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Ramadan is coming. And for those that fast, this is probably the worst time of year for Ramadan. With daylight hours clocking in at almost 15 hours of the day, Ramadan (always difficult) is especially hard during summer.
So, as an attorney that is working at a fast pace for much of the day, how do you fulfill your religious obligations, while also fulfilling your professional and ethical obligations?
1. Get Up Early
The last thing you want to do is start a 14+ hour-fast hungry. Do what many Muslims do -- wake up pre-dawn to eat a filling and satisfying meal. Try to eat foods that will keep you full longer, and drink plenty of water. Start out your fast on a full stomach.
2. Stay Away From Temptation
That is, stay away from the part of the office that has food and beverages. Why make it harder for yourself? Also, if your file cabinet drawer looks anything like mine, you may want to empty it of its contents for the month.
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3. Adjust Work Hours
If it's at all possible, try to adjust your work schedule for the month. Perhaps you can get an early start, such as going to work around 6 a.m., soon after sunrise. Doing so will allow you to go home early so you can rest during those difficult hours later in the day -- and will ensure that you will be home (and have food ready) when it's time to break fast. Another option is to take a restorative nap during your lunch hour.
4. Be Considerate
Perhaps you are not fasting, but you have employees that are. Try to be considerate and not schedule lunch meetings, or meetings that will go late into the night when time to break fast approaches.
5. Professional and Ethical Obligations
Remember that in addition to your religious obligations, you also have professional and ethical obligations. If it's difficult for you to do your job and remain focused, it's not only unfair to bill your clients, but you're putting your clients at risk. To avoid this, there may be times when you decide you have to break fast. It's a personal decision that only you can make. There are options like rinsing your mouth with water, or postponing your fast -- but again, it's a personal decision and you must conform to your own beliefs.
We wish you well as you embark on your month of fasting and reflection.