Website Compilers 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
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. 312313
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 7980. Its image is shown below. It reported:
Then the letter by Syed Ameer Ali is printed. We display this from
the article, as below: