100 Years Ago… – Propagation of Islam in England

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The Daily Sketch published this picture of Liberty Day Meeting at Westminster Central Hall. Hazrat Mufti Sahib r.a. is seated at the far back, second from left | Ahmadiyya ARC

Al Fazl, 12 October 1918

Our existence, works and efforts, all are insignificant and inconsequential without the grace, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, covering of faults and the assistance of the Holy, Glorious, High and Great God. This is because He is the being Who possesses all power. It is He to Whom belong all treasures. Everything lies within the sphere of His control. He gives to whomever He pleases and takes away from whomever He pleases. All are accountable to Him and there is no one who can bring Him to account. Who can attain guidance in this rocky land of blind Christianity and rebellious irreligiousness? There is none save He Who can guide mankind. Our endeavours are weak, in fact, the word “weak” is weak in itself to describe them. 

Letters and invitational cards are penned for weekly lectures, announcements are made, with some people in attendance, while others, having quietly listened, depart. Some ask questions while others promise to return. 

A respectable lady by the name of Miss Spitan, who attained the rank of captain at […], attended a few lectures and addresses. Then, one day, after much deliberation, she finally accepted Islam. She has been given the Islamic name, Hasina. Her Bai‘at form is being sent in this post to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih for approval. (Editor: It has arrived.)

وما توفيقنا الّا باللہ العليّ العظيم  اللّٰهم زِد فزِد

[We possess no power but through Allah the Great, the Highest. O Allah, increase and increase further.]

Presently, the mail of Hindustan arrives after every fifteen days. It used to previously arrive weekly. The mail which was meant to arrive on 5 July has not yet (on 8 July) arrived. I have come to hear some rumours about it. 

If the mail has been lost, those friends who wrote important letters from India from 4 May to 25 May should write them again. The missing batch most probably contains these dates of letters. I used to receive letters from friends every fifteen days and would feel joyful. This time, I did not experience this joy and had to wait another fifteen days. I shall wait to see when it arrives.

Around one hundred and fifty years have passed since the United States of America gained independence. From that period onwards, the American people uphold a celebratory gathering each year on 4 July to commemorate this independence. This year, celebratory gatherings were not only held in America, but also in England, Italy, France and other countries. 

In London, a very large gathering was held for this function in which Lord Bryce, Lord Armaghdale, the Earl of Coventry, Lord Burnham, Lord […], the Duchess of Marlborough and numerous esteemed people gathered in a vast hall which is renowned by the name of Westminster Central Hall. 

I also went to observe this gathering, but having gone there, I came to know that only selected people could attend this gathering who had been sent invitations with their names beforehand and that chairs with names had been reserved for every person. When I arrived at the doors, the person assigned there enquired, “Ticket?” I replied, “What sort of ticket?” He became surprised and said, “Very well, your turban is better than all such tickets. Please go ahead.” In this manner, I headed inside. The people with tickets were all at their allocated seats. The gathering was prepared to commence and there were no free spaces. I headed straight for the platform. I was asked for my ticket and replied, “I have no ticket”. The person in-charge of the stage said, “Well, there happens to still be an empty seat beside Viscount […]. Please seat yourself there.” I sat down after expressing my gratitude. The function commenced. 

Viscount Bryce, the Bishop of London, Mr Churchill, and General […] all delivered addresses. The address of Mr Churchill was lengthy and very powerful. On behalf of this gathering, he sent a telegram of congratulations to President Wilson. During the speech, he said that all hearts were united in the war, mentioning Australians, Africans and others. He happened to omit India. I was close to him. I added, “And Indian”. He replied, “Yes, Indian as well.” Upon this, people cheered very loudly. 

The newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, mentioned it and The Daily Sketch published a photo of those individuals who were on the stage. My photo was also included in it. A copy of this newspaper has been sent to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. Due to this small incident, all attendees had specially recognised me. For this reason, many esteemed people met me there while others met me outside after the gathering. Some people, with great desire, exchanged visiting cards. To some, I had the opportunity to briefly perform tabligh and convey the tidings of the second coming of the Promised Messiahas. All praise be to Allah. 

(Translated by Fateh Alam, London, UK)

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