The British Muslims as usual celebrated the anniversary of the happy day on which the last and greatest of the prophets entered the world, by holding special services and festivities at the Liverpool Mosque.
The proceedings commenced on Sunday evening, when a lecture was delivered by the Sheikh-ul-Islam of the British Isles (Abdullah Quilliam Effendi), to a large and appreciative audience, upon the subject of ‘Islam and Science’. In the course of his remarks the Sheikh dwelt at length upon the fact that both the Prophet and the early Caliphs encouraged the pursuit of learning, and showed how the liberal arts and sciences had prospered under the Islamic regime. He related graphically the instance of how the Prophet had rewarded a poet who had composed a Kasida in his honour, and also detailed the manner in which the Caliph of Spain had honoured scientists and encouraged learning, and demonstrated that the western world and science in general owed a deep debt of gratitude to the discoveries made by these Muslim scientists.
After the lecture was over the brethren entered the Mosque, where a special Doa was delivered in honour of the Prophet.
The exterior of the Mosque had been tastefully decorated with numerous banners and Islamic emblems, and the interior of the Institution, including the Lecture Hall and Mosque, were festooned with little bannerettes and other ornaments, whilst texts from the Koran and pious inscriptions were placed in suitable positions upon the walls.
The special service was conducted by the Sheikh, and amongst others present were His Excellency M. Kiamil Bey (Ottoman Consul-General at Liverpool) and the Honourable R. Ahmed Quilliam Bey (Chancelier to the Ottoman Consulate at Liverpool), who attended officially, attired in their full uniform; Bros. Professors H. Nasrullah Warren, F.S.C., and H. Haschem Wilde; Billal Quilliam Bey, J. Bokhari Jeffery, Djemal-ud-deen Rankin, T. Emin Lawrenson, H. Meyer, John Chapman, Billal Wilkinson, J. Walker, Yehya Pugh, Sami Pidgeon, Abdul Guffoor (Bombay), Sami Johnson, Djem Whitwell, Arabi Whitwell, Redjib Corson, Geo. Whitwell, Geo. Otley, Edward Reid, Walter Hincks, Hyram Croxton; Sisters Mesdames Jones (sen.), Winter, Jones (jun.), the Misses Shone, Lilian Ayesha Quilliam, Jones, Khadijah Rooney, Reid, Susie Hincks, &c.
The decorations of the Hall and Mosque were under the superintendance of Billal Quilliam Bey, assisted by Bros. T. Abu-Bekr Barker, Djem Whitwell, Arabi Whitwell, Hassan Radford and others, and were admired by all who saw them.
On Monday a holiday was given to the pupils of the Liverpool Muslim Institute, and in the evening a sumptuous repast was provided for several hundred poor people, irrespective of creed or nationality, the following being present and assisting on that occasion:- Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam, M. Kiamil Bey, R. Ahmed Quilliam Bey, Billal Quilliam Bey, Professor H. Nasrullah Warren, F.S.C., J. Bokhari Jeffery, H. Meyer, T. Emin Lawrenson, J. Walker, Sami Pigeon, Sami Johnson, Edward Reid, Geo. Otley, Walter Hincks, Redjib Corson, Djem and Arabi Whitwell, Billal, Fashi-ud-deen and Huey Charlton, E. Jones, &c.; Sisters Mesdames Jones (sen.) Reid, Charlton, Winter and Jones (jun.), the Misses Shone, Reid, Ethel, Lily and Florrie Quilliam, Rooney, Charlton, Susie Hincks, Lily Hannah, Jones, Laura Munroe, Lily Miller, E. Jones, J. Jones, R. Brown, &c.
At the close of the evening, thanks to the munificence of the Ottoman Consul-General at Liverpool (His Excellency M. Kiamil Bey), a small sum of money was presented to each poor person (whether adult or child) leaving the hall. Miss Shone also kindly gave a large quantity of toffee and other sweetmeats to the children, which they seemed to highly appreciate.
After the poor people had departed the members of the Muslim Institution amused themselves by playing entertaining and innocent games until about 10 o’clock in the evening.
All the Liverpool newspapers and many of the other provincial journals gave reports of the proceedings, a few of which we are able to present to our readers.
THE PRESS ON THE CELEBRATIONS.
CELEBRATING MUHAMMED’S BIRTHDAY IN LIVERPOOL.
(From the Liverpool Mercury, July 10, 1900.)
The anniversary of the day on which the Prophet Muhammed was born – and on which, by a singular coincidence, he also died – this year (according to Muslim Chronology) falling upon July 9, the British Muslims have celebrated with special rejoicings. Inasmuch as the Muslim day (like the Hebrew one) commences at the sunset of the preceding day, the Muslims assembled in the Liverpool Mosque a little before the hour of sunset on Sunday evening. Both the exterior and the interior of the building were ornamented with a choice display of bunting, and numerous Ottoman and Islamic banners floated in the breeze. Special prayers were given in the Mosque, including a Doa in honour of the Prophet, in which the True-Believers, after having solicited Divine assistance against ‘the evil Shaitan, driven away with stones,’ requested blessings to be showered down upon the head of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his descendents, and upon ‘the last and greatest of the Prophets, Hazrati Muhammed, and his descendents.’ The service was conducted by the Sheikh-ul-Islam of the British Isles (Abdullah Quilliam Effendi), and was attended by the Ottoman Consul-General at Liverpool, His Excellency Mahmoud Kiamil Bey, the Chancellor to the Ottoman Consulate, the Honourable Ahmed Quilliam Bey, and by a large number of other influential members of the Muslim community. The scene in the Mosque was very picturesque, the Sheikh in his long, flowing robes of white and gold, the Consular staff in their brilliant uniforms, the members in their many-hued cloaks, and the children from the Muslim College and Medina Home in their Zouave dress and fez caps being all grouped together. The festivities were concluded last evening by the giving of a substantial tea to several hundred poor persons and children irrespective of creed.
THE PROPHET’S BIRTHDAY.
(Daily Despatch (Manchester), 10 July, 1900).
From sunset to sunset, ending yesterday, the Moslems of the British Isles, in common with their co-religionists of the East, have been celebrating the Prophet’s birthday. At Liverpool, the headquarters of the sect, five services were held. The muezzin from time to time ascended the minaret of the Mosque in Medina Road, and uttered the historic invitation, ‘Come to prayers,’ what time a good many Christians were worshipping at the shrine of Bacchus.
Yesterday there was a distribution of food to 500 poor people. None of these were co-religionists, there being no Muslim poor in Liverpool, and it is noteworthy that no attempt was made to convert any of the recipients to the ‘faith.’