Legacy & Lessons from life of Muhammad Ali

Yasir Qadhi

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Channel: Yasir Qadhi

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As we are all aware, brothers and sisters, we have lost one of our dear brothers in Islam this last week, perhaps the most famous not just perhaps, the most famous American Muslim in the history of this land. And that is our dear brother, Muhammad Ali. And it is not befitting that we do not mention his name and derive some benefits from his life. That is the least that we can do, because will law he, there is no question that there is so much benefit to be learned from the life and times of a person of that statue. Notice, my dear brothers and sisters how beloved, this single individual was. I do not know of any human being in our lifetimes that has more fame, and honor and

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respect. Perhaps the second closest would be Nelson Mandela. But I would say that Muhammad Ali is even more famous, that every street kid in every single corner in the world is aware of our brother, Muhammad Ali. And you know, brothers and sisters, Allah blesses the OMA with famous converts, has always been the case. Allah blesses the Ummah with people who show there is a truth of Islam. What did the Sahaba say that we have always remained in is at the conversion of

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Hamza is another example, Hamza, the one of the most respected members of the Quraysh. His conversion was a huge shock and a blow to the leadership of the parish and Allah use the conversion of Hamza to demonstrate the truth of Islam. Now, I'm not comparing any human being with the sahaba. But the concept the concept is there, that Allah blesses people. And Allah blesses the OMA with such people that they convert to our faith, and their conversion causes quite literally, quite literally an earthquake, it causes an entire perception. Wallahi if the only blessing of this person's conversion was that the name of our Prophet system is mentioned by every single person in the globe

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with respect what a blessing that is, if that was his only blessing, what a great blessing when even the most bigoted Islamophobes when the worst racists they have to mention the name of our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam with respect, if that was the only blessing, but there are so many other blessings and the main point and so much can be said inshallah. Perhaps in a future lecture I'll give more examples of what not but for me, the main lesson that we can learn from the life and times of our brother Muhammad Ali, is the famous Hadith of the process, and we see it throughout your line. We see it with our own eyes, that our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said montara cache

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Allah, our water, Hula, hula hiraman.

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Whoever gives something up for the sake of Allah, Allah will replace it with something far better than what he gave up. There's a hadith. This is a Hadith, whoever gives something up for the sake of Allah. Allah will replace it with something much better than what he gave up.

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Brothers and sisters, we can never understand never how the greatest boxer who won the Olympic gold medal who won the Olympic gold medal at the age of 1819. And he went on to win the World Champion heavyweight. When he was drafted for Vietnam.

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He said, I cannot go kill people. My religion forbids me to go kill innocent people. Let's not sugarcoat he used Islam. And it came all the way to the Supreme Court. He was thrown into jail or he was sentenced to jail. He appealed the appeal once again, jail, he appealed again. And it went to the Supreme Court. And he kept on saying my faith of Islam. He didn't say my conscience, he said publicly in the 1960s when the religion of Islam was unknown, nobody even knew it. He said, my faith prohibits me to kill innocent people. I cannot as a Muslim, go and kill the people you want me to kill? I have nothing. No problem with them. They didn't do anything to me. You people are doing more

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harm to me than they ever did. We all know the quotes. And the boxing Federation said to him, If you don't go, we're going to strip your title away. You're no longer going to be the champ. We're gonna take your gold medal. You're gonna be stripped of everything. You're gonna go to jail, and they even told him. Look, you don't have to fight. We don't expect you to fight you're too famous.

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Just go and showcase be a trophy for our troops go and you know, you're not going to be in the actual camp, just go and show yourself and and you know, wear the uniform, everybody's going to see you're a patriotic citizen, go do what you need to do. And that's it, you will be back, go do a tour and come back. But he said, No, I'm not going to be a propaganda tool. I'm not going to use as a token for your false button war. I'm not going to do that.

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And his famous quote, put me in jail, I don't care. You can put me in jail. I've already been in jail, or my people have been in jail for 400 years. What are you going to do that has already happened to me in my people, we need to understand that act of courage, conviction. It's literally him against the rest of the world. Literally, he couldn't care. He gave up his title for three and a half years. Many of us don't understand this. He was not the heavyweight champion, not because he lost in the battle, but because the Federation took it away from him. For three and a half years he was banned from fighting. Do you know he didn't have money at that time? It's so easy for us to

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consider him a hero. And I've said this so many times, Every hero has to suffer in his lifetime. That's what makes him a hero. Nelson Mandela, 20 years, 27 years in solitary confinement, Gandhi, every person that the world looks up to, for some reason. For a major point of their lives, they were despised, they were hated. Let's not sugarcoat history, Muhammad Ali was considered to be a traitor to his country, Times Magazine and others put in his cover as an evil person, as a draft, Dodger refused neck, they used vulgar terms, that he's not patriotic.

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The media and the press smeared him and he had to resort to even doing odd jobs. Do you know for those three and a half years, he had to go and act in plays and do things that is not even befitting for somebody of his but he had no money to pay the bills. He has a wife and children to feed. He had to do odd jobs, as the threat of jail is on his shoulders, as his title has been revoked. And he says in an interview, I don't care, I can work in the McDonald's flip burgers, I'll do that. But I'm not gonna go fine in that war. Can you imagine somebody who's being given millions of dollars, the gold of the heavyweight champion, the most fit, and he gives it all up because I don't care. I'm not

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going to kill innocent people. My faith does not allow me to do that. Well, what happened? Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will bless him much better than what he gave up SubhanAllah 2030 4050 years later, and the very entity and the very people that smeared him that government and the media now want to claim him as their own. Bill Clinton is going to come and give the eulogy right now as I'm speaking, other world leaders are coming. These same world leaders, their predecessors, were the ones who were smearing Muhammad Ali. You know, when the hero dies, everybody wants him. Everybody wants him when the hero dies, when the heroes alive. When the heroes

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the hero, when he's truly the hero, He is despised by society. That's why he's going to be the hero. This is the lesson that I learned and all of us should learn from Muhammad Ali's life and every righteous person and inshallah he is righteous, nice Ibuka that it was a gala either every person who undergoes that battle, look at how Allah blesses them in the end, his charisma, his fortitude, his sticking up to his principles, Allah blesses that sincerity, so that even the people who are insincere have to acknowledge that sincerity. Allah blesses that loss, that courage and bravery, so that even if you don't like him, eventually, you're going to have to come and love him and call them

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the greatest. We as American Muslims especially, have a lot to benefit. Brothers and sisters, don't be ashamed or shy to be a Muslim.

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I was attending the janazah. Yesterday, Muhammad Ali, and Dr. Sherman Jackson, a very good friend of ours and mentor to the American Muslim community. He said, Muhammad Ali made being a Muslim cool in America. Muhammad Ali was quintessentially an American Muslim, the embodiment of what American Islam is. And if you look at his life and times, so many lessons to be derived, but again, the main point here, there are so many issues going on in the world today. And it's easy to go with the flow to be politically correct. It's easy to be quiet about the injustice is taking place. It's easy to just hide your identity. But Allah is not going to bless a life like that. Allah is not going to bless a

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life like that. Look at Muhammad Ali, when he was proud to be a Muslim, and he stood up for what he believed in and he was willing to go to jail. He has suffered, He suffered. There's no question. Allah is going to test you if you want to do that you're going to be tested. But look at the end result. The single greatest legend in the history of sports history of sports think about it nobody before him, and in all likelihood nobody after him

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As he was at the right time in place, he was not just a great sportsman, he was not just a great boxer. He was a man of principle. He was a person who's active in social campaigns. He was a person who was involved in the problems of society, he was a person speaking out about the plight of his people. That's what you call conscience. That's what you call leadership.

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So brothers and sisters,

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don't be ashamed to criticize what needs to be criticized. Don't be ashamed to be a Muslim. Don't be ashamed to speak the truth. There are so many atrocities, so many evil things going on. Now. If Muhammad Ali were younger and alive, what happened was, you know, Parkinson's disease you couldn't speak. What happened? What would he have done? If he were young right now? What we have done with the reality of America right now, what would he have said about our bombing campaigns about our drones? What would he have said about black lives matter? What will you said about police brutality about the prisons? Just imagine if he was saying what he was saying in the 60s? In many aspects, our

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situation is even worse. It's not just Vietnam, there's 60 countries were involved with, who got the plight of African Americans and minorities, look at the racism. One of the last in fact, the last letter that Muhammad Ali wrote about politics was against Donald Trump. The last letter, the last political statement was against the rising Islamophobia of this bigger tear. Can't we benefit from his life and times? Can't we see that Allah bless his people who are sincere to him, if there's anything we can benefit from, we benefit in what our prophets have sort of said to us and we see it in his life. Whoever gives something up for the sake of Allah, Allah will give him back much more,

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he gave up his visa, he gave up his gold medal. He gave up his prestige, he gave up his money. What happened? Allah gave him back so much more fame. So much more is so much more money. After he gave it all up. He becomes the most famous legend in the history of sports. That's what you call conviction and dedication. And if we can benefit that from his life, and of course the Quran and Sunnah tells us about this reality. And every leader and every prophet has the same, of course much more than this, but it's nice to see living examples. It's nice to see in our own lifetimes, if we can benefit from this, then insha Allah Allah Allah, we have genuinely kept the legacy of Muhammad

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Ali alive May Allah azza wa jal forgive him and raised his ranks and exalt Him and may Allah azza wa jal give us all the courage and conviction to be true to our faith.