“Cassius Clay is a name that white people gave to my slave master. Now that I am free, that I don’t belong anymore to anyone, that I’m not a slave anymore, I gave back their white name, and I chose a beautiful African one.”

–Muhammad Ali, 1980s.

 

Praise and testimonials started pouring in as the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali died on Saturday, June 4, 2016. Nicknamed “The Greatest”, Ali retired from boxing in 1981 with a record of 56 wins, 37 by knockout, and five losses. His speed, ferocity and his charisma set him apart from other boxers of the time, and he is often touted as the best boxer there ever was.

However, Muhammad Ali’s contributions extend beyond the thrills of the boxing ring. Over his lifetime Ali became an outspoken activist on several issues and a global ambassador. His famous denunciation of the conscription for the Vietnam War, his constant advocacy for the black civil rights movement and his passionate and outspoken defense of Islam became incidents just as important as his victories.

The image show Ali with the late actor Sultan Rahi when he visited Pakistan in 1987. It is a testament to his political stature at the time that one of his first visit’s when in Pakistan were to the Afghan refugee camps near the border.