Last week we held a companywide fasting day as part of our celebrations and awareness for Ramadan (also spelt Ramadhan or Ramzan). We invited all of Team Trident to join in the fast for just one day, to experience what it’s like for our Muslim colleagues and clients who fast for 30 days, as well as create an understanding of this sacred time of year.
What was involved?
We abstained from eating or drinking between sunset or sunrise, which was roughly 4:51am-7:45pm on our chosen day, and were encouraged to avoid negative thoughts, emotions, and speech.
While not everyone could join in the fast for various reasons, we asked everyone to get involved in any way they could, either by carrying out an adapted fast, or by getting in the spirit of Ramadan in other ways such as donating to charity and doing good deeds for the day.
We then all came together in the evening to break the fast, this meal is known as Iftar.
Here’s how we found it:
Daksha Mistry, London:
“I have to admit, I was feeling a bit apprehensive about the day ahead when I was walking into work, but I was going to give it a go and do the best that I could. I started to feel hungry about lunchtime, but my methods of coping were to immerse myself in work and try not to look at my watch. I started to get headaches later on in the day and was extremely thirsty. I was also delighted to be invited round to a neighbours to break the fast with them, it was great for both our families to come together.”
The majority of the Leeds team got involved, and used Tridents agile working policy to adjust their hours, so they would all be in the office together for Iftar.
As soon as they arrived in the office, the first order of business was to decide what they would eat that evening, and make sure it was scheduled for delivery for 7:45pm. While some said that thinking about food helped them stay motivated during the fast, not everyone agreed and insisted it made them feel hungry.
“I’m glad we decided to do this together as a team in the office, there were some difficult moments, but we all distracted each other when we had periods of feeling hungry and thirsty which really helped” – Tom Hardy
Around 4pm, the entire team began feeling very thirsty and sluggish. Normally this would be time for a tea break, but since no drinking was allowed, they resorted to playing mini golf and darts in order to boost morale for the final push to sunset.
At sunset, the team reflected on the day before breaking the fast by eating dates, a tradition during Ramadan. Once it was time to eat the office went silent, as focus shifted to food and drinks.
“Usmaan’s enthusiasm and energy in the office really kept the morale up and helped me get through the day. It was great to break the fast together and to hear Usmaan’s experiences of past fasts. I think we all learned a lot. – Alexandra Price
“The fast really put into perspective how colleagues who do Ramadan for the duration really feel during the 30 day fast. I didn’t find the not eating part so terrible, but the lack of water really started to take its toll. It was hard to keep focus during times. I definitely have a greater appreciation for those who do the fasting every year” – Jake Harrison
Vanessa Dacre, Liverpool :
“I set my alarm early and got up and had a double dose of porridge and two pints of water before heading back to bed before work. I did the fast at home by myself , so I wrote the time of sunset down on a post-it note to keep me motived. I don’t think I could do it for an entire month.”
We hope that by holding the fasting day, understanding has been built around this important time for our Muslim colleagues and clients as we continue to have conversations and raise awareness about Ramadan.