Ramadan at Rise
Starting in a new company can be a challenge in itself but beginning a new chapter and entering into the month of Ramadan is something which can be overwhelming. Ramadan is the month in which Muslims across the globe partake in abstaining from eating, drinking and other indulgences from sunrise to sunset. This allows us to appreciate all that we have and experience what the less fortunate go through whilst teaching us self-discipline and self-control. This is something Eriola, Mo, Saajida, Samera, and myself experienced but I am glad to say that Rise and everyone within the company did their best to ensure that they accommodated to our needs for the month.
This was the first time that Rise had individuals who participated in Ramadan and they made adjustments for flexible working. One adjustment was allowing us to start an hour later and finishing an hour later; which meant we could squeeze in some extra sleep. We also had the option of working from home so we didn’t have to deal with long commutes, which would have only added to how tired we already were.
One positive thing we can take away from this month was how respectful everyone was towards us and how individuals took their time to ask questions to gain a better understanding of what we as Muslims do in this month and the reasons behind it.
I remember first starting in the London office and approaching my manager to tell him how I pray 5 times a day and how some of my prayers overlap with work times. Before I even asked if it was okay for me to leave the office when the prayers started he said that he knows how important it is for me and that I can leave whenever I want, however many times I want and to not worry about how long it takes. As a person who prays there is nothing better than knowing that the individuals you work alongside are understanding and respectful of your faith and are willing to accommodate so that you can go about practicing your faith without it effecting your work.
As a group we aim to educate all the employees at Rise and invite them to be a part of our celebrations too. Next year, to fit in with Rise’s goal of being inclusive, we would like for those who wish to take part in fasting for the day to do so and experience how it is. We also plan to have office Iftars (term used for the act of breaking the fast) where everyone can enjoy a dinner together and plan on having a small event to celebrate the end of Ramadan which is called Eid. One fundamental belief in Islam is the concept of giving to charity and after seeing the huge success from the Ukraine fundraiser, it would be great to include more charity events and raising money for all causes around the world.
It has been nice to see that Rise is taking the right steps in order to make the workplace a more inclusive and diverse place, making it an environment where everyone feels comfortable and respected. We know that with all the work individuals are putting in, there will be nothing stopping Rise from becoming a diverse place where everyone is understood and celebrated.
Khalisah Khurram , Mo Islam, Saajida Sakaria and Samera Jamil