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  • Hallie Moberg Brauer

Supporting Muslim Team Members celebrating Ramadan and Eid

May 10 ,2021

Hallie Moberg Brauer

Associate Consultant

ADR Consulting Group LLC.

As the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close  in the evening of Wednesday, May 12, you may want to be sure to wish your Muslim colleagues “Eid Mubarak!” To mark the end of a month of fasting during Ramadan. But what exactly is Ramadan? How do you support your colleagues who fast during this month, as well as support the celebration at the end of the month? Here are just a few insights.

What is Ramadan? 

The word Ramadan itself is simply the name of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is considered the holiest of the months. Many Muslims observe this holy month by fasting from sunrise to sunset each day. In an effort to dedicate themselves to God over the course of the month, Muslims fast, and often spend their evenings in prayer before the fast is broken. The fast is broken each day with a meal called iftar. 

How can your organization support those observing Ramadan?

There are many small ways to support employees and colleagues during the month of Ramadan- the first  is to be aware that it is happening, and make small changes to practices in the workplace to be respectful.  Avoid scheduling lunch meetings during this month, as well as having mandatory dinner  and drink engagements  with clients should be avoided. If you are an organization where employees may be on shift when it’s time to break the fast, be sure there is time for a break, and adequate time to have their iftar.

Other tips include allowing flexible breaks in the afternoon as those fasting may need to rest, or ensuring that employees know they can work out flexible schedules with their supervisors on an as needed basis. Flexibility and communication are key in supporting those celebrating Ramadan, and ensuring that the policies or options for these arrangements are well known throughout your organization goes a long way towards making all feel like their needs can and will be met.

What is Eid? 

Eid al Fitr is the celebration of the breaking of the month of fasting of Ramadan. It is celebrated first with a day of prayer, and then a three day celebration with family and friends. It is a holiday of gratitude. In some families gifts may be exchanged and many will visit the graves of loved ones they have lost in the past.

How can your organization support those celebrating Eid?

One of the best ways to support employees celebrating Eid is to have an inclusive and flexible policy around paid time off (PTO). Ramadan and Eid fall on different dates each calendar year, and for employees to know that they can have PTO to celebrate with their families is important. This is good inclusive practice in general, but the benefits will be felt for those who want to celebrate with family and friends. Finally, as an organization, it’s a great idea to include a piece about Ramadan and Eid al Fitr in your monthly newsletter, or send a company wide email to mark the celebration. Honoring those celebrating on social media, or in a public way goes a long way towards ensuring they feel celebrated and appreciated for who they are, by your organization. 

Are you interested in learning more about the best, most inclusive HR practices? Let ADR consulting help you design them! And Eid Mubarak to those celebrating this week!


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