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Kyrie Irving confirms he is a Muslim and observing Ramadan fasts

After weeks of speculations, Kyrie Irving finally confirmed that he is a Muslim and is observing Saum - the Ramadan fasts

Wednesday April 28, 2021 3:48 PM, ummid.com News Network

Kyrie Irving

After weeks of speculations, Kyrie Irving finally confirmed that he is a Muslim and is observing Saum - the Ramadan fasts.

Saum is the Arabic word that means more than fasting i.e. refraining from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk. Saum in true sense is refraining from all evils – not alone from eating and drinking, as many believe.

And Kyrie Andrew Irving, an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association, in a post-game press conference confirmed that he is doing just that, and also that he has embraced Islam – the religion of peace and social justice.

In fact, rumors spread on April 12 itself that Irving had converted to Islam and was observing Ramadan fast. Images of Irving kneeling before tipoff, in line with the Islamic prayer custom, began to circulate on Twitter, Instagram and beyond. In previous weeks, Irving had posted tweets crediting Allah for matters personal and political, TheUndefeated.com said in a report.

On April 23, after Irving’s Brooklyn Nets topped the Boston Celtics, the rumor was elevated to reality. At a postgame news conference with a “Black Fathers Matter” hat atop his head, Irving opened up about his faith:

“All praise is due to God, Allah, for this. … For me, in terms of my faith and what I believe in, being part of the Muslim community, being committed to Islam and also just being committed to all races and cultures, religions, just having an understanding and respect. I just want to put that as a foundation.”

“I am taking part in Ramadan with a lot of my Muslim brothers and sisters. And it’s been an adjustment. … It’s just being committed to my service to God, Allah, and then continuing on with whatever I’m guided with. I’m just happy to be part of my community and doing the right things. So fasting is definitely part of it – [I’m] just really blessed and grateful to be taking part in this.”

After the news spread that Irving, who was named the Rookie of the Year after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, is fasting some suggested that it might affect his performance on the field. However, the reverse happened. Since the beginning of Ramadan, Irving is averaging 25 points, 09 assists and 06 rebounds on 60 per cent true shooting including 98 per cent from the line in that seven-game stretch.

“Ramadan Irving”

Irving’s words reverberated deeply through the Muslim community, particularly in the United States. Muslim leaders and laypeople embraced the news of Irving’s faith as warmly as he did Islam, posting his image on their social media timelines and anointing the dribbling marvel “Ramadan Irving”.

Upon learning of Irving embracing Islam, Jamad Fiin, a Black Muslim shooting guard for the Emmanuel College women’s basketball team who wears a hijab on and off the court, said:

“As a Black Muslim ballplayer myself, who grew up watching Irving play, I love how he’s bringing positive awareness to the religion, because he’s such a big figure. It makes me really proud, and inspires me to not shy from who I am – a Muslim and a Black woman ballplayer, who shouldn’t have to choose between the things that I am and the things that I love.”


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