100 Years Ago… – Agreement signed by new converts, and American newspapers report on Mufti Sahib’s efforts for the spread of Islam

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Last Updated on 5th August 2022

The Moslem Sunrise, July 1922

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra (1872-1957)
Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib

The agreement signed by the new converts

Bismillah

Islam in Ahmadia Movement

There is but one God, the Creator and Provider for all, the Almighty, the Gracious, the All-Knowing, over and above the need of having a father, mother, son, daughter, wife or any other relatives, the Self-Sufficient, the Great Forgiver whose forgiving bounties cause no deficit to His endless treasures.

One and the same God of all ages, all nations and all countries; Who through His grace and mercy sends the Prophets, Sacred Guides and Holy Reformers.

Such were Zoroaster of Persia, Confucius of China and Buddha of India, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus Palestine, the Master-Prophet, Muhammad of Arabia, and Ahmad of Qadian, the Messenger of the latter days, peace and blessings of God be with all of them. We must honor and respect all of them, and take them as Holy Messengers of God. But we must not worship any of them. Worship God Alone. We believe in Angels, Holy Spirits, who bring to us His Messages, move us to do good works and help us in our way to the final goal.

As God used to speak to His people in the old days, so does He even now, one of the living examples being in the holy person of “Mahmud[ra],” the blessed successor to the Promised Messiah[as] and the present leader of Islam in the Ahmadia Movement. He is the one, authorized, [and] heavenly-fixed spiritual head of the elect Community to whom is due all allegiance and obedience by the faithful. 

Zend Avesta of Persians, Vedas of Hindus, Torah of Moses, Gospel of Jesus, all originally being the Word of God, [but] El-Quran is the latest current revealed Book of Sacred Law for the guidance of one and all. We believe in the life after death and in the judgment of our deeds, good or bad, here and hereafter, and trust in the boundless mercy of God.

Say five daily prayers to worship and seek communion with God, and come into union with Him, keep a month’s fast in the year to exercise and develop the faculties of submission to His will, give charity to the needy and poor, [and] join the holy annual assembly at Mecca to worship God once in your life. Pork is forbidden as it is injurious to health. 

We must live a peaceful life, obeying the laws of the government under which we are.

Praise be to God, who is the Lord of Worlds. 

I will keep my faith above the world.

Fully agreeing with the above, I hereby join the Islam in Ahmadia Movement.

Please send me further literature and instructions.

Signature:

Address:

To: Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq. Ahmadi Missioner. Al-Masjid 4448 Wabash Ave., Chicago, Ill. […]

Efforts for the spread of Islam and American newspapers

Many articles have been published in the American dailies and weeklies about our Islamic work in this country. Below we give extracts out of some of them:

1. Syracuse Sunday Herald of 25 June 1922 devoted a whole page fully describing the Moslem Mission in America giving my photo, photos of the Mosque and Minaret and the facsimile of the Title page of this Magazine, [The Moslem Sunrise]. The article is headed “Trying to make Christian America Muhammadan” and runs as follows:

“The Christian people of America are spending millions of dollars every year in the effort to spread the gospel of Christ all over the earth and convert the people of every nation under the sun to Christianity. 

“And while this tremendous outlay is being made to maintain thousands of devoted missionaries in foreign lands, one of the world’s other great religions is making a determined effort to gain a foothold in Christian America.

“The leaders of Mohammedanism not content with the 227,000,000 or more adherents that faith now has in Turkey, India and other countries, are turning their attention to the United States and Canada, with the hope of making both those nations strongholds of Islamism.

“They aim to make their picturesque mosques and the towers from which the muezzins issue their calls to prayer as numerous as our churches, and when that day arrives, they are confident it will not be long before the crescent will overshadow the cross and a great majority of Americans will be following the precepts laid down in the Koran.

“To the millions of American Christians who have so long hooked eagerly forward to the time when the cross shall be supreme in every land and the people of the whole world shall have become followers of Christ the plan to win this continent to the faith of the ‘infidel Turk’ will seem a thing unbelievable. But there is no doubt about its being actually well underway or that it is being pressed with all the fanatical zeal for which the Mohammedans are noted.

“A little more than a year ago there arrived in the United States a Mohammedan missionary who is charged with the duty of spreading his faith throughout the length and breadth of North America. His name is Mufti Muhammad Sadiq and he came from Qadian, Punjab, India, where are the headquarters of what is known as the Ahmadia Movement in Islam. […]

“Christ they regard as a ‘blessed prophet,’ but secondary in importance to their own Mohammed[sa], whom they term the ‘greatest of all prophets.’

“The special concern of the Ahmadia Movement is the spread of Mohammedanism and the conversion to that faith of as many as possible of the followers of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and other religions. Its slogan is ‘I will keep my faith above the world.’

“The way the Ahmadia Movement carries on its work bears a strong resemblance to the methods of the missionary organizations of the Christian churches. From the headquarters in India evangelists whose lives are dedicated to spreading the teachings of Mohammed[sa] as laid down in the Koran are sent to every part of the world where Mohammedanism is not yet the dominating religion. 

“These evangelists are highly educated men, speaking many languages, trained for the work they are doing. They are called missioners and their duties and responsibilities correspond quite closely to those laid on our own missionary bishops. 

“Already besides the missioner in America there are missioners all over India, in England, Burmah, Ceylon, China, Australia, Mesopotamia, Persia, Arabia, Egypt, East and West Africa, Mauritius and a number of other places. More are being sent out just as fast as they can be trained and funds raised to carry on their work.

“Dr Sadiq, as he calls himself, the missioner assigned to the task of winning the United States and Canada to Islamism, is showing himself an aggressive worker and is apparently not hampered by any lack of funds. The progress he claims to have made in the few months he has been here leads some of his admirers to think that the day when America shall be Mohammedan may dawn sooner than they had hoped. 

“In addition to several hundred converts whom he reports won from various Christian denominations, he has done a great deal to renew interest in their faith among the thousands of Turks and other Mohammedan people who are living here.

“Since Dr Sadiq’s arrival here one Mohammedan mosque has been built fluently and, in every way, carefully in Highland Park, Mich., a suburb of Detroit. Here the Moslem missioner has made his headquarters until recently when he moved to Chicago. He expects in the near future to see mosques built in Chicago, New York and many other large cities.

“Reports of the progress of Dr Sadiq’s work are made in a magazine called ‘The Moslem Sunrise,’ of which he is the editor and publisher and which appears every three months.

“This is a neatly printed affair of twenty- eight pages, entirely in English, except for an occasional Arabic word. The front cover design is significant of what the zealous Mohammedans hope to accomplish. It shows a map of the United States and Canada, with the two nations bathed in the beneficent rays of the ‘Rising Sun of Mohammedanism.’

“The latest issue of ‘The Moslem Sunrise’ dated April 1922, prints a list of thirty-three American men and women who are said to have recently ‘accepted Islam in Ahmadia Movement.’ After their American names are given the Arabic titles which are assigned to them after they embrace the Moslem faith.

“Dr Sadiq’s magazine prints extracts from the Koran, the sacred book of the Mohammedans and also quotations from the writings of the later prophet, Ahmad[as]. There are numerous articles comparing Mohammedanism with Christianity, and always, of course to the great disparagement of the latter.

America

“Under the heading ‘If Jesus Christ Comes to America,’ Dr Sadiq tells what he imagines would happen if the Savior applied for admission to the United States under the present immigration laws. The following is the dialogue which he describes as taking place between the immigration officer (IO) and Jesus (J):

IO: What is your name? 

J: Jesus. 

IO: What is your first name? 

J: This is my first name. 

IO: What is your second name? 

J: I have no second name. This is my only name. 

IO: Funny, what is your father’s name? 

J: I have no father. 

IO: Have no father? Funny, how were you born? 

J: Miraculously – without a father. What is funny to you is right with God. Could you tell me how was Adam born without a father and without a mother? 

IO: I do not know. Where do you come from? 

J: India. 

IO: What city? 

J: Srinagar, Cashmere. 

IO: How much money have you? 

J: I have no money with me. 

IO: How will you live without money? 

J: I never think of tomorrow. Tomorrow will think of itself. 

IO: Funny, we think of things in this country a century ahead. What is your nationality? 

J: I am a Jew. 

IO: Do you believe in the Law of Moses which allows polygamy? 

J: Surely, I do – whosoever shall break the least of the commandments of the Law of Moses, he shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven.

IO: Why are your hands pierced? 

J: I was unjustly nailed to the cross. 

IO: What is your profession? 

J: I am a preacher of God’s word. I speak nothing but what I am commanded by Him to say. 

IO: Have you any papers with you to prove that you are a preacher? 

J: I need no papers. 

IO: Will you fight for the country if ever necessary? 

J: I do not believe in fighting. I believe only in love. 

IO: Do you allow drinking wine? 

J: I would even perform a miracle to provide wine if necessary for a feast or so.

“Dr Sadiq thinks that after this questioning, the immigration authorities would decide:

“That Jesus cannot be allowed to enter this country because: 

1. He comes from a land which is out of the permitted zone. 

2. He has no money with him. 

3. He is not decently dressed. 

4. His hands have holes in the palms. 

5. He remains bare-footed, which is a disorderly act. 

6. He is against fighting for the country. 

7. He believes in making wine when he thinks necessary. 

8. He has no credentials to show that he is an authorized preacher. 

9. He believes in the Law of Moses which allows polygamy; but he can appeal to the Washington Office against this decision of ours. 

“To this, Dr Sadiq thinks Jesus’ reply would be: ‘I would not submit any appeal. It is evil to disallow a man like me and resistance to evil is against my principles. So, I shake the dust off my feet and go back to the charming land of Hindustan.’

“The same issue of ‘The Moslem Sunrise’ contains many expressions of appreciation and promises of support for the magazine and its editor, coming from readers in all parts of the world. 

“‘I offer prayers for you five times daily,’ writes one.

“‘The seed of Islam sowed by you in America,’ says another, ‘will some day grow up a big, strong tree. I see an illustrious future before you.’ 

“‘I pray Allah will give you greater strength,’ writes an Englishwoman, ‘to penetrate those regions where the glad tidings of Islam are yet unknown, and may Allah awake the world to a realization to grasp the true faith now within its reach.’

“The religion which Mufti Muhammed Sadiq and his fellow workers are striving so earnestly to spread in America was founded in the seventh century by a former camel driver. This man, who later took the name of Mohammed[sa], meaning ‘he who will be praised,’ dreamed strange dreams and heard the voice of the Angel Gabriel, whose words were afterward written down in a book called the Koran.

“When he announced himself the long-expected prophet sent by Allah to save the world his neighbors only laughed and called him a lunatic and a bore. Mohammed[sa] fled to Medina, and there he was soon surrounded by an increasing number of followers, who accepted the Islam, or ‘submission to the will of God,’ which he made the highest of virtues.

“It is believed that the chief reason for the astonishing success of the religion founded by Mohammed[sa] lay in the simplicity of the creed he taught. His followers were told to love Allah, the merciful and compassionate ruler of the world. They must honor and obey their parents, be honest with their neighbors, show charity to the poor and the sick. They were commanded to abstain from strong drink and eat frugally.

“Regular church-going was not required, but Mohammed[sa] commanded his followers to turn their faces toward Mecca, the Holy City, five times every day and say a simple prayer.”

2. South Bend News-Times, 8 May 1922:

Muhammadan faith explained

[To] the editor [of] News-Times:

“Dear Sir: I am the First Representative of the Muhammadan Religion in the country and just visiting this town for a few days. There are some wrong ideas prevalent here about our faith which I must correct and I will be much obliged to you if you kindly insert these few lines. I am not going to discuss sectarian dogmas and doctrines, but just a few facts of public interest and suitable to general daily paper.

I. The Muhammadans don’t call themselves as ‘Muhammadans.’ This is the name given to them by Europeans. Their name among themselves is ‘Moslem’ which means, one who has resigned his will to God.

II. The Moslems do not worship Muhammad[sa]. Muhammad[sa] is only a man and messenger of God. We worship God alone. One God like the Jews and the Unitarian Christians believe.

III. Allah is not the name of any image or separate deity. Allah is the Arabic word for God.

IV. We honor and respect Jesus as one of a Prophets and Teachers. We believe in Jesus as the Christ, but not as the only son of God. 

V. We believe in the Virgin birth of Jesus.

VI. We believe in the Second Advent of Christ in the person of the Prophet ‘Ahmad’ of India.

VII. We believe that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross, but was taken down while fainting and gradually revived. 

VIII. All the Moslems are not Turks as all the Christians are not Russians.

“Dr MM Sadiq, Portage Hotel. 6 May 1922.”

3. Benton Harbor Daily News-Palladium, 1 May 1922:

Prophet of Islam visitor here for lecture 

“Benton Harbor got a glimpse of a prophet from Islam today in the person of Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq of Highland Park, Mich., and editor of The Moslem Sunrise. Dr Sadiq is the first Moslem missionary to be sent to this country from India by the Mohammedan faith. He is dressed as any American except that he wears the turban of India, green in color, denoting his religious work and also indicating that he comes from the educated class.

“Dr Sadiq delivered a lecture on spiritualism at the IOOF hall Sunday evening.

“In this country, two years spreading the faith of the Prophet[sa], Dr Sadiq declared today he had made 200 converts, ‘more than some of your missionaries have made who came to India,’ he declared.

“Discussing Indian affairs, Dr Sadiq declared today that the educated class of India are in favor of British dominion government for their empire. He is not a follower of Gandhi the great Indian leader, now in prison, whose doctrine of resistance to English rule has gained a large following.

“Educated in Indian schools, later in England, Dr Sadiq speaks excellent English. He was sent here by the Ahmadia Movement of India founded by the Prophet Ahmad[as] of India.” 

(It is a mistake that the editor [of Benton Harbor Daily News-Palladium] called me a Prophet in his article. A Prophet, according to the Sacred Law, is only he who has been entitled by God as such. No one must be called a Prophet for being a Teacher, Reformer or a Missioner. – Ed.)

The awakening of the West

4. The learned Dr Frank Crane’s very readable editorial in “The Current Opinion’ for April 1922, headed as “What the Orient Thinks of Us” might be taken up as a sign of the awakening of the West to the realities of facts. We give a few excerpts out of it here and recommend the whole to those who like to read a substantial thinking mind:

“China, and still more Japan, despise the western foreigners because they have received so many humiliating proofs of our immorality and profound hypocrisy.

“For instance, and first of all, the religion of the East appears to them much more rational than ours. But the principal point in regard to religion – and it may be remembered that in religion is where races most profoundly differ – is the fact that, whatever their religion may be, in the East they practise it, while in the West, not only do we not practise our religion but we openly make a boast of not practising it, and ridicule any among us who claims that he does practise it. 

“The religion of the Orient may be all wrong, but at least Orientals are honest about it, and its precepts are kept by all classes, from the most exalted Mandarin to the lowest coolie, and are kept quite as much by the courtesan and the thief as by the priest and the college professor.

“They look with amazement upon a civilization such as ours which constantly preaches one set of principles, such as brotherly love, non-resistance, honesty, forbearance, charity and helpfulness, and whose whole business life is organized on principles directly contrary to these, and whose every act of politics is a negation of the creed which is preached in the churches.

“Western civilization has created vast legal monsters without souls, such as trusts, stock companies, and other inhuman combinations of capital.

“Bolshevism is nothing but a manifestation of that malady which spreads throughout all the West; like all socialism, its spirit is purely material, and to the Oriental the cry of the envious poor is as disgusting as the successful rich. The trouble with both of them is that they have made prosperity their god.

“The West kept on lynching the black men and rejecting the yellow men, while it spoke of universal brotherhood and humanity.

“Asia has undoubtedly a civilization whose form is nobler than ours, but it is dead. The dominating religion of the Orient is the cult of the dead. The beauty of the Orient is the beauty of a lifeless statue.

“The West is ugly, it is wicked, it is violent. But it has in it the one thing needful, which is life.”

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original published in The Moslem Sunrise’s July 1922 edition)

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