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Ramadan Mubarak

Ramaḍān is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and is considered one of the most spiritual times of the year for Muslims. It signifies the time during which the Qur’an was initially revealed and is the holy month of fasting, alms giving and prayer.  It is important for hockey clubs and leagues to raise awareness to ensure they understand the needs of Muslim players, coaches and officials during this important sacred month, Ramaḍān.

The Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon, commonly known as the lunar cycle. As a result, the month of Ramaḍān falls approximately 10 days earlier each year when compared to the Gregorian calendar. By following the lunar calendar and verified sightings of the new moon the exact start and end dates can vary between communities. . The Ramaḍān start date for 2023 is expected to begin on Wednesday 22 March, following the sighting of the moon over Makkah however this will vary from country to country. Lasting for 30 days, Ramaḍān will approximately end on Friday 21 April, with the celebratory days of Eid al-Fitr starting on Saturday 22 April or Sunday 23 April accordingly.

The Census 2021 results showed that there are 3.9 million Muslims in England and Wales, which represents 6.5% of the total population.

Ramaḍān provides an opportunity for many Muslims for deep spiritual focus and reflection as well as gatherings with friends, family and community. Charitable giving and gifting are also key features of the month.

Be aware of individual differences

Many Muslims find that Ramaḍān is a time where their usual spiritual practice increases, whilst other Muslims find Ramaḍān is a time to connect more with their faith than they do at other times of the year. Be aware of everyone’s differences.  Some Muslims who may not be particularly observant during the rest of the year may observe the rituals of Ramaḍān.

Equally do not assume that someone will be fasting during Ramaḍān. Some Muslims will have an exemption from fasting and these include, but are not limited to, children, people with long term health conditions or illness, older people, and women who are menstruating, pregnant or breast feeding.

Find out more:

Tips for fixtures organisers at clubs and leagues during Ramadan

  • Please take the time to ask your Muslim members if there is anything that they would appreciate your club doing to accommodate them during this time.
  • Ramaḍān is a sacred and reflective time and those observing the month may not be inclined to attend social activities or events which are scheduled for the evening.
  • 10 days at the end of the month of Ramaḍān are the most spiritual and so players, coaches and umpires are more likely to be unavailable for other activities.
  • The breaking of the fast each evening - Iftar - may well land during training times so be open to adjusting training to help players and coaches.
  • Do not make assumptions how people will feel during fasting, it will be a very individual experience so make sure everyone feels able to talk openly and to be respected.  Some people are energised by observing the month, some people will feel differently. Whilst children are exempt from fasting, be mindful of their parents who may be fasting themselves, attending increased, or longer prayer sessions, or preparing to host an Iftar.
  • Please be considerate of eating and drinking near fasting Muslims, be mindful of when and where you arrange drinks and teas.
  • Consider the food you offer for teas during Ramaḍān. If your team or the opposition includes Muslim players, speak to them about options if the teas will occur after sunset. They may wish to head elsewhere for Iftar but provide them with a choice.
  • Consider hosting an Iftar for your players or for another nearby team. It will provide a great opportunity to make people feel really welcomed and included in hockey.
  • If you are playing at sunset, agree the time that sunset will occur and wherever possible, enable a short break in playing for players and officials to be able to take a drink of water and consume dates or other energy giving food before resuming.

Thank you to The Muslim Sports Foundation who provided support with this guidance