‘Not even water!’ – Your Guide to Being a Good Ally in Ramadan

In 2021 Ramadan starts on 13th April and ends around 12th May. (I say ‘around’ because such are the rules of the Holy Month that someone has to observe the moon and this can lead to arguments…)

My good friend the poet Hussain Manawer offered to write some guidelines of how to be a good colleague or manager during the long month of fasting.

What is Ramadan?

– The 9th month of the Islamic calendar which is calculated via lunar cycles. Ramadan is usually 10 days earlier each year and lasts 30 days.

– In 2021 the month of Ramadan will begin around 13th April ending on the 12th May which leads to the religious celebration of Eid Ul Fitr.

– Ramadan is considered the holiest month of the year for Muslims. During this month Muslims pray the Quran (the holy book) and fast from food or drink from sunlit hours.

– Ramadan ends with the celebration of Eid Ul Fitr, where families meet, exchange gifts and socialise.

Information for managers:

– Avoid making assumptions about who maybe fasting as health conditions and other reasons may exempt some people from fasting

– Ensure it is easy for your team members to let you know privately if they are fasting

– Some staff may request annual leave towards the end of Ramadan to focus on their spirituality

– Do not expect staff to commit to lunchtime events

– Making special allowance for opening of fast time is key (Iftar is at sunset)

– It is appropriate to say ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ – which translates to ‘have a generous ramadan’

– It’s not unwelcome to suggest ‘having a go’ at fasting with your friends and colleagues to get a real feel of fasting! (And yes, fasting means not even water!)

Thank you to Hussain, be sure to check out his social media.