Woking Muslim Mission, England, 1913–1968

M. Pickthall

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Marmaduke Pickthall — His work with the Woking Mission

A background of Pickthall and his association with the Woking Muslim Mission is given in The Islamic Review, February 1922, pages 42–43, in the section Notes. This is quoted below.

Mr Muhammad Pickthall, whose name is not unfamiliar to our readers, was born in 1875; educated at Harrow; and, at the impressionable age when most young men are contemplating a University career, was already in Palestine, laying, as it were, the foundation of that intimate understanding of the Near East and its conditions — religious, political, social and economic — which has made him, perhaps, the foremost English authority on the subject.

As a novelist he sprang to fame with the publication, in 1903, of Said the Fisherman, a Syrian romance which stamped its author as a literary individuality and a seeing observer. Other works from his pen include Enid (1904), Brendle (1905), The House of Islam (1906), The Myopes (1907), Children of the Nile (1908), The Valley of the Kings (1909), Pot an Feu (1911), Larkmeadow (1912), The House at War (1913), With the Turk in Wartime (1914), Tales from Five Chimneys (1915), Veiled Women (1916), Knights of Araby (1917), Oriental Encounters (1918), Sir Limpidus (1919), and The Early Hours (1921). He has been a frequent contributor to, among other journals, the Athenoeum, the Saturday Review, the New Age and the Near East, and is, at present, editor of the Bombay Chronicle.

Mr. Pickthall declared his faith in Islam in 1918, and has since taken a prominent part in Muslim activity in this country. During the period between the departure for India (owing to urgent reasons of health) of the Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din in the early spring of 1919, and the arrival of the Khwaja’s assistant in the autumn of that year, Mr. Pickthall conducted the Friday Prayers and delivered the sermons at the London Muslim Prayer House; led the Eid prayer and delivered the Sermon, and during the month of Ramadan in 1919 conducted the traveeh prayers at the London Prayer House, while throughout the whole period he was largely responsible for the editing of the [Islamic] Review. It is noteworthy that on his conversion to Islam, 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.

On the next page in the same issue of The Islamic Review, a notice is given of the programme of Sunday Lectures for February 1922 as follows:

The following lectures will be delivered during the month of February at the London Muslim Prayer House, 111, Campden Hill Road, Notting Hill Gate, W. 8, at 5.30 p.m.:

February 5. — “Soul in Woman, and Islam,” by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din.

February 12. — “Islam and Socialism,” by Khwaja Nazir Ahmad.

February 19. — “A Fallen Idol,” by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall.

February 26. — “Three Stages of Human Mind,” by Muhammad Yakub Khan.

The three other lecturers mentioned, apart from Mr. Pickthall, were prominent members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement who also worked for the Woking Muslim Mission. This again shows the close association of Pickthall with the Woking Mission.

Pickthall’s speeches, lectures and articles appeared regularly in The Islamic Review from 1917 onwards.

Pickthall links:


Woking connections

Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din

Maulana Muhammad Ali


Quran translation

Obituary in The Islamic Review


This website is created and published by the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore (U.K.), Wembley, London,
the successor of the Woking Muslim Mission.