✨ Ramadan Mubarak! ✨
We are so thankful that this blessed month is upon us and thrilled to have the Hachette Muslim Employee Network, chaired by Tanjiah Islam and Zakirah Alam, on the blog today!
MVP and the Hachette Muslim Employee Network have teamed up to bring you a list of Ramadan FAQs; questions that Muslims are asked A LOT during this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, most of us enjoy talking about what Islam means to us — it’s such a big part of who we are, after all. But I, for one, know that when I’ve been fasting for 15hrs+ and my mouth is as dry as the Sahara, I’d rather not waste my last morsel of energy answering yet another ‘not even water?’/’but aren’t you hungry?’/’what’s Ramadan again?’
YOU CAN’T EAT ANYTHING? Nope, we can’t eat or drink anything until Iftar (breaking of the fast).
NOT EVEN WATER? Yep, not even water. It sounds difficult, but Muslims have done it every year for around 1,400 years!
IS IT DIFFICULT? Some days are more difficult than others, for sure, but then there are days where the hours fly by. It takes some getting used to, but again, we do this every year. Usually the first ten days are the most challenging — and your stomach is at its most vocal — but it does get easier.
DO YOU ENJOY IT? Yes! Most Muslims look forward to Ramadan every year, as it’s a month that prioritises God, gratitude, the act of giving and self-reflection, and spending time with family and loved ones.
CAN I EAT IN FRONT OF YOU? Yes! Please don’t feel awkward or guilty about eating around us. You’re not being offensive or insensitive – we are choosing to fast! Just behave as you normally would, but be understanding if someone wants to skip a lunch date. Also, it’s okay if you mention or offer food, we won’t burst into flames! Seriously, we’re pretty chill about it.
HOW CAN YOU SURVIVE WITHOUT EATING FOR 30 DAYS? We don’t fast for 30 whole days straight – we just limit the hours we do eat each day. Think of it as intermittent fasting. Except from sunrise until sunset, every day for a month.
I THOUGHT YOU WERE FASTING THIS ENTIRE MONTH, WHY ARE YOU EATING TODAY? Is this really how you want to find out that a colleague is on their period? Because that may be the answer! There are several reasons why someone might not be fasting, including personal health reasons, which they might not feel comfortable disclosing, so please do be considerate and sensitive about this topic.
IS EID THE EQUIVALENT OF CHRISTMAS? WHY DO YOU GET TWO? We gather with loved ones, dress up, exchange presents and eat far too much, so it is similar to Christmas! Muslims celebrate two Eids because each one marks a different occasion in the Islamic calendar; the first Eid (Eid ul-Fitr) happens after Ramadan to celebrate the closing of the blessed month, whereas the second Eid (Eid ul-Adha) marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah (Mecca).
HOW DO YOU WISH SOMEONE A HAPPY RAMADAN OR EID? If you wish to greet your Muslim colleagues, you can say ‘Ramadan Kareem’, which means have a blessed Ramadan. And at the end of the month, on Eid, you can wish them ‘Eid Mubarak’, which means have a blessed festival! Or you could just say ‘happy Ramadan/Eid’, I’m sure they’d be incredibly grateful either way.
If you would like to learn more about how you can support your colleagues/employees during the month of Ramadan, check out these handy tips shared on Twitter by the Hachette Muslim Employee Network — and don’t forget to give them a follow.
And last but not least, have a wonderful and blessed Ramadan, insha’Allah.