|Husain Abdullah signed with the Chiefs after taking a year off to take a pilgrimage to Mecca. (US Presswire)|
Last June in the prime of his career, Husain Abdullah announced that he was sitting out the 2012 NFL season to embark on a pilgrimage to Mecca with his brother Hamza, a former safety with the Arizona Cardinals.
Before the journey in October, the Abdullahs went on a goodwill mission around the United States with their older brother Abbas, visiting 30 mosques in 30 days during Ramadan. Throughout the excursion, Husain and Hamza had every intention on returning to the NFL.
On Monday, Husain's return became official when he agreed to terms on a deal with the Chiefs. Husain, 27, started 24 games for the Vikings from 2010-2011, getting 124 tackles and four interceptions in the two seasons combined. The Abdullah brothers indicated they worked arduously to remain in shape during their time away from the league.
“Hamza was a seventh-round pick and he was released. I was an undrafted pick and had to force my way in,” Husain told ESPN's Outside the Lines in September. “If we have to do it again, so be it.”
In their month-long trip around the country, the trio traveled about 12,000 miles, starting in Southern California, going up the Pacific Coast, through the Rockies, past the Midwest and into Canada for a brief stop in Toronto. In the latter half of the trip, the Abdullahs went down through New York, headed south through the Bible Belt, before going west through Louisiana and Texas and finally returning to the Golden State. Along the way, the Abdullahs fed the homeless at a shelter in Denver and stayed up through the wee hours of the night to answer questions about their mission at a non-denominational event in Lexington, Ky.
For the brothers, the trip fulfilled a lifelong mission to attend the Hajj, a religious duty that is required by all able-bodied Muslims at least once in a lifetime.
“It was a dream of ours when we were young and to be able to accomplish something that our parents taught us from a young age is mind blowing,” Hamza told Outside the Lines.
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