Ramadan is the time of fasting in the faith of Islam, during the hours of the sunrise and sunset Muslims don’t eat or drink as it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam in order to test their patience and endurance.
This year (2016) sees the longest Ramadan in 33 years for Muslims as Ramadan works from the lunar cycle of the Islamic calendar. This year it will run from 6th June to 5th July, a total of 30 days, as it’s the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is obligatory for all healthy Muslims to take part in Ramadan, this is why we have provided you with a five tips to follow during this fasting season to ensure that your employees, who chose to fast, do so comfortably and are respected by their colleagues.
– Abstain. During Ramadan it’s compulsory for Muslims to abstain from eating any food and drinking any liquids, this also includes taking medication. We recommend that other employees be more considerate with their consumption of food or drink in front of employees who fast, to offer their support during the long hours.
– Cultivating Spiritual Purity. Ramadan is about cultivating spiritual purity and a virtuous lifestyle, because of this Muslims may choose to pray more often during this time, typically for a few minutes a day. We recommend that they are equipped with a quiet area where they can have time to themselves and reflect. Other employees should be made aware that this may be the case and they should respect their choice and allow them their privacy during this time.
– Smoking. Smoking is prohibited during Ramadan therefore employees should refrain from smoking around their colleagues who are fasting to make it easier for them not to smoke.
– Energy Levels. Fasting can last up to 19 hours in a day (dependent on the city) therefore energy levels may become lower during work, especially with the warmer weather. Where possible high pressure and high energy tasks should be restricted and allow fasting employees to be more flexible about their working hours. To check fasting times in local areas visit the local mosque directory here.
– Eid al-Fitr. When Ramadan comes to an end there is a three day festival called Eid al-Fitr where Muslims break the fast. If/ when the fasting employee chooses to attend the festival then they should seek annual leave at this time, although most usually ask for leave for the first of the three days only.
We hope that these tips are useful for you and your employees during the season of Ramadan and we would like to wish all who are observing Ramadan a Ramadan Mubarak!