Many analysts had much to say and write about Muhammed Ali upon his death. His first wife was probably the most poignant when she revealed that Ali had a dark side. To most of the world he was a shining light, a larger than life activist for non-racialism, human rights and plain decency.
While all of the above was true, Muhammed Ali was profoundly human and though God Almighty gave him unique gifts, Muhammed Ali also suffered from human frailties that we all experience.
For Muhammed Ali, it was women. He loved women more than the ordinary man and fathered 10 kids of whom we know. His first wife Khalilah divorced him, yet they upheld a cordial bond for the benefit of the children as it was advised by the Quran. Though she could not accept his philandering, she knew that he was too be shared with the world and could in reality not be domesticated in a usual manner.
At his janaza/funeral world leaders, politicians, showbiz celebrities, priests, Rabbi’s, Buddhists and Imams Etc cried and consoled each other. Former President Bill Clinton frail with his own humanity listened as political activists spoke about Muhammed Ali’s bravery in defying the call to go to war with Vietnam. The world heard tales about kindness and the absolute depth of Muhammad’s generosity. Speaker after speaker spoke about the humanity of Muhammed, his love for his adopted religion of Islam and his desire to uplift the most broken human that existed on the streets of Louisville Kentucky.
At the janaza of Muhammed Ali, Jewish Rabbi’s chastised the USA political establishment for wanting to marginalise the worlds Muslims because of the actions of a few. As in life as in death Muhammed Ali brought people together from such diverse walks of life that it was almost impossible to believe.
Rest in peace, my brother Muhammed Ali you have done your duty to your fellow Muslims. You were black and poor and from the wrong side of the tracks in Louisville Kentucky but you inspired the world.
Your humanity will be remembered, your love for the commoner, for truth and justice will live on and we will not forget what you came to remind us of. You were a servant and worshipped the God of Abraham, Isaac and Ismail; you honoured you elders and displayed mercy to the youth.
You were not perfect, but you were a champion, because in your frailty we see our humanity.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress