Abdollah Vakily: Brunton, Quilliam, attracted by the intellectual appeal of Islam

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There is a general misconception that Islam is the religion of the very excitable and emotional people of the East, and does not suit the logical and critical mindset of the West.

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In reality, however, from the end of the 19 e century, many very intelligent and accomplished people in the West accepted Islam after discovering the logical and scientific nature of its teachings.

One of these individuals was Sir Thomas Lauder Brunton (1844-1916) who discovered Islam after a long journey through the teachings of other religions.

Brunton was born in Scotland and from an early age was drawn to science. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and received a gold medal for his 1866 thesis on digitalis. His success in medicine earned him a knight to Queen Victoria in 1900. Later, in 1908, he was made a baronet.

Overall, it has played an important role in establishing pharmacology as a valid and trusted academic discipline. Rigorous training and work in the field of medicine, however, did not prevent him from reflecting on fundamental questions of life such as the origins of life, the purpose of man’s creation, and solutions to his estrangement from God.

When he discovered Islam, he found solid and reliable answers to his questions and was happy with what Islam had to offer for a way of life.

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Another example was William Henry Quilliam (1856-1932). He was a lawyer specializing in criminal law and Wesleyan Methodist before his conversion to Islam. In 1887 he converted to Islam and took the name Abdullah, and in 1889 he officially founded the Liverpool Muslim Institute, which was the first mosque for worshipers in Britain.

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The Liverpool Muslim Institute offered many educational programs on Islam and housed a science laboratory and a museum. The mosque complex included a boarding school for boys and a day school for girls. Quilliam also opened an orphanage for non-Muslim children.

Simultaneously, Quilliam published Faith of Islam, to propagate Islamic teachings, as well as a weekly publication called The Crescent. Islamic World, a monthly magazine widely distributed in many countries, complemented Quilliam’s publishing efforts.

Quilliam’s efforts were warmly received, and it is estimated that around 600 people in Britain have converted to Islam through his work, including Professor Nasrullah Warren, Haschem Wilde and Robert Reschid Stanley, the former mayor. from Stalybridge.

Quilliam also oversaw the ritual burial of Muslims which began with the public burial of Michael Hall, a former Methodist preacher whom Quilliam led to the fold of Islam in 1891.

Quilliam also wrote and published The Faith of Islam: An Explanatory Sketch of the Principal Fundamental Tenents of the Musulman Religion, which aimed to present the solidity and authenticity inherent in Islam to an audience seeking intellectual coherence and explanation. logical in any presentation.

In 2012, the BBC produced a documentary film called Great British Islam, in which Quilliam, Marmaduke Pickthall and Baron Headley were introduced to the public and called them “three extraordinary men who embraced Islam at a time when being Muslim was to be seen as a traitor to your country and the center of hostility.

The brief glimpse into the lives of these two scholars provides a clear basis for asserting that Islam is capable of providing irrefutable evidence of its authenticity and logical and reliable answers to the philosophical and intellectual questions facing modern man and his critical mind. are faced.

To be continued.

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