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What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. Ramadan considered one of the most spiritual times of the year for Muslims and signifies the time during which the Qur’an, the main religious text of Islam, was revealed.
When is Ramadan?
In the UK, Ramadan is expected to start on the evening of 10th March and end on the evening of the 8th April.
Please keep in mind that the Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon, also known as “the lunar cycle.” This means that the exact start and end date of Ramadan can vary according to the sighting of the moon and where your organisation is based.
You can use the Adhan Ramadan Calendar to check when Ramadan starts and ends, but make sure you select the right location for your organisation as the start time will vary across different countries and locations.
Why do Muslims take part in Ramadan?
Muslims take part in Ramadan for many reasons, but these are the main three:
- It allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith and come closer to God.
- Muslims believe it is the month during which the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) over 1400 years ago. Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims, and it is considered that the reward of good deeds during this month are multiplied several fold.
- Fasting between dawn and sunset during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, which means it is an important part of practicing the religion (However, Muslims who are exempt from fasting can donate money to charity instead).
Here are a few quick Ramadan facts to know:
- If you would like to share well wishes with your colleagues on Ramadan, you can say “Ramadan Mubarak”, which means “Have a blessed Ramadan.”
- After sunset, many Muslims will break their fast with a date and glass of water, this is called “Iftar.”
- Some organisations will host a charity Iftar for different causes and to bring communities together.
- There are approximately 3.9 million Muslims living in the UK according to the latest Census. Most Muslims will be participating in Ramadan unless they have a long-term health condition, are travelling long distances, are pregnant, are on their monthly cycle, or breastfeeding. Children and the elderly are also exempt from fasting.
- Eid-ul-Fitr is the festival which marks the end of Ramadan. Like Ramadan, the exact timing of this event depends on the sighting of the moon.
How to support colleagues taking part in Ramadan in the workplace
There are many ways to commemorate Ramadan at work, including:
- Booking Islam in the Workplace training to learn how to make the workplace more inclusive of our Muslim colleagues.
- Downloading our Ramadan factsheet to learn more about how you can support your Muslim colleagues during this time.
- Downloading our Islam factsheet to learn more about Islam and how to make the workplace inclusive to those who practice the religion.
- Share our faith, religion and belief at work podcast with your inclusion network to learn more about the experiences of your religious colleagues.
- Read our blog on how to support Muslims at work during Ramadan.
- Talking with your Muslim colleagues at work to learn about Ramadan and how they take part because each Muslim will have a unique experience of the month.
If you’re a member and need more support with celebrating Ramadan, contact your account manager. If you’re not yet a member, get in touch today to see how we can help.