The Co-Worker Guide to Ramadan


Ramadan Kareem to all my Muslim readers!

If you’re participating this month and keep getting questions from coworkers and non-Muslim friends about Ramadan like I have been you’re probably exhausted from explaining it over and over again. Not to mention we are already lacking water so all the extra talking isn’t going to help.

This morning I took it upon myself to draft up the following in a Google Doc and shared it with my colleagues. I thought it was a super quick read and added a little humor to show that I am not starving, just humbled. You can totally share it with your network, just please remember to give credit where credit is due, writers strongly dislike their content being taken.

Hello Work Friends!

As many of you already know, I am participating in the holy month of Ramadan by fasting from June 6 – July 6. I wanted to share a little info with you all so you can get a little glimpse into why/how I do this!

What is Ramadan?

  • Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar which is based on the phases of the moon. Since the calendar is 354 days (11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar) Ramadan moves up every year. So, that’s why it’s not always in the winter when the days are shortest. #boohoo
  • Muslims (1.6 Billion of us) all around the world will be fasting the entire month. In America we fast ~16 hours.
  • Ramadan is the month that we believe God revealed the Quran (our holy scripture) to Mohamed (Muslims believe he was a prophet). Making this month holy and extra special. Muslims believe during this time the gates of heaven are open and the devil is chained up.
  • At the end of Ramadan there is a 3 day celebration or “feast” called Eid Al Fitr. Families go to the mosque, perform prayer, give gifts to one another and celebrate with lots of delicious food!

What is fasting?

  • Abstaining from: Food, Drink (yes, even whudder ie: water), smoking, medication, gossip, swearing, war (proof that terrorists aren’t real Muslims) and sex from sunrise to sunset: ~4:15am to 8:30pm here in California.
  • Muslims wake up prior to sunrise (around ~3:40am) to eat a meal called: suhoor that can sustain them until sundown which is ~8:30pm when they have another, larger meal called: iftar.
  • There are of course exceptions:
    • If you are traveling, pregnant, nursing or ill ie: diabetic, you are excused from fasting. You can either make up the days you missed later in the year or feed one poor person for every day you didn’t fast. (That’s about $7-$10 a day).
  • Fasting is not just about abstaining from all these things, it’s a time for Muslims to perform extra prayer, give charity and become more spiritual and connected to God.

Okay, you get what it is now, the real question is: why?

  • Because God told us to.
  • Also, because it is one of the five pillars of Islam: Faith, Prayer, (5X a day), Fasting, Charity and Pilgrimage.
  • Because sustaining from food/drinking helps Muslims feel humble.
  • It causes Muslims to become more patient, nothing like not eating for 16 hours a day to help you become a patient person!
  • Contrary to common belief Muslims actually look forward to this month because we believe that our prayers will be answered and that it will cause us to become more spiritual. It’s also a time to be around family and friends. Muslims have a “celebration” every night to break fast!

Can I do anything?

  • You can ask me as many questions as you want, I would rather provide real insight or more info on Ramadan than have you wondering why I am so sluggish all day.
  • You can absolutely eat in front of me, I will not be offended, trust me, I have been doing this since I was 8!
  • If I faint from exhaustion or hunger feed me a chocolate chip cookie. Or call 911.

I hope this was informative/helpful, as always please feel free to ask me any questions!