Surah 18 – the Cave- 25 April 2017

Companions of the Cave

 

Name

This Surah takes its name from v. 9 in which the word (al-kahf) occurs.

Period of Revelation

This is the first of those Surahs which were sent down in the third stage of Prophethood at Makkah. We have already divided the life of the Holy Prophet at Makkah into four stages in the Introduction to Chapter VI. According to that division the third stage lasted from the fifth to the tenth year of Prophethood. What distinguishes this stage from the second and the fourth stages is this. During the second stage the Quraish mainly resorted to ridiculing, scoffing, threatening, tempting, raising objections and making false propaganda against the Holy Prophet and his followers in order to suppress the Islamic Movement. But during the third stage they employed the weapons of persecution, man handling and economic pressure for the same purpose. So much so that a large number of the Muslims had to emigrate from Arabia to Habash, and those who remained behind were besieged in Shi’ib Abi Talib along with the Holy Prophet and his family. To add to their misery, a complete social and economic boycott was applied against them. The only redeeming feature was that there were two personalities, Abu Talib and Hadrat Khadijah, whose personal influence had been conducive to the support of two great families of the Quraish. However, when in the tenth year of Prophethood these two persons died, the fourth stage began with such revere persecutions as forced the Holy Prophet and all his Companions to emigrate from Makkah.

It appears from the theme of the Surah that it was revealed at the beginning of the third stage when in spite of persecutions and opposition, migration to Habash had not yet taken place. That is why the story of “Ashab-i-Kahf” (the Sleepers of the Cave) has been related to comfort and encourage the persecuted Muslims and to show them how the righteous people have been saving their Faith in the past.[ http://englishtafsir.com/Quran/18/index.html#sdfootnote1sym]

Our first section looks, in allegorecal form, at the fact that there is One God and Allah is his name beside God and that in times gone by

In Christian tradition is known as the Sleepers under the Hill or The  Seven Sleepers of Ephesus.

We can’t help but notice the anthropomorphism used in this Surah, Allah is referred to as ‘He’ when we know that Allah is genderless and has no form or features. The beginning here reads to me as an almost human to human exchange between Almighty God and His Servant Muhammad.

[1-4] All praise is for Allah, Who has sent down this Book to His Servant, and assigned nothing crooked to it.1 This Book says everything directly so that he may warn the people of the severe chastisement of Allah and give good news to the Believers, who do righteous deeds, that they will have an excellent recompense, which they will always enjoy and that he should warn those people who say, “Allah has begotten a son.”2

This needs no explanation!

Those who, inthose times attributed a son to Allah,’begottenness’ were as follows “Those people” includes the Christians, the Jews and the mushrik Arabs who assigned offspring to Allah. So what did these believe, considering that the Jews are numbered among them and as we know them today and in the times of the Patriachs, do/did not attribute offspring to Allah.

Let’s look at the Christian’s first: the first Person we think of as the begotten One is ‘Isa ibn Maryam”, yet there were many christian sects present at the time with various concepts of Allah and of trinity and of the nature of Christ.

Ebionites, 7th Century still exist today

  1. Jesus was a created human and not divine
  2. Jesus was a teacher
  3. Jesus was the expected Messiah
  4. The Law of the Torah must be observed
  5. Theirs was the earliest congregation of followers to Jesus, starting from around 30 AD

Nestorians, Dyophysites, In the Nestorian view, the human and divine persons of Christ are separate. 

Monophysites, (denied the humanity of Christ)

Mariamites, [ Worshippers of Mary, the mother of Jesus. They said the Trinity consisted of God the Father, God the Son, and Mary the mother of God.]

Collyridians was an Early Christian heretical movement in pre-Islamic Arabia whose adherents apparently worshipped the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, as a goddess.

What of the Jews?

community of Medina.[4Uzair (Ezra) lived during the period around 450 B.C. The Jews regarded him with great reverence as the revivalist of their Scriptures which had been lost during their captivity in Babylon tyafter the death The Quran emphasizes the absolute divinity of God and warns against associating any being with him (shirk).[4] It further condemns Jewish and Christian leaders of the time for deceiving the masses into taking “their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of God”.[4] In casting doubt on claims about the divine status of Uzayr and Christ, the Quran also instructs Muslims to reject such beliefs.[4] These arguments reflect the tensions between the new Muslim community and the more established Christian and Jewish communities of Arabia.[4] ( not pro-Islam in my opinion)

“The Jews call Ezra a son of God, and the Christians call the Christ a son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. May Allah destroy them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! (Quran 9:30)’ Some Jews not all

And the “mushrik Arabs’

They are polytheists and associationts, worships beings other than Allah and or attributesAllah Subhanah’s Noble Attributes with anyone or anything else. Thus committing Shirk which is the exact opposit of Tauheed (belief in One God).

So the initial section of Surah 18 illustrates the concept of Tauheed, and of the Resurection of the dead, in two different situations, and teaches that sometimes people of faith must flee from polytheists to preserve themselves. That they may die and when the right time is accomplished they may rise from the dead. That history serves as their example that Allah (swt) is the supreme Lord of the universe and will save them now as he did in the past.

Before I write my next post I will say that considering that Christians committed blasphemy by the standards of today, assigning Mary as equivalent to the Almighty, “God the Father, God the Son, and Mary the Mother of God” and the godhead a family of beggetting and begotten, mother, father and son. A demierg, since this implies that Allah has parents.

That they debated the nature of Jesus as though he were a thing and not a man.

It is no wonder at all that  Allah  the Almighty, who is Creator and Sustainer of the universed  sent the final Testament to set right the horrendous Shirk committing by those who would destroy the Muslims.

Yet in the instance of this Surah, in its beginning Muhammad is devastated at the punishment awaiting those who would not become believers and the ‘ conversation’ is given for him and for the Muslims to allay his/ their worry. By demonstrating what the Almighty can do.


  • 18. Surah Al Kahf (The Cave) – Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an. 2017.
    18. Surah Al Kahf (The Cave) – Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an. [ONLINE] Available at: http://englishtafsir.com/Quran/18/index.html#sdfootnote1sym. [Accessed 05 May 2017].
  • Wikipedia. 2017. Seven Sleepers – Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Sleepers#Story. [Accessed 05 May 2017].
  • Wikipedia. 2017. Uzair – Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzair. [Accessed 05 May 2017].
  • What does mushrik means exactly? and believes in – Encyclopedia of searchable Islamic Q & A – Islamhelpline. 2017. What does mushrik means exactly? and believes in – Encyclopedia of searchable Islamic Q & A – Islamhelpline. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.islamhelpline.net/node/534. [Accessed 05 May 2017].

Sufi Comics Rumi: Volume 2

scrvol2

I have had the greatest pleasure to be asked to review this second volume of Comics, produced, as you can see by Mohammed Ali Vakil, Mohammed Arif Vakil and Rahil Mohsin.

I begin in saying that i enjoyed them immensely and learned a lot from them and then I will give a summary about some of the contents and the inspirations and thoughts generated in my by them.

The Contents are as follows:

Table of Contents

  1. The Three Pearls
  2. Make  Yourself Ready to Do All He Wants
  3. Be Worthy of My Gifs
  4. Not the Garden but the Gardener
  5. Never Turn Away from Me
  6. Moses and the Shepherd
  7. Your Longing for me was My Messenger to You
  8. The Wine and the Cup
  9. Keep Moving, Keep Growing
  10. The Sublime Art of Gathering-in Fasting
  11. All through the Night God Is Calling Us

mandsMy most favourite story is that of moses and the Shepherd since it reminds us that God hears all our prayers in every language whether we are Muslim or not, even when we are pagan or polytheistic. Yet teaches that if believers were to emulate them then that is to sin. This also reminds us that sometimes in Scripture God is Anthropomorphized so that He can better make Himself understood.

from-here-on

See the previous page.

itnogod

The Comics also contain pages of Text written in both Arabic and English which contain quotes from the Holy Quran and from the sayings of Muhammad (s) which I take to be hadith. The one cited above it so similar to something the Prophet Jesus son of Mary said in the Christian Scriptures that one sees that truth with truth repeated over time – is truth.

We also note the immanence of God, nearness of God being a Spiritual Journey.

wingsBorn with wings, something not quite understood yet apprehended.

As a Christian, and member of a Muslim Christian interfaith group I find it very easy to aim to become a Sufi, since being so seems to transcend sectarianism to provide that heart of teaching.

This is is what these Comics do so very well: their presentation is enticingly engaging, appealing to adults and children alike,providing stepping stones in the form of questions to greater understanding of God’s intention for humanity. Inspiring its readers to read the Quran the hadith and to greater understand their faith.

They break down the walls of misunderstanding between Islam and other faiths because they demonstrate that the Saints and Prophets of God reveal similar or the same sayings and teachings as their own.

Again – they are a  valuable teaching and learning medium highly recommended by myself

Source of Sufi Comics Rumi: Volume 2

Continue reading “Sufi Comics Rumi: Volume 2”

The Nativity Through Abrahamic Literature: Part 9: Perspectives Of A Fellow Traveler

 

The Light of the New Born Jesus: Latin Infancy Gospel, Arundel Manuscript

The following is post number 9 in my series, “The Nativity Through Abrahamic Literature”. This post centers around some of the unique qualities of the new born Jesus. It comes from the Latin Infancy Gospel, Arundel Manuscript, from the book, The Other Bible Edited by Willis Barnestone

“I, however, stood stupefied and amazed. Awe grasped me. I was gazing intently at the fantastically bright light that had been born. The light, however, after a while, shrank, imitated the shape of an infant, then immediately became outwardly an infant in the usual manner of born infants. I became bold and leaned over and touched him. I lifted him in my hands with great awe, and I was terrified because he had no weight like other babies who were born. I looked at him closely; there was no blemish on him, but he was in his body totally shining, just as the dew of the most high God. He was light to carry, splendid to see. For a while I was amazed at him because he did not cry as newborn children are supposed to. While I beheld him, looking into his face, he laughed at me with a most joyful laugh, and, opening his eyes, he looked intently at me. Suddenly, a great light came forth from his eyes like a great flash of lightning.”

 

Source: The Nativity Through Abrahamic Literature: Part 9: The Light of the New Born Jesus: Latin Infancy Gospel, Arundel Manuscript | Perspectives Of A Fellow Traveler

The Nativity Through Abrahamic Literature: Part 7: The first Infancy Narrative of Jesus

Perspectives Of A Fellow Traveler
 The Nativity Through Abrahamic Literature: Part 7: The Birth of Jesus: Luke 2:1-29

The following is post number 7 in my series, “The Nativity Through Abrahamic Literature”. This post centers around the the birth of Jesus and comes from the Gospel of Luke 2:1-20, from the New Revised Standard Version with annotations from The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version 4th ed. Edition by Michael D. Coogan

Source: The Nativity Through Abrahamic Literature: Part 7: The Birth of Jesus: Luke 2:1-29


The First Gospel of the Infancy of Christ

CHAPTER 1

The following accounts we found in the book of Joseph the high-priest, called by some Caiaphas:

2 He relates, that Jesus spake even when he was in the cradle, and said to his mother:

“3 Mary, I am Jesus the Son of God, that word which thou didst bring forth according to the declaration of the angel Gabriel to thee, and my father hath sent me for the salvation of the world.”

4 In the three hundred and ninth year of the era of Alexander, Augustus published a decree that all persons should go to be taxed in their own country. 5 Joseph therefore arose, and with Mary his spouse he went to Jerusalem, and then came to Bethlehem, that he and his family might be taxed in the city of his fathers. 6 And when they came by the cave, Mary confessed to Joseph that her time of bringing forth was come, and she could not go on to the city, and said, Let us go into this cave. 7 At that time the sun was very near going down. 8 But Joseph hastened away, that he might fetch her a mid-wife; and when he saw an old Hebrew woman who was of Jerusalem, he said to her, Pray come hither, good woman, and go into that cave, and you will there see a woman just ready to bring forth. 9 It was after sunset, when the old woman and Joseph with her reached the cave, and they both went into it. 10 And behold, it was all filled with lights, greater than the light of lamps and candles, an, greater than the light of the sun itself. 11 The infant was then wrapped up in swaddling clothes, an sucking the breasts of his mother St. Mary. 12 When they both saw this light, they were surprised; the old woman asked St. Mary, Art thou the mother of this child ? 13 St. Mary replied, She was. 14 On which the old woman said, Thou art very different from all other women. 15 St. Mary answered, As there is not any child like to my son, so neither is there any woman like to his mother. 16 The old woman answered and said, O my Lady, I am come hither that I may obtain an everlasting reward. 17 Then our Lady, St. Mary said to her, Lay thine hand upon the infant; which, when she had done, she became whole 18 And as she was going forth, she said, From henceforth, all the days of my life, I will attend upon and be a servant of this infant. 19 After this, when the shepherds came, and had made a fire and they were exceedingly rejoicing, the heavenly host appeared to them, praising and adoring the supreme God. 20 And as the shepherds we engaged in the same employment, the cave at that time seemed like a glorious temple, because both the tongues of angels and men united to adore and magnify God, on account of the birth of the Lord Christ. 21 But when the old Hebrew woman saw all these evident miracles, she gave praises to God, and said, I thank thee, O God, thou God of Israel, for that mine eyes have seen the birth of the Saviour of the world.


Exegeses: THE FIRST GOSPEL OF THE INFANCY OF JESUS CHRIST

CHAPTER 1
1. Caiaphas relates that Jesus, when in his cradle, informed his mother that he was the Son of God. 5. Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem to be taxed, Mary’s time of bringing forth arrives, and she goes into a cave. 8. Joseph fetches in a Hebrew woman, the cave filled with great lights. 11. The infant born, 17. cures the woman, 19. arrival of the shepherds.

1. The following accounts we found in the book of Joseph the high-priest, called by some Caiaphas:

That Caiaphas was high-priest at the time of Christ’s public ministry is confirmed by Matthew 26:3, Luke 3:2, John 11:49, 18:14, and Acts 4:6.

This Gospel had been received by the Gnostics, a sect of Christians in the second century. Ocobius de Castro mentions a Gospel of Thomas (there are several books with that title) which he says he saw and had translated to him by an Armenian Archbishop at Amsterdam, that was read in very many churches of Asia and Africa, as the only rule of their faith. Fabricius takes it to be this Gospel. However, it may be the Second Gospel of the Infancy, which is directly attributed to Thomas.

Ahmed Ibu Idris, a Mohammedan divine, says it was used by some Christians in common with the other four Gospels, and it has been supposed that Mohammed and his coadjutors used its fanciful accounts of Christ’s childhood in compiling the Koran. The only “Christian” sources known to Mohammed were the Nestorians, who denied the real union between the divine and the human natures in Christ, thus virtually holding to two natures and two persons. Their founder, Nestorius, was removed in A.D. 431 from the Patriarchate of Constantinople as a heretic. He particularly disliked the expression “Mary, mother of God.” The Church council at Chalcedon asserted the truth of the phrase with the significant addition “as to his humanity.” The Church believes Christ had two natures in one person, and has decided over the ages that its belief in the Trinity and the two natures in Christ could never be explained, but only defined in such a way as to exclude heresies.

La Crosse cites a synod at Angamala, in the mountains of Malabar, A.D. 1599, which condemned this Gospel as still commonly read by the Nestorians in that country. This Gospel was first translated into English and published in 1697 by Henry Sike, Professor of Oriental Languages at Cambridge.[continued]


The Nativity Through Abrahamic Literature: Part 6: The Annunciation of Jesus to Joseph: Matthew 1:18-25 | Perspectives Of A Fellow Traveler

The following is post number 6 in my series, “The Nativity Through Abrahamic Literature”. This post centers around the Annunciation of Jesus to Joseph and comes from the Gospel of Matthew 1:18-25, from the New Revised Standard Version with annotations from The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version 4th ed. Edition by Michael D. Coogan

18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.i 19Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.ii 21She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’iii22All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel’,

Source: The Nativity Through Abrahamic Literature: Part 6: The Annunciation of Jesus to Joseph: Matthew 1:18-25 | Perspectives Of A Fellow Traveler

THE LEON KWASI CHRONICLES

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BLACK ✊”  HISTORY SPOTLIGHT : MUHAMMAD ALI

Permalink to BLACK ✊ HISTORY SPOTLIGHT : MUHAMMAD ALI” July 4, 2016

 

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By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in the segregated south of Louisville, Kentucky, on January 17, 1942. Clay grew up in a house with a sister and four brothers. Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. and his father Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr. were both named after the 19th century republican politican and slave abolitionist , who was also from Kentucky.

Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr. earned money for his family by painting billboard signs and his wife Odessa O’Grady Clay was a household domestic.

Clay would be first introduced to boxing by local police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin, who witnessed the 12 year old, looking very irate one day, when officer Martin spoke with the young Clay, he realized Clay was upset that a thief stole his bike, Clay told officer Martin he planned to “Whup” the thief if he caught him. Martin Told Clay, he better learn boxing first, before attempting to “Whup” the thief.

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Clay would begin his amateur boxing career in 1954, he would go on to win six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, an AAU national title and he would win the Light Heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy.

In his 1975 autobiography, Ali claimed he threw his Olympic Gold medal in the Ohio River after he and a friend were denied service at a “Whites Only” restaurant. Which would eventually lead to them having to physically defend themselves against a mob of angry white racists.

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Clay would make his professional boxing debut in October 1960. In 1963 Clay would become impressive enough to become the number one contender to the crown of then heavyweight king Sonny Liston. On February 25, 1964, in Miami Beach, Clay would do the unthinkable and defeat the seemingly unbeatable thug with alleged mob connections, when Sonny Listen refused to answer the bell for the 7th round, making Clay the youngest heavyweight boxing champion at the time, at the young age of 22.

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Soon after winning the heavyweight boxing crown, Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. would change his name to Huhammad Ali, after converting to Islam and joining the nation of Islam.

In February of 1966, Ali was reclassified by the Louisville, Kentucky Draft board as 1-A from 1-Y. Despite that fact Ali still had no plan or desire to serve in the United States’ military service. Ali openly stated in the press : “I ain’t got nothing against no viet Cong; no Viet Cong never called me nigger”.

After a successful titled bout in March of 1967, Ali had his boxing world titled stripped for refusal to be drafted into the U.S. Army Service. His boxing title was suspended by the New York State Athletic Commission. On June 20, 1967, Ali would be convicted of draft evasion, he was sentenced to five years in prison and given a 10,000 fine. Ali would pay a bond and remain free, while the court’s verdict was being appealed by his legal team.

As a result of Ali’s conviction, he was denied a boxing license in every American state and stripped of his passport, so that he was unable to earn a living for himself and his family by boxing overseas. Ali would not fight professionally from march 1967 to October 1970. As opposition against the Vietnam War increased across the nation, Ali’s stance gained sympathy, his conviction would be over-turned in 1971, a few months after having his boxing license reinstated and having a couple return matches.

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Ali would soon become the number one contender to heavyweight champion Joe Frazier’s world title, in a fight nicknamed the “Fight of the Century ” due to the fact that two undefeated boxers, both held legitimate claims to the heavyweight crown were set to fight, to see who the true world heavyweight boxing champion of the world was. Ali would go on to lose to Joe Frazier, by unanimous decision, the first loss of his career.

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After several comeback fights, Ali would once again become the number one contender for the heavyweight boxing world title, which at the time was held by the very dangerous and heavy-handed George Foreman.
On October 30, 1974 in a bout nicknamed ” The Rumble in The Jungle ” held in Kinshasa, Zaire, Ali using his “rope-a-dope” style to do once again the unthinkable and defeat a man, many considered to be the hardest hitting man in boxing history, to become a two-time boxing heavyweight world champion.

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On October 1, 1975 , Ali would go on to fight his rival Joe Frazier for the third time, each having a past victory over their rival, they would fight for 14 tough rounds, Ali would say about the fight : “was the closest thing to dying I know”. Joe Frazier’s corner would refuse to let him fight the 15th round, after both of Frazier’s eyes closed, giving Ali the win by tko.

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In September 1976, Ali won a highly contested match against Ken Norton. After the bout Ali claimed he was leaving the sport to focus on his religion of Sunni Islam, having left the Nation of Islam a year earlier.

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In February 1978, Ali would fight an up and coming contender named Leon Spinks, at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The young spinks would defeat an aging and out of shape Ali, via split decision. The two would have a rematch, shortly after the first fight, in the bout, Ali would win via unanimous decision, becoming the first three time heavyweight boxing world champion.

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Following his win on July 27, 1979, Ali announced his retirement from boxing. His retirement would not last long, we would soon challenge Larry Holmes for the WBC world title, in a quest to be the only four-time heavyweight boxing world champion in history. The Ali-holmes fight would take place on October 2, 1980. Ali would be battered so badly in the fight his trainer Angelo Dundee, would be forced to stop the fight.

Despite peas to stop fighting from family and friends, Ali would fight one last time on December 11, 1981, in Nassau, Bahamas against Trevor Berbick, Ali would lose the fight, via ten-round decision.

ALI AFTER BOXING:

In 1984, Ali would be diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome, it is believed by many he received the disease from years of head Trauma through boxing.

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In 1991 Ali published Muhammad Ali : His life and times. That same year, Ali traveled to Iraq during the Gulf War, in an attempt to negotiate the release of Americans being held hostage.

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In 1996, Ali would be given the honor of lighting the Olympic flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. At those same games, Ali would also receive a replacement Olympic Gold Medal .

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Years later, Muhammad Ali would go to Afghanistan as the “U.N. Messenger of peace on November 17, 2002.

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In July 2012, was a titular bearer of the Olympic flag, during the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympic games in London, England.

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After years of battling a worsening health condition, like he battled boxers in the ring, Ali sadly would lose the fight for his life, when he died of Septic shock on June 2, 2016.

Short biography on the legendary Ali

Laila Ali discusses her father’s death and legacy

Ali the Muslim

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION USE LINK BELOW :

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Ali

Source: THE LEON KWASI CHRONICLES

Bizarre dream – World tree

Bizarre dream – World tree

Elixir vitae

Sap of yggdrasil

Sticky effulgence

In ancient Caucasus

Groves among the ancestral eld trees

And druidic overtone circles

Where we came together and

United the tribes

Sacred grove!

Origin of all temples!

ovid, [..]

Source: Bizarre dream – World tree