100 Years Ago… – Devising new ways of tabligh in London

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Al Fazl, 27 November 1919

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

Meetings

The angels of Allah the Almighty stimulate the hearts of virtuous souls in various ways to persuade them into accepting the truth of the Promised Messiahas. Every week, fresh minds regularly visit the residence of Ahmadiyya missionaries in search of finding the truth.

In the current week, a highly qualified atheist doctor and an English officer of high class, who had recently returned from Iraq, were among those who came to find the truth. Mufti Sahib conveyed the message of Ahmadiyyat to both of them in very fine words and a highly convincing manner. Each of the two experienced a transformation and returned with satisfaction of heart. Apart from them, new convert ladies and gentlemen and a large number of non-Ahmadi English and Indian folks came to visit missionaries of Ahmadiyyat for sharing their views and to enhance their knowledge.

Sunday’s lecture

Even though the sky of London was covered with mist and fog, and the darkness in the day time was such that it was difficult to spot a nearby person, but still the name of the orator and the subject of Sunday’s lecture proved so captivating that the Ahmadiyya lecture room was filled to its brim with representatives from the east and west. The audience, comprising of representatives from Arabia, Somaliland, Yemen, Italy, England and Wales, were present in large numbers like the general gatherings of London. The dars [sermon] of the Holy Quran was delivered by Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sayal Sahib, then I introduced brother Faith to the audience. After the recitation of the Holy Quran by Mrs Fatima Catherine, brother Faith began his lecture.

Fatima and Muhammad Suleiman

Insha-Allah, this Jalsa will serve as a new chapter in the history of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and prove to be the harbinger of a new approach towards tabligh and advancement, as it was the very first time that the Western representatives took to the stage in the Ahmadiyya Hall to convey the message of Ahmad’sas faith in their native language.

The “bird” with firm faith in the Messiah of God who was appointed to recite the Holy Quran was a young, intelligent and noble new convert English lady carrying the name of Fatima Catherine. She has written to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, “The moral condition of Muslims has been spoiled as well. Therefore, God sent Ahmadas Nabiyullah [Prophet of Allah] and the true Islam reached us.” This lady recited the chapter of “Ummul-Kitab” [Surah al-Fatiha] from the book of Allah in her own unique style.

After the recitation of the Holy Quran, a gentleman who has only been a Muslim for 33 days and knows Hebrew, German, Latin, Finnish, [Russian], Flemish and Yiddish languages, wearing a turban on his head, our new brother, Muhammad Suleiman Faith stood up. He demonstrated before the audience through his actions that Ahmadiyyat, under the skies of England, is a “fountain of life” and not a “deadly poison.”

Subject of the lecture

Brother Muhammad Suleiman explained at the outset that the purpose of religion is to attain nearness to Allah the Almighty. This closeness is achieved through prophets by acting upon their teachings. The name of the path which leads to this nearness is Islam. Islam is the same religion that was brought by every prophet from Adamas to Ahmadas Nabiyullah. Jews rejected Jesusas and they lost the nearness of God. The Christians did not accept Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and they deprived themselves from the blessing of nearness of God. Muslims [of today] cannot attain the nearness of God until they accept Ahmadas Nabiyullah.

Thereafter, brother Faith narrated his life accounts and the instances of bearing hardships for the sake of religion. He highlighted the state of attaining the last satisfaction in his research of religion through the path disclosed by Allah the Almighty upon him in a divine vision. He explained to the audience the way in which he grabbed hold of “hablullah” [the rope of Allah] the Holy Quran by placing his hands in the hands of the second Khalifa.

Following brother Faith, Hazrat Mufti Sahib delivered a very apt and extremely fine lecture. He presented a comparison of Islam and Christianity, and narrated some incidents which shed light on the achievement of God’s nearness through the Promised Messiahas. The audience included Shamsul-ulema [the sun of scholars] Maulana Kamaluddin Sahib MA who was especially in a state of delight at the time of his return.

Miscellaneous

Revered Brother Sagar Chand Sahib (barrister at law) is engaged in tabligh at Hastings. He requested for more literature to distribute over there. His lectures are being arranged there. Chaudhry Sahib will deliver a lecture on the subject of “Why are prophets sent?” at Société [Internationale] de Philologie on 31 October. There is always some literature in the pocket of Mufti Sahib and he hands over Ahmadiyya pamphlets to the passing ladies and gentlemen with great proficiency.

This week, he happened to attend a lecture and taking full advantage of the opportunity, he distributed a lot of literature at the door of the hall. Brother Qazi [Abdullah] Sahib has left for meeting recent Muslims and to promulgate the true message in Broxton and Portsmouth. By the blessings of Allah the Almighty, I am able to successfully fulfil my assigned duties through writings and speeches. Being the secretary, the entire correspondence has to be carried out by me. I request members of the Jamaat to pray for me.

Green turban

On returning from Hindustan, the green turban is a source of introduction to the English people and most of the times, it provides a means for tabligh.

Two recent incidents will surely be read with interest. Kensington Park is located near our house. I go there quite often in the mornings. An Englishman started talking in the Hindustani language. When the opportunity presented itself, I began to deliver a talk. A large crowd gathered and I had the opportunity to convey the message to a large audience, Alhamdolillah.

A passerby asked, “Can you predict fate?” I considered the opportunity to be a blessing and instead of predicting fate, I started to highlight the teaching for “making [one’s own] destiny.” These are two examples which demonstrate that the green turban provides opportunities for tabligh.

Future plans

Pretty soon, we will start a series of lectures at Hyde Park along with brother Muhammad Suleiman Faith, Insha-Allah. A plate board is present with “Ahmadia Movement” written on it. A missionary will carry out a tour of Belgium and Germany with the start of more pleasant weather and brother Faith will accompany him as the interpreter, Insha-Allah.

We are devising a plan to convey the true message to the outskirts of London, i.e. the villages and the towns. Brother Bashir Koreo, Brother Saeed Wilson and Brother Muhammad Yunus […] will carry out lectures in the future.

A suggestion of an Ahmadiyya Conference and Ahmadiyya newspaper is under consideration. These works are under deliberation. Your [the members of Jamaat] work is to assist Nazarat Talif-o-Ishaat [central publications and propagations directorate] and make it successful. May Allah grant you and us the strength to do so. Amin.

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