If work is simply the place you earn your bread and punch in your hours, why not redefine it this Ramadan? Make your workplace the scenario for Dawa, especially in the current tension-filled atmosphere of misunderstandings about Islam and Muslims.
Here are some ideas that can help you share Ramadan with your boss and coworkers this year.
1. Begin informing people about it as soon as possible
Start telling bosses, supervisors and coworkers about Ramadan now. Bring it up in the course of conversation casually.
In terms of when Ramadan starts and ends, just give the projected date (i.e. for Ramadan this year, it's November 6th). Don't get non-Muslims involved in the technicalities of finding out the correct date. Do the same for Eid. You can decide for yourself which date to start and stop fasting on.
2. Post it up
On your office or department bulletin board, put up a factsheet on Ramadan, with a short introduction of yourself and which department you are from. Don't just give the facts, but also include a few sentences about what this blessed month means to you (i.e. spiritual growth, closeness to God, being more generous, etc.).
3. Get an article printed in your local newspaper and circulate copies
This will not only be good Dawa - it may even promote department/company pride (i.e. one of our employees is a writer too!). Post it up with the masthead of the newspaper on top.
4. Negotiate your lunch hour with the boss
This is another task that needs to be done as soon as possible. Explain that you will need a short break for prayer and then you will take lunch break at Iftar time.
5. Talk to the office cafeteria people about your Iftar needs
If you normally buy lunch at the cafeteria, explain to the cafeteria staff that you would like to arrange to have your lunch saved for Iftar time. Ask them to keep one serving of lunch in the fridge so you can pick it up at Iftar time.
6. Create a "Ramadan corner" at your desk
If you have your own desk at work, dedicate a corner of it that is accessible to passersby the "Ramadan corner". Put a basket of dates, sweets, written information on Ramadan and maybe a small frame of eye-catching Islamic calligraphy on it. Post a note inviting coworkers to the free sweets and information.
7. Have a small Iftar gathering at your desk
Invite coworkers to a snack of dates and fresh fruits during Iftar time. At least once, have a more formal meal ready for everyone (check with your boss before you do this).
8. Distribute written material on Ramadan
If you've got a central location in your workplace where people can pick up free newspapers, get permission to stack a factsheet and pamphlets on Ramadan.
You can also leave the sheets on the Ramadan corner of your desk.
9. Get a Ramadan greeting from your boss
Have your boss, commanding officer or head of the department issue a public notification that Ramadan is coming up or is here and they and the company congratulates all Muslim employees on this occasion.
10. Put an article about Ramadan in the office newsletter
If you have a company or department newsletter, write up a personal article about why you are looking forward to Ramadan and what Ramadan is. Then arrange for them to publish it.