Muhammad Ali-The Muslim Legend whom the world will miss forever
People Know Muhammad Ali as a World heavy weight champion boxer.But Muhammad Ali was more than a Boxing Champion.He has earned such a special corner in everyone’s heart that when he is no more People are pouring Duas for Jannatul Firdaus from all the corners of the world .What a life he lived and what a Death he had!
Death of Muhammad Ali and Prayers for him by Notable Scholars of Islam(besides the Common folk)
After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74 .
What an honour it is to be prayed by millions of People and especially by the Scholars of Islam. We learn in a Hadith Qudsi that when Allah loves a person, the angels love him, and the people of the world love him. This Hadiyh fits true to Muhammad Ali.Let us See How the Western Scholars prayed for Muhammad Ali –
Muhammad Ali as a Muslim:
Are you curious to Know about the deeds that earned him such Praise and Prayers.Muhammad Ali truly excelled as a Muslim.His Journey to Islam and his life as a Muslim was not that easy. At one time he was despised and mocked. For a period of his life, his own country and government, and the very media that is now claiming him as theirs, smeared him for being a ‘traitor’, a ‘draft-dodger’,
The cover of The New York Times, which today mourned his death, 40 years ago gloated that he received a 5-year sentence for refusing to fight in Vietnam.
His faith and religion were used as negative attributes to smear him. The US attorney who prosecuted him, Mr. Morton Susman, claimed that the problem with Muhammad Ali began with his conversation to Islam, and that his conversion was the tragedy that caused him to lose his title and prestige. His religion was perceived as inherently being anti-America.
But what happened? Allah blessed him because he stood his ground, because he fought for what he knew was right, because he was willing to throw away every worldly benefit and title and honor and medal for the sake of his principles and values, and to avoid being sent away in a vicious, nonsensical war that would waste lots of lives, kill innocent people, and benefit no one but the oligarchs who wanted it.
When he was willing to give up everything for Allah, Allah gave it all back to him, and increased it manifold. Now, even his critics have to acknowledge his fame, and the same reasons that they criticized him for are badges of honor that anyone of intelligence and integrity recognizes. (As reminded to us by Yasir Qadhi, the Muslim Scholar ).
Here are few highlights from his life that depict his Life as a Muslim –
1)He was a Proud Muslim.
Muhammad Ali was a legend.He was a revert to Islam.When he accepted Islam he made sure that People accepted his new faith and his new name .
“Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it and I don’t want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name – it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it when people speak to me and of me.” During second Liston fight, 1965
“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky, my name, not yours; my religion, not yours;my goals, my own; get used to me.”
On many Occasions he was heard saying as
“Everything you admire me for, everything I stand I learned everything from Islam
2)One of his quotes has been so inspiritational that it has guided many People to the right Path – ‘I don’t smoke but I keep a match box in my pocket. When my heart slips towards a sin, I burn a match stick and heat my palm. Then I say to myself: ‘Ali You can’t bear even this heat, how would you bear the unbearable heat of Hell?
3)Muhammad Ali waz popularily called as ‘The Greatest”. He responded it many a times with the sayings-
“Allah is the Greatest. I’m just the greatest boxer.”
4)He was also the only celebrity whose name is on the wall at the Hollywood Walk of fame.He refused to put the name “muhammad” on the floor for people to step on out of respect for our beloved prophet (peace be upon him).The Star is hanging on a wall, not for anyone to step on.
5)He lived his life according to the Principles of Islam:
‘My prayers, my sacrifices, my life, and my death are all for Allah.’ So this is what I sincerely believe. I’ve held my faith over the years…I’ve turned down 8 million dollars in movie contracts, recordings, promotions and advertisements because of my faith. (Muhammad Ali)
6)Muhammad Ali gave Dawah wherever he went.
Everything I do now, I do to please Allah. I conquered the world, and it didn’t bring me happiness. The only true satisfaction comes from honouring and worshipping God. ( Muhammad Ali)
When a Child once asked him what would he do after his Boxing career he replied that he would then Get ready to meet God
“So what I’m gonna do when I get out of boxing, is to get ready to meet God. We have one life, it will soon past; what we do for God is all that will last.”
7)He talked about Radicalism in the name of Islam
“I cannot sit by and let the world think that Islam is a killing religion. It hurts me to see what radical people are doing in the name of Islam. These radicals are doing things that God is against. Muslims do not believe in violence.”
8)He Signed Dawah Brouchures towards the end of his life.
Because Muhammad Ali,the world champion boxer, knew how much people valued his signature, when he could hardly talk or hold a pen due to brain damage from his fights, he would spend hours signing Da’wah brochures, before appearing in public, and distribute them among his fans. Allaahu Akbar. Once someone asked him why he did that. He replied,
“Because I know that no-one will ever throw away a piece of paper with Muhammad Ali’s signature on it.?
He talked about Allah and tried to explain Islam to the People-
“No, I have One bodyguard. He has no eyes though He sees. He has no ears though He hears. He remembers everything with the aid of mind and memory. When He wishes to create a thing, He just orders it to be and it comes into existence, but this order does not convey the words which takes the tongue to form like our sound carries ears. He hears the secrets of those on the quite thoughts. He stops those whom, whose that? That’s God Allāh. He’s my bodyguard. He’s your bodyguard. He’s the Supreme, The Wise.”(Muhammad Ali)
9)Refusal to go on the illegal war
“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people, Just take me to jail.”
10)His teachings to his daughters as a Muslim Father:
Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:
“When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.
My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to.
Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected.
Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell.
Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.”
He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”
From the book: More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali’s Life Lessons Through His Daughter’s Eyes.
Such was the greatest boxing Champion and a legendary Muslim.May Allah grant him Jannah and guide us to the righteous deeds.