First British Revert Woman to Go to Hajj

Here is the fascinating story of the first British revert woman to go to Hajj! She was a Victorian aristocrat her name was Lady Zainab Cobbold.

Lady Zainab Cobbold was born in Edinburgh in 1867. She had an interesting childhood. Her family went to North Africa every Winter spending time in Algiers and Cairo.

Lady Cobbold learned Arabic and spent time with Muslim children and was tended to by Muslim nannies. She would love to visit the mosques with her Muslim friends. She felt she was a little Muslim at heart.

Her declaration of being a Muslim came at a surprising moment when she met the Pope. He asked her if she was Catholic and she was taken aback before replying that she was Muslim.

She married into the Cobbold family in 1891 but they were separated in 1921. That is when she began her quest to Hajj. She also published a book telling her story. She had to gain permission to travel to Hajj.

Zainab became the first woman born in Britain to perform Hajj in 1935. She was 65 years old. She died 30 years after fulfilling her dream.