Ramadan 2023 will begin the evening of Thursday 23 March. The start of Ramadan fluctuates each year because the lunar Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon.

Every year, Muslims around the world anticipate the sighting of the new crescent moon that signifies the official first day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the most sacred month in Islamic culture.

During Ramadan, Muslims aim to grow spiritually and build stronger relationships with Allah (swt). They do this by praying and reciting the Quran, and making their actions intentional and selfless.

Throughout the month, fasting between sunrise and sunset is obligatory for all Muslims, except for the ill, pregnant, traveling, elderly, or menstruating. Days missed fasting can be made up throughout the rest of the year.

You can exchange Ramadan greetings by saying “Ramadan Kareem,” which translates into “Have a generous Ramadan,” or “Ramadan Mubarak,” which roughly translates into “Happy Ramadan.”

Breaking the fast

Meals are opportunities for Muslims to gather with others in the community and break their fast together. Pre-dawn breakfast, or “suhoor”, usually occurs at 04:00, before the first prayer of the day, “fajr”.

The evening meal, “iftaar”, can begin once the sunset prayer, “Maghreb”, is finished —normally around 19:30. Since the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) broke his fast with dates and a glass of water, Muslims eat dates at both suhoor and iftaar.

As a line manager, if you know any of your team members are observing Ramadan and fasting, you should discuss any additional needs or support they might need during this religious and important period. Be mindful of offering food and drinks to fasting colleagues and avoid making your Muslim colleagues attend mandatory lunches or outings during this period.

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