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.

30 responses to “Abdullah brothers pause NFL careers for Ramadan

  1. 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.

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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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