Boxing legend Muhammad Ali honoured for spirit, strength in upholding Islam

HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN

PUTRAJAYA: Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was last night honoured for his spirit and strength in upholding the principles of Islam.

His daughter, Rasheeda Ali, was presented with and a plaque and certificate of appreciation from the Malaysian government, in conjunction with the 'Reviving The Islamic Spirit' convention, held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC).

The event was organised by the Malaysian Islamic Missionary Foundation (Yadim).

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom presented the award to Rasheeda on behalf of the government.

In his speech, Jamil Khir said Muhamad Ali's passing during the month of Ramadan last year, left behind a great legacy which will continue to inspire people, including the younger generation.

"I can still remember how when Ali came to Malaysia for his title bout against Joe Bugner in 1975, the whole nation virtually came to a standstill.

"But we now know that Ali’s greatness, in the final analysis came from his championing of principles and values outside the ring, together with his clear recognition that all greatness comes from Allah.

Meanwhile Rasheeda, who shared memories of her father, said her father strongly advocated Islam and its teachings.

"He practiced Islam's teachings in his daily life even when he was in the ring. He propagated the goodness of Islam not only to us (his family) but also his friends," she said.

The two-day conference, which began yesterday, also featured leading American Muslim scholars such as

Imam Zaid Shakir, Oxford University lecturer Datuk Dr Afifi al-Akiti, and North America Islamic Association vice-president Imam Siraj Wahhaj.