Although there are wide variations in how individuals Muslims practice Islam, this series of blog posts has covered many of the common and widely accepted practices in the Muslim community. If you haven’t already, check out the first two installments in this series: holidays and daily prayers. In the final installment of this series, we focus on some of the other practices your Muslim employees, friends, and co-workers likely observe.
Food Restrictions. In social gatherings, Muslim employees may have dietary restrictions. Islamic jurisprudence specifies which foods are halāl (“lawful”) and which are harām (“unlawful”). Haram food includes intoxicants (such as alcoholic beverages), pork, or blood.
Clothes. Islam teachings have certain rules related to the clothing of men and woman. Muslim men and women are not allowed to wear clothes are tight or revealing. For Muslim women, this includes, most noticeably, wearing a headscarf covering their hair and chest.
- Ramadan: The annual observance of the fasting month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims are required to fast the month of Ramadan, which lasts 29–30 days based on the lunar cycle. While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations. Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting except in self-defense. Food and drink are served daily, before dawn and after sunset, referred to as Suhoor and Iftar respectively.
- Voluntary fasting: In addition to Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged, although not obligated, to fast on other days throughout the year.
- Hajj: is one of the five pillars of Islam. Hajj is the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the most holy city for Muslims, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.
- Umrah: is an Islamic pilgrimage and it is similar to hajj but it is voluntary and it can be undertaken at any time of the year.
- Both of Hajj and Umrah could take up to two weeks.
Open, respectful dialogue is important in navigating cultural diversity. Please feel free to reach out to our associate attorney Mohamed at Mohamed@davismeansbusiness.com with any questions about the practice of Islam at work.