British Muslim athlete, Moe Sbihi, who will represent his country in the upcoming Olympics which falls in Ramadan (Muslim month of fasting), has found a solution to his inability to fast reported The Mail newspaper on Sunday.
Sbihi, who was selected for the British Olympic 2012 rowing squad, consulted an imam to ask how to address the obligation of fasting without adversely affect his performance in the men’s eight.
The athlete, the son of a Moroccan father and English mother, initially thought about postponing his fast but the imam warned that for each of the 30 days of Ramadan that he transgressed, he would incur an entire month of fasting later on.
“That could have meant years of not eating between sunrise and sunset,” Sbihi, 24, told The Mail.
He then learned about a Moroccan goalkeeper Badou Zaki, who never fasted during his time at Real Mallorca in Spain’s La Liga, but instead went to Morocco each year to pay for thousands of meals for the poor.
A cousin in Sbihi’s father’s hometown of Tangiers helped the rower find a solution after consulting scholars.
The verdict was that Sbihi would follow Zaki’s example and provide 60 meals for the poor for each day he is unable to fast.
This translates into 1,800 people in Morocco eating a meal.
Sbihi will donate £1,000 to the British charity, Walou4us (‘nothing for us’), which helps homeless children in Morocco as well as an additional donation of £1,000 to the poor through his family.
“Scripture says you must fast unless you have ‘due cause.’ The way I see it, I have a cause, which is the Olympic Games,” Sbihi told the newspaper.
Around 3,000 Muslim athletes at the Games will address the issue of performing during Ramadan in a variety of ways.
Special provision has been made in the Olympic Village for those who fast, including pre-dawn breakfasts, the newspaper reported. All competition venues will also provide a meal immediately after sunset.