Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall
Marmaduke William Pickthall
7 April 1875
Cambridge Terrace, London, England
|Died||19 May 1936 (aged 61)|
Porthminster Hotel, St Ives, Cornwall, England
|Resting place||Brookwood Cemetery, Brookwood, Surrey, England|
|Occupation||novelist, Islamic scholar|
|Known for||The Meaning of the Glorious Koran|
Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (born Marmaduke William Pickthall; 7 April 1875 – 19 May 1936) was a British Islamic scholar noted for his 1930 English translation of the Quran, called The Meaning of the Glorious Koran. His translation of the Qur'an is one of the most widely known and used in the English-speaking world. A convert from Christianity, Pickthall was a novelist, esteemed by D. H. Lawrence, H. G. Wells, and E. M. Forster, as well as a journalist, headmaster, and political and religious leader. He declared his conversion to Islam in dramatic fashion after delivering a talk on 'Islam and Progress' on 29 November 1917, to the Muslim Literary Society in Notting Hill, West London.
Marmaduke William Pickthall was born in Cambridge Terrace, near Regent's Park in London, on 7 April 1875, the elder of the two sons of the Reverend Charles Grayson Pickthall (1822–1881) and his second wife, Mary Hale, née O'Brien (1836–1904). Charles was an Anglican clergyman, the rector of Chillesford, a village near Woodbridge, Suffolk. The Pickthalls traced their ancestry to a knight of William the Conqueror, Sir Roger de Poictu, from whom their surname derives. Mary, of the Irish Inchiquin clan, was the widow of William Hale and the daughter of Admiral Donat Henchy O'Brien, who served in the Napoleonic Wars. Pickthall spent the first few years of his life in the countryside, living with several older half-siblings and a younger brother in his father's rectory in rural Suffolk. He was a sickly child. When about six months old, he fell very ill of measles complicated by bronchitis. On the death of his father in 1881 the family moved to London. He attended Harrow School but left after six terms. As a schoolboy at Harrow, Pickthall was a classmate and friend of Winston Churchill.
Pickthall travelled across many Eastern countries, gaining a reputation as a Middle-Eastern scholar, at a time when the Institution of the Caliphate had collapsed with the Muslim world failing to find consensus on appointing a successor. Before declaring his faith as a Muslim, Pickthall was a strong ally of the Ottoman Empire. He studied the Orient, and published articles and novels on the subject. While in the service of the Nizam of Hyderabad, Pickthall published his English translation of the Qur'an with the title The Meaning of the Glorious Koran. The translation was authorized by the Al-Azhar University and the Times Literary Supplement praised his efforts by writing "noted translator of the glorious Quran into English language, a great literary achievement." Pickthall was conscripted in the last months of the World War I and became corporal in charge of an influenza isolation hospital.
Pickthall, who identified himself as a "Sunni Muslim of the Hanafi school", was active as "a natural leader" within a number of Islamic organizations. He preached Friday sermons in both the Woking Mosque and in London. Some of his khutbas (sermons) were subsequently published. For a year he ran the Islamic Information Bureau in London, which issued a weekly paper, The Muslim Outlook. Pickthall and Quran translator Yusuf Ali were trustees of both the Shah Jehan Mosque in Woking and the East London Mosque.
In 1920 he went to India with his wife to serve as editor of the Bombay Chronicle, returning to England only in 1935, a year before his death at St Ives, Cornwall. It was in India that he completed his translation, The Meaning of the Glorious Koran.
- All Fools – being the Story of Some Very Young Men and a Girl (1900)
- Saïd the Fisherman (1903)
- Enid (1904)
- Brendle (1905)
- The House of Islam (1906)
- The Myopes (1907)
- Children of the Nile (short story collection) (1908)
- 'The Valley of the Kings (1909)
- Pot au Feu (1911)
- Larkmeadow (1912)
- The House of War (1913)
- Veiled Women (1913)
- With the Turk in Wartime (1914)
- Tales from Five Chimneys (1915)
- Knights of Araby - the story of Yemen in the 5TH Islamic Century (1917)
- Oriental Encounters – Palestine and Syria (1918)
- Sir Limpidus (1919)
- The Early Hours (1921)
- As others See us (1922)
- The Cultural Side of Islam (1927)
- The Meaning of the Glorious Koran: An Explanatory Translation (1930)
- Folklore of the Holy Land – Muslim, Christian, and Jewish (1907) (E H Hanauer)
- Islamic Culture (19??) (Magazine)
- Muhammad Asad
- A. Yusuf Ali
- Ali Ünal
- Rowland Allanson-Winn, 5th Baron Headley
- Henry Stanley, 3rd Baron Stanley of Alderley
- Sir Charles Edward Archibald Watkin Hamilton, 5th Baronet
- William Abdullah Quilliam
- Timothy Winter
- Faris Glubb
- Islam in the United Kingdom
- "Marmaduke Pickthall - a brief biography". British Muslim Heritage. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
- Shaheen, Mohammad. "Pickthall, Marmaduke William (1875–1936)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
- Murad, Abdal Hakim. "Marmaduke Pickthall: a brief biography".
- Fremantle, Anne (1938). Loyal Enemy. London: Hutchinson & Co.
- Pickthall, Muriel (1937). "A Great English Muslim". Islamic Culture. XI (1): 138–142.
- Rentfrow, Daphnée. "Pickthall, Marmaduke William (1875–1936)". The Modernist Journals Project. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- "The Victorian Muslims of Britain". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
- GRAND MEETING REGARDING THE COLLAPSE OF KHILAFAH translated by Meeraath
- Hurst, Dennis G (2010). America on the Cusp of God's Grace. IUniverse. pp. 155–156. ISBN 9781450269551. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- Sherif, M A (2011). Brave Hearts: Pickthall and Philby: Two English Muslims in a Changing World. Islamic Book Trust. p. 28. ISBN 9789675062742. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
- Khizar Humayun Ansari, ‘Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (1872–1953)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oct 2012; online edn, Jan 2013 accessed 6 February 2020
- "East London Mosque - London Muslim Centre". East London Mosque. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
- "Review: Pot an Feu by Marmaduke Pickthall". The Athenæum (4350): 274. 11 March 1911.
- Obituary in The Times, Wednesday 20 May 1936, Page 18, Issue 47379.
- Marmaduke Pickthall: a brief biography by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad
- Quran Archive The Meaning of The Glorious Koran; An Explanatory Translation, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, First Edition (1930).
- Online Quran Project includes the Qur'an translation by Marmaduke Pickthall.
- Web based Quran Search application Based on the translation from Marmaduke Pickthall.
- A biography of Marmaduke William Pickthall
- The English translation of the Qur'an by Marmaduke William Pickthall at the Wayback Machine (archived 14 November 2007)
- Works by Marmaduke William Pickthall at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Marmaduke Pickthall at Internet Archive
- Works by Marmaduke Pickthall at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Pickthall, the Woking Muslim Mission, and his views about Lahore Ahmadiyya leaders
- ODNB article by Mohammad Shaheen, 'Pickthall, Marmaduke William (1875–1936)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2007 accessed 21 Oct 2010
- "Marmaduke Pickthall: A forgotten English novelist" by Md. Mahmudul Hasan, available at <http://englishliterature.port.ac.uk/?p=569>