I Just Wanted to Be Free’: The Radical Reverberations of Muhammad Ali

From Dave Zirin in The Nation

When Dr. Martin Luther King came out against the war in Vietnam in 1967, he was criticized by the mainstream press and his own advisors who told him to not focus on “foreign” policy. But Dr. King forged forward, and to justify his new stand, said publicly, “Like Muhammad Ali puts it, we are all—black and brown and poor—victims of the same system of oppression.”


When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, he said that Muhammad Ali made him feel like the walls were not there.


When John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists on the medal stand in Mexico City, one of their demands was to “Restore Muhammad Ali’s title.” They called Ali “the warrior-saint of the Black Athlete’s Revolt.”


When Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee volunteers in Lowndes County, Alabama, launched an independent political party in 1965, their new group was the first to use the symbol of a black panther. Beneath the jungle cat’s black silhouette was a slogan straight from the champ: “WE Are the Greatest.”

A must read on the effect that Muhammad Ali had on people’s lives.

The Abundance of Wealth

Mr Mustaq Ali in the video above gives us a detailed view of what Chapter 2 of The Holy Quran is telling us.

Chapter 2

The Chapter deals with the idea of people having an abundance of wealth and it discusses how wealth diverts us from the reality of life and how we can become engrossed in gaining wealth and popularity in society.

Although no verse of the Holy Quran says we should be poor we should be cautious about wealth and use it wisely for the betterment of ourselves and humanity. This wealth is only temporary and soon when death is upon us we will know why we were given wealth and see what we have really done with it.

The Teachings of Islam on Fasting

The purpose of Fasting in Islam

1. To develop and strengthen our powers of self-control, so that we can resist wrongful desires and bad habits, and therefore “guard against evil” (see extract 1 above). In fasting, by refraining from the natural human urges to satisfy one’s appetite, we are exercising our ability of self-restraint, so that we can then apply it in our everyday life to bring about self- improvement.

“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil.” — The Holy Quran, 2:183

2. To attain nearness and closeness to God so that He becomes a reality in our lives. As we bear the rigours of fasting purely for the sake of following a Divine commandment, knowing and feeling that He can see all our actions, however secret, it intensifies the consciousness of God in our hearts, resulting in a higher spiritual experience.

Allah says: “And when My servants ask you (O Prophet) about Me, surely I am near. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should hear My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.” — 2:186

3. To learn to refrain from usurping other’s rights and belongings. In fasting we voluntarily give up even what is rightfully ours; how can then we think of unlawfully taking what is not ours but belongs to someone else?

“And swallow not up your property among yourselves by false means, nor seek to gain access thereby to the authorities so that you may swallow up other people’s property wrongfully while you know.” — 2:188

4. Charity and generosity is especially urged during Ramadan. We learn to give, and not to take. The deprivation of fasting makes us sympathise with the suffering of others, and want to try to alleviate it; and it makes us remember the blessings of life which we normally take for granted.

Fasting in Islam does not just consist of refraining from eating and drinking, but from every kind of selfish desire and wrong-doing. The fast is not merely of the body, but essentially that of the spirit as well (see extract 4 above). The physical fast is a symbol and outward expression of the real, inner fast.

“He who does not give up uttering falsehood and acting according to it, God has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” — The Holy Prophet Muhammad

5. Fasting is a spiritual practice to be found in all religions. The great Founders of various faiths, such as Buddha, Moses and Jesus, practised quite rigorous fasting as a pre- liminary to attaining their first experience of spiritual enlightenment and communion with God.

Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights, and explained it by saying: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:2-4). Moses also fasted forty days and forty nights (Exodus 34:28)

The real purpose of fasting is to attain righteousness. A person who undergoes hunger and thirst, but does not behave righteously, has done nothing. If someone is told the aim and object of doing a certain duty, and he does that duty but without attaining the required aim and object, it is as if he has not done that duty – Maulana Muhammad Ali

[Video] The most honourable work

In this extract Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali says that the most honourable or esteemed task is the propagation of Islam and although we pay lip service to this, in fact, we hold other things such as business or jobs and positions to be things which bring us honour. If we truly thought that propagation was the most honourable task we would seek to train our children to carry it out but where our children our concerned we train them for worldly success.


[Picture] Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali

This was the first photograph taken of Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali. He describes the events leading up to the photo being taken in his Friday Khutbah on 14th January, 1944, as follows:

“It was perhaps 1901 or 1902. I was living in Qadian and probably The Review of Religions had already started. The Promised Messiah called a photographer to have his photograph taken for inclusion in his books. … I cannot remember if any other group photo was taken but what I do recall is that by his bidding my photograph was also taken…. This is an ordinary event, but the strange thing, or what we can call God’s work, is that in the photo on the left side there is a hand holding a book, upon which is written, Quran Sharif. Where did it come from? At that time no one had in mind translating the Holy Qur’an. Hazrat Miza Sahib had entertained this desire for long …”

The photo and quote are courtesy of ‘The Hope Bulletin’ (Vol. 6:7), edited by Akbar Ibn Abdullah.

[Series] Part Two – Our Beliefs

This is the second of our three part series on the Lahori Ahmadi’s. In part one we briefly outlined what we stand for and today we will be explaining in more detail about our beliefs.

This series has been taken from ‘The Ahmadiyya Doctrines’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali.

The Ahmadis are called kafir by some fanatical Mullas. To remove all misunderstanding on this point I give below a summary of the beliefs we hold and leave it to the reader to see for himself whether a person holding these beliefs is a Muslim or a kafir (non-Muslim).

   1. We believe in the absolute unity of God. La ilaha illallah (there is no God but Allah) is the first doctrine of our faith. Continue reading

Sahih of Bukhari by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali

The link below is a pdf translation and commentary of the Sahih of Bukhari by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali.

It has been totally reformatted and retype set. However, it has not been proof read. If any of our reaers have any proposals for corrections or further improvements please let us know as all help will be welcome.

Please feel free to download and read it by clicking Continue reading

English translation of The Holy Quran

Lahori-Ahmadis always extol the greatness of the literary work done by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali.
Our detractors say : “you have to say that because he was your Amir.” And they criticise Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali’s English translation even without having read it basing their comments on prejudice.

“Islam, as embodied in this translation of the Qur’an, is nothing short of a noble, highly ethical, and peaceful religion.”

The link below gives the views of some non-Muslims and some non-Ahmadi Muslims regarding Hazrat Maulana’s English translation of the Holy Quran.

Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabaidi, himself a translator of the Holy Quran into English, told Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali that this work is so great that if the Maulana claimed to be the mujaddid of the 14th Century of Hijra he would accept his claim. Upon this Hazrat Maulana Muhammad replied : “Thank you, but then you must think how great is the person whom I accepted as the Mujaddid of the 14th Century of Hijra.

You can read the reviews of Maulana Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Holy Quran into english here

The Holy Prophets Morals and Manners

A speech by one of the long standing women of our UK Jammat.

As it was the month of the Holy Prophets birth (peace be upon him) Mrs Fauqia Aziz’s speech talks about the morals and manners of the Prophet (pbuh) with extracts taken from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s book ‘Muhammad the Prophet’.