The Muslim Basketball Association of Ottawa (MBA-Ottawa) ended its season with a sold-out All-Star game at the Canadian Tire Centre with Team Arafat facing off against Team Baqi. As an added bonus, those who attended the MBA-Ottawa game were also able to attend an Ottawa SkyHawks game. During the SkyHawks game, the MBA-Ottawa's Most Valuable Player (MVP), Ali Sow, was congratulated during half-time in front of a crowd numbering over 2,000. The MBA All-Star game was also recorded by Rogers TV to be broadcast sometime in January.
Ramadan is a month where we strive to get closer to Allah by sacrificing that which is normally permissible for us. The most physically strenuous sacrifice is of food and drink during daylight hours, which in Ottawa this year will be for roughly 17 hours daily. But despite the common perception that exercise and physical exertion are to be avoided during Ramadan, one need not put away the weights and hide the running shoes.
Hamza Abdullah of the Arizona Cardinals, for example, has throughout his career managed to fast during Ramadan while playing professional football. Mr. Abdullah believes the key is preparation.
Maghrib (sunset) prayer has just concluded, yet well over 40 youth, mostly high schoolers, remain seated as they listen to an elderly gentlemen get up and deliver an Islamic sermon relevant to them. They are not seated on the carpets of a masjid (mosque) floor or the seats of a university lecture hall. Instead, they are in the most unlikely of places; a basketball gym. This has been the regular routine on Sunday nights at the Muslim Basketball League