What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a very holy and spiritual month for all Muslims across the world. It consists of fasting every day for a month from sunrise to sunset – with no food or water. Fasting allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith. It also allows each Muslim to express self-discipline and gratitude, by reminding them of the pain and suffering of millions around the world who live their lives in poverty and famine.

Ramadan is also a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends.

Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. The other pillars are faith, prayer, giving charity and making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

During Ramadan, it is common to have one meal (known as the suhoor), just before sunrise and another (known as the iftaar), directly after sunset.

At the close of the month, Zakat (charity) donations during Ramadan are made and then Eid al-Fitr is celebrated with loved ones. Eid is a great time of feasting and celebration for Muslims, with gifts exchanged between loved ones.

 

Did you know?

  • Ramadan falls on the ninth lunar month in the Islamic Calendar. The lunar calendar means the start of each month is based on various factors, such as the sighting of the moon. Therefore, like all Islamic months, the month of Ramadan rotates every year.
  • The month of Ramadan is believed to be the month in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as a guidance for all mankind.
  • Eating dates is a popular way to break the fast. It is said that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used dates to break his fast with. But what is actually in a date? The health benefits of dates are vast – they contain natural sugars, are high in fibre, excellent for digestion, high in countless vitamins and nutrients, and so much more!

 

How can your colleagues support you?

  • Some days can be tough for many Muslims especially in the summer months. Your colleagues may be very tired and not seem themselves due to a lack of food, water and sleep which can impact concentration as well. Check in on them and be patient, especially if you think productivity might be impacted.
  • They may not feel very well on some days, offer your support. Could you help in any way?
  • They may prefer to work slightly different hours for the month to open/ close their fast and pray. Wherever possible perhaps try and accommodate for this.
  • Many don’t mind if you eat in front of them – perhaps ask beforehand if you feel unsure.
  • And finally, ask them about Ramadan – they would love to tell you all about it!