Ramadan Etiquette in the Office

by Evil HR Lady on April 22, 2020

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan runs from April 23 to May 23 in 2020, which means that you may have co-workers who aren’t eating or drinking between sun up and sundown. Considering the days are quite long in the northern hemisphere this seems like it could be a long and miserable day. How should you act?

To be honest, I had no idea. I’ve traveled a bit in the Middle East, but never over Ramadan, and my Muslim co-workers have been few and far between. So, I asked an expert: Nehad (Neesy) Mohanna. Mohanna is an American-Egyptian Muslim who spent 20 years as an engineer in the corporate world, working in the US and Egypt, and now owns her own health and wellness business in Switzerland.

If You Don’t Know What to Do or Say, Just Ask!

“I don’t know any Muslim who isn’t happy to talk about Ramadan. Even my 11-year-old, who is fasting, is happy to answer questions!” Mohanna says she and other Muslims recognize that the whole idea of fasting for a month is completely foreign to non-Muslims, but asking questions isn’t rude. She appreciates the questions.

To read more, click here: Ramadan Etiquette in the Office

This ran two years ago, but the etiquette hasn’t changed!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

MariaRose April 23, 2020 at 1:55 am

As with anyone’s religious practices, work doesn’t affect the person’s performance or interactions. I have worked with many different types of people with multiple religious backgrounds and the only thing I have seen to be needed is slight schedule changes to accommodate. In the case of Ramadan, the fast is from sunup to sundown–big early breakfast and big night dinner. At the end of the 30 days, there a big celebration which should be an allowed requested day off, like which is given for all other religious holidays. The whole company doesn’t have to close down operations to accommodate anyone’s religious holiday unless that specific day happens to be a federal holiday.

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BethRA April 24, 2020 at 8:02 pm

I suspect avoiding the “jumping off ladders” teambuilding will be a leeeetle bit easier this year 😀

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