Ramadan Mubarak! I sincerely pray that the tremendous blessings and beauty of Ramadan be with you and your loved ones during every minute of this sacred month.
Muslims across the globe greeted this blessed month while in the midst of a bittersweet moment: the passing of perhaps the most inspirational and well-known American Muslim, Muhammad Ali.
As a kid growing up in Jamaica, Ali’s fierce resolve and courage grabbed my attention. As a young man entangled within the criminal justice system, the spiritual redemption and discipline of the teachings that Ali followed led me to embrace a new faith and a new way of life. My love for being Muslim and commitment to justice emerged out of such courageous and unwavering convictions.
More than any other opportunity, serving on IMAN’s board has enabled me to remain true to that commitment and, with the passing of this legend right on the heels of this blessed month, I feel more compelled than ever to dedicate my efforts to the success of this organization and the larger community.
Throughout this month, you will be learning about all the phenomenal ways IMAN continues to impact those most directly affected by urban poverty, racism and blight. I pray that you will join me in making the most generous zakat-eligible donation possible, as IMAN works to meet and exceed its $500,000 Ramadan Drive goal.
One of the most poignant reflections I’ve read regarding Ali’s passing was by American Muslim scholar and longtime IMAN supporter, Dr. Sherman Abdul Hakim Jackson, in which he writes:
It is my hope that the passing of Muhammad Ali will not mark the end of an era in the United States, an era in which Islam in America is represented not by the deeds or misdeeds of actors in far off places but by the accomplishments and contributions, the resolve and courage of American Muslims themselves.
Ali championed the voices of those that IMAN aspires to touch every day through its many programs and efforts. I pray that this type of work can continue to help all Americans learn to champion the courage, resolve and great contributions of our community beyond the larger-than-life legacy of our beloved Champ.
IMAN Board President