As a sacred month for Muslims of the Islamic faith, being aware of Ramadan practices and how they may affect employees in the workplace and during work hours is important to building an inclusive and supportive work environment.
As a Muslim, I was excited to share with my TIAO teammates what Ramadan is and why it’s significant, as it’s a special time for Muslims to spiritually grow closer to Allah (name of God in Islam) and seek forgiveness, with fasting (Sawm) from sunrise to sunset every day in this Islamic month, as well as partaking in additional prayers (Taraweeh) and charity (Zakat). I was happy to know my teammates were interested in learning about a topic that is very important to me and appreciated being given a platform to discuss it. I prepared a Ramadan Crash Course for my team to talk about this important month, which can be viewed here for more information.
While employers don’t need to become experts on the subject, understanding what Ramadan is and how it’s observed is a great place to start learning. Opening the line of communication is also an opportunity to gain insight for your specific team; inviting your Muslim employees to share about Ramadan and what ways you and your team can support them demonstrates open-mindedness and respect. I highly encourage employers and employees alike to learn more about Ramadan and other religious practices, as knowledge and education are crucial o navigating an increasingly diverse workplace.