For the past month, Muslims around the world have been observing Ramadan. It’s an important time to reflect, pray and practise compassion and humility. Nazlee Salami shares what this holy month means to her and our Muslim teammates.
Nazlee is a second-year graduate in our Community, Diversity & Inclusion team.
Since 23 April, she has joined her fellow Muslims in observing Ramadan – the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, marked by the sighting of the new moon.
During this holy month, Muslims fast from before dawn through to sunset every day for 29 or 30 days.
“Ramadan is a time to go within,” Nazlee explains.
“It’s a time to explore what is left inside when you remove the distractions and desires of worldly life, like food and water.
“By challenging your body physically, you are forced to turn your attention to the mental, emotional and spiritual parts of yourself, which may go unnoticed in your normal day-to-day life. In this way, Ramadan is a time of self-reflection.”
Sharing and learning
Prior to Ramadan, Brisbane-based Nazlee shared a note with her team to share what her observance involves what it means to her and how her team can support her throughout the month.
“Running on an empty stomach means that I have less energy and it can be difficult to sustain focus and concentration, especially if you’re sitting in front of a computer most of the day.
“My hope is that my colleagues can be patient and flexible with me when it comes to my workload and deadlines.
“I also appreciate it when my colleagues check in every now and then by asking me how I’m feeling or offer to lend a hand when it’s needed.”
Nazlee noted that many people are curious about Islam and what it means to be a Muslim and encourages colleagues across the business to ask questions.
“I like it when people show their interest and ask questions about what I’m doing and why,” Nazlee said.
“I think it’s not the act of asking itself, but how you ask that is important.
“If people ask questions respectfully and thoughtfully, I think the conversation can be a powerful way of learning about other people’s ideas, beliefs and cultures.
“If we don’t ask questions, we don’t learn; and if we don’t learn, then we form our own blind judgements and prejudices.
“I don’t consider myself to be an expert on the topic, so if I do feel unsure or uncomfortable responding to a particular question, then I can at least point you in the right direction to find the answer.”