This Ramadan fasting ...[title edited by MNHQ]

(396 Posts)
Wuldric Mon 05-Aug-13 22:38:48

I have a talented and lovely junior who happens to be Muslim. In the last month she has recorded 6 days off sick, and left work early on three additional occasions as she has fainted.

I don't have any personal bias against any form of religion. Well that's not actually true. Being an atheist, I am biased against all forms of religion, But I am balanced against all of them equally IYSWIM. Lest you all accuse me of xenophobia or something, I am not white and was not born in the UK. I am just impatient with this.

She has no weight to spare to start with. She cannot eat until after dusk. Dusk is pretty late in the UK in summertime. So in the evening she eats at 10. She is supposed to eat before dawn rises although my suspicion is that she is skipping this meal, because in her home it takes place at 3am. She is not allowed so much as a drink of water in between times. The offices are airconditioned, but her home and her journey to work are not.

This fasting tomfoolery is making my lovely junior ill. She looks like a famine victim - her face is just gaunt. It is not good for her. AIBU to think this is all nonsense?

DanceParty Mon 05-Aug-13 22:56:18

Those of you saying it's ridiculous have no idea what ramadan is about, clearly.

So why don't you explain it?

StayAwayFromTheEdge Mon 05-Aug-13 22:56:20

Having worked with grumpy staff, working part-time hours, whilst the rest of us work twice as hard to cover for them for the last month, I too am struggling to have much sympathy. And from a patient safety point view it is less than ideal, as concentration seems to lapse very easily.

Eric - the people I work with tell me that they are supposed to eat very simple food and certainly not the delicious food and desserts you describe. Any money they save from doing this is supposed to be donated to the poor.

Ramadan is not a waste of time. Jesus are my posts invisible or something? Ramadan is lovely. I do it despite being atheist. It's a spiritual and reflective time and I believe it makes us better people.

gallifrey Mon 05-Aug-13 22:58:07

the 2 lovely asian guys that helped us move last week were fasting. One of them wouldn't even accept a drink of water and the other one was drinking but not eating. It was 30º and they were lugging our furniture up the stairs.

Eilidhbelle Mon 05-Aug-13 22:58:35

I think you are allowed water during fasting. Anyone?

fuzzywuzzy Mon 05-Aug-13 22:58:37

People have fasted in England in June, I remember it I was very young I kept my first fast then.

If she's taking lots of sick days and not doing her work then surely it's a HR matter? Why don't you take this up using the correct professional channels?

And the poster who mentioned it, yes pregnant and bread feeding women, women who are menstruating and the sick are not supposed to fast. Nobody compels them to it is forbidden for them to fast in fact.

I've fasted just fine, doing an hours commute to work and getting on time and covering for a junior who was on holiday. And I'm very slender with no weight to spare either.

TheCrackFox Mon 05-Aug-13 22:59:12

Why is it lovely?

Stay - that doesn't sound like any Muslim I have ever met, anywhere. I'm not saying you are wrong but that's really not a common view. There are traditional ramadan sweets, desserts, lovely healthy stews etc which are all typical to ramadan.
There is an obligation to donate to the poor at Eid but it doesn't generally have anything to do with what you have saved during ramadan, it's supposed to be whatever you can spare.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 05-Aug-13 23:00:23

No food and no drink and no sex or smoking is allowed whilst you fast.

StayAwayFromTheEdge Mon 05-Aug-13 23:00:36

Eillidh - no water at all. We have had numerous patients with cystitis over the last few weeks who need to drink, but they won't.

No you don't drink water, nothing between sunrise and sunset.
My XH does removals and he manages fine. If OP's colleague is having days off work due to fasting there is something wrong.

Marshy Mon 05-Aug-13 23:01:06

For goodness sake, can't you advise her to take some time off? Its like any other life event, you should be planning time off around it, not going off sick.
Whether you agree with it or not, it's her choice and you should respect it, but she needs to plan around how it impacts on work, and you could be helping her with that and keeping your judgements in check

WotchOotErAPolis Mon 05-Aug-13 23:01:36

I'm pretty sure that the rules for fasting during Ramadan will allow her to eat if she has to, as it's affecting her health? If she's passing out, then she must eat something.

FrancesDeLaTourCoughngIntoABin Mon 05-Aug-13 23:02:15

So if they had cystitis were they not ill? And therefore fasting forbidden for them?

StayAwayFromTheEdge Mon 05-Aug-13 23:02:17

Ehric, that is what I am told by the Muslim staff I work with.

It's lovely because it gives a sense of community, common endeavour, we share lovely meals at the end of the day, it makes you think about your own weaknesses and also strengths, it teaches forbearance, patience and mental strength. I really enjoy it.

Thesunalwayshinesontv Mon 05-Aug-13 23:03:30

I have always thought that expecting other people to cut you slack for your own religious observances to be supremely selfish and pretty unintelligent. And, most probably, not at all what the religion in question preaches.

In this particular situation, if the facts are correct, I think the girl is foolish. She needs to engage her brain and apply her faith to the modern, European lifestyle she has. It can be done, very happily.

Wuldric Mon 05-Aug-13 23:04:27

My junior does not do water during fasting. Even in the 30 degree heat last week. Today we went to a client's - a 15 minute walk away. She asked if we could take a cab (which would take longer but save her energy) so we did. She fainted there and went home. This whole thing is making me see red, frankly. She is simply not up to this.

As for the times of meals etc, I freely admit I don't know what the accurate times are or when it is permissible finally to have a drink of water. She has told me that she eats at 10pm and 3am. The 3am thing I doubt but she did tell me it was 2.30am a couple of weeks ago.

Habbibu Mon 05-Aug-13 23:04:28

Official sunset hours might be 9:22 in England in mid June. Quite a bit later in Scotland, esp the North. Sun rises at 4, sets at 10:30 in Kirkwall. Point of interest only, not saying that I think OP is in Orkney.

That must be particular to their cultural norms in that case, it's not generalised to most Muslims.

DanceParty Mon 05-Aug-13 23:04:36

Ehric - and children have to do, and understand, this?

Altinkum Mon 05-Aug-13 23:04:47

I am not white and was not born in the UK. I am just impatient with this.

Somehow this comment has really pissed me off, so it's only the white uk people who are racists, narrow minded, culturally idiotic!!!

Yabu, you don't even know why she's doing it!!!

I understand your concern for her welfare, however you're being close minded! Talk to her, listen to her and quite possibly understand why she does Ramadan!!!

fuzzywuzzy Mon 05-Aug-13 23:04:59

Stay I have no idea who you've spoken to.

Ramadan foods are madly elaborate, so wasting food is hugely discouraged as it happens a lot, charity is given especially during Ramadan but nothing to do with money saved on food (as it doesn't happen frankly and it's not the case).

There's a compulsory charity we give during Ramadan which is based on 2% of your wealth, you distribute it to the needy during Ramadan for extra benefit.
We've been raising money for a clean water charity this Ramadan hopefully it will benefit many for a very very long time.

StayAwayFromTheEdge Mon 05-Aug-13 23:05:10

Frances - I find it infuriating, they are asking questions such as -
"Will the anti-biotic work if I take it a 9pm and 3am?" the answer is "no it won't and you need to drink plenty of fluids", but I know (as the staff I work with tell me) that they will take no notice, as they don't want to make up the missed fasts at a later date.

moffat Mon 05-Aug-13 23:05:36

YABU to call it nonsense but if it is affecting her health and her work obligations then she needs to rethink her plans. I fasted while working a few years ago when the days were shorter and took annual leave during this some of the time and worked through lunch hour so I could leave early.

The divide between those who have faith and those who don't is IMO too big for me to explain why Muslims, and those of other religions, fast, and why it is so valuable to them.

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