Info Panel

Muslims in Britain and Islam

Muslims in Britain According to the UK 2011 census, the Muslim population of England and Wales was 2.7 million (4.8% of the population) making Muslims the second largest religious group. …

Read More →

The Birth, The Revelation, The Hijra

The Birth Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim, more well known as, Prophet Muhammad is believed to be born on 4th May 570 CE in …

Read More →

The Growth

Islam expanded rapidly beyond Arabia and established empires and a substantial civilisation. 711 – 1492 Moors in Southern Spain. 1299 – 1923 Ottoman Empire. 1526 – 1857 Mughal Empire. Images …

Read More →

The Moors in Europe

711-1492 The Moors were the medieval Muslim inhabitants of Morocco, western Algeria, Western Sahara, Mauritania, the Iberian Peninsula (most of Spain and Portugal), Septimania (southern France), Sicily (including southern Italy), …

Read More →

Islamic Coins

Two dinars dating from 724-743 were found on a beach at Eastbourne in Sussex. A Scandinavian hoard of coins found in Croydon c.875 included three Kufic coins, all three are …

Read More →

Battle of Tours (Poitiers)

The Battle of Tours, also known as the Battle of Poitiers was fought in an area between the cities of Poitiers and Tours, in north-central France, in October 732CE. Tours …

Read More →

Saint Bede the Venerable

Bede (673–735), also referred to as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede was an English monk, scholar and writer based in modern day Northumberland, Northeast England. His most famous work, …

Read More →

House of Wisdom

760 – 1258 The House of Wisdom (Bayt al-Hikma) was a library, translation institute and research centre established in Abbasid-era Baghdad, Iraq. It was founded by Caliph Harun al-Rashid and …

Read More →

King Offa’s Dinar

In 773-774 King Offa of Mercia minted a coin that imitated a dinar. It bears the shahadah (Islamic declaration of faith). It is on display at the British Museum. An …

Read More →


Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, earlier transliterated as Algoritmi or Algaurizin, (780 – 850) was a Persian mathematician, astronomer and geographer during the Abbasid Empire, a scholar in the …

Read More →

Ballycotton Cross

Dated approx. 8thC-9thC In 1875 a local antiquarian, Philip T. Gardner, donated the Ballycotton cross to the British Museum. It is a jewelled Celtic cross with a centre glass jewel …

Read More →

Oldest Universities in the World

859 – University of Al-Karaouine, Fes, Morocco, originally was a mosque founded in 859 by Fatima al-Fihri, a Muslim woman. It developed into one of the leading universities for natural …

Read More →

Ibn Sina – Avicenna

c. 980 – June 1037 Ibn Sīnā, more commonly known by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, …

Read More →

One Thousand and One Arabian Nights

In 1948, a scholar, Nabia Abbott, discovered a fragment of manuscript dating back to the 9th century, which bears the title ‘Kitab Hadith Alf Layla’ (The Book of the Tale …

Read More →

Battle of Manzikert – Turks Defeat the Byzantine Empire

On August 26, 1071, the Seljuq Turks defeated the Byzantine Empire in a battle near Manzikert (modern Malazgirt in Muş Province, Turkey). The decisive defeat of the Byzantine army and …

Read More →


1095 – 1291 In March 1095, Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos sent his ambassador to call for help with defending his empire against the Muslim Seljuk Turks. Pope Urban II, …

Read More →


c. 1138 – 4th March 1193 Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb, better known in the Western world as Saladin, was the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder …

Read More →

Quran Translated into Latin

Robert of Ketton (also known as, Robertus Ketenensis) (c1110–c1160), an English theologian, astronomer and Arabist, was the main contributor to the first translation of the Qur’an into a European Western …

Read More →

King John and Morocco

In 1213, King John, of England (not yet the United Kingdom) dispatched the country’s first embassy to Morocco. The aim of that first diplomatic mission was to make contact with …

Read More →

Ottoman Empire

1299-1922 Founded by Turkish tribes under Osman Bey in north-western Anatolia in 1299. In 1453 Mehmet II conquered Constantinople. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its …

Read More →

Jami’ al-tawarikh – ‘World History’

The Jami’ al-tawarikh, also known as ‘Compendium of Chronicles’ or ‘Universal History’ is a work of literature and history, written by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani (1247–1318) at the start of the 14th …

Read More →

‘The Forme of Cury’ – Cookery Book

‘The Forme of Cury’ is one of the oldest known instructive cookery manuscripts in the English Language. It is believed to have been written at the end of the fourteenth …

Read More →

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer (c 1343-1400), is known as the Father of English literature, and widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. He was crucial in developing the legitimacy …

Read More →

Ottoman Turks Capture Constantinople

On May 29, 1453 the Ottoman Turkish army, under the leadership of Mehmed II (Mahomet II) broke Constantinople’s defensive walls, captured Constantinople and killed the Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos. …

Read More →

Learning Arabic in England

Robert Wakefield who became the Professor of Hebrew at Oxford in 1540 gave a lecture in 1524, which he delivered in Cambridge entitled ‘De laudibus et utilitate linuarum’ where he …

Read More →

Mughal Empire

1526 – 1857 The Mughal Empire began from Emperor Babur’s victory at the Battle of Panipat in 1526. The Empire grew in strength and splendour for almost two centuries. Zahiruddin …

Read More →

King Henry VIII

This is a portrait of King Henry VIII painted by Hans Holbein in 1537. King Henry’s cloak has bands of arabesque knots. The curtain beside King Henry has an interlacing …

Read More →

Queen Elizabeth I

In the time of Queen Elizabeth I trading relations with the Islamic world flourished. Following a decline in trade with the Levant over a number of decades, several London merchants …

Read More →

Levant Company

The Levant Company was established by English Charter by Elizabeth I in 1581, granting the traders of the Company a monopoly in business with the Ottoman Empire. Items such as …

Read More →

First Convert – John Nelson

John Nelson is the earliest recorded Englishman known to have converted to Islam. The source of this information comes from the book, The Voyage made to Tripoli (1583) by Thomas …

Read More →

William Shakespeare and Islam

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. His works including 38 …

Read More →

William Bedwell – The Father of Arabic Studies

William Bedwell (1561–1632) was an English priest, scholar, orientalist and Arabist. He specialised in Semitic languages, with a passion for Arabic and a keen interest in mathematics. He was also …

Read More →

Moorish Ambassador to Elizabeth I – Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud

Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun (b 1558) was principal secretary to the Moroccan ruler Mulay Ahmad al-Mansur, and ambassador to the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England …

Read More →

Shakespeare’s Othello

The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603. It is still often performed in professional and …

Read More →

The Renegado by Philip Massinger

The Renegado, or The Gentleman of Venice is a stage play, a tragicomedy written by Philip Massinger and first published in 1630. The play has attracted critical attention for its …

Read More →

Oxford and Cambridge Officially Teach Arabic

Cambridge University in 1632 and Oxford University in 1636 establish chairs (Professorships) of Arabic. Scholars were influenced by Arabic texts on mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, medicine, and biblical studies.

Read More →

Muslim Community in London

In 1641 an anonymous author writes of A’ discovery of 29 different sect’ in London. The author includes ‘Mahomatens’, Muslims. “Discovery of 29. sects here in London, all of which, …

Read More →

First Quran in English

1649 Alexander Ross was the first to translate the Quran into English. He translated it from Andre Du Ryer’s French translation. In 1734, George Sale produced the first translation of …

Read More →

Coffee Houses

1652 The first coffee house in England was set up in Oxford in 1652 by a man named Jacob at the Angel in the parish of St Peter in the …

Read More →


From the establishment of the East India Company in 1600, Indian seamen, known as lascars, travelled back and forth on the English ships. By 1660, under section 7 of the …

Read More →

Charles II and Catherine

On 23 June 1661, the marriage contract was signed, of King Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza (Portugal). Her dowry included Tangier (in North Africa) and the Seven …

Read More →

John Locke

John Locke (1632 – 1704), widely known as the Father of Classical Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. He …

Read More →

Henry Stubbe

In 1671 Henry Stubbe (1632–1676), physician and political writer, authored a manuscript entitled ‘An Account of the Rise and Progress of Mahometanism’. It was groundbreaking in being the first truly …

Read More →

Joseph Pitts – The First Englishman to Perform Hajj

Joseph Pitts (1663-1739), became a sailor in 1678. Captured by pirates was sold to North African merchants, he was converted to Islam. His master took him to Mecca where he …

Read More →

Lady Montague – Letters from Turkey

Lady Mary Worthley Montague (1689 – 1762) was an English aristocrat and writer, described as “the very first example of a secular work by a woman about the Muslim Orient”. …

Read More →

Lady Montague – Small Pox Inoculation

Lady Mary Worthley Montague (1689 – 1762) was an English aristocrat and writer. In 1716, her husband was appointed British ambassador in Istanbul, where they spent 2 years. Lady Mary’s …

Read More →

Muslims at the Old Bailey

From as early as 1720 the Old Bailey Archives show evidence of Muslims in Britain 1720 “Be Ye all of one Mind. I observed that were a Mahometan” 1765 Witness: …

Read More →

Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Michael Wren (1632 – 1723) writes: “What we now vulgarly call the Gothick, ought properly and truly be named Saracenick Architecture refined by the Christians” Compiled by his …

Read More →

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1701–1773), also known as Job Ben Solomon, was a famous Muslim who was a victim of the Atlantic slave trade. Born in Bundu, present day Senegal (West …

Read More →

George Sale’s Koran

A book titled ‘The Koran, Commonly Called the Alcoran of Mohammed’ was published in 1734 by George Sale (1697-1736), an English solicitor and Arabist. It was the second printed English …

Read More →

The Alhambra at Kew Gardens

The Alhambra designed by William Chambers and built at Kew in 1758

Read More →

The Mosque at Kew Gardens

Drawing of mosque designed by William Chambers and built at Kew in 1761

Read More →

Curry in London

The first appearance of curry on a menu was at the Norris Street Coffee House, Haymarket, London in 1773. By 1784 curry and rice had become house specialities in some …

Read More →

The Travels of Dean Mahomet

In 1794, Sake Dean Mahomed published his travel book, The Travels of Dean Mahomet, published in Cork, Ireland. The book begins with the praise of Genghis Khan, Timur and particularly …

Read More →

Arab Trading Houses in Manchester

1798 Directories show that by 1798 there were four Arab trading houses in Manchester – drawn to the city by the cotton trade.

Read More →

Sake Dean Mahomed & the First Indian Restaurant

1810 In 1810 Sake Dean Mahomed (Sheikh Din Muhammad) opens the Hindoostane Coffee House at 34 George Street, Portman Square, (later expanding to 35 George Street) to serve the gentry …

Read More →

Sezincote House

1812 Sezincote House and Gardens was ‘Indianised’ between 1805 and 1812 by the Cockerell brothers. Influenced by Mughal Emperor Akbar’s mix of Islamic and Hindu designs, it includes a central …

Read More →

Islam Becomes Legal in Britain

The Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813 (sometimes called the Trinitarian Act 1812) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It amended the Blasphemy Act 1697 in …

Read More →

Sake Dean Mahomed – the Shampooing Surgeon

Between 1812 and 1814 Sake Dean Mahomed (Sheikh Din Muhammad) moved to Brighton and subsequently opened a bath-house. He provided aromatic vapour baths, massage and shampooing. In his peak he …

Read More →

Brighton Pavilion and Stables

Designed in the Indian style by William Porden the stables were completed in 1808. The work was taken over by John Nash, and he completed the Royal Pavilion in 1823.

Read More →

Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 – Malaysia and Indonesia

The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, also known as the Treaty of London, was a treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in London on 17 March 1824. It …

Read More →

Ayahs’ Home

According to an advert in The Times on 3 December 1868 The Ayahs’ Home is said to be founded in 1825 in Aldgate by a Mrs Rogers. It provided shelter …

Read More →

Owen Jones

Owen Jones (1809 – 1874) 1833-34 Jones and the young French architect Jules Goury travelled to Egypt to study the Islamic architecture of Cairo and the ancient sites, and continued …

Read More →

Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak

Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, KCB (1803-1868) was a British ‘adventurer’ whose exploits of the Malay Archipelago led to him becoming the first White Rajah of Sarawak. Brooke was …

Read More →

Crimean War

The Crimean War (October 1853–February 1856), was fought by an alliance of Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia against Russia. During the years leading up to the Crimean War, France, Russia …

Read More →

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910) was a celebrated British social reformer and statistician. She is respectfully known as the founder of modern nursing. She came to prominence while serving as …

Read More →

Joseph Salter

Joseph Salter was born about 1821 and was a missionary for over 40 years with the London City Mission. Salter was the first and resident missionary at the Strangers’ Home …

Read More →

Victorian Turkish Baths

Turkish baths were introduced to Britain by David Urquhart, diplomat and sometime Member of Parliament for Stafford, who for political and personal reasons wished to popularize Turkish culture. In 1850 …

Read More →

William Morris

William Morris (1834 – 1896) was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and English Arts and Crafts Movement. He was a major contributor …

Read More →

Lord Stanley the first Muslim Lord

In 1862, Henry Edward John Stanley (11 July 1827 – 10 December 1903), converted to Islam. In 1869 he inherited hereditary titles upon the death of his father, Edward John …

Read More →

Suez Canal

1869 Suez Canal opens (101 miles long). It prompts a new wave of Muslim immigrants into Britain, sailors from Yemen and Somalia. Communities in Cardiff, Liverpool, Southshields, Glasgow and London …

Read More →

Arab Hall – Leighton House

1877 Leighton House was the home and studio of leading Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton. Finished in 1877, the Arab Hall extantion is decorated with Leighton’s collection of 1,000 tiles …

Read More →

Queen Victoria

1877 Queen Victoria becomes Empress of India. She ruled over more Muslims than any other leader, including the Ottoman Sultan.

Read More →

Arab Hall – Cardiff Castle

Arab Room, Cardiff Castle, designed by William Burgess and completed 1881

Read More →

William Henry Abdullah Quilliam

William Henry Quilliam, was born in 1856, the son of a watchmaker, of Manx descent, brought up Wesleyan Methodist, later turning to Unitarianism and successful practised law in Liverpool. In …

Read More →

Abdul Karim

1887 In Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year, Abdul Karim was one of two Indians selected to become servants to Queen Victoria. He served her during the final fifteen years of her …

Read More →

Treaty of Protection 1888 – Brunei

During Sultan Hashim’s reign (Sultan Hashim Jalilul Alam Aqamaddin was the 26th Sultan of Brunei, he ruled Brunei from May 1885 to May 1906) two important agreements were made between …

Read More →

Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner

Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner (14 October 1840 – 22 March 1899) was a British orientalist, born in Budapest, Hungary, on 14 October 1840 to a Jewish family. . As a child …

Read More →

Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking

1889 The Shah Jahan Mosque (also known as Shah Jehan Mosque and Woking Mosque) on Oriental Road in Woking, England, is known to be the first purpose built mosque in …

Read More →

8 Brougham Terrace

On Christmas morning, 1889, a young man opened the doors of 8 Brougham Terrace, West Derby Road, Liverpool, where a substantial breakfast was laid on for 230 poor children of …

Read More →

London Mosque Fund

1910 A public meeting was convened at the Ritz Hotel for the establishment of the London Mosque Fund for “a mosque in London worthy of the tradition of Islam and …

Read More →

World War I – WWI

Muslim contribution to World War I 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918… to be added Image (c) Imperial War Museum

Read More →

Muslim Burial Ground

1915 The Muslim Burial Ground (or Moslem Burial Ground), in Woking, was built for the Muslim soldiers that died at the Indian Army Hospital in Brighton, during WWI. Opened in …

Read More →

Lady Evelyn ‘Zainab’ Cobbold

1933 Lady Evelyn ‘Zainab’ Cobbold (1867 – 1963) became the first British-born woman to perform Hajj in 1933, aged 65. She published ‘Pilgrimage to Mecca’ in 1934. Buried following Muslim …

Read More →

World War II – WWII

Muslim contribution to World War II 1939 to 1945… to be added

Read More →

Martin Lings – Keeper of oriental manuscripts and printed books.

Martin Lings (Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din), was an English writer and Shakespearean and Islamic scholar, born January 24 1909. Studying at Magdalen College, Oxford, he gained a BA in English …

Read More →

Noor Inayat Khan

1940 Noor Inayat Khan (2 January 1914 – 13 September 1944). Her father, Hazrat Inayat Khan, was born to nobility and came from a princely Indian Muslim family (his mother …

Read More →

Partition of India

The Partition of India was the partition of the British Indian Empire which led to the creation, on August 14, 1947 and August 15, 1947, respectively, of the sovereign states …

Read More →

FOSIS – Federation of Student Islamic Societies

1963 The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) is a national umbrella organisation aimed at supporting and representing Islamic societies at colleges and universities in the United Kingdom and Ireland. …

Read More →

The World of Islam Festival – London

1976 In spring of 1976, Queen Elizabeth II opened the World of Islam Festival in London. 32 Muslim nations, accumulated 6,000 objects from 250 public and private collections in 30 …

Read More →

The Rushdie Affair

1988 The Rushdie Affair, also known as, the Satanic Verses controversy. Written by Salman Rushdie, the Satanic Verses was published by Viking Penguin on 26 September 1988. In Islamic communities, …

Read More →

Runnymede Trust Researches Islamophobia

In 1996 The Runnymede Trust, an independent research and social policy agency, established the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia. In February 1997 the Commission produced a consultation paper entitled …

Read More →

East is East

East Is East a play by Ayub Khan-Din, opened at the Royal Court Theatre on 26 March 1997. In 1999, it was made into a film of the same name, …

Read More →

Mohammad Sarwar – First Muslim MP

1997 On 1 May 1997 Mohammad Sarwar was elected as Member of Parliament for Glasgow Govan in the 1997 general election, becoming Britain’s first Muslim MP. 2001 He was re-elected …

Read More →

Muslim Council of Britain

1997 The Muslim Council of Britain, also known as MCB, was inaugurated on November 23 1997 at the Brent Town Hall in Wembley by representatives of more than 250 Muslim …

Read More →

Two Muslims in the House of Lords

1998 In 1998 two Muslim peers were appointed – Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham and Baroness Manzila Pola Uddin

Read More →

Religion asked in Census 2001

2001 For the first time since 1851, the 2001 Census for England and Wales included a question on faith.

Read More →