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Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins 26 May


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The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins on 26 May 2017. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the revelation of the first verses of the Qur’an to the prophet Muhammed.

We have a number of colleagues and students who are likely to be observing Ramadan, so it may be useful to bear in mind that:

  • Ramadan is a time of prayer and self-reflection, where Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Qur'an. You may find that colleagues may alter their working hours in order to carry out additional prayer or worship.
  • During Ramadan, many Muslims will fast each day from sunrise to sunset. This includes not eating food, drinking liquids or smoking.  Fasting may affect people in different ways, for example some people may feel more fatigued than usual, particularly in the afternoon. Colleagues may want to avoid offering food and drink to those who fast if sharing food with other colleagues, or eating during meetings.  
  • As Ramadan this year coincides with the height of UK summer, the days of fasting are particularly long and in hot weather dehydration can be a significant risk. If it is possible to avoid strenuous work in the heat of the day this will reduce the likelihood of ill health.

Observing Ramadan is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. The fasting continues for 29-30 days and ends with the celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr.

The Reading University Muslim Society has published a prayer timetable, which can be found here.

Although records show that only 2% of our University of Reading staff have declared themselves to be Muslim, 7% of our student entrants in 2015/16 self-declared as Muslim.

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