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Experiencing Ramadan: Hussein Hamed, Electrical Lead, Frankfurt
Author: Cormac Byrne  /  2nd May, 2022  /  News

For over 1.5 billion Muslims across the globe, Ramadan is a month-long period of religious observance which includes fasting from sunrise to sunset for a total of thirty days. This year, Ramadan commenced on April 2nd, and ended on May 1st, culminating with the breaking of the fast, in a festival known as Eid al-Fitr.

Fasting is observed between sunrise and sunset, which can last been 11-17 hours, depending on location and this is complemented by special prayers which take place throughout the day.

As an industry leader we currently have operations spanning across 14+ countries, and we count on people from 46 different nationalities, who make up our diverse, global teams. Embedding diversity and inclusion in our practices means listening to our employees and understanding how our people are experiencing D&I culture within Mercury.

We recently spoke with Hussein Hamed, an Electrical Lead on a data centre project in Frankfurt, Germany, and asked him how we can better understand and support our Muslim colleagues, as they partake in Ramadan.

You can read Hussein’s full insight below.

Almost two billion Muslims take part in Ramadan every year, but in some parts of the world, there are people who don’t know much about it. Can you tell us, what does Ramadan involve?

“Ramadan, or as it is sometimes known, the Holy Month, is the month when the Holy Quran was first revealed. During this period, Muslims have to carry out a number of vital religious tasks. This starts with fasting, which is one of the five pillars of Islam, from dawn until sunset, along with regular activities, such as performing the five normal prayers, we also practice additional Ramadan specific ones. These additional prayers can be carried out in a mosque, or in your home, including the Tarwiah prayer, for the duration of the month. This follows the Aisha prayer, and these can vary from two sets to whatever number the individual is able to perform. In the last ten days of Ramadan, Muslims pray with additional prayers called Tahajod, and these usually take place after midnight.”

Why do you take part in Ramadan?

As an adult Muslim, one must carry out the five pillars of the Islamic religion which consist of the following: Profession of Faith (Shahada), Five Prayers, Alms (Zakat), Fasting, (Hajj) pilgrimage to Kabah.

Are there any challenges associated with fasting while working in the construction industry?

“This year, fasting started with 16 hours per day, and by the end of Ramadan, this increased to 17 hours. Usually, the first few days are the hardest to handle, and then we get used to it and carry out our life tasks as normal. In Muslim countries the working hours during the month are usually decreased to 6 hours per day. However, in Europe this is not the case. Typically, the hours of work are lessened to help cope with the fact that one may have low energy while fasting and also to provide more time to carry out the usual religious prayers and activities during this holy month.”

Do you notice any benefits when fasting?

“For sure! Fasting is all about benefits. It has been proven that fasting is better for the body and for one’s health. When you fast, you get to experience how poor people feel when they have no resources to support their needs. This is linked to another pillar of Islam, known as Zakat, where we donate a percentage of savings to poor people (Alms).”

What can we do to support colleagues who are fasting and taking part in Ramadan?

“Thanks for asking! Basically, just to understand that this month is a holy month for Muslims, and we try our best to stay focused on maintaining good manners and to stay as close as possible to the spiritual religious activities.”

What are your plans for Eid al-Fitr?

“For this year, I unfortunately have no plans because Eid al Fitr takes place on a working day for me.”

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