100 Years Ago… – Lectures in Richmond, arrival of Brother Augusto and Ahmadiyyat in Nigeria

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Al Fazl, 24 June 1920

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

Third lecture in Richmond

On the evening of 27 May, as announced earlier, the third lecture by Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sayal on the subject of the British Empire and Islam took place at Etherington Hall, Richmond. The erudite speaker explained the coming of the Promised Messiahas, his pacifist and peace-making teachings and the significance of his personage to the British Empire, with much clarity.

He expressed that world peace in the future can only be maintained by following the teachings of Islam reintroduced by the Promised Messiahas. He explained that peace cannot be established unless there is sincere unity in the East and the West and this unity cannot be achieved unless the British pay attention to the teachings of the Messiah and accept Islam.

Thereafter, he expounded that the second coming of the Messiah was fulfilled in the person of Hazrat Ahmadas Nabiyullah [Prophet of God]. Then, he drew the attention of the audience by mentioning the signs of his [second coming] and [guided them] to accept this message of truth and be blessed. The speech was followed by a series of questions and a healthy discussion was held.

Arrival of Brother Augusto

Beloved Brother Muhammad L Awan Cell Augusto [transliteration from the original Urdu may be inaccurate], Mir [Sadr] Majlis Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Lagos, Nigeria has come to London for education to become a barrister.

Since there is no Muslim barrister in Nigeria so far, the Ahmadiyya Jamaat has decided that Brother Augusto should return home after completing his law studies and become the first Ahmadi Muslim barrister in Nigeria. Our sincere brother also wants to learn religion along with his barrister studies. He intends to visit Qadian and complete his Arabic and Urdu education, which he will start acquiring in London. He also intends to perform Hajj on his return from Qadian. He wants to do all this so that the promulgation of Ahmadiyyat in Nigeria can be done with permanence and perfection.

Address by Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Lagos

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Lagos, which is, by the grace of God, an established and organised Jamaat, presented an address to its esteemed and lovable Mir [Sadr] Majlis on the occasion of his departure. As a treat for the readers of Al Fazl, an excerpt from this address is given below …:

“When the efforts to reform the Muslims of Lagos and bring them under an organised system failed miserably, he [Brother Augusto] heard the news of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat’s establishment in the East. Indeed, he heard the news of that Jamaat, which had been promised for the reformation of mankind in the latter days and the world was waiting for it. Through his efforts, Nigeria received the heavenly message of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi and the momineen [faithful] of Nigeria believed in this glorious man who is the hope of all the nations of the world. As the Mir [Sadr] Majlis of the Anjuman Ahmadiyya Nigeria, his works are widely acknowledged nationally and internationally, which he performed within and outside of the Jamaat. There is no need for it to be explained in our address.

“The delight and happiness that we get when we imagine that the first Muslim barrister of our country will be an Ahmadi Muslim, is immeasurable. We believe that one of the proofs of Hazrat Ahmadas maghfur being the true messenger will also be that the [spiritually] dead Muslims will be revived by him.”

The above words of the address bear witness to the dignity and honour of Brother Augusto and the sincerity of the Jamaat. Moreover, the signatures of the Anjuman officials bear witness to the excellent management of the Nigerian Jamaat. The following office-bearers signed the address:

AS Yaqub – Vice President

Qasim R Ajuse – Imam

Din (Pesh Imam)

I A Shibta – Naib Imam

Jabr Celia Martin – General Secretary

B They Fannie Mokon – Assistant Secretary

M Le Oval – Financial Secretary

[Again, some names may be mistransliterated]

Establishment of Ahmadiyyat in Nigeria

How did the rays of light reach this land of the West, where Allah the Almighty gathered the blessed souls under the banner of the Promised Messiahas and where “London’s crescent” of the Divinely appointed Umar-e-Sani, Khalifatul Masih, dawned upon the Ahmadiyya Mission, London? (Augusto is sitting next to me at the moment.)

How did the angels of God conquer the land of hearts? These are such questions that while writing their answers, my soul submits its courteous forehead to the threshold of God Almighty and sends durood [peace and blessings] on the chief of all prophets, Muhammadsa of Arabia and Syedna Promised Messiahas and expresses gratefulness to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] for his generosities, who was the personification of the Holy Messiah in beauty and benevolence.

Brothers! Iron became the philosopher’s stone and clay turned to gold. A wooden sword beheaded Abu Jahl. Children told the news of the unseen, the dumb began to talk and the insignificant were given high ranks. Peace be upon Muhammad and his servant, the Promised Messiah. Master Faqirullah was carrying the [magazine], Lahori Paigham, in the office of The Review of Religions. Master Sahib had come to Qadian to receive his salary.

The humble servant of the second Khalifa, Nayyar, went to guide Faqirullah to become the faqir [holy man] of Allah and come under the leadership of the true Khalifa. There, on the front page of Paigham [magazine], I read a letter from Brother Augusto under the Khawaja Shahi report, “Tabligh of Islam in the Western countries.”

I was passionate to personally write to him and get his address. Thus, I wrote a detailed letter conveying the message of Ahmadiyyat. After that, letters were written under the guidance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] on a regular basis. This series of correspondence and delivery of literature continued for almost three years. All issues related to impermissibility of non-Ahmadi Imamate, prohibition of offering funerals of non-Ahmadis, prophethood of the Promised Messiah and differences between mubai‘een and ghair mubai‘een [those who did and did not take Bai‘at at the hand of the second Khalifa] were discussed.

After much deliberation and prayers, Brother Augusto took Bai‘at of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra]. Owing to the blessings of Allah, the enchantment of the sorcerers had no effect on him and through him, God has granted a progressing sincere Jamaat. Praise be to Allah who made it all possible!

Ahmadi Doctor, BA Oxon

Our new Ahmadi brother, Dr A Luke Faruq of Trinidad, whose conversion to Islam has been announced in previous letters, is writing an article for The Review of Religions, which will be sent by the next post, inshaAllah. It will convey to the black-hearted enemies that the recent new Muslim [converted with the efforts] of the missionaries of Muhammadiyah, Ahmadiyya, Mahmudiyah Mission, is an Oxford graduate and an FRCS from the London Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Gold instead of God

Though prejudiced Christianity is still worshiping the son of Mary’s idol of divinity in the UK and the religious clergy are presenting their idol in an ever so attractive manner to maintain their means of livelihood, but Mahmud[ra] seeks to shatter idols. The idol houses are destined to fall.

Interestingly, the decision to demolish some of London’s churches is under consideration. In response to a question about the demolition of these churches, Father Bernard Wagman said in a sermon:

“A number of churches in the East End of London have been converted into theatres of motion pictures and people are now preferring players over prayers.

“Now, churches of the city are being demolished and banks are being built and why shouldn’t it happen, when the citizens are prostrating before Gold instead of God?”

(Translated by Al Hakam)

Removing misconceptions about Islam in the USA

Al Fazl, 28 June 1920

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra

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Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra

Immense thanks be to Allah the Almighty that He blessed this humble person with His mercy, grace, forgiveness and sattari [covering of flaws] that I came to this country to spread His holy religion and for the tabligh of the message of truth.

The first situation faced by me in this path was that the officers of the United States Immigration Department of America opposed the idea of a Muslim missionary doing his job in this country. After experiencing the hardships of the sea voyage, when this servant of Muhammadan faith reached the shores of America, the inspectors of the rahdari department [which issues passports], after hours of questioning, gave a decision, saying, “You cannot enter the country. Go back on the same ship you came on.”

I rejected this decision of theirs and asked for permission to appeal to their superior officers in the secretariat department, located at the capital, Washington. The permission was granted, but I was ordered not to go in the city till the decision on the appeal was issued, nor to meet people and instead, live separately in a house on the seashore and consider myself as if I have not yet disembarked the ship.

After a lot of suffering and a lot of disagreements and litigation, which costed a lot of money, the appeal was finally accepted and [I was] allowed [to enter] aft er two months. Now, I have raised up the Islamic flag of tabligh in New York City. All praise belongs to Allah. The troubles that this humble one experienced in the love of Muhammadsa during this period were replaced with the joy of this blessing that the first missionary of Islam, chanting the slogan of tawhid [unity of God], entered this country.

 لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللہ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُوْلُ اللہ

[There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His messenger.]

A major obstacle in the way of the missionaries of Islam has been removed. It is as if a great wall of the fortress of disbelief has been shattered and the path to great victory has opened. Praise be to Allah!

Although it was not allowed to go in the cities and meet [people] during this time of restriction and restraint, but by the grace of God, I had the opportunity to carry out tabligh to those people who had to stay [by the seashore where I was residing] due to reasons like having a defective passport, deformity of an organ or late arrival of relatives for reception etc. A party among them, with the help of Allah the Almighty, accepted Islam at the hand of this humble person. Their details will be given in the next report, inshaAllah.

In addition to this, in the appeal papers and on various occasions during the trial, I wrote and presented several hundred pages of documents on the attributes of Islam and the blessings of its teachings in my defence. Tabligh was first carried out to the higher officials of this country and it will forever remain in the records of governmental offi ces, insha-Allah. A volume of the first part of the Holy Quran with English translation and some other tabligh books were also included in the record.

Extremely wrong ideas about Islam and the people of Islam are spread in this country, which have mostly come through Christian missionaries. It is for this reason that this nation is becoming a fierce opponent of the Turkish Empire. Every day, very controversial articles are published in newspapers, full of erroneous views.

Above all else, I have started writing articles to various newspapers and magazines rebutting those [fl awed] articles and supporting Islam and Muslims. Thus far, about 20 articles have been published. (Newspapers and magazines in which my articles are published can be sent to any person if they wish, provided that some money is sent in advance for their cost and postage expenses.)

A large hall has been rented for lectures and prayers. However, a lot of money is needed for decoration, lighting, furniture, typewriter, a clerk, print machine for reports and advertisements in newspapers etc., and other tabligh necessities. I have trust in Allah Almighty [that He will provide] all these [requirements].

حَسْبِی رَبیِّ مِنْ کُلِّ مُرَبِّی

[God is enough for me in comparison to every patron.]

The comparison of the cost of living in this country with India is out of the question. It is much higher as compared to even the UK. A small room which is spacious enough for a bed and a couple of chairs costs at least 40 dollars a month, i.e. roughly 150 rupees would be required for this simplest accommodation. If there is a much better room, then the monthly rent will be at least 300 rupees.

However, even that room cannot be used for any other activity except for sleeping at night. You cannot meet anyone in the bedroom or have an office. First of all, there is no extra room for it and secondly, it is considered indecent in this country. A simple one-time meal at the hotel costs no less than one dollar.

America is a vast country. Everything is made on a large and grand scale. The houses are 10, 20 and 30 storeys high and some are even much higher. People go up and down in electric swings [elevators]. People here are friendlier than in the UK, but they have a lot of misconceptions about Islam.

More details will be written in the upcoming [articles], inshaAllah

Wassalam

Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, 1897, Madison Avenue, New York City, USA

(Translated by Al Hakam)

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