Al Hakam, 28 July 1918
Advertised many weeks in advance, this article by Hazrat Mufti Muahammad Sadiqra, included in the 28 July 1918 issue of Al Hakam, expresses his support for the newspaper and reflects his missionary activities in England.
Though there has been intense cold here [in Ventnor, Isle of wight], however the rooms are full of warmth with fire and plenty of warm clothes are available; beds are kept warm by an abundance of sheets, blankets and hot water bottles. Medicine also helps to retain warmth, but all these are materialistic approaches. The fact is that the prayers of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, may Allah strengthen his hand, and members of the Jamaat helped me pass this winter season with good health. All praise be to Allah, surely, all praise is for Allah.
The earth rendered white with snowfall in December-January, and to some extent, in February and April as well. The temperature would be around 23°F and sometimes even less than this as the strong cold winds kept blowing. Sometimes I fell ill and caught a cold or flu, but for the better part, I was fine. Alhamdolillah.
Work in winter season
It is quite obvious that it was difficult for me to work due the intensity of the cold, yet still, by the Grace of Allah Almighty, I had the opportunity to spread the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. Several lectures were delivered, articles were published in newspapers and dialogues were held with several people. Applications of Bai‘ats and acceptance of Islam by five people were sent to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, among whom two were men and three were ladies. Two ladies bore testimony to the prophethood of the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas.
Many towns were visited for the purpose of tabligh and literature was distributed. During these days, I received news from London that in response to the movement which arose after my lectures in London, the London College of Physiology had selected me as their Fellow and awarded me with a diploma and the title of FPC. Two of my poems written for the propagation of Islam, and the articles written by me, as a way of preaching, regarding the loyalty of the Government in English newspapers were published, and letters of appreciation were received from the Prime Minister of England and Lieutenant Governor of Punjab. The reply of the letter written to the Sultan of Egypt for the purpose of tabligh was received, expressing his gratitude. Many respectable people held tea parties for me and I had the opportunity to preach there. Many other works were carried out which have been stated previously in the many issues of Al Fazl, Faruq [and other such periodicals].
The people of Europe
There are two main spiritual problems in this country: Christianity and materialism (in other words, atheism). Mostly there are Christians, but there are also a few who are in-between Christianity and atheism, while the rest are engrossed in atheism.
Concepts and beliefs which are instilled from childhood are very difficult to let go of, and this problem is found throughout the whole society. Atheists are very defiant, aggressive and abusive but their target is mainly Christianity and the concept of God, which is presented in front of the world. We had the experience of taking part in conversations and debates with various people, coming across all sorts of questions. But Allah the Almighty unveils the most suitable answers which strike through the hearts of the opponents.
Debate with a Christian
Once, a person came to meet the owner of the house in which I am staying. He belonged to a passionate sect of Christianity called Plymouth Brethren. The concept of priesthood is not present in this sect; a group of people gather together to take part in a silent prayer and suddenly, a person stands up who believes that they have been raised up by a certain spiritual force. This ceremony is concluded by the person praying or delivering a speech.
As the members of this sect are quite passionate to preach, the owner of the house acquainted me with the guest, leaving both of us on our own in the room as she attended to some work. Recalling the discussion which we had will be quite interesting. The name of that person was Mr Stripp.
Stripp: Have you come from Hindustan?
Sadiq: Yes, I have.
Stripp: The greenery and the hilly areas of this town are worthy of praise!
Sadiq: I feel exactly the same.
Stripp: Oh, how remarkable is the love of God for mankind that He sacrificed His son for them!
Sadiq: Which son to be exact? There are many sons of God.
Stripp: There are not many sons of God. I am talking of Jesus Christ, the only son of God.
Sadiq: I beg your pardon! I made a mistake to assume that your holy book was the Bible, but maybe you deny the Bible.
Stripp: No, I am not a denier of the Bible, the Bible is the word of God!
Sadiq: Alright then, if the Bible is the word of God, it states that Israel was the son of God, in fact, the first son, and that Solomon was the son of God. Among those abundant sons and daughters falls Jesus as well. How could you consider him the only child of God?
Stripp: (Nervously) Oh! You present philosophical arguments. A German scholar happened to meet me, he too presented similar arguments. God’s words are not worthy of philosophical solutions.
Sadiq: I have not presented any philosophical explanation. I have only presented the exact words which, according to you, are the words of God.
Stripp: Yes, but not every person can comprehend the word of God. It is only the Holy Spirit who can teach the word of God.
Sadiq: Does that Holy Spirit only come to you or can someone else be in his company as well?
Stripp: Yes, whoever prays for him, he comes to that person!
Sadiq: Alright then, I have prayed for the Holy Spirit and he has come to me. I tell you that this matter has been resolved with the help of the Holy Spirit that God does not possess a son or a daughter and that the near ones of God are called the sons of God as a figure of speech in Hebrew. Jesus Christ passed away like any other person and his tomb is present in Hindustan.
Stripp: (Angrily) This conversation is insulting and hurtful towards the Holy Spirit. I cannot continue this discussion, but we will talk on this matter some other time perhaps.
Sadiq: That’s fine, some other time.
After this encounter we happened to come across each other many times but he never had any religious discussion with me again. As to his spouse, she does not agree with his logic. When she heard about this incident, she invited me to have tea and thus, this opened the door of preaching. A number of times I had the honour of being at their home and at times she visits mine.
Blessings of Khalifatul Masih II
May an abundance of blessings of Allah the Almighty be upon the living embodiment of Hazrat [Umar] Faruqra – the resolute Khalifatul Masih, Mahmud – under whose influence, a feeble part of this precious Jamaat was separated.
They were in a constant effort to close the door of Prophethood. Undoubtedly the accomplishments of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II will be remembered not only by Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya and Muslims in general, but the whole of mankind will remain indebted to him. Unfortunate are those who wish to compel God not to award prophethood to anyone; who wrongfully allege that Hazrat Muhammadsa closed the door of prophethood; who say that this door has been shut so firmly that it cannot open for anyone. Although the Promised Messiahas perceived and satisfied them, they disbelieved.
فَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَالِكَ فَاُولٰٓئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُوْنَ
(“Then whoso disbelieves after that, surely, they are the rebellious”)
رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوْبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِنْ لَّدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ۔
(Our Lord, let not our hearts become perverse after Thou hast guided us and bestow on us mercy from Thyself. DSurely, Thou art the Great Bestower.) Amin.
Qazi Abdullah Sahib
My colleague Qazi Abdullah Sahib in this winter season has not only borne the difficulties of the intense cold but remained in London under heavy bombardment from fighter jets and continued his work of preaching. He constantly presented the challenge of dialogue and discussion to Khawaja Sahib but whenever Khawaja Sahib agreed to have a discussion on the insistence of Arab Sahib and Qazi Sahib, Khawaja Sahib vanished into thin air when they went to his place.
During his stay, Qazi Sahib delivered many lectures, had debates with several people, answered letters, preached to those who came to his house and showed hospitality. As we now have our own residence, the expenses of hospitality have increased. According to the values of this country, whenever someone pays a visit and it is time for a meal, then that person must be invited to join. There are at least four different meals here. Despite being alone, Qazi sahib singlehandedly took care of such matters and did so whilst being very economical; something which he has mastered. May Allah be his reward Himself and bless him with a long, healthy and virtuous life.
Firstly, the expenses have increased because of war and lack of food, and secondly, immense progress in work demands more expenses. I hope that, Insha-Allah, a time will come when the people of this country will themselves bear the expenses of propagation, but owing to the present situation, it rests with Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya as a whole. It is necessary for the members of the Jamaat to offer special donations for the London Mission Fund, owing to the increased requirements of work, and submit them in Anjuman Taraqi-e-Islam, Qadian. God knows how long the repercussions of the present war and its difficulties may last. Thus, in my view, it would be appropriate for the members of the Jamaat, through special sacrifice, to provide us with the expenses for the whole year.
Consequences of the war
The war has affected the whole country’s trade, economy and labour, but my observation is that every man and woman of the country is full of confidence that eventually they will be victorious. Nervousness, worry or cowardice is nowhere to be found. Women are not only helping men with courage and valour, they are performing duties usually attributed to men like driving cars, shop-keeping, bearing responsibilities of clerks, accountancy, working in factories and industrial labour. In fact, everything is being managed by women with full devotion and preference.
Women are delivering sermons in some churches where the priests have gone to the frontiers and even leading prayers on certain occasions. Several women work in the police and steadily stand on duty in police uniforms. As to the scarcity of paper, newspaper prices have doubled and tripled, yet every man and woman purchases it and nobody seems empty-handed. Several newspapers are published three or four times a day. Thousands of them are published and sold each day.
The food stock of the country is being managed extraordinarily well, where the rich are not permitted to buy purchase more food than they need, and thus, the poor are getting their full share, making no room for complaint. If anyone is found stocking surplus food in their homes, the police file a case against them, and some people have already been fined in this regard.
Divorce and polygamy cases in courts have increased as a result of the war. Contrary to the religious principles of Christianity, divorce has been legalised, and it could very well be that due to the current situation, polygamy is allowed. Although army service during the war has been made compulsory for every adolescent, but whoever says that their conscience does not allow them to take part in war, they are either relieved from responsibilities or are given some work which is free from bloodshed.
Precaution in food-intake
A Muslim should take precautionary measures while eating in this country. Although at times it might be permissible to eat whatsoever is presented to you in restaurants and encourage friends to eat quietly without enquiring about the ingredients or the process of cooking – like Khawaja [Kamaluddin] Sahib does – however, I have reason to believe that one can save themselves by taking good caution. I have found all sorts of Halal and lawful meat available in this country. Qazi Sahib has been living here for more than two years and I have been living here for over a year; by Allah’s grace, we have been eating Halal and lawful meat, Alhamdolillah.
Undoubtedly, there is no sin if someone unknowingly eats something, and we pray that Allah forgives, however, Haram meat can have a very bad effect on one’s spiritualty and thus, salihin [righteous men] have remained very cautious about it.
I remember when Sheikh Rahmatullah Sahib went abroad for the first time, I believe the first advice the Promised Messiahas gave him was not to eat the animals slaughtered by Christians, as they did not slaughter it in a Halal way. Sheikh Sahib took special care of that and benefited from the advice. Special care is needed here because the people here are unmindful of the concept of Halal and Haram. In my view, the meat which is delivered to me from a Jewish butcher is cooked in separate pots, stirred with separate utensils and is placed separately from others because the landlady has been briefed carefully. I also take special care myself in terms of eating. I take good care myself in this regard.
On one occasion, although I had explained everything to the landlady, she once served me peas, and when I routinely enquired about it, I came to know that they were cooked separately but were put on the same plate as unlawful meat, so I returned them and did not eat them. Thus, precautionary measures can save a person, though the real safety rests with the blessings, benevolence and beneficence of Allah the Almighty.
Although there was not much work for me during my stay in Ventnor, but I found ample time to pray, by the grace of Allah. I said combined prayers for everyone and also individually. I cannot write the names of every single person, but I wandered the streets of Hindustan and other countries of the world during my prayers, praying for Ahmadis. It is the sheer mercy of God that in such times, the memory of dear friends is triggered and when someone writes a letter for prayer, I find that I would already have prayed for them. However, I specially pray for them again after reading their letter.
May Allah the Almighty, through his sheer blessing, benevolence, mercy and kindness, fulfill these prayers and the prayers of members of the Jamaat for us. Amin.
2 May 1918
Ventnor, England (Permanent Address: 4 Star Street, W2, London. England)
(Translated by Junaid Ahmad Waraich, Pakistan)