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I was reading this article on Muslim athletes in the World Cup dealing with Ramadan, when I came across this quotation from Sheikh Juma Momade, the South America representative for Kuwait's Ministry of Islamic Affairs:

“If the player believes he will experience a dip in form and this will degrade the performance of his work, he can choose to break the fast, but after the work is finished, he should compensate for the period of fasting.”

I am not a Muslim, but (years ago) I did athletics in high school during Ramadan with several Muslims, all of whom dilligently fasted. I've never heard of this loophole (and indeed, this question's answer implies that such fast breaking isn't permitted).

My question is: Is Sheikh Momade correctly asserting Islamic law when he says the athletes may break fasting? And, if yes, what are the rules for breaking this fast? When must compensation be done? Is it only permissible for athletes? Does it make a difference that the world cup athletes represent Islam on a global stage?

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As per the Quran:

[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] - a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess - it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. 2:184

Is Sheikh Momade correctly asserting Islamic law

I don't know from where he got that but it seems to contradict Islamic laws. Skipping fast should be done only if the fast is going to harm the person physically and not if it would affect the game.

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Probably best to ask Sheikh Momade to clarify further this opinion as news articles tend to miss off the nitty gritty of things

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And, if yes, what are the rules for breaking this fast? When must compensation be done? Is it only permissible for athletes? Does it make a difference that the world cup athletes represent Islam on a global stage?

the rules for breaking the fast is you must compensate after ramadhan is over. you break total three days of fast, then you must compensate three days. For me it is not only for athletes. For all people with the same reason, e.g. a builder.

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