Muhammad Ali Remembered With Touching Tributes From Laila Ali and Her Siblings
By Lynda Brendish
Laila Ali and her siblings took to social media over the weekend to express their love and grief over the death of their father, Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer and humanitarian who died on Friday after a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 74.
Although tributes to 'The Greatest' continue to pour in from celebrities, dignitaries and other people from around the world--his loss is perhaps felt most greatly by the family that survives him.
Muhammad was father to nine children, including his youngest daughter, Laila, an undefeated boxing world champion in her own right. Ali had four children with his second wife, Khalilah Ali, including Maryum, twin daughters Rasheda and Jamillah, and son Muhammad Ali Jr. Hana Ali and Laila were born to Muhammad's third wife, actress Veronica Porsche, while a son, Asaad Amin, was adopted by the venerated boxer with his fourth wife, Yolanda Ali, in 1986.
Laila, 38, posted sweet photos of her dad with two of her children. The first was a throwback showing Muhammad with Laila's now 5-year-old daughter Sydney as a baby, posted just a few hours before Muhammad died on Friday.
"I love this photo of my father and my daughter Sydney when she was a baby!" Laila wrote on Facebook. "Thanks for all the love and well wishes. I feel your love and appreciate it!"
The second photo, also a throwback, shows the three-time World Heavyweight Champion with his grandson, Curtis. Laila captioned it simply: "my son and my father."
Some of Muhammad's other children also took to social media with heartfelt thoughts and inspiring memories of their father and his life, including an especially poignant message from Hana.
"Our father was a 'Humble Mountain!' And now he has gone home to God," she captioned a photo of her and her father. "Pray for the peace of his beautiful soul and for the happiness of his further journey. God bless you daddy. YOU ARE THE LOVE OF MY LIFE!"
In a second post, Hana wrote that Ali's heart kept beating for 30 minutes after the rest of his organs had shut down, calling it "a true testament to the strength of his spirit and will."
"All of us were around him hugging and kissing him and holding his hands, chanting the Islamic prayer. All of his organs failed but his HEART wouldn't stop beating," she said in the message. "For 30 minutes… his heart just keep [sic] beating. No one had ever seen anything like it."
The author, who wrote the book, More Than a Hero, in 2000 about the lessons she learned from her father, also posted a sweet picture of her father with the late singer Prince to Twitter. "Prince doing his version of Daddy’s levitating magic trick act!" she tweeted.
Asaad also posted a touching tribute to Instagram. "You've shown me how to love the world in ways I didn't know possible. You've shown me how to be brave and courageous in situations beyond my belief," he wrote. "No one will ever touch this earth the way you did."
Rasheda echoed a similar sentiment, writing, "The Greatest Man that ever lived. Daddy my best friend & my Hero. You R no longer suffering & now in a better place." Maryum felt the same way, thanking fans for their condolences while stating, "I know him as the GREATEST father. I love you so much, Dad. His spirit visited me last night. Thank you world for your love & support!!!"
The Greatest Man that ever lived. Daddy my best friend & my Hero You R no longer suffering & now in a better place. pic.twitter.com/IASO4u3Ikn