On Friday, the world lost a legend. Boxing champ Muhammad Ali died at age 74. While he's known for his impact in the ring, his legacy undeniably extends beyond that. In an interview with People, Ali's daughter Hana Ali opened up about her dad and how he helped bring their family together. While she's speaking specifically about how he helped change her and her siblings' lives, the words can certainly resonate with other people as well. She said,
Out of our sorrow came a beautiful thought, that we were solidified. From the time we were little, dad always brought us together with our stepmother. He'd sit us down and say, "You have different mothers, but you are sisters. and I want you all to come together and love each other."
There's no denying that Ali's loss is a major one, but from words like these, his influence clearly lives on. Hana's comments highlight the true sense of family he created and how love will always trump hate. According to People, Ali has nine children in total. While most people know his daughter Laila, there's also Rasheda, Maryum, Jamillah, Khaliah, Miya, Muhammad Ali Jr., and Asaad Amin. The fact that they had different mothers didn't matter, because at the end of the day, they're still family.
Ali's sentiment of coming together, despite any differences, is one that can resonate beyond his offspring. It's a message that anyone in society can benefit from; at the end of the day, we're all human beings, who are much more powerful when coming together. In many ways, that is what Ali did over the course of his lifetime: unite people. Not just by bringing together boxing fans, but people in general, whether through his inspiring quotes or his humanitarian work.
Explaining the root of Ali's belief in togetherness, Hana told People, "A lot of people don't know this, but he had two half-brothers he hardly knew. He didn't want us to be strangers like that." She also added, "So as he was lying in that hospital bed, we were standing around him, telling him, 'You did it. All your children are friends. You gave us that.'" That in itself is beautiful and inspiring. Because he didn't have a close connection with his own half-brothers, he didn't want his own kids to miss out on knowing one another — and it sure sounds like he succeeded in that mission.
Overall, Hana's comments about her father seem to truly embody the way he saw himself and hoped others did as well. In his 2004 memoir The Soul of a Butterfly, Reflection on Life's Journey, Ali wrote how he wanted to be remembered:
As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that's too much, then I guess I'd settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people.
Being a "champion of his people" sounds like an ideal way to lead a life. And as the comments above prove, that's exactly who Ali was. No wonder he's referred to as The Greatest.