There is a thing called Ramadan Etiquettes.
It’s Ramadan now and you are probably seeing some changes in your office environment.
Some of your Muslims colleagues might seem a little low on their natural energy level, maybe a bit calm and silent.
If you don’t know about Ramadan yet, you should probably go through this article. It might be helpful for you maintaining a balanced working environment in your office.
What is Ramadan?
So, what is Ramadan and why has everything changed in this month?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar—Hijri calendar.
Muslims consider this month extremely holy and adhere to spiritual acts. Among these acts, they prohibit themselves from eating drinking anything from sunrise till sundown.
To them, it’s the month of self-preservation and attaining a deeper level of spiritual connection to God.
Why do they do this?
They try to feel empathy for the less fortunate in our society.
Moreover, according to their religion, the Holy Book Quran was bestowed upon Prophet Muhammad (SAAW) this month. So, Muslims all over the world adhere to prayers and recite the Quran every day. They devote themselves fully to God, the only being.
So, apart from the month-long prayers, they fast all day long. During the fast, they don’t even drink a drop of water!
This is where the Ramadan etiquettes apply. For all non-Muslims, it is important to respect their religion.
After the month of Ramadan, they break their fasts and celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the biggest religious festival among Muslims.
Impact of Ramadan in Offices and How Should We Practice Ramadan Etiquettes
But that doesn’t mean they stop their daily activities.
They still maintain their work life.
If you are living in a multicultural country like Singapore, then it’s quite natural that you have Muslim co-workers in your office.
The daily life of fasting Muslims starts off quite early.
They have a meal before sunrise called Sahri. They might have energy in the morning but soon the energy level starts falling.
They would feel meek and feeble in the afternoon. In many offices, the Muslims even start and finish their office early so that they could end their fast with their families.
As, a modern open-minded human being, you should pay respect to their customs and rituals. It brings on not just harmony in the offices, but also promote teamwork through mutual understanding and respect.
It would seem really harsh if you put tons of work-load on someone who hasn’t eaten or drunk anything. It’s quite normal that they would have lower stamina.
Ramadan etiquettes are necessary during this religious times.
So, all the employees should plan up the whole month and decide how they are going to meet the month’s target considering the situation.
Some Good Practices of Ramadan Etiquettes
- Be understanding. It’s just natural that they would be weak during fast. Don’t push them to work.
- Workaround the situation. If you have the option, try to give tasks that require physical stamina to personnel believing in a different religion.
- Don’t judge or mock their rituals. It’s the worst thing you could do to someone who has a deep belief.
- Don’t disturb them during the breaks. They usually do prayers during break to keep their resolves strong.
- Meetings in the mornings. Try to hold meetings in the early hours when they have considerably more energy.
- Be helpful. Ask them if they could use a helping hand.
- Don’t be disrespectful. It’s really unwise to drink or eat food in front of them.
- Don’t ask why. If you see one of your Muslim colleagues not fasting, don’t ask them why. There could be a number of reasons behind it. There are exceptions according to their religion but might feel offended if you asked them to justify.
- Join with them in the Iftaar, the fast-breaking. They would be really happy.
- If they want to take a day off, be considerate. There might be a good reason for that.
- Let them do their prayers. If they want to attend to their prayers during their breaks or take a 5-minutes break for it, don’t stop them. They are bound to say their prayers five times a day.
Ramadan is the holiest month among the Muslim community.
As we are a multicultural society, let us all be respectful towards all religions and their rituals to create a conducive, harmonious working environment.
As the Managing Partner & Co-Founder within Hatch Asia, Anirudh co-leads the operations across Southeast Asia and works with clients to identify, assess and integrate both senior and emerging leaders within Southeast Asia, focusing on industries such as Professional Services, Technology, FMCG, Conglomerates, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Logistics, Shipping & Family Businesses.
Anirudh has substantial experience working with organizations across multiple industries on assignments such as identifying high performing and high potential talent across Asia, building and rolling out global talent acquisition strategies, crafting out succession strategies and working with clients across the talent lifecycle. He also has experience in the implementation of successful talent management strategies that have demonstrated strong ROI for clients across APAC, MENA and the US and continues to work in partnership with leaders to identify high potential talent, structure effective promotion and new leader selection assessments.
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