Thursday, 9 June 2016

Muslim Burial Rite Begins For Muhammad Ali

Thousands of people trooped out in the cavernous Freedom Hall arena to remember the greatest boxing legend, Muhammed Ali who died last week at age 74.
The three-time heavyweight world champion died after a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Born Cassius Clay at a time of racial segregation in the American south, the boxer converted to Islam in 1964, changing his name to Muhammad Ali and shocking America. 
 
 Thursday’s prayer service was held at the site of Ali’s last fight in his hometown, where he defeated Willi Besmanoff on Nov 29, 1961.
"The service is a traditional Muslim funeral,” Imam Zaid Shakir, who helped organise it, said earlier. Muhammad Ali has a very, very special significance for the Muslim community. This is about... sending him off in the very best of fashion, and honor his memory, live his legacy and love each other as he would wish."
On Friday morning, a funeral procession will wind through the city of 600,000, passing sites that were important to Ali: his childhood home, the Ali Centre, the Centre for African American Heritage – which focuses on the lives of blacks in Kentucky – and, of course, along Muhammad Ali Boulevard before arriving at the cemetery for a private burial.