Martin Luther King Jr. x Muhammad Ali Day

Dr. Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali were both leader's who shared a bond in their commitment against war and for social justice. The third Monday in January  is designated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday created to recognize the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 17th is a holiday legislated in the State of Illinois to recognize the achievements of Muhammad Ali.

These two days should matter to you, even if you are not African American.  Why? In the Quran, we are instructed:
O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So, follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do. — Qur’an 4[An-Nisa’]:135

Dr. King was challenged on multiple fronts in his pursuit of justice. Yet, despite being jailed, vilified by those for and against racism, and threatened with death to his family and himself, he persevered.  His relentless pursuit of social justice was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

In April of 1967, Muhammad Ali was the Heavyweight Boxing champion of the world.  He was the most prominent Muslim figure in the world.  Yet, on April 28, 1967 he refused to be inducted into the U.S. armed services, based upon principles of justice embedded in his belief.  For such a refusal, he was stripped of this champion title, fined, and sentenced to five years in prison.  Despite these challenges, he remained resolute in his refusal to serve in the armed services.  His position of principle further focused worldwide attention on the morality of the Vietnam war and further galvanized opposition to the United States’ involvement in Vietnam. The active pursuit of justice of these two men reflects the Quranic injunction requiring the believer to pursue justice. Their work bent the arc of justice in favor of all marginalized people.

These holidays do not merely commemorate the achievements or notoriety of two African Americans.  They commemorate the achievements of two men, who were African American, who bent the arc of justice in a way that continues to benefit humankind.

Raise Your Voice and Get Involved!

Social unjust still exists behind closed doors. Every person plays an important role to raise their voice and provide their right to social justice. Here are some ways you can get involved-

  • Volunteer your time and get involved with social groups addressing issues in different countries.
  • Donate- No matter how big or small your contribution can change the life of another person.
  • Participate- Get involved in food and clothing drives, give back to the community and stay aligned with each other.
Lets Make A Change!

Highlights of MLK x Ali

   Martin Luther King Jr. 
I HAVE A DREAM one of the iconized speeches to shape our community-Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States. His efforts helped shaped our human rights and equality in the world today. 
  Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer, activist, entertainer, poet, and philanthropist. Nicknamed The Greatest, he is widely recognized as one of the most important and famous athletes of the 20th century. Muhammad Ali In his main work, despite Parkinson's disease, has traveled the world to attract public attention and perform humane and philanthropic performances. He is highlighted in history for his meeting with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 1990 to negotiate the liberation of American hostages and visited Afghanistan in 2002 as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
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