From the 5th May until the 4th June, Muslims around the world will be participating in the holy month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is a time for Muslims to cleanse their souls by cleansing their bodies and their minds and an important part of the month is the fasting that takes place between sunrise and sunset. Even though Muslims in the UK will be eating all of their meals after sunset and before sunrise, unfortunately, the working days continue, which means that offices everywhere will be continuing their working days through their fast.
Those not taking part in Ramadan can struggle to know what to do, what to say or how to act around their Muslim co-workers. It is important to know that everyone should feel free and not feel embarrassed to ask their Muslim co-workers any questions they have about Ramadan: we love to talk about the holy month.
What are a few things you should avoid doing during Ramadan?
Asking if your co-worker is coming for lunch can be a harmless mistake during Ramadan and it’s unlikely anyone will hold that simple mistake against you. But, when organising any sort of lunch meeting, always make sure the meeting is optional rather than mandatory. Check what your co-worker would prefer before you make any plans and consider re-scheduling lunch meeting to another time.
There are a number of reasons why a Muslim woman may not be partaking in Ramadan, including personal reasons which she may not be comfortable talking about in work. Unless they offer up a reason in conversation freely, don’t press a co-worker who has taken part in Ramadan in the past but who you have noticed aren’t fasting this year.
You probably won’t offend someone by asking if they don’t drink water all day, but chances are they have heard that question many, many times before. Fasting during Ramadan means abstaining from all food and drink during daytime; they use the hours between sunset and sunrise to take on their water for the day.
Asking if someone has brushed their teeth is a rude question to ask anyone at any time, and unfortunately a side affect of fasting for long periods of time is that it can cause halitosis, or bad breath. Some are self-conscious about this and may choose to keep a distance during working hours or keep quiet: just remember it is nothing personal.
As we prepare for the month of Ramadan here at Royal Nawaab halal restaurant Manchester, we have changed our opening times to help those break their fast. Please see our website for new opening times.