Two Muslim Brothers Skip NFL Season to Take a Pilgrimage to Mecca

Updated: June 17, 2013

The article first appeared on

Two brothers in the NFL are gaining international attention for their commitment to their faith.  Hamza and Husain Abdullah, two amazing athletes, shocked their friends and fans by leaving the money and fame of the NFL for a year to pursue the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.  They also spent the year traveling the country to speak at various mosques.

The two did what they called a “30 for 30 tour,” where they visited 30 different mosques during the 30 days of Ramadan to talk about their faith with those who would listen.  They also stopped at food kitchens, community centers and other organizations set up to help the community.

The Hajj is a holy pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims must pursue at least one time in their lives.  The players have already faced controversy by fasting during Ramadan, which is right during NFL training camp.  Despite the challenges and pressures, they have succeeded.

The two young men grew up in a strong Muslim household.  They became involved in sports at an early age and were both good at football.  In 2000 Hamza began playing free safety at Washington State University.  His brother Husain followed him on campus in 2003.


Hamza was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004 in the seventh round.  Husain was signed by the Minnesota Vikings in 2008.   He is currently with the Kansas City Chiefs and Hamza is an unsigned free agent.

In 2011 the two men hosted the “Hamza and Husain Abdullah Rising Stars Youth Football Camp” for over 200 kids who are interested in football in their home city of Pomona, California.  They continue their work, and will keep merging faith and family into their athletic careers in order to have a true and meaningful impact.  Great work guys.


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