Prominent Muslim photographer Jak Muhsin Kilby dies – 5Pillars

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Jak Muhsin Kilby

The prominent photographer Jak Muhsin Kilby, who took many iconic images of the Muslim world, has died aged 72.

Kilby was a London-based photographer who covered a varied spectrum of work including art, theatre, dance, music, portraiture, architecture and news. He also wrote in a variety of publications on jazz, African music, Jerusalem and the Palestinian issue.

After having converted to Islam in mid-life, he travelled extensively in Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Sudan, Egypt), as well as the USA and Canada, Israel and Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and western Europe.

His photographs were published in all the major British broadsheet newspapers – The Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, and Times, as well as numerous magazines, with major contributions to Time Out, The Wire, West Africa, and fRoots (Folk Roots). His work also appeared in over one hundred book titles.

His photo exhibition “Palestine – The Holy Land / The Steadfast / The Believers” toured extensively in over twenty countries on four continents. “The Crown of the Holy City” (on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem) moved from the Brunei Gallery in London to numerous locations, and his exhibition “Islamic Jerusalem: The Land of the Prophets” is on permanent display at Al-Maktoum Institute in Dundee, Scotland.

In 1991 he married Nora Abdul Majid. They moved to Malaysia, a base from which he travelled the Muslim world.

He photographed the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the Rustem Pasha mosque in Istanbul and the Jummah prayer at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. He became deeply engaged with the history of Palestine and its people’s cause, creating several exhibitions which were shown around the world.

He is survived by Nora and their daughter, Safiyah; by a son, Zak, and a daughter, Naomi, from his first marriage, to Lynda Murray; and by two granddaughters, Jazmin and Tianna.

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