Rock Center | November 29, 2012
>>> football player alive, and that includes all those of us who played it in high school who didn't somewhere, in the back of our minds, see ourselves in the pros, maybe hear our name being called as we came out of the tunnel during player introductions. it only works out, of course, for a very talented and gifted few, and then there is a smaller subset than that. athletes who are also called upon in life to demonstrate an inner principle at a critical time. mary carillo continues her reporting on these two brothers we met tonight.
>> reporter: remarkably, at the peak of their playing careers, 27-year-old husain abdullah and 29-year-old hamza abdullah took a voluntary leave of absence from pro football for a leap of faith , a dramatic decision that unfolded both over many years and all at once. the first question, hamza, is why did you do it?
>> reporter: why?
>> it's kind of a long story.
>> reporter: why did you do it now?
>> last year there was a tug-of-war inside in my heart and my soul. there was a tug-of-war and something was just drastically missing.
>> i was coming home from a workout and he called me and he said, hamza, you know, is working out a little different to you this year? i said, yeah. it almost feels like i'm wasting time a little bit.
>> reporter: and your brother was feeling the same things at the same time?
>> it's amazing, isn't it?
>> we've been playing football since we were eight years old to high school , to college to the nfl. people told us you're too small to break this barrier. all of a sudden there was more to life. there's more. and we had to go for it.
>> reporter: the brothers rechanneled their perpetual enemy, and in july they went on a 30-day teaching tour. in lower manhattan located just north of ground zero , very controversial.
>> it's about two blocks away, and it's tucked into a little corner, and it's just a small, peaceful place to pray. there were people who were inside the tower who were muslim.
>> reporter: plus, of the nearly 3,000 who died at ground zero , about 60 were muslims, their name in bronze at the new 9/11 memorial. a flight 111 passenger was 15 at the time of her death. the teaching during raamadhon. the treatment with my wife when we were in denver, she had just become muslim. but when we got there, my brothers had this 15-course meal and my sisters had one piece of pizza to share. so today they were talking about taking hold and taking care of romodon and not letting the months pass you by. how can we even get to that part if we can't survive the basic structure of islam? this is upon us .
>>> finally they jet across an ocean for the most sacred journey a muslim can undertake, flying 18 hours and 8,000 miles from l.a. to saudi arabia for the hauj, the pilgrimage to mecca.
>> reporter: our camera team tracked the progress. husain tightly wrapped his clothes, an efficiency he learned from his navy brother.
>> i thought it was weird, but you actually can fit more in your bag without adding it up. mom and days, knew he couldn't count on his and there were important financial to his five-year-old daughter, layla.
>> reporter: did anything about the mecca surprise you?
>> i was getting ready for a crowd of people. i've been where stadiums let out and you sit in traffic and you're mad. oh, man, i have to wait a half hour to get out of the parking lot. i have to wait an hour. we sat at one bus stop, which muslims are directed to do once in their lifetime, attracts an oud stand, and specified rituals include walking seven times. all men wear the ephrom. where the four of us sleep.
>> for an ice -- the conditions were extreme.
>> what's crazy is you may look to your left and you see someone that looks like peyton manning praying right next to you. you look to the other side and you see someone like me, and then you look and you see someone from bangladesh.
>> i'm glad to see somebody who plays in the nfl.
>> my parents are not wealthy. they're a teacher and a carpenter, and they worked their whole life to try to provide for 12 children. here they are, you know. my dad has health problems and my mother has secret health problems. she won't tell anybody what they are.
>> it's an honor for us. not do you get to keep your plant. you know, you call and say, i love you, but i know it's good thing. . we're still on that journey. . now it's like, what do i do with it? do you use it just to pat yourself on the back and say, hey, you're so cool. no, it's not that. now let's see if we can help someone else go, if we can spread this message of true islam, what it is and what it isn't.
>> i love when he says we're expecting crowds. and i guess for. will we see them back in the other habitat. in fact, they're availing. consider what they went tli. first and foremost, they're men.
>> think about practicing twice a day in full football pads. mary carillo , so nice to see you outside the olympic game venues. thanks for working on that story. it was great stuff.