The real reason Legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali converted to Islam revealed in new letter | Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog

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Sunday, 4 June 2017

The real reason Legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali converted to Islam revealed in new letter

Muhammad Ali whose public conversion to Islam in 1964 shocked the whole World, a decision which cost him a lot and was highly criticized by several popular figures among others.
The Legendary American World Heavyweight boxer, who was known as Cassius Clay before embracing Islam initially offered different reasons for his conversion.
According to the 1967 book, Black Is Best: The Riddle of Cassius Clay, by former Sports Illustrated writer Jack Olsen, Ali said his first encounter came from a street-corner proselytizer in Harlem. He later told Olsen that it came at a Nation of Islam meeting in Miami in 1960 or early 1961, and he also said that his first meeting was in Chicago.
Now there is another version of Ali's story which was first sighted by TIME.  In a never before published letter, Muhammad Ali tells his former wife why he converted to Islam which arguably has been described as most detailed reasons for his conversion.

In his forthcoming book 'Ali: A Life', which comes out in October from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, author Jonathan Eig excerpts a letter that Ali wrote to his second wife, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, who was married to the legendary fighter from 1967-1976.  

In the letter, which Camacho-Ali says her ex-husband wrote some time in the late 1960s, Ali describes seeing a cartoon in the Nation of Islam newspaper, Muhammad Speaks, outside his hometown of Louisville. 

The cartoon illustrated how white slave owners brutally beat their slaves while insisting that they pray to Jesus.
The transcribed letter reads:

'One night at a skating rink in Louisville (I was on my way home), the skating rink was located at 9th and Broadway St., while I was standing outside the building in a crowd of about 400 people, all black people, like most boys [I was looking] for a pretty girl to say something to. A black brother dressed in a black Mohair suit, [with a] white shirt and a black bowtie, was [selling] some newspapers called Muhammad Speaks. 

At that time it was the first time I had seen a Muhammad Speaks newspaper. The brother walked up to me and said, ‘my brother, do you want to buy a Muhammad Speaks newspaper, so that you can read about your own kind, read the real truth of your history, your true religion, your true name before you were [given] the White Man’s name in slavery?’ He said, ‘oh, by the way there is a meeting that we are having today on 27th and Chestnut St. at 8 o'clock this evening. And at the time it was about 6 o'clock in the evening. I told him OK, I will be there. 

But I had no intention to go to any meeting. But I did buy the Muhammad Speaks paper. And [one] thing in the paper [made] me keep the paper, and that was a cartoon. And the cartoon was about the first slaves that arrived in America, and the cartoon was showing how the black slaves were slipping off at the plantation to pray in the Arabic language facing the east. 

And the white slave master would run up behind the slave with a whip and hit the poor [slave] on the back with a whip and say, ‘what are you doing praying in that language, you know what I told you to speak,' and the slave said, 'yes sir, yes sir, Master. I will pray to Jesus, sir, Jesus.' And I liked that cartoon. It did something to me. And it made sense.'

According to TIME, Camacho-Ali asked Muhammad to write the letter after she confronted him about his extramarital dalliances. 

The author of the new book, Jonathan Eig who claims he paid Camacho-Ali $600 for the letter says: "The incident he describes in the letter—picking up the newspaper and reading the cartoon—may have been one in a series of influential events for his conversion.

Muhammad Ali died on June 3, 2016, at age 74. As today marks the first year anniversary of his passing, Camacho-Ali sees it as another chance to celebrate him, his flaws and all. 

"Allah has opened the door for him in paradise," she tells TIME. "He's not suffering anymore. I cherish the good moments. There was more good than bad. It was a blessing to be a part of that journey."

43 comments:

sheezee said...

Lame excuse!now the Muslims are terrorist everywhere even b4 his death,they are killing d innocents in d name of religion nd makin small children commit murder for reason beyond us. Why him no turn to free turn to free thinker?

NaijaDeltaBabe said...

Okay


... Merited happiness

Anonymous said...

Good info linda...but d excuse is very lame....no wonder it took so long before it could come out

Michael Stringz said...

Really......

Anonymous said...

THis is why information is key to life.

1 Islam was never spoken by any slaves in the U.S. The slave owners were trying to stamp out the indigenous languages, beliefs and identity of the slaves. These were Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, ga, Fanta, etc...

2 The first major slave trade in Africa was perpetrated by the Arab Muslims who traded mostly in East Africa, but bought slaves from as far as West Africa.

Anonymous said...

Arabs were the first slave traders in Africa and they are more racist than whites. So fuck outta here with the bullshit

hrm paul said...

Wat ever his reason is dats his business dude is dead and gone e no concern me fuck Ali him no sabi me I no sabi am

Anonymous said...

Whether xtainity or Muslim, all na shit. These fight btw the two gotta stop. They haven't changed human beings over time. We need a new religion which is a religion of no religion. Helping one another without fear, fight, gender, colour. God bless

Anonymous said...

Religion is the epicenter of the problem in the world

Muhammad Usman Abdullahi said...

At Sheezee, of course you won't be blamed for thinking so of Islam or Muslims but for the record Islam is all that Muslims do, same with other religions there good n terrible people everywhere n all this bullshit about terrorism is just the world politics and the actors used things beyond what a common man will understand. Same with Christianity if u read history. In Europe Christians tru the church perpetrated a lot evil in the name of crusade. But all those were actually masterminded by men who neither believe in God or love their desire more than God. You need to read men. Don't just depend on media.

Anonymous said...

I'm almost certain slaves from west Africa were not slipping off to pray in Arabic. Their native gods was all they knew.

Yes said...

Hmmmmmmm... does not make any sense to me at all...

Tri. said...

Mr Ali should have done his research before converting. He only exchanged one form of imposed religion for another.

Europeans imposed Christianity on their slaves, well guess what? African slaves who were of Islamic religion are were slaves kidnapped from Islamic dominated countries in North Africa. Those countries were conquered by the Muslim Arabs who also imposed their religion on their conquered African countries.

Anonymous said...

The muslims are not terrorists, the terrorists are muslim. We need to be more critical with our thinking and expression.

Sunshine said...

How ironic. Is Arabic an African language or don't u know that Arabs enslaved Africans at a point in the past to get them converted to Islam and pray in Arabic. If he wanted to go back to the basics he shld av embraced traditional African religion. Both Islam n Christianity are foreign beliefs forced on us by Arabs n d west. Don't be fooled, Islam is not the religion of Africans it's from Arab.

Anonymous said...

Shut the fuck up!

Anonymous said...

Islam is also a religion imposed on Africa by the Arabs. He just exchanged one form of slavery for the other

Abubakar D. Ibrahim said...

Please read Islamic book with free and sincere mind , you will understand what Islam is all about. The media is not the best place to get reliable facts about a faith having millions of followership. For sure, there must be something interesting which made these millions of people around the wold to believe In the msg contained in the Islamic book (Qur'an) I think you should be interested in knowing why is Islam the fastest growing religion in th wold today ? Google the fastest growing religion in the wold and see for yourself .

Anonymous said...

He made a big mistake. Islam is not the religion of our forefathers. We had our own religion-which made the white people call us heathens- the Yoruba have Orisha and all their other gods. Ibos have Chi or Chi-ukwu/Chukwu. Each tribe had their own gods. Not islam

oba frank said...

@sheezee, Everybody is a terorist, you can come in different form, so dont say muslims

oba frank said...

@sheezee, Everybody is a terorist, you can come in different form, so dont say muslims

Olashile Canada said...

They are terrorist everywhere indeed olodo oshi

Anonymous said...

The most wicked religion in the world sans unforgiveness in any way.If you here of bomb anywhere in the world today,it an act of Islam,The God that cannot defend himself only his followers to be killing people on the ground of fighting for him.What a god.

hajiya said...

Ignorance is indeed a disease @sheezee. Why not get ur facts right before voicing ur stupidity in such manner

Anonymous said...


Christians are molesting children, embezzling money and sanctioning genocide, whilst using the Bible to justify hate towards LGBT people. You are hypocritical and as gullible and evil, as the Muslim fundamentalists you claim to hate.

Religious extremism, fundamentalism, fanaticism are sicknesses. Religion is war against humanity. You are not born religious, you are brainwashed to be. But we are all born human! Put Mankind First.

Anonymous said...

U go see something talk ...tufiaka

Anonymous said...

Muslims are not terrorists. Mind your language fool.Terrorist are all over the world impersonating muslims just to give them a bad name. Think before you speak.

Anonymous said...

paradise my foot. I wish God can open ur blind eyes to see him weeping and gnashing his teeth in hell. Jesus Christ is the only way to God no controversy about that. that was a deception from the pit of hell. I pray God open the eyes of the Muslimsame to see the right way. Islam is from the pit of hell to destroy the peace of the world. just imagine the world without Islam, I would have bn like paradise, peacefull and loving. but with Islam is hell. may God help us all to understand

Anonymous said...

paradise my foot. I wish God can open ur blind eyes to see him weeping and gnashing his teeth in hell. Jesus Christ is the only way to God no controversy about that. that was a deception from the pit of hell. I pray God open the eyes of the Muslims to see the right way. Islam is from the pit of hell to destroy the peace of the world. just imagine the world without Islam, I would have bn like paradise, peacefull and loving. but with Islam is hell. may God help us all to understand

Anonymous said...

Why you carry am for your head na? Do you know about the Lord Resistance Movement in Uganda and how they kill people? Do you know how the Chirch was used to commit genocide in Rwanda? Do you know how the British church was used to massacre people during apartheid days in South Africa? Do you know about the killings by Christians in Central African Republic? Or is it because people don't publish them out like the ones by Muslims? Go and sit down and reflect on how your Nigerian pastors commit adultery and embezzle money through corrupt means using the name of God

Anonymous said...

Linda you must not publish this type of letter,must you cause problem, Muslims insulting Christians,Christians insulting Muslim,please let's promote world peace. Stop posting what is not necessary.let's love one another and worship one true God.I believe in God.the father Almighty,maker of heaven and earth.both xtians,Muslims I love you both.I am a Christian

Anonymous said...

The islamic proselytizers pull a fast one on Ali, because all religions are complicit in the era of slavery, it is disingenious to claim otherwise. The trans Saharan slave routes which the Arabs controlled are bigger, and came about 500 years earlier than the trans Atlantic routes controlled by the whites.

If he was an educated man, he wouldnt have been fooled. Education is key.

Funny I know that street in Louisville mentioned in Ali's letter.

Peter James said...

Muslims are terrorist and all terrorists are Moslems.

Dawood Ahmad said...

SINCERELY SPEAKING, THERE IS NO RELIGION THAT ITS FOLLOWERS ARE MORE OF TERRORISTS THAN CHRISTIANITY!!! IF ONE GO BACK TO HISTORY ONE OF THE MAJOR REASONS WHY THE WESTERN WORLD DOES NOT HAVE REGARDS FOR RELIGION IS BECAUSE OF THE INHUMAN TREATMENT OF THE CHURCH ESPECIALLY IN THE EARLY 14TH AND 15TH CENTURY. SCIENTISTS WERE EXECUTED BY THE CHURCH FOR SIMPLY BRINGING A THEORY THAT IS AGAINST THE CHURCH.AS A SCIENTIST YOU EITHER MAKE YOU INVENTION SECRET OR FACE EXECUTION. DURING SLAVE TRADE BY THE EUROPEANS ABOUT 20 MILLION PEOPLE WERE SHIPPED TO EUROPE AND AMERICA, WHILE THEY WERE TORTURED, KILLED, AND RENDERED INTO SLAVERY.
ARE WE TALKING ABOUT MOST OF THE MAJOR WARS THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE WORLD? THE FIRST AND THE SECOND WORLD WARS THAT PERISHED TWENTY MILLION TROOPS ALONE WAS ORGANIZED, FOUGHT BY MAJORLY CHRISTIAN COUNTRIES. THE DROPPING OF THE MOST DREADED NUCLEAR WEAPONS ON HUMAN SOLES WAS DONE BY CHRISTIANS NOT MUSLIMS, NOT TO TALK OF THE MOST DANGEROUS CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND CRUISING DRONES USED BY AMERICA AND ALLIES WHOM ARE ALL CHRISTIANS COUNTRIES ON MUSLIMS LIKE AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, SYRIA, LEBANON. TO MENTION ONLY FEW.
IN AFRICA WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN RWANDA, THE GENOCIDE THAT RESULTED IN DEATH OF HUNDRED OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, IN NIGERIA THE SO CALL CIVIL WAR THAT SAW THE DEATH OF ABOUT A MILLION PEOPLE AND STARVING ANOTHER MILLION KIDS WAS INITIATED BY A POWER DRUNK CHRISTIAN. THE CHRISTIAN OWN THE MAJOR INTERNATIONAL MEDIA THEY DISSEMINATE FALSE AND FICTITIOUS STORIES ABOUT ISLAM AND MUSLIMS AND MAKE GULLIBLE CHRISTIANS TO BELIEVE THEM ESPECIALLY NIGERIAN CHRISTIANS.

Anonymous said...

The world without Islam would have bin a disaster. A world without Islam would given room 4 Gay-ism, Christians just don't like Islam bcos d feel practising Islam is difficult, they can't keep to the rules, they prefare to wear their skinny dresses to church , dancing Partying all in t name of worship. Was that how Jesus worshiped? Incase u don't know Islam is not a religion of th Arabs, even among the Jews there are Muslims and among the the Arabs the are Christians, if U don't know nothing keep ur trap shut, I bet U don't know w u Bible says. Only what ur Pastor said. Y'all are just putting ur life and hope in the hand of Hustling Pastors. Tryna do what they have to do to survive. There's no duplicated copy of the Holy Qur'an but for d Bible . There are as many as U can't even imagine. Pls keep ur faith up and Pray to God to give U paradise and stop discriminating it won't take us no where.

Vivian Reginalds said...

their headache!
-D great anonymous now as Vivian Reginalds

Adenike Bodunrin said...

Christianity is not a religion but a life style

Anonymous said...

A black man switching from Christianity to Islam, is switching from one form of bondage to another.

donduke said...

No problem am sure u now know!

Anonymous said...

You are right fellow fooler..Muslims are not terrorist, but all terrorists are Muslims!

Anonymous said...


Religious extremism, fundamentalism, fanaticism are sicknesses. Religion is war against humanity. You are not born religious, you are brainwashed to be. But we are all born human! Put Mankind First.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, you are the only one making sense here. I am a Christian, if only most of us will reason like Abdullah.....

Anonymous said...

A Muslim couldn't have commented this.

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