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.

Love of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)

Evidence of the deep love and devotion to our Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)


Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (r) is accused of not caring for the honour for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s). In this short video we translate and read out some short extracts from his writings to show his love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s).

Not able to watch the video? Then you can listen to the podcast below

So, what did the Muslims do for the Jews?

Within a century of the death of Mohammad, in 632, Muslim armies had conquered almost the whole of the world where Jews lived, from Spain eastward across North Africa and the Middle East as far as the eastern frontier of Iran and beyond, almost all the Jews in the world were now ruled by Islam. This new situation transformed Jewish existence. Their fortunes changed in legal, demographic, social, religious, political, geographical, economic, linguistic and cultural terms – all for the better.

Wasserstein wrote in The Jewish Chronicle.

This is a statement by a Jew which shows that while in the West Jews were being persecuted, their culture and religion thrived in Muslim countries. It is sad that Islamic history regarding its tolerant treatment of the Jews is being distorted by Muslims themselves.

Muslims forget that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had a Jewish wife. When she complained to him that his other wives taunted her for being a Jew, he told her to tell them she is better than them because her father was Abraham, her brother was Aaron and her husband is Muhammad. From that beginning to the Second World War Muslims have protected the Jews; saving thousands in Morocco, Libya and even in France.

World Wars and hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s)

The Holy Prophet (s) said that at the time of the Messiah the burden of war will be lifted. World War One led to such carnage that it was thought that there would never be another war and the League of Nations was set up.

But World War II was even more devastating than World War I. This time whole cities were carpet bombed. During World War I devastating weapons were invented. During World War II even more terrible weapons were invented such as the atom bomb and later the Hydrogen Bomb.

Use of the Atom Bomb on Japan showed that if there is another World war there is a real possibility that the whole world will be destroyed.

This is another sign that Hazrat sahib was the Promised Messiah because it was after he appeared that all people realised that they can no longer afford to go to war.

Establish the Prophethood and the Honour of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

We read from the writings of the Promised Messiah. Mulfoozat Volume three, pages 90 to 91.

Allah sent Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, because Muslims had strayed from the path of that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) followed.

Muslims had introduced new innovations into Islam and forsaken the example set by our beloved Prophet (pbuh). Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad came to re-establish the original teachings of Islam.

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

What the Western World Can Learn from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

Haroon Moghul is a Fellow in the National Security Studies Program at New America Foundation. He’s also a Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia University’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, where he focuses on Islamic thought in colonial India. Haroon is the Fellow in Muslim Politics and Societies at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law and is on the Board of the Multicultural Audience Development Initiative at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Mr. Moghul is an Associate Editor and columnist at Religion Dispatches; his writing has also been featured on al-Jazeera and Foreign Policy. In his novel, “The Order of Light” (Penguin 2006), young Muslims light themselves on fire to protest the authoritarian reality of the Middle East, an eerie forecasting of recent events. Haroon has appeared on CNN, BBC, NPR, The History Channel, al-Jazeera, and Russia Today. He enjoys teaching, and serves as an expert guide to the Muslim heritage of Spain, Turkey, and Bosnia.

Life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s)

In the Podcast below to celebrate ‘Id Milad un Nabi, Dr Jahangiri a member of the Oakland jamaat in California looks at the life of the Holy Prophet (s) and teachings of Islam in the light of his life.

[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.

httpv://youtu.be/OzhrneCkUms