As we prepare to observe Ramadan, it can be helpful to share some basic information with your workplaces to help your colleagues learn about our traditions and communicate your needs during this time.
Below is an email template that you can use to do this. Remember to tailor it to your life and workplace as you need. In the email, I include examples of some of my needs that I feel relate to the nature of my job. Yours might be different!
In your email, I also encourage you to be honest. It’s important to be super real about how we live through this month and how, for those of us who will be fasting, long hours can really impact our energy levels and inform our needs to be able to be present and show up fully. And for those of us who will be excused from fasting, it’s also important to share how our schedules and availability may change during this month.
May Allah make it easy for you!
The first day of Ramadan is this Saturday, April 2, 2022! As some of our volunteers, patients, supporters, interns and myself will be observing Ramadan until the beginning of Eid al-Fitr on May 2nd (a total of 30 days-AHHH😅), I want to share some basic information about Ramadan and how Muslims in our community may be impacted.
Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims, is the ninth month of the year in the lunar Islamic calendar. Muslims believe that the Qu'ran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during Ramadan and use this time for self-reflection, spiritual growth and connection, generosity, increased worship, and community building.
Able-bodied and observing Muslims begin fasting- abstaining from all food, liquids, chewing gum, smoking, and taking medication- from sunrise to sunset. Since Ramadan is taking place this year from April/May, observers will be fasting for 12 to 13 hours each day. A lack of food or water, and changing sleep schedules can lead to fatigue, dehydration, headaches, and lack of energy.
This is definitely not my first year fasting and I've gotten through Ramadan during school and while working full time. However, I'd like to be honest about my needs for this month to ensure that I take care of myself, my work, and my community. Here are my suggestions:
- I prefer that internal department calls are scheduled no later than 5pm and preferably earlier in the day. I understand that events, such as ones we have with partners are more effective and successful in the evenings and recognize that this is our reality. Scheduling evening events before 7pm would be appreciated as iftar time will be around 7:30pm.
- Flexible scheduling. Instead of having an hour lunch break each day, I may need short breaks throughout the day to regain energy.
- Screen Time may be much more draining for me during this month. I will try to avoid scheduling back-to-back calls during this month to prioritize regular rest and breaks.
- My availability in the late evenings will be more limited during this month. This is the time I will be breaking my fast, worshiping, and spending time with my family.
Terms to Know
- Eid al-fitr: A holiday to mark the end of Ramadan
- Ramadan Mubarak/Ramadan Kareem: A phrase that Muslims use to express well wishes during the month of Ramadan.
- Suhoor: A morning meal before the start of the fast (this takes place the hours before sunrise)
- Iftar: A meal to break the fast at sunset
- Taraweeh: Optional night prayers lasting one or two hours.
Ramadan #2 During A Global Pandemic
This is the third Ramadan that Muslims will be observing during a global pandemic. Many of us are observing and celebrating in a a continued environment of uncertainty and isolations, even as we slowly return to in-person gatherings. I've included some resources below and Muslim-led groups to elevate and support this month ❤️
- “How to Talk to Muslims During Ramadan” by Sarah Hagi of Vice
- The Muslim Alliance for Sexual & Gender Diversity (MASGD)
- This organization works to support, empower and connect LGBTQ Muslims.
- Queer Crescent
- Builds community and culture through healing and organizing, centering LGBTQ+ Muslims.
- This organization works to advance reproductive justice and uproot gendered violence by establishing choice and access for impacted Muslims
- Justice for Muslim Collective
- This organization works to build collective power of Muslims for Collective Liberation
- Dedicated to providing mental health services for Muslims & other multicultural communities. AMALY will be organizing a virtual support group from Muslims who are not able to participate in fasting due to being in recovery from an eating disorder.
- Muslim Women For
- Local NC-based Muslim women led organization that works to build power in Muslim communities through healing, political education, and advocacy.