May 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
Taken from the book: More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali’s Life Lessons Through His Daughter’s Eyes.
To the world, three-time heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali is known as “the Greatest.” To his daughter, Hana, he is simply known as Daddy. Now in a heartfelt tribute, Hana Yasmeen Ali shares the life lessons she learned from her father, and offers an intensely personal look at one of the most revered men on the face of the earth.
“If memory serves me correctly, I was wearing a little white tank top and a short black skirt. I had been raised Orthodox Muslim, so I had never before worn such revealing clothing while in my father’s presence. When we finally arrived, the chauffer escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.
My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that 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 in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.”
He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.”
This is just one of the many lessons that my father instilled and continues to instill in me and my sisters, then and now.
Hana Yasmeen Ali