The Islamic Review, the monthly magazine of Woking Muslim Mission was published from the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking. The following items show how the war was received by the Islamic community and reported to its followers. At the time, the Islamic Review was the widest circulated Islamic publication in the world and it fully communicated its support for the British Empire and the war.
The Western Daily Press newspaper (Bristol), reported on 25 September 1914, that at a meeting of the British Muslim Society held at Woking Mosque, the following resolution was unanimously carried:
“We desire to offer our whole-hearted congratulation to our Eastern brethren now at the Front, and to express our delight to find that our co-religionists in Islam are fighting on the side of honour, truth and justice, and are thus carrying into effect the principles of Islam, as inculcated by the Holy Prophet Mohammed.”
The resolution, made 20 September 1914, was reported in the Islamic Review, the following month.
The war was a source of great debate among the Muslim community and the magazine carried several discussion articles in September 1914, including:
‘The present war and the Prophet of Islam’ (The Woking Mosque Sunday Lecture Series);
‘Soldiers and Morality’;
‘An Appeal against War: Dear Women on the World’, by Katherine Halkett;
Maxims of War: Abu Baker, the First Muslim Caliph and Lord Kitchener’;
The Islamic Review, 1913-1971 has mostly been digitised and is available online at www.wokingmuslim.org
Click here to see pdf ()copies of articles from the Islamic Review, September 1914. (Courtesy of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore (UK), the successor of the Woking Muslim Mission.)
Further supportive articles followed and by November 1914 the back cover of the magazine showed Lord Kitchener’s famous appeal to arms. Click on the images below to see larger versions. (Courtesy of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore (UK), the successor of the Woking Muslim Mission.)
By December 1914, four months in to the war, the Islamic Review carried a morale-boosting notice ‘Muslim Greetings from Woking to the Front’. The notice stated that Lord Headley’s resolution issued by the British Muslim Society in the September had, by the direction of General Sir James Willcocks, had been translated and distributed among Muslim troops of the Indian Army Corps under his command.
Guide to tracing sources for the Indian Army – click here to download a pdf ()copy.
Part of the Great War: From India to Woking display.
- Further sources for researching the Indian Army during the First World War and the Muslim Burial Ground