What is Ramadan?

This past week was the start of Ramadan. Ramadan remembers the month that the Qur’an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad.

It comprises one of the 5 pillars of Islam (the five tenets that uphold Islamic belief in practice) that practising Muslims observe: fasting. Although, it should be noted not all Muslims will be in a position to fast.

Why do Muslims Fast during Ramadan?

Fasting is not just the act of refraining from food and drink (yes, even water), it is a spiritual cleansing. It’s a time of introspection, a focused exertion on patience and prayer, a stillness of the mind to quell the desires of the body and feed the soul. Throughout the world, millions of Muslims will observe fasting during the month of Ramadan, and this will impact many Muslims at work.

Many Muslims find Ramadan is a time where their usual spiritual practice increases, whilst other Muslims find Ramadan is a time to connect more with their faith than they do at other times of the year. This is part of each individual’s own journey that employers should be sensitive to.

Those with physical or mental ill-health or travelling are not expected to fast but they are just as valid in their expression of faith. They are still able to partake in spiritually observing Ramadan, through prayer, charity and community connection.

How can I support my employees?

It’s important to support all employees who celebrate Ramadan. There are some key ways to do this:

  • Ensure employees are able to pray on time.
  • Provide a quiet space for prayer.
  • Accommodate employees who break their fast at work with varied break times.
  • Consider condensed hours or later starts to allow employees to catch up on missed sleep due to breaking their fasts.
  • Avoid evening meetings.
  • Be flexible with annual leave.
  • Educate yourself, managers and other employees about Ramadan.

How Hallidays HR can help

If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, then please do not hesitate to contact us.