You may have heard buzz that we are just a few days away from the start of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan which is set to begin on May 6, 2019 and end on June 5, 2019. The start of the Holy Month depends on the sighting of the new moon as muslims observe a lunar calendar. An estimated 1.6 to 1.8 billion muslims will greet the holy month in a few short days and begin observing 30 days of fasting and other religious practices.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It was during this month that the Quran or Koran - the holy book of Islam - was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) by Allah (God).
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast, abstain from pleasures from dawn to dusk and pray to become closer to God. The month of Ramadan is a reminder for Muslims to exercise self-discipline, be mindful of the rights of others and gain sympathy with those who are poor and go hungry.
With more muslims entering the workforce we have a growing representation of muslims in the workplace heightening the need for "Sensitivity Training" for managers as well as fellow employees. Sensitivity Training and awareness will help each employee feel more comfortable at work. It will help non-muslim employees understand why their Muslim counterpart may need to take a couple breaks during the day inside and outside of Ramadan as muslims pray 5 times a day, two prayers fall within their working hours Dhuhr at Mid-day and Asr at Mid-Afternoon.
The Muslim employee may need to take off a few days for the end of Ramadan celebration Eid Al Fitr. This may come at an inconvenient time for the employers business. This can be cause for heightened anxiety for the muslim employee as he or she may be forced to choose Faith over Work or Work over Faith. The employee is more likely to opt for the former but without an understanding management/support system at work the employee may find themselves looking for a job.