Marmaduke William Pickthall, born in 1875 London to Mary O''Brien and the Reverend Charles Grayson Pickthall, is remembered-if he is remembered at all-as a translator of the Qur''an. The fact that a practicing English Christian would convert to Islam and become a renowned translator of the holiest of Muslim texts during years of volatile relations between Britain and the Ottoman Empire is itself exceptional. Yet Pickthall was much more than an historical oddity or gifted translator: he was a novelist, journalist, political and religious leader, and an often confusing mix of allegiances and beliefs.Marmaduke Pickthall: British Muslim is an examination of his ideas and writings. For twenty years of Pickthall''s adult life, he was a devout Christian, and for the last twenty years he was a devout Muslim. Peter Clark''s book raises issues of Muslim and national identity. Pickthall wrote much about Islam which he saw as an open, tolerant and progressive religion. A reissue of the book is a timely and authoritative contribution to current debates.
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