Let’s be very clear: I do not expect the White mainstream media–well maybe not even Black-owned media–to remind the world that it was The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad who produced the Muhammad Ali that the world is spreading so much “love” for in the wake of his transition. He is the fruit of the tree that produced The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Malcolm X, Imam Warithudeen Mohammed and countless others.
In a past article in The Final Call Newspaper on Muhammad Ali, Senior Editor Askia Muhammad writes:
There was a time when race-haters, segregationists and Muslim-haters, conspired to stymie the career and popularity of Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali, the “Greatest of all Time.” Mr. Ali was able to persevere not only because he was guided personally by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, but because he was a “citizen” of the Nation of Islam in Chicago, and he was a member of the Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.).
Mr. Ali was prepared, and he became a “Model Champion.” Then, with the drama of the Vietnam War and Black resistance to fighting in it dominating national attention, he literally became a cultural icon when he refused to be drafted into the U.S. Army.
Before his February 1964 fight against Charles “Sonny” Liston, in which Mr. Ali–then known as Cassius Clay–first won the Heavyweight Boxing Championship, Muslims had become familiar members of his entourage. Brother Malcolm X was seen at the Clay training camp, and Bro. Captain Sam–now known as Min. Abdul Rahman Muhammad, of Atlanta—had already become the Champ’s bodyguard and companion.
Mr. Ali was immersed in the teaching of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. As Heavyweight Champ, he confounded the hostile reporters and sports figures who surrounded him, and he won the hearts of the public, and the hatred of America’s authorities.
His Selective Service medical records were re-opened. Although he had been disqualified, “4-F” Mr. Ali was re-classified “1-A”–draft-eligible–by officials angry at him for becoming a Muslim. “The Viet Cong never called me a n—-r,” he said, declaring that he was a conscientious objector and that he would not serve in the U.S. military.
From March 22, 1967 when he was convicted for refusing military induction, until Oct. 26, 1970, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction, Mr. Ali was stripped of his championship, his passport, and was unable to get a license to box, or earn a living. He was being sanctioned during the athletic prime of his career.
During that period he continued to speak out around the country as a Muslim Minister and in opposition to the war. He was a role model and magnet for young men uncertain about whether or not to fight in Vietnam.
His manner, and his “being” positively reflected the Nation of Islam. He met, courted and married a sister who had grown up in the Nation. His training camp always featured the cooking of Sister Lana Shabazz, one of Mr. Muhammad’s former cooks.
His courage and his commitment to the principles taught by the Hon. Elijah Muhammad won, for Mr. Ali, the unflinching loyalty of people all around the world. Even when he began his boxing comeback, when he lost a unanimous decision to Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier in his first attempt to regain the crown, Mr. Ali was always known affectionately as the “People’s Champion.”
As a Nation of Islam Minister, Mr. Ali was frequently assigned to represent Mr. Muhammad overseas. The Muslim, “Champion of Conscience,” who won back his title in the ring from Champion George Foreman in the thrilling 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle,” was popular throughout Africa, the Caribbean and the Islamic world.
In December 1974, Mr. Ali was a distinguished member of a Nation of Islam delegation on a month-long tour of Jamaica. The delegation was led by Min. Jam Muhammad, the younger brother of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, which included the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan and other N.O.I. officials, all of whom were guests of Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley.
Give credit where credit is due! The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s influence should not be taken lightly at all. You would not be talking about Muhammad Ali today were it not for this beautiful man. I invite you to get more acquainted with the Teacher who produced all of these students that we marvel at. If we are in awe of how powerful the students are, then how much more powerful is the Teacher of them all? What is it about HIM that we should know more about? What is it about HIM that we should look deeper into? How can you love the tree but hate the roots of the tree? How can you enjoy the fruits of the tree yet condemn the tree that produced the fruit?
In an article titled “A True Friend: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad”, Minister Farrakhan writes:
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is indeed a true friend of the Black man and woman because his message is as relevant today as it was when he was physically among us. He worked, suffered, studied and constantly prayed for our rise. He sacrificed his own personal life to devote 44 years to the rise of our people. He single-handedly, with tenaciousness of will and singleness of purpose, turned the language of America from the use of the word “Negro,” which means something dead, lifeless or hard, into seeing ourselves as Black people, members of the aboriginal nation of the Earth. He turned our hearts toward Africa and our brothers and sisters in the isles of the Pacific, Central and South America and the Caribbean. His Wisdom showed us the connection between the Native Americans and their membership in the aboriginal nation of the Earth. He, more than any religious leader, is responsible for causing us to refer to one another as brothers and sisters.
He caused new levels of scholarship in the research of the history of the Black man; and into the nature and birth record of the Caucasian. He inspired research into melanin and its presence or absence and its effect on the thought process. He taught us how to eat to live, causing us to throw away medicines. His teachings on this subject began the process of the beautification of our people, no matter how ugly we appeared to be. He started the process of reformation of the Black woman, without which there can be no new people. He showed us the value of a proper education and established a school system that reflected the same. He demonstrated the proper use of money by establishing for his followers, farmland, banks, business, airplanes and airport facilities, international trade and commerce. You name it, he did it.
What a friend we have in Jesus! (The Honorable Elijah Muhammad)…
Would there have been a Malcolm X if there were no Honorable Elijah Muhammad? The Honorable Elijah Muhammad influenced the writings of James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou, John Killens, Louis Lomax and most of the writers who were popular in the 1960s. His influence is seen today in the writings of Toni Morrison and Alex Haley. His teachings inspired Alex Haley to do the research that led to the book “Roots.” He influenced playwrights, poets, musicians. There is no field of human endeavor among Black people that Elijah Muhammad did not have some positive effect upon.
And now, there is a conscious effort to write the Honorable Elijah Muhammad out of history. However, I am sure that, by the help of God, everyone who plans to write him out of history has already assigned to themselves that chastisement. There would be no Louis Farrakhan if there were no Elijah Muhammad; there would be no Muhammad Ali if there were no Elijah Muhammad.”
That’s the power of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad! White America cannot take credit for producing Muhammad Ali. White America will try to claim that Muhammad Ali “transcended religion and race”. That’s nonsense. He was a PROUD Black Man and a PROUD Muslim. Period.
So to read that the likes of former president Bill Clinton will be delivering the eulogy over the body of our Muslim brother is a travesty. I humbly submit that The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, the National Representative of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and The Nation of Islam, should be the one delivering the message because nobody else is qualified to do it.
Nobody else will give the true narrative that shaped Muhammad Ali. Nobody else will give the necessary insight into our brother Muhammad Ali. We can always depend on Allah (God) to give The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan the right words to speak into moments like this. Who else is more qualified?
He would undoubtedly make it very clear: There would be no Muhammad Ali without The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
By Brother Jesse Muhammad
(Follow The Nation of Islam’s Archives Instagram page to see more of the history of Muhammad Ali’s journey in the Nation of Islam https://www.instagram.com/noiarchives/)
From The Archives! Muhammad Ali Greeting People After Addressing Community & Believers At Mosque #26 In San Francisco. ©1967. #NOIHISTORY #NOIARCHIVES #MuhammadAli #HISTORYMATTERS #WECONTROLTHENARRATIVE @brotherjesse @jamalhbryant @aminnathari @brother_richmond @abelmuhammad @nospotesmanship
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In 1964 NYC When Muhammad Ali Came Home From Being An Ambassador For The N.O.I. Then Egyptian Prime Minister Gamel Abdel Nasser Sent This Gold Mosque As A Gift To The Hon. Elijah Muhammad. #MuhammadAli #NOIARCHIVES #NOIHISTORY #HISTORYMATTERS #WeControlTheNarrative @aminnathari @brotherjesse @abelmuhammad @waliakbar
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