The challenges of fasting for Ramadan

It is the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with many worshippers around the world fasting from sunrise to sunset.

In Nigeria – where roughly half the 190 million population is Muslim, it can be a challenging period.

For some of the faithful, difficult economic conditions mean they must continue to engage in strenuous jobs to make ends meet.

”If I do not do this hard labour, I have no any other source of income,” says Salisu Ibrahim, who currently works on a building site in the Gwarinpa neighbourhood of Abuja.

Fasting can be a challenge for people doing physically strenous work

“When we start in the morning, we don’t usually have a problem because we have the strength. But in the afternoon, some even abandon the work because they can’t cope.”

Islamic clerics say Muslims whose jobs involve strenuous activities can suspend their fast if combining the two becomes extremely difficult – or even threatens their health or life.

”Islam is the religion of mercy and is the religion of hard work,” Sheikh Muhammad Kabir Adam – one of the imams at Nigeria’s National Mosque in Abuja – told the BBC.

Mr Ibrahim, meanwhile says it’s a relief to break his fast when the evening comes, but says he wishes he could “have a more meaningful job so that I leave this hard labour”.

These workers say it’s a relief to break their fast when the evening comes
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