Sportsmen who fast and deliver phenomenal performances
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during daylight hours from dawn to sunset. Nowadays the act of not fasting is becoming popular in the public. People make excuse of the hot weather and that they can’t make it till the end of the fast and it will affect their health. Still there are some passionate Muslims who are sportsmen as well yet they continue to do their duty and fast at the same time.
These players have set an exceptional example for others while fasting and breaking records by their performance that day.
Younus Khan, cricketer from Pakistan never missed fasting in his whole playing career for Pakistan and again in 2015. He was also fighting when he scored 171* and led his team to a comfortable win over Sri-Lanka in the test series 2015.
Moeen Ali, British cricketer who will be making his Ashes debut on Wednesday in Cardiff said he has resolved to fast during the match. Speaking about fasting in Ramadan, he said, “It’s amazing what you can do, actually,” Ali added. “Before you start you think of it as really hard — but once you start it’s definitely not as hard as it sounds. If you’re not doing much you might feel a bit lethargic, but if I’m at the ground, if I’m playing, then it just isn’t difficult. And it’s brilliant for teaching self-control, having discipline, detoxification of your body, after a couple of days you really feel much better.”
Hashim Amla, cricketer from South Africa is also the one who objected to an alcoholic company’s logo on his kit. Additionally he never misses a fast at whatever time he plays a match, be it a One day international or a Test match, he always gives his 100% performance, which might be the reason why he is the best batsman currently in the world.
Mohammad Yusuf, cricketer from Pakistan. Prior to his conversion to Islam in 2005, Yousuf was one of the few Christians to play for the Pakistan cricket team. After converting to Islam, he become the player with the most part number of centuries in one year and his game just dug up better day by day and he was also one of those legendary personalities who never missed a fast while playing and scoring runs was his natural habit while fasting.
Practicing Muslims in football include Real Madrid stars Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Hamit Altintop, Manchester City’s Samir Nasri, Arsenal’s Abou Diaby, Sevilla’s Frederic Kanoute and Chelsea’s Nicolas Anelka to name a few.
Some will make a decision to fast all the way through the entire month – including days where they are anticipated to train or play matches, whilst others may seek to ‘offset’ some of their fasting days after Ramadan, in order to ensure that they are able to play or train.
“It’s tougher for the players at clubs in Europe than those in the Middle East,’ says Nick Worth, Medical Director at the Abu Dhabi club Al Jazira.
Despite Zaki’s insistence that fasting has never affected him, it was to prove a sticking point at Wigan. “The manager Steve Bruce said to me that he understands my fast but he can’t let me play while I’m fasting.
“He told me that I have to choose. I chose fasting but then I played several matches without telling him that I’m fasting and I also kept playing well without problems.”
His decision to lie to his manager and play on an empty stomach was vindicated in one particular match in December 2008. “I was fasting when we beat Newcastle 2-1. I scored a goal and everyone seemed to be pleased with my performance.”
After allocation of the belief and experience of these Muslim players, there is no motive for us to skip fasting just for the reason that it’s too hot or we can’t endure it till Maghreb without eating.