Memorials Today to Honor Muhammad Ali

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Thousands of people of all faiths are expected to attend the first of two memorials honoring Muhammad Ali today. Organizers say today’s service, or Jenazah prayer, will showcase Ali’s devotion to his Islamic faith.

The long goodbye for Muhammad Ali will begin with a traditional Muslim prayer service at Louisville’s Freedom Hall today.

The boxing legend began crafting details of his own funeral years ago.

He remained a devout Muslim up until his death last week.
“The city the country the world wants to send him off in the very best of fashions and his Muslim brothers and sisters also want to send him off in the very best of fashions”

Freedom Hall holds special significance to the Ali family.

The champ staged his last hometown fight here…back in 1961.
“It really sends shivers down my spine knowing that we’re behind setting up all of this because of one great man and what he did to impact the entire nation,” said Imam Mohammed Wasif Iqbal of the Louisville Islamic Center.

A hearse, carrying the casket of Muhammad Ali, will travel across Louisville Friday ahead of a massive interfaith memorial service at the KFC Yum! Center.
 
Thousands of free tickets for the event were handed out yesterday on a first-come first-served basis.

“It’s a blessing and I’m honored to have a ticket. Muhammad Ali just means the world to me. He stood for his rights, not only for Louisville but for the world,” said Nichole Hayden, who lives in Louisville.

Moments afterward — scalpers began selling them online
“Anyone selling or buying tickets online// will be reported to law enforcement,” said Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell.

Anyone who didn’t get a ticket can watch a live stream the service just blocks away.  You can also watch streaming CBSN coverage of the Friday service.  It begins at 1 p.m. ET. You can watch it live here.  

The schedule for Ali’s services are as followed:

Thursday:

12 p.m. — The Muslim prayer service known as Jenazah prayer.

Friday:

9 a.m. ET — Procession through the streets of Louisville

2 p.m. ET — Public memorial service at the KFC Yum! Center.
 
(Don Champion CBS News)

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