Muhammed Ali, A Great Muslim, A Great Citizen of the World!

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Muhammad Ali may go down in history as the first real “citizen of the world.” The champion person had a great perspective on life!

CLICK here for the CBS This Morning feature with Laila Ali’s thoughts on her Father’s Death.

“My dad was not only the best fighter ever, but also such a great man, and there will never be anyone else like him,” Ali said. “And I think that anywhere you go in the world, people not only recognize him but also love him because of the man that he is. Because he stood up for his beliefs. He fought for those that couldn’t speak up for themselves, and he’ll truly be missed by all of us.” Confidence comes from preparation, doing the hard work. I do understand the circle of life. Thanks for all the love, we appreciate it.”—Laila Ali

By Ron Kampeas from The Times of Israel:

Big Brother, Little Brother... Photo Credit:

Big Brother, Little Brother… Photo Credit:

Among the speakers Ali selected for his funeral was Billy Crystal, who in the 1970s performed a one-man comedic sketch framed as a boxing match, “15 Rounds,” that celebrated Ali’s triumph over racism. Crystal, speaking at the service, said he got “lost in him,” like he never had playing any other character. Ali, after one performance, gave him the ultimate compliment: “Little brother, you made my life better than it was,” Crystal recalled.


Crystal, who said Ali called him his “little brother,” also spoke at length about how Ali helped him raise funds for an Israeli-Palestinian theater project that is ongoing at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and how Ali quit a sports club after Crystal told him they didn’t accept Jewish members.

Two rabbis spoke at the Memorial Service for Muhammad Ali:

Muhammad Ali was the "heart" of Louisville, Said Rabbi Joe Rapport. Photo Credit

Muhammad Ali was the “heart” of Louisville, Said Rabbi Joe Rapport. Photo Credit

Rabbi Joe Rapport, the rabbi of Congregation Adath Israel Brit Shalom in Louisville spoke of life being a journey with birth being the beginning and death a destination. “Victory is in making the journey. Victory lives not in some high place along the way but in having made the journey, stage by stage, a sacred pilgrimage to life everlasting.”

Watching the Memorial Service on TV inspired me to think that while we made occupy different bodies we can share and be the same spirit… Rabbi Rapport went on to tell a story of Ali and his daughter Laila and how he recognized “that’s me in her,” a beautiful thing and a joy of every parent to know they passed along goodness in their children.

“We all have the same God, we just see him differently.”—Rabbi Joe Rapport

Ali had not one but two rabbis speak at his memorial service.

Rabbi Michael Lerner’s words as captured by Ron Kampeas from The Times of Israel:

TROML is a spiritual process and can incorporate any religious views or none at all.“We know what it’s like to be demeaned,” Lerner said of American Jews, which he said he was speaking for. “We know what it’s like to have a few people who act against the highest visions of our tradition, to then be identified as the value of the entire tradition. And one of the reasons that we at Tikkun magazine, a magazine for liberal and progressive Jews, but also an interfaith magazine, have called on the United States to stand up against the part of the Israeli government that is oppressing Palestinians, is that we as Jews understand that our commitment is to recognize that God has created everyone in God’s image and that everyone is equally precious, and that means the Palestinian people as well as all other people on the planet.”

Billy Crystal, his close friend sports journalist Howard Cosell was Jewish, two rabbis… Ali a Muslim… a Jewish editor calling for precious Palestinian people to be recognized and treated equally… doesn’t the world tell us that Muslims hate Jews who hate Palestinians and everyone hates Americans?

Say it isn’t so Anonymous Andy… it isn’t so!

4And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love,” Lin-Manuel Miranda said in his moving acceptance sonnet two days later at the Tony Awards ceremony extinguishing the hatred exercised that morning in Orlando…

Love trumps hate… they can’t coexist, not in the world or in our hearts.

The majority of human beings in the world know this and are simply being love with their lives.

Why isn’t a tiny minority in power the world over not making peace and love happen?

Why can’t each one of us make it happen in our own lives, all the time with everyone we meet?

Attallah Shabazz, the eldest daughter of Malcolm X, shared these words of wisdom as captured by David Zirin of

A unifying topic was faith and ecumenical faith, respect for faith, all faiths, even if belonging to one specific religion or none, the root of such being the gift of faith itself. So in his own words, he wrote:

5“We all have the same God, we just serve him differently. Rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, oceans all have different names but they all contain water. So do religions have different names and yet they all contain truth. Truth expressed in different ways and forms and times. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a Muslim, a Christian or a Jew. When you believe in God, you should believe all people are part of one family. For if you love God, you can’t love only some of his children.“—Muhammad Ali

Other speakers at Muhammad Ali’s Memorial Service included Lonnie Ali, Muhammad Ali’s widow; Rasheda Ali-Walsh, Ali’s daughter; President Bill Clinton and Rev. Kevin Cosby, pastor at St. Stephen Church in Louisville and president of Simmons College of Kentucky.

Let’s end with more words of faith and wisdom from Muhammad Ali, A Great Muslim, A Great Citizen of the World! Let’s all try to be Ali in our own lives! TROML Baby!

“As-salamu alaykum,” peace be upon you Muhammad Ali…

6“He (another boxer) s not the active top man recognized by the people of Africa, Asia, London, America, Black, White, Red, Yellow, Blue, Catholic, Jew, Moslem, Christian, Baptist, Methodist, he is not recognized by those people, I am the man, all over the land, if you do not believe it, just interfere with my plan.“—Muhammad Ali

“Everything I do now, I do to please Allah,” he once said. “I conquered the world, and it didn’t bring me happiness. The only true satisfaction comes from honoring and worshiping God. … Being a true Muslim is the most important thing in the world to me. It means more to me than being black or being American.” —Muhammad Ali

More highlights from the Muhammad Ali memorial service by Melissa Gray, CNN

“As-salamu alaykum,” peace be upon you Muhammad Ali…


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