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An Open Letter to Employers & Colleagues: Things I Wish I Told Them Decades Ago

I am fasting for Ramadan, and there are a few things I would like my employer and colleagues to know.

Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims, where we fast from dawn until dusk, abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs. It is a time of spiritual reflection, self-discipline, and acts of kindness.

As a Muslim, observing Ramadan is a fundamental aspect of my faith. It is a time for me to deepen my connection with God, seek forgiveness, and show compassion toward others. However, as much as I value this holy month, I also understand that it can create certain challenges in the workplace.

For instance, fasting for long hours can be physically demanding and may lead to fatigue or decreased productivity. It is also possible that I may need to take some time off for prayer or to break my fast at sunset. I may prefer to work during the day instead of in the evening. Therefore, I would like to request your understanding and support during this month.

As an employer, you can help by offering flexible work arrangements, such as adjusting my schedule or workload to accommodate my fasting schedule. This could include allowing me to work from home, providing prayer space, or allowing me to take breaks as needed. In addition, it would be helpful to avoid scheduling important meetings, events, or celebrations during times when I may need to break my fast or attend prayers.

To my colleagues, I would like to ask for your respect and understanding. Fasting can be challenging sometimes, and it is important for me to feel supported during this time. It would be greatly appreciated if you could avoid asking me to join you for lunch or events after work. I kindly request that you don't take it personally if I am not speaking much. I am conserving my energy during my fast and will only speak when necessary. In addition to abstaining from food and water, I am also avoiding anything that may contaminate my spirit or hinder my worship. I choose not to engage in meaningless conversations or activities, and I respectfully request that you refrain from backbiting or disrespecting others in my presence.

Additionally, please refrain from making insensitive comments or jokes about fasting or Ramadan.

I believe that by working together and showing mutual respect, we can create a positive and inclusive workplace culture. Ramadan is not only a time for personal reflection but also a time for building community and strengthening relationships. I am grateful for your understanding and support, and I look forward to working and adding value during this special month.


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