Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Oldest British Convert to Islam, Br Mohamed Keith-Kinglsey Cunliffe?

He may well be the oldest British convert to Islam. Allah knows best. Use this as an inspiration to give dawah to older people in the UK too.

Meet Br Mohamed Keith-Kinglsey Cunliffe of London, the oldest convert that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He will be turning 90 soon, and he converted to Islam a few years ago.

I asked him to tell me his fascinating story. He was accepted to Sandhurst Academy, the Royal Military Academy of England, but because WW2 was in full swing, he was told that he would have to be conscripted in the army and that he would automatically be promoted in the military in lieu of his studies at Sandhurst. But he told me, "I couldn't go fight in the war because I didn't want to kill another human being." So he turned down the prestigious offer.

After the war, in the early 1950s, he got a job with a British company to manage a tea factory in Indonesia. It was there, he said, that he saw Muslims for the first time in his life. Although he only worked there for a few years, the memories of those Muslims always remained with him, and when he returned, he purchased a copy of the Quran and continue to read it, and other works about Islam, for the next sixty years!!

He said he always wanted to convert but the opportunity never presented itself. One day, as he was walking in the street of London, he passed by a dawah stall run by my friend Abd al-Raheem Green and others. One conversation led to a few meetings, and finally, in his 80s, Keith adopted the name 'Muhammad', after the man whom he admired most.

One of the locals told me that he is so eager to learn the Quran that he attends the Quran classes his local masjid offers to the little kids to read the Arabic. So our brother Mohammad, at the age of 90, sits with 5 year olds to learn how to recite the Quran! He confessed to me, slightly apologetic, "I can read now, but I still don't understand the Arabic!"

I asked him, "What was it about those Indonesian workers that impressed you so much and caused you to take such an interest in Islam?" He immediately responded, "Their good manners. And their prayers - I would watch them walk into the river and wash themselves, and asked them what they were doing. So they told me they were performing wudhu for their prayer."

Let us take a lesson from this anecdote: never, ever underestimate the power of good manners, and of true spirituality. Those Indonesian workers probably never knew the impact of their simple akhlaq on their 'boss', yet six decades later, it was their cheery attitude, their honesty, and their salat that caused Keith to accept the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and change his name to the man that he loved the most. Taken from Dr Yasir Qadhi's FB

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