COWBOYS back-rower Cory Paterson will complete the premiership rounds on a demanding Islamic fast after recently becoming a Muslim.

Paterson yesterday emulated Bulldogs great Hazem El Masri as just the second player in NRL history to tackle the holy month of Ramadan, which forbids Muslims from eating or drinking during daylight hours.

Given the physical demands of full-time training in tropical Townsville, it's a huge challenge that yesterday prompted discussions with North Queensland officials.

Paterson will also be involved in four matches, however all will be staged at night when he is permitted to rehydrate.

Unlike El Masri, a Muslim since birth, Paterson has never fasted before and it's understood the 24-year-old's religious conversion only took place around the time he transferred from Newcastle in June.

When contacted yesterday, Paterson confirmed he was now a Muslim and had started fasting. But he declined to elaborate until speaking with new manager Khoder Nasser, a devout Muslim who was instrumental in Anthony Mundine's conversion a decade ago.Paterson also spent yesterday afternoon discussing his new routine with North Queensland coach Neil Henry and football manager Peter Parr, both of whom were unaware of the Perth product's personal sacrifice.

Paterson convinced the pair that his ability to train or play would not be compromised, because Ramadan allows necessary exceptions based on employment - and particularly so for first-timers.

"He's explained how it won't impact on his preparation or performance," Parr told The Daily Telegraph. "There's no hard and fast rule for everyone. Given the nature of his employment, there's an opportunity there to do what he has to do (to be his best).

"It's not for me to go into Cory's personal life, other than to say that Neil (Henry) and I are comfortable with the way it's being done."

Paterson joined Nasser's camp after becoming close with stablemates Mundine and Sonny Bill Williams during the latter's preparation for a fight in Newcastle early this year.

His conversion to Islam was immediately tipped, but not confirmed until Sunday when Paterson used his Twitter account to inform followers of his impending fast.

"Big challenge for me starting tomoro (sic)," he tweeted. "Looking forward to it and the satisfaction and discipline it will bring."

Paterson subsequently received several messages of support - including one from Mundine - and peppered his replies with Arabic phrases such as "salaam" (peace) and "Insallah" (God willing). "Thank u. Will test me but Insallah it all goes well," he tweeted.

Unwanted by incoming Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett, Paterson was given permission to join North Queensland on a three-year deal mid-season.
In MY opinion, I think he's lot better than some of the actor and actress that make their life that full of schedule (.......) as a reason not to do their fasting. CHAIT!!!!~
If people that first timer try their best, why not us do better??
lets improve ourselves to be the best!


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Mohamad's daughter
a khalifatullah, having an iman that always go up and down.. like 12321...
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