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Re: Urdu column on Humphrey's Confessions
By:Mubashir, Canada
Date: Friday, 4 May 2012, 4:56 pm
In Response To: Urdu column on Humphrey's Confessions (Abu Abdullah - Karachi, Pakistan)

And.............the rebutal to this hoax(?):

Humphrey’s ‘Memoirs’

This book 30 was translated into Urdu in India and it was claimed by its
publishers that Humphrey was an English spy whose duty was to spy on
the Ottoman caliphate in the 18 th Century. He went through training in
adopting an Islamic identity and learning Arabic, and then travelled to
Basra where he met Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, and a strong
friendship developed between the two. The Publishers claim that these
memoirs remained hidden until they fell into the hands of the Germans
during World War II, who published it as a way of slandering the British
government. It was translated into French, Arabic and Urdu. A perusal
of this book makes it abundantly clear that it is an imaginary fictional
narrative, coined deliberately to discredit Sheikh ibn Abdul Wahhab and
his followers by the British. Our evidence to prove the book is a
concoction is twofold: historical evidence from its contents, and our
fruitless search to find the original English version.

1. We began with a trip to the British Library’s Rare Books Section,
which contains books printed prior to 1975. There were 72 entries under
Humphrey, but none related to our subject. We found one entry under
Humphrey’s Memoirs (printed 1734), but these were the memoirs of the
Duke of Gloucester who recorded his relations with the ruling family of
the time.

The publishers of the offending book had also given a number of
alternative titles such as ‘Colonisation Ideal’ and ‘The English spy in
Islamic countries’. Needless to say we found no such book, and neither
did our search under ‘spy’ reveal anything useful. The advent of
computers has made access to rare and remote books very easy, and we
have been forced to conclude after an intensive search that no such book
exists and that we have a fabricated translation published by the
enemies of the Sheikh ibn Abdul Wahhab.

2. Humphrey claims he travelled to Istanbul in 1710 at the age of 20. He
returned to London and then travelled to Basrah in 1712 after a long
sea journey lasting six months. This claim is irrational as sea travel
between England and Gulf was not that long. He also claims to have met
Shaikh At Taee, one of the Sheikhs of Basrah. He then met a carpenter of
Iranian origins called Abdul Riza with whom he began working, and there
he met a. young man who spoke Turkish, Persian and Arabic. He wore the
garb of students and was known as Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. [31] The
claim of this acquaintance is clearly false. Sheikh ibn Abdul Wahhab was
born in 1703, attaining majority at the age of twelve when his father
arranged his marriage. After travelling to the Hijaz for the Hajj, he
returned to Najd and stayed with his father to study. He did not travel
to seek knowledge until 1722 when he travelled to Makkah, Madina and
Basrah. There is thus no possibility of the Sheikh and the fictional
Humphrey meeting in Basrah as the dates do not correspond. And all the
scholars who have researched the biography of the Sheikh have rejected
claims that the Sheikh travelled to Turkey and Persia. [32]

3. The book claims that the Sheikh expressed a desire to travel to
Istanbul, but was advised against it by Humphrey for fear of persecution
from the Ottomans. He advised the Sheikh to travel to Isfahan instead,
and the Sheikh did so. This too is a lie. Syyed Abdul Haleem al Jundi
quotes in

‘Al Imam Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab ‘ the victory of the Salafi method’,
‘I discussed this with Sheikh ibn Baz, who denied the journey to
Kurdistan and Iran. Sheikh Ibn Baz told me he took this information from
his Sheikhs, including the grandchildren of Sheikh Ibn Abdul Wahhab,
and especially his own Sheikh, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim’. [33]

4. Humphrey claims that the Sheikh declared his da’wah in 1143 AH. This
is the only time he uses the hijrah calendar in his book. It also
reveals his ignorance of historical facts, as the Sheikh returned to
Huraymilah three years before the death of his father in 1153, and
declared his da’wah after the death of his father.

5. There is yet more evidence that Humphrey was devoid of historical
knowledge. Humphrey travelled to Istanbul in 1710, giving the ostensible
reason that the British Empire was assigning great importance to its
established colonies. The Empire was so vast it was said that the sun
did not set within its boundaries. Although the British Isles were
themselves relatively small, the extended territories including India,
China and the Middle East were extensive and required careful
governance. The Ministry for Colonies decided to recruit spies to gather
information from the territories, and so Humphrey became involved. 34
It is historically inaccurate to place these events at the beginning of
the 18 th Century. India at the time was not a colony; the East India
Company began trading in the 17 th Century but had no political hold

1757 when Bengal was captured. It began expanding until the rule of the
Company was transferred to direct rule from England in 1857. Therefore,
there was no Indian colony in 1710. There was also no British colonial
involvement in China at the time; Hong Kong did not fall to the British
until the Treaty of 1898.

It is therefore clear that the inventor of the Memoirs has let his
imagination run riot and abandon historical accuracy. He has set his
story at the end of the 19 th Century in the heyday of the British
Empire, when the sun truly did not set on its colonies. But in doing so,
he has exposed himself to be a writer of fiction, not fact.

6. The author attributes many actions and words to the Sheikh which are
at clear odds with the beliefs, teachings and distinctly Islamic
character of the Sheikh. There is no need to discuss these filthy
slanders in any detail, as the authenticity of the facts in the book has
been proven to be false.

7. In order to lend credibility to his ‘memoirs’, the author sprinkles
the novel with stories of plots by the British government to disunite
the Muslims; to create ideological and religious upheaval among them; to
spread evil among their men and women; to distance them from Arabic,
the language of the Qur’an; to encourage the use of national and social
languages; to establish missionary schools; and to weaken the position
of the Muslims politically and economically.

I have attempted to prove the fabrication of this book through its
historical inaccuracy and doubtful authorship, as I believe that no one
else has done so yet. In fact, a book as insignificant as this does not
deserve even a second glance, let alone a serious critical study. But
from a sense of duty and Amanah, I decided to shed light on the lies
contained within it. And Allah knows best the intentions.


Messages In This Thread

Urdu column on Humphrey's Confessions
Abu Abdullah - Karachi, Pakistan -- Friday, 4 May 2012, 6:52 am
Re: Urdu column on Humphrey's Confessions
Mubashir, Canada -- Friday, 4 May 2012, 4:56 pm
Correction: John Hempher
*Dr. Shabbir, Florida -- Friday, 4 May 2012, 5:03 pm
Re: Urdu column on Humphrey's Confessions
Abu Abdullah - Karachi, Pakistan -- Sunday, 6 May 2012, 5:24 am