June 30, 2014

Ramadan and Mixed Martial Arts

Vice Magazines 'Fightland' hosted a great article by Dan Shapiro on the struggles of MMA fighter Irshaad Sayed as he enters into the month long fast know as Ramadan in the Islamic religion.  A thirty day spiritual cleanse requires participants to only consume water until sundown in which then one can enjoy food.  The goal being to remind oneself of what we have and to be grateful, for things could be far worse.

Regardless of whether you participate in such an event we should tip our hat and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Muslims within our sport! 

    In addition to his five daily prayers and month-long fast (which he is allowed to break daily at sundown), he devotes large stretches of Ramadan to attending Mosque and reading from the Quran. He also partakes in an i’tikaf for the final ten nights of the holy month, sleeping at the Mosque for Laylat al Qadr, or night of destiny, a remembrance of when of the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad.
    For Muslims to participate in i’tikaf, the religion requires adherence to four basic tenants, namely that they must have true faith, they must seek closeness to Allah, they must remain inside their Mosque for the duration of the ritual, and they must posses mental stability, fortitude, and intelligence. And it is in this final attribute that Sayed has found a divine connection between the temple and the ring.
    “The life of a professional athlete fits pretty well with the life of a practicing Muslim. Islam… promotes a healthy lifestyle,” states Sayed. “A huge part of fighting is mental, and my religion gives me the mental and spiritual strength I need when I enter the cage.”
 
To read the entire article click here.

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