WAS HE REALLY A MUSLIM
... or just anti-establishment?
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
Muhammad Ali's very name belies that he considered his name of Cassius Clay was a “slave name”, as suggested to him by Malcolm X of the Nation of Islam.
He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, and was actually named after the famous white anti-slavery campaigner Cassius Marcellus Clay. Strange how misleading notes are presented as facts, eh?
But here’s what is even more interesting. At the age of 21, he changed his name to "Muhammad Ali" of all things. The exact same name as the brutal Arab slave-owner and slave-trader of Sudanese blacks, Muhammad Ali of Egypt, Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, and founder of modern Egypt. Was Malcolm X having a lend of Ali?
Under the influence of the Nation of Islam, Ali also criticised interracial sex: "In an interview with Playboy in 1964 he said: "A black man should be killed if he's found messing with a white woman." When the interviewer asked about black women “messing” with a white man, Ali responded: "Then she dies. Kill her, too."
But hang on, Ali himself descends from a number of consenting white-black interracial marriages. His great-grandfather was a white Irishman named Abe Grady, who emigrated to America and married a "free coloured woman".
So this most adored and most hated black boxer of all time was born with the name of a white liberator of black slaves, and he then changed it to the name of an infamous Arab trader in black slaves. Muhammad Ali of Egypt was the only person of any note in the world called "Muhammad Ali" at the time the boxer adopted that name.
He must have known but did not care! Is slavery of blacks acceptable only if you are an Arab? Did he ever regret adopting the name of a black slaver?
Al-Ahram Weekly Online, Egypt, 6-12 Dec 2001, openly celebrated the fact that the boxer abandoned the name of a slave-liberator and adopted the name of a slave-trader: "He renounced his slave connection, and took the name of the great Muslim Albanian ruler of modern Egypt Muhammad Ali. He changed the consciousness of his people. He raised their pride and dignity." WTF?
The boxer said in reply: "Cassius Clay is my given slave name. I didn't choose it, and I didn't want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name (it means beloved of God) and I insist people use it when speaking to me or speaking about me."
There is little doubt the level of adoration afforded this black boxer is unparalleled... and with good reason. His silky athleticism transformed a bloodthirsty sport of thuggery into pure artistry. His movements confounded his opponents simply because they had never seen them before.
I have never been a fan of boxing, as it’s hard to label the ambition of rendering an opponent brain-damaged as a “sport”. In every other sport you will get sent off and heavily fined!
But Ali was different, very different, and his close association with the Black Panther movement evaporated the moment he stepped into a ring. He was highly intelligent and ran free from any rule book, yet as with all famous people, others took advantage of him.
But how Islamic was Ali? Not a lot apparently. The “Muslim Burial Rules” publication sets out what must happen approaching, and immediately after, death.
When To Hold A Muslim Funeral
According to Islamic “Shariah” law the body must be buried as soon as possible after death, which means that funeral planning and preparations should begin immediately. A local Islamic community organisation should be contacted as soon as possible, and they will help make arrangements for the funeral service and burial, assist the family in identifying an appropriate funeral home, and coordinate with the funeral home. Cremation is forbidden for Muslims.
If there is any question as to whether or not organs may be donated, it is best to consult with a religious leader or Muslim funeral director.
Routine autopsies are not acceptable in Islam as they are seen as a desecration of the body. In most cases, the family of the deceased may refuse to have a routine autopsy performed.
Preparing The Body
To prepare the body for burial, it must be washed (“Ghusl”) and shrouded (“Kafan”). Close (only same-sex family members) should give Ghusl, although in the case of spousal death the spouse may perform the washing. The body must be washed three times. If, after three washings, the body is not entirely clean, it may be washed more, though ultimately the body must be washed an odd number of times.
The body should be washed in the following order: Upper right side, upper left side, lower right side, lower left side. Women’s hair should be washed and braided into three braids. Once clean and prepared, the body should be covered in a white sheet.
Viewing, Wake, Or Visitation Before A Muslim Funeral
When a Muslim dies, the body must be buried as soon as possible after death, therefore no viewing of the body is permitted before the funeral.
The Muslim Funeral Service
Salat al-Janazah (funeral prayers) should be performed by all members of the community. The prayers should be recited at the mosque, but they should not be recited inside the mosque; instead, they should be performed in a prayer room or study room, or in the mosque’s courtyard. Those praying should face Mecca and form at least three lines, with the male most closely related to the person who died in the first line, followed by men, then children, then women. [Ah ah even funerals decree that the sheilas come last.]
After Salat al-Janazah has been recited, the body should be transported to the cemetery for burial. Only men are allowed to be present at the burial, though in exceptional circumstances all mourners, including women, [even women] will be allowed at the gravesite. The grave should be dug perpendicular to Mecca (the qiblah) and the body should be placed in the grave on its right side, facing Mecca.
A layer of wood or stones should then be placed on top of the body to prevent direct contact between the body and the covering soil.
Then each mourner present will place three handfuls of soil into the grave. Once the grave has been filled, a small stone or marker may be placed at the grave so that it is recognisable. However, it is prohibited to erect a large monument on the grave or decorate the grave in an elaborate way.
Muslim Mourning Period And Memorial Events
Widows are expected to observe a longer mourning period, generally of four months and ten days. During this time, widows are prohibited from interacting with men whom they could potentially marry (known as “na-mahram”). However, this rule may be overlooked in cases of emergency, such as when the widow must see a doctor. [I guess it must be a doctor she doesn’t fancy.]
It is acceptable in Islam to express grief over a death. [Oooh, that’s good.] Crying and weeping at the time of death, at the funeral, and at the burial are all acceptable forms of expression. However, wailing and shrieking, tearing of clothing and breaking of objects, and expressing a lack of faith in Allah are all prohibited. [Disgusting behaviour.]
Ali could easily have kept punching before his opponent fell to the canvas, but he always knew when enough was enough ... and he walked away.
Well, we are about to see just how Islamically fair dinkum Ali, his family and close friends are... he will not be buried for a week after his death, now that’s a little more Western and clearly sacrilegious for Muslims.
And it’s doubtful any of the other funereal dictums will be followed. Was he truly a Muslim or did he die doubtful of Islam and Shariah’s ambitions. Did he adhere only to what is now the racially emotional “Black Lives Matter” movement? Was it his social conscience or his belief in Islam? We will never know.
Whatever the case I will remember him as the greatest athlete ever, with an intellect to match.