With over 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, it's important for workplaces to know how to support employees who participate in Ramadan. This quick article will help you educate and show how you can support employees who partake in Ramadan. You can also click here for a downloadable PDF you can share with your team.
Start with education. If you are hearing about Ramadan for the first time or don't know much about it, there are tons of ways to learn. One of the best ways to learn is to experience it, which I talk about later, but take some time and read some of these articles. At the of reading, you will have increased your knowledge of Ramadan.
Share quick reference articles with your team such as:
2. Ask mindful questions.
Before asking Muslim employees about Ramadan, do some research or a quick Google search. With Islam as the number one fasted growing religion in the world, there is no lack of resources and information.
If you can’t find the answer to your question, before you ask, think about the intent behind the question and what you are looking to gain by asking it.
Avoid asking questions where #1 could give you the answers. It's not your Muslim employees’ job to give you a crash course in Ramadan (although some might not mind) when there is so much information out there. Do the research yourself and if you truly can't find the answer, then ask.
3. Adjust meetings.
In many Muslim countries, businesses and schools might reduce their hours - ending or closing early.
Be mindful of when meetings are scheduled. Avoid meetings that conflict with the sundown time zone when the iftar will take place and the fast is broken.
From my experience, this is the most helpful when doing Ramadan in the workplace. For me, I like to move most of my meetings to the morning and end by 3 pm since that is when I have the most energy.
A kind gesture is to ask. Say something to the extent, I know that Ramdan is taking place, are there any meetings that I can adjust to accommodate and honor your schedule?
Here is a Ramadan timetable that can be used to understand the different times for Ramadan.
4. Experience it.
If you’ve never experienced Ramadan, I highly recommend it. If you aren’t able to fast, there are many other aspects that go into Ramadan. For example, when I was nursing and couldn’t fast, I prayed and meditated more during the day, practiced self-control, gave and helped others.
I enjoyed being at the Mosque, the praying, the iftar, and the Eid Festival. Such a wonderful experience and I felt like I had connected not only spiritually but with humanity.
One of my favorite things in Islam is the call to prayer. If you've never heard it before, check it out it truly is beautiful. Listen here.
5. Space and Grace.
Muslims are mindful of the Ramadan journey, so holding space for those who are fasting means a lot. Faith and belief drive the commitment.
Know that this is a time for offering space and grace for all, including yourself. If you find yourself talking about what you ate for lunch and realize that someone on the call is Muslim, don’t beat yourself up. Grace and Space.
If nothing else, wish your Muslim employees a happy and blessed Ramadan by saying, Ramadan Mubarak or Ramanan Kareem.
About Culture Circle Humanity. Ubuntu. Efficiency. These key values create the foundation for inclusive and healthy workplace cultures. U.S-based Culture Circle, founded by Charisse Fontes, is the only Black-owned, Woman-run Culture Consulting Agency that transforms the employee experience through the lens of anthropology and humanity. Learn more and connect with us here.