Muhammed Ali on Modesty – A Father/Daughter Talk

September 30, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

The following true incident took place years ago, when former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammed Ali was visited by his daughters, who arrived at his home wearing clothes that were immodest. Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:

“When we arrived, the chauffer escorted my youngest sister, Laila, and me to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. And we exchanged as many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.

“My father then took a good look at us. He sat me down in his lap and said something I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said: ‘Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down and in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get them.’

“He looked at me again with serious eyes and said, ‘Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.'”

Taken (and slightly edited) from Rohi Padela’s excellent Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved blog.

Note: It is worth noting that Muhammed Ali now follows the Sufi path of Hazrat Inayat Khan, according to Hana Yasmeen Ali. An interview with her, where she mentions that fact, can be found HERE.

Update Note: Because of the response in the comments, here are links to two previous posts on Hijab: Wearing Hijab – A Spiritual Concept and Wearing Hijab in Mecca.

The Prophet (pbuh) also said: “Faith is naked, but its clothes are modest.”

Ya Haqq!


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