Abdullah Yusuf Ali(1872-1953), Barrister and lecturer
Sitter in 2 portraits
British-Indian Islamic scholar and barrister. Born in Bombay, he was schooled at Wilson College, Bombay, but also received Islamic schooling, eventually becoming a 'Quran Hifiz', able to recite the entire Quran from memory. He attained a first class degree in English Literature at the University of Bombay, aged 19 and was awarded a Presidency of Bombay Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge where he pursued an MA and LL.B. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1896 in absentia because he had returned to India. He had two marriages to English women, both marriages ended in divorce despite his second wife converting to Islam and moving to India. He was fluent in Hindi, Arabic and English. His translation of the Quran is one of the most well known and widely referred to in the English-speaking world (the other being Marmaduke Pickethall's translation). He was the recipient of a CBE in 1917 for his services to supporting the British War effort. He became a lecturer in Hindustani at the newly founded School of Oriental Studies (now known as the School or Oriental and African Studies) the same year. He bequeathed most of his estate to the University of London for the benefit of Indian students studying there. He is buried at Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking.