Amateur Tribute to Man Who Taught us You Can Defeat the Demon of Eating Disorder- RIP Muhammad Ali




“My health is in the hands of Allah, who has ways of testing us. Whatever happens, happens. I a’int the greatest, it’s Allah. I gave myself a job. I work for God.”

Muhammad Ali


Dear Readers,

Words fail with a loss of this Beautiful Soul. I thought still we have to try and put something together for a man who changed the face of Sports, humanity, sickness and Islam.

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“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

My thanks to Alin Cretu from Romania and Smeed from Morocco  for  these two Great Tribute Videos. Language is a barrier between us, but you two have never let me down. I am forever grateful to both of you for your help. Also Big Thanks to Yormi from Nigeria for all her help with putting this post together.

In Recovery We Are Inspired by Muhammad Ali. 

“God gave me this illness to remind me that I’m not number One; he is.

Muhammed Ali1 Muhammed Ali2

“Service to others is the rent which you pay for your room here on earth.”

Morocco Tribute to Muhammad Ali


Muhammad Ali

Can I really remember where I was in 1942? I doubt I can’t. In fact, I shouldn’t.

The philanthropist and social activist Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky.

I wish one of those days I was in my mother’s bedroom bringing to my consciousness to watch the grafted child of faith grow.

In 1942, the world welcomed this great man of career and responsibilities, the man called Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali). He lived the life he would had wished for supposing he hadn’t gotten his opportunities.

At the age of 12, Ali discovered his talent for boxing through an odd twist of fate. His bike was stolen, and Ali told a police officer, Joe Martin, that he wanted to beat up the thief. He was mocked and told to know how to fight before standing at people for challenge.

What brought the young kid to the eyes of observers was the fact that he was a fast talker. Not only did he possess the speed and weight of the fist, but, also the speed of speech and passion for the art of literature.

Having to his credit the heavy weight champion title three times, he will forever be the best and the greatest fighter of all time.

Aside knocking down many opponents leaving them with grudge and bitterness for him, outside the ring, Ali was also an entertainer became more famous for having plenty to say. Like an orator he would use powerful yet, simple statements to capture the souls of his admirers, well-wisher and foes. The media was always round about him. Just put on the microphone, put on the camera, you must surely get words rolling into the tapes.

He has sympathy and great concern for the innocent that he declined induction into the American Army during the Vietnamese war in 1967. Why? You would like to ask. He had answered the question in his poem before he left;

‘They ain’t done me no wrong

So I ain’t got no fight

With them Vietcong’

He made that decision even when he was having crises with his career in the ring. The heavyweight champion of the world, the glistening totem of his nation’s global power, refused to fight

And two months later, he had been convicted of draft evasion, and was eventually fined $10,000 plus a sentence to five years imprisonment though, he never served his time there.

After his Olympic victory, Ali was proclaimed an American hero. He turned professional with the backing of the Louisville Sponsoring Group, and continued overwhelming all opponents in the ring. He often referred to himself as “the greatest,” never afraid to sing his own praises. He was known for boasting about his skills before a fight and for his poetic intuition and colourful descriptions and phrases.  But, because of his colour, he wasn’t granted service in a Louisville diner. This happened to him after announcing his decision of casting his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River after returning triumphant from the 1960 Games in Rome.

He faced a lot opposition but later triumphed over so many hardships.

From grace to grass,

From the reviled to the revere.

From Christianity to Islam.

From Cassius Clay to Mohammed Ali

From draft dodger to a freedom fighter

From the fastest mouth in the Midwest to supreme sporting icon.

Mohammad. Ali lit the Olympic flame ahead of the Games in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996. Yes, Ali was a freedom fighter.

Mohammad Ali received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W Bush at the White House in 2005.

Why wouldn’t he light the flame? He had seen the light and he got transited from his shady eyes and denials due to racism to the opened eyes of achievement.

Ali showed at an early age that he wasn’t afraid of any bout be it inside or outside of the ring. Growing up in the segregated South, as earlier said, he experienced racial prejudice and discrimination first-hand.



Muhammad Ali Hajj

He has had an evolving relationship with the Muslim faith.

“They call it the Black Muslims,” said a 22-year-old.

Ali got converted from Christianity to Islam in 1964 following the threats to his career and racism. That is a step that goes way through to rise back to fame.

Ali is one prominent figure to convert to Islam. Not just converting but to influence his names surname included. That is why Muslim faithful regard him as a hero, the greatest of all times.

Muhammad Ali was a member of the Nation of Islam in the 1960s and formed an intense friendship with Malcolm X.

He later emerged as a political figure in 1967 for refusing induction into the armed forces during the Vietnam War, and leading to a three-year suspension.

Ali would join the Nation of Islam, whose doctrines of racial separation deviate from orthodox Islam. Later converted to mainstream Sunni Islam in 1975, and then to the Sufi sect in 2005.

Yasir Qadhi, professor of religious studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, expressed Ali’s positive influence on American Muslims.

“If the only good that he brought was to bring a positive image of Islam, and to spread the name of our beloved Prophet (SAW) in every household and on every tongue in the world, it is a life that is indeed enviable,’’

positive political activism through power and light was a description I will assign to his decision of faith which he was proud to be a Muslim at that time and he’s been a proud and public Muslim ever since.

He converted to what he thought Islam was -an unknown religion at the time. And he was proud to be a public Muslim ever since while man alive.

I really want to say that in his illness, he taught about mercy. He never questioned who he was even on his illness;

‘Better… in the clutch of some disease,

Wastin’ slowly by degrees,

Better than of heart attack…

Let me die by being black’

That is great understanding.  His image might probably be joining that gallery of Presidents high on Mount Rushmore, the first to be carved in black stone.

From Closed Fists to Open Hands

He was also known for his philanthropy.

He was a cheerful giver to charities and his outspokenness gave him the freedom to encourage others. He spoke of freedom. He taught about mercy, gave words and quotes of encouragements, criticized terror and likened it not to an act of Islam but to the racists who claim to be Moslems and claim they did the works of Allah despite shedding and spilling the blood of the innocent.

In the bid to encouraging the upcoming, the distressed and the oppressed, it was when former President Bill Clinton went to Louisville to open the Muhammad Ali Centre, a permanent abode to his ‘majesty’, and a building of hope for young black Americans.

If Mohammad Ali could rise from nothing to something without giving up on life, despite being on the sick bed, ED cannot hold you down as you are strong. You have heard the legacy of Ali. Fight it hard, free yourself right from inside.

‘It is lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges.’ –Mohammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali the Great

As a true believer, we have faith and we make use of the weapon to fight our EDs after which recovery is guaranteed. If Ali was grafted in through his conversion, could encourage everyone down, what are we to say about us, who being born into the religion is down and short of words and faith?

While defending his decision, He said in another quote.

‘I am American, I am the part you won’t recognise. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky, my name not your; my religion, not yours, my goal, my own. Get used to me.’

‘I believe in the religion of Islam, I believe in Allah and peace.’

So, I will conclude this with his words; ‘float like a butterfly, sting, sting like a bee,’

You have to stand up to it. You just heard of someone that died an inspirational death.

You can rise up to fight ED today, tomorrow might be too late.

Now is the time.

Raise the banner against the Killing machines, EDs


Thank You Alin for this Tribute. 



About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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