In 2022, Ramadan will take place between the evening of Saturday 2 April and end on the evening of Sunday 1 May, followed by the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr.
A time for self-reflection and evaluation
The practice of fasting is an important part of Ramadan. This involves the complete abstinence from food, drink and smoking between dawn and sunset over the month during daylight hours. It’s also a time for self-reflection and evaluation.
In the UK this means up to 17 hours without food or water. The morning meal will be before dawn at around 5am with colleagues fasting until around 8-8:30pm. During Ramadan, there is an increased focus on prayers, God and charity, with Muslims giving thanks to Allah, while the fasting ritual allows them to understand the suffering of others.
Those observing the fast are encouraged to read the Quran and attend special nightly prayers that are held throughout the month.
All Muslims who have reached puberty are expected to fast during Ramadan, although there are some exceptions, including women who are menstruating or pregnant, and those suffering from illness.
How you can support your Muslim colleagues
The combination of long hours and warmer days can be challenging for many Muslims at work. Here are some ways you can support colleagues who are fasting during Ramadan:
- Ask colleagues if they will be observing Ramadan this year - some may be unable to take part due to medical reasons - and if there’s any particular ways you can support
- Some colleagues may wish to change shift times so they can break fast with loved ones
- Colleagues may also prefer to take a shorter lunch break
- Avoid holding compulsory working lunches or evening meetings
- It’s fine to eat and drink in front of your Muslim colleagues but do avoid offering any food and drink to them
You can access the latest Ramadan guidance and support on the NHS Employers website.
Read more about staying healthy during Ramadan