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After winning the championship from Liston in 1964, Clay revealed that he was a member of the Nation of Islam (often called the Black Muslims at the time) and the Nation gave Clay the name Cassius X, discarding his surname as a symbol of his ancestors' enslavement, as had been done by other Nation members. On Friday, March 6, 1964, Malcolm X took Clay on a guided tour of the United Nations building (for a second time). Malcolm X announced that Clay would be granted his "X." That same night, Elijah Muhammad recorded a statement over the phone to be played over the radio that Clay would be renamed Muhammad (one who is worthy of praise) Ali (fourth rightly guided caliph). Only a few journalists (most notably Howard Cosell) accepted it at that time. Venerable boxing announcer Don Dunphy addressed the champion by his adopted name, as did British reporters. The adoption of this name symbolized his new identity as a member of the Nation of Islam. Clay had discovered the Nation during a Golden Gloves tournament in Chicago in 1959, even writing a high school report on the organization. His school teachers at Louisville Central High were alarmed that a youngster with that much potential expressed interest in the nationalist faith. They dissuaded him from becoming involved. Many sportswriters of the early 1960s reported that it was Ali's brother, Rudy Clay, who converted to Islam first (estimating the date as 1962). Others wrote that Clay had been seen at Muslim rallies two years before he fought Liston. Ali's own version is that he did buy a copy of the "Muhammad Speaks" newspaper from a Muslim in Chicago, and a 45 rpm record by Minister Louis X (later Farrakhan) called "A White Man's Heaven is a Black Man's Hell." Aligning himself with the Nation of Islam made him a lightning rod for controversy, turning the outspoken but popular former champion into one of that era's most recognizable and controversial figures. Appearing at rallies with Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad and declaring his allegiance to him at a time when mainstream America viewed them with suspicion - if not outright hostility - made Ali a target of outrage, as well as suspicion. Ali seemed at times to provoke such reactions, with viewpoints that wavered from support for civil rights to outright support of separatism. For example, Ali once stated, in relation to integration: "We who follow the teachings of Elijah Muhammad don't want to be forced to integrate. Integration is wrong. We don't want to live with the white man; that's all."[5] And in relation to inter-racial marriage: "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."[6] Indeed, Ali's religious beliefs at the time included the notion that the white man was "the devil" and that white people were not "righteous." Ali claimed that white people hated black people.[7] Ali converted from the Nation of Islam sect to mainstream Sunni Islam in 1975. In a 2004 autobiography, written with daughter Hana Yasmeen Ali, Muhammad Ali attributes his conversion to the shift toward Sunni Islam made by W.D. Muhammad after he gained control of the Nation of Islam upon the death of Elijah Muhammad in 1975.

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Q: Why Did Muhammad Ali Convert to Islam?
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Related questions

When did Muhammad Ali convert to Islam?


What religion did Muhammad Ali convert to in 1975?


What was Muhammad Ali's religion?

Champion boxer Muhammad Ali (formerly Cassius Clay) is a Muslim. He is a convert to Islam.

Religon of Muhammad Ali jinnah?

The religion of Muhammad Ali Jinnah was Islam.

What has the author Muhammad Ali Maulana written?

Muhammad Ali Maulana has written: 'Islam' -- subject(s): Islam

Why did Muhammad Ali change his name?

to convert to Islam and it is not taught in all schools.

What was Muhammad Ali's religion before he converted?

Muhammad Ali was a Christian before he converted to Islam.

What relationship does Muhammad have with Muhammad Ali?

Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) was the last prophet of Islam. Muhammad Ali and millions of Muslims are his followers. If you mean, Hazrat Ali, he was the cousin and son-in-law of the holy Prophet (SAW). He was the fourth Rightful Caaliph of Islam.

Why Did Muhammad Ali Leave the Nation of Islam?

He didn't leave the nation of Islam

Why did you change your name to Muhammad Ali?

I did not change my name to Muhammad Ali, perhaps you are referring to Cassius Clay? If so he did this when he converted to Islam.

What was Muhammad Ali's name before he became a black Muslim?

Before converting to Islam, Muhammad Ali was known as Cassius Clay.

What did Ali do for Islam?

Ali was the cousin of the Prophet (Muhammad) and was the fourth Kaliph in Islam. He also faught many fights for Islam. Kaliph=leader

What are Muhammad Ali's religious beliefs?

Muhammad Ali is Muslim after he converted from Christianity and changing his name accordingly to Muhammad Ali. refer to related question below on Islam main principles.

Who was the second lady convert to Islam?

Fatimah Bint Asad the mother of Imam Ali (PBUH) was the second lade converted to Islam after trader woman Khadije who married prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and was the first one accepted Islam from prophet. also Ali (PBUH) was the first man who accepted Islam from prophet.

Did Muhammad convert from Christianity to Islam?

No. Muhammad never believed in Christianity.

Why did muhamaad ali change his name?

A lot of people that convert to Islam will take on new names, often incorporating the name Muhammad. This is what Cassius Clay did, which was his former name.

What was Muhammad ali life before he became a Islam?

he was a christian.

Which sect of Islam did Muhammad ali jinnah belong to?


Why Muhammad Ali changed his name?

Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali (at the behest of Elijah Muhammad) after he converted to Islam and won the heavyweight title. NO HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA

What has the author Muhammad Ali Alula Al-Hashimi written?

Muhammad Ali Alula Al-Hashimi has written: 'Islam and Pan-Africanism' -- subject(s): Black Muslims, Islam, Pan-Africanism

Where did Muhammad ali and his wife live?

one of his wife moved to islam

What was Muhammad Ali's name before converting to Islam?

Cassius Clay

Why did Cassius change his name to muhammad ali?

Cassius clay changed his name to Mohammad ali after he embraced Islam.

Who was the first male to accept Islam?

The first male child to accept Islam was Ali ibn ali Talib, the cousin of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The first adult male to accept Islam was Abu Bakr as Siddiq who was the best friend of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

How did Muhammad win over his first converts?

It was the honesty and piety of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) that appealed to the people to convert accept Islam. He preached the message of Almighty Allah which impressed the people to convert to Islam.