Abdullah Quillium Essay

743 WordsNov 6, 20143 Pages
Abdullah Quilliam: The early decades of the twentieth century witnessed numerous conversions to Islam in Britain and America, and, although they belonged to a different age in some respects and will be mentioned only in passing, such converts still lived in a world affected by the Victorian ethos and not radically different from the worlds of Webb and Quilliam. The first decades of The Islamic Review and The Moslem Sunrise are filled with photographs and stories of Western converts to Islam on both sides of the Atlantic. Lord Headley figured most prominently among the British converts of the time, and no doubt his conversion and active participation in the Woking Mosque outside London and the Islamic Review, which it published, were underlying factors in many of those conversions.Abdulla William Henry Quilliam (1856–1932) was probably the most important analogue for Webb and is an essential part of Webb’s story……… Quilliam’s work and thought clearly influenced Webb, but their relationship does not appear to have been especially warm. Indeed, there are indications of an element of rivalry between the two. Quilliam was a lawyer (‘‘solicitor’’) by profession and is said to have been the first recorded ‘‘native-born Briton who converted to Islam and openly declared himself a Muslim in England.’’Quilliam, ten years younger than Webb, embraced Islam four years before Webb after a visit to North Africa. He was struck there with ‘‘the apparent sincerity of the followers of Islam, and with the absence in Moslem cities of the vices so prevalent in large centers of population in Great Britain.’’ After his return, Quilliam devoted himself to the study of the Qur’an and, as John Pool, a late-nineteenth-century writer on Islam put it, of ‘‘every other work he could procure upon the subject, pro or con, with the result that he was at last convinced that of all the religions of

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