iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Going For Gold In Ramadan

Play now 28 mins

Going For Gold In Ramadan

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 21 July 2012

To mark the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the final days before the 2012 summer Olympics, Heart and Soul explores the clash between strict religious obedience and the quest for Olympic glory.

For all practising Muslims, the month of Ramadan means abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset - hard enough in itself during the summer months in a country like Britain - which has daylight well into the night. But how much harder is it for a top Muslim athlete to fast and train, or even compete when Ramadan this year falls over the Olympic fortnight.

Peter Musembi from BBC African Sport talks to top athletes, to find out how they deal with the dilemma, he hears from one of the Britain's top medal hopes Mo Farah, born in Mogadishu but raised in London, he has also deferred his fast in past years.

He meets Mo Sbihi, the first ever practising Muslim to row for Team GB. Sbihi tells Musembi how he has faced criticism for deferring his fast until he is out of competition, and how he has donated his own money to fund meals for homeless children in his family’s home country Morocco.

He also meets an Olympian of the future, 18-year-old Ambreen Sadiq, the first British Muslim female boxer, who tells the programme how she deals with her brutal training regime, while denying herself food or drink for up to 14 hours a day.

Heart and Soul explores how sporting glory conflicts with the honouring one of the five pillars of Islam.


  • Mo Farah heads to London 2012 via Kenya

    Mo Farah heads to London 2012 via Kenya

    BBC chief sports writer Tom Fordyce profiles athlete Mo Farah

    Read more on the BBC Sport website
  • Health Check: Fasting during the Olympics

    Health Check: Fasting during the Olympics

    Team GB British rower Mo Sbihi has already decided to postpone his fast until after the games. But how will fasting affect those who do fast during the games?

    Listen to Health Check
  • London 2012 website

    London 2012 website

    Keep up to date with the latest BBC coverage of news and developments in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games

    Read more on the London 2012 website

Free download

  1. Image for Heart and Soul: Faith Perspectives

    Heart and Soul: Faith Perspectives

    Explore the role of faith, spirituality and religious practice in the lives of people around the…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss