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July 22nd, 2012
03:00 AM ET

Muslim Olympians wrestle with Ramadan dilemma

By Richard Allen Greene and Aroub Abdelhaq, CNN

London (CNN)– Olympic judo competitor Hemeed Al Drie plans to sin during the Games in London, he admits with a grin.

"God is merciful and compassionate, even when our sins are many," said Al Drie, kneeling on a mat while martial artists hurled each other to the floor around him.

Al Drie's sin isn't what you might expect. It's that he is planning to eat and drink while the sun is up during the Olympics, even thought the Games fall smack in the middle of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Observant Muslims are supposed to fast during Ramadan, abstaining from all food and drink, even water, during daylight hours, then eating and drinking after sundown. Fasting for the month is a major religious obligation, one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

But Al Drie, 19, knows that fasting on days when he has up to six judo matches against the world's best competitors would doom his chances of winning.

"If you don't eat and you enter a competition, you might faint," he said. That would lead to instant elimination.

So Al Drie is going to stick to his normal competition diet.

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

"Maybe some people will fast, and that's good for them. But for me, I can't risk losing any of my matches," he said.

Al Drie, who is from the United Arab Emirates, isn't alone in facing the Ramadan dilemma. It's not clear exactly how many Muslim athletes are competing in the Olympics this year, but more than one in five people around the world - about 23% - is Muslim, according to estimates by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Religious experts in Saudi Arabia determine the starting date of Ramadan each year based on the phase of the moon.

Muslim athletes face a particular challenge because there are so many hours of daylight in London during the Games, says sports nutritionist Hala Barghout.

"It's a 17-hour fast in London. It's not like here in the Middle East," said Barghout, from the United Arab Emirates.

It is "physically impossible" for a world-class athlete to stuff as much food as they need into their body during the seven hours of darkness that remain, she said.

"How much can a person eat in one meal? You can't have, say, 3,000 or 4,000 calories in one meal. You need time to digest," she said. Three thousand calories is the amount that the U.S. government recommends that an active man in his 20s eat in an entire day.

Explain it to me: Ramadan

But one of the leading Islamic religious leaders in the Middle East says Muslims competing in the Olympics should observe the daytime fast, regardless of how it affects their performance.

"Playing sports is not a requirement in Islam. Players become athletes by choice. This optional activity, therefore, does not allow athletes to break their fast," said Ahmed Abdul Aziz Al Haddad, the grand mufti of Dubai.

Muslim athletes must also observe the fast because they are representing Islam at the Olympics, Al Haddad said.

"They must be ambassadors of their faith," he said. "Meaning that Islam must be present in their actions, and they do not fall into anything that Islam forbids."


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Competitors may eat or drink if fasting is threatening their health, he said.
"If a person feels extreme fatigue, sharia allows him to break his fast. Sharia is flexible," he said, using the Arabic word for Islamic law.

"But to immediately break your fast without being hungry or thirsty is the same as submitting to your cravings and lusts, and not putting God's desire before your own," the religious scholar argued.

Not all Muslim authorities agree with Al Haddad.

British Olympic rower Moe - for Mohamed - Sbihi has discussed the problem with his imam, and decided not to fast during the Games.

He plans to feed 1,800 hungry people in Morocco after the Games as compensation for not fasting during the holy month, and will observe a fast later.

"It was a hard decision for me to make," said Sbihi, who was born in Britain to an English mother and Moroccan father.

"When I first started rowing as a youngster, I said that I'd be fasting regardless," he said.

But over time he changed his mind. He did his university dissertation on fasting in sports, and consulted family, friends and coaches in Morocco and Britain before making his decision, he said.

British rower Mohamed 'Mo' Sbihi.

"In the end it felt like I was making the right decision for me, and that's to postpone my fast, to make it up at a later date," he said.

Sbihi has been considering the Ramadan dilemma for years, since it became clear that the 2012 Games would fall during the holy month. They usually don't. The Muslim calendar follows the moon, so Ramadan falls during different seasons in different years.

Members of the London committee organizing the Games this year noted it was not their decision to hold them during Ramadan - the International Olympic Committee sets the date.

The IOC pointed out that the Games "bring together virtually every religion and creed. ... How to deal with religious practices is up to each athlete and his/her personal beliefs."

Sandrine Tonge, a spokeswoman for the IOC, said different countries and individuals deal with the question differently.

"Some countries, like Egypt, for example, issue fatwas exempting athletes from the need to fast when competing," she said, using the Arabic word for a Muslim religious ruling. "At the end, religious practice is a matter for individual conscience."

Interactive: The evolving Olympic athlete

The London organizers pointed out that major international sports events have taken place during Ramadan before, including the Singapore Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

Dining facilities in the Olympic Village will be open 24 hours a day, and athletes observing Ramadan will be able to order "break-of-fast packs that will include water, nutritional bars and fruit," the organizing committee says.

Even with those provisions in place, and with the Games beginning in just days, Khadijah Fahed Mohammed hasn't decided whether she will fast.

The 17-year-old weightlifter is the first woman from the United Arab Emirates ever to qualify for the Games.

Her nutritionist has put together a plan for her to consume 5,000 calories a day - more than twice as much as an active woman her age should normally eat, according the U.S. guidelines.

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She's torn between her obligation to fast and her desire to win.

"Both are important to me. Fasting is a must," she said, even as she recognizes the importance of her first time in the Olympics.

"This is our chance. Ramadan just happened to be at the same time as the competition, so no one knows what to do. Should we fast or not?" she asked.

Her coach says she should.

"Many competitions have taken place during Ramadan," said Nagwan El-Zawawi. "I am not convinced you can break your fast. I mean, fasting is a must. There are no excuses."

But judo competitor Al Drie doesn't believe that.

"God is with me wherever I go, whether I fast or not," he insisted. "The most important thing is to have faith in God and give it your best and thank God, whether you win or lose."

CNN's Christina Macfarlane, Mohammed Jamjoom, Jon Jensen and Nima Elbagir contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Ramadan • Uncategorized

soundoff (1,052 Responses)
  1. davecu

    Oh well!

    Consequences CAN be terminal.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  2. Brad Chaffee

    Really? Who cares? Only liberals and the current Grand Mustafa in the White House cares about these cave dwelling, women hating, gay killing, delusional Zealots.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Jon

      Read a book, Cletus.

      July 22, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Dave

      But enough about "christians".

      July 22, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  3. Rob Girard

    The hate-filled comments here say far more about the character of the speaker, rather than the faith that they attempt. to bash.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • lee s

      get over yourself

      July 22, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Jon

      I agree with you, Rob. Most people have never actually attempted to learn about Islam, they just use the 10-second snippets on that evening's news as their knowledge lol

      July 22, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • cc

      Why would I want to learn more lies? Allah is all, kill infidels and treat women as animals. Think I got the gist of it.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Jon

      That's what i'm saying, CC.

      First, you have to seperate culture from religion.

      Second, you have to actually learn about how women are and should be treated in Islam. If every woman knew how good she'd have it in Islam, she'd kick herself for not believing sooner.

      But again, you have openly declared your lack of interest for actually learning, therefore making what you have to say an unfounded, ignorant, and embarassing statement.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • josy

      I will second that, Rob. Very eloquently put. I am so ashamed at our society and all the hateful comments which people post here about people they know nothing about.

      July 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • over it

      so the fact the great prophet mohammed, of whom all muslim men base their life around to live up to, married an 8yr old and "consummated" it when she was 9 is never seen as something wrong by muslims based on the fact he married her at 8!?!? seriously this is twisted and should not be someone they look up to, yet they do, which says a lot about them and their cult which they call a religion which they refer to as a race or nationality.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Jon

      Hey, 'over it',

      read up on early Islam and why it was permitted for them to get married. I'd tell you, but that'd ruin the opportunity for you to actually educate yourself. Pagan, polytheistic, vigilante justice Saudi Arabia in the 400s was not like America lol. Due to prior laws set up, women had no rights at all. Read about that, then read about why they could marry younger.

      then think about what your own children are doing at that age with modern lack of morals... at least things were done responsibly in the 400s.

      July 23, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  4. riamb60

    I am sorry but fasting and competing in the Olympics is a no no.

    They should be banned from competing for health reasons.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • nottolate

      @Riamb60

      Um...they are not really fasting by any stretch. See my previous comment.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      A no no according to who? They are free to prepare for their events any way they like, within the rules.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Lisa

      They have been conditioned to believe it's fasting.

      July 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  5. Andrew Smith

    Gee, Muslims are just as foolish as Christians. Perhaps they do take their religion more seriously than a majority of their equally idiotic Christian counterparts. So what? It is all primitive fantasy and humankind will continue to suffer its effects until religion is tossed into the dustbin of history.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Bilbo

      Couldn't agree with you more on the fantasy aspect of what you said, but I'm sure eliminating religion won't solve any of our problems (as much as I wish it would). We humans are just barbaric animals by nature. Not condoning violence in any way, but there's nothing we can do to completely prevent incidents like this week's most recent 'Batman' shooting from happening again and again. Pretty sure that nutjob wasn't religious. Sometimes crazy is just crazy.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Hmmm

      Yea we see where you stand you want religion gone so you can stop feeling accountable

      July 22, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  6. nottolate

    Dear CNN,

    Please get a clue concerning Islam. It is a fast in name only. They gorge themselves all night long and most of them gain at least 20 lbs during Ramadan. If I gorge myself all night long am I gonna hungry the next day and without energy? No! I ate at 9PM last night and am still full 12 hours later. Want a real fast? Go 11 days straight without a crumb like i once did. That's a fast.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • iFast

      haha I wish I knew where you get your inaccurate views lol!

      Islam does not command Muslims to stuff themselves with food all night long. If you choose to do that, then that's your prerogative. You don't necessarily gain weight if you do it right. I personally eat a modest meal at night, and have a light meal in the morning. Yes, I do get hungry during the day, but that's the whole point of fasting! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Kindly get your facts straight before posting false statements about a religion ๐Ÿ™‚

      July 22, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • cc

      No one cares that you fasted. I also doubt you're an Olympic caliber athlete.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • nottolate

      "iFast"

      "haha I wish I knew where you get your inaccurate views lol!"

      I got my "inaccurate views" from Saudi Arabia where I once lived. Ironically enough, they would all blow up like pigs which they hate and swear they were fasting. It was also quite comical to watch them come to work every morning with a sad face as though being up all night eating was so stressful. They put there heads on their desk and claimed they could do no work from being so tired fasting. It was said really because they were all hypocrites. Our God has something to say about your fasting practices:

      16Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

      or

      16โ€œWhenever you fast, don't be gloomy like the hypocrites, because they put on sad faces to show others they are fasting. I tell you with certainty, they have their full reward! 17But when you fast, put oil on[h] your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting will not be noticed by others but by your Father who is in the hidden place. And your Father who watches from the hidden place will reward you.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • cc

      @iFast Why get anything right about religion when all they spread is lies?

      July 22, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • iFast

      I agree with what you're saying because I too have witnessed such people. But then again, we can't judge an entire race or religion based on the actions of a few.

      Have a blessed day! ๐Ÿ™‚

      July 22, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • nottolate

      @CC, "No one cares that you fasted. I also doubt you're an Olympic caliber athlete."

      Olymjpians use to appear at the gym I work out at. I would observed them and was not impressed with there workout routine at all. My workout was far more stressful and at the same time I was much older.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • nottolate

      "I personally eat a modest meal at night, and have a light meal in the morning. Yes, I do get hungry during the day, but that's the whole point of fasting!"

      You sissy wimp. That still ain't fasting. Be a man about it and go 8 days without a crumb and hide the fact that you're doing that.

      July 22, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • iFast

      @cc

      I'm not sure if they're all lies or not. I just believe that all religions simply try to help us humans stay on the right path. I don't think any religion (biblical religions at least because those are they only ones that I have knowledge about) promotes negativity. All such religions teach good things like honesty, charity, etc.

      Yes, what may create differences between us is how we as human beings choose to interpret each others religions. But at the end of the day, I think they all just help us stay within boundaries, and out of harms way.

      July 22, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • paperjihad

      @nottolate

      Not at my house it's not. The sunna is to break the fast with a light meal. However, Muslims have fallen into excess during this season, just like Christmas has become the most commericalized holiday of the season. I'm pretty sure maxing out the credit card is not a proper way to celebrate a religious holiday.

      Peace.

      July 22, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • iFast

      @nottolate

      ok sweetheart, you're trying to compare Fasting to a game of Desert Island lol! ๐Ÿ˜› What you're failing to understand is that Fasting is not carried out while you're locked up in your bedroom. You go about your daily lives (work, school, kids) while incorporating the essence of this holy month into it.

      Good luck with your 8 days of hunger though ๐Ÿ™‚

      July 22, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • nottolate

      @paperjihad

      "just like Christmas has become the most commericalized holiday of the season. "

      Christmas is a Catholic invention and not a Christian one. Catholics are not authentic Christians. Know the difference. Christians may however choose to observe Christmas.

      July 22, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Lisa

      PaperJihad says "However, Muslims have fallen into excess during this season, just like Christmas has become the most commericalized holiday of the season."
      True, Christmas is very commercialized but you won't find non muslims celebrating Ramadan like you find non religeous people celebrating Christmas. Sure, there are Christians out there spending way too much at Christmas time but that doesn't nullify the spirit of the season for them. Gift giving is a theme, some take it too far but it is not in direct individual contrast as gaining weight is during a fasting season.

      July 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • cc

      Meh, still just lies. If you need a book to tell you not to be horrible to other people then there is something wrong with you.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Muhammad

      Even you do not believe you went 11 days without food, the fasting in Islam is the same as Jesus (Peace to Him) fasted for 30 days. - not 30 nights

      July 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    "God is merciful and compassionate, even when our sins are many," said Al Drie, kneeling on a mat while martial artists hurled each other to the floor around him.

    If all Muslims think in that way, it is a clear proof for the idiocy of Islam.

    Intentional sinning always leads to the destruction of the personality and soul.

    Never should someone make God's grace and compassion component of a calculation.

    The grace and mercy of the real God is reserved for people which want to stop sinning. Them God will give grace and mercy and compassion, so that they can overcome their sinfulness and receive forgiveness at the same time.

    Dear Muslims, forget Muhammad, the false prophet, and join Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He will set you free and make you happy.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • lee s

      why is a confession and a call to forgiveness a part of every single xtian ceremony I have ever been in?> You people are just as bad as they are. Their religion is based on the same one yours is Religion is nothing more than encouraged hypocrisy.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Bilbo

      Umm, you DO realize that you're living in a make-believe fantasy land in your head, do you?

      Rules for eating... fasting/not fasting... how does this not boil down to a bunch of stupid sh!t that somebody made up?! You wacko cultists waste time and their limited thoughts on such petty matters...

      July 22, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Rainer

      As if somebody could say the exact same things to you about your beliefs and convictions. What a pompous hypocrite. You believe stupid sh!t about your religion and don't follow certain of its rules you don't find appropriate.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • nottolate

      While the muslims definitely are worshiping an idol. your assessment is wrong as well. Specifically the following:

      "The grace and mercy of the real God is reserved for people which want to stop sinning. Them God will give grace and mercy and compassion, so that they can overcome their sinfulness and receive forgiveness at the same time."

      Ever heard of the Common Grace? That is things like rain, food, etc. which unbelieving sinners also receive. So even sinners receive a measure of his grace. They also receive mercy. Mercy is defined as: Not giving someone that which they deserve. Every person deserves to die immediately after entering this world. But God doesn't kill us upon arrival. That's mercy. So all receive a measure of his mercy including those idol worshiping muslims.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  8. JoeOvercoat

    So "I'm a devout Muslim as long as it suits my purposes." Nothing like picking & choosing the parts you like, of one's 'religion'.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      That's just part of being a believer in gods and religions, joe.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Lisa

      Moby Schtick

      "That's just part of being a believer in gods and religions, joe."

      As opposed to having no belief system at all. No rules, no accountability and you can never be called a hypocrite which is a much better state than falling short of continually and sincerely striving for moral perfection.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • cc

      @ Lisa Yes because you religious people do such a good job of being perfect. If you need religion to be moral, you missed the point of what being human is. You don't need some fairy tale to tell you not to kill. You know it bad! Think for yourself for once. It will free your mind.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Lisa

      cc if you are not religeous there is no point to being human. The Bible and Koran both contain rules. However, the Bible was not put into existance to state God's law coincided with man's law already in existance. The Bible is to guide you towards a meaningful connection to your creator. Jesus didn't come to the earth to say "Don't kill". That's like saying food is only replacing missing energy.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  9. eps

    I am glad Jesus fasted so i can feast, religion is full of legalism without freedom!!! I have Jesus i have freedom, freedom to feast n not fast thanks to his grace !!!!

    July 22, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • norm

      I also have the freedom to fast or not to fast, I just don't have the spiritual albatross of jesus around my neck.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • CatSh

      Sorry to burst your Christian bubble, but Christianity observed fasting several times a year for centuries. The practice was dropped only recently. Catholics and Orthidox Christians still observe fasting.
      Based on obesity rates among American Christians, maybe it's a practice we need to revive.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Dana Aritonovich

      I am an Orthodox Christian who fasts for the full 6 weeks of Lent, the week of Holy Week, and other days throughout the year. We abstain from eating any animal products during these times. All religions have fasting periods and/or food restrictions. Not all members of these faiths observe these fasting times. Those who do fast do not boast of their sacrifice, nor do they condemn those who do not engage in the fast. What does it matter to anyone if we choose to fast or not? We have our beliefs and practices that are meaningful to us. That does not impact the lives of those who believe differently. These Muslim athletes are making personal decisions about how they will observe. I applaud them for considering their faith while making such decisions.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • verdoit

      people miss the point. Christianity isn't about rules its about the mercy of God and following Jesus. Muslimanity is about a set of rules to puff yourself up and feel important and overlord women.

      July 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • eps

      Jesus brought grace cause he knew man cannot live up to manmade legalistic old covenant law, that Jews, Muslims and some christians live under. He became the end of the old covenant law cause people could not live under there religious obligation laws, you break one, you break all.. better not follow one ๐Ÿ™‚ religion in latin means to be re-bound.. who wants to in this day in age.. bless those amazing muslim guys in this article who believes in God n not the rules of man made religions...

      July 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  10. Muslim Guy

    Average Muslims don't realize that it is not Allah who made these rules. It is the Mullahs who have been and are twisting their balls.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  11. Reality

    Dear Muslim Olympians, (for those who missed this on p.1)

    A QUICK SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM:

    From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi--โ€“

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( โ€“The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qurโ€™anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fโ€“airies and "tinโ€“ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    July 22, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      You're the most annoying poster here, Reality. Fvck your bullsh!t posts! I hope you never make another post on this website, dipsh!t.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • lee s

      @moby im sure he will go away for ever now. What tool you are

      July 22, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Reality

      Said information was addressed, "Dear Muslim Olympians". One assumes that all others would simply skip said information.

      July 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  12. MagicPanties

    Simple Solution. Stop believing in imaginary beings.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • cc

      Bingo, best post on here and the truest one! Sweet name hahahahahahha May I have of those?

      July 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  13. raika45

    Apparently games and sports are haram for muslims during the fasting month,but killing each other as is happening daily in Syria,Pakistan and Afghanistan is allowed by their Allah.These life targets for shooting are better than shooting at clay pigeons in the Olympics.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  14. Hussein

    Big deal... Moslem countries total combined tally will not exceed 3 gold medals...

    July 22, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    Doesn't Ramadan show us the backwardness of Islam?

    Of course, fasting is actually a good thing, but the Arabic Impostor ordered a fasting which has nothing to do with right fasting.

    Right fasting, according to the intentions of Jesus, the Son of God, simply means to eat less or to eat modestly. Of course, sometimes a Christian can voluntarily eat nothing for some days, if he wants to gain again control of his body or if he has a serious prayer request. Seemingly, the more a Christian "neglects" his body concerning food the more the Holy Spirit prevails. Yet, it is crucial to eat little altogether; that is much more important than to eat nothing at all some days. The sinful body is the enemy of the Spirit and the more we don't feed him the more the Spirit will rule us.

    What about Ramadan?

    Ramadan is a distorted fasting. First, they don't really fast, but only eat nothing by daylight. At dark they fill their stomaches up to a maximum which is not very healthy. Possibly during Ramadan a Muslim eats more altogether and on average than during the rest of the year, because his carnal desires like gluttony increase at Ramadan.

    Furthermore, fasting is only meaningful, when someone has yet received the Holy Spirit by faith and baptism. If someone who has not yet received the Spirit fasts, he will only incite his carnal desires like gluttony.

    Hence, Muslims should at first believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and receive the Spirit. After that they may start to fight against their sinful body and weaken it by fasting.

    We cannot earn God's favour by fasting. We gain God's favour by faith and baptism. After that fasting is meaningful, but not before.

    Ramadan is absolutely meaningless, it only increases the malaise of the Muslims.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • wrong side of the bed

      ..and sprinkling water on your head,eating a wafer,drinking imaginary blood and talking to yourself contains sooo much meaning.There is no end to the ridiculous practices of ALL religions,so what makes you think yours is superior to any other?Let me guess-You KNOW yours is the one!!

      July 22, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • iFast

      aw, your views are simply adorable! ๐Ÿ˜€

      1) Muslims believe in Jesus Christ.
      2) You are generalizing when you say that they fill themselves to the maximum when they get to eat.
      3) The Bible (Old Testament) prophesied the coming of Prophet Muhammad (saw); the Prophet of Islam.
      4) Changing God's word to fit your needs does not necessarily make you right.
      5) Kindly educate yourself on such topics before making any statements, because you're otherwise just showing off your lack of credibility.

      Have a blessed day ๐Ÿ™‚

      July 22, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @wrong side of the bed

      Very funny! Mine is indeed the true religion. Reason: Christianity is the historical religion, which was really insti-tuted by God himself. How? God visited the earth 2000 years ago in the person of Jesus and teached us the true faith personally. How did Jesus prove his divinity? By the miracles which he wrought. Jesus was also predicted by the Jewish prophets and Christian doctrine fits together with the doctrine of the Old Testament.

      No other religion is so well connected with the history of God's Chosen People Israel than Christianity.

      Mahomed rushed into history, nobody had expected him, told any nonsense, worked no miracles, was a thief, murderer and liar. Cheers!

      July 22, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • lee s

      you gain gods favor by baptism and faith? You really believe that? Dont you think he could just send you an email or something nowadays?> Why do you still need to rely on some preacher in a trailer in the woods to tell you what "god" wants? Someone needs to get you a lobotomy.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @iFast

      You are a liar like your prophet. You certainly know that it is the core tenet of Islam that Muslims are forbidden to believe that Jesus is God's Son or God himself, a person of the Trinity. Also Islam rejects the Trinity. You believe that Jesus was only a human prophet and lower than Muhammad.

      You want to fill the world with a supersti-tion which was made-up by a man, who was a liar, thief and murderer. Cheers!

      July 22, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Rainer should change his user name to "Ipecac."

      July 22, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • iFast

      lol, all I said was that Muslims believe in Jesus Christ. I no where said that they believe in him being the son of God, etc. Your lack of simple comprehension continues to astound me ๐Ÿ˜€

      Good job with the name calling though. It really seems to be your only fortรฉ. ๐Ÿ˜€

      July 22, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • lee s

      @rainer, do you know what "indoctrination" is?

      July 22, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Lisa

      iFast

      Your 4 explains your 3 and therefore your 5 applies to you as well.

      You have a blessed day as well.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • iFast

      @Lisa

      I'd be more than happy to provide you with evidence that backs my statements. Feel free to email me. ireport925@gmail.com

      July 23, 2012 at 3:30 am |
  16. Island Girl

    Non-believers will never understand the power of a higher authority, they always need tangible proof. In all religions what has been written sets the moral / ethical standard that many of us maintain today and that have become laws across many countries. This article shares a real dilemma for athletes of the Muslim faith and shows how their perspectives vary. As a Christian I wouldn't be aware of this but I am always open to knowledge of other religions. I personally found this article intriguing. Thank you.

    July 22, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • gager

      ...ethical standards...
      Believers have no concept of ethical standards.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • lee s

      yea, because all of those clowns in jail or awaiting trial wearing crosses around their necks are good christians right? You must love being taken advantage of regularly. If you knew anything about our founding fathers you would know they were deists and had no trust of organized religion. All of the "in god we trust" was written on money in the 1930s. Furthermore, "christian values" are based on laws that have existed in every civlization man has created whether or not they had contact with jesus freaks. Dont kill, cheat, steal? Really? You need some book to tell you those are bad things to do? Pathetic

      July 22, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • cc

      Not sure if you can classify lies as knowledge. We non believers don't need fairy tales to learn lessons. We treat people kindly because it is the right thing to do, not because the all knowing fairy in the sky will punish us if we don't. "higher authorities" are for the weak minded.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  17. Portland tony

    I'm sure a Fatwa issued by an accepted Muslim religious leader would resolve this issue. After all if you were Muslim fighting a war against a non Muslim country, your troops would be no match for a well fed adversary.

    July 22, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Lisa

      They are well fed. They ate just hours ago right before the sun rose.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  18. Yankee Doodle Dandy

    let's just hope they don't destroy ANOTHER olympic event.
    islam= world wide terror !

    July 22, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  19. Space Voyager

    Amazing how much religion holds sway even as mankind has progressed. Remember man made religion for his convenience and man is not made for subservience to religion. It was okay in old times when there was not much science, but now??? wake up people. Voyager is crossing the solar system, man landed on moon decades ago, we have mapped surface of Mars, measured Jupiter and Venus. All this energy spent in following some lines written thousands of years ago can be put to better use for finding new cares for diseases, new modes to transport, new galaxies, take up your challenge. P.s. we are yet to see anyone up there.

    July 22, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Lisa

      ...and some guy walked into a movie theatre a few days ago and killed a bunch of people so I can see all this science has propelled us into a more civilized, enlightened race. Evil does not evolve into obscurity as technology evolves.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • randy

      @ Lisa Stay on topic lady.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  20. keith

    CNN please keep to proper news stories, religion should be kept in the home or church, we dont care about whether muslims are fasting or not, just cheap and inane reporting.

    July 22, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Well, this is the belief section.

      July 22, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • canadianscot

      That's the funniest post I've seen. Complaining about religion in the belief section. LOL

      July 22, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Crash Bang Wallop

      You are so important that you have decided what the rest of us can read ?
      Pull your head out of your......

      July 22, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      Go back to Fox you little dick tater.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • rich

      Speak for yourself, Keith; I find this story intriguing. I think the purpose of good journalism is to expand our thinking and expose us to things we otherwise might never know. While I personally have no faith, I can appreciate that many people do and that it creates genuine dilemmas for them. Perhaps you could try for a little empathy.

      July 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.