We know him best for his commanding, lightning quick runs down the wing and game winning strikes from twenty five yards but alongside impressing the Yellas faithful on a cold, Tuesday night, Uzzy’s got his own faith to guide him. We caught up with him as he observes the month of Ramadan and how he incorporates his beliefs with football.
What Ramadan means for Usman
Ramadan marks the day God revealed to the prophet Muhammad the contents of the Quran, Islam’s holy book. For me, it is a month of worship, study of the Quran, prayer and fasting. It’s about self reflection and making a constant effort to fight against your weaknesses and passions, to constantly improve, to become totally humanized. The principle of fasting is linked to that of self-control.
Keeping on his game
I pretty much keep the same routine but I try to reserve my energy as much as possible. But to be honest, I have been fasting and playing since I was fourteen so I have got used to it now; plus this year the fast isn’t too long so it makes it easier.
Representation in football
They are starting to do more. For example, Muslim players will be given a short break to open their fast in the Premier League. But I personally think there’s a lot more to be learned about the Islamic faith in football. But I am glad it’s kicked off now and hopefully moving forwards more will be done to represent those of Islamic faith.
Related: Uzzy is the man as Ascot run down Reading
It makes me feel proud; anyone with strong faith, you automatically have some sort of respect for them. We are asked to fast only 30 days out of 365 days. That is not a lot and recently it has been proven by ‘science’ that it does so much good to the body.
What can those without Muslim faith take from the observation of Ramadan?
During the holy month, Muslims believe that they are cleansing their bodies to get closer to God. It is believed in Islam that food, drink and other desires stand in the way of connecting with their faith – in short, they believe these work as a distraction.
Ramadan is also a philosophical time of the year during which many believe they learn to be more patient and increase their self-control – feeling less inclined to take part in gossip and other negative thought processes – which they believe make them better people.
Lastly, a lot of charity is given voluntarily in order to please God during this holy month. It is an act towards others, whether through generosity, love, compassion or faith. These acts are not necessarily physical or monetary. Simple good deeds such as a smile, or a helping hand, are seen as acts of charity.
Breaking his fast
We asked Usman what his favourite thing to break his fast with is, “A cold drink with a touch of lime. Just hits different”.
If you’d like to find out more about Ramadan, follow this link.