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The Soul of a Butterfly

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  830 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
In this poignant, moving book, Muhammad Ali shares the beliefs he has come to live by and which he has passed on to his children. Some of the wisdom is his own; some comes from the teachings of true Islam, from his spiritual studies, and from people he has met in the course of his extraordinary life. Here, as he recalls his early days as a young warrior in Louisville, Kent ...more
Published September 1st 2005 by Bantam (first published November 16th 2004)
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Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muhammed Ali says it best:

"One day I won't be around to answer people's questions, or advise young aspiring athletes. What I want to say is for the people whom I've never met. It is for the boys and girls whose hands I will never hold. It is for the champions to come. These comments are for every spirit on the downside of advantage.

Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something deep inside—a desire, a dream, and a vision. They have to have the skill and the will.

But the will m
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Muhamamd Ali wasn't always universally loved. He was rejected because he was a Muslim. He was vilified because he dare spoke about racism and being a black man. And he was called unpatriotic because of his refusal to fight in war.

"Being a true Muslim is the most important thing in the world to me. It means more to me than being black or being American. I can’t save other people’s soul, only God can do that. But I can try to save mine.”

May he be showered with Allah's blessings and placed in the
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is beautiful, as beautiful as the title itself. Yes, it might not be a real biography of Muhammad Ali but this is the thought of the man himself.

When he said that he's the greatest (his tagline), it could be his message to the world that even though the whites thought they are great, Muhammad Ali can still beat them and be the greatest though he's black. Towards the end of the book, Muhammad Ali did mention that God is the Greatest, and that is true. Without God and his faith towards G
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muhammad Ali has been one of my favorite athletes since I was a kid, drawn to his brash personality as much as his prowess in the ring. So, when I was asked to write a series of videos that honored his work at the Ali Center in Louisville, KY, I knew the research would be fun. I started - and pretty much finished - here.

This autobiography truly lets you into the soul of the man. It's not a detailed look at each stage of his life. Instead, he speaks more philosophically, sharing honest insight a
Sturlaugur Halldórsson
I loved it and think Muhammad Ali must be one of the most inspiring men on earth.

Inside the ring or out, ain't nothing wrong with going down. It's staying down that's wrong. - Muhammad Ali
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick and easy read, giving insight into the great man's innermost thoughts and covering all the well known fights and other events in his life. A lot to reflect on and a must read for any Ali fan.
Muhammad Ali and his daughter Hana Yasmeen Ali have written what is as much a devotional work as it is inspirational memoir/auto/biography. The book is well written in a deceptively simple style that reflects Hana professional abilities combined with Muhammad Ali's wit and experience.

There is a timeline of his life that is followed as an organizing principle of the book. Anecdotes and stories of his life are not all 'new' to this story (with an exception or two), yet they are incorporated effect
Scott Sinks
Muhammad Ali, “The soul of a butterfly”

The book “The soul of a Butterfly,” By, Muhammad Ali and the help of Hana Yasmeen Ali, dates back to the early years of Muhammad Ali’s career. The book exploits into detail on all of his amazing fights, but not all in the rink. It described about the battle Ali went through with court and his religious beliefs, and the color of his skin. Ali was a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people.

Ali describes all of his amazing experiences an
Megha Singh
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Muhammad Ali has been one my biggest inspirations. Where People of my age are unaware of this boxing legend he continues to be my hero. The book is written by muhammad Ali with her daughter's assistance Hana. He is more than just a boxer, serving as a real life guru to many.
Very rightly said by him "during my boxing career, you did not see the real muhammad Ali. You just saw a little boxing and a little showmanship." Unlike other books on muhammad Ali this book is less about boxing and more ab
Oct 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Soul of a Butterfly

Do you know the real Muhammad Ali? Not just the boxer but the person inside the religious man that was not seen in the ring. Well in this book the Soul of a Butterfly you will see that man. This book was good because it showed his life before boxing and how he was a little boy growing up in Louisville, KY and why he started boxing. Also it talks about what it was like for him going through the hard times when he didn’t go to Vietnam and how religion helped him get through
Lyla Ibrahim
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love reading it. He just didn't tell his life story but what he learns from his experiences as well. I especially like his notion that diversity in religion is a beautiful thing and that we should cherish them and not fight each other because of it. Its a book that centres around love and compassion and good deeds. The book organization needs more work though. Everything just all jumbled up. I get confused once in a while reading this book. Nevertheless, a recommended read for all.
Ahmed Eissa
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Life Recipe:

Take a few cups of kindness, One dash of humility, One sprinkle of laughter, One teaspoon of patience, One tablespoon of generosity, One pint of forgiveness, One quart of love, and a gallon of faith.

Mix in determination and add lots of courage; Stir it up very well, spread it over the span of your lifetime, and serve it on each and every person you meet..
Kyra Campbell
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muhammed Ali is someone I've looked up to since I was 8.

This book is beautiful, you connect with him on a personal level. He has a gift to inspire people. Boxing or no boxing his wisdom makes you wanna achieve your dreams #king
Feb 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very spiritual memoir of primarily how Islam and his faith has made him
the man that he is today, noting that most of his bravado was for show to
entice fans and get large crowds. He speaks specifically of his great
African American pride (and his dislike of the inequality) that led him to
the teachings of Islam. He speaks specifically of winning his Olympic gold
medal for the US and then coming home to Kentucky, wearing it everywhere
with honor, and still not being able to eat in a white rest
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Earlier this week, my sister shared a link of a short documentary on how Muhammad Ali played a pivotal role in the release of US prisoners of war released after Saddam Hussein's army captured them and others during the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It was very moving, especially the concluding scene, and as it was pretty close to home (I grew up in Kuwait) I was overcome by a strong desire to know more about him.

And so I chanced upon his autobiography, Soul of a Butterfly: Lessons on Life's Journey,
Komi Amegblenke
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book delves into the life of Muhammed Ali and shows you the journey he went through up until the publishing of this book. Muhammed Ali grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and was raised by Baptist. Faith has always been a part of his life; God played an important role. Ali developed his skills in boxing young and he thought that his win in Olympics at the age of 18 would change the racism he felt by some Americans. But after his win, he found that segregation still existed. He loved his gold me ...more
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow I really enjoyed this book! I learned so many things about Muhammad Ali that I have never known before. One quote that I have really taken and has sort of become my inspiration is his famous quote of "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee." This quote is just so.... RIGHT! I really feel that this quote means that for everything you do whether it be sports or anything, (for me mainly tennis so I'm relating this to tennis) basically it means that you don't have to be like a big bear and ...more
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"I even had chicken pox at and measles at the same time. My mother used to say that my mind was like the March wind, blowing every which way." 16

"But sometimes all you have to do is breathe, and people will have an opinion on how you drew that breath." 69

"Turning my back on Malcolm was one of the mistakes that I regret most in my life. I wish I'd been able to tell Malcolm I was sorry, that he was right about so many things. But he was killed before I got the chance. He was a visionary - ahead of
Suyash Agrawal
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up"

Let me make a confession before I review this book. Till a couple of days back I perceived Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay) as a savage and boastful man who found pride and happiness in violent confrontations. My ignorance of the true nature of legend can be excused considering that all my knowledge of Ali was based on random Youtube videos. In hindsight, I realise how ill-informed can one be.

The Soul of a Butterfl
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advisory
Muhammad Ali: the greatest boxer that ever lived. The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life's Journey is an amazing trail of how Muhammad Ali came to be the greatest boxer who ever lived. The book takes us through a journey of how Cassius Clay came to be Muhammad Ali, of how he turned from The Nation of Islam to Sunni Islam and most importantly how he turned from being to a boxer to being the greatest boxer that ever lived. It also shows characters that heavily impacted Ali's life, characters ...more
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. I would like to read the 1st Muhammad Ali Autobiography, 'The Greatest - My Own Story', which is out of print. I loved this book. I have the kindle version, I don't know what a paper copy would look like. Some pages have a few short sentences, some of his poetry, some of his daughters poetry. Ali is almost childlike in some of his writings and reflections and I have a real sense that this book was really written by him, and his daughter and not heavily edited. He explains a ...more
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book.

Found this book inspirational and easy to read. Not a long winded read. Chapter were bite-sized and was exactly what I needed. A great read by one that has lived an extraordinary life. Had a chance to meet him when I was only four, but he was eating with family at friends at the Bob's Big Boy on Wilshire Blvd in LA. Thought I would have that chance again, but much time has passed. Hope to meet him someday. Soon.

Watched When We were Kings. Enjoyed the movie Ali. Not a great
Gus Vitt
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed every bit of this book. This book connected to me on many levels.For example, this book describes how Ali never gave up on his goals in life. I'm the type of person that won't give in until I achieve my goals.This book also connects to the world and media by telling how famous he was and still is. He is still in the media constantly for his highlights of his career.This auto-biography connects to other text such as other biographys and/or books, magazines, record books, etc. I highly r ...more
Dhyan Sijin
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
thanks to internet i came to read this fine piece of auto biography . ali is a genius . a role model generation to come . it was when i read some where that, he had refused to be a part of vietnam war i took particular interest in this genius. his early life , struggles , he faced in his marvelous journey to a world renowned victory all are portrayed well in the back drop of civil right movement in racially segregated u .s . often he frankly put forward his own poems mixed with deep insights int ...more
This was an interesting read, and Ali is a unique person with a very American story. His rise from Cassius Clay, poor black boy in a time of great prejudice and discrimination, to the people's hero is a wonderful story. I enjoyed the fact that his 'voice' was not changed with an editor. He writes simplistically and with great integrity.
My 14 year old son read this book and was really affected by it. It's a good read for young boys, and started a few dialogues with my son and I such as Ali's dec
I've been interested in biographies/true to life stories lately. I wasn't sure I would like this one since I don't really care about any sports especially boxing, but it provided a lot of interesting information on the life and career of Ali. He sounds like a wonderful and caring person, who I would be honored to meet some day.
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Former World Heavyweight Boxing champion and current Ambassador for Peace tells his inspirational story. From growing up dyslexic in Louisville, Ky., being a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, becoming the greatest fighter of all time, to living with Parkinson's. Ali's faith in himself and God has always allowed him to rise above life's challenges.
Jun 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I have never understood or liked boxing, I could never see past its brutality and violence.

However, I have always liked Ali's persona, wit and showmanship. He is a remarkable person and one of the few truly pure souls outthere.

A beautiful, inspiring read which provides insight into his conversion to Islam, his mind, his background and, sadly, Parkinson's.
Ayesha  Moore
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My dad had me hooked on Muhammad Ali not only as a boxer but as a person when I was younger so I was intrigued when I saw this on the book shelf, I knew I had to read it just on the simple fact that I am a huge fan. This book truly reflects his life journey by outlining the important parts of his life and the events and life experiences that define him as told by both he and his daughter.

Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book (CD). I enjoyed reading Muhammad's biography. The only problem which doesn't pertain to the book was the reader on the CD. Although he is an actor, he was very hard to understand. Some parts of the book or quotes are done by Muhammad's daughter. She would have done a much better job in reading the whole book. She is easier to understand.

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Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942) is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist.
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“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it.” 567 likes
“We can't be brave without fear.” 48 likes
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