By Abdul Wahid, Food Area Manager

Ramadan, which starts on 5 May, is a holy month for our Muslim colleagues and communities. In this month of fasting, we abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk. We fast to gain Taqua, which means renewing our devotion to God.

We believe that in this sacred month the Qur’an was first revealed, and that each year the gates to heaven are opened and the gates to hell are closed. We strengthen ties with family and friends, reflecting on our lives and refocusing our attention to Allah (God).

At the end of the month we celebrate Eid-al-Fitra, the end of Ramadan. It’s a day for celebration and thanks giving with loved ones, where we exchange gifts and give to charity. It can last up to three days and it’s the equivalent of Christmas in the Christian calendar.

What does a typical day during Ramadan look like for me?

  • Fasting is around 18 hours a day this year with no food or water between sunrise and sunset, so it’s a long day
  • I wake before sunrise to eat – this can be anything, but for me is usually milk, yoghurt, fruit and sometimes a proper meal
  • The first prayer of the day is around 3.30am, so I try to work later shifts during Ramadan if I can
  • During the day I sometimes feel lethargic and weak. I feel like my attention span is reduced by 50%, but after a few days my body gets used to it
  • During Ramadan I pray five times a day for around 15-20 minutes each time. I usually pray at a mosque close to one of my stores
  • I make sure I’m home in the evenings to break my fast. This is usually done by having dates and water, followed by an amazing meal cooked by my wife (I’m a useless cook!)
  • We spend the evening as a family before going to the mosque. Prayer takes around an hour and by that time it can be very late and I’m exhausted so I go to sleep, but not for long though as I need to be up again before sunrise to start over again

Everyone can get involved

It’s really important for all our colleagues to feel included and able to celebrate Ramadan, so we’ve produced a factsheet where you can find out more.

On Wednesday 29 May we’re giving both Muslim and non-Muslim colleagues the opportunity to celebrate together and experience fasting for themselves through a sponsored fast. Any money raised will go to our Co-op Foundation. Take a look at the website* and get involved if you can.

This year we’re also encouraging our food stores to donate dates and bottled water to local mosques, so if you’re in a store please get involved.

Happy Ramadan everyone!

*may only be accessible on personal devices

Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. Thank you Abdul. Wishing everyone well during this holy month.

  2. Very good articulation about Ramadan, Very Simple and Concise.

  3. Great idea. The Just Giving link says the date of 29th May however the text in the store above says 22nd May … can you confirm the date please?

  4. Ramadan Mubarak to all of our Muslim colleagues. May you have a blessed and peaceful Ramadan.

  5. It’s is the time we needs to look after our colleagues those who are fasting we make sure they had break and make it easy for our colleagues at this time of the year .

  6. I remember a few years ago we were waiting for our flight after a holiday in Turkey. Myself and my 2 boys were invited to join the staff in their feast during this special festival. We had a lovely time and really enjoyed it plus learnt a lot about the different cultures whilst there.

  7. Great insight into a subject I’d heard of but never really knew anything about in detail. Hope all Muslims can have a peaceful Ramadan and I’ll be joining the sponsored fast to try to experience what you all go through for a month. Best wishes to all.

  8. Such an insightful blog. I shamefully didn’t know a lot of this and found it so interesting to read. Thanks Abdul!

  9. I’ve heard some of our stores are selling dates especially for Ramadan and we’ll be giving dates and water to local mosques. How can I find out more and get my local mosque involved with this? Which stores are selling dates for Ramadan please as I would love to get some? Thanks

    • Hi Eram, it’s up to individual stores whether they get involved, so I’d say pop in to your local store and have a chat with them. Thanks, Stuart

  10. Abdul
    Thank you for your personal insight into Ramadan… a holy day of which I knew so little.
    The fasting you and your family make for a month resonate with the tiny amount my family and I made as a child… when, as a practising Roman Catholic, for just one day on Good Friday each year we broke a short fast with Hot X Buns after a long afternoon mass!
    I love your practice of spending each evening as a family before going to the mosque… Good Friday and Christmas Eve (midnight mass) were the only days in the year when my family went to church together and I remember how special those times were doing that together.
    Thank you for sharing and, of course, I’ll be supporting your sponsored fast on 22 May.
    Happy Ramadan to you and yours

  11. Great update Abdul and certainly helps us understand why and what Ramadan is.

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