Looks like the #mecca_live snap undid years of negative portrayals of Islam by media and Islamaphobes.
Much appreciated @Snapchat #Peace✌
(Glory be to my Lord The Most High) instagram.com/p/tkfeC7mMdB/
The last day of #Ramadan reminds me of the last day of Training Camp. When I played in the NFL the toughest part of the season was Training Camp. We spent long hours training our mind and body to prepare for the year ahead. Similarly, Ramadan is our Training Camp as Muslims.
We spend long hours training our mind, body, and soul to prepare for the year ahead. In both Training Camps the goal of Training Camp is to come out of it with a better understanding of who you are as a person and as a team.
This Ramadan the Muslim community has been through a roller coaster of emotions. It began with the death and Janazah of our beloved Muhammad Ali--May Allah have mercy on him--and now ending with terrorist attacks across the Muslim world. Attacks that included the blessed city of Madinah. These events have led to a better understanding of who we are as a Muslim community. We're a Muslim community in need of struggle. We struggled during Ramadan and that struggle brought us closer together. We became brothers and sisters.
We saw each other as equals. During NFL Training Camps all players are paid the same. All players stay in the same dorms. All players wear the same clothes. This Ramadan I noticed--across social media--Muslims being the same. Muslims attending Masjids they hadn't been to previously. Muslims breaking Fast with different groups of people--including those that weren't Muslim. Muslims donating clothes and toys they would buy for their own family. This has caused a gelling of our community and we need to keep the cohesiveness throughout the year.
In the NFL, we take a portion of the skills we learned during Training Camp and practice them throughout the year. During Ramadan we did things we need to continuously practice that will help us individually and collectively. Ustadh Mohamad Baajour calls this: The Ramadan 10% Maintenance Plan. If we do 10% of the things we did during Ramadan, it will help us maintain the Ramadan edge. These things are as followed: Fasting- 30 Days... 3 Days every month... Taraweeh- 20 Rakkah... 2 Rakkah Qiyam a night Qur'an- 30 Juz... 2 Pages after every Salah (Arabic) Sadaqah- $1,000?... $100 Dhikr- Continuously Consistent... 5-10 minutes after every Salah in sha Allah we can make our intentions to continue the good habits we acquired during Ramadan. I pray this helps me and you to be better individually so that we can be better collectively. As salamu Alaikuum and #EidMubarak.
After 7 years in the NFL, I am retiring.
I would like to thank the Minnesota Vikings for… instagram.com/p/BDf1bAXmMaj/
I appreciate the overwhelming love and support flowing from all over the world. #Peace
Meeting Muhammad Ali.
From the time I was a boy, I always imagined the day I would meet Muhammad Ali. I thought about our conversation we would have and how he would smile at me. How he would put up his fist and I would respond by putting up my dukes. We’d throw a few air punches but he would let his guard down just long enough to let me tag him with a straight right hand. He would flail his arms and declare me the winner. We would laugh and embrace. He would've heard about my fantastic NFL career, possibly Super Bowl MVP and the many interceptions I had accumulated. He would have known I admired him as a man, an athlete and as a Muslim. We would sit down on a couch and he would talk while I listened. I would listen to the wise words of the greatest athlete of our time. The greatest influencer of our time. The greatest man of our time. After the conversation, I would let him know I didn’t want to impose, so I would jump up to leave. He would pretend like I wasn’t preventing him from going to sleep at a suitable hour but I would insist we would catch up later. We would offer a prayer together then I would leave. I might as well leave on Aladdin’s flying carpet because after that, I’ll be high enough to touch the sky.
But that’s not how I first met Muhammad Ali.
I first met Muhammad Ali as his casket was being rolled out of a hearse. As the coffin came my way, I could feel his presence. Just as I’m sure many people felt the first time they met Muhammad Ali, I was speechless. I tried to offer him the greetings of peace but it didn’t come out. I felt him offering the greetings so I bowed my head in recognition. His casket was light but the moment was heavy. His aura was encapsulating. I couldn’t escape. As the casket was lowered on a gurney, I looked around at the others in attendance. They felt it too. I was accompanied by Muslim royalty, armed guards and the secret service. All of whom were entrusted with the safe keeping of his body. I was more than a pallbearer. I was a guardian from God. Who would have thought, me, Hamza Abdullah, would actually meet Muhammad Ali. This wasn’t what I envisioned but it superseded my expectations.
I was here, invited by Allah, to carry one of His beloved servants home.
As the door to the arena opened, I felt overwhelmed. My knees began to buckle and my eyes began to water. In that moment I reached towards the coffin and touched it. My heart jumped because I didn’t want to knock it over. When I felt the wood I imagined Muhammad Ali jesting that I would push over his casket and ruin his big day. I straightened up and began reciting Surah Ya Seen. The 36th chapter in the Holy Qur’an. When I reached Ayahs 26 and 27, I smiled. The translation of the verses read: “It was said, “Enter Paradise.” He said, “I wish my people could know of how my Lord has forgiven me and placed me among the honored.” I imagined Muhammad Ali smiling from ear to ear. There was no need for me to cry.
Muhammad Ali was ready for the world and I was there to protect him.
As we stood in the doorway of the arena, I felt the world watching us. The moment was bigger than any other moment in my life. I’ve played in front of thousands of people on football fields, but those events paled in comparison to this. As I began to take in the moment I noticed the crowd assembled to watch us carry Muhammad Ali to the place of his Janazah prayer. I noticed a seemingly seven footer in the midst of the crowd. It was Imam Omar Suleiman. I felt like he was making duaa for me and that he was proud of me. I stood a little taller and felt a sense of comfort. Then we started moving. As we wheeled the casket to its designated spot--next to Imam Zaid Shakir--I felt like Prophet Moses(AS) and the Children of Israel walking through the Red Sea. Tranquility, comfort and security filled the air as a respectful silence commenced. But with every step we took, it felt like we were taking a step closer to Heaven. The anticipation grew and the crowd began to chant: “LA ILAHA ILLA-LLAH...LA ILAHA ILLA-LLAH...LA ILAHA ILLA-LLAH.” “There is no God but Allah, There is no God but Allah, There is no God but Allah.” I don’t know what it’s like to guard the President or a Brinks truck carrying millions of dollars, but what I was protecting, who I was protecting, was far more valuable than them. I was protecting a man who was beloved to God so God made him beloved to all of mankind. We parked his casket and stepped behind the Imam as he opened the ceremony. I thought about the impact Muhammad Ali had on everyone in attendance and everyone around the world. He was a blessing. I thought about when I pass away.
Will people attend my Janazah?
I pray that I live a life worthy of people sacrificing their time to come and pray for my forgiveness and to pray that God has mercy on me. I thought about someone receiving a notification on their phone: “Former NFL Player, Hamza Abdullah died today at the age of __. Click the link for more details.” Did I live my life well enough, did I do enough to earn that person clicking that link? Or if they also get a notification that their Candy Crush lives are full, will that take precedence over the news of my death? I hope not. I pray that I will lead a life that people will care when I pass away. That people will offer a sincere prayer for me and my family. How did Muhammad Ali become beloved to God and in turn beloved to people? He did three things: 1) He was true to himself, 2) He was true to God, and 3) He loved for his brother what he loved for himself. I pray that we can all learn from the great Muhammad Ali, may God have mercy on him. I pray that we can all be brothers and sisters to one another. I pray that we can come together to make this world a better place. Not just by our speech but our actions.
Meeting Muhammad Ali was better than I imagined it. Not only did we get him to sleep at a suitable hour, we made duaa for him that he would rest in peace forever. May God have mercy on Muhammad Ali and allow him to rest with the ones he loves.
You want Muslims to "check-in" and you wanna "stop and frisk" black people? Kick rocks #debate