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Ramzan 2022: How people manage fasting and praying at workplace

ANI | Updated: Apr 09, 2022 16:12 IST

New Delhi [India], April 9 (ANI): The holy month of Ramzan has commenced with a spiritual zeal across the whole nation. Ramzan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which the followers of Islam observe fast from dawn to sunset.
During this fast, people have their first meal before the sunrise known as Sehri (also called Suhoor) and the other meal is Iftar, which is served after sunset.
This year, Ramzan began on the evening of April 2, with the first fast being observed on April 3.
If you're fasting, balancing your religious duties with your professional life can be tricky. Going without food and water for long hours, especially in the heat of the weather, can make one feel drained, especially if their work schedule is hectic or requires too much travelling.
Saiba, 26, who works in a marketing and advertising agency, talked about how she manages to offer namaz while at work.
"My workplace has been very accomodating in terms of my religion. There is not a separate prayer room but there is a storage area where they have given me a space where I have my namaz mat and my dupatta. Whatever time it is, if I have to go and pray, they understand," she told ANI.
While Saiba is always allowed to leave her workplace on time or earlier, so that she can break her fast timely, she shared that not all people are fortunate enough to get an understanding work environment.
"I have seen my friends who have faced this scenario that meetings are scheduled at 6:30 pm. That becomes very challenging because that is the time they have to break their fast. You have to be with your family or friends or you just have to eat peacefully because you have been starving throughout the day. I have seen my friends struggling. I feel like clients at times they do get it, but agency, they don't," she said.
When asked how she manages to get the motivation to keep going especially when feeling low, Saiba confessed, "It's more like three more hours to go...like we keep ourselves charged for three more days for the weekend, so just like that, three more hours to go, two more hours to go...it gets really tiring, to come back home and then cook for yourself."
Uzair Hasan, 29, who works as a fraud analyst at a financial technology company, shared that often when one gets busy in their office routine, they may forget that they are fasting.
"Sometimes you are so busy with your routine and schedule that you forget you are on your fast. This has happened once or twice with me and I mistakenly ate something. However, it is believed that if you end up eating by mistake, then your Roza will not break."
He also emphasised that fasting is not compulsory, especially if is difficult for one to manage, given their routine.

He said, "Those who have to travel for 3-4 hours, usually avoid fasting as it gets very difficult to manage...your throat will dry up. When you are not consuming water for 14-15 hours in such heat, there is the possibility of getting dehydrated. Your stomach may also get upset."
"There are some people who still manage, so it is more subject to your will and your personal capacity, but there is no compulsion that you cannot break your fast. If your health goes wrong during Ramzan, who can break your fast," he added.
Shagufta Perween, 28, a freelance content writer, is not fasting this year due to health reasons. However, she shared her experience of Ramzan at her office in pre-pandemic days.
"I used to do namaz in the morning. We had the facility of doing the namaz at my office but I was not comfortable personally. So I used to come back home and after breaking my fast, I had to manage the two-time namaz that I missed out at the office. There were people, two to three colleagues of mine, they used to offer namaz at the workplace," she said.
She also emphasised eating the right things in Sehri and drinking enough water, so that one can keep themselves going throughout the day.
She shared, "In Sehri, always have curd. It keeps you hydrated the entire day and you won't feel drained out. You can have it with roti, fruits or rice. Dahi is a must. You can also have bananas, they keep you full for quite some time. Also, keep your diet filled with proteins, which is very important when you fast the entire day."
She added, "Your water intake should be appropriate. If you do not have enough water the entire time after breaking your fast till Sehri, then it will be very difficult for you to work the entire day."
Sheikh Yunus, 50, who works as an editor in a publishing house for children's books, shared that he has been fasting since he was 15 years old.
Talking about offering namaz during shift hours, he shared, "In my office, the management is very cooperative. As we have to offer namaz five times a day, in the morning I used to do it and then at noon I used to offer it in the office. I have a small space in the lunchroom where I can stand and peacefully offer my namaz. On Friday, I used to go to a mosque. In the evening I used to come back around 6:30 pm and our time to break the fast is 6:45 pm."
Admitting receiving a positive work environment during Ramzan, he shared, "In my office, I am the only Muslim employee. All my colleagues are very nice and cooperative. They appreciate me and sometimes, they even ask me questions regarding our religious rituals."
He concluded by emphasising that it is God who truly gives one the energy to sustain and keep going without food or water throughout the day.
"I am not getting any problems managing and working during my fast. Whatever energy I am getting -- managing to function for such long hours without any water in such heat of this month -- it is all from god. If you are determined, God will definitely help you," he signed off.
Apart from fasting during Ramzan, followers of Islam pray for peace and guidance, give back to the community in the form of charity or 'zakat', engage in humanitarian activities such as feeding the underprivileged and introspect to enlighten their souls. (ANI)