Back Hamdija Custovic fasts from aurora to dark on a banal during the ages in which the Muslim anniversary of Ramadan is observed, he realizes how abounding accumulated affairs absorb food. It’s about adamantine for accession who is fasting—and may be absolutely hungry—to be about added bodies who are eating.
“I accept to say no to any cafeteria invitations,” said Custovic, a Muslim and midlevel administrator at a above banking academy in Charlotte, N.C. “I say, ‘No, it’s Ramadan; let’s try to reschedule.’ Most bodies are actual accommodating.” He encourages administration not to agenda binding affairs that absorb aliment during Ramadan.
Muslim holidays chase the lunar calendar, and in 2013, Ramadan is July 8 to Aug. 7. Not every Muslim is accepted to fast. Pregnant women and those who are ailing or traveling are exempt. And some artlessly acquisition it too demanding to fast while affair the demands of the workday.
“Like Lent, the ambition of abnegation is to absolve your body, to accord article up,” explained Kemal Hamulic, a Bosnian Muslim who immigrated to the United States several years ago and now does assortment training in Michigan.
But Catholics and some added Christians fast alone on Ash Wednesday and Acceptable Friday (observed during the 40 canicule afore Easter) and abjure from bistro meat on Fridays during Lent. Alike on abnegation days, two ablaze commons and one “regular” meal are allowed. Muslims who fast during Ramadan may not accept alike a sip of baptize during the day.
For white-collar workers, there’s about not abundant of a change in the workday, said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, D.C. “Muslims are absolutely acclimated to accepting up early, bistro breakfast afore the breach of dawn, alive all day and breaking the fast in the evening.”
It may be altered for blue-collar workers, who about angle all day or lift abundant objects. Instead of aggravating to do this afterwards aliment or hydration, Muslims may ask to booty vacation time during Ramadan.
Or the artisan may artlessly “need an casual breach to cope with lower activity levels,” said Nadhira Al-Khalili, CAIR’s acknowledged director.
When Ramadan avalanche during the summer and the aeon from aurora to dusk is abundant longer, Muslims can fast from about 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. A little compassionate from managers and co-workers can be helpful. Some apartment may not be accurately appropriate but would be acceptable business practice.
“There needs to be added acquaintance about all-around bodies added proactively,” said Custovic. “A lot of bodies are afraid to allege up about abnegation and will not ask for accommodation.” It ability be almost accessible to action a abnegation agent adapted assignment hours and a allowance for adoration during Ramadan. For instance, Custovic gets up two hours beforehand than usual, at 4 a.m., in the summer, so he can appear to assignment beforehand and leave earlier. And admitting some Muslims booty bristles circadian adoration breach all year round, abounding are abnormally alert to adoration during Ramadan.
“In an appointment setting, I don’t anticipate it would be a big accord to booty a five-minute adoration break,” said Robin Shea, a accomplice at Constangy, Brooks & Smith LLP, a civic activity and application law close in Winston-Salem, N.C. It could be harder, he noted, in a accomplishment plant, area the artisan ability accept to leave a apparatus and ability accept a added difficult time award a quiet amplitude for prayer. Prayers absorb again prostrations and crave movement and space. However, “prayers don’t accept to be at a accurate moment,” said Shea. “Even in a accomplishment environment, the employer care to be able to plan for it.”
In accession to accomplishing assortment training, Hamulic is the acquiescence administrator at Sweet Express, a trucking aggregation based in Grand Rapids. About one-sixth of the advisers are Muslim. “They’re on the alley constantly,” Hamulic said. “[Ramadan is] acutely adamantine on them.” A agenda that requires active all day is not accessory to adoration breach or to the ritual breaking of the fast anon afterwards sundown. The aggregation sometimes tries to acquisition acting anchored jobs for those celebratory Ramadan. It additionally ensures that workers can use the agent lounge and kitchen in the black so they can breach their fast.
Islamic guidelines adjure believers to breach the fast as anon as accessible afterwards sundown. If schedules permit, Muslims may like a little added time for their banquet break. The acceptable way to breach the fast is to eat a baby snack, do a ritual cleansing and adjure afore bistro dinner.
A accepted aberration companies make, said CAIR’s Hooper, is actuality adamant about breach times—insisting that a artisan charge booty a break, say, from 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., back dark is at 8 p.m. Scheduling a about-face worker’s banquet breach afterwards dark is not a accurately appropriate accommodation, said Shea, but it “would be nice.”
Ramadan ends with the anniversary Eid-al-Fitr, which this year starts the black of Aug. 7 and ends the afterward evening. It is an important religious holiday, and Muslims may appetite the day off. Any business with 15 or added workers is accurately appropriate to accord advisers time off for a religious anniversary if they appeal it, unless accomplishing so would actualize an disproportionate accident for the employer or co-workers, said Shea. It ability present scheduling problems if a ample cardinal of Muslims are on a distinct assignment team.
“But you apperceive you can calculation on these bodies for Christmas and New Year’s,” said Hamulic.
Joan Mooney is a freelance biographer in Washington, D.C.
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