Maulana Shaikh Muhammad Tufail (1920 –1984)
Assistant Imam of the Woking Mosque, 1951–1954
Imam of the Woking Mosque, 1959–1966
Maulana S.M. Tufail, while Imam of the Woking Mosque
More photographs of Maulana Tufail are here:
Maulana Shaikh Muhammad Tufail was born in Simla, India, on 16th June 1920. After completing his M.A. in 1941 he came to Lahore to dedicate his life to the cause of Islam through the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore. He served in various capacities at this Movement’s headquarters, as Assistant Secretary, Joint Secretary, Publicity Officer, Editor of The Light, and Secretary to Maulana Muhammad Ali.
In 1951 he was sent by the Anjuman to Woking as Assistant Imam of the Shah Jehan Mosque under the Imam Dr S.M. Abdullah, where he served till 1954. During this time he was involved in organising the first-ever congress of Muslims in Great Britain.
In 1954 he was posted to Holland where he activated a Muslim Mission which had been founded by a member of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Lahore.
He returned to Woking in November 1959 to take up the position of Imam of the Shah Jehan Mosque and held this position till 1966. During this time he was also joint editor of The Islamic Review, the monthly organ of the Woking Muslim Mission. When, in January 1963, the death took place of the famous lady Muslim convert to Islam, Lady Evelyn Zainab Cobbold at her remote estate in Scotland, Maulana Tufail travelled there to conduct her Muslim funeral and advise on her burial in Muslim tradition. (See this link for the full story.)
During his tenure as Imam of the Shah Jehan Mosque Woking he became deeply involved in inter-faith forums including with the World Congress of Faiths, a connection which he continued also afterwards.
From 1966 to 1969 he worked in Trinidad as Muslim missionary of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore. Returning to England in 1969, he was appointed Muslim missionary and Imam of the Lahore Ahmadiyya branch in England. He again lived in Woking, and he continued his association with inter-faith bodies and was also invited to the Annual Commonwealth Day Observance. He died on 26 April 1984.
Maulana Tufail produced many writings. For the Woking Muslim Mission he wrote:
- The Islamic Conception of Worship
- The Islamic Conception of Freedom, Trust and Responsibility
- Barriers between Muslims must go
Particularly for people in Trinidad, he compiled the following:
- The Quran Reader
- The Songs of Islam
- Songs of Ahmadiyyat
Maulana Tufail was very prolific in translating important Urdu books of Maulana Muhammad Ali into English on topics relating to the Ahmadiyya Movement. His translations are as follows:
- The Ahmadiyya Movement (translation of Tahrik Ahmadiyyat supplemented with some English articles and pamphlets of Maulana Muhammad Ali)
- Prophethood in Islam (translation of An-Nubuwwat fil-Islam)
- The Second Coming of Jesus (translation of Masih Mau‘ud)
- Heresy in Islam (translation of Radd Takfir Ahl-i Qiblah)
- The Last Prophet (translation of Akhari Nabi)
Below is the image of his obituary in The Times, London, 5 May 1984, p. 10: