AbdulWahid Hamid, writer, editor, educationalist, teacher and community activist, was born in Trinidad in 1943. His paternal grandfather had migrated to the Caribbean from Kanpur (Cawnpore) in India while his grandmother as a young Hindu girl of 14 was kidnapped off the streets by British agents in India and taken to Trinidad as an ‘indentured labourer’. His best-selling ‘Islam: the Natural Way’ has been translated into several languages including French, Spanish, Turkish, Bossanski, Urdu and Malay. He has recently published ‘Burnishing the Heart’, selections from the Qur’an for self-awareness with some personal reflections. Earlier publications include a pioneering course for the teaching of Qur’anic Arabic, and life histories of the Companions of the Prophet based on original Arabic sources. He has edited numerous books including the important ‘The Meccan Crucible’ by Zakaria Bashier, and more recently M. S. Kayani’s ‘Pondering the Qur’an’ and ‘The Quest for Sanity – reflections on September 11 and the Aftermath’.
Prior to arriving in Britain in 1964, AbdulWahid was a primary school teacher and had a brief sojourn as a student at Al-Azhar in Cairo. In London, while doing further ‘A’ levels in Latin and History, he joined the Labour Party but left in disgust at Harold Wilson’s Rhodesia policy.
AbdulWahid studied history and Arabic at the School of Oriental & African Studies. A life-long activist and mentor, he has been president of the London Islamic Circle, general secretary of the Federation of Students’ Islamic Societies, editor of ‘The Muslim’, a member of the team that launched ‘Impact International’ in 1970, and a mainstay of community initiatives both in Trinidad and Britain, in particular the founding and development of The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). He was a member of the MCB panel that presented evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Religious Offences in October 2002. He was responsible for the major refurbishment of the Rabitah Centre and Mosque, Goodge Street, Central London under the supervision of the architect Ayyub Malik and the graphic designer Zafar Malik. His career has included work as a university lecturer and an educational consultant in Saudi Arabia and the teaching of Qur’anic Arabic in London, Chicago, Toronto, Trinidad and Bahrain.