The month of March is seen as the start of Ramadan. The ninth month in the Islamic calendar, calculates when Ramadan falls, this is because Islam uses a calendar based on the cycles of the moon. The month of Ramadan is the holiest month of the year, and we see Muslims around the world fast during daylight hours, which means the individual will abstain from eating or drinking for the duration of their fast. Fasting plays an important role in many religions, it is one of the five pillars of Islam. A key objective of fasting is to work towards an increase in taqwa (closeness to God), and to engender a sense of gratitude, self-discipline and self-improvement, at both an individual and community level, which Muslims are encouraged to continue throughout the year.
In 2023, will see Ramadan being observed from 22nd March, and will last for 30 days, at the end there is festival called ‘Eid ul-Fitr’, which means the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. Muslins, at this time are not just celebrating the end of fasting, they are thanking Allah for the strength he has given them, in the month. It is a celebrate, with food, gifts, and time to reflect.
To support your apprentice or colleague through Ramadan here are some tips to consider.
- Consider a team awareness of what Ramadan is, and how it is observed. You may have members in your team that can help with the understanding to their peers. Try and use Ramadan as a platform for greater understanding and improving team dynamics.
- Ensure staff that work with Muslim colleagues have some awareness of what fasting entails and how this could impact a member of the team. There could be someone who is fasting up to 17 hours a day, which isn’t easy, having colleagues understanding will be supportive.
- For people who have working hours, that are a regular pattern such as 9-5, is there any consideration that can be made during this time, such as flexible hours, working through a lunchbreak to finish earlier. Is there an opportunity to do homeworking, with flexible hours.
- Be mindful of asking Muslim colleagues to attend a lunch meeting or a Friday lunch event – in person or online as they may not feel comfortable sitting and watching others eat and drink.
- Make allowances where possible for Muslims to take a break at sunset, which will allow them to break their fast.
- Try to avoid booking meetings in the afternoon, especially if high concentration levels are needed from people, as they may struggle at this time.
- Don’t expect people to attend evening events, in person or online, as this is a time to eat, pray and have time with families, and gatherings in the wider community.
- Be prepared for people to take between 1-5 days holiday at the end of Ramadan to celebrate Eid.
Further reading can be found:- https://mcb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/MCB-Ramadan-Guide-2023.pdf
Support for well-being for Young Muslims can be found – https://www.youngminds.org.uk/young-person/coping-with-life/muslim-mental-health/
Please feel free to contact our Safeguarding Lead if you have concerns about your LMP Education Apprentice Learner – firstname.lastname@example.orgContact