(Washington, D.C., 6/6/2016) - The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local Muslim organizations is asking local communities to make preparations to attend the funeral prayer (salat al-janazah) for Muhammad Ali scheduled to be offered at noon Thursday in Louisville, KY. (Community members are encouraged to use #GenAli on social media to explain how they will continue his legacy.)
The janaza prayer will be held at Freedom Hall in Louisville, KY and will be lead by Imam Zaid Shaker. Funeral organizers chose the venue both because it seats 18,000 and because it holds historical significance for the hometown hero. Ali fought, and won, his first professional fight there in 1960.
Communities that are unable to send representatives to the Louisville funeral prayer are being asked to organize local prayers, called "salat al-ghaib" (sa-lat al-gha-ib), which are performed for Muslims who have died in a distant place. Those prayers could be offered either before the nightly Ramadan taraweeh or after jummah prayers on Friday.
MEDIA NOTE: Muslim American leaders will hold a news conference in Louisville, KY., just prior to the funeral prayers to highlight the historic impact of Muhammad Ali's life and to explain Islamic funeral practices. More details will be released later.
On Friday June 10, a public funeral will be held at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. World dignitaries will be attending the funeral ceremony including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Abdullah II of Jordan. President Bill Clinton will deliver a eulogy.
Later this week, a suggested sermon (khutba) outlining Muhammad Ali's importance to the American Muslim community and to the way Islam is viewed in our nation will be distributed to Islamic prayer leaders (imams) who will conduct the normal congregational prayers (jummah) this coming Friday.
Founding members of USCMO: American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed).