The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, 2006

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Since its inception, in the spirit of Carter G. Woodson, Sapelo Square has commemorated Black History Month with daily Black Muslim History facts. This year, Sapelo Square is exploring the Muslim collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). During Black History Month, we will display a different object each day from the collection, showing how the objects help tell the rich histories of Muslims of African descent in the United States. View the entire series at our dedicated Black History Month 2021 page.

The title page of this copy of The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an is signed by Muhammad Ali, who frequently autographed pamphlets and other literature promoting Islam. The autographs of celebrated athletes have been central to the sports memorabilia industry; and throughout his life, Ali used his popularity — including his autograph — to amplify the message of Islam. Even after his death, as in life, Ali continued to teach the world about Islam: his janazah funeral service in 2016 was attended by thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and broadcast to millions more.

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