Top 5 Ways to Show Support to Your Colleagues Who are Fasting

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar which is widely observed by billions of Muslims worldwide. The start of Ramadan differs yearly depending on the moon cycle. This year (2023), Ramadan starts on 22 March and ends on April 21. During this month, Muslims will abstain from drinking and eating and refrain from unpleasant habits such as swearing, smoking, gambling and gossiping and instead use this month as a time of spiritual reflection. Muslims will wake up before dawn for their sahoor meal and will only break fast when the sun sets, this can last anywhere between 11 to 19 hours depending on the location in the world. In Singapore, it lasts for around 14 hours. Especially for Muslim employees that observe Ramadan, this comes with long working hours which can be challenging. As such, here are some ways you can support your fasting colleagues.

1. Be understanding and considerate.

Being understanding and considerate is the best starting point to show support to your colleagues who are observing Ramadan. For instance, colleagues who are fasting may be too lethargic and may lack the usual enthusiasm to mingle around as compared to non-fasting months. Therefore, it is important that as a colleague, you understand this change of behaviour, especially during the first 10 days of fasting, which is normally the hardest.

2. Refrain from getting your colleagues to do any strenuous tasks.

Productivity tends to be ideal in the morning. Since Muslims are not allowed to consume food and beverages, they are functioning on a lower level of energy than usual which will make it challenging for them to do strenuous labour. Instead of asking them to do such tasks, delegate heavier workload in the morning while tasks that are less physically and mentally taxing in the afternoon, as they may have lower energy and concentration levels later in the day.

3. When going out for lunch, don’t hesitate to invite them to lunch if you know that they are not fasting.

Not all Muslims are required to fast fully and this exemption is for pregnant ladies, women that are menstruating and those who are suffering any form of physical sickness. Feel free to always invite them for lunch but do remember that they may not be entirely comfortable eating out, so it is always nice to offer takeaway and have lunch in the office instead. If you are unsure if they are fasting or not, do not hesitate to ask them! Your questions are not offending anyone.

4. It is not offensive to eat or drink in front of your colleagues.

You might think that it is offensive to be eating or drinking in front of your colleagues who are fasting, but it is actually totally fine to do so! You do not have to be cautious about whipping out and devouring your food in front of them, believe it or not, Muslims have been trained since young to fast so they are practically accustomed to it. But if you still want to be wary, there is no harm in asking them!

5. Invite them for an iftar after work.

During Ramadan, most Muslims would break fast with their family. But of course, there is nothing wrong with asking them to break fast together after work. In fact, it is always a joy in breaking fast together with a large group. You would be surprised at how chaotic the dinner table will be! But remember, they do not have a lot of time to eat as they would want to head to tarawih prayers. So if you are planning to eat outside, do remember to choose a place which is located near a mosque. This will definitely be helpful for them as they do not have to rush for their prayers after the iftar. If you are hosting an iftar at your home, remember to serve halal dishes and include some dates. In case you are wondering what to have for your iftar get-together, All Things Delicious has got your back! Check out our Iftar Mini Buffet or even our Set Savers.