Like last year, many of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims who observe Ramadan will be doing so in a very different way than what they’re used to. For a month that’s rooted in social gathering – from breaking fast together, worshipping together, and doing charity together – not being able to observe it the way we always have is still not easy.
Ramadan is considered the holiest month in the Islamic lunar calendar. It’s a month where Muslims fast and abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset for 30 days as an act of worship as a way to practice self-control, gratitude and compassion for those less fortunate. In most parts of the world, this year Ramadan began on Tuesday, April 13 and will end on Tuesday, May 12.
Our Intuit Muslim Awareness Network (IMAN) members share some of the core principles of Ramadan and how they support becoming a better version of themselves. Our team has shared that although difficult, the lack of social activity has helped give greater focus on the core principles of what the month was founded on: patience, perseverance, and positivity.
By focusing on these three principles, you can get better at them. And when you get better at them, you can become a better version of yourself.
Fasting throughout an entire day, and doing it consecutively for 30 days, is impossible without patience. Without food, tolerance for even ordinary things wears thin. But it’s patience that gets you through it all, and you get stronger with each passing day. And with the way things are around the world, patience has helped get everyone through unexpected circumstances, from the first lockdown in March 2020 to today.
“I look forward to Ramadan every year as a time to consciously slow down, aim to be kinder, and be more gentle with myself. With each passing day, I can really feel the physical challenge of not eating and drinking, but I cherish the mental clarity that comes with it, and the renewed appreciation for everything I’m blessed with.”
-Humera Shahid, Vice President Talent Development
Perseverance is defined as “finishing what one starts; persevering in a course of action despite obstacles; ‘getting it out the door’; taking pleasure in completing tasks.” For many, completing a full day’s fast is the very definition of perseverance. Throughout the month, the process of bettering oneself through prayer, meditation, fasting, acts of giving, and self-reflection are all acts of perseverance, each with its own reward. And having that capability is vital when you’re living through a pandemic.
“It’s hard enough to get through one day, let alone a month. But it’s amazing as the days go on, to realize that you can do it because of this incredible sense of faith and connection to God. I love the spirituality it brings to my life. I get so connected to the world around me throughout the year and all the goals I’m chasing for my life; Ramadan always re-anchors me.”
-Rania Succar, SVP, QuickBooks Money Offerings
One of the outcomes of continuously practicing patience and perseverance is positivity. Doing good leads to feeling good, and putting a positive spin on any situation, looking at the silver lining, this is how you can start to change the situation itself. It’s almost a science how great you feel both physically and mentally after 30 days of Ramadan, and feeling extra positive is something we can all have more of these days.
“As a non-religious person, what I’ve always admired about Ramadan is the tradition that’s fundamentally rooted in empathy. It’s all about putting yourself in the shoes of those who are less fortunate, putting your lifestyle on hold to connect to the most foundational element that makes us humans and empathy for one another.”
– Lionel Mohri, VP of Brand Experiences & Storytelling
While a number of our Muslim employees observe Ramadan by fasting to strengthen their relationship with God, every one of us can observe Ramadan by practicing self-discipline, increasing our empathy for those less fortunate, rekindling relationships with friends and family, and spreading kindness to everyone we know.
The importance of our employee resource groups (ERGs)
Our Intuit Muslim Awarness Network (IMAN) is one of 12 employee resource groups at Intuit — these employee help lay the foundation for a culture of diversity and inclusion, while also helping to build understanding, empathy and capability for our employees and customers around the world.
While we may not have all the same experiences, we can learn from one another. Together, we can make a difference in creating a more equal world.