Jennifer Ogunyemi is the founder of the award winning Sisters in Business, the largest community of Muslim businesswomen in Europe. Jennifer is an inspiring speaker, published author and business and confidence coach. She has been a mentor with MWC since January 2021.
As with every year I look around me and see so many getting into the Ramadan vibe, the excitement that ensues because a beautiful holy month is upon us. If I said that I don’t feel that excitement, in fact I become scared, quiet and my thoughts around fasting intensifies. This was me just 3 – 4 years ago!
Since my reversion to Islam 17 years ago, I had spent so much time setting crazy goals and not meeting them, feeling sad and angry that I didn’t. Blaming myself for not ‘being a good enough Muslim’ and losing the love I once felt for Ramadan.
Fast forward and I am now very open about my Ramadan, why I do not stop working, why my team continues to work and how I take it day-by-day. As a diabetic (although it’s now reversed, but the damage is still done) the first thing I do is plan out what my meals would look like, how can I keep hydrated enough, and get enough rest so I can be energised throughout the day.
A typical day in Ramadan consists, of course, of my children, their school routines and all their activities in between. My team, work and all the projects I am involved with, I make sure to sneak in moments of rest too. So here is my daily routine. I hope that inspires you to take the real benefits of Ramadan, which is to feel what those who experience these moments of hunger and thirst on a daily basis.
The essence of Ramadan for me is to continue as usual but with a few more moments of rest and ibaadah, the last few years of taking it day-by-day, lowering my expectations and doing what I am able to do has allowed me to love Ramadan. I am able to connect with Allah as I have no pressure to be the ‘best Muslim’ during this month only, it keeps me motivated by resting and being the best CEO to my awesome team.
Keep me in your duas during this month, as I will you. X
This Ramadan, Muslim Women Connect have put together a comprehensive guide for employers and organisations to help build inclusivity in the workplace by raising awareness of Ramadan and suggesting how organisations can support their Muslim colleagues during this important month.
Download our digital PDF version here to circulate amongst your own colleagues and friends.
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