hakeem_olajuwon.jpgMonument honouring Hakeem Olajuwon to be unveiled in April
February 14, 2008, 11:44 PM ET

HOUSTON – The Houston Rockets plan to unveil a monument honouring former star Hakeem Olajuwon on April 11 outside the team's arena.

Organizers said they worked hard to ensure that the monument complied with Olajuwon's Islamic beliefs. Rockets spokesman Nelson Luis told The Associated Press that details about the monument had not been released.

Houston television station KRIV reported that it would focus on his jersey and accomplishments, but in keeping with the tenets of his Muslim faith, it won't include a picture or likeness of him.

“It's a wonderful monument to the greatest player in the history, I think, of Houston sports, and one of the greatest players of all time in the NBA,” Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said.

Olajuwon led the Rockets to two NBA championships and was the most valuable player of the finals both years.

“I am so grateful for their thoughtfulness to honour me,” Olajuwon said. “It can't be any higher than that. I feel so humbled. I mean, like, 'Wow … I mean that much.”

Olajuwon said a statue was not acceptable because it is against his faith.

Houston artist Eric Kaposta designed the monument.

Source: Associated Press

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That's AWESOME, masha'Allah!

Some brothers in Houston I met at the Texas da'wah Convention 2005 said that while we Chicagoans grew up watching Jordan as our basketball role model and legend, they had Hakeem Olajuwon, who would be fasting during games, show up at the masjid and at Fajr for salah, and still maintain his position as best center in the league. How beastly is that?

This story of how he asked to make sure the monument wasn't a statue and stick with Islamic beliefs is just another testament to Hakeem's nature. May Allah (SWT) reward him and grant him and his family Paradise without any punishment.

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25 Responses

  1. Basketball » Hakeem Olajuwon Monument Islam Compliant

    [...] SaqibSaab wrote a fantastic post today on “Hakeem Olajuwon Monument Islam Compliant”Here’s ONLY a quick extractFebruary 14, 2008, 11:44 PM ETHOUSTON – The Houston Rockets plan to unveil a monument honouring former star Hakeem Olajuwon on April 11 outside the team’s arena. Organizers said they worked hard to ensure that the monument complied with … [...]

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  2. Amad

    Hakeem symbolizes so many things that a muslim in the limelight needs to be.

    I remember inviting and receiving him at an event at univ of houston… This was like during the prime of his career. As we were making it through a backdoor tunnel, I realized it wasn’t the best decision since the floor was slippery and the ceiling low (forgot that I was more than a foot shorter!). At this time, instead of paying attention to himself, he was worried about me falling. His humbleness and good manners were legendary. You never felt that he was a star when you were with him.

    May allah give him much more success in duniya and akhira

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  3. AAdil

    Great post bro! Man Hakeem is such a humble, low key superstar. A true role model.

    I’ll tell you one thing. Every Muslim Chicago/Jordan fan was 100% behind Hakeem as he captured those two titles. The first was especially sweet as he literally schooled Shaq in the finals. The “dream shake” won’t be forgotten :)

    May Allah (SWT) bless him in this world and the Hereafter

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  4. Nadia

    That is just too cool mashallah. Hakeen truly is an inspiration for Muslims today, definitely someone our Muslim youth should look up to for the way he doesn’t let his fame obstruct his practice of his deen.

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  5. Asad Shaikh

    It’s great to hear Hakim is keeping Islam first, even while being in the limelight…SubhanAllah we should all try to learn from him…

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  6. Yasir Qadhi

    Hakeem’s truly a source of inspiration for many, many Muslim youth. His humility is truly inspiring.

    Although I’m not a fan of watching sports (as is well known!!), I remember clearly watching Hakeem battle his way to the NBA championships in the mid 90’s, scoring that winning goal the first time round in the final seconds… amazing memories! And his comment as soon as the reporter came up to him are still etched in my mind, “First and foremost I must thank God for this blessing…”

    And I can’t help but feel humbled by the fact that he used to regularly attend my Synott classes on the Seerah, sitting along with everyone else.

    I really think we should utilize him more in conferences and as an inspiration to the youth.

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  7. SaqibSaab

    I really think we should utilize him more in conferences and as an inspiration to the youth.

    AGREED!!! We need people like him and current Muslim players, too, like Shareef Abdur-Rahim to get as involved as they can to help the youth.

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  8. sincethestorm

    Something noteworthy about him is that he would always say God willing during any interview. Many of us say it in our heart but don’t verbalize esp. to non-muslims. Its a beautiful expression in Islam. Its also a simple way of giving dawah and conveying the ideas of predestination and ruboobiyah. God is control and if He intends it, it will happen.

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  9. Um Talal

    Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

    Does anybody know how I can contact Brother Hakeem or any other Muslim Basketball player. My Son is 17 years old and he is 6’7″ Ma Sha’ Allah.and he used to like basketball but he has lost hope. He has been at Oak Hill Academy Academy in Virginia for only 10 days but everything is going wrong for him. He wants to give up and I am desperately looking for somebody to inspire him in Islam and Basketball In sha Allah.
    Please please help!!!!!!!!
    Um Talal

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  10. muritadha adam

    Assalam alaykum waramotullahi wobarakatuh.Abdul Hakeem Olajuwon is a blessing for islam, he is a role model in the islamic word. Whatever opportunity Allah has given to us as muslims we should realise it is not by our making but by the qudrah of Allah. The life of this humble brother is full of lessons, he has shown to the whole world that the first priority in life is your deen because that is the only determinant of where you go after this world. I congratulate him, his family and all the nigerians abroad.

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  11. Abu Eesa (Wali)

    “I really think we should utilize him more in conferences and as an inspiration to the youth.”
    Sheikh Yasir- Yes please bring him with you next time you come to the UK or to the next Al Kauthar Conference ;)

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  12. Boshawn

    to: Um Talal…..Oak Hill is a CHRISTIAN school…wouldn’t he be better off in a Muslim school?

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  13. AbdulRosheed

    Asalam Alaikum Waramotulai Wabarakatu –

    Dear Alhaji AbdulHakeem Olajuwon,

    My Name Is AbdulRosheed Olajuwon, I live in Nigeria.

    I will like to know you very well.

    Thanks.

    Ma-sallam.

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  14. askmuslims.com volunteers

    Assalam alaykum wa rematullahi wa barakato,

    Alhumdulillah Br. Hakeem Olajuwon is finally deserving what he did for Houston. May Allah reward him for being a great example for Muslim and non-Muslims.

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  15. inexplicabletimelessness

    As salamu alaikum,
    MashaAllah, what an inspiration he is. I looked on Wikipedia to see where in the US he is but it said:

    “Since his career ended Olajuwon spends most of his time in Jordan where he moved with his family to pursue Islamic studies.[5] He returns once or twice a year to visit his friends and former teammates…”

    Assuming this is true, it may hard to get in touch with him but we should still try.

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  16. Brother

    It would have been better for him (and the Dawah) if he didn’t wear shorts also.

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  17. ibnabeeomar

    Brother – inshallah when you make it to the nba you can become the first player to wear shalwar kameez during the game :)

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  18. Tijani

    I think he is a fantastic muslim. He should keep it up. Barakallahu fih.

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  19. sulaimon

    asalam alaekum, i am a student in nigeria. i am a big fan of the basketbal legend, hakeem olajuwon, a faithfull muslim. i have been searching for his autobiography(living the dream) yet i have not seen it. hopefully inshallah one day i will come across the book. masalam.

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