This article is also available in: Italiano
We present Mahomet Allum, without a shadow of a doubt the most extraordinary herbalist in all of Australia, an authentic gift to humanity.
The camel driver of Kandahar
Mahomet Allum was born in Kandahar in 1858 in a family of Pashtun ethnicity; in his native land he devoted himself from a very young age to the breeding of camels and horses, so much so that he was soon noticed by the British leaders. At the time, in fact, London had undertaken the first exploration campaigns of the Australian hinterland, research that had led the British to import camels and camel drivers, animals considered particularly suitable for the purpose. In 1898, Mahomet was among the first Afghans who arrived there, managing to make a significant contribution also in the construction of some railway sections still in use today.
In a short time he and his compatriots monopolized the sector, thus creating great discontent on the part of the locals, who began to discriminate them more and more, prompting Allum to change jobs several times. In 1938, after a long wandering, he settled in Adelaide, the place where he will open his herbalist’s shop near the local mosque.
“The most discussed man (except Hitler)”
In a short time his fame will become legendary, leading him to have up to 600 patients a day, anxious for his treatments and portentous remedies. In fact, Allum drew from the ancient Arab and Persian medical tradition, going to use herbs and flowers as drugs instead of those traditionally recommended by British doctors. In the meantime, the herbalist carried out an intense charitable activity and support for the least with great fervor, helping anyone who needed it. He accepted no compensation other than donations and did not accept any form of payment from the poorest, to whom he freely provided everything they needed; he also personally went to the Aborigines to distribute food and medicines.
He donated most of the donations he received in charity, going as far as donating £ 15,000 during the Great Depression (when he felt that they wanted to tax him £ 500, he threatened to return to Afghanistan, but was stopped by a petition of 19,000 to make him stay in Australia). He also worried infinitely about Australian Muslims, buying burial grounds for the less wealthy and taking care to provide translations of the Qur’an for every believer (even though he himself is illiterate); moreover, he was responsible for the first conversions of Europeans on the continent, truly amazing results. These results brought him nicknames such as: “Humanity’s Benefactor,” “Wonder Man” and “Adelaide’s Uncrowned King”; the most incredible one, however, was given to him during the Second World War, that is: “the most discussed man (except Hitler)”.
Mourners and pilgrimages
In 1940 he married Jean Emsley, with whom he lived a long and happy marriage and from whom he had his only daughter Bebe Nora. In 1953 Jean decided to move to Afghanistan and Mahomet met his wife’s requests, the one here converted. Unfortunately, the latter died shortly after smallpox, leading Allum to make his pilgrimage to Mecca before returning to Adelaide, where he later died in 1964 at the age of 106.
A truly extraordinary man, an authentic example of what every man should be inspired by.
Do you want to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Ibn Battuta? You will find here how to do it. Follow us on our facebook page, Spotify, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, or on our Telegram channel. Any like, sharing or support is welcome and helps us to devote ourselves more and more to our passion: telling the Middle East.