Imam Talib Shareef of The Nation’s Mosque, Masjid Muhammad, and the oldest Muslim community located in the capital of America, dating back to the mid 1930s and representative of the community where Muhammad Ali’s Spiritual journey as a Muslim began, released the following statement in response to his passing.
We join our President and those in our nation and around the world who are offering condolences and prayers for the family on the passing of such an iconic world champion and great humanitarian, Muhammad Ali.
As the champ once said, “You have but one life; it soon will be past, what you do for G-d is all that will last”.
The incredible impact that his life and legacy are having on the world stage serve as a testament to the fact that “one person can change the world.” Muhammad Ali was a living example of that statement and he was Muslim and American, yet a citizen of the world and a true human being. Through his standing for something meaningful, his strong sense of identity and commitment to faith, he revealed the CHAMPION that we all have in common, and that is the dynamic soul of a people oppressed and struggling to see their humanity free. He demonstrated that one person’s conviction and conscious actions can effectively change the lives of many, and ultimately transform the world. Muhammad Ali once said, “I’ve always wanted to be more than just a boxer. More than just the three-time heavyweight champion. I wanted to use my fame and this face that everyone knows so well, to help uplift and inspire people around the world.”
Contributing selflessly to humanity, he devoted himself to helping promote world peace, civil rights, religious freedom, hunger relief and humanitarianism, which is legendary in itself. It is in this spirit that we celebrate the life and legacy of such a wonderful and dynamic human soul, a servant of the Almighty and a servant of the people, the People’s Champ. He was the proponent of his six core principles of Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality.
He went the distance in the fight for justice and in advancing his vision to enhance the critical circumstances affecting the future of the African American community and America at large. As one of our resourceful leaders, he left a strong legacy of having helped to lift up the people, reflect the best of American and human life, and became not only a healthy powerful resource to his people and humanity, but also to the nation where he claimed citizenship.
We hope that he, through his legacy, his center in Louisville, continue to inspire old and young people to be great, do great things, and look past themselves and add value to the lives of others. We salute him. May the Almighty forgive his shortcomings, give him comfort, expand his place of rest, honor his arrival and let not his passing cause a burden or hardship on those he leaves behind. Ameen.