Thousands bid farewell to boxing legend Ali at traditional Muslim service

Thousands of people came together across creeds and nationalities for a Muslim prayer service in remembrance of Muhammad Ali on Thursday, the start of a two-day farewell to the beloved boxing legend and civil rights hero. The brief ceremony in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky launched two days of interfaith tributes, bringing together dignitaries and ordinary fans, honoring a man known for both his tenacity in the ring and his social activism outside of it.

It was fabulous, seeing all the different nationalities, cultures, races, religions come together, even though it’s a very sad situation that he passed, it’s very inspirational.

Makeeba Edmund, a city employee, who is Muslim

Ali, who died on Friday at 74, joined the Nation of Islam, the black separatist religious movement, as a young athlete, then embraced mainstream Islam years later. For millions of Muslims around the world, Ali symbolized the true face of Islam, promoting peace and tolerance. On Friday morning, a funeral procession will wind through the city, passing sites that were important to Ali: his childhood home, the Ali Center, the Center for African American Heritage and along Muhammad Ali Boulevard before arriving at the cemetery for a private burial.

This week we lost an icon…A person who for African Americans, I think, liberated their minds in recognizing that they could be proud of who they were.

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