Marmaduke Pickthall and the British Muslim Convert Community

In: Marmaduke Pickthall: Islam and the Modern World
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This chapter considers Marmaduke Pickthall’s connections and relationships with other converts to Islam in Britain from the period immediately prior to the First World War to his death in 1936. During those last twenty-five years of his life, Pickthall fought tirelessly to defend the Ottoman Empire, converted to Islam and became a leading figure in the British Muslim community. The chapter first documents Pickthall’s early encounters with other British Muslim converts, then focuses on the four years between Pickthall’s own conversion to Islam in 1917 and his emigration to India in 1920, and finally considers his latter years as an émigré. It explores Pickthall’s interactions and relationships with other British Muslim converts who belonged to the contemporary “mainstream” British Muslim community, which was organised through the Woking Muslim Mission (wmm) at Woking, Surrey, and in nearby London.1 As is the case for most “Woking” converts, there is no evidence that Pickthall visited or corresponded with the well-established, immigrant-led Muslim communities outside of the metropolis – in, for example, South Shields and Cardiff, where local white women converted to Islam and married predominantly Arab and South Asian Muslims.2 Rather, Pickthall’s small circle of British Muslim friends and acquaintances before and after 1920 were mostly to be found in and around London. They included both high-profile converts such as William Henry/Abdullah Quilliam (1856–1932; generally known in this period as Professor Henri M. Léon), Lady Evelyn/Zainab Cobbold (1867–1963) and Lord Headley/Al-Farooq (1855–1935; Rowland George Allanson Allanson-Winn), and lesser-known co-religionists such as Bertram/Khalid Sheldrake (1888–1947) and Dudley/Mohammad Sadiq Wright (1868–1949).3

Examining Pickthall’s relationships with other converts is not an easy task because of the paucity of surviving, accessible personal papers of these people, Pickthall included. Consequently – and notably – there is frustratingly little documentation of, or comment on, Pickthall’s interactions and relationships with other British Muslims in either of his biographies.4 Rather, we must look instead to contemporaneous published sources, many written by the converts themselves (Pickthall left a vast corpus of written work) as well as documents written about these Muslims – from both “insiders” (such as Muslim missionaries from India) and “outsiders” (such as journalists who visited Woking mosque). Additional to these sources are the few private papers and official documents (such as Foreign Office records) relating to Pickthall and his contemporaries, Muslims and non-Muslims. Cumulatively, these offer insights and allow interpretations which enable this documentation and assessment of Pickthall’s connections, relationships, reputation and position in the early twentieth-century British Muslim community.

Strange to say, perhaps, for a man who has been the subject of two lengthy biographies and, in recent years, numerous other studies,5 but evidence of Pickthall’s character and details of his private life are scarce. This seems to be indicative of the man – one who, as his friend and first biographer, Anne Fremantle (1910–2002), noted in the preface to her biography of him, “kept few records even of his outward life”,6 and who had no direct heirs to embellish the rare documented character sketches and anecdotes. It is also, perhaps, no coincidence that only a handful of portrait photographs survive, and just one of Pickthall at the Woking mosque.7 What we do know is that, although he was networked and a politically astute and outspoken man, he was also, as Fremantle highlighted, “shy” and, according to his good friend in India, the scholar and poet Professor Ernest E. Speight (1871–1949), an essentially “private man”.8 Pickthall always felt at ease with and mixed freely in Britain with Muslims from overseas, including the Indian scholar Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1872–1953) and the charismatic Sufi musician and publisher Inayat Khan (1882–1927), perhaps more comfortable with them than with the many British converts who congregated around the Woking mosque and Mission during and after the First World War. It is well known that, when overseas, he was uneasy mixing with other Britons and Europeans. In a letter to a family friend from Switzerland in 1905, he reported that his hotel in Montreux “was full of pig-dog English […] and I was glad to get on [to Valais]”.9 When the young Pickthall landed in Egypt for a tour of Palestine, Lebanon and Syria in 1894 – his first trip to Muslim lands – he shunned European society and found a dragoman who helped him “to throw off the European and plunge into the native way of living”.10

Politics and the Path to Islam

Pickthall’s conversion to Islam was protracted (he had first toyed with converting during his 1894–5 trip to the Middle East11), but became more likely in the period immediately prior to the First World War. His early travels to the Middle East and return to Egypt in 1907 and 1908 forged a strong emotional attachment to and intellectual and political engagement with Muslims and Islam. Moreover, Pickthall’s interest in Islam and admiration for Ottoman lands and its Muslim peoples made him a committed Turcophile who saw Turkey as the hope of the Islamic world. As Ron Geaves shows in Chapter Four of this book, it was over the issue of the Young Turks that Pickthall and Quilliam/Léon differed, though there is little evidence to suggest that their disagreement got out of hand, and they remained friends throughout their lives. The traditionalist Quilliam, who had converted in the 1880s, had always championed the Ottoman sultan-caliph, even when, during the mid-1890s, the British press and politicians launched vitriolic campaigns against the Sultan (Abdul Hamid ii, 1842–1918) in the wake of the massacre of “dissident” Armenians by Ottoman troops.12 Quilliam would never accept the legitimacy of the Young Turk revolution which, in 1908, had deposed the Sultan. But, for the modernist Pickthall, the Young Turks promised an age of reform – in matters of education, social improvement and enhancement of the status of women – and from this he anticipated an improved and educated, modernised Islam.13

Alarmed at the imminent collapse of the Ottoman Empire during the first Balkan War of October 1912 to May 1913, Pickthall wrote furiously in British newspapers and journals about the integrity of the Turks and the strategic importance of their ailing Empire. He decried the British government’s distancing itself from its pledge at Berlin in 1878 to guarantee the independence of the Ottoman Empire. In November 1912, Pickthall began a series of articles in the New Age magazine entitled “The Black Crusade”, which condemned the intrigues of “Christian Powers” in the affairs of the Ottoman Empire and proclaimed the Turks, “by far the most advanced of Moslem races […] mentally capable of attaining to the highest civilisation”.14 In contrast to the views of Quilliam/Léon, Pickthall claimed in the December 1912 issue of the respectable Nineteenth Century and After journal that Turkish massacres of Christian subjects were the fault of “Abdul Hamid ii., a Sultan whom the Turks themselves deposed with ignominy. Moslems of the better sort are not bloodthirsty”.15 Writing in the Times at the beginning of 1913, Pickthall pointed to the alleged “butchery” of Muslim Macedonians by Christians, and complained about British silence over the massacres. The letter emphasised that Pickthall adhered to a Disraeli-inspired English foreign policy fearful of Russian interests threatening the territorial integrity of Turkey and, in the long term, British India: “The evident desire of our English Government to hush the matter up is causing bitter indignation […]. To persons like myself, who had imagined the promotion of good feeling between Christian and Mahomedan to be a part of England’s standing policy, it is inexplicable”.16 Days later, Pickthall travelled to Turkey to see the beleaguered capital for himself. Writing in the New Age in February 1913 on the failure of the Great Powers to permit the Turks an international commission to investigate alleged “Macedonian horrors”, he admitted that, “I am heartily ashamed of being a European and a Christian at this juncture”.17 Unsurprisingly, Pickthall returned to England four months later more politicised. He was determined to prevent the partition of the Ottoman Empire and explain to his compatriots that, if Britain did not befriend Turkey, then Germany – who made no secret of her desire for a Turkish alliance – would take the initiative.

On his return to England, and despite being based in rural Sussex (until 1916), Pickthall was drawn into the orbit of the London-based Turcophile movement which, in turn, introduced him to a few British converts to Islam. These included Quilliam, who had permanently relocated from Liverpool to London, where he was masquerading as “Professor Léon” by the time Pickthall met him in c.1913.18 Most of the other converts Pickthall knew at this time had been linked to Quilliam’s Liverpool Muslim Institute (lmi), the first Muslim missionary organisation in Britain, which had collapsed in 1908: John Yehya-en Nasr Parkinson (1874–1918), who converted in c.1901 was lmi Vice-President;19 Khalid Sheldrake, who converted in 1904 and became “London correspondent” for the lmi journal, The Crescent; and Dudley Wright, an Islamophile who had written for the Crescent and later converted to Islam. Quilliam/Léon, Parkinson, Sheldrake and Wright were also all members of Abdullah Suhrawardy’s (1870–1935) London-based Islamic Society. Suhrawardy had established the “Pan-Islamic Society” in 1903 to stem the decline of the umma (worldwide Muslim community) by pursuing broadly pan-Islamic objectives. The Society was renamed the Islamic Society in 1907 and, in 1916, it became known as the Central Islamic Society. Sheldrake was Vice-President of the Islamic Society when Pickthall first joined its meetings in c.1912.20

One member of the Islamic Society not connected with Quilliam’s lmi was Lady Evelyn Cobbold who, like Pickthall, had a strong emotional attachment to Muslims and Islam through early travels to the Middle East. In 1914, with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and a European conflict looming, Cobbold’s admiration of Muslims and Islam developed an increasingly political dimension. Further independent study persuaded Cobbold that Islam was the religion, “most calculated to solve the world’s many perplexing problems, and to bring to humanity peace and happiness”.21 Pickthall and Cobbold did not meet until 1914, when they were introduced in London by a mutual friend, the former Grand Vizier (Prime Minister) of the Ottoman Empire, Ibrahim Hakki Pasha (1882–1918). Pickthall had first met Hakki in Berlin en route to Turkey the year before, when Hakki was an Ottoman Ambassador. At their first meeting, Pickthall was not impressed by the direct and rather eccentric, aristocratic Cobbold. He later told his close friend, the Turcophile Conservative mp Aubrey Herbert (1880–1923), that he “didn’t like her much”; but, at their second meeting – a “private talk” over lunch in Claridge’s Hotel (Cobbold’s favourite London haunt) in January 1915 – Pickthall was charmed and revelled in her gossip.22 In fact, they remained life-long friends: when Herbert suggested to Cobbold during the war that Pickthall’s lobbying for the Turks made him “England’s most loyal enemy”, she returned that the “‘only one thing I deplore about him […] is his absurd name’”.23

Back in London in the autumn of 1913, Pickthall and Quilliam/Léon, alongside the radical pan-Islamic and Pan-African journalist Dusé Mohamed Ali (1866–1945) and the Turcophile Arthur Field (an atheist whom Pickthall, his great friend, described to Fremantle as, “‘in reality, a faithful servant of Allah’”24), helped establish an Ottoman Committee to defend Turkish interests. By the end of 1913, the Committee had split into two organisations, both of which Pickthall joined. He briefly sat on the Ottoman Association’s Executive Committee, which comprised, “British subjects of European descent [with …] special knowledge of Turkey” and was designed to influence policy for, “maintaining the integrity of the Ottoman Empire [and …] promot[ing] a cordial understanding between Great Britain and Turkey”.25 Pickthall became much more closely involved with the second organisation, the Anglo-Ottoman Society (aos), which, in contrast to the Ottoman Association, claimed to be a popular and international formation, composed of all nationalities, Muslim and Christian, proposing “a united movement in British and Continental political and Press circles […] calling for a European defence of Turkey”.26 Pickthall worked so hard for the aos that Fremantle commented that he, “did everything for it except bath the members”.27 In addition to sometime aos Vice-President Quilliam/Léon, the membership included Parkinson and some of Quilliam’s Muslim family, the most active of whom was his eldest son Robert Ahmed Quilliam. In April 1914, the Society organised “A public conversazione and meeting” at the Caxton Hall, Westminster, with one of Quilliam’s daughters, Harriet Hanifa, in “conversazione” and Pickthall joining the company as a main speaker.28 Other social and intellectual networks bound this small group of politically-minded converts and Turcophiles in these years. For example, Pickthall, Quilliam/Léon and another “Woking” convert, Dr Ameen Neville J. Whymant, were members of Inayat Khan’s Sufi Publishing Society. Quilliam/Léon also established the Société Internationale de Philologie, Sciences et Beaux-Arts for the “advancement and encouragement of all branches of Philology, Science, Literature, Music and the Fine Arts”,29 and a London College of Physiology, which addressed the relationship between religion, spirituality and modern sciences:30 Pickthall, Whymant, Parkinson, Sheldrake, Wright, Cobbold and Headley joined these organisations and took part in their lively debates and social events.

Pickthall’s main focus and business, however, was political. As he explained in the letters pages of the Near East, he and other Turcophiles at this time were, “defending an unpopular cause. [We] have had to fear, and have encountered, public ridicule and private abuse”.31 The aos gave Pickthall the platform to write and speak out publicly against British policy and attitudes towards “progressive Turkey” and its Muslims. But, despite their efforts, Pickthall and other Turcophiles were unable to persuade the Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey (1862–1933), to keep the peace with Turkey or encourage Turkish neutrality and independence in 1914. This traumatised Pickthall, who felt that Christian Europe had neglected and abused Turkey, and he was furious that little was done to prevent her from turning to Germany. Pickthall still did not rush into adopting Islam, but he began to abandon Christianity when, he felt, Christianity had failed and abandoned him. Writing in the 1930s, Fremantle suggested that Pickthall converted to Islam in December 1914 as, “a protest against the hysterical hate preached in the name of the Christ he had served and loved so long”.32 However, though he edged towards Islam at the beginning of the war, Pickthall resisted conversion. As he told Herbert, Cobbold tried but failed to get him to publicly convert during their lunch at Claridge’s in January 1915 (she proposed using two bemused waiters as witnesses).33

After Turkey entered the war, Pickthall led a hugely ambitious pro-Turk public campaign to win hearts and minds in Whitehall and beyond, and secure a separate peace agreement with Turkey. His efforts were generally channelled through the aos and Islamic Society/Central Islamic Society, which organised protest meetings, public debates and lectures; forwarded countless resolutions to the Foreign and India Offices; sent letters to national newspapers and journals; and published articles, pamphlets and books promoting the merits of the Turks and warning of the pernicious influence and ambitions of Russia.

Despite wartime censorship and an increasingly anti-Turk and anti-Muslim sentiment in British society during David Lloyd George’s (1863–1945) premiership from 1916 until 1922, Pickthall lobbied furiously through the aos and alongside a few Muslim converts, especially Sheldrake, Robert Ahmed Quilliam and Parkinson.34 In the months before his conversion, he became more avowedly Pan-Islamic. Pickthall wrote in the New York Times in 1916, for example, that Pan-Islam – “the conscious effort for united progress made by educated Moslems” – was the “cornerstone” of “Disraeli’s great constructive Eastern policy”. For Pickthall, Pan-Islam was, “the most hopeful movement of our day, deserving the support of all enlightened people, and particularly the British Government, since a British Government inspired it in the first place”.35 Pickthall inevitably met other pan-Islamic, mainly Indian, Muslims during his regular trips to London. Importantly, these included the lawyer and Muslim missionary, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din (1870–1932), who had arrived in Britain from India in 1912. Kamal-ud-Din was a convert to the Ahmadiyya, an unorthodox Muslim sect founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (c.1835–1908). Following a series of visions that drew upon the Islamic belief that a Messiah and a Mahdi would come to lead Muslims against the unbelievers, Ahmad had personally assumed both roles. In 1889, he inaugurated the Ahmadiyyat (Ahmadiyya community) by accepting the allegiance of his first followers – namely those who affirmed standard matters of Islamic belief and swore specific allegiance to Ahmad.36

The Woking Muslim Mission and Conversion to Islam

Once in England, Kamal-ud-Din abandoned his legal career and took it upon himself to promote a fairer hearing of Islam through propaganda written and inspired by Ahmad. In doing so, Kamal-ud-Din was keen to downplay the differences between Ahmadi and orthodox Islam. His main vehicle for this was the public lecture hall and, from February 1913, the publication of a monthly journal, the Muslim India and Islamic Review (renamed Islamic Review and Muslim India in February 1914). Kamal-ud-Din quickly realised the value of propagating Islam through the example of “native” converts and therefore early contributors to the Islamic Review included Quilliam/Léon, Parkinson, Sheldrake and Wright. In August 1913, Kamal-ud-Din moved from London to nearby Woking in Surrey to take charge of Britain’s first purpose-built mosque (1888–89), which had fallen into a state of disrepair. Kamal-ud-Din quickly established the mosque and adjoining buildings as a centre of education, support for Muslims and missionary activity, formally constituting it as the “Woking Muslim Mission” during the war. He converted several white Britons to Islam, most notably, in November 1913, Lord Headley, whose conversion was reported in newspapers throughout Britain and the Empire.37

The number of converts swelled sufficiently during 1914 for Kamal-ud-Din to establish a British Muslim Society under the Presidency of Headley, with Parkinson his Vice-President and Sheldrake the Hon. Secretary. The wmm and British Muslim Society met regularly at Woking and in London. Closer than ever to conversion to Islam, Pickthall first joined meetings at the Mission’s “London Muslim Prayer House” in Lindsay Hall, Notting Hill Gate in c.1916. Pickthall’s deep study and experience of Islam was evident in his first article for an explicitly Muslim journal, Kamal-ud-Din’s Islamic Review, which he submitted in late 1916. The article, entitled “The Prophet’s Gratitude”, set out the virtues of the Prophet Muhammad, who, “unlike all other prophets, whose proper likeness is concealed from us in mists of reverence, […] is a clear historical character”. Correcting popular misconceptions about Muhammad, Pickthall elaborated on his humanity and reverence for women.38 The article was published in the January 1917 issue of the Islamic Review. On the 6th of January, he accompanied Kamal-ud-Din to the Central Islamic Society’s annual “Prophet’s Birthday Celebration”, held at the grand and fashionable Hotel Cecil in central London. Following prayers recited by Kamal-ud-Din, Pickthall addressed the audience with another short account and defence of Muhammad’s life and character, admitting that, “I have come to love him as one loves a friend”, and also arguing that the Quran “remains a wonder of the world”. Crucially for Pickthall, Muhammad “preached the brotherhood of all believers”. The theme of “brotherhood” was central to both Pickthall’s and Kamal-ud-Din’s interpretation of Islam. The address was immediately published in the Islamic Review and also translated into Urdu for republication as a booklet by the office of the Ahmadi magazine Ishaat Islam in Lahore.39

In June 1917, Pickthall delivered his first Central Islamic Society lecture, on “The Muslim Interests in Palestine”, again in the company of Kamal-ud-Din and undoubtedly several British Muslims.40 The following month Kamal-ud-Din republished Pickthall’s influential “Islam and Progress” essays in the Islamic Review (the series had originally been written for the New Age and, in French, for La Revue Politique Internationale).41 The essays confirmed Pickthall’s position as a leading commentator and interpreter of Islam in Britain: he was at ease quoting the hadith (report of the sayings/doings of Muhammad), sunna (custom, or practice, of Muhammad and the early Muslim community) and Quran (in both Arabic and English), and also cited other Islamic scholars (the first “Islam and Progress” essay offers a rare example of Pickthall quoting another British Muslim – in this case, “Professor Léon” in the context of a discussion about “Oriental folk-lore”42). By September 1917, the wmm had republished Pickthall’s “Islam and Progress” in booklet form for wider distribution.

Supported by Kamal-ud-Din, Pickthall converted to Islam in November 1917. He made a public profession of his new faith alongside Kamal-ud-Din during a function of the wmm’s Muslim Literary Society at the London Muslim Prayer House’s new venue, Campden Hill Road, Notting Hill Gate, on the 29th of November. Pickthall then delivered a bold lecture on “Islam and Modernism”, once more demonstrating his deep knowledge and engagement with the Islamic sources. He argued that, unlike Jesus, who proclaimed that his Kingdom was not of this world, Muhammad stressed the concerns of this world and prescribed rules for them, enshrined in the “uncorrupted” Quran, hadith and sunna. Pickthall believed that this made Islam an advance on Christianity and other religions, and agreed with Cobbold that it was, therefore, the natural and best-equipped faith to tackle the problems of the post-war world.43 A report of the event published in the Islamic Review noted that:

The Lecturer was listened to in rapt silence. His intonation of suitable verses from the Holy Qur-an in the original text to illustrate the beauties of Islam, with which he frequently punctuated his most learned discourse, threw those who were not used to listening to such recitations from a Western’s lips, into ecstasies. From start to finish Mr. Pickthall held his audience as if in a spell by his erudition, by his deep thinking, and lastly by the most genuine and rock-like faith which every word of his breathed into the splendour and beneficence of Islam.44

After the lecture, Sheldrake “rose and congratulated Mr. Pickthall on behalf of British Muslims, who, he added, looked upon him as a tower of strength”.45 Indeed, what is striking is that, already known and well-regarded for his public speaking and prose, and a mature forty-two years old at the time of his conversion, Pickthall was immediately adopted by other Muslims, especially converts, as an intellectual leader. Other influential converts like Headley, Sheldrake and the, by now, semi-reclusive Quilliam/Léon, could not match Pickthall’s intellectual range. Kamal-ud-Din appreciated and exploited this. Tellingly, just days after his “Islam and Modernism” lecture, Pickthall was asked to chair a lecture by Kamal-ud-Din, attended a Central Islamic Society lecture by Headley, and accepted the position of Vice-President of the Muslim Literary Society (Yusuf Ali was President). Although, in the final months of the war, he was conscripted and posted to rural Suffolk to help defend the East coast, where he stayed until 1919 (and then moved back to Sussex), Pickthall published regularly in the Islamic Review throughout 1918 and joined wmm events in London. He was also one of the first and few converts to give an address and deliver sermons at the London Muslim Prayer House in the summer of 1918.46 He visited Woking mosque occasionally, including the eid al-fitr (feast to end Ramadan) celebrations in July 1918, along with Headley, Wright and other converts.


Like many British converts (Quilliam/Léon included), Pickthall identified as an orthodox Sunni Muslim of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. This was typical of the early “Woking” converts because Kamal-ud-Din and his missionaries always downplayed the differences between Ahmadi and orthodox Islam and, in contrast to the Christian Church from which most British converts came, promoted the Mission as non-sectarian and apolitical.47 The converts were offered a liberal, modernist Islam; they pledged their allegiance to Muhammad and all other prophets including Jesus, and converted to Islam rather than the Ahmadiyya/Ahmadiyyat. After Kamal-ud-Din’s death in 1933, Pickthall wrote that he “differed from him on some matters”,48 but he had a deep respect for Kamal-ud-Din and was generally tolerant of the Lahori Ahmadiyya who ran the wmm. The only known photograph depicting Pickthall at Woking is a group portrait in which he sits next to Kamal-ud-Din and is surrounded by Lahori missionaries.49 He was so at ease with these Muslims and trusted by Kamal-ud-Din that, when the latter left England for India due to ill-health in early 1919, Pickthall was effectively given control of the wmm. Pickthall was appointed acting imam and editor of the Islamic Review until Kamal-ud-Din’s successor, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din (d.1981), arrived in England in the autumn.

Whilst Pickthall tolerated the liberal Lahori Ahmadis, he was critical of their rivals, the Qadiani Ahmadis, who in 1914 had broken away from the Lahoris by declaring Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a prophet and claiming that his successors would also have the gift of prophecy.50 For Pickthall, the conservative Qadianis were too far removed from the mainstream of Islam. Most contemporaries agreed with Pickthall, though Quilliam/Léon and Sheldrake were more sympathetic to the diversity of Islam to be found on British shores and anxious to avoid the sectarianism they had found in Christianity. Sheldrake also had a troubled relationship with Kamal-ud-Din and the wmm, eventually breaking away permanently in 1926 to establish his own Western Islamic Association.51 Quilliam/Léon became a patron of Sheldrake’s new organisation. It is not clear if Pickthall was asked, and although he did not join the wia, he remained friends with Sheldrake and, as is related below, they continued to meet in London. Meanwhile, whilst Pickthall stayed away, both Quilliam/Léon and Sheldrake visited the Qadiani mosque, which was formally opened in Southfields (south London) in 1926.52 Conversely, Pickthall welcomed the efforts of the “London Mosque Fund” Trustees, among them his good friend from the aos, the former Governor of Bombay Lord Lamington (1860–1940), to build “a fitting Mosque in the Metropolis of the British Empire”.53 In the 1930s, the Trustees sought patronage from Pickthall’s then employer, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Asaf Jah vii (1886–1967), for the building of a mosque and religious school in the East End, to be named after the late Anglophile judge and Muslim leader, Syed Ameer Ali (1849–1928). Although he was based in India in this period, Pickthall became Hon. Secretary to the Board of Management of the “Amir Ali Mosque, London” in 1931.54 Pickthall corresponded with the Trustees, apologising for the constant delays with decisions from Hyderabad (in fact, the donation was never given) and deeply regretting the impact it would have on the “many poor Moslems” in the deprived East End.55 He also discussed this with Sheldrake who had visited the area (perhaps on Pickthall’s behalf) in 1932 and was proposed (but not accepted, for reasons unknown) as a member of the London Mosque Fund Committee.56

Pickthall’s temporary position as imam for the wmm was timely: the war had ended and he was preparing to be demobbed from the army; moreover, the pro-Turkish campaign had been a complete failure: the Ottomans had concluded an armistice with the Allies and agreed to a complete suspension of hostilities, the immediate demobilisation of the Ottoman armed forces and the occupation of any part of Turkey deemed necessary to Allied security. The capitulation of the Ottomans not only marked the end of the war in the Middle East, but also the end of the Ottoman Empire itself.57 The fight was not over, but Pickthall threw himself into the role of wmm imam. He gave a number of authoritative talks on “The Quran” and “Worship”, and delivered a series of five sermons on “The War and Religion” at the London Muslim Prayer House in early 1919. Keen to involve other converts, he encouraged Wright and Headley to deliver sermons across the year. As editor of the Islamic Review, Pickthall published these sermons as well as numerous other articles by converts. In spring 1919, Pickthall officiated at Friday prayers at the London Muslim Prayer House. A contributor to the Islamic Review noted that, “His sermons have been characterized as much by his great scholarship and erudition as by his skilful and masterly elucidations of the popular Quranic themes”.58 The Islamic Review also reported an account of the Eid al-Fitr festival at Woking in June 1919, when Pickthall was imam:

Punctually at 11.30 the “Takbir” [(term for the Arabic phrase which translates as “God is Great”)] for Eid prayers was called, and there followed a scene the thrill of which will linger for years to come in the hearts of those present. That the Imam, Mr. Pickthall, was a native Englishman imparted a wonderful inspiration to the worshippers which was manifest from their faces. Mr. Pickthall led the service in a beautiful and his characteristically devotional manner. His recitations of the verses of the Holy Al-Quran during service was extremely edifying. Prayers over, he delivered an instructive sermon bearing upon the times through which the world was passing, and held the audience entranced for over an hour. In the purity of style and loftiness of interpretation the address of the Imam was an unsurpassed effort.59

Typically for Pickthall, who remained committed to the Turkish cause, after his sermon, a resolution was passed urging the Allied Powers and the President of the Peace Conference at Paris to guarantee Turkish sovereignty.60

Pickthall was characteristically humble as acting imam in 1919, which cemented his position in the British Muslim community. He told fellow Muslims during one of his “Friday Sermons” that, “There is no reason why I should lead your prayer to-day more than any other member of this congregation, except that I possess more Arabic than some of you, and that I have been chosen to act as your Imam during the illness of a much more worthy man”.61 But he was also bold in his mission, seizing every opportunity to emphasise and expand his thoughts regarding Muslim modernisation and revival: “The course of our Jehad is clearly indicated: first for the healing, re-uniting and uplifting of the Muslim brotherhood, so as to set a great example to the world, and secondly by that means to spread Islam throughout the world”.62

The Interwar Years

When Sadr-ud-Din assumed responsibility for the wmm in August 1919, Pickthall continued to visit the London Muslim Prayer House and, occasionally, Woking mosque, but he was free to concentrate on his campaigning for Turkey. Encouraged by Pickthall’s leadership and freed by wartime censorship, a few more British Muslims connected with the wmm were drawn to the Turkish cause in 1919 than had been the case during the war. Pickthall had shown them that the peace negotiations involved the future of the (Ottoman) caliphate, which was integral to the umma and therefore deeply affected all Muslims. For its part, the British government and press sought to convince the millions of Muslims within the Empire that they were not duty-bound to owe allegiance to the Ottoman caliphate. However, following a massacre of peaceful protestors campaigning against the Raj by British soldiers in Amritsar in April 1919, the Khilafat Movement (1919–24) was established to maintain the authority of the caliph at Constantinople and Muslim control of the holy places of Islam, and also end British rule in India. In October 1919, “a large congregation” assembled at the London Muslim Prayer House on the day appointed by the All-India Muslim Conference in Lucknow the previous month, to pray for the preservation of the Ottoman sultan-caliph, or “Khalifa”.63 Chairing the subsequent meeting, Pickthall passionately argued that attempts by Christians to persuade Muslims that the caliphate should be hereditary in Muhammad’s family (that is, pass to a leader more suitable from the Western point of view) were uncalled for, and “roused very angry feelings in the Muslim world […]. The question of the Khilafat is no concern of Christians any more than it is the concern of Muslims to decide who shall be Pope of Rome. The Muslim world as a whole accepts the Ottoman Sultan as its Khalifah with enthusiasm and impassioned sympathy”.64 Encouraged by two pan-Islamists, Mushir Hussain Kidwai (1878–1937) and the Central Islamic Society President, Mirza Hashim Ispahani, Pickthall formed the “Islamic Information Bureau”, to collect and circulate up-to-date, “true information about Turkey and other Muslim matters”. Pickthall secured the support of Sheldrake as Assistant Secretary, and Cobbold donated a generous £50 towards publication costs for the Bureau’s pro-Turkish bulletin, Muslim Outlook, which Pickthall edited.65

Notably, both during and after the war, Pickthall failed to persuade the influential Lord Headley to campaign for Turkey. Headley was a staunchly conservative, jingoistic Briton who, though undoubtedly affected by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, had little patience for what were seen by some in Whitehall as disloyal and treacherous activities on behalf of the Turks (Kidwai and, to a lesser extent, Pickthall were both singled out as suspects in this period).66 Pickthall soon fell out with Kidwai, resigned from the Bureau and, as if to prove his loyalty, in December 1919 was a signatory alongside Cobbold, the respectable Aga Khan (Mohammed Shah, 1877–1957) and others of a patriotic letter to the British Prime Minister warning him of the dangers of Russia. The letter, which was reprinted in the Islamic Review, urged for “a policy towards Turkey that would lead to appeasement” and thereby placate Indian Muslims.67

Shortly after the Allies drafted their terms of peace with Turkey in February 1920, Quilliam/Léon presided over a provocative meeting of the Pan-Islamic Indian Khilafat delegation at the Woking Mosque. The head of the delegation was Mohamed Ali (1878–1931), who had helped establish the Khilafat Movement. Ali appealed for the British government to listen to its Muslim subjects who, he argued, were “devoted to the Caliph of Constantinople, and […] all urge that the temporal power of the Caliph should not be reduced, nor should the Turkish Empire be broken into bits”.68 Pickthall strongly encouraged British Muslim cooperation with the Khilafat Movement and hosted a dinner party for the delegation.69 His sermons continued to be published in the Islamic Review during 1920, and he attended Eid al-Fitr alongside Quilliam/Léon and Mohamed Ali at Woking in June 1920.70 Writing on “Fasting in Islam” at this time, Pickthall offered some characteristically paternal advice to his fellow converts:

I am particularly anxious that we, the little band of Muslims of pure English birth, should make a true observance of this fast. I know that it is very hard for those who have never done it to fast the whole of the appointed time in the long summer days. […] I am speaking, of course, of those who are free agents. To those who have to work all day and journey to their work, whose life is dependent on the life of those who are not Muslim, I have no right to speak. They know what they can do. But I beg them to do all that is in their power to obey our Lord’s command on this occasion, and, at any rate, to manage somehow to say the full number of their prayers each day, and to remember in their prayers the Muslim Empire.71

But, to the surprise of many British Muslims, by the time the article was published at the end of the year, Pickthall had left England for India. Disillusioned with the Peace Conference and desperately in need of regular paid work, he had accepted editorship of the nationalist newspaper, the Bombay Chronicle.

Émigré and Twilight Years

Pickthall’s new job and life in India kept him extremely busy. His contributions to the Islamic Review inevitably declined, with just one “Friday Sermon” published in 1921. Reflecting on India and his involvement in the Khilafat and Non-cooperation Movements,72 he argued in the sermon that: “The East was all disintegrated when the Europeans came there. It is now united. It had no general consciousness, no common conscience or public opinion. Now it has both. It was asleep, and it is now awake”.73 However, many British Muslims privately disagreed with Pickthall in relation to India. For Headley:

the [Indian] administration has been conductive to peace and commercial prosperity. Most of the Indian Muslims with whom I am acquainted realise that without such a rule there would speedily ensue a condition of internal strife and disorder. […] Mistakes there may have been, but where, in the whole of this world of inequalities and enigmas, can we point to a condition of affairs which is independent of, or above, human error? […] At present let us be thankful that we belong to a great Empire of which we have no reason to feel in any way ashamed.74

Although he was absent from Britain for long spells, Pickthall was not forgotten: his old friend, Arthur Field, chose Pickthall’s recently-published novel, The Early Hours, as the first book in a series of reviews for the Islamic Review in 1921.75 Some British Muslims certainly read his novels: Cobbold had copies in her library; the young convert, David/Dawud Cowan (1915–2003), devoured them in the 1930s.76 Pickthall also kept in touch with the British Muslim community through letters to friends like Cobbold. When Pickthall made brief returns to Britain during the 1920s and 1930s, he also met with Cobbold, Sheldrake (who, after a trip to London in 1931, saw him off to India from Victoria railway station) and others, and attended wmm events in London and Woking.77 In fact, the only surviving photograph of Pickthall at Woking referred to above was taken during a visit to England in 1922. That visit, from autumn 1921 to spring 1922, was forced by his wife’s ailing physical and mental health.78 In February 1922, he gave a “Sunday Lecture” at the London Muslim Prayer House. The February 1922 issue of the Islamic Review contained a portrait photograph of Pickthall as its frontispiece, and a note outlining his contribution to literature, the Mission and Islam.79 The tribute revealed that Pickthall’s wife, Muriel, and his only sibling, Rudolf, had both converted to Islam.80 Pickthall always echoed Kamal-ud-Din in stressing that the Quran itself dictated that there was “no compulsion in religion”, and it is unclear whether or not he actively converted Muriel or Rudolf. On the contrary, in relation to Muriel, according to the Islamic Review, “Mr. Pickthall, in the spirit of a true Muslim, refrained scrupulously from any thought of influencing his wife, and the fact that Mrs. Pickthall has now of her own free volition embraced the faith is but one of many indications of the modern trend of intelligent religious thought”.81 He certainly did, however, encourage the conversion of Anne Fremantle, who was a close family friend. Fremantle was just ten years old in 1920 when Pickthall introduced her to Islam and then Kamal-ud-Din. She repeated the shahada(Islamic profession of faith) and was briefly a Muslim but, at such a young age and without family support, she soon left Islam and eventually settled on Catholicism.82

Pickthall contributed occasional articles to the Islamic Review from India until 1925, when his last, “The Essential Fact of Revelation”, an essay on the authenticity and reasoning of the Quran, was published.83 It is unsurprising that Pickthall’s contributions ended at this point: after leaving the Bombay Chronicle in 1924, he moved to Hyderabad, where he eventually completed an English edition of the Quran and became editor of the monthly Islamic Culture, a scholarly journal produced under the Nizam’s patronage. It was as a friend and editor that Cobbold sent him a copy of her new book, Pilgrimage to Mecca – an account of her 1933 hajj – upon its publication in 1934. Curiously, whilst Cobbold quoted from Pickthall’s The Cultural Side of Islam (on the equality of Islam and his criticism of the system of purdah84), she did not reference his edition of the Quran, published in 1930. It is notable that, due to the nature of the surviving sources for the British Muslim community, which are generally missionary-focused, there are no documented critical responses from within to Pickthall the man or his work for Islam (his lectures, sermons, essays). One observation, not necessarily implying criticism, is that Cobbold was rare amongst the many contemporaries who wrote about Islam in the Islamic Review to quote Pickthall in their writings. David/Dawud Cowan, who converted at Woking in 1931 at the age of sixteen, went on to become a distinguished Arabic scholar. Reflecting on Pickthall late in life, he admitted that Pickthall’s edition of the Quran was “a good translation, but all translations are faulty”.85

Pickthall wrote to Cobbold from Hyderabad, thanking her for sending him the personally inscribed copy of Pilgrimage to Mecca. Although admitting that he had, “not read it all through yet, but only skimmed it”, he was not uncritical: “My present, incomplete, impression is that your adventures as described here are delightful and the propaganda for Islam rather an intrusion”. This criticism may appear unfair from Pickthall but, by this time (July 1934), he had had his own share of scorn from critics of his books and politics. His disdain of the “propaganda for Islam” inferred that Cobbold might have been helped or influenced by another party: “I know these people, and their way of spoiling things by insisting upon missionising everywhere, in and out of season”.86 He closed by assuring Cobbold that, “I shall read the book carefully and review it in a friendly manner in my quarterly review, ‘Islamic Culture’”.87 Pickthall was proven right to some extent: for example, the book received a hostile review in the Geographical Journal (the journal of the Royal Geographical Society), with the reviewer also taking a swipe at Pickthall: “how gaily satisfied is the author with the condition of women in Arabia! […] [T]he author quotes copiously from Mr. Marmaduke Pickthall, in an endeavor to display the advantages of Muslim marriage customs over those of the West: ‘…romance is an illusion, and we need never mourn the loss of an illusion…’ says Mr. Pickthall with sententious superficiality”.88 Pickthall gave Cobbold one of the most generous reviews in a five-page article published in the October 1934 issue of Islamic Culture:89 “There are certain false ideas about Islam which still prevail in Europe. […] [T]hese misapprehensions the delightful account […] ought to completely dispel”.90

[Cobbold] has given us a vivid description of the Harem […]. There follows an excellent, because sympathetic, description of the occupations of the ladies in a Meccan household of the upper class, and of various excursions. […] [S]he has […], incidentally, given a clear general idea of Islam and Muslim history; but it is the little intimate remarks in her diary which give the book such lively human interest, revealing as they do a truly Muslim spirit of goodwill toward every nation of the earth and every class of person.91

Pickthall returned to England in spring 1935, settling in Cornwall. In May, he went to London to “spend the day” with Cobbold, but declined to accompany her in the evening to a Royal Central Asian Society dinner, where the British Muslim convert, Harry St John Bridger/Abdullah Philby (1885–1960), was the speaker. As he explained in a letter to a friend, “‘I asked to be excused for the present, as I do not feel prepared to ‘face the music’ yet’”.92 It was, however, a sign of Pickthall’s stature that, when Headley died a few weeks later, the press reported that Pickthall was a favourite to succeed him as President of the British Muslim Society.93 Whether or not he was offered the opportunity is uncertain, but he did not take up the position and, in poor health, kept a low profile until March 1936 when, almost a year after he had shunned Philby’s event, gave his own lecture at the Royal Central Asian Society, on the subject of “The Muslims in the Modern World”. It was a passionate talk, what Pickthall described as “a Cook’s lightning tour of the field”, in which he again publicly lamented the discarding of Disraeli’s Pan-Islamic vision.94 Two months later, Pickthall was dead.

It seems odd that, for such an influential and trusted figure, Pickthall’s death warranted just three pages in the Islamic Review for August 1936.95 This might be partly attributed to the fact that Pickthall was physically absent from Britain during most of the final fifteen years of his life. Moreover, his death followed those of other key members of the Woking community – what may be termed the “old guard” – in the early 1930s: Quilliam/Léon died in 1932, Kamal-ud-Din in 1933 and Headley in 1935. Parkinson had died in 1918 and, as we have seen, Sheldrake left the wmm in the 1920s. His other good friend, Cobbold, wrote occasional books but was not a contributor to the Islamic Review, and his brother, Rudolf, made his last contribution to the Islamic Review in 1933 (ironically, an obituary of Kamal-ud-Din).96


Alas, there appear to be no published tributes to Pickthall from British Muslim converts, but it is clear that he was considered and widely embraced within the community as a respected thinker, tutor and mentor. As E.E. Speight (a non-Muslim) wrote shortly after Pickthall’s death, “He went through life as a teacher of the rarest and most memorable type, a radiating personality who magnetically drew to himself as to a fountain-head of the truest, most helpful religion, all sorts and conditions of hearts and minds needing guidance in perplexity, consolation in the darkness of doubt, or solace in self-abasement”.97 Pickthall was humane and modest, and admitted his own personal weaknesses (he famously struggled to quit smoking during Ramadan98). He was and remains central to the history of British Islam. It is appropriate that Pickthall’s body was interred close to two other leading figures of early British Islam – Quilliam and Lord Headley – in the Muslim burial ground at Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking.


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  • Central Islamic Society. “The Central Islamic Society.” [Booklet] London: Central Islamic Society, 1916.

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  • FieldArthur. “Turkey”, The Near East6, 145 (1914), 475.

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  • FremantleAnne. Loyal Enemy. London: Hutchinson, 1938.

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  • MacfieA.L. The End of the Ottoman Empire, 1908–1923. Harlow: Longman, 1998.

  • Malik. “The Celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr at the Mosque, Woking”, Islamic Review and Muslim India7, 7–8 (1919), 242–3.

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  • PickthallMarmaduke. “Islam and Progress”, Islamic Review and Muslim India5, 8 (1917), 337–52 and 5, 9 (1917), 368–84.

  • PickthallMarmaduke. “Islam and Modernism”, Islamic Review and Muslim India6, 1 (1918), 5–11.

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  • PickthallMuhammad Marmaduke. “The Essential Fact of Revelation. The Holy Qur-an: A Book for Humanity”, The Islamic Review13, 4–5 (1925), 140–5.

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  • PickthallRudolf. The Way of the Wilderness: Poems. London: Elliot Stock, 1901.

  • PickthallRudolf. The Comic Kingdom: Napoleon, the Last Phase but Two. London: John Lane, 1914.

  • PickthallR.G. “The Passing of a Great Man”, The Islamic Review21, 4–5 (1933), 125–7.

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Archives and Other Sources

  • Author’s Interview with David Cowan, London, 21 October 2002.

  • East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre Archive Collections, East London Mosque Trust Papers.

  • Private Collection, Lady Evelyn Cobbold Papers.

  • Somerset Archive and Record Service, Aubrey Herbert Papers.

  • The National Archives, Foreign Office Records.

1On the wmm, see Humayun Ansari, “The Infidel Within”: Muslims in Britain since 1800 (London: Hurst, 2004), 126–34.
2For more on these communities, see Richard I. Lawless, From Ta‘izz to Tyneside: An Arab Community in the North-East of England during the Early Twentieth Century (Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1995); Fred Halliday, Arabs in Exile: Yemeni Migrants in Urban Britain (London: I. B. Tauris, 1992); and, in relation to conversion, Jamie Gilham, Loyal Enemies: British Converts to Islam, 1850–1950 (London: Hurst, 2014).
3For biographical sketches and further details of these converts, see Gilham, Loyal Enemies.
4Anne Fremantle, Loyal Enemy (London: Hutchinson, 1938); Peter Clark, Marmaduke Pickthall: British Muslim (London: Quartet, 1986).
5For example, Geoffrey Nash, From Empire to Orient: Travellers to the Middle East 1830–1924 (London: I. B. Tauris, 2005), Chapter 6; M. A. Sherif, Brave Hearts. Pickthall and Philby: Two English Muslims in a Changing World (Kuala Lumpur: Islamic Book Trust, 2011); Gilham, Loyal Enemies, Chapters 4–6.
6Fremantle, Loyal Enemy, 6.
7Frontispiece, The Islamic Review [hereafter ir] 10, 12 (1922).
8Fremantle, Loyal Enemy, 6; E. E. Speight, “Marmaduke Pickthall”, Islamic CultureX (1936), iv.
9Author’s Collection, Marmaduke Pickthall to “Fred”, 28 January 1905.
10Marmaduke Pickthall, Oriental Encounters: Palestine and Syria (1894-5-6) (London: Heinemann, New Edition, 1929), ix.
11Fremantle, Loyal Enemy, 81–2.
12See Ron Geaves, Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam (Markfield: Kube, 2010), Chapter 7.
13See Clark, Marmaduke Pickthall, 26–8.
14Marmaduke Pickthall, “The Black Crusade”, The New Age 12, 1 (1912), 8.
15Marmaduke Pickthall, “The Outlook in the Near East: for El Islam”, The Nineteenth Century and After 72, 430 (1912), 1145.
16Marmaduke Pickthall, “A Protest”, The Times 18 January 1913, 5.
17Marmaduke Pickthall, “The Fate of the Mohammedans of Macedonia”, The New Age 12, 16 (1913), 389.
18On Quilliam’s London life, see Gilham, Loyal Enemies, 75–86.
19For more on Parkinson, see ibid., Chapter 3.
20On the Islamic Society, see Central Islamic Society, “The Central Islamic Society” [Booklet] (London: Central Islamic Society, 1916).
21Lady Evelyn Cobbold, Pilgrimage to Mecca (London: John Murray, 1934), xiv.
22Quoted in Fremantle, Loyal Enemy, 257.
23Quoted in ibid., 7.
24Quoted ibid., 228.
25Anon, “The Ottoman Association”, The Near East 6, 142 (1914), 391.
26Arthur Field, “Turkey”, The Near East 6, 145 (1914), 475.
27Fremantle, Loyal Enemy, 230.
28Anon, “Anglo-Ottoman Society”, African Times and Orient Review [New Series] 1, 4 (1914), 96.
29The Philomath 17, 201 (1913), Front Cover.
30The Physiologist 1 [New Series] (1917), Front Cover.
31Marmaduke Pickthall, “The Ethics of Aristotle”, The Near East 6, 133 (1913), 75.
32Fremantle, Loyal Enemy, 252.
33Somerset Archive and Record Service, Aubrey Herbert Papers, DD/HER/52, Marmaduke Pickthall to Aubrey Herbert, 15 January 1915.
34See, for example, Anon, “More Anti-War Protests”, Daily Herald 6 August 1914, 5; The National Archives [hereafter tna], Foreign Office Records, fo 371/3015/147160 (1917), “Russia and Turkey”.
35Marmaduke Pickthall, “Moslem Civilization after the War”, The New York Times 30 April 1916, 18.
36See Simon Ross Valentine, Islam and the Ahmadiyya Jama’at: History, Belief, Practice (London: Hurst, 2008).
37See Gilham, Loyal Enemies, 130–6.
38Marmaduke Pickthall, “The Prophet’s Gratitude”, Islamic Review and Muslim India [hereafter irmi] 5, 1 (1917), 35–9.
39Marmaduke Pickthall, “Address by Mr. Marmaduke Pickthall on the Prophet’s Birthday”, irmi 5, 2–3 (1917), 53–9.
40Marmaduke Pickthall, Muslim Interests in Palestine (Woking and London: Central Islamic Society, 1917).
41Marmaduke Pickthall, “Islam and Progress”, irmi 5, 8 (1917), 337–52 and 5, 9 (1917), 368–84.
42Ibid., 340.
43Marmaduke Pickthall, “Islam and Modernism”, irmi 6, 1 (1918), 5–11.
44Anon, “Notes”, irmi 6, 1 (1918), 4.
46Marmaduke Pickthall, “The Kingdom of God”, irmi 6, 7 (1918), 279–90; Marmaduke Pickthall, “Concerning Religious Truths”, irmi 6, 8 (1918), 328–37.
47See Gilham, Loyal Enemies, 128–9.
48Marmaduke Pickthall, “Correspondence”, ir 21, 4–5 (1933), 140–1.
49Frontispiece, ir 10, 2 (1922).
50Spencer Lavan, The Ahmadiyah Movement: A History and Perspective (Delhi: Manohar, 1974).
51See Gilham, Loyal Enemies, 200–2.
52Ibid., 140.
53“London Mosque Fund Report [1931]”, in The Making of the East London Mosque, 1910–1951: Minutes of the London Mosque Fund and East London Mosque Trust Ltd, ed. Humayun Ansari (Camden Fifth Series, Vol. 38, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press/Royal Historical Society, 2011), 144.
54Syed Hashimi to Abdeali Shaikh Mahomedali Anik, 24 March 1931, in ibid., 152–3.
55East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre Archive Collections [hereafter elm&lmcac], East London Mosque Trust Papers, ELMT/CR/0002, Marmaduke Pickthall to Abdeali Anik, 17 February 1931, 3 March 1932 and 16 June 1931; and correspondence in Ansari, The Making of the East London Mosque, 155–61.
56See correspondence in ibid., 159–62.
57See A. L. Macfie, The End of the Ottoman Empire, 1908–1923 (Harlow: Longman, 1998).
58Anon, “Notes”, irmi 7, 4 (1919), 122.
59Malik, “The Celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr at the Mosque, Woking”, irmi 7, 7–8 (1919), 242–3.
60Ibid., 243.
61Marmaduke Pickthall, “Friday Sermons”, irmi 7, 7–8 (1919), 297.
62Ibid., 305.
63See Anon, “Day of Prayer for the Sultan-Caliph”, irmi 7, 11 (1919), 406–8.
64Ibid., 407.
65tna, fo 371/5202/E1073 (1919), “Islamic Information Bureau”.
66See Gilham, Loyal Enemies, Chapter 6.
67tna, fo 371/4154/162692 (1919), “Turkish Settlement”; “Turkey and the British Empire”, irmi 8, 1 (1920), 7–11.
68Anon, “Indian Delegation at the Mosque”, irmi 8, 4 (1920), 139.
69tna, fo 371/6549/1013 (1921).
70Fazal Karim Khan, “Eid-ul-Fitr”, irmi 8, 6–7 (1920), 224–7.
71Marmaduke Pickthall, “Fasting in Islam”, irmi 8, 12 (1920), 459–60.
72See Fremantle, Loyal Enemy, Chapter 10.
73Marmaduke Pickthall, “Conception of God in Islam”, ir 9, 1 (1921), 15.
74Lord Headley, “The Yoke of a Foreign Power”, The Light 6, 12 (1927), 7.
75Arthur Field, “Review”, ir 9, 6–7 (1921), 262–4.
76William Facey and Miranda Taylor, “Introduction: From Mayfair to Mecca – The Life of Lady Evelyn Cobbold”, in Lady Evelyn Cobbold, Pilgrimage to Mecca (London: Arabian Publishing, New Edition, 2008), 270; Author’s Interview with David Cowan, London, 21 October 2002.
77elm&lmcac, ELMT/CR/0002, Marmaduke Pickthall to Abdeali Anik, 17 February 1931.
78See Fremantle, Loyal Enemy, 367–72.
79Frontispiece, and Anon, “Mr Marmaduke Pickthall”, ir 10, 2 (1922), 42–3.
80Little is currently known about Rudolf Pickthall. He contributed short essays and reports regularly to the Islamic Review between 1922 (probably the year of his conversion) and 1925. His contributions then stopped until 1933 when, writing as “R. G. Pickthall, M. A. (Oxon.), Bar-at-Law”, his obituary of Kamal-ud-Din was published: R. G. Pickthall, “The Passing of a Great Man”, ir 21, 4–5 (1933), 125–7. He was also the author of two books: Rudolf Pickthall, The Way of the Wilderness: Poems (London: Elliot Stock, 1901); Rudolf Pickthall, The Comic Kingdom: Napoleon, the Last Phase but Two (London: John Lane, 1914).
81Anon, “Mr Marmaduke Pickthall”, 42–3.
82Anne Fremantle, Three-cornered Heart (New York: Viking Press, 1970), 197.
83Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, “The Essential Fact of Revelation. The Holy Qur-an: A Book for Humanity”, ir 13, 4–5 (1925), 140–5.
84Cobbold, Pilgrimage to Mecca, 68, 192.
85Author’s Interview with David Cowan, London, 21 October 2002.
86Private Collection, Lady Evelyn Cobbold Papers, Marmaduke Pickthall to Lady Evelyn Cobbold, 5 July 1934. It is unclear to whom Pickthall was referring: it was unlikely to be Kamal-ud-Din who had died in 1933 and whom Pickthall argued, “had a gift for summing up a train of arguments in striking form” and, “unlike much polemical writing [Kamal-ud-Din’s] is not devoid of literary grace”: M[armaduke]. P[ickthall]., “The Claims of Islam”, Islamic CultureVIII (1934), 506–7.
87Private Collection, Lady Evelyn Cobbold Papers, Marmaduke Pickthall to Lady Evelyn Cobbold, 5 July 1934.
88E. R., Review of Lady Evelyn Cobbold’s Pilgrimage to Mecca, The Geographical Journal 84, 3 (1934), 264–5.
89M[armaduke]. P[ickthall]., “An English Lady’s Pilgrimage”, Islamic CultureVIII (1934), 674–9.
90Ibid., 674–5.
91Ibid., 679.
92Quoted in Fremantle, Loyal Enemy, 264.
93“Lord Headley’s Successor”, Portsmouth Evening News 2 October 1935, 10; “New Moslem Leader”, Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette 2 October 1935, 7.
94Marmaduke Pickthall, “The Muslims in the Modern World”, Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society 23, 2 (1936), 221–35.
95K. S. M., “In Memoriam: The Late Maulvi Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall”, ir 24, 8 (1936), 298–300.
96Pickthall, “The Passing of a Great Man”.
97Speight, “Marmaduke Pickthall”, iv.
98Fremantle, Three-cornered Heart, 196.

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