Supporting Muslim Staff and Students During Ramadan

Supporting Muslim Staff and Students During Ramadan

Every year, Muslims around the world anticipate the sighting of the new crescent moon that signifies the official first day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the most sacred month in Islamic culture. The start of Ramadan fluctuates each year because the lunar Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon. Ramadan is expected to begin on Monday the 11th of March 2024 and end on Tuesday the 9th of April 2024 in the United Kingdom.  

During this time, practicing Muslims will fast. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and is an act of worship in which one refrains from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. However, Ramadan is more than not eating, it is also a time of extra prayers, reflection, discipline, abstaining from bad habits, charity, acts of kindness and connection with family and community. During Ramadan, Muslims aim to grow spiritually and build stronger relationships with Allah.

However, not all Muslims choose to fast, or cannot fast for a variety of reasons including health, menstruation, pregnancy, and old age. However, they can still get involved in the charity, spiritual and community aspect of the month. Additionally, days missed fasting can be made up throughout the rest of the year.

The end of fasting is celebrated with a community festival known as Eid al-Fitr in which friends and family visit each other, exchange gifts and socialise. Traditionally, Eid is celebrated for three days and in Muslim countries, these are a public holiday.

How you can support Muslim staff and students during Ramadan:

The University is committed to supporting staff and students observing Ramadan where possible. During Ramadan, Muslim staff and students may be fasting during daylight hours. As a result, towards the end of the day concentration and productivity are likely to be lower than normal. Steps can be taken to ensure staff and students are supported during this time:

  • Be open to listening and encourage Muslim staff and students to discuss Ramadan and how it may affect their work or study
  • Be mindful of the impact fasting might have on staff and students as the day progresses
  • If possible, avoid arranging meetings or events that involve food or beverages
  • Where possible, allow flexible working or studying arrangements. For example, earlier start and finish, rescheduling complex meetings, exams (where practicable) or difficult tasks, and allowing rest breaks throughout the day to pray.
  • Allow time off if possible during Eid al-Fitr.
  • Familiarise yourself with the University Religion and Belief Policy and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Information about Muslim Prayer spaces can be found on the Places of Worship webpage or within the Religion and Belief Policy


To wish someone a Happy Ramadan, the greeting most commonly used is "Ramadan Mubarak" which translates to "blessed Ramadan". Another greeting is "Ramadan Kareem", which translates to "generous Ramadan". The best way to express best wishes for Eid is to say "Eid Mubarak". 


If you have any questions, please contact the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy.