Reflections of our colleagues who joined Muslims at GDS for a day of fasting

The Muslims at GDS community has now been going for a year. Established last Ramadan, it’s flourished into a great network, and over the last year we’ve done a range of different things: from Muslim technology talks to an Eid food event to hosting Muslim school girls for work experience opportunities. This year, however, things are different with remote working, but we still wanted to find a way to celebrate Ramadan and involve the wider GDS community.

In collaboration with the wider Civil Service Muslim network, we decided to host a fast-a-thon challenge, inviting colleagues to join us on our fast for the day.

What was involved

The fast-a-thon was aimed at mostly at non-Muslim colleagues, irrespective of faith/belief, and generally involved participants fasting (abstaining from food and drink) a full day alongside Muslim colleagues, or skipping lunch. Participants were also asked to donate lunch money to one of our chosen charitable causes. The fast also involved abstaining from bad/negative thoughts, actions, and speech from dawn to dusk. We gave our colleagues a few options they could either:

  • join us in observing the fast from 3:24am until 8:47pm (London time)
  • skip lunch on 20 May, donate their lunch money to one or both of our supported charities, and break their fast at the end of the working day
  • abstain from food but not drink

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