Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Chridtina Longden: Robert Reschid ReStanley (1828-1911) - His Own Man, A Victorian Hidden Muslim

Chridtina Longden: Robert Reschid ReStanley (1828-1911) - His Own Man, A Victorian Hidden Muslim 

Cambridge Muslim College - 3/20/2020 -

His Own Man, A Victorian Hidden Muslim: The Life & Times of Robert Reschid Stanley

Robert Stanley was born in 1828. He was a respectable, northern working-class Victorian man who converted to Islam. But his family managed to keep his Muslim identity a secret - for nearly a century after his death in 1911.

Robert grew up in the cradle of Britain’s Industrial Revolution and was part of Ashton under Lyne’s Christian Israelite sect. Self-educated, this Stalybridge grocer and tea-trader made it his mission to help northern working men bribed by rich factory owners during elections. He rose to become one of Britain’s first working-class magistrates and mayors, witnessing first-hand some of the most violent riots, radicalism and progressive reforms of the Victorian era.
Robert was committed to justice for all, even when his public challenges to an unfair British foreign policy caused troubles for him. In 1898 at the age of 69, he sold his Ashton pub and took the astonishing decision to convert to Islam, moving to Manchester and becoming close friend of famous convert - Abdullah Quilliam - Sheikh of Islam of the British Isles, who had set up the country’s first mosque, in Liverpool.

‘Rooted in the past, deeply personal and shaping our present, 'His Own Man' is a necessary and timely read in the debate about identity and belonging’.
‘Essential reading for anyone interested in challenging preconceived ideas of Muslim and working-class community life. Chris Longden must be congratulated … Robert Reschid Stanley would be deeply proud of this work.
Compelling socio-political portraits of one of the leading Victorian Muslims, based upon extensive archival research, this book provide a much-needed contribution towards a growing field of research on early Muslim convert communities during Victorian Britain’.
DR SHAMIM MIAH, Senior Lecturer, University of Huddersfield.


In 1898, at the age of 69, he converted to Islam and as was the case with many of the British Muslim convert community, adopted the name 'Reschid'.[3] He was the owner of the New Inn, a pub in Ashton-upon-Lyne which he sold prior to his conversion.[4]

His path towards conversion has been researched by his great great great granddaughter, Christina Longden in books His Own Man and Imagining Robert. Longden gives presentations and talks about Stanley's life and British Islam.[5] In 1999, Stanley's great great grandson, Brian Longden, was researching his family history and discovered that Stanley had converted to Islam; Brian's own son, had himself converted in 1991, knowing nothing about his ancestor.

After his conversion, he was appointed by his friend, William Abdullah QuilliamShaykh al-Islām of the British Isles, to serve as the vice president of the Liverpool Muslim Institute, arguably the first mosque in the United Kingdom. Stanley became a supporter of the Ottoman Empire and corresponded with the Caliph, Abdul Hamid II, advising him on agricultural, industrial and military matters.

He died, aged 83, in 1911 in his home town of Stalybridge.[3]

The Victorian Muslims who became Muslims -BBC News (Abdullah Quilliam,Lady Evelyn Cobbold, Robert Stanley )-


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home