Certainly, Muhammad Ali, Rahimahullah, arguably the greatest American boxing champion of all time, found God using the killer sport of boxing. A sport that in my mind should never have been allowed to exist in the first place.
And a sport that should be banned by law forthwith everywhere.
For, the central object of the sport of boxing is to inflict as much physical harm and damage and pain on your opponent as humanly possible and thus stop him from continuing the fight any longer, while, of course, all the bloodthirsty thousands surrounding the ring yell themselves hoarse to feed their blood lust and, while, all the equally bloodthirsty millions glue themselves to television screens to lick the human gore splashed on their screens.
In my mind, it should be a crime to organize or watch the blood sport of boxing. As much as it is a crime to organize dog and cock fights. Safety and integrity of the human body should be respected at least as much as that of the bodies of dogs and roosters.
Allah makes this quite clear in the Qur’an. And how lucid and precise the words of the Qur’an are.
Wa Laqad Karramnaa Banee Aadama.
“Surely, we did exalt humans,
and we did endow them with great dignity and honor.
Boxing is a sport that you could blame, to the extent it makes sense, for accelerating the degeneration of the late Mr. Ali’s health and for speeding up his death.
I am saying “to the extent it makes sense” because death and life, just like the movement of all the stars above, and the stirring of every single blade of grass or grain of sand below, are meticulously choreographed by God as per a very precise calculus and matrix.
So, what happened to Muhammad Ali would have happened regardless, had God wanted it that way. But boxing did punch up serious holes in Ali Marhoom’s health and turn him from a roaring tiger into a wilting cabbage for much of his later life.
For those of us who were witnesses to that colossal human degradation and deterioration, it was a crime that history should neither condone, nor cover up, nor forgive.