Prominent Islamic Personalities in our modern times

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About Mohamed Ali (The American Boxer)

Mohammad Ali (17 January 1942 -June 216).
An American boxer was born by the name of (Cassius Mercellus Clay Jr)  on 17 January 1942 in Louisville city in Kentucky state
and died on 3 June 2016 at the age of 74 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease, he was born to a Black American family from the middle class,
his father was Methodist, however, his mother bred him and his brother on the Baptist doctrine, after he embraced Islam in 1964 and changed his name to Muhammad Ali without change for his last name – Clay-,
Clay won the world heavyweight championship three times over twenty years in 1964 and 1974 and in 1980 and 1999,
he was crowned the title of the athlete of the century,it is a prize presented by Illustrated sports magazine,
also got the same title after a referendum conducted by the Italian Newspaper La Gazette dello sport after obtaining % 7.2 of the votes,
he outperformed all athletes among them Diego Armando Maradona, the famous Argentinain football striker,
he used to describe himself that he flies like the butterfly and sting as the bee ,
and he is the owner of the fastest and the most powerful punch in the world, with a force equivalent to about 1,000 pound.
His retiring in 1981 ,at the age of 39 after a long career of a rich giving, including 56 wins , 37 by knckout and five defeats.
He was crowned the world titl three  different times ,
in 2000 a law was enacted in his name by congress known as Ali’s Act in order to protect the rights of the boxers.

His Beginnings in the world of boxing :

Muhammad Ali’s beginnings in the world of boxing came by chance when he was twelve years old.
He won several titles at the local and national levels,
when he is under eighteen and won the gold medal for Rome Summer Olympics in 1960 for his light heavyweight,
and in october 1960, the player stepped into the world of the profession,
where he fought over the following three years 19 fights he won them all, among them 15 by knockout,
he also achieved a surprise in February 964 by defeating the world champion in boxing at that time Sonny Liston,
and won the title of the world professional boxing championship as a heavyweight champion for the first time,
setting a record as the youngest boxer,(22) to win the championship title in this field.

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His Converting Islam :

Mohammad was a Muslim, however, before he joining to Ahlu Asunnah [people of tradition],
he chose to belong to the Nation Islam Group [Jamaat Ummat Al – Islam].
And the reason for choosing this group goes back to Elijah Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad was born in Georgia in 1898.
His father was named Elijah Paul, but  he went to Detroit in1923 and settled in, after eight years from his settling there,
he was visited by a merchant from the East named W.D Fraud. he is half African American and half white,
he was able to be acceptable to African Americans in the United States and became a leader for them,
Elijah Muhammad has taught Frad the principles of the Islamic Religion,
and there are stories and legends are told about Fred’s origin and about his Islam,
and that he received his Islam from a black man in Mekkah his name’s Jacob [Yaagoob],
Muhammad began to secretly frequent Elijah Muhammad and attended his religious lessons in the early sixties.
Actually, Muhammad was rejected at the beginning of his joining of the Nation Islam Group[Jamaat Ummt Al – Islam]
due to his practicing boxing, he and the Americans of African origin were titled at that time the black Muslims, however in 1964,
after Muhammad eliminated the boxer Sonny Liston from the boxing throne, when he was only 22 years old at that time,
the Nation Islam Group became more accepting of him and agreed to recruit him as a member shortly
after that Elijah Muhammad had recorded statement that clay would be given the name Muhammad( as the prophet of Islam)[PBUH]
and Ali (as Ali ibn Abee Taalib) [MPW] .
At that time Muhammad Ali moved to the southern part of Chicago and lived in a series of houses,
all of them were near Elijah Muhammad’s residence, and from the mosques that followed the Nation Islam Group,
and he stayed for 12 years in Chicago. Mohammad Ali’s Joining to Nation Islam Group didn’t last long,
where he differed with many of their ideas, so he embraced Sunni Islam,
the doctrine of Ahlu Asunnah and Jamaahah[ doctrine of the Sunni people and the group].
Then he established his charitable and advocacy works,
attempting to correct the wrong image that was enshrined in the minds of the west about Islam and Muslims, and he was proud that he was asunni Muslim.

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His Position on Vietnam War :

In 1964 Muhammad Ali failed to enlist in the United States Army because his writing and language were below par,
anyway at the beginning of 1966, exams were reviewed and Muhammad Ali was classified as level (1) which qualifies him to join the armed forces.
This was very dangerous because the United States was at war with Vietnam.
When he was told he had passed the exams, he declared that he refuses to
serve in the United States Army and considered himself an opponent of the war.
Muhammad Ali said: “This war is against the teachings of the Quran and that we,
as Muslims, aren’t supposed to fight wars unless they are for the sake of Allah”. He also declared in 1966 :
“ I will not fight them, because they did not call me a negro.”                                                                              

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