Queen Victoria Stands By Hafeez-e-Qur’an Abdul Shunning Her Own Officials

Published: 3 May 2023

By Shofi Ahmed

In the opulent halls of Buckingham Palace, a hidden gem was waiting to be discovered. Abdul, a Hafeez who had memorised the Qur’an by heart, arrived with nothing but inspiring tales and themes from his hometown of Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal. Little did anyone know that his presence would soon illuminate the palace with a brilliance never before seen. As Abdul made his entrance, his first sight captured the attention of the brightest bulb in the Royal court: Queen Victoria. Her sharp, regal eyes were immediately drawn to his radiance. It was a moment that would forever change the course of her life and leave an indelible mark on her legacy.

Abdul found himself embraced by the Queen’s warmth and generosity, as their friendship grew a lotus blossom between them. Soon he was no ordinary folk. The queen filled his empty bag with heartfelt letters written by herself.

Abdul served the queen heartwarming, tantalising curry dishes that left her captivated by the aroma of his spices. With each bite, she savoured the vibrant spectrum of flavours and felt as though she had dipped into a rainbow of colours.

In letters to Abdul, the queen expressed her deep appreciation for the delightful curry feasts that he prepared, infused with themes of the moonlit Taj Mahal and the richness of Muslim culture. Together, they created a celestial culinary experience that filled the halls of Buckingham Palace with the exquisite flavours of the Subcontinent.

Their friendship kept blossoming amidst the grandeur of Buckingham Palace, where Abdul shared the flavours and aromas of his culture with the Queen. In a moment of profound appreciation and admiration, the Queen uttered the sacred expression of joy “Alhamdulillah” to her dear Munshi, an Urdu teacher, benevolent Abdul, forever leaving a legacy of cultural exchange and understanding.

Noting the historic reason why Abdul was brought to the royal palace, historyextra.com wrote: ‘As Queen Victoria celebrated her golden jubilee in 1887, the British empire was approaching its zenith, encompassing a fifth of the globe. Keen to flaunt its imperial splendour, the royal household transported subjects from across the globe to take part in the celebrations. One of those brought to England was 24-year-old Indian jail clerk Abdul Karim, who was chosen to wait on Victoria and present her with a ceremonial Mughal coin.’

However, things took a turn when the Queen was captivated by Abdul’s personality and vast knowledge, particularly his mastery of Islamic teachings as a Hafeez. The Queen found a kindred spirit in Abdul who soon became her Munshi, or Urdu teacher. Through his tutelage, Abdul instilled in her a deep understanding and appreciation of the Islamic faith. His influence on the Queen was so profound that it lasted throughout her life, even in the face of opposition from her inner circle who tried to undermine Abdul’s position. But the Queen remained steadfast in her support for Abdul, even insisting on meeting him alone on her deathbed. Abdul’s impact on Queen Victoria’s life and legacy is a testament to the power of cultural exchange and understanding.

As the head of state, Queen Victoria had ruled over nearly a quarter of the world’s population. Yet, in her later years, her closest companion and confidant was Abdul, a Hafeez of the Qur’an. Their bond was so strong that she requested him to be by her side during her final moments on her deathbed. With this momentous connection with Abdul we may have found a defining aspect of Queen Victoria’s illustrious royal life.