In The Name Of God The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

A Ramadan guide for non-Muslims

by Asma Uddin and Shazia Kamal
Source: Washington Post

Filed under: Featured,Islam,Lifestyle,Ramadan,Virtue |

In the next few weeks, you may come into work and find your co-worker taking a power nap at 9:30am. At break time, you’ll notice she is missing in the discussion about Harry Potter over at the water cooler. At the staff meeting, you will be shocked when she is offered coffee and cookies and refuses ! By lunch time, your concern about her missing at the water cooler compels you to investigate the situation.

Then you remember what she had mentioned last week over a delicious Sushi lunch. Flooded with relief, you go up to her desk, and proclaim with much gusto, “Ramadan Mubarak (Moo-baa-rak)!” Ramadan’s Blessings to you!

The month of Ramadan is a happy occasion; it is the month that the Muslim holy book, the Koran, was revealed to our Prophet Muhammad. Muslims are called by their religion to celebrate the month by coming together in worship, fasting each day for thirty days from dawn until sunset.

While this may seem like a tremendous feat, consider this: Fasting while working is an even greater endeavor. Make it a little easier on your Muslim colleague by following a couple of simple rules:

The Greeting

The next time you find yourself in line for the copier with your Muslim colleague, feel free to wish him or her “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem” or simply “Happy Ramadan.” We absolutely love it when people acknowledge Ramadan and are happy about it.

Positive Reinforcement

Keep in mind that we’re fasting voluntarily and, actually, pretty joyously (despite the tired, sad look on our face). We’re not forced to fast. In fact, we wait for this month the whole year, so you don’t have to feel sorry for us. We are not trying to be rescued (other than by that ticking clock taking us closer to sunset!).

The Lunch Meeting

Most of us understand that life goes on, and so do lunch meetings, and if we are participating in them while fasting, don’t worry about eating in front of us. This is just part of the test. We appreciate your acknowledging our fast, but don’t feel the need to discuss it every time you show up in our line of sight holding food.

Just try not to eat smelly foods. . . and please ignore our stomach when it growls at your sandwich.

No Water

It’s true — we can’t drink water either. Again, this is part of the Ramadan test and our exercise of spiritual discipline. This is probably why you may not find your friend at the water cooler. Try switching the break time conversation to another location in the office. You should probably also let them skip their turn for the coffee run this time.


While God may tell us that the breath of the one fasting is like “fragrant musk” to Him, we know that you might not experience the same. Understand why we’re standing a good foot away from you when speaking or simply using sign language to communicate.

Iftar Dinner

Consider holding a Ramadan Iftar dinner . Iftar is the Arabic word for the meal served at sunset when we break the fast (it’s literally our ‘breakfast’). This will be a nice gesture for Muslim coworkers and will give others the opportunity to learn about and partake in Ramadan festivities. Although there is no specific type of meal designated for iftars, it is is tradition to break the fast with a sweet and refreshing date before moving to a full-on dinner

Fasting is not an excuse

Although energy levels might be low, the point of fasting is not to slack off from our other duties and responsibilities. We believe that we are rewarded for continuing to work and produce during our fasts. Fasting is not a reason to push meetings, clear schedules, or take a lighter load on projects.

That said – we don’t mind if you help work in a nap time for us!

Ramadan is a time for community and charity. There are iftar dinners held at mosques every night (you are welcome to join the fun – even if you’re not fasting!) and night time prayer vigils throughout the month. We give charity in abundance and make an extra effort to partake in community service. Throughout it all, we maintain an ambiance of joy and gratitude for all that God has blessed us with, and reflect on those in this world who have been given much less. This is a time for all of us–not just Muslims–to renew our spiritual intentions, increase our knowledge, and change ourselves for the better.

lifeqo 5pts

Ramadhaan Al-Mubarak to all  Muslim brothers  and our brothers in humanity across the globe.

Fiqi Hassan
Fiqi Hassan 5pts

Sister before its too late accept Islam. And Allah make you ez, truly to become Islam its very expensive n sorry my language don't wait. N I make dua for you may Allah Subhanuhu Wa Taalaa shower you his blessing n guide. Its ez all you have to do take the Shahada.

Gilibert Alex
Gilibert Alex 5pts

mira Grosera Jaqueline L. Martínez, tu que me molestas todo el día :) :D

picking up the slack
picking up the slack 5pts

I work in a dental office. Ramadan means we don't see some people for routine services. They can't swallow their spit and it is a huge pain for us. We have had to have some Dentists pick up the slack of the Muslim DDS's because they come in later and have to do their prayers. I have asked some Muslims about breaking the fast. They basically gorge themselves late at night I can't imagine that this way of breaking the fast and no water all day is healthy for anyone. 

Zainab Khan
Zainab Khan 5pts

Who is being selfish Plz read the complete post and comments, it's about not imposing ur belief nothing to do with selfishness or selflessness Such an out of context word and why attack personally We are discussing not attacking

Fatun Moha
Fatun Moha 5pts

Stop being so selfish...Allah tells us to inveit ppl to Islam...if they refuse then uhave done ur tel them..

Drsyed Hussain Ali
Drsyed Hussain Ali 5pts

Islam is not for intrst.Its for those who blve in Almighty Allah.

Dirtysalt 5pts

Lovely post. Thank you for enlightening me. I shall be wishing all my Muslim neighbours "Ramadan Mubarak" after work today!

Rohan Hussain
Rohan Hussain 5pts

Bro... don't confuse yourself into thinking that Islam and Muslims are the same thing... Muslims today are no way near Islam... Read about "Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)"... YOu'll know what Islam is...

Farzana Begum IamGoku
Farzana Begum IamGoku 5pts

Lisha Claire Elias this explains Ramadan since I'm not very good at explaining it...or anything hahah \U0001f605

Uredi Abedi
Uredi Abedi 5pts

I'm muslim and proid that Ramadhan is going to start soon. Jazak'Allah.

Zainab Khan
Zainab Khan 5pts

And Mabrook for your daughter Ramadan Mubarak to everyone

Zainab Khan
Zainab Khan 5pts

Of course it helps Prophet Mohammed PBUH used to respect his Jewish and Christian friend and neighbors What I really don't understand is Why everyone is talking out of context All I said is Let's not impose ourselves Let us be a good example of Islam so people would to know what we are following Why everyone is talking here about respect and being good ?

Mahaa Malikah Blount
Mahaa Malikah Blount 5pts

My daughter learned about Islam by being invited to iftar by our muslim neighbor's, that year after Ramadan she took her Shahada. I was already muslim taking my Shahada 2 years before her. This is a good way to show people a part of our religion. Part of the beauty of Islam. Yes only allah can guide us to the straight path but being kind to our neighbors and friends helps.

Najeeb Rao
Najeeb Rao 5pts

Sis u better join the most modern religion..becoz it never changes.. welcome to the religion of independence and secured women rights..

Amel Hajar
Amel Hajar 5pts

i'm from algeria i have many ideas about islam if u want to ask me about some think i'm here .But I'll answer you after Ramadan ان شاء الله

Zainab Khan
Zainab Khan 5pts

Yes spread the Dean by being an example of Islam

Loren Gilson
Loren Gilson 5pts

alhamdulilah what does it mean ? sorry I really don't know

Muslimgirl 5pts

Thanks to Allah/ Praise to Allah :)

Amir Arya
Amir Arya 5pts

Happy Ramzan to u nd ur family members from Amir arya(student congress)......

SarraBark 5pts

Go to your local masjid Insha'Allah

Zahraa Mohammed Fouad
Zahraa Mohammed Fouad 5pts

if you like you can ask me and may ALLAH aid me in telling you as much as i know

Maureen Connolly
Maureen Connolly 5pts

Thank you Sheree & Aneel. That is very helpful and informative.

Rosemina Amdan
Rosemina Amdan 5pts

Everyone in this world have different point of views. So if there's ppl (non-muslim) love to know more about islam and in fact join to fast on the fasting month of ramadhan , is a good sign then.....

Ndiefe Alex
Ndiefe Alex 5pts

التمويل التجارية غير متوفر !! 0 ٪ تمويل الأعمال المستثمرين العقاريين والشركات الصغيرة - ما يصل إلى 200،000 $ - لا ضمانات - لا رسوم مقدما - الموافقة 24/48 ساعة - لا المالية

Analise Spiteri
Analise Spiteri 5pts

Loved reading this. Happy Ramadan my dear friend! And thank you for being such a wonderful person. I truly look up to you xxxxx

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