The Career Club

a blog providing support & information on career building

Fasting While @ Work

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Today is the first day of the fasting month, Ramadan. For us working Muslims, fasting while at work isn’t the easiest of things to do; especially when you feel like the only one fasting during the month. That lunch hour with nothing to do and food all around you can be the most difficult and slowest hour ever, unless you do something about it.

Even for my working students, I know the feeling. I used to be in class all day before going to my night job and breaking my fast just two hours before going home to my moms homemade fest. Even in college, I’ll break my fast during my night class if I had enough time to either pack something or buy something as I commuted from work.

With that, I think a few pointers for my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters observing Ramadan this year as they work or go to school is just as appropriate and needed in this blog.

– During that long lunch hour, if there is a mosque near by, please go. As this is the month to celebrate the scriptures of the Holy Quran being brought down to Prophet Mohamed (pbuh), what better way to pass that hour then by being in a place where others are praying and reciting the scriptures. (High School students, only do so if your campus is an “open campus”)

– If you do not have a mosque near by, there is always a space such as the conference room or an extra office space where you can pray and read the Holy Quran. Many businesses are highly respectful of one’s beliefs and practices as long as it does not interrupt their productivity. For university students, there should be an MSA (Muslim Student Association) at your school where there is space to do the same thing. If not, please check where you can go, such as a library (where they have secluded spaces for projects) or an empty classroom.

– Worried about your fasting breath? Remember that just because it is the most beloved breath upon God as you practice your fast, it isn’t the same upon many mortals, Muslim or not. Nothing to be offended about as it is natural, so just make sure you have a good distance between yourself and others. Always brush your teeth, even if it’s rinsing with water. If you have a “miswak“, even better!

For my non Muslim brothers and sisters, please check out some of these etiquettes and resources when working with a fasting Muslim.

– If you know someone is fasting, don’t start eating and drinking in front of them. Be as you would want others to be if you too were fasting.

– Muslims do not speak to others during their prayers; so if walking in on someone praying, be respectful by being silent or even stepping out. Prayers shouldn’t last more then 5 minutes.

– Want to know what it is like fasting? Fast with a fellow colleague then go with them to break your fast. It’s an amazing learning experience according to my many colleagues that have done the same with me. Plan to either fast the whole month of even try it for a few days, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

– No question is a stupid question. Ask your Muslim co-worker about Ramadan while being courteous.

– Learn more about Ramadan by going to

May this month of Ramadan be of ease to my working and schooling Muslim Brothers and Sisters!


Written by Ms. Hala

22 August 2009 at 12:17 am

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