5 Ways To Support Muslim Friends And Colleagues This Ramadan

Source: Huffington Post

By Carol Kuruvilla and Rowaida Abdelaziz 

If you want to be a good ally to your Muslim friend this year, there’s no better time to start than during Ramadan.

Muslims around the world are now well into Ramadan, the holiest month on the Islamic calendar.

During this special month, which began on May 26 this year, Muslims are encouraged to fast from food and water during the daylight hours. It’s certainly a tough physical trial, but there are spiritual and emotional challenges to consider as well. Muslims are also asked to abstain from lying, gossiping, arguing, and other bad habits during Ramadan and to increase their focus on charity.

On top of all the challenges that are built into the month, America’s 3.3 million Muslims are entering Ramadan this year against a backdrop of political and social tensions. Islamophobic political rhetoric has become all too common, and hate crimes against Muslims are spiking. Muslim communities are worried about the safety of their worship spaces and the safety of their children.

But if you ask, most Muslims will tell you Ramadan is their favorite month and that they readily take in all the challenges in excitement and good faith. It is a month of reflection and spiritual devotion as well as a time to gather with family and friends.

If you want to be a good ally to your Muslim friend this year, there’s no better time to start than during Ramadan.

Finding out that a friend is observing Ramadan can lead to some awkward situations, especially around the office. How should you react? Is it okay to eat in front of a friend who is fasting? What’s the best way to show your support during the month, as an ally?

HuffPost posed these questions to a few Muslims in our network. Below, we’ve gathered 5 pointers on how to best the best support system you can be with your Muslim friends and co-workers during this holy month.

If you’re curious about the significance of Ramadan and about how Muslims partake in it, here are a few pointers that will, as one contributor put it, help “minimize awkwardness and maximize good will, karma, and halal brownie points.” Your Muslim friend will surely appreciate it.

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