A Year or two ago, i had heard rumours about this and dismissed it as pure heresy being spread around like many things that tend to. The ‘supposed’ rumour was, a sportsman who is a muslim can be excused from fasting in the month of Ramadan. Since fasting will have a dramatic effect on his/her performance. The stamina, the energy and the endurance levels of the athlete will be down due to the fast. He/she will not be able to train for that matter, which in turn will have an effect on his/her livelihoods. The exception, a fatwa issued by the “prestigious” Al Azar Islāmic university was used to justify the these ideas. Where highest ranking islamic scholars from the Sunni world were apparently ‘unanimous’ in agreement. That, a muslim athlete can be excused from fasting in the month of Ramadan. Should this co-inside with a person’s need to participate in a competition or event. Celebrity sportsman like Mesut Ozil, a Real Madrid football player. Took up this idea at once, when it first emerged.
Now, a year or two after this initial rumour was spread around and mouths had finished talking. Everything went back to normal, apparently. It seems not everything had been put to bed. A recent article on the emitates247 website seems to have dug up this issue again, and adding fuel to the fire once more. Suggesting;
There will be no pressure on the players to fast since the Grand Mufti of Dubai Sheikh Ahmed Al Haddad had said players who do not fast can make up by fasting in the period following the games,” UAE’s Olympic football coach Mahdi Ali, told this website.
Throughout my time growing up here in the west i have seen, heard and witnessed many strange, baffling and sometimes wondrous things. However, i have to say, this piece of ‘news’, tops all of them. I find it questioningly difficult to give credence to the authority of this ‘mufti’. Never have i heard such utter, useless and wrong decision being made! The answer to this question of fasting for a muslim athlete can easily be found in the seerah. The seerah is filled in valiant struggles that the companions made during the month of Ramadan. Take for example, the battle of badr. It took place right in the middle of Ramadan. Some narrations say 17th, whereas others say the 15th day of Ramadan.
People who have been to the Arabian deserts and experienced the heat. Can testify that the summer and the heat of the Saudi Arabian desert is like nothing else on earth. You can probably boil a raw egg just by cracking it open in the heat! The heat is just unbearable!
Fasting in ramadan was made obligatory in the second of hijri. This battle took place on the 17th of Ramadhaan in the second Hijri year near the well of Badr.
Now, imagine having to walk to the desert (the battlefield of badr) for more than 200 – 300 miles in that blazing heat. No cars, no air-conditioned coaches or trains to take you there. Just your bare feet and two horses, shared by 313 people over the length of the journey! On top of all that, imagine you had to make this journey whilst you were fasting. Not to mention then having to fight the actual battle once you arrived at the battlefield with swords, sticks, and stones.
This is exactly what the blessed companions of the prophet (Saw) had to endure and go through. This is why after the battle, the illustrious companions of badr were known as ‘Badris’. That is, the people who fought in badr. They were the people who had an extra special place in the heart of the prophet (saw)! He (saw) would remember these companions like no others.
My point in mentioning all this was to draw your attention to one crucial point. If the excuse is, the muslim athletic will suffer if he/she fasts during their performance. That, it will tire him or her. Then why on earth would the companions go through all these hardships, and endure all the things they did? Surely they too could have come to the same conclusion as the ‘mufti’ of Dubai. In that, they could have said, ‘we are going to a battle, in order to conserve and keep our energy we will not fast. This will enable us to eat and drink when we need to’. Despite this there was no let up and the companions went on fighting whilst fasting, valiantly!.
It just goes to show the time we are living in. The true people of Allah are slowly being taken away from us. In their place we are replacing them with mediocre ‘scholars’ who are the puppets of governments and stooges of ministers. When it comes to establishing the real truth of the matter, they shy away from it and think first of their pockets. ‘better not say this, lest i lose my post as the grand mufti. As a result lose my income’. Is what plays in their minds, hearts and souls.
Sad times indeed!
Article on Emirates 24/7: http://www.emirates247.com/uae-olympic-team-exempted-from-ramadan-fast-2012-05-24-1.460034