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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. Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

    Islam is a moon-god cult. Al-ilah was a phase of the moon god. The Kabbah was the moon god's temple, where they worshiped 359 other gods as well. Just as Judaism is all built on the Babylonian god El Elyon, and his 70th son, (Yahweh), so Islam is built on the precedent moon god. Comparative Mythology should be a required course.

    July 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Fluff you goddam gerbil sonofabeeyotch. You are correct.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      All the later religions are just off-shoots of earlier myths and cults, it's really a no brainer. Nothing original, 99% hijacked just threw some different names into the mix. Just some mentally deficient nuts running around claiming they saw god or whatever.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Be nice to Bippy. I hear he got demoted. Buy some ozone depleting hair care products even if you don't need any.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  2. HeavenSent Blog

    Stay Carnal!

    Hello and welcome to the HeavenSent blog. This is YOUR opportunity to voice your HeavenSent opinions!

    Please frame your posts to best preach to Atheists about the dangers of a Godless life-style.

    Here are some suggested key words to get you started:

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    Liar against His truth
    Abide in Jesus' truth
    Prideful
    Stay on the wrong side of the gulf until you are blotted out for eternity
    Tommie Tom
    Scotty
    Minions of satan
    Prayer changes things
    Talmud
    Man-made lies of the talmud
    Jesus’ letter, the Bible
    God’s truth
    Jesus’ truth
    The truth
    Jesus Christ's truth are resurrected to eternity
    I am flying with Evil
    Boo hoo
    I know from Moe Curly of the 3 stooges that nothing works
    Truth
    Those that believe in Him go with Him to eternity
    Lies lies lies
    Fat drippings
    Personal worms
    Horrors, earth quakes, floods, disasters are God's wrath against all of us
    You fools doing evil
    You atheists
    Smug atheists
    Prideful atheists
    Amen
    Throw away that users manual
    Prayer really works
    No eyes to see or hear His truth
    Blotted out for eternity
    Burn burn burn for all eternity
    Writing your filth
    True Christians
    The liar satan
    Snakes in your Belly
    Athiests at CNN
    They are blocking my posts again
    Dead bones
    Logic?? I don't require a single shred to define my beliefs
    You must like worms
    Pay no attention to the small minded fools that got their brain fried
    Read back through the previous articles for over a year dummy
    I know you atheists to be fools
    Notice who is most quoted in the Golden rule. Jesus Christ's wisdom
    You believing something doesn't make it true
    I'm not holding my breath
    You own those labels
    Humble yourself and ask Jesus for forgiveness
    Reprobate minds
    Jesus told us he would give you reprobate minds
    After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears
    Satan's lies causes confusion
    Atheists write this garbage
    Satan is death
    You are fooling yourself if you don't tell gays they suffer for eternity
    Tortured for eternity
    Pathetic
    Blame it on the Christians for having the guts to tell idiots God's truth
    Your father Satan
    End of days taught in Jesus' truth is nothing new to Christians
    Another rock. Nothing new under the sun
    You insist on your lies having wings to fly
    You are still a pigeon
    The entire MO behind the atheist is to throw out as many lies and see what sticks
    Debating is the atheists game
    Satan impregnated Eve with Cain
    I know you atheists to be fools
    Christians are on these articles to ensure Jesus Christ's truth is posted
    Start your walk with Jesus
    Blinded by satan's lies
    Test from God. Do you have what it takes to pass?
    Serpent is just one of the multiple names of Lucifer aka satan
    The big bang and evolution are lies against Jesus’ truth to cause doubt, creating confusion
    Satan's lies are built on quick sand foundation
    What part of Jesus' truth is clarity and satan's lies are confusion do you not comprehend?
    There are no flaws in His word
    Jesus' truth stands for eternity
    Get over your obsession with me
    Lions and tigers and bears, oh my
    Rocks, everywhere on this site, rocks
    Seeds of Jesus falling on rock.
    Stepping over His seeds that get blown by the wind to find their way to fertile grounds
    Typical of swines trampling
    It's obsessive compulsion to grab at any straw to give a reason not to learn or understand
    Go back to posting under my handle and answering yourself
    Scott
    Get a life and try to grow
    Singular swine using multiple handles.
    You still continue to refuse to learn your heritage
    I've posted the answer numerous times
    I'm glad the line from the movie Secretariat sticks in your mind
    Statistics prove that the more devout someone is, the higher IQ they have
    Read the Bible. It is 100 percent accurate in every facet
    It makes me smile to know that people will be tortured in hell for eternityS

    And much, much more! Remember….Muslims, Jews and Atheists need not apply!

    Amen.

    July 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  3. xfiler93

    I could care less what these muslims are doing. go back to their mud huts and their camels would be best.

    July 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Ihab

      And you took time to come here to talk trash about smart Olympians that are trying to do what they think is the right thing? I hope ou have better things in life to do that.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  4. JoJo

    Ohhhh...the Taliban monsters are going to be mad !

    July 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  5. Rekiyatu

    Fasting is a requirement, but at a time when it would be considered 'a hardship', or when traveling, sick, menstruating, breast feeding, pregnant etc are not only NOT mandatory, they are discouraged. The person can make up the fast at a later time.

    July 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Their facts are wrong here. Those idiots. Thanks Rekiya . When I was pregnant four decades ago I skipped fasting and fed on cats. One has to remember fasting is a must only when you do not have those pre-existing conditions that you have so rightly pointed out to the readers of this blog. One would verify with our islamic scholars before posting this ignornant article. I would recommend we all read the books and get educated on these kind of rules.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • tallulah13

      There is a person here using the screen name that I have used for years. I would like to clarify that this is not me. I am an atheist. This person simply lacks the courage and personal integrity to use their own screen name.

      July 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Lisa

      Why shouldn't you fast if you have your period? That one doesn't make sense to me.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  6. manakar

    I have been to Dubai and Muscut, to see how these guys hog before dawn and after sunset. This fast has no meaning.

    This is a completely Hippocratic society, they show all stuff during the day and night Dubai streets are brothel. Same clean clear and religious guys with new face to lick women.

    July 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      "Hypocratic" is the oath physician take. Hypocritical is likely what you mean.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Hippocratic is the oath hippopattomi take as they enter the zoo.

      oops, hippocrates was the Greek MD, oh well, so sue me.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Fluffy

      LOL ! 😀

      Peace...

      July 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Hi Peace. Tell those zoo animals to stop swearing.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  7. sean

    Introduce them to Christianity. This will do two things, firstly, save their souls and secondly allow them to train for the olympics.

    July 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Z

      LOL, save their souls? Funniest thing I've seen on this board.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Nothing like switching one set of delusions out for another

      July 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  8. Meki60

    ramadan should be renamed 'month of the idiots'

    July 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Yeah, well Chritians do Lent for a month. Same diff.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  9. Ahem...

    Chariots of Fire anyone?

    July 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Liddle's decision was whether or not to participate. The muslims' decision is whether or not to fuel their bodies. I don't see the comparison.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  10. Ihab

    It is amazing how ignorant people are about religion. Most people here seem to spread hate in the name of their religion. Some people speak about Islam without having a clue on what it teaches; just what they see on Western Tv. And some athiests just troll around to make fun of people. I feel sorry for you all that have nothing to do other than trolling here to spread hate. These Muslim athletes are smart, good, spiritual Olympians who want to do what they believe is the right thing; compare that to most people commenting here sitting and passing judgements.
    Islam is a great religion; and I am proud to be a Muslim. Christianity is about love, and anyone that speaks here otherwise is the farthest they can be from Jesus. Those who are athiests and believe in random events creating the amazingly engineered creatures there are on this earth should just think and not fall for the smoke and mirrors of Dawkins. I researched evolution in the Dawkins sense, and it is simply illogical.
    Stop hating, and enjoy the Olympics and appreciate all of its athletes.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Evolution is proven fact. It's unintelligent to claim otherwise. As for religion, there's no testable method to verify any one of them more correct or less correct so they're just all competing philosophies with no reasonable reason to believe their stories as true. In other words, religion is bullsh!t.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • cc

      Not sure who Dawkins is? hahah But then again you believe in fairy tales so your opinion is moot.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Alan

      How is it illogical to be able to trace the ancestral lineage of a species? I find it absolutely illogical to not only believe in imaginary friends, but also to starve ones self for no reason other than the belief in imaginary friends. you my friend, are the personification of what is illogical.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • PaganWrath

      Western TV doesn't say anything bad about islam.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • rs1201

      It would have been really nice for the 11 Israeli Olympians who were murdered by these good islam followers to have had a chance at life...but no they didn't...because islam is a "good" religion and only Israelis and Jews have to die.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Ihab

      Those who think evolution is a proven fact have not studied evolution well. Evolution of s species to another species is nothing but a theory with many many holes. If you really understand evolution and mutation, I am happy to discuss how it is a fairy tale. I understand that these days it is "smart" not belive in intelligent design, and be so-called "scientific". Sadly, these people are being scientific themselves; they just want to explain things by saying "I don't know how, but I am sure it is not God". I would love to challenge any of you who believe in evolution, but please know your subject first.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • damo12345

      We share roughly 96 of our DNA code with chimpanzees. We expand on our knowledge of how we evolved every day.

      Evolution is a fact, one we have spent a great deal of time studying.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Ihab

      @rs1201, No, Israelis did not have to die and that was murder. Also, thousands of Muslim and Christian Palestinians did not have to die. And surely millions of Palestinians did not have to be driven away from their homes by Israel, or live under occupation. Jews, Christians, and Msulims are human beings and all deserve their human rights. I hope you agree.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      lhab, don't waste your time on us heathens here. Write a scholarly article and get it peer reviewed. I am confident scientists will adopt your greater insight if it has merit. When can we expect to see much of science changed due to your brilliance?

      July 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • damo12345

      You insist that evolution is unproven, but I get to watch how it happens every day when I go to work. I study how bacteria mutate and adapt to different environments. Genetic mutations can new phenotypes that may prove better suited for a particular environment, resulting in the percentage of mutants in the population growing in number because they have an advantage. Thus it is in microbiology, thus it is in macrobiology. While you sit there and tell yourself that's not true, there are people out there watching it happen and studying it.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      You didn't research it in the Dawkins sense either, so it is safe to say you didn't read anything. It is Darwin's Theory of Evolution, Dawkins came many many years later. However as has been stated evolution can be backed with facts and physical evidence. It is well noted that humans share 96% of our DNA with chimps. Whether you find it illogical or not means nothing, the facts don't change to suit you.

      July 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Ihab: You obviously are not too bright to say it is only a theory. You obviously have no concept as to what a theory is or what is involved in the scientific method which is what is used in proving evolution...so a basic lesson for you here:
      A Simple Explanation of the Scientific Method
      The scientific method is the series of steps scientists use to determine if they can prove something to be true or not. These are the basic parts of the scientific method.
      Problem
      The problem is the question being addressed. It could be something like “Why is the sky blue?” or “Does ABC brand ketchup really come out of the bottle slower than XYZ brand like they claim in their commercials?”
      Hypothesis
      The hypothesis is a guess. It is what we think the answer to the problem might be. At this point, we don’t know if the hypothesis is correct or not because we haven’t done any testing.
      Procedure
      The procedure is the series of steps we are going to take to try to prove the hypothesis correct. Scientists try to write very detailed procedures so that somebody who tries to repeat the experiment later will be able to repeat it exactly and (hopefully) duplicate the results. It is not unusual to have to run and change a procedure several times to get it written down specifically enough.
      Data
      The data is the information which is collected when the procedure is run. It could be a series of observations, such as noticing different colors in the sky at different times of day. Or it could be a lot of numbers, such as the time it takes for a bottle of ketchup to empty.
      Results
      The data is grouped and organized into results so it is easier to figure out what it means. Results are often presented as a graph.
      Conclusion
      After the results are organized, we can draw a conclusion. The conclusion can be “My hypothesis was correct”, “My hypothesis was incorrect”, or even “I’m not sure if my hypothesis was correct”. None of these conclusions should be seen as failures. Sometimes scientists learn more from an incorrect hypothesis than they do from a correct hypothesis.
      In any of these cases, the conclusion should also include a reason why you thought the hypothesis was correct or incorrect. If you have a possible explanation, you should also include that, so people who do similar experiments in the future can understand why your results might have come out the way they did.
      Theory is defined as: 1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.
      2. The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice

      In order for anything in science to be accepted is has to be 99.099994% accurate. Your claim fails miserably...as does the creation story (which means you support in.cest).

      July 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Ihab

      You are mistaken my friend. I know what a a theory is. The problem with your scientific method is that you explain everything you cannot explain as "yet to be scientifically proven fact". So, you think somehow these miraculous things happened in some way. I know the theory of evolution, Dawkins' books,genetic mutation, and biology, and for me I am 100% scientifically sure evolution cannot create th world we live in and all the creatures in it. It is impossible. So you believe in an "incident" God. I beleive in an intelligent God. And to me, the evidence of intelligent creation is 100% more convicing than a bunch of bones. Like I said, Mercedes cars evolved during the years, but only because the engineers created it, it didn't evolve by itself.

      July 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Ihab

      Darwin had no clue how complex the body function, or a single cell is. As you should know, the probability of a single cell being created randomly is practically zero.. about 0.tem thousands zeros then 1. No matter how many unverses there are and how many events happen, the result is practically zero. This is not even considering the amazing DNA structure. You choose to beleive that an entire city with plumbing and electricity can be created by an earthquick that is your "science", but you cme up with ridiculous conclusions only becuase you insist on ignoring the possibility of an intelligent creator. For me, if I see a relatively simple device as a Tv, I assume it was created by someone. If I see a simple device as a lamp, I know there is a creator for it. All evidence shows that randomness cannot create the simplist engineered object, yet your "science" is to look at bones and conclude that creatures just happened. Your heart, brains, artery system, nervous system, regulating galnds that have unlimited dependencies all somehow mutated at the same time I am sorry, your science and the science that is accepted today in this field is nonesense, and all of it is statistically and logically impossible.

      July 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, ghouls, goblins or guns

      Anyone that cannot understand the difference between engineering (of inanimate objects) and evolution (of animate objects) is not very smart.

      Again, lhab, have you published your theories and had them peer reviewed? I suspect not, but just in case you did, what was the result? Until your theories have undergone the rigorous review that Darwin's, Dawkin's, Krauss', Hawking's, etc. have, you are just another stupid believer flapping their lips with "faith" (pretending to know something you don't).

      July 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Ihab: Aw but see I am not wrong...I researched my info using reliable data. You can't say the same EVER about the creation story...there are simply no facts to back it. You want to claim that all things need a creator, then in turn you must explain what created that creator. You're an idiot if you really think you know what you speak of but given what you believe, you're most likely to believe anything fed to you...you're far too gullible to see anything else.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Bobby

      Yeah, but Ihab looked at a lamp, so I'm going to have to go with him on this one.

      July 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  11. Beth

    I hope all those Muslim Olympians will be free to choose by themselves what to do and not forced to fast. I hope those who are telling them what to do won't have any control over them or power to punish them if they do not fast. Athletes know the need to eat to compete at their best.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Ihab

      Hi Beth. No one is "punished" because they do not fast. I am an American Muslim and staying in a Muslim country now and people do what they like. Most fast. Some don't. Everyone does what they think is right for them. It is that simple.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • NoDogInFight

      Ihab...ask Salman Rushdie about the consequences of doing what he likes...

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

      Your argument speaks to how you have no clue what you are talking about. Ask Stalin, Hitler, Bush and their fans what they think of people not doing what they like. Or ask white men to explain slavery. You have a childish way of making an argument. Grow up.

      July 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  12. ron

    Not a lot of Muslims in the great white North, I'd guess. Imagine having to fast for months at a time, while the sun does not set!

    July 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • ron

      Or, even just the one month of Ramadan.

      July 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Dhulfiqar

      There's a sizable population of Muslims in Alaska and many parts of Canada. For those living in those parts, they go by another schedule. So they are not fasting for days on in.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  13. A Quatroni

    Al Drie: It is your personal choice to "sin" by breaking the "law" of Ramadan, just make sure that your fellow followers of the "religion of peace" (tongue in cheek here) don't try and kill you.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  14. Ronnie

    Islam has a simple rule for Ramadan.If you are traveling you dont have to fast,I wish these so called Muslim Olympians peruse the Koran for guidelines

    July 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • rs1201

      I'm wondering was the koran consulted when the 11 Israeli Olympians were slaughtered at the Munich Olympics? It must have given the green light for the slaughter because it went ahead!

      July 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  15. Chiniquy

    And so, when OUR [heavenly] Messengers came to Abraham with the glad tiding [of the birth of Isaac], they [also] said, “Behold, we are about to destroy the people of that land, for its people are truly evildoers!”
    [And when Abraham] exclaimed, “But Lot lives there!” – they answered: We know fully well who is there; most certainly we shall save him and his household – all but his wife: she will indeed be among those that stay behind.”
    And when OUR messengers came unto Lot, he was sorely grieved on their account, seeing that it was beyond his power to shield them; but they said: “Fear not, and grieve not! Behold, we shall save you and your household – all but your wife: she will indeed be among those that stay behind.
    Verily, we shall bring down upon the people of this land a horror from heaven in retaliation for all their sinful doings!”
    And [so it happened; and] thereof, indeed, WE have left a clear sign for people who use their reason.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • cc

      What a surprise! No thoughts of your own.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  16. viranka

    when do they get it thru their thick skulls that Islam IS NOT A LAW IT IS A RELIGION!! a guide line .

    July 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Tom

      Not true mate.. It is actually law (syariah law) in most muslim majority countries.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  17. Bob

    After being in the UAE and Bahrain as well as Kuwait for Ramadan on 4 different ocasions all I see is how hippacritical most Muslims are. The people just swap their days around. They sleep during the day and do everything at night. Totally defeating the intention of the fast.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • To Bob

      How about you not judge and entire religion on the actions of a few? Of course, there are Muslims who sleep their fast away and stay up eating all night. Then there are the other 99% who have jobs, obligations, and kids and who learn to function without food or drink and on very little sleep. Just like certain "orthodox" followers of another religion who work with me and take a car service home on Friday night because it's OK if THEY are not driving...or the Catholics who "give up" chocolate for lent. Try taking a holistic view of religion and remember the actions of few don't necessarily represent the obligations of an entire faith.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • ak

      Bob...UAE doesn't represent 1.4b muslims. how do i know what you are saying is true.its like saying if i walk on streets of harlam i will get shot.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Salma B.

      You're sooooo right Bob! I agree with you big time. That's does not make any sense. I am muslim and in my country we don't change our work schedule during Ramadan and hell yeah we struggle to survive until the sunset 🙂

      July 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  18. Tutuvabene

    Not being an athlete myself but wouldn't simply consuming high calorie shakes at night be sufficient and satisfy both needs? There must be some bleed over effect into the next day.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  19. Chiniquy

    Say [to the Jews and the Christians]: "Do you argue with us about G-D? But HE is our Lord-Creator as well as your Lord-Creator- and unto us shall be accounted our deeds, and unto you, your deeds; and it- is unto HIM alone that we devote ourselves. "Do you claim that Abraham and Ismael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants were `Jews' or `Christians'?" Say: "Do you know more than G-D does? And who could be more wicked than he who suppresses a testimony given to him by G-D? Yet G-D is not unmindful of what you do. "Now those people have passed away; unto them shall be accounted what they have earned, and unto you, what you have earned; and you will not be judged on the strength of what they did."

    July 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Tutuvabene

      Just say it. He's God. OK?

      July 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Chiniquy

      God spelt backwards is dog. A sly insult by satanic minded jokers against theChrristian people in the English speaking countries who believes in the Creator.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • cc

      Ugh get a life, it's nothing more then old fairy tales to get money and power from people.

      July 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • NoDogInFight

      ...and all this without a shred of evidence...hope you never get jury duty...

      July 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  20. Mike

    wow he's 6'8, they should make it illegal to be that tall, lol.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
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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.