Living in a multi- religious society sometimes can breed misunderstandings, but it does not have to be that way. We have to learn how to accommodate other people’s beliefs and be understanding in situations where they put their beliefs ahead.
Every year there is a “holy” routine that different religions start following for a given period of time such as Ramadan and Lent and sometimes those who do not belong to that faith usually find it hard to relate. This Ramadan, we bring you some of the the dos and don’ts that can make relating with your fasting brothers and sisters easy during the holy season.
When setting up meetings for a business or casual endeavours, schedule them in the morning or sometime after iftar even if the person you are meeting is polite enough not to decline meeting at a restaurant.
Just because your friends are fasting does not mean you should change your eating schedule and habits. However, you can be courteous enough as not to eat in their presence knowing they are adhering to the fast. If you are in an office, you can excuse yourself and eat while enjoying the sights and sounds that your surroundings offer.
You can always wish your friends a “happy Ramadan” since it is a form of greeting too during the holy season for the believers. It is encouraging to some of the people that love us to feel encouraged by their family and friends whilst doing something they deem very important to them and God.
Fasting can take its toll on the body even if you are eating at night and early morning. Therefore, it is not encouraged that you let someone who is undergoing the fast to do very strenuous activities even if they might be courteous enough not to refuse, especially if it involves work.
Iftar is the meal Muslims have after sunset to break the day’s fast and they usually invite several guests to give it a communal feel. When someone invites you, there’s no harm in you attending to celebrate with them, it is wonderful.
It is important to note that Ramadan does not have a fixed date. The islamic calendar is lunar and the fasting season begins when there is a sighting of the new moon, making the dates change every year. If you have Moslem and their working hours change, its due to the fasting season and it will alternate from year to year.
If you want to fast alongside Muslims during Ramadan, you can go ahead as it is a season to get closer to God and meditation. Do not tell them how you are going to use Ramadan to lose weight; it makes it seem as if you are taking the purpose out of their holy season.
Evelyn Masaba is the Public Relations Manager Jovago.com Uganda an online hotel booking service with offices in Kampala (Uganda) Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya) and Dakar (Senegal) founded by Africa Internet Group.