This year Ramadan will begin on or around July 19th. During Ramadan, which ends August 18th, Muslims who observe Ramadan will fast from dawn to dusk and will abstain from eating or drinking, among other things.
Typically, Muslim legal professionals will strive to perform their prayers at five prescribed times during the day and will break their fast and have something to eat at sunset. Such observances rarely take more than five to ten minutes but they can occur during business hours. That said, Muslims across America have been fulfilling their Ramadan obligations for years and rarely has it disrupted their professional responsibilities.
We believe that many law firms, corporate legal departments, government entities, judicial chambers and other organizations may not be aware of the religious observances followed by many Muslim lawyers during Ramadan. We are confident that if informed, legal employers would be more that willing to provide whatever minimal accommodations might be necessary to assist their Muslim colleagues. While each person’s needs are unique, such accommodations are often as simple as briefly excusing a colleague from a meeting so that he or she may break their fast or offer prayers. For example, summer interns who are observing the fast may opt out of lunches or other engagements. In addition, the end of Ramadan is marked by the joyous holiday of Eid ul Fitr, and many Muslim lawyers may seek to take the day off to attend services and spend the day in celebration with family and friends.