Eulogy offered at Muhammad Ali’s Funeral Service

Sherman Jackson


Channel: Sherman Jackson

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Ladies and gentlemen martial arts play

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as they know it

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don't know if that Mohammed Ali

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Rasul for the alligator

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whale are handcuffed lightning bolts

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I'm as confident as to say that I say I am

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a prophet of the resurrection the Savior

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wants me to Game of

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butterfly and

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I'm gonna throw like a butterfly

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game last week I've murdered a rock into the stone hospitalized a brick I'm so mean I make

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it can possibly be

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remind and around that

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thank you very much

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the game into

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your heart

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anyway champion

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Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim.

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Friends, family,

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brothers and sisters.

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I would like to bid you with a greeting of peace, Salam aleikum.

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I would like to begin my words, by extending my heartfelt condolences

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to the family of our beloved champion Muhammad Ali.

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For millions, perhaps billions of people across the world, of every race, of every religion, of every political persuasion, and every nationality.

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The passing of Muhammad Ali

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has made us all feel a little more alone in the world

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that has taken something away from the sweetness of life itself. And it has brought us all a nagging sense of sadness, something solid, something big, something beautiful and life affirming has left this world. And it is beyond the capacity of any of us to know if God will ever grace us again, with anything that even comes close to the majesty. That was Muhammad Ali.

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But Ali was not just a public figure.

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He was a husband, a father, a son, a brother,

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and if his passing has brought a certain emptiness to the lives of millions of people, who never knew him personally, never felt the energy of his magical presence. Never tasted the reassuring comfort of his loving embrace, and never had to live with the weight or the magnitude of his worries. If at least passing could have this effect on these throngs of distant lovers from across the globe. I can hardly begin to imagine the depth of his families.

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sense of loss.

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So to the family of our beloved champion, I would like to say,

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May Allah may God Almighty Shama, his blessings, his strength, his mercy, and his compassion upon you all. May he provide you, as the days and the years were on, with a solace that is so defined and its depth, and so tenacious and its grip, that you know, that it can only come from God,

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and a part of your solace, come from the fact that you ultimately recognize that your sense of loss is only so great, because God's gift to you, in the person of Muhammad Ali was itself, so singular, and so magnificent.

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But he was not only a gift to his family, he was a gift to his people, his religion, his country, and ultimately, to the world.

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As for his people,

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Ali was an unapologetic

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fighter, and the cause of black people in America. And not just the classes among black folks. But even more especially the masses.

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Ali was the people's champion,

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and champion he did the cause of his people.

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You see, the key to dominating a people is not simply to subject them to unjust laws, institutions, and social cultural norms.

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The key is to get them to accept this as normal, as just the way things are, as our way of life.

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It is to get them to internalize the sense that their role in life is simply to live as others tell them to live. And then to be thankful that those others are willing to allow them to live so

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is to take a people story away from them, and then assign them some job time supporting role and your story.

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Once this happens, people can never just be themselves, they must always perform, according to what you say, is normal. And they will be judged, awarded or penalized based on how well they follow your script, in this state of mind, are dominated people remain convinced that reality is always fashioned by someone else, that they themselves can only function as consumers, never as producers of the fundamental values, conventions, ideas and institutions that shape life.

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Ollie took a wrecking ball to all of this. And his brilliance. And his lasting endurance lies in the fact that He tests us all exactly where we needed to be touched in our hearts, and in the very deepest depths of our souls. Ally gave us identity, a new, authentic way of being ourselves. He gave us pride and confidence. He taught us that we were beautiful. And that what we thought was right or wrong, was just as worthy of consideration as what others thought was right or wrong. Ally inspired us. He filled us up. He gave us courage. And he taught us something about how to fight not only inside the ring, but outside as well. For even in defeat, Ali showed the grace, the humility, and

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the forward resolve and determination of a true champion.

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This is the stuff that transformed the lives of millions of black Americans, myself included. So many of us would never have achieved what we have been able to achieve. Were it not for the selfless sacrifice, the boundless courage and the love filled inspiration of this great man.

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As for his religion, there can be no doubt that at the very center of Ali's being was Islam.

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Islam was both a source of his strength and the sustainer of his sense of mission about this, there simply can be no doubt

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Yan what Islam did try Ali.

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Ali did something for Islam, especially in America.

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Ali did more to normalize Islam in this country than perhaps any other Muslim in the history of the United States.

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Of course, Ali was not a theologian, a shake on the man. And because of this, some might think that I am overstating my case here.

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But here's a newsflash

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most people do not live in the world of the theologians or the scholars. Most people live in the world of culture.

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And while religious scholars play a critical role in preserving the proper understanding of religion, if the prevailing culture does not reinforce, and give practical meaning to their teachings, those teachings will find limited application among the masses. It is one thing to teach that God wants people to be charitable to the poor, but that he does not want them to eat pork is quite another thing, however, to use a cultural orthodoxy that makes generosity cool, and eating pork uncool. The same applies to standing up for what is right and standing against what is wrong as a cultural icon Alene, a Muslim, or li Mei being Muslim, who

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ally may be in a Muslim, dignified, and he made being a Muslim, relevant. And all of this he did in a way that no one could challenge his belongingness to or in this country. Ali put the question of whether a person can be a Muslim and American to rest. And he he came to that question with his passing. Let us hope that that question will now be entered with his precious remains. As for his country, there is a Hadith a statement of the Prophet Mohammed in which he instructs the Muslims help your brother whether he is right or wrong.

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The prophet's companions asked him, oh, messenger of God, we understand that we must help our brother when he is right. But how can we help him when he is wrong? The Prophet responded, stop him from doing the wrong that he does.

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Ali helped this country move closer to its own ideals. He helped America do and see some things that America was not quite ready to do or see on its own. And because of Ali's heroic efforts, America is a better place today for us all. And in this regard, Ali belongs not just to the Muslims of this country, Ally belongs to all Americans. Whether you are black, white, Asian, or Latina, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or atheist, if you are an American ally is part of your history. Part of what makes you who you are. Because as an American, I believe belongs to you. And you too, should be proud of this precious piece of your American heritage. And you should never allow anyone to deny

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you, but disabuse you of your rightful claim to Ali's legacy. As for the world, who has filled the world with more hope, more inspiration, more empathy, more humility, and more goodwill, the Muhammad Ali till the end, after all he had gone through in his life, despite his debilitating illness, and all the other reasons he could have relied upon to be angry, vindictive, and insensitive to the sufferings of others. After all of this, there is no hatred and Ollie, no bitterness, no malice, there was nothing but bigness of heart and graciousness of spirit and goodwill towards everyone. What a gift. As I close, I would like to say something for the record.

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And I would like to say it to Muhammad Ali himself.

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I love you, man.

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And I have loved you for a very long time.

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And I will continue to love you to cherish your memory and to celebrate your legacy.

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And this I will do God willing for as long as I shall remain on this planet.

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For now however, I'm

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was bid you farewell. So I say to you so long, my illustrious champion, my ever present inspiration, my hero, my Muslim brother, man, God's peace and blessings caress you and comfort you until that time that you meet him. Until then, my beloved, rest, rest and peace. And now, as I know now, the true meaning of those prophetic indeed those divine words. Salaam Alaikum Salam Alikum.