Supporting pharmacist wellbeing during Ramadan

Hear from pharmacist and charity volunteer, Aamer, about the importance of Ramadan, Eid and Zakat in the Muslim faith.  

Aamer Safdar has spent over 25 years working in pharmacy, leading on education, training and workforce development. He is also a Pharmacist Support volunteer. In this article, he shares with us the meaning of Ramadan and Eid.

Major holidays celebrated by pharmacists of Muslims faith

Islam has two official holidays: Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. The former is celebrated at the end of the month of Ramadan, whereas Eid Al-Adha lands on the 10th day of the final month of the Islamic calendar.

What happens during Ramadan

The month of Ramadan is a month of self-discipline, reflection, prayer and community. Most Muslims (apart from pre-pubescent children, people who have medical conditions like diabetes, women who are pregnant and the elderly) will fast between the hours of sunrise and sunset and it’s usual for families to get together and break the fast in the mosque or at home.

Ramadan is also about remembering those who are suffering and are less fortunate than us. Because of this, it’s equally a month of giving, so one of the main aspects of Ramadan includes the giving of charity for people in need. This is known as Zakat. Zakat requires people of the Islamic faith to donate 2.5% of one’s total annual earnings to charity.

The day of Eid marks the end of Ramadan and it’s traditional to meet families and friends and eat together.

Tips for supporting pharmacists’ wellbeing during Ramadan

In the workplace or in university, it can be tricky to maintain a fast because there will be times when concentration is compromised, and errors occur. It is very important for supervisors to acknowledge this and provide reasonable adjustments as and when possible. The same applies to registered pharmacists and other members of the team. As the month continues, mental fatigue can kick in so people should take short breaks if possible (in busy pharmacies or hospitals this may not be easy, so extra support should be available).

Muslims pray five times a day and will inevitably pray once in the working day and provisions should be made if possible.

Celebrating Eid as a pharmacy team

On the day of Eid, it’s always a joy when pharmacists of all religious or non-religious backgrounds can acknowledge this important festival together – even if it’s simply wishing one another ‘Eid Mubarak’ which means ‘have a blessed Eid’.

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