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A ppt explaining what Ramadan is and why it is important and things that non-Muslim employers should be aware of regarding Muslim employees.

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  1. 1. Ramadan<br />(and Eidal-Fitr)<br />
  2. 2. What is….<br /> RAMADAN???<br />
  3. 3. Some Basic Info<br />Ramadan is the name of the 9th lunar month of the Islamic calendar.<br />This year, the first day of Ramadan will either be on August 1st or 2nd, depending on the sighting of the new crescent moon.<br />Before going any further, let me clarify:<br />* Islam is the name of the religion and means submitting to Allah, or God, and comes from the root word “salaam” which means “peace.” <br />* Muslims are those who submit their will to God and therefore practice the religion of Islam.<br />
  4. 4. The Pillars<br />Ramadan is the month of fasting for Muslims.<br />We fast from dawn until sunset every day for the entire month.<br />Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam; the pillars being: <br />Proclamation of faith<br />Prayer five times a day<br />Giving to charity<br />Making Hajj…the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life<br />
  5. 5. Fasting consists of more than just abstaining from food, but also includes:<br />No beverages<br />No sexual intimacy with the spouse<br />No smoking<br />No foul language<br />No arguing<br />No gossiping <br />Many do not use internet or watch TV during this time as well. <br />Many Muslims will be more quiet during this month, trying to maintain their fast. <br />Instead, we should increase our prayers; reading Qur’an; going to the masjid (mosque); giving to charity ; and remembering Allah.<br />
  6. 6. Why Fast?<br />Allah tells us in the Qur’an:<br />“O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint” <br />(Qur’an 2:183)<br />“Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spent it in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” <br /> (Qur’an 2:185)<br />
  7. 7. Importance of Fasting<br />First and foremost, we fast because it is commanded by Allah.<br />It makes us more aware of the blessings we are granted and reminds us to be thankful to Allah for those blessings.<br />It also makes us aware of those less-fortunate than ourselves, and we are reminded we should always help others. Charity is typically increased during this month.<br />
  8. 8. Who fasts? <br />All Muslims that have reached the age of puberty should fast during the month of Ramadan, unless:<br />They have an illness<br />They are a female on their cycle, pregnant or nursing<br />They are elderly<br />They are on a journey<br />If a Muslim is unable to fast, they still have a duty to either make up the missed days, or to feed one needy person a day.<br />
  9. 9. Typical Ramadan Day<br />Wake up before dawn to eat “suhoor.”<br />Pray the first prayer, fajr, right afterdawn (currently 4am).<br />Dhuhr prayer is around lunchtime (currently 1pm) <br />If it is a Friday, we attend Jum’ah, our religious service.<br />Afternoon prayer, asr, offered; currently it comes in around 5pm.<br />Right before sunset, we break fast, typically with a date and some water, then offer the evening prayer, maghrib (8pm), followed by dinner, called “iftar.”<br />Isha, or the night prayer (10pm) is then offered, generally followed by a special prayer that is done during Ramadan, called taraweeh.<br />During our prayers, we recite verses or chapters from the Qur’an; during taraweeh, we recite so much of the Qur’an that typically we finish the Qur’an by the end of the Ramadan.<br />
  10. 10. The Last Ten Days…<br />The last ten days of Ramadan, some Muslims (particularly men) perform “itikaaf.”<br />This is a time where Muslims seclude themselves (usually in the masjid/mosque) to pray and read Qur’an. <br />The last ten days are significant because it is believed that it was during one of the last ten odd-numbered days that the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed.<br />By performing itikaaf, it is believed we will receive many blessings from Allah.<br />
  11. 11. Eid al-Fitr<br />What is Eid?<br />Eid al-Fitr is the celebrating of the end of Ramadan. <br />Typically Eid celebrations consist of attending a religious service where we listen to a sermon and offer the congregational prayer, followed by eating a big meal, visiting family and friends, and exchanging gifts.<br />It is encouraged that all Muslims participate in Eid celebrations. <br />
  12. 12. When is Eid?<br />Eid al-Fitr falls on the first day of the new month and is determined by the sighting of the new crescent moon. <br />Because Eid al-Fitr is one of the two major holidays in Islam, many Muslims request this day off, however because it is determined by the sighting of the new moon, it is not definite what day it will be. This can cause confusion for employers. Let me explain using a calendar…<br />
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  14. 14. Two Eids<br />There are only two holidays in Islam: Eid al-Fitr and Eidal-Adha.<br />A little bit about Eid al-Adha<br />Takes place during the time of the Hajj, on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah<br />Muslims follow Saudi Arabia to know when the date of this Eid will be<br />It is the celebration of the sacrifice (the story of Prophet Ibrahim/Abraham being commanded to sacrifice his son)<br />Many Muslim families sacrifice a lamb, goat or cow<br />Regarding the sacrifice, Allah tells us in the Qur’an: <br />“It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him…” (Qur’an 22:37)<br />
  15. 15. Other things to consider…<br />As mentioned earlier, in Islam there are five pillars, and one of the most important things in Islam is prayer. Provide a time and place for prayer; prayer takes only 5-7 minutes.<br />Another issue that tends to come up is the hijab. Muslim women are commanded by Allah , in the Qur’an, to cover and dress modestly. Unfortunately I know of many Muslim women that do not cover at work for fear of being harassed, ridiculed, or worse…losing their job.<br />Many Muslims, especially women, do not feel that it is proper to shake hands with the opposite gender.<br />
  16. 16. A few more things…<br />Islam has only two holidays, the two Eids. We do not celebrate Christmas, Easter, etc (so consider this when doing “Secret Santa”), in which most people have off. Some Muslims will gladly work these days in exchange for having off Eid.<br />Many Muslims, especially men, want to attend Jum’ah and are willing to work an extra 30 minutes each day so that they can take an extended lunch break on Fridays to attend the religious service.<br />Have diversity training; educate your employees; take complaints seriously and do not tolerate harassment based on religion.<br />Lastly…ask questions. We would rather be asked a question than for people to assume things that are incorrect.<br />
  17. 17. QUESTIONS???<br /><br /><br />