By Chaimae Lemgard
As we approach the month of Ramadan, I wanted to take the time to share some information about this holiday and how we can support our Muslim teammates during this period.
Ramadan is a month-long celebration observed by Muslim people worldwide and is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. One important thing to note is that the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and does not synchronize with the seasons— which means Ramadan will fall at a different time of year, every year. This year, it will take place from March 22 to April 20 or 21. During this time, healthy adult Muslims fast, pray, reflect, and read the Quran. The fast occurs each day from dawn until sunset, and it includes abstaining from food and drink. The month of Ramadan is a time for self-restraint and self-reflection, and it is viewed as a way to cleanse one’s soul and empathize with the less fortunate. Some Muslims also restrict other distractions such as watching television or movies and avoiding parties. As the saying goes, “Ramadan is a time to starve the stomach to feed the soul.”
It's important to note that some of our Muslim teammates will be working their normal hours during this month. Some staff may be sensitive about eating around Muslim coworkers during this time, but it's really not a problem for most, and many Muslim colleagues still want to feel included in workplace activities. As a team, we can support them by avoiding offering food during this time and allowing them some time and space to break their fast and perform their prayers during sunset. Additionally, some of our offices have a Wellness Room that can be used as a private space for prayer.
To greet our Muslim colleagues during this special month, we can use phrases such as “Ramadan Kareem” or "Ramadan Mubarak" to wish them blessings and joy. Some examples include, "May this divine month bring you many blessings. Ramadan Mubarak!" or, "Our special wishes for a happy Ramadan. May this holy month bring an abundance of blessings and may your fast be easy. Ramadan Kareem!"
Lastly, as we approach the end of Ramadan, Eid-Al-Fitr is a holiday to mark its end and celebrate the success of self-discipline during the month. It will be a celebration when Muslims often attend a prayer and exchange gifts with loved ones. To wish our colleagues a happy Eid, we can use phrases such as "Eid Al-Fitr Mubarak" or "Happy Eid-Al-Fitr!"
As a team, let's make sure that all of our colleagues feel supported and included during this special time. Let's celebrate and appreciate the diversity within our team while providing excellent work.
Chaimae Lemgard is a human resources generalist at Urban. Interested in joining our team? Check out our open opportunities