Former heavyweight champion of the world Muhammad Ali has died in a US hospital at the age of 74 years old, his family said.
The American boxing legend converted to Islam in his 20s and changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali then.
Though he retired from boxing in the early ’80s and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three decades ago , Ali has remained a champion of civil rights.
In December, he spoke out against US presidential contender Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country.
In Qatar, reaction to Ali’s death has been tearful, with many expressing condolences and sadness at his passing:
RahmatAllahu ala Muhamed Ali. May Allah swt open the gates of heaven to you, we will never forget you are the greatest champion of all time.
— hend amry (@LibyaLiberty) June 4, 2016
— Gerald Tan (@GeraldoTan) June 4, 2016
Praying for #muhammadali. That poor man has suffered so much with Parkinson's over more than 30 years. No doubt the hardest of all fights ?
— Joanna Gasiorowska (@JoGasiorowska) June 4, 2016
Ali actually visited Qatar in 1971, according to footage from Al Rayyan TV.
Photos at the time show him meeting senior officials and boxing in – and winning – an outdoor exhibition match in front of a massive crowd.
Following the bout, he addressed attendees by saying, “I didn’t know I had so many followers in this part of the world.”
“Seeing how many Muslims I have in my corner, this will give me more strength and power inshAllah (God-willing) to defeat Joe Frasier, no trouble.”
Ali’s funeral will be held in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.