The time of year is once again upon us, celebrated more than it is dreaded: the holy month of Ramadan, a significant month in the Islamic calendar, in which fasting is a requirement. It forms one of the pillars of Islam, where Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and consuming anything which could invalidate a fast from sunrise to sunset each day. 

This year, proudly, I undertake my 20th Ramadan, having begun at the age of 9.

Each year, during this time, there are many questions and a few misconceptions directed towards those of the Islamic faith. I was reading this article today and I hope that it sheds more light and insight on Ramadan to those who may not be aware of what it entails. Alternatively, if you have any questions, I'm more than happy to answer them for you!

It can be a taxing month, with one's metabolism and mindset being thrown into complete chaos, but many Muslims still work diligently during this period. 

Celebrating my first year with Recruit I.T. this week takes me back to last year, when I first started and - two weeks in - I had to begin fasting, while still proving my worth. Not the best of situations to be in, but I'm grateful to have stood tall and to also have received the patience of those around me. 

This year, I've been given the opportunity to change my office hours to coincide with what will become earlier starts and finishes, allowing me to work optimally whilst also allowing me to get home in time for iftaar, the finishing of the daily fast.

If you have a colleague, friend or acquaintance observing the holy month of Ramadan, I implore you to be considerate and patient with them while they undergo a significant test of their will. They will be incredibly grateful for it and you will be much appreciated for it. 

More importantly, please do not feel uncomfortable around anyone who is fasting or feel as if you cannot eat or drink around them. You'd be surprised at the will power that keeps us going! The last thing any Muslim would want to do is impose said beliefs on you, so it's just business as usual.

I'd be interested to know: What are you, your friends, families, colleagues, companies and so forth doing and implementing to ensure consideration and community during Ramadan? 

Ramadan Kareem to you all.