What is Ramadan?

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a time for spiritual reflection and self-improvement for 1.9 billion Muslims across the globe. The goal of Ramadan is to reconnect with God and become more God conscious.

We fast (as part of the Five Pillars) from dawn until sunset abstaining from food and drink. I start my day at 03:45 where I have a light breakfast taking on plenty of fluids to keep me well fuelled for the day ahead. I then have a few hours to sleep before I start my working day.

I break my fast at around 19:55 with dates, samosas, spring rolls, kebabs, onion bhajis, lamb/chicken biryani and even pasta or lasagne when my wife wants to mix it up. Which is why I’ll probably end up putting on weight during Ramadan!!

It helps Muslims empathise with billions of people around the world who are living in poverty and barely have enough to have one square meal a day. This in turn encourages Muslims to donate money to charity (which is another Pillar of Islam) and help the less fortunate. Those Muslims that have financial stability tend to donate a minimum of 2.5% of their wealth annually during Ramadan.

Furthermore, Ramadan is more than just fasting; Muslims try to get into good habits by avoiding: lying, swearing, backbiting etc. The idea is to take these good habits forward and apply them into our day-to-day life well after Ramadan finishes.


Did you know?

The dates of Ramadan changes every year by around 11 days. For example in 2021 Ramadan commenced on 12th April, whereas in 2022 it started on 1st April. This is because the Islamic calendar is Lunar, meaning each month begins with the new astronomical moon. Typically, each month is 29 or 30 days. Contrastingly, the Gregorian/Solar calendar (commonly followed in the west) has 30 or 31 days a month.

Doctors agree that fasting is extremely beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels and for other health benefits. Fasting is a means of purifying the body and is a natural detox.


How can your colleagues support you?

  • Check in on your colleagues that are fasting, they may not be themselves due to lack of water, food and even sleep.
  • Accommodate working hours/breaks to allow them to do their Zuhr prayer (roughly at 13:15). It only takes 10 minutes.
  • Feel free to eat in front of us, most Muslims do not mind and we do not expect you to change your natural behaviours for us.
  • Ask questions about Ramadan, most Muslims love talking about it!


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