Dedicated to my best friend, Fatma Feisal Almas a.k.a Sharpay. Fatma this belongs to you for the intense love you had for Muhammed Ali, how he touched your soul and to all the lovers of this man that stung like a bee and flew like a butterfly.
To be honest, I had never known Muhammed Ali that much. Ask me about his life before he passed away and I would say only two facts, he was a muslim and a boxer. However to be able to write this article, I had to do some research about him and have all the facts on my fingertips. With the help of Fatma herself, I will be able to tell the world who is Muhammed Ali in my own words.
Before anything else, Muhammed, this name, this wonderful identity it reminds me of who the real Muhammed was. Muhammed (p.b.u.h) was the greatest creation amongst the creation of Allah, a guide to mankind, the representation of light, guidance, mercy, tranquility and kindness. I would repeat this statement that I had indicated in my previous blog post ‘A golden letter to my angels’ that Muhammed was everything that history could narrate of, he was a figure of endless affection and if he could not even hurt an ant, who was Muhammed (p.b.u.h)?
“He was the Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Muhammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports.” These words were said by a non-muslim who had read about Muhammed (p.b.u.h) i.e. Rev. Bosworth Smith.
Who was Muhammed? What were his qualities? I know that I am a bit diverting from the main topic but I could not write the name Muhammed without explaining to my readers what that name does to my heart, what that name means to me, this man that could even visit the neighbor that threw trash on his door, who was he?
Well, well, this week the world witnessed the death of a legend. The king of boxing, the man that never gave up, the man that hated every single minute of training but still reassured himself that not yet, he could never quit. If you want to win in any race, you have to learn to suffer now so that you live the rest of your life as a champion.
Wherever he is today, I hope that Allah is pleased with him and that for what mankind can remember him for is nothing but his heroic deeds, his aspect of perseverance.
One of the most powerful words that this American hero had said were, “ Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while the so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No, I am not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people, they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”
He was a legend, gone but forever in our hearts and yesterday I saw some mean post in Instagram where somebody had posted, “We are again at that place of our lives where we behave as if this champion was our biggest fan”. I know that in social media platforms, people sometimes tend to exaggerate on the feelings or emotions especially when a celebrity or a famous person passes away but that was kind of rude. If people feel that that is the only time they can remember a person X, then let them be! They may have loved that person but it never felt right to express then.
1942 to 2016, 74 years of endless success, endless heroism, endless championship.
I wish I could sing a song,
A song to symbolize how much you touched my soul,
A song about your perseverance,
A song about your heroic actions,
But today, I cannot sing,
I have the lyrics but my voice,
It has betrayed me, it has gone croaky…
As I conclude, I want to jot down some good lines by the late Muhammed Ali that Fatma had collected for me so that I could include in the work.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.
Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.
Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare.
Impossible is potential.
Impossible is temporary.
Impossible is nothing.”