Ramadan 2023

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it is a sacred month of fasting, prayer, and reflection for Muslims all over the world. 

It is considered one of the most spiritual times of the year and signifies the period during which the Qur’an was revealed.

It focuses on one of the five pillars of Islam that practising Muslims observe: fasting. Muslims will fast every day between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan, as well as undertake additional prayers and religious obligations. Although, it should be noted not all Muslims will be in a position to fast.

We asked some of our colleagues what Ramadan means to them and how they will be observing the month and/or supporting those around them.

Aadil Qureshi 

Ramadan is hands down my favourite time of the year. It is a month I eagerly look forward to and have done so for as long as I can remember. It might sound strange that one can be so eager to starve from dawn ‘til dusk but for me the trade-off is a no-brainer. I give up food and water for some hours and in return I am overwhelmed with a sense of togetherness, family, peace and tranquillity (not to mention the amazing food I do eat when I can during the month).

Whether it’s by virtue of the lack of food and drink, and therefore the lack of energy, or whether it’s just one of them intangible and spiritual things but I find myself spending no time on things that have no benefit to me or others. Instead, I channel the little energy I do have on reflecting both inwards, in terms of everything I have in my life to be grateful for, as well as reflecting outwards, asking myself what am I doing to make the world a better place.

Some of my fondest memories are centred around Ramadan, whether it was the first time I accompanied my dad to the mosque at seven years old, or staying up until the morning meal with my siblings laughing at the most unamusing times, or sitting with my mum whilst she has her first tea of the day at 9pm, or taking a long walk with my wife in the dead of night to get a tea and a chip butty. Ramadan is hands down my favourite time of year. It makes even the most mundane moments extraordinary.

Saima Rasool

Ramadan is important to me because it is a chance to reset and reflect on how I can improve my faith over the next year. It reminds me that I’m in a privileged position and it helps me to practice gratitude for the food that I have readily available. It’s also a chance to spend more time with my family. Some of my fondest memories of Ramadan are waking up to eat in the morning with all my family. There’s always one grumpy person who can barely mumble out a sentence and then it’s back to bed for them while the rest of us stay up!

When thinking about my favourite moments, perhaps surprisingly, I look forward to cooking more. I usually save new recipes I want to make prior to Ramadan and will try these out while fasting. I find it more fulfilling especially when I know I have a nice meal to look forward to and it’s a great way to pass the time. I love creating new memories with family and friends as we’ll often have dinner parties to celebrate opening our fast. Not to mention the food is always delicious! 

Inayah Noormahomed-Qureshi

Like most of us, I love my mum’s cooking. I have fond memories of preparing samosas, spring rolls and pastries with my mum as I grew up. We packed the freezer full of food, in readiness for the month of Ramadan. You see, most people think fasting is a great way to lose weight but many of us prepare food to be fried SPECIFICALLY during the month of Ramadan. So, not an inch of weight loss in sight!! 

This year, for the first year ever, I prepared spring rolls and samosas to pack my own freezer. It’s a surreal moment when you’re packing your own freezer with all the food you’ve prepared yourself, or that your mother and mother-in-law have prepared for you and your husband. The adult in me wants to scream because I can’t tell my dad to wake me up for sehri (pre-sunrise meal) anymore! 

Ramadan isn’t just about eating/not eating. It is a month of reflection, a month of devout prayer (men will often spend up to two hours at the mosque after dinner) but most importantly, a month of peace and serenity. No words can describe the peace you feel when you wake for your first sehri during the month of Ramadan. The prayers that leave your heart during this month are ones you make so deeply and with such authenticity. I am really excited for the month of Ramadan to begin, and I am grateful to be sharing the month with my husband and our cat Luna, for the first year in our own home.  

Eleanor Tanner

Ramadan is important to me because it’s important to our people. One of our values is ‘being ourselves’, and to me that means being respectful and supportive of everyone’s background and educating myself on what’s important to them.

Until recently, my family and I lived in Tooting, a very multi-cultural area of South London. Both our street and our kids’ school had a high proportion of Muslim families and Ramadan, particularly Eid-al-Fitr, was a time when the community came together to celebrate and share cultural stories. My particular favourite was the sharing of food gifts and interesting treats for those breaking their fasts, and for Eid itself, and how we were welcomed to participate, despite not having Muslim heritage. We’ve moved house now but will be sending our old friends some treats by post, just as we sent them Christmas treats earlier in the year.

I will be supporting colleagues by demonstrating respect and consideration of those fasting, wishing my colleagues Ramadan Mubarak and generally supporting everyone to ‘be themselves’.

Ayah Elomrani expands on this by offering suggestions for how everyone can actively support colleagues:

  • Be mindful of flexible working arrangements. 
  • Don’t presume that because they are fasting, they will want to work through lunch. There are many other ways to take a break from work, and they will still be looking forward to their lunch hour.
  • Show consideration to colleagues as and when applicable, perhaps acknowledging the month. People tend to say ‘Happy Ramadan’; ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ (blessed); or ‘Ramadan Kareem’ (generous).

In line with these suggestions, we have produced and shared a guidance note across the firm to provide further information on supporting our colleagues and teams during Ramadan.

Learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at Shoosmiths and our Embrace network.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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