Muhammad Ali: Action Items, TalkingPoints & ThinkingPoints [Newsletter 2016-06-06] |

Muhammad Ali: Action Items, TalkingPoints & ThinkingPoints [Newsletter 2016-06-06]


Monday | Ramadan 1, 1437 AH | June 6, 2016

RamadanZakatHealthy RamadanEidMuslim Children

Assalamu Alaikum & Ramadan Mubarak!

In these first hours of Ramadan 2016, I would like to ask all of us to find our inner Muhammad Ali: sincere, brave, and strong.

May God bring countless blessings, closeness to God, and strength in our resolve to be better Muslims, better neighbors, and better citizens who liberate America from fear, hate and anger this Ramadan.

Muhammad Ali, the world’s most famous Muslim American, died just days before Ramadan 2016, reminding us that we must not take this blessed month for granted.

Since his death, the media’s coverage has mostly focused on his career as a boxer, his opposition to the Vietnam War, his philanthropic work, and struggle with Parkinson’s disease. His love for Islam, which inspired his fight against hate and racism, as well as his insistence on being called by his name “Muhammad Ali” is being minimized or omitted.

This is why it is critical that Muslims, in America and around the world, take this opportunity to connect to him as fellow believers. As well, we must pass on his legacy of sharing Islam with others.

Here are some talking and thinking points, as well as a number of quick action items. 

1. Thursday: Salatul Janaza at noon on June 9th, Freedom Hall, Louisville, Kentucky

Islamic Funeral Prayers for Br. Muhammad Ali will be held at the Freedom Hall.
  • Imam Zaid Shakir will lead the prayers.
  • Address: Freedom Hall, 937 Phillips Ln, Louisville, KY 40209
  • All Muslims and neighbors of other or no faiths are welcome to attend.
  • Masjids and Islamic organizations should organize buses so that Muslims can go as a group.
  • Entry will be organized through the ticket system which will be available online this evening.
There will be a memorial on Friday, June 10th at 2 PM at at Yum Center at the end of a procession.

Keep checking Sound Vision’s Facebook page for the latest announcement in this regard.

2. Organize 1,000 Funeral Prayers around the world

We are requesting all Masjids in America and around the world to hold Salatul Janaza for Br. Muhammad Ali this coming Friday, June 10th.

Share the information about the funeral prayers at your Masjid with your local media via a press release. Make sure to have at least two spokespersons’ names, cell phone numbers, and emails available at the bottom of the press release.

3. Share your memories

Share your memories of Muhammad Ali if you ever met him, talked to him, or interacted with him. The Muslim story must be told, and it is being sought as we speak. The BBC is in fact requesting stories (scroll to the bottom of this article to share yours). If you have a blog, write something about it and share it on Facebook and Twitter. If you have pictures, share them on Snapchat and Instagram.

4. Organize “Celebrating Muhammad Ali”

We suggest you organize a program with the above title at your Masjid.

We know this is Ramadan and it is short notice. However, this is the time when media across America and the world will be looking for a local angle to this national story.
Invite the mayor of the city, as well as politicians, religious leaders of different faiths, activists from the peace movement, and leaders of the African-American and Latino communities.

Everyone is talking about Muhammad Ali, are you? Take this opportunity to participate in online discussions, call-in talk shows, letters to editor, etc. Here are some points to share:
  • Muhammad Ali was not afraid to speak out against war - and suffering its consequences. It is a lesson we can learn as Americans today by committing to a fight against continuing warmongering and racism.
  • Muhammad Ali was a Muslim and proud of his faith and his name.
  • Muhammad Ali, in life, as in death, brought Americans of all backgrounds together. This is especially important in the United States today, when a number of politicians are encouraging hate, fear, and division based on race, ethnicity, and religion. His last public statement was about Trump.
  • Muhammad Ali fought Parkinson’s disease for 30 years. His last public attendance was to raise funds for the cause. Another Muslim American, Dr. Teepu Siddique, has been a pioneer in research for 30 years that is now leading towards treatments for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Each death is a point of reflection for the living. Ramadan is the month of the Quran and spirituality. It is an excellent opportunity to think a little more. Here are some points to think about or to use in Khutbas.
  • God tells us in the Quran that part of being a Muslim is not being afraid of anything except God Almighty (Quran 9:18). In our current environment in which racism against African-Americans, Latinos, and Muslims, as well as sexism against women is rampant, speaking up requires courage and boldness, along with Tawakkul on Allah. Muhammad Ali demonstrated that. Can our Khutbas, newsletters, and our social media postings highlight this aspect of our faith?
  • The successful believer takes a stand when they are wronged (Quran 42-39). Muhammad Ali went through the courts to challenge serving in the Vietnam war. He did not back down, nor did he break the law.
  • All Prophets were sent by God to help people stand up for peace and justice (Quran 57:25). Muhammad Ali at his time stood up and suffered because of it.
  • Sacrifice is part of being a Muslim. It is the call of commonsense as well. It is the only way to achieve excellence in any field. Muhammad Ali made that sacrifice. He said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” If Muhammad Ali had not exercised the discipline he needed to get through training, he would never have become Muhammad Ali. If Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon had not constantly exercised their muscle, they would not have achieved their status as basketball greats. Sacrifice and excellence are exactly what America needs right now in 2016.
We are mired in fear, hate, and anger. And we need people who are sincere and who speak the truth loudly and clearly. Are you, your family, your spouse, and your children willing to sacrifice your time and your money to liberate America from the fear, hate, and anger which are drowning it? We must be as Muslims. We must be as Americans. We must be like Ali.

Once Muhammad Ali told me that his greatest fear is that he may not enter Jannah.

Pray that God gives him the best place in Paradise.

Goodbye Muhammad Ali. May you rest in peace.

This Ramadan, let’s find our inner Muhammad Ali to speak the truth, stand against war, hate and racism.

Let this Ramadan make us stronger: Better Muslims, better neighbors, and better citizens. 

Abdul Malik Mujahid

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