desires (hopefully) and observe patience (we may also avoid the kitchen at all costs!)

Come lunchtime: we perform the afternoon Zuhr prayer and may choose to quietly sit and supplicate or even take a short nap (strictly for the non-snorers if you are not alone!). This can be the most challenging time for a lot of people as they may suffer a drop in energy and may find it a little difficult to concentrate. Or it may simply be that the smell of food all around is just torture!

End of the working day: Although keeping busy at work is a bonus for most, the end of the working day also brings an opportunity to relax, perform the Asr prayer and also recite the Holy Quran.

Many will also begin food preparations for Iftar (the time to break the fast at dusk), whilst remembering to not taste the food. For experienced cooks, this is a true skill. If you're anything like me and enjoy the remaining cake batter in your bowl, remember to drop that spoon in the sink and not in your mouth!!

Iftar (breaking of the fast): When dusk hits, this signifies the end of the fast and we open our fast once the call for prayer is called (Adhaan).

Traditionally we break the fast with dates (the fruit and not to be confused with your partner!). Upon breaking the fast, we first offer the Maghrib prayer (dusk prayer) and then eat our full meal. This is where expectation vs reality really plays a part.. You want to consume all but really don't manage much… slow and steady most definitely wins the race here. ​

Esha (The night prayer): This is the longest prayer of the day and is accompanied by Taraweeh prayers during Ramadhan. This takes you up to the later part of the night and certainly helps you to digest your food and relax before retreating to bed!

Ramadhan and fasting is a different experience for all and we all have our own coping mechanisms, traditions and cultural differences. However for all, it's a humbling experience. A time when we appreciate and are thankful for what we have…a time where family and friends come together… a time to help those in need more…and a time to forgive and forget, and mend any broken ties.

by Tehmima Valakhiya

Ramadan Mubarak

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