Ramadan is upon us and for a whole month, Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset in the belief that through these actions, their prayers will be answered and blessings will be bestowed. If you have a Muslim domestic worker who follows the religious obligations, here is some useful information and tips on how to support them and avoid any misunderstandings during
this important time.
It means a lot when you wish her a Happy Ramadan and ask questions about the holy month. Ask your helper how she celebrates Ramadan to create a sense of belonging and empathy.
Work routines may change
Your helper will have to wake up very early in the morning to prepare her pre-dawn meal. This is the meal that is meant to last for the entire day so she might try to complete her heavy chores at the start of the day while she still has the energy. She might also want to pace herself so she can still work through to dinner. Think of it as her way of making her work more efficient.
Be flexible with the schedule
If she is diligent in observing the obligatory five prayers a day, your helper will need regular 10-15 minute breaks to accommodate prayer time.
Adjust meal expectations
Your helper will not be able to taste the foods she is cooking for you as she is fasting. If you are able to do so, offer to taste her cooking instead.
It is normal for anyone who is fasting to find it more difficult to concentrate particularly towards the second half of the day When things get a bit sideways, step back if you can. When your helper gets upset or has negative feelings towards others it invalidates their fasting for that day.
Ramadan a way to practice self-control, patience, selflessness, and simply being at peace.
Supporting your Muslim domestic worker during this time builds an inclusive environment and a better relationship based on empathy and tolerance.