A Ramadan Etiquette Guide For Non-Muslims.

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  • 1. You can totally eat in front of us ...

    For the next 30 days, Muslims around the world will abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours. That doesn't mean you shouldn't carry on business as usual. (Just turn a deaf ear to our growling stomachs.)

    2. ... but try not to schedule a work lunch

    If you have to host a brown-bag, you should. But don't feel bad if we sit there, like a vegetarian friend at a churrascaria. Ditto for a happy-hour mixer. If your Muslim co-worker takes a pass, understand.
    A boy attends the early morning prayer at  Al Noor Mosque  in Sharjah, UAE.
     
    A boy attends the early morning prayer at Al Noor Mosque in Sharjah, UAE.
    Francois Nel/Getty Images

    3. You don't have to fast with us ...

    You can if you want to see what it feels like. But it's not going to hurt our feelings -- even if we're best friends.

    4. ... but you can join us for Iftar

    Iftar is the breaking of the fast after sundown. We like to make it a big communal meal. You should come.
    A Muslim woman walks on "sea of sands" as she prepares for prayer at Parangkusumo Beach in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
     
    A Muslim woman walks on "sea of sands" as she prepares for prayer at Parangkusumo Beach in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
    Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

    5. You don't have to know when it begins ...

    Ramadan isn't like Christmas or Thanksgiving, as in everyone knows exactly when it'll fall. It bounces around, because the Islamic calendar is lunar. When it begins depends on when the new moon is seen. That's why the precise dates change from year to year.
     

    6. ... but please be a little flexible

    How we determine when Ramadan begins is decidedly old-school: You have to physically see the moon. That's why, if your co-worker says, "Starting tomorrow, can I start work early so I can leave sooner?" try to accommodate.
     

    7. We'll still go for coffee with you ...

    No, we can't drink. Not even water. But we'll walk with you if you want to take a break.

    8. ... but we may keep our distance

    One word: Halitosis. You try not eating or drinking for the entire day. That's why we're standing a foot away from you when we talk.
     
     
     

Source : IWN Online Editor

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