Husain Abdullah, who gave up football to take Muslim pilgrimage, is back in NFL

1005
Husain Abdullah, who gave up football to take Muslim pilgrimage, is back in NFL

Husain Abdullah, who gave up football to take Muslim pilgrimage, is back in NFL

Husain and Hamza Abdullah

The famous footballer Husain Abdullah at the peak of his career left football for Hajj along with his family.A year later, Husain returned in the National Football League with new forces.

“To get back out here and to have a second chance, not a lot of people get one,” Abdullah said after one of the Chiefs’ off season workout sessions this week. “So this is a blessing".

Abdullah, a practicing Muslim, elected not to return to the Minnesota Vikings last season and instead took his wife, parents and two older brothers on a month-long spiritual journey to Saudi Arabia last October.

The family — including older brother Hamza Abdullah, who spent 2005-11 with the Arizona Cardinals — visited and prayed at the mosques in Mecca and Medina. And before that, when their teams were in training camp, the Abdullah brothers made a 30-city-in-30-day, cross-country road trip in a minivan during the 30 days of Ramadan in July and August.

They spoke and prayed at mosques and performed community service from coast-to-coast and in Canada, even while fasting during Ramadan, something he has done even during football seasons.

Husain Abdullah, who gave up football to take Muslim pilgrimage, is back in NFL

Husain Abdullah, who gave up football to take Muslim pilgrimage, is back in NFL

 

“It was a beautiful year, all over,” said Abdullah, 27. “We’d give talks to youth groups, and they’d bounce questions off us like, ‘What’s it like playing in the NFL? … what’s Brett Favre like … ?"

The biggest question, though, was why in the in the prime of his career, did Abdullah make the journey abroad as opposed to waiting until after his playing days were over?

“It was something that weighed heavy on me,” he said. “It’s something Muslims are required to do once in your lifetime, and we didn’t necessarily have to do it then. I see my parents getting a little older and sicker, and I was able to take them … it was a dream for them, and it was a dream for me, and to experience that together was awesome".

The family followed a pretty simple daily routine in the Saudi Arabia.

“Everything is structured around prayer,” he said. “At 4 or 5 a.m., you wake up and you go pray … you chill, you do whatever you want to do and come back at noon, and you have another prayer. At midday, another prayer. At sunset you have another prayer, and at night time you have another prayer".

"In Islam, the first word was "ikra'a", which means" read ", - says Hamza Abdullah. - So every Muslim has the duty to acquire knowledge.And if someone would take me and ask, "Hamza what the five pillars of faith in Islam?", I should be able to answer that it is the shahada - the testimony of faith, Salat daily five prayers, zakat, assisting the poor, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and, finally, the Hajj-the pilgrimage to Mecca.

The brothers are proud to return to the NFL, but the most significant event for them was - the pilgrimage to Mecca.

MuslimVillage 

comments powered by Disqus
Home