Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ramadan in the Workplace


We're in the swing of things this Ramadan, hopefully reaping the benefits of this blessed month as best we can!

This year I am not working at the office (I see my BodyTalk clients periodically at the clinic or at home via distance sessions). However I do recall my many years in corporate, fasting through the endless meetings, trying to not get distracted with the recipe emails sent to my Inbox and enjoying the occasional early afternoon nap in my car or in the First aid room!

I was fortunate to have colleagues and managers who were very understanding. That's part of the culture of Unilever I guess. I was able to adjust my (already quite flexible) schedule so I could leave a bit early, as especially in the UK with the long hours of fasting, you need some rest in the evening.

One thing that helped me to set things up with my colleagues was to explain upfront about our fasting month of Ramadan. I created this One Pager "Ramadan in the Workplace Guide" that was a handy guide to share with my team to explain Ramadan and Eid in a simple way. I wanted them to appreciate how significant this month was for us, so in some way they too were sharing in this special time, just by being aware.

Handy One Page PDF
Handy One Page PDF
I know we are already in the midst of Ramadaan, but if you would like to share something simple with your colleagues at work then feel free to download this PDF. It does have some specific reference to Europe, but can serve as something useful, Insha Allah.

All the best for the rest of Ramadan, and do remember me in your prayers!

Radiating through Ramadan,

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Ramadaan: the month of sharing!

Assalaamu alaykum

One of my favourite parts of Ramadaan is the sense of sharing and unity that is naturally felt during this month. I think it's because most of us are aware of the immense rewards offered for feeding a fasting person and we all want to cash in to benefit!

This is captured in this beautiful Hadith:
It was narrated that Zayd ibn Khaalid al-Juhani said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.”  Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 807; Ibn Maajah, 1746.  

I also think there is such a delightful feeling when you see people after a long day, tired and a bit hungry feel ease and satisfaction when they break their fast and enjoy something you have prepared for them. I love cooking so seeing people enjoy something I made like perhaps a new dish, or bought like maybe some fresh fruit I saw in the supermarket brings me immense joy.

This year I am in the middle of a house move so inviting people over to share iftaar will be a bit challenging. However, I tried to take advantage before Ramadaan to share what I could with my family and friends. I made these little Ramadaan packs with dates and cookies (smackerdoodles - a sugar cookie) and distributed to my neighbour and my family.

I was thrilled with this charity initiative from SKT Welfare where you can purchase beautiful tins with a kg of dates and the proceeds of each tin gives a family in Syria 50 loaves of bread. I made smaller parcels of the dates and gave that with the cookies. The tin is high quality and available in smart colours and makes for a really neat way to store your dates in style!
The offer is still open and the details are here :

I hope I can find more ways this month to share and build our sense of unity that we so fortunately enjoy as Muslims Insha Allah.

#muslimunity #muslimbrotherhood #muslimsharing #sharingramadanwithneighbours

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