home
RSS
August 29th, 2011
10:16 AM ET

Despite daily Ramadan fast, Muslim NFLer trains for the season

By Chris Welch, CNN

Eden Prairie, Minnesota (CNN) - Watching Minnesota Vikings starting safety Husain Abdullah on the sun-drenched field during practice on a recent afternoon, you’d never guess he hasn’t had any food or drink since sunrise.

Abdullah is an observant Muslim, which during Ramadan - the Islamic holy month that ends Monday night - means no eating or drinking from sunup to sundown, not even water.

“My religion is very important to me," Abdullah said after practice. "I mean, it’s the basis of my life.”

He credits his parents with instilling the Muslim values he holds dear today.

"The month of Ramadan is something that we wait for every year," Abdullah said. "When it comes, we actually celebrate it.

“People think because we’re fasting that we should dread it, but we actually celebrate the month because it’s the month in which the Quran was revealed," he said. "Everybody gets excited.”

Even, he says, when that means 95-degree heat and high humidity on the practice field here.

This will be Abdullah's fourth full season playing professional football, a stretch that he says has given him time to perfect a Ramadan diet, aided with the team nutritionist.

“Dinnertime, I will eat whatever my wife cooks; I’m not gonna be picky about that,” he laughed. “Then it’s mainly about the fluids.”

“I try to drink until I can start using the bathroom regularly, so I can keep hydrated," he said. "And then around 2 in the morning …we have lunch in the middle of the night. So I just drink a protein shake, probably eat some fruit and again drink some fluids.”

All that followed by what he called a “regular” breakfast of oatmeal, fruit and eggs. Then, he says, he’s set for the day.

The fast lasts until an after-sundown meal, called an iftar dinner.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama invited Abdullah, along with his brother Hamza, a defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals, to the White House's annual iftar dinner.

“It was kind of surreal,” Abdullah said. “(We) got to snap a couple pictures, they cleared out a room, and we got to pray inside the White House, which is awesome.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Ramadan • Sports • Uncategorized

soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. joe

    Though maybe players like TO could learn a little self discipline from this guy

    October 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  2. joe

    what are you the kicker. Stop living your life according to someones OCD 1000 years ago.

    October 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  3. Reality

    Ramadan is simply another segment of the infamous angelic con prevalent in most religions.

    "Ramadaning" Mohammed had his "ramadaning" Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Joe Smith had his Moroni.

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    August 30, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • Dcshadows

      "Reality" – As smart as you would seem to the average wanna be religionaire you are actually spewing garbled junk in which you know nothing about. Jehovah's witness don't believe Jesus is God. Satan is not a demon – He has demons or fallen angels that do his bidding but he is the most beautiful and powerful angel ever created. FYI, they were all created at the same time. The other religions you are just telling part or half truths which make them all lies. One religion is Truth, which is it. I know, but of course your mind is so diluted how would I ever be able to convince you. Thanks for the laugh though. I needed it.

      Oh by the way did you catch what religion Obama accepts? Read the last 2 paragraphs where Husein Abdallah stated (talking about the President and his brother) “It was kind of surreal,” Abdullah said. “(We) got to snap a couple pictures, they cleared out a room, and we got to pray inside the White House, which is awesome.”

      Who do you think the We meant? Who did he take pictures with? I think it is very clearly stating the Pres. prayed. If he isn't Muslim then the Islamic community would have looked at this act of a non-Muslim as heresy punishable by death...Hmmm!

      August 31, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  4. CrystalRiver

    Way to go. Muslim men are manly because they are serious about their faith in God. Many Western men were like that when the West was seriously Christian. Nowadays, secularized men in the West are pitifully feminized since they have nothing to protect except for their filthy pleasures. Prophesies all came true. Now, Muslims only need to get to know Isa al Masih (Jesus Christ) to be right and humane. Men either oppress women or become enslaved by women without Christian education.

    August 30, 2011 at 5:16 am |
    • Reality

      CrystalRiver, the "red-neck" lady of many names continues in her isolated world of inanity!!!

      August 30, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • CrystalRiver

      @Reality Only the truly Godly breathe in the crystals that open the mind! May the Crystal River flow deeply into your nose and veins! How I adore the Crystal meth!

      August 30, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • NightOwl

      Xenia, is that you? lol

      August 30, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Andy K.

      HA HA HO HO you are so funny. Are you a stand up comic? Seriously, I'm still chuckling from what you wrote.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:42 am |
  5. Teapublican

    Obama allowing Muslim prayers in the white house?!? That's it. It is confirmed that Obama himself is a Muslim...because no Christian president would allow Muslims to dirty up the White House to do their prayers (especially so close to the 10 year anniversary of 9-11!!) Obama should be tried for treason and impeached!

    August 30, 2011 at 3:49 am |
    • CrystalRiver

      Why doesn't Mr. Obama invite the Ja-panese emperor and bow down to him again? I guess the Ja-panese never forced any American POWs to worship their stupid emperor so no American was tortured or killed for the refusal to bow down before the Ja-panese shrine.

      August 30, 2011 at 5:20 am |
    • yellowlegalpad

      cool story, bro!

      August 30, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • SD

      People of all faiths have been invited to pray at the White House. It was the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and the white house holds a dinner for Muslims to break their fast every year. George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George Bush Sr. have all taken part in it. Jewish people are invited during their religious events, and so are Christians and every other denomination

      August 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  6. Fred

    Yeah....old news. We heard this junk last year. No one cares and the Vikings suck.

    August 30, 2011 at 3:37 am |
  7. D-man5005

    Well I can tell you that here in the country of Jordan, nobody celebrates Ramadan. Happily anyways. You're more likely to get a smile from a shot man than the people here. I'm pretty sure that most of them have to act unhappy to show that they are pious Muslims. It's also upsetting that CNN would say such good things about a Muslim following their religion, but anybody else following a different religion comes out looking like an idiot by the first paragraph of the article. Talk about biased.

    August 30, 2011 at 3:14 am |
    • Peace2All

      @D-man5005

      You Said: " It's also upsetting that CNN would say such good things about a Muslim following their religion, but anybody else following a different religion comes out looking like an idiot by the first paragraph of the article. Talk about biased. "

      Well, D-man... the over-all view of Islam and Muslim's, in our country (as a general rule) is so typically biased and negative, that articles showing that not all Muslim's want to strap on a back-pack full of explosives and blow all the infidels up, is not only 'true' (in that of course all Muslim's are not that way–wanting to kill all non-muslims) but also helps to show and potentially counter-act all of the negative criticisms against Islam and Muslims in general. The vast majority of Muslim's, at least the one's that live here in the U.S. are peace-loving and good fellow human beings.

      As for your comment about others following a different religion come out looking like "idiots" etc... What exactly are you speaking of...?

      Without further information here... I'll venture a guess. Pretty much 'all' religions are based on a lot of ancient mythology and practices and beliefs. As such, they can often be viewed as... being ridiculously silly.

      And... some 'believer's in all religions 'do' look and act like... "idiots."

      Regards,

      Peace..

      August 30, 2011 at 3:47 am |
  8. Andrew

    Hmm I should write a book and say you can not eat from sunset to sunrise! Fast during those hours!

    August 30, 2011 at 2:53 am |
  9. wth did he just say

    It was kind of surreal,” Abdullah said. “(We) got to snap a couple pictures, they cleared out a room, and we got to pray inside the White House, which is awesome................... i dont think its awesome wth are muslims doing praying in the white house

    August 30, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • paul

      This is what makes America great. Free for all religions, and you should open your mind and have a Ramadan meal with some muslims, its a good time.

      Also if you dont like American freedom you can leave, even if you were also born here, you dont seem to deserve it.

      August 30, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • tommy mack

      Why wouldn't muslims be allowed to pray in the whitehouse? Christians are led in prayer there all the time. Do you believe in freedom in America, or just "your kind of freedom"?

      August 30, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • Peace2All

      @wth did he just say

      What are we missing here in your post, as it doesn't make sense to any of us apparently...?

      Peace...

      August 30, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • SD

      Members of all faiths have been invited to pray at the white house. And you can't say it's just an Obama thing, people have been praying in the white house since Bush Sr. The Islamic holy month of Ramadan just ended, and every year the white house holds one dinner with some leaders. The same thing happens with Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc. It's to represent that our country is made up of many different types of people, which is very very true

      August 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  10. meHomerJ

    Why is this news every year?

    August 30, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • Peace2All

      Hmmm... probably, one reason may be the same reason that Christmas and Easter are news-stories every year around the time of their respective holidays.

      Peace...

      August 30, 2011 at 2:21 am |
  11. Jimmy Crack Corn

    I just read M. Vick getting a 100 million dollar deal with Eagles??? I don't care how good you are with a football, there is NO reason for you to earn 10% of a billion dollars to play a sport.

    August 30, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Jimmy Crack Corn

      " I just read M. Vick getting a 100 million dollar deal with Eagles??? I don't care how good you are with a football, there is NO reason for you to earn 10% of a billion dollars to play a sport. "

      Not saying I disagree with you over-all here, but specifically, since it is being done, apparently someone believes that there 'are' reasons to pay Vick 100 mill.

      BTW- Did your post have anything to do with the article on "Muslim's fasting during Ramadan"...?

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 30, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • paul

      They share the rev from money made from the sport. Its called capitalism. Should the owners just pocket all that money. Yes it is a crazy amount, but if less people watched on TV and went to games, they would make less. However, I do feel that athletes and actors should pay a higher tax rate since they do not create jobs and actually make money off of the middle class. They can afford an extra 5%.

      August 30, 2011 at 2:44 am |
  12. CrystalRiver

    @EvolvedDNA, Everyone is perfect age in Heaven. We don't recognize each other by the outlook only. It's Eden restored and infinitely much more. Evo-, the important thing for you is your honesty and humility before the Creator God. Your heart at-ti-tu-des. You need to repent and trust Jesus.

    August 30, 2011 at 2:03 am |
  13. JKinselIII

    Props to anyone who has the strength to follow their dreams AND their faith.

    August 30, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Luigi

      Hitler did that too....

      August 30, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  14. C. Smythe

    Eat like a pig all night and sleep all day? you call that a fast? my god you never even missed a meal, pathetic, really!

    August 30, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • ASDF

      Where do you see anything about sleeping, the article is clearly about him practicing for the NFL season!

      August 30, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • J. Harvard Smithington

      Ahhh, did you write the rules for fasting, or do you just expect him to fast in a way you understand? Why don't you do a bit of reading before you make another post. Your ignorance is gut wrenching.

      August 30, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • tony

      You should fast permanently. Obviously, the human race wouldn't exactly suffer any loss in intellectual output if you were to do so. As a matter of fact, I think that would may qualify as a case of addition by subtraction.

      August 30, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • GWP

      I defy you to go from sunup to sundown without eating or drinking in 95 degree heat and tell me you are not fasting. Then let’s add the concept of NFL training camp workouts on top of it. Try thinking about what you are saying before you shoot off your mouth.

      August 30, 2011 at 2:11 am |
  15. Chris

    GO COUGS.

    August 30, 2011 at 12:49 am |
1 2

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.