100 Years Ago… – Tabligh in the UK

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Al Fazl, 5 April 1919

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra

Currently, I am residing in Bournemouth city which is located 110 miles away from London along the coast. Although it is said to be warmer here in comparison to London, it isn’t really that warm. The weather is so cold nowadays that it is ever so difficult to even leave the room. 

The fireplace is always lit, the windows are all shut tight and warm clothes are in extensive use. I wear a fur coat with another thick coat over it when I go outdoors. In spite of all that, the north-eastern gusts make their presence felt with their intensity. 

Even though my feet are covered with a pair of thick socks with thick leather boots over them, they still remain cold. God help us! How can one work in these conditions? 

The natives, however, are quite used to these circumstances and despite the cold weather, toddlers can be seen running around with their heads fully exposed to the cold. 

This city is filled with a large number of pine trees, which stay green throughout the year. Nowadays in London, there is no sign of leaves on trees in parks, while on the contrary, here [in Bournemouth] green trees can be seen throughout the city – in gardens and along streets – and for this reason, Bournemouth is famous for its everlasting greenery. 

People seem surprised at the sight that even indoors, I always cover my head with a warm turban. When the days are considerably clear, I get the opportunity for tabligh. 

During my stay in Bournemouth, I was able to have a discussion with a priest. Then I had the opportunity to convey the message to a doctor. He invited me for dinner at his house so that he could gather more information about the Promised Messiahas. We ate dinner and, in the meantime, had a religious discussion. He wanted me to stay at his place after the dinner so that he could enquire more about the matter late into the night. I wished to stay as well, but as the night progressed, it got more and more chilly. The house is situated at an elevated place and additionally, the doctor had fixed a lot of windows in the house. Thus, when he went to another room for some reason, I felt so cold that I left the house without even saying goodbye and reached home via train. 

Thankfully, I did not fall ill, but my health remained slightly disturbed and suffered a toothache for some days. Therefore, I went to see a dentist who treated me with great civility and who I was able to convey the message of Islam to.

Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice honoured the city of Bournemouth with her presence in order to open a museum here. She was welcomed with splendour and dignity. Taking advantage of the opportunity, I presented some books of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat to her, along with a letter carrying the message of Islam. A letter acknowledging receipt of the letter was sent in reply by her secretary.

King of Belgium

I received a letter of acknowledgment from a minister expressing thanks for the letter that was sent to the king of Belgium carrying the message of Islam and the book Tohfat-ul-Mulook (A Gift for Kings). Similarly, a letter of acknowledgment has been received from the president of Cuba. Queen Mary has expressed gratitude to the entire Ahmadiyya Jamaat in reply to the telegram and the letter that was sent, expressing sympathy on the demise of Prince John.

Local newspapers

Several articles of this humble one, comprising the subject of the prophecies of the Promised Messiahas regarding war etc. have been published in local newspapers. Apart from this, another article of mine has been published, which touches on the subject that Arabic is the mother of all the languages. 

Moreover, there is mention in the local newspapers about the three new degrees and titles that have been awarded to me, namely B Phil, ASP and philography. It is stated that Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, missionary of the Ahmadiyya Community was awarded these degrees from London who is here in Bournemouth to pass the winter. 

Letters with postage unpaid

In the mail last received from India, there were several letters from friends with only a stamp of one anna (a unit of currency formerly used in India and Pakistan, equal to 1/16 of a rupee). Therefore, all of them were received with postage unpaid. Associates must recognise the fact that a stamp of 1.5 annas is required to send a letter from India to the UK.

Humbly yours,

Muhammad Sadiq, Bournemouth

11 February 1919

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