Samira Mohammed: Fasting during the Olympic Games

Posted on July 23, 2012

As I explain my preparations for Ramadan in this article I feel it is important to tell you what Ramadan is, as you might not know.

Ramadan arrives in the ninth month of Islamic Calendar; it is a holy month when Muslim people prepare themselves to fast, (no eating) from sunrise to sunset. It is the month when the Qur’an was revealed. It is not only about sustenance, it is about purifying the soul, to put our focus on Allah (Arabic word for God).

The Arabic word for Fasting (Sawm) means to ‘refrain’ from bad habits and wrong actions. Fasting doesn’t just mean in the physical sense but also in our soul and mind.

Fasting will begin on 20th of July, seven days before the Olympics Games begin. Every year, I always look forward to Ramadan, because of the amazing atmosphere, knowing that every Muslim will be fasting. Going to the mosque, listening to stories increases my faith. I love the feeling of Ramadan.

I asked my friend ‘Are you looking forward to the Olympics?’, and she nodded. She asked when will I be fasting, as she knows I will fast for a month during the summer. As soon I told her, it suddenly hit me that I will be fasting during the Olympics Games.

My immediate thought was all this planning for having a mini celebration with friends ahead of the Olympic Games will have to be withdrawn because I don’t celebrate during Ramadan.

I am not that upset or disappointed but rather like ‘oh well’ because Ramadan is very important to me as it only happens once a year. I can imagine people will talk about the games and I won’t know what’s going on. I know London will be packed full of people and I’m wondering how I will cope when I want to go out. I picture myself standing on a train with hundreds of people whilst fasting. I can already image what it will be like.

There is a similarity between me being excited for Ramadan and non-Muslim people being excited for the Games. As I am getting prepared for Ramadan, athletes are getting prepared for the Games. It is something we have in common – getting prepared. I feel like this country will be full of an exciting atmosphere for different reasons.

I only live half an hour away from the Olympic stadium. I might try sneaking a peek if I can. Even though I might not know what’s gong on, I will be rooting for Great Britain!

But when midnight strikes, I will focus on Ramadan.

Samira Mohammed is a BSL user, and is currently studying Film and Photography at university. She also works in her own time as a freelance wedding photographer. She was involved in a project called ‘Deaf Not Dumb’.  She embraced her faith when she was a teen and feels like her faith is “a personal journey between God and me.” You can follow her on Twitter as @_MissSamira

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