Sir, Although I am a non-Muslim, I worked with Dr Beg [The Muslim News, Dec 26] for twenty years as a proof reader and copy editor on just about all of his publications, many of which were updated versions of earlier published work that had originally appeared while he was an academic in the Far East. This being so, I must be the only non-Muslim to have a thorough knowledge of his contribution to Islamic Studies, which was, in my opinion, wide ranging and meticulous in its approach.
We saw each other regularly in Cambridge – usually in the University postgraduate centre and Public Library, in the auction rooms of Cheffins, but sadly also in his final years, at Addenbrookes, and just once at his home, a few weeks before his untimely death. In all our conversations he wore his immense learning lightly and he was always anxious to encourage me in my own historical and biographical research.
I shall miss our meetings and regular telephone calls and though I am not qualified to judge his scholarship, I am sure fellow Islamic historians will join with me in acknowledging his integrity and passion for Islamic history and culture.
R M Healey