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Abdullah brothers pause NFL careers for Ramadan

Not many brothers make it to the NFL.  Even fewer walk away from it together.

Hamza and Husain Abdullah have announced that they’ll be pausing their pro football careers to make a pilgrimage to Mecca during the 2012 NFL season, as part of their Islamic faith.

“It has been a blessing to play in the NFL for both Husain and I, but we would be remiss if we didn’t give thanks to the One who made it all possible,” Hamza said.

“I visited Makkah, Saudi Arabia in March and a strong sense of urgency overcame me to attend ‘Hajj’ in October,” Husain said.  “I love the game of football but, it would directly coincide with my pilgrimage.  So, I’m taking some time off.”

Both Hamza and Husain are free agents.  Husain, we’re told, had multiple offers for the coming season, including an offer to return to the Vikings.

Hamza, 28, appeared in 16 games last season for the Cardinals.  Husain, 26, started nine games in 2011 and 15 in 2010 for the Vikings.

As part of their effort, they’ll have “Iftar,” which is the Ramadan fast-breaking meal, in a different U.S. mosque every night.  They plan to speak about fasting and its impact on athletes, specifically focusing on the importance of hydration and nutrition during Ramadan.  They also hope to “deconstruct” the negative connotations of Islam.

The Abdullah brother hope to return to the NFL during the regular season, following the completion of their pilgrimage, but they acknowledge their opportunities may be limited.

Here’s hoping someone gives one or both of them a chance to keep playing.  With injuries being inevitable, a need for their services surely will arise.

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30 Responses to “Abdullah brothers pause NFL careers for Ramadan”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 21, 2012 5:13 PM

    Along the trail they will hook up with their crazy old uncle the Butcher.

  2. rtk23 says: Jun 21, 2012 5:22 PM


  3. skolvikesskol says: Jun 21, 2012 5:23 PM

    Pls cut him. He wasn’t that great. Skol!

  4. vicpetro says: Jun 21, 2012 5:28 PM

    Sounds to me like a couple of pretty good role models for kids to look up to.

  5. ndnut says: Jun 21, 2012 5:30 PM

    Studied in school, they need z pilgrimage before they die. I respect their choice but I believe that they could/ should have done it after they retired.

  6. larryboodry says: Jun 21, 2012 5:41 PM

    Most likely they will resume their careers in 2013.

  7. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jun 21, 2012 6:04 PM

    I respect them for doing what they think is important, but I think the NFL is going to move on without them.

  8. spartan822 says: Jun 21, 2012 6:05 PM

    Most likely they have played their last games in the NFL.

  9. borisbulldog says: Jun 21, 2012 6:14 PM

    On their way back, nmake sure they pass thru the airport screening stations 3 times!

  10. Soulman45 says: Jun 21, 2012 6:16 PM

    They have that right god luck to them.

  11. mrdeezy says: Jun 21, 2012 6:20 PM

    Praise ALLAH!! LOL

  12. publius17 says: Jun 21, 2012 6:23 PM

    If anyone rips on them while simultaneously praising Tim Tebow for the “good example” he sets, that person is a flaming hypocrite.

  13. mnlittle says: Jun 21, 2012 6:26 PM

    I wouldn’t want them on my team. Other players are there working for a championship. They seem to be looking for a reason to take some time off. Don’t need either one of ’em.

  14. joetoronto says: Jun 21, 2012 6:47 PM

    Maybe Allah will pay their bills when they’re broke.

    You never know.

  15. psychotim says: Jun 21, 2012 6:55 PM

    This is just like that selfish jerk Pat Tillman leaving the NFL to follow some sort of “higher calling.”

    What is the matter with the “me me me” NFL players?

  16. heyyarnold says: Jun 21, 2012 7:03 PM

    Whats the big deal? Seems like BOTH the Vikings and Cardinals entire rosters paused their NFL Careers

  17. largent80 says: Jun 21, 2012 7:18 PM

    They obviously must realize that this puts their future NFL careers at risk. Coaches don’t like players who show interest in non-football stuff (see Rolle, Myron). I commend them for putting their principles first.

  18. hammoud24 says: Jun 21, 2012 9:12 PM

    I’m absolutely disgusted with some of these comments. I have the upmost respect for these two men. Football is a game! Religion is their faith. I can not believe the ignorance with some of these posts.

  19. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Jun 21, 2012 9:12 PM

    Oh sure vicpetro…Islamists are such great role models.

    Just an excuse because neither one could get a contract…please stay over there and don’t come back begging for another job.

  20. tarheelpirate says: Jun 21, 2012 10:41 PM

    Nice racism and Islamaphobia in this thread. Well, at least you bigots are open about it, anonymously.

  21. cpo187 says: Jun 22, 2012 12:32 AM

    Damn you fictional God’s!

  22. hannahsdaddy says: Jun 22, 2012 1:01 AM

    FYI. Mohamed married, as one of his many wives, a 6 year old! But don’t worry because he didn’t consummate until she was 9! (I wonder if the mods will evacuate post this).

  23. vikingsfan1994 says: Jun 22, 2012 1:18 AM

    Thats Awesome. I really admire these two guys. Husain worked from being an undrafted free agent to a decent safety and Hamza was a good backup. To give up something you love is impossibly difficult.
    I know they werent great, but if anything, pausing their NFL careers shows their devotion to the tasks at hand. Once they complete the Hajj, they will not have to do it gain, and they can focus on NFL. And the team that signs them will know they will be devoted to the team. They are loyal and brave men.

  24. vikingsfan1994 says: Jun 22, 2012 1:22 AM

    Wait, why does Tebow get so much praise for sharing his religion with everyone but these guys get hate for leaving the game as unsigned players for religious reasons. That makes no sense.
    Even Asher Allen didn’t have so many people sippin’ on the haterade when he left the team mid-contract for religious reasons.

    Racism much?

  25. vikingsfan1994 says: Jun 22, 2012 1:23 AM

    Racism Sucks.

  26. warrenpeacephotography says: Jun 22, 2012 4:20 AM

    Perhaps even if they never sign another NFL contract, they’ve made enough money to retire for life.

  27. gpete1962 says: Jun 22, 2012 7:57 AM

    publius17 says: Jun 21, 2012 6:23 PM

    If anyone rips on them while simultaneously praising Tim Tebow for the “good example” he sets, that person is a flaming hypocrite.
    Your a Flaming Idiot!!!

    Tebow didn’t abandon his team

  28. larryboodry says: Jun 22, 2012 10:54 AM

    @ gpete1962, as both Abdullahs are currently free agents, please explain to me how they abandoning any team?

  29. ummgani says: Jan 4, 2013 8:34 PM

    Great Player, probably one of the best of his type on the NFL. They’ll get him back next season, he did what was right. Faith before Career for him, that’s why he’s so successfull, he’s an example for all of us.

  30. tdiddybop says: Jul 9, 2013 4:16 PM

    They didn’t pause their careers for Ramadan… they paused their careers in order to go on Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca which a Muslim is recommended to take once in their lifetime if they are able to afford it.

    Whoever wrote this article should change the title

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