In a heartfelt Twitter message posted to her account from last Friday, Hana Ali, a daughter of three-time heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, revealed that even though all of his organs were failing him, his heart had continued beating. "All of us were around him, hugging and kissing him and holding his hands, chanting the Islamic prayer," Hana recalled. (Muhammad, who was originally born as Cassius Clay, converted to the Nation of Islam in the 1960s.) "For 30 minutes, his heart had just continued beating. No one had ever seen anything like it."
This had marked the true identity of a fighter. Even in the early days of his career, Muhammad Ali was known as an inspirational, controversial and iconic figure, both in and out of the boxing ring. He appeared in some of the most historic boxing matches of the last century, such as the "Thriller in Manila" with Joe Frazier and "The Rumble in the Jungle" against George Foreman. He was an avid trash talker, known for incorporating rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry into his talks. And even when he refused to be drafted into the United States military (which eventually led to him getting stripped of his titles), Ali continued to fight for what is right, such as civil rights, in which he was a strong advocate for.
Throughout the last 32 years of his life, Ali battled through the biggest fight of his entire life: living with Parkinson's Disease. He attributed his Parkinson's Disease to the various boxing-related brain injuries he sustained in his career. And while the disease slowed down Ali's mobility and speech, one thing that he never lost was his will to live. "He never got caught up in anything negative," Laila Ali said in an article for People Magazine. "He wasn't living life thinking, 'I have Parkinson's.' He didn't let it control him mentally. He never complained or said, 'Why me?' He kept going. It was remarkable."
Following Ali's death on June 3, 2016, millions of people sent their condolences to him and his family from every social media platform. Will Smith, the actor who played the title character in the 2001 film "Ali," posted this tribute on his Facebook page, calling Ali as the man who had changed his life:
To conclude this article, 2 Timothy 4:7 reads, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." It's safe to say that Muhammad Ali definitely fought the good fight.