Woking Muslim Mission, England, 1913–1968

Syed Ameer Ali — an obituary
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Syed Ameer Ali

Website Compiler’s Note: In 1913 Syed Ameer Ali, the distinguished Indian Muslim judge, Islamic law expert, reformist and author, helped Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din to take legal possession of the Mosque at Woking and place it in the hands of the Woking Mosque Trust.

As a member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the final court of appeal for cases from the British colonies, Syed Ameer Ali held the title of the Right Honourable. Apparently, up to the present day (2011) he has been the only Muslim member of the Privy Council.

The following obituary of Syed Ameer Ali appeared in The Islamic Review, September 1928:

The late Right Honourable Syed Ameer Ali.

We regret to record the death of the Syed Ameer Ali. The Syed Sahib was born in Oudh, where his family had settled after living for some generations in Persia. He was educated at the Hooghly College, Calcutta, and came to England as a young man, where he was called to the Bar. He had a very successful career in India, and became the first Muslim Judge of the Bengal High Court. In 1904 he returned to England, and four years later became the first Indian Privy Councillor and a member of the Judicial Committee.

The Woking Muslim Mission, with which institution he had been connected since its inception, as Chairman of the Woking Mosque Trust, loses in him a staunch friend and worthy counsellor. We offer our heartfelt sympathy to his wife and relatives in their bereavement.

It was through his literary work that the late Syed was best known to the Muslim world. His book The Spirit of Islam has done a vast amount of pioneer work by dispelling the clouds of misconception which have till lately obscured Islam for English-speaking people. This book, together with his A Short History of the Saracens, has won for him for a long time to come a place on the shelves and in the memories of those who are interested in the interpretation of Islam to the West.

The Islamic Review, September 1928, pp. 312–313

Another recorded information is that when Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was founding the Woking Muslim Mission, Syed Ameer Ali arranged for approval of funding for renting a room in London permanently, at which Friday prayers would be conducted by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. In this connection a news item appeared in the Review of Religions (monthly of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Qadian) in its February 1914 issue on pages 79–80. Its image is shown below. It reported:

Review of Religions, February 1914, pp. 79-80


Then the letter by Syed Ameer Ali is printed. We display this from the article, as below:


Review of Religions, February 1914, p. 80

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.