How Ramadan effects those working in the legal industry?

Fri 22 March 2024 How Ramadan effects those working in the legal industry?

The sacred period of Ramadan is upon us, marking the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and holding profound importance in Islam. Muslims believe that during this month, the initial verses of the Quran were bestowed upon Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him - PBUH).

Throughout Ramadan, Muslims observe fasting and engage in acts of charity, kindness and patience aiming to enhance their spiritual connection with the divine.  

We have spoken to some of our personnel who are currently observing Ramadan, including:

Q: How does fasting during Ramadan impact your daily routine?

Isaac said: “As Muslims, we pray five times at different times throughout the day. The fasting begins with the first prayer of the day which is called ‘Fajr’ which means dawn."

"I wake up before dawn with my wife and prepare 'Suhoor' which can be translated to the last meal of the night, this is the first meal of the day for us during Ramadan. If we miss the first meal, we’re still obligated to fast… it’s just a bit harder. So being organised with our time is important as we need to make sure we get the calories and water in before we start our day, this means waking up about 45 minutes before the dawn prayer and eating a good breakfast – everyone has a different preference, but I think slow-releasing carbs and protein is good. I think it’s also good to stay away from things that might cause you to dehydrate like tea and coffee."

"I enjoy drinking coffee, but every year before Ramadan, I try to reduce my caffeine intake. This is to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms during the fasting period. One year, I suffered from severe headaches without realising that they were caused by caffeine withdrawal. Only after having a cup of coffee one evening that the headaches stopped the next day. Fasting headaches can be challenging because we can’t drink water to alleviate the pain."

Isaac continued: "I think during Ramadan, I’m a little more time-conscious, we need to make sure we get to bed on time to wake up for the first meal but still get enough sleep for our daily responsibilities.”

Marjana said: "What people don't realise is that there is a spiritual aspect to this holy month for Muslims as well. It's not just about not eating or drinking, it's also about not swearing, backbiting, arguing, talking badly about people and having bad thoughts. I always find the spirtual side more difficult than the fasting as it's quite natural to get angry in certain situations especially when you haven't eaten anything," 

Atshaam added: "Ramadan impacts my whole routine in terms of waking up early and scheduling days around prayers. So this year, I start the day by waking up an hour before sunrise, have some breakfast and stop eating after sunrise, read the morning prayer which is around 4:40am this year and complete remainder 4 prayers during the day fitting them around work and other evening plans. We open fast when the sun goes down which is around 6:20pm this year." 

Q: How do legal professionals balance the demands of their profession with the observance of Ramadan?

Isaac said: “I think we just need to manage our time effectively so that we can meet the needs of our workplace, while still praying our five prayers as close to the time as possible. We believe that there’s no time during the year that we will be closer to Allah so we try to make our worship as sincere as possible and Insha’Allah (God Willing), on time.”

Marjana said: “Every year Ramadan moves 10 days earlier, so this year, we are opening our fast just after 6pm (sunset) and it increases by 2 to 3 minutes every day. As we are opening our fast just after 6pm, and if I am in the office, it is slightly rushed to get home to set up food but I am fortunate that I am able to work from home and have the flexibilities.”  

Atshaam added: " We do not need a lunch break, so work through this time to make up time when we are away from the computer to pray." 

Aliyah said: "Personally, I meet the demands of a busy property department by strictly adhering to my to do list to ensure that my work is unaffected by observing Ramadan." 

Q: What do you advise people not to say to someone fasting during Ramadan?

Isaac said: “Not even Water” But no, of course it’s okay to ask questions and I think most of us would welcome it. But ideally, do not discuss how you can’t wait for lunch or if we want a drink.

Don’t ask someone why they’re not fasting, as it will likely be for personal reasons.

As mentioned before, we’re also fasting from things like gossip and inappropriate language, and that sort of thing too so as you normally might try to involve your Muslim colleagues in this, try to be mindful that we’re trying to stay away from that and be as close to Allah during this month.

Overall, we’re happy to be fasting. We get excited for Ramadan, it’s a time when we feel more connected to Allah, our families, and our community as a whole.”

Atshaam added: "Nothing negative really, it's not just about not eating its fasting of the eyes,tongues,ears and body. So only see good things, say good things and hear good things. Its more of getting closer to your faith and being a better person and avoid negativity."

Q: How is it best for colleagues to support someone observing Ramadan?

Isaac said: “We understand that you may not be observing Ramadan, and we don’t expect you to. So you can go about your day as you normally would. You can eat or drink in front of us and we won't hold it against you. As mentioned above though, just being mindful that we are observing Ramadan, and that the fast includes avoiding gossip and bad language as examples.”

Marjana said: “I have been fortunate to have colleagues who I consider some of my closest friends, who have been considerate to meet up for dinner when it is sunset and time for me to open my fast.”

"It's best to just check up on them and ask how there fast is going and ask whether they need help with anything. Just asking means a lot personally speaking," added Atshaam. 

Muhammad added: "I do not wish to be treated differently because I am observing Ramadan. If my colleagues are aware that I am fasting and they wish to discuss, then that's great. I do not wish for my colleagues to change their routine to accommodate me. For instance, if a colleague usually eats at their desk and feels compelled to move elsewhere to avoid being in my line of sight, it would be unnecessary."

Aliyah said: "We're happy for you to ask questions on Ramadan because we love answering! Honestly, you don't really have to treat us differently. We don't mind if you eat or drink around us either. Please be aware that some colleagues may try to give up someting which they previously used to do, or might try to start wearing the headscarf, so it would be helpful to be encouraging towards any changes."

Q: Are there any challenges you face in the legal sector during Ramadan?

Isaac said: “The fasting aspect means there might be some brain fog sometimes or we might get tired quicker than normal, but everyone is different. Personally, after the first week or so, I’m used to fasting from the food/water aspect. But fasting isn’t just about food/water, it's also about abstaining from lying, gossiping, or getting angry. On a day-to-day basis, when you’re stressed, I think you can manage your emotions well. But when you may be sleep deprived or you haven’t had your morning coffee or you’re feeling a little dehydrated because you might have overslept and missed the first meal - stress might affect you a bit more. So, I guess in a customer-facing role, it can sometimes be a bit difficult especially. It’s just something to keep in mind when talking to a Muslim, during the month of Ramadan. If they seem stressed with something, it’s not you.”

Nabat said: “on days where we spend a lot of time talking on the phone or seeing clients or attending court can be particularly difficult. I personally drink coffee so it has been hard to do without.”

“Perhaps, the waking up and sleep schedule. I do struggle with that, so there have been years where I have not woken up to eat before sunrise,” said Marjana.

Q: How is Taylor Rose MW helping you during this time?

“Taylor Rose MW have allowed me to at least work from home on a half-day arrangement, most of the prayers happen in the second half of the day so this is greatly appreciated. Also, Taylor Rose MW Peterborough has a prayer room on the ground floor which can be requested to be used, “said Isaac.

"Taylor Rose MW has allowed me to work flexibly from home during this time," said Marjana.

Atshaam said: "I personally work 3 days remotely and 2 days in the office. The firm has allowed me to work completely from home and only come in when there is a meeting or I need to be in the office and they have altered by working hours during this time to 8am to 4pm."

Muhammad added: "Taylor Rose MW has been great as they have allowed me to come in early at 8am and go home at 4pm. This allows me to assist my wife in preparing the iftar." 

Aliyah said: "Taylor Rose MW offers flexible working which helps a lot in Ramadan, as the commute can feel slightly tiring whilst fasting. This also saves time because we can prepare for Iftar as soon as we finish work." 

We would like to wish all of those observing, Ramadan Mubarak! 



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Legal 500
Law Society Personal Injury
Modern law awards winner 2023
Law Society Conveyancing Quality
The British Conveyancing Awards - Mustafa Hassan
The British Conveyancing Awards - Louise James
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