What is Ramadan?
An Islamic tradition that is celebrated in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam
When is Ramadan?
The dates do change every year but commence on June 29 (Sunday) 2014, depending on when the new moon is seen and regional customs this date could change. It lasts for a period of 29-30 days and will end with another celebration (Eid-Ul-Fitr). Due to the Islamic calendar being in lunar each day starts at sunset.
What happens during Ramadan?
The majority of Muslims will fast during this period (sunrise to sunset). This means they will not eat any food, drink any liquids and not smoke. It is very common to have one meal which is commonly known as the suhoor just before the sun rises and an evening meal commonly known as iftar when the sun has gone down.
This is a period of prayer and self reflection. Muslims are also encouraged to read the Qur’an in its entirety.
Ramadan is time for donations to a charity and also participating in a charity event.
- Those participating in Ramadan may be obvious to spot (such as those not taking a lunch break) make sure the line managers is informed of their intention to fast. An employee may wish not to take a break and leave early to pray or worship.
- The effects can be stronger as the day goes on so challenging work like meeting may be best to be done in the mornings and any routine tasks to be completed later on in the day.
- Fasting can affect people in many different ways. Some can feel irritable whereas there are others that may be tired and dizzy at times. While managers should be understanding at this time they should also be mindful of the health implications.
- Work colleagues may want to avoid offering or sharing food or even eating during meeting.
- This is a good opportunity to bring work colleagues together as making staff aware to the difficulties fo fasting.
- It would also be helpful if meetings and social events could be put on hold so that all employees could attend
- Managers should have an awareness of Ramadan and other religious events and this can be aided by introducing information on notice boards or in newsletters and emails
- Employers should accommodate the fact that in some years a large amount of annual leave will be taken especially from those employees that want to observe the rules of Ramadan.