“Important things will happen in quiet moments,” says our friend Ellie Cox of this week’s memorials for Muhammad Ali. “What Muhammad and Lonnie (his wife) want most right now is a lot of prayers about forgiveness. The Islamic religion believes a chorus of prayers about asking the universe for forgiveness of his sins is what we do now.”
“Imam Ali, a national leader in the area of interfaith work, explained that the Islamic funeral prayer is very much like the ones offered at Christian and Jewish funerals of seeking mercy, forgiveness and acceptance into heaven. ‘We may use different words or even languages but all three of these Abrahamic faiths share the same common humanity and God,’ he remarked…
As the spokesperson for the Ali family, Bob Gunnell explained earlier this week, ‘Ali spoke of inclusiveness his entire life and we want this to be inclusive of everyone.’
When a person dies, Muslims traditionally say, ‘To God we belong and to God we shall return.’ Ali may have returned to God,” writes Dean Obeidallah in The Daily Beast, “but on Thursday and Friday Ali will bring together Muslims from across the nation to stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow Americans of different religions and races. Even after his death, Ali is still fighting for the things he so dearly believed in.”
As each of us reflects on Ali’s life and legacy and offers prayers, may we find those quiet moments that Ellie speaks of, alone or in communion, to let the important things happen.