German nation: Potential and scope

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Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 21, p. 66-79

Taken from speeches delivered by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra on 24 January and 3 February 1949

24 January 1949

Amongst the Europeans, the second person who accepted Islam in its true spirit is Mr Kunze.

The first is Bashir Ahmad Orchard.  He is also utterly sincere and has developed great love for Islam. He is the first individual who has successfully impressed upon me the fact that the English can also be spiritually reformed. Before this, I would reply to whoever used to enquire of me about the extent of success we achieved in the UK Mission that I apparently did not see any benefit. As far as religion is concerned, I did not see the prospect of any of the English converting to Islam.

English people accept a religion as a social organisation. They change the manner of their food and clothing when entering into the fold of Islam or any other religion but do not comprehend its importance. They do not understand why they would have to sacrifice everything for its cause. They tend to think, “Is this favour of ours not enough that we have accepted Islam?” They assume that they performed enough sacrifices when they changed religion.

However, Bashir Ahmad Orchard was the first person who accepted Islam, believing it to be the truth. Moreover, he did not merely accept it but dedicated his life for the service of Islam and is now serving Islam with great sincerity. There were a few persons before too who deemed only Islam to be true, for instance Abdullah Quillam, and this was the extent of their sincerity. Although they used to believe Islam to be true in essence, they would not practise its teachings. On some occasions, they would drink alcohol and if they were constrained on time, they would even abandon their prayers. They used to offer prayers but were irregular. They used to stop drinking alcohol but would sometimes consider no harm in drinking …

Mr Kunze is the second success of our tabligh efforts. In my opinion, this nation [Germany] will excel in religion and wholly lead Europe in this respect as it has advanced in science and other worldly fields of knowledge, and is academically leading Europe. Although it was defeated in the war, the nation possesses a vigour and spirit for progress. Hence, I expect that these people will prove to be excellent servants of our faith once Islam spreads in this nation.

I have deeply reflected upon the following matter and made it explicit when I wrote letters to some German Ahmadis: In my view, this nation surpasses others in practical endeavours and sacrifice but in spite of this fact, they have been attempting to make progress for a hundred years but have always been unsuccessful. They have always been defeated diplomatically and were unable to attain the position to which they had the justifiable right. People have mentioned many reasons as to why this has been the case, but the reason in my opinion is that God Almighty desires to spread Islam in this nation and as Islam is destined to spread in this nation, they are unsuccessful whenever they strive for any worldly progress.

Islam also has a role to play in Europe. Jesusas was undoubtedly born in Asia but Christianity spread thereafter in Europe as well. Similarly, it is now Islam’s turn to spread in Europe. As Italy had the privilege of accepting Christianity at the outset and spreading it afterwards throughout the whole of Europe, similarly it is destined that a country must accept Islam and then spread it through Europe entirely; in my view, that country is Germany.

In the past hundred years, they were always unsuccessful whenever they tried to make progress. God Almighty desires that they play a leading role in religion and this is why they were unsuccessful whenever they strove to make progress. I deem that when Islam will spread in this nation, they will make every possible sacrifice for its cause. I have observed that the number of people who accepted Ahmadiyyat in a single year in Germany are equal to what has been achieved in England after many years of effort. I am receiving countless letters that they are studying Islam. To my understanding, they [the German people] will have a great role in the forthcoming progress of Ahmadiyyat …         

Sheikh Bashir Ahmad Sahib, Amir of Lahore, has expressed a desire for Mr Kunze to set an example that would create an awareness amongst the youth here and so they may dedicate their lives for the service of religion. Mr Kunze is my spiritual son and I love him dearly but I wish for those who live here to set an example and that Mr Kunze may follow in its wake. We are the pioneers of the community and hence, many responsibilities fall upon our shoulders.

It is of course commendable to wish that he becomes our brother, but it is not correct for us to desire that he sets an example for us. We should present our own example so that he returns to his country, being inspired by our example, and that he tells his countrymen that they are being deprived of something precious by rejecting Islam and to accept Islam so that this life and the hereafter becomes whole.

3 February 1949

Nevertheless, Allah the Almighty has established this community in Germany for the propagation of Islam. It is Mr Kunze’s view, as well as Mr Kohne’s (Mr Kohne is from Italy and has friendly relations with scholars and professors there), that Germans can be easily attracted towards Islam. They say that the most apparent thing found in Germans is materialism and they have been completely unsuccessful in this regard. It is their view that they now require something else to satisfy them and that can only be religion.

As they consider that it is only religion now which can satisfy them, it is best if maximum effort is exerted to propagate Islam to them. In this manner, a favourable environment will be created for Islam to take root. They detest Christianity because they believe that all Europeans were opposing them and were of the stance that they were fighting to save Christian civilisation. For this reason, to some extent this word appears frightening to them. They think Christianity alone caused their destruction and hence, they are in search of another religion through which they can make progress. I expect that when these people accept Islam, they will offer many sacrifices for its cause …

Nevertheless, I have informed you of how people are converting to Islam in Germany and how they have developed an inclination towards it. Bearing in mind the spirit of sacrifice and labour which can be found in these people, I deem that when these people accept Islam, they will offer sacrifices for religion in the same manner they are seen to offer sacrifices for the world.

Take the case of Mr Kunze for instance. He always feels that he should be doing the same work which other people are doing. When Mr Kunze was in London, the missionaries there were aware that he would always insist that whatever work they did, he should do too. They used to treat him with regard as a guest but he used to always insist that he would live there in the same manner as they lived with a bond of unity. His clothing was also simple and he desired to accomplish his every task in accordance with our way.

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