Three things you can do
Acknowledge that it is Ramadan
Say “Happy Ramadan”, “Ramadan Mubarak”, “Ramadan Karim”.
It is just like saying Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas as a greeting during thanksgiving and Christmas. 1.8 billion Muslims (24% of the total population) around the world observe the holy month of Ramadan. During this month, Muslims fast during the daylight hours and refrain from food or water. They engage in kind deeds, continue to be charitable, and reflect on everything they are thankful for. They focus on becoming the best version of themselves. It’s possible that many of your friends, customers, clients and neighbors are Muslim and are observing the month of Ramadan as well.
Hearing you say “Happy Ramadan” or “Ramadan Mubarak” or Kareem is sure to put a smile on their face that their faith and values are being acknowledged.
(especially if you are an employer, colleague or in community with folks who are fasting)
Make a private space available for praying, don’t plan office lunches or lunch and learns, or ask them to perform physically exhausting tasks.
The month of Ramadan follows the progression of the moon from one new moon to the next. Muslims who are observing the fast, rise before dawn to pray and eat food. They pray several times a day. They do not eat or drink anything until sun down. Following prayers, they break this fast each day with a dinner, also known as iftar.
Bonus points: Since a few of the prayer times may fall in the middle of the work day, letting your employee know that they can use a private office space for praying or resting is a great idea.
(especially if you are an employer, business owner, a community organization)
Say “Eid Mubarak” Put a sign that says Eid Mubarak on your door/window.
It is just like saying Happy Thanksgiving or Merry Christmas. What it says to your employee, customer, students, clients and constituents is that you see them, you celebrate the diversity they bring to your community and that you are way ahead of curve on your humanity and compassion.
Bonus points: If you are an employer and give the day off on Eid (June 15, this year) to your employee so that they can celebrate it with their family and friends. Eid is celebrated, much like Christmas where families visit one another, cook together, and give and receive gifts.
Satyam Barakoti is the owner of Durga Consulting (facebook page link – https://www.facebook.com/durgaconsulting/) a local small business with strong roots in non-profits in metro Atlanta. Durga Consulting provides fundraising and strategic operation advice and training to organizations and businesses. Satyam grew up celebrating religious diversity and is committed to raising her child in a world where diversity and compassion is the norm.