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Born to a South African Muslim family, Amla's grandparents are originally from Surat, Gujarat, having emigrated to South Africa many years earlier. Amla is spiritually inspired by Moulana Yunus Patel, a reputed South African Islamic scholar and a Sunni practitioner. His elder brother, Ahmed, is also a professional cricketer, having made his debut two years earlier, and currently captains the Dolphins. He has successfully requested that alcohol-promoting logos should not be shown on his merchandise and playing gear.
During the ongoing Test series against England 2012 in which he scored a triple century, he refrained from fasting in the Muslim month of Ramadan for the first time: "Because I'm travelling away from home I don't have to fast," he said. "So I haven't been fasting. But I will make it up when I get home.