The casket of Muhammad Ali arrives for an Islamic funeral prayer service at the Kentucky Exposition Center on June 9, 2016, in Louisville, Ky.
Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Although a traditional interfaith funeral will be held Friday for Muhammad Ali, about 14,000 people attended Ali’s Jenazah on Thursday in Louisville, Ky.

The Jenazah, or Muslim funeral service, for Ali has been in the making for the last 10 years, according to his family, just to make sure everything went off without a hitch and properly honored his Muslim faith.


Imam Zaid Shakir, a founder of the Muslim liberal arts school Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Calif., led people in prayer, with declarations of faith such as "Allahu akbar" ("God is greatest") recited during the Jenazah.

Laila Ali attends Jenazah services for her father, Muhammad Ali, with family at the Kentucky Exposition Center on June 9, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

“We welcome the Muslims; we welcome the members of other faith communities,” Shakir said in opening the service. “All were beloved to Muhammad Ali.”

Also in attendance and speaking during the service was Muslim scholar Sherman Jackson.


“For millions, perhaps billions of people across the world, of every race, of every religion … the passing of Muhammad Ali has made us all feel a little more alone in the world,” said Jackson.

Don King attends the Islamic funeral prayer service for Muhammad Ali on June 9, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (Stephen J. Cohen/WireImage)


“Ali made being a Muslim cool. Ali made being a Muslim dignified. Ali made being a Muslim relevant,” Jackson said.

Celebrities in attendance included Jesse Jackson, Don King, Sugar Ray Leonard and Louis Farrakhan.


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