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Chelsey Saxon, Associate Director and Diversity Champion, sat down with Zanub Najmi , Senior Consultant, to discuss how businesses can support staff who are fasting during Ramadhan. Zanub also discusses some top tips for those that are fasting during Ramadhan.
Ramadhan is the holy month when Muslims celebrate the revelation of the Holy Quran. It is also a time when Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset, but it is so much more than just abstaining from food and drink. It is a time for spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion and worship. The idea is to be on your best behaviour to attain high reward and carry on with these habits beyond Ramadhan.
Ramadhan lasts around 29 to 30 days, and Eid is then celebrated upon the sighting of the moon.
Zanub has gone into more detail about her usual day during Ramadhan:
Flexible working hours
Allow those who are fasting during Ramadhan to ideally start later in the day. Those who are fasting will be awake at 4:30am closing their fast and engaging in morning prayers (Sehri and Fajr).
Be conscious when booking in meetings
When booking in meetings with those who are fasting, think about timings and try to be flexible around prayer times.
Offer a safe space to pray
While the five prayers are obligatory outside of Ramadhan, Muslims may be more particular about praying on time during this month. For those working within an office, businesses should try and accommodate their staff with a prayer room or some space where they can offer prayers.
Be supportive and offer reasonable adjustments
Understand that people who are fasting may be feeling tired or unwell, as many often suffer headaches within the first week due to dehydration. Ask them how you could support them through this month and implement any adjustments that may need to be made.
Some people may request extra time off during the last ten days of Ramadhan, as those are considered to be the most important nights. Many men confine themselves to the mosque dedicating them to worship and women can choose to do the same in their homes to achieve a greater reward. Businesses should try to accommodate these needs where they can, to allow their staff to have a greater spiritual connection.
If you notice someone not fasting for the day, don't question it
Many people may be exempt from fasting, they have their reasons for not doing so. It is not appropriate to ask or question why someone is or isn't fasting.
Communicate with your manager to let them know that you will be fasting during Ramadhan to see how they can support you.
Step away from your desk
Get some fresh air and go for a walk. Being sat at a desk for most of the day can sometimes feel hard when you are fasting but this helps with keeping you energised.
Keep yourself hydrated
Make sure you get your daily recommended water intake before sunrise and after sunset as an opportunity to rehydrate.
Have coffee or caffeine at the closing fast gives you an energy boost and can sometimes help reduce the headaches you may get.
If you would like some advice about supporting your employees during Ramadhan get in touch here today, we would be more than happy to offer some tailored advice.