By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 6, 2002
Bucs running back Rabih Abdullah is not only a pious individual, but a devout Muslim who celebrates the month of Ramadan by fasting from sunrise to sunset, even during the season. Here is is on good and evil, fairy god mothers, Mike Tyson and God.
RM: If God created everything, why did he create evil?
RA: It's necessary.
RM: For what?
RA: For balance. If there's no evil there would be no good. He probably created evil for us to differentiate between the two. It's like the ying and yang. How would we know if something's good, if we don't have some reference point. We have to be able to make decisions based on his teachings and although he doesn't want us to do evil things, he wants us to have a choice. There's no choice between good and good.
RM: Tell me why things that are bad for you are great, and why things that are good for you are bad?
RA: For so many people, evil is easier, not doing the right thing is easier the short cuts are easier... But things that are really good, like helping people out, being good to kids, those things make you feel good.
RM: Ever wonder why there are always fairy godmothers in and not fairy godfathers?
RA: I think the whole "fairy" thing is a problem for godfathers.
RM: Whatever, they've never showed us any love?
RA: Probably, whoever wrote the first fairy tales was had some sexists issues going on.
RM: When Mike Tyson came out of jail he was spouting the teachings of Islam but hasn't appeared to live up to it. Does it bother you, as a Muslim, when Tyson talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk?
RA: I can not judge what's in the heart of another man. That's God's job. Whether or not Mike Tyson is a believer, that's for God to decide.
RM: Aren't you a little disturbed by the fact that one of the popular portrayals of Muslims, is a Hollywood image of men in jail.
RA: I truly think that a lot of guys who do go to jail as non-Muslims get revelations through the Koran and they clean themselves up. They realize how to live their lives and that's helpful. It helped Mike Tyson. He came from the streets where it was rough. And sometimes, you have to learn techniques of survival and that made him who he was. But yet in his heart, he may be some one else.
RM: Hear you were an ice cream guy, what's your fancy?
RA: They have this new Ben and Jerry's flavor called Kaberry, Kaberry Kaboom. It's so, soooo good. And I also like the traditional mint chocolate chip, cookies and cream or cookie dough. Cheesecake ice cream is pretty good too.
RM: Are there any redeemable about shopping malls?
RA: Shopping. I like shopping, why not. I'm not fanatical about it, but it's cool. The next best thing about malls is the food court. Usually, I go there with an agenda. I'm going to get this and that and the good thing about the mall is that if you need a belt in one store you can get it and then go right next door to another store and get something different.
RM: Personally, I pretty much like looking at the good looking women.
RA: Yeah, come to think about it, I have seen some good looking women in the mall.
RM: If your girlfriend came to you and said she wanted to have a baby but didn't want to get married, are you in or out?
RA: My girlfriend would never want that. But, hypothetically speaking, I would like to be married before I have children. Obviously, some people have done it in reverse, but I want to marry a person because I want to be with the person, not because we have a child together.
RM: As a Muslim, could you have more than one wife?
RA: Nah! I can't deal with that many women. One is enough.
RM: So monogamy is a human trait?
RA: Yes. If you believe in God, then you believe monogamy is best.
RM: So we're a society of non-believers then?
RA: You can make choices and just because you make a choice doesn't mean it's right. Some choices are wrong, some are right.
RM: But they're aren't a lot of animals that are monogamous?
RA: But we're not just animals. We're not wild creatures running around there. We have a spirit, a soul.
RM: Heard you're a fan of martial arts movies?
RA: Love them.
RM: Bruce Lee or Jet Li?
RA: Jet Li... I loved his older films like "Once Upon a Time in China."
RM: So, tell me the truth, can a man run up the side of a wall, spin and kick the chitlins out of another man three times in four seconds?
RA: I've never seen it done. But I once read a book on martial arts and it was historical and talked about how the Shaolin Temples were destroyed and a lot of the monks spent all their lives training how to fight. They were super bad. They said these guys could beat up 15 to 20 guys.
RM: Considering that you lost your mom to cancer, describe that disease.
RA: It's an abnormal growth in your situation and it's not nice. I saw what it did to my mom, it's not nice at all.
RM: So it's evil?
RA: No, I can't say that. It doesn't have a mind of it's own. There isn't thing out there walking around that jumps on people and calls itself cancer. It's not a nice thing.
RM: If God were a woman, how would things be different?
RA: God is perfect any way, so it wouldn't make a difference. It's not like we can apply human traits to God. You can't attached human characteristics to God, the male female thins is irrelevant.