In the photo above, Hamza is clad in all white. Husain sent out this Instagram note with the story of how it all came about.:
Upon hearing the news that Muhammad Ali passed on Saturday June 4, my thoughts and emotions went from sad to relieved to excited to encouraged to motivated... I quickly started to go through my contact list to see if I knew anyone that knows Ali's family. Seeing as I never had the opportunity to meet the GOAT in person, I wanted to help give him the proper send off if possible. The dilemma, my family and I would be boarding a plane heading for Mecca on June 5th. I was conflicted. After deep thought, prayer and counsel from those close to me, I decided to leave the country and proceed with the lesser pilgrimage (Umrah) to Mecca. It wasn't until June 7th when I got a text from Imam Zaid Shakir saying: "Can you and Hamza be pallbearers at the Janazah (funeral)?"
I was floored. What a tremendous honor! To carry the Greatest of our time to his final resting place. I wouldn't be able to participate though. I was already in Doha, Qatar. I quickly contacted my brothers Abbas and Hamza and relayed the message. Our family was buzzing! Hamza will help carry Muhammad Ali to his burial. Masha'Allah!
Although I'd love to have been there, I understand that his physical body is finite and his soul, ever lasting. Making dua for him during Umrah will be great blessings for his hereafter. Insha'Allah!
Hamza assisted physically in Louisville Kentucky. Me assisting spiritually in Mecca, KSA. Who knew months ago when my Umrah trip was booked it would coincide with the Janazah of Muhammad Ali. Who knew Allah would place one of His greatest ambassadors of Islam in Hamza's hands. AllahuAkbar (God is Greater)! I was reminded: "Allah is the best of planners." I am grateful Allah chose our family to help honor you, hold you and pray for you. We love you Champ. May Allah have mercy on you. And we look forward to seeing you in the Hereafter. Ameen! #GOAT #Islam #NewBeginnings #Brotherhood #Peace
Husain Abdullah retired from the NFL earlier this year after a seven-year pro career. He was an undrafted free agent safety out of Washington State. Older brother Hamza also played in the NFL from 2005-11 after being drafted in the seventh round out of WSU.