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Ramadan is the name of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the holiest month of the year for Muslims and is a time for reflection, spiritual devotion and renewal.
Ramadan 2021 has arrived, meaning 2 billion Muslims from around the world will now be fasting for a whole month. Fasting lasts either 29 or 30 days, depending on when the crescent moon appears.
Though restrictions are easing gradually, some are still in place during Ramadan 2021, which may impact on this sacred time and effect usual annual activities. There is a range of COVID19 advice for British Muslims that can be found on The Muslim Council of Britain’s website, https://mcb.org.uk/resources/coronavirus/, which is aimed at aiding in keeping our communities as safe as possible.
Along with the rest of the Muslim community in Derbyshire, some of our fellow colleagues will also be observing Ramadan. We caught up with Valeed Ahmed, Business Change Support Manager for Forensic Services at our East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), to see how working during fasting can be a challenging time for him over the month.
“During my time within Derbyshire Constabulary, I have spent most of my time in the laboratory, working in the forensics business area.
“Whilst fasting, you get on with your normal day-to-day duties, but not being able to eat or drink does make normal activities a bit more challenging due to the lack of energy you experience.
“Ramadan for me is truly a time to self-reflect. I get carried away, wanting more and aspiring to do more - but sometimes you can forget the blessings you already have in life. Knowing where my next meal is coming from, and that I have accesses to clean water and a bed to sleep in; many around the world would see as a luxury. During this sacred period, I try and improve myself as an individual and appreciate more of what I have around me, rather what I think I need.
“During the day, when you are not eating or drinking, you do start feel the effects from this - though it does get a little easier, as your body adjusts to the fasting state, throughout the month.
“All of the line managers I’ve had over the years have been very accommodating and ensured any support or help I required was in place. Adjusting work timings can help your body to rest when fasting and I’ve been allowed to change the hours of work, split my breaks up and carry out lighter duties where possible.
“The same goes for my team, including all the colleagues I have had an opportunity of working with over the years, the support I have always had from colleagues has always been appreciated. It’s always nice to see how we all aim to support each other in our different ways.”
Ramadan Mubarak to all those preparing to fast. On behalf of the force, we warmly wish you a blessed and peaceful month.