KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) has prepared a set of guidelines for the London Olympics bound Muslim athletes to adhere during the competition period from July 27 to Aug 12.
Jakim Director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha said the guidelines were drawn with the involvement of religious scholars and approved by Kajian Syariah Jakim panel.
"The guidelines are aimed at providing Malaysian athletes and officials involved in the London Olympics, a guideline.
"In principle the guidelines state that to continue fasting when travelling is good though travellers are excused from fasting. However, they should replace the number of days later," he said in a statement.
According to Othman, since athletes involved in archery and shooting are not required to use up much energy, they should fast but such decisions should be based on medical experts and the condition of the respective athletes.
"For sports that need lots of energy like cycling, sailing and athletics, hose involved can also continue to fast," he said.
Contrary to Othman's statement, Malaysian Islamic and Olympic officials had earlier said athletes from the predominantly Muslim country are excused from fasting for Ramadan while competing at the London Games.
Among reasons for not fasting include those travelling, sick and taking part in high performance sports but they can replace the number of days later.
Islamic authorities in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Morocco have also recently allowed their athletes to postpone their fast despite disagreement from some Muslims.