F. Hameedullah Bowman
The photograph and caption below is reproduced from
the Islamic Review, March 1940, opposite opening page:
The above issue of the Islamic Review also
contains an article by Mr. Bowman about his acceptance of Islam.
It is reproduced below.
MY EXPERIENCE OF ISLAM
By FREDERICK H. BOWMAN
In response to a request from the Imam Sahib; I have
much pleasure in outlining the circumstances in which I first heard
the truths of Islam. My mother, Alice Bertha Bowman, poetess and
novelist, whose writings have been appreciatively accepted by Royalty,
contributed, many years ago, articles and verses to The Allahabad
Review. This paper was published in India by the late Sarbuland
Jung M. Hameedullah, afterwards Chief Justice of the Deccan. As
a small boy, I read this publication and others in which her contributions
appeared, and I conceived an early ambition to see my own name in
print, especially as my mothers story, A Romance of
Llangollen, had won an authorship prize in The Anglo-Indian
Weeks Times. I myself showed aptitude for literature
at school and became editor of the Fifth Form Magazine. I was contributing
to the public press before I left school, and Mr. Hameedullah, then
a barrister, took a keen interest in my literary progress. I adopted
his name. Now that he has, alas, passed away, my devoted gratitude
is retained by his family, and I regularly correspond with his distinguished
son, Mr. Mahmudullah, Home Secretary of the United Provinces of
India, who so ably maintains the high traditions of his ancient
When I was at school, there was a Muslim mosque in
Liverpool and I attended many services there with my mother. So
interested did I become that I even tried to emulate the local Sheikh,
and, in a home-made robe, I mounted a box at home to address my
own meeting of neighbours and spread the truths of the Muslim Faith.
The mosque eventually closed, and, for some time, I was out of touch
with the Faith. I went on the stage, wrote many professionally toured
plays, produced shows myself, had my stories and serials published
by the leading London firms, wrote films and acted in some of them,
and composed various songs.
I have always sympathised with suffering animals,
which was one of the characteristics of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
His humanity extended to the lowest of creatures. I am now President
of the Animal Service Association, which I founded for the protection
of the beasts of burden. My latest song is Women and War,
a plea for peace. I have for some years been the editor of my own
paper, The Talking Picture News, and had the honour
of being presented to King George the Fifth at the June Levee in
1934 at St. Jamess Palace.
I noticed this year that the Imam Sahib of the Waking
Mosque was to deliver an address on Islam at the Southport Religious
Conference, so I went over to hear him. It gave me great pleasure
to meet him afterwards, when we had a most interesting chat. I hope
we shall keep in touch with each other. I was born in Liverpool,
and my people were Protestants. I have, however, always preferred
to think for myself, and the Muslim view of God has always appealed
Website Editors Note: In Mr. Bowmans account,
the statement When I was at school, there was a Muslim mosque
refers to the mosque established by Abdullah
Quilliam. For further details, please
see our page on Quilliam.