The boxer Muhammad Ali completed his time in this world on 3rd June, 2016 on a Friday. He was born a christian and accepted Islam later in his life. He was the best boxer of his time and rightly deserved the title, “the king of boxing”. His boxing prime time coincided with my father’s high school years. On hearing the news of his death he told us that their homework notebooks used to have pictures of Muhammad Ali with the caption “King of boxing”. My father’s teacher told them that Muhammad was not a real king of any country but merely a sportsman. He plays the game of boxing in which people beat up each other with fists and Muhammad Ali was so expert in his profession that he was given the title of king.
Since Muhammad Ali converted to Islam, he had to make people use his Islamic name. After his death I came to know through social media that he was offered an honor to put his name in Hollywood Walk of Fame, a street where names of famous people are inscribed in stars on the footpath. Muhammad Ali accepted this honor with the condition that his name should be put on the wall instead. The reason was also given by him that his name carries the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and he can not see the disrespect of the name if people walk over it. Therefore the name is placed on the wall. This has increased the respect of Muhammad Ali in my heart. May Almighty Allah forgive all his sins and mistakes and bestow him a high place in the Heaven, just as he was given this honor in this world. His death on Friday, according to over local sayings, is already a sign that he was a good person to have gone on such a nice day.
Muhammad Ali was suffering from Parkinson’s and died the age of 74 years. The videos circulating on social media showing his fights are marvelous. He is often praised to have served the boxing more than boxing had served him. His funeral prayer has yet to take place and Mr. Obama has refrained form attending it. It is saddening to see that he, though born with a Muslim name, was not worthy of this honor. These are the signs of Almighty Allah that christian born dies a Muslim and Muslim born turns his face from the right path for want of worldly blessings.
Muhammad Ali was against the Vietnam War and refused to serve for army which landed him in serious trouble. He had to fight and win his case from the court of law after about three years. He paid the price with his career and his titles. It is also reported that he suffered severe kind of prejudice form whites of his country. Reportedly he threw his Olympic gold medal in the river after many restaurants refused to serve him due to the fact that his skin color was not acceptable. That might have triggered his interest in Islam due to the message of equality for people of all races, color and creed. Muslims, since very first time, have been praying in unity without segregating anyone due to his skin color. When he was asked by the people why he accepted the Islam to which he answered, “In the jungle, lions are with lions and tigers with tigers, and redbirds stay with redbirds and bluebirds with bluebirds. That’s human nature, too, to be with your own kind. I don’t want to go where I’m not wanted.” I wish Muhammad Ali a peaceful and rewarding afterlife.