April 29, 2022
There are almost 2 billion Muslims in the world.
According to the 2011 National Household Survey, there are over 1 million Muslims in Canada. A majority of the Muslims in Canada follow Sunni Islam, while others follow Shia Islam and Ahmadiyya Islam.
Ramadan is the Islamic holy month of fasting, where many Muslims refrain from eating during the hours of daylight, in a practice to teach self-discipline and make Muslims aware of suffering and the poor. Ramadan is also the time to remember the month the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
Eid al-Fitr is the Muslim religious holiday that occurs at the end of Ramadan. The meaning of Eid al-Fitr is the ‘the feast of the breaking of the fast’. The holiday Eid al-Fitr begins once the religious authorities have confirmed the sighting of the new moon. It is predicted that Eid al-Fitr in Canada will begin the evening of Sunday May 1st.
But what if you are working?
Many employers are adapting the workplace to accommodate religious beliefs of all faiths. For example at Amazon in Brampton, their employees have recommended initiatives to celebrate Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, which includes:
- The creation of additional multi-faith prayer and meditation spaces for staff throughout the Brampton facility. In total, there are now nine full time prayer spaces at the large Brampton facility.
- The assembly and distribution of Ramadan kits to champion a safe and inclusive environment. These kits include a spray bottle, portable prayer mat, tissue packs, and hand sanitizer.
- An engagement activity for all associates to create paper lanterns during break times throughout the month of Ramadan.
- Accommodations for observing employees including shift changes, reduced hours (early start or finish), additional unpaid breaks and break time changes to accommodate fasting.
Canada, in specific Brampton, is a truly a celebratory mosaic where communities of different faiths can respect each other, even at the workplace.