Ramadan is a holy month of fasting and worship observed by Muslims all over the world. This year, it begins tonight at sundown. As an organization that values diversity and inclusivity, Michigan Medicine recognizes the significance of this month for many of our team members. Here’s what you need to know to support those who observe Ramadan.
Ramadan is an annual celebration of the month in which the Prophet Mohammad received the first revelations of the Quran, the holy scripture of Islam. During this month, physically able Muslims abstain from food and drink, including water, from dawn until dusk each day, in an effort to increase piety. Fasting during Ramadan is considered a religious obligation.
Apart from fasting, reading the Quran is also an essential practice during this holy month. Many Muslims gather to pray, and the Quran is recited late into the night throughout the month.
A Typical Day During Ramadan
Observers of Ramadan often eat a small meal before dawn and then perform a prayer. After sunset, they break their fast with a meal called iftar, which is usually eaten in community, followed by another prayer. The night prayers that follow may last until past midnight.
What to Expect at Michigan Medicine
For our faculty and staff who observe Ramadan, Michigan Medicine’s Office for Health Equity and Inclusion encourages providing accommodations whenever possible. This may include schedule adjustments to allow for breaking the fast or praying. Jummah, the weekly Muslim congregational prayer, will also be held each Friday from 1:40 p.m. until 2 p.m. in the University Hospital Chapel.
Supporting Those Observing Ramadan
To support our colleagues who observe Ramadan, we can take a few simple steps:
Acclimate: Let your colleagues, learners, patients, and family members know that you are aware they may be fasting. This small act can go a long way in making individuals feel comfortable.
Attend a Community Conversation: OHEI will host an online community conversation titled “Ramadan Through the Eyes of Muslim Health Care Team Members,” providing the opportunity to learn about Ramadan through the experiences of team members on April 6th from noon to 1 p.m. Click here to register for the conversation.
Point to Resources: The Department of Spiritual Care, which includes Muslim chaplains, is available to provide support. To request a consultation or meeting on behalf of a patient or family member, call 734-936-4041 or email [email protected].
Ramadan is a significant month for many of our team members who observe this holy month. By understanding the basics and providing accommodations and support, we can create an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone at Michigan Medicine. Let us celebrate diversity and promote inclusion as we stand together with our colleagues who observe Ramadan.