Conversion Stories New Muslims

Why did Muhammad Ali Clay Choose Islam?

Though born in Louisville, Kentucky, raised in a Baptist household, Muhammad Ali chose Islam. How did he find Islam? How did he see Christianity?

Though Muhammad Ali Clay or Cassius Marcellus Clay was raised as a Baptist, he believes that all religions are good and right. According to him, when Jesus Christ came as a prophet, he was good and right, but, unfortunately, Christians do not practice or live Christianity. They are Christians by name only because they do not really follow this religion.

He chose Islam because he saw much love from Muslims. As a Christian, he was not done good. According to him, whites are always good, whereas blacks are always bad. See this video to know why Muhammad Ali Clay reverted to Islam and how he became one of the most famous Muslim preachers!

In a famous conversion in 1964, Ali renounced Christianity and announced that he was a member of the Nation of Islam. He had been incredibly disenchanted with the segregation of the United States and after learning of the militant Islamic freedom fighter, Malcom X, Ali decided to join and changed his name from Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. to Muhammad Ali.

In his youth, Ali’s faith and anger at American racism made him a controversial figure, speaking out against white Americans and saying things like:

“Integration is wrong. We don’t want to live with the white man; that’s all.”

“No intelligent black man or black woman in his or her right black mind wants white boys and white girls coming to their homes to marry their black sons and daughters.”

Later in life, Ali mellowed, converted to a small sect of Islam called Sufi3 and even acknowledges other religions as containing some truth, saying:

“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.”

As a devout Muslim, Ali was deeply saddened by the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks in New York City and the subsequent anti-Muslim sentiment that swept the U.S. He made a statement saying:

“Islam is a religion of peace. Islam does not promote terrorism or the killing of people…If the culprits are Muslim, they have twisted the teachings of Islam.”



By Hanif Kruger

BIO for Hanif Kruger

Hanif is the manager at the Assistive Technology Centre of the South African National Council for the Blind with more than 30 years of experience in the assistive technology and IT fields. Hanif’s passion is assistive technology and advocating for key issues affecting people with disabilities and more specifically the blind and vision impaired. He shares his love for Assistive Technologies through sharing information through his work and via social media and relevant events in order to spread the knowledge and awareness around new technologies and the challenges relating to AT for PWDs. A strong believer in the rights of persons with disabilities and the philosophy of “nothing about us without us”, he regularly push for the affordability and accessability of AT and matching the correct assistive technology solutions with a person in order for them to reach their full capacity. Hanif enjoys a good Netflix and Apple TV+ binge but can also be found walking both his guide dogs looking for cookies .

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