100 Years Ago… – Ahmadi missionaries preach in England, East Africa, Baghdad, Mauritius, America and Ceylon

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Last Updated on 27th May 2022

The Review of Religions [English], March, April & May, 1922

London Old Bond Street geograph 3066999 by Ben Brooksbank

England

Brother Mubarak Ali is busy with his usual earnestness. He in conjunction with brothers, LB Augusto, Omar Ali Bacon, AJ Tongue, and HM Leon, has arranged to deliver a series of lectures the scope of which may be gauged from the fact that they embrace the all-engrossing subjects such as The Existence of GodThe need of religionDivine Revelation and The Second Advent of Jesus. For general enlightenment, we reproduce here the whole programme of these lectures that are arranged to be delivered at the Ahmadiyya Mosque, London:

In the name of the Most Merciful God. 

Ahmadia Movement in Islam. 

The Ahmadia Mosque, 63, Melrose Rd., Southfields, London, SW 13. 

The following free lectures will be given at the above place at 3:30 pm:

8 January [1922]: Existence of God [by] Mr LB Augusto 

15 January [1922]: Need of Religion [by] Mubarak Ali BA BT

22 January [1922]: What Kind of Religion is Needed? [by] Mr Omar All Bacon

29 January [1922]: What Islam has Done for the World [by] Mr AJ Tongue

5 February [1922]: Spiritual and Social Aspects of Islam [by] Maulvi Mubarak Ali BA BT

12 February [1922]: The Call on Mount Hira [by] Prof HM Leon MA LLD PhD

19 February [1922]: Ahmadia Movement and the Future of Islam [by] Mubarak Ali BA BT 

26 February [1922]: Daily Life of a Muslim (ditto

5 March [1922]: Divine Revelation (ditto)

12 March [1922]: The Holy Quran as a Guidance for Humanity (ditto)

19 March [1922]: The Second Advent of Jesus (ditto)

26 March [1922]: The World Unrest [by] Mr LB Augusto 

2 April [1922]: The First Converts to Islam [by] Prof HM Leon MA LLD PhD

9 April [1922]: Scientific Method in Religion [by] Mr Omar Ali Bacon

16 April [1922]: The Wars of Islam [by] Mr AJ Tongue

23 April [1922]: Woman in Islam [by] Maulvi Mubarak Ali BA BT

30 April [1922]: Muslims in Spain [by] Mr Omar Ali Bacon

You and your friends are cordially invited. 

Mubarak Ali BA BT (Imam Ahmadia Movement, London). 

To reach “The Ahmadia Mosque”: 

District Railway: East Putney and Southfields Station. Bus Nos. 30, 14, 85, 96, 37, 22. Tram No. 82. 

It is through the untiring efforts of Brother Mubarak Ali that two more educated Englishmen have embraced Islam. Their names are Mr William George Harlow (Waliullah) [and] Mr Travers Lake (Abdul Haq). Insha Allah, more are expected in the near future. The brother has moreover to devote a good deal of his time to consolidation and supervision work. Below we reproduce a report as to his work by the brother himself: 

Islam in England

Sir, thank God the efforts of the Ahmadia Movement to spread Islam in this country are being carried on with unabated zeal. Lectures at the Mosque, Southfields, on Sundays are attended by English people and Indians, who eagerly take part in the discussions that follow. Besides the undersigned, the following gentlemen also delivered lectures in the last two months: 

1. Prof HM Leon MA LLD

2. Mr AJ Tongue (Lissan-ud-din) 

3. Mr Abu Bakr Augusto 

Lectures are given and discussions are held in other societies and associations at their invitation, but the invitation to Islam is not confined to selected people and learned societies only. The masses are invited to Islam in open air lectures in Hyde Park three days in the week and hundreds of English men and women attend our lectures. Allah be praised! It is most gratifying to see side by side the preaching of Trinity by Christian missionaries and the Moslems with turbans on their heads declaring unity of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, peace be on him, in the most crowded part of the city of London. The message of Islam, i.e., peace, and absolute submission to the Divine Will and Brotherhood of man, is given in the loudest voice. Thank God our lectures are removing the great prejudice that prevails against Islam in this country. Beliefs which are never known by Moslems are attributed to them. Let me give a few instances: 

1. The coffin of Muhammad, peace be on him, is at Medina suspended in the air, as it is accepted neither by Heaven nor by Earth. 

2. The Muhammadans worship Muhammad[sa]

3. The Muhammadans worship the sun. 

4. According to Islam, women have no souls. 

Objections against the sword of Islam and polygamy are invariably raised. Long, thorough, and widespread propaganda is necessary to disabuse the minds of the English people of these ideas. Questions regarding the intolerance of the Turks and Armenian massacres are often raised and we have to answer these charges unfounded. 

Taking advantage of the political weakness of the Moslems, Christianity is trying to make a spiritual conquest also of their souls. But Christendom is itself in a state of spiritual bankruptcy and here is the greatest opportunity for Islam. Scepticism and Atheism is rampant everywhere in the West. Nearly 70 percent of the people have practically no religion. Islam is badly needed, and is destined to succeed here. It requires only an organised and determined effort on the part of the Moslems. The following are the recent additions to the fold of Islam:

1. Mr George William Harlow (Waliullah) 

2. Mr H Travers Lake (Abdul Haq) 

3. Mr Sydney Blashill. 

Yours truly, Mubarak Ali.

The Mosque, Southfields, London, SW 18. 16 March 1922. 

East Africa

Africa Map

Brother Nayyar’s zeal finds no abatement in spite of the horrid climatic difficulties. Week in and week out he is exploring new regions and new sources. Consolidation work is his chief business these days. He is busy founding societies, establishing schools and madrassas and opening theological seminaries. Regular discourses on the Holy Quran and the traditions have been taken in hand. In spite of this, his fold is daily increasing. May God help him in his arduous task! 

[Nairobi]

A whole day public meeting of the Anjuman Ahmadiyya Nairobi came off on 23 October [1921] in the Royal Theatre Hall, Nairobi. A series of lectures on various religious topics such as The Beauties of IslamThe Seal of ProphetsGuru Nanak’s Cloak, and The Truth of Promised Messiah’s Mission were delivered by brothers Abdul Karim, Abdul Hayy, Ahmad Hussein, [and] Muhammad Hussein Butt, respectively. The audience included among others Arya Samajists, the Sikhs, and non-Ahmadi Moslems, with a sprinkling of Christians. Five minutes were allowed after every lecture for the expounding of objections if any, which in most cases were availed of by the gentlemen present and they were duly explained. The meeting as a whole was a great success.

Baghdad

The annual meeting of the Baghdad Ahmadiyya Anjuman came off on the New Year’s Day with brother Dr Haji Khan Sahib of the new General Hospital as president. The meeting was opened with a recital from the Holy Quran and the regular business began with a recitation of one of the poems by the Promised Messiah[sa]. Sayad Fateh Ali Shah then read his lecture on “The Death of Jesus,” and was followed by brother Ja‘far Sadiq of the DTS Office who discussed the all burning topic of “The Seal of the Prophets” and in a masterly disquisition he eloquently brought home the truth that the Prophet[sa] of God was the greatest of the Prophets and that after him all avenues to divine communion were closed, and that if any one now aspired to this high position it was solely by following in the footsteps of that illustrious prophet, peace be with him, alone. No independent way was now open except through him. Yet he tried to show at the same time that the doors of prophethood were not closed as was misunderstood by some of the Muhammadans. Rather, the doors have been thrown open, and anyone aspiring to that lofty position could achieve it by going through the course of Islam and strictly adhering to it. Then was the time for the report, after which brother Qazi Abdur Rashid exhaustively and in an illuminative fashion dealt with the subject of “The Truth of the Mission of the Promised Messiah[as],” and in the course of his lecture he, in a very fascinating and convincing manner, dealt with the revelations of the Promised Messiah[as] and clearly established their divine nature. The audience included a good sprinkling of non-Ahmadis who patiently and attentively kept their seats listening to all that our lecturers had to say. The meeting came to a close with a prayer after which all the assemblage were treated to tea and other refreshments. 

Mauritius

Map Mauritius

MH Ghulam Mohammad BA and Hafiz Ubaidulha are busy with their mission work. At a meeting at Cinema Hall, Rosehill, attention was drawn to the crying need of the time, the advent of a prophet reformer, since famine and plague in various forms were afflicting mankind all the world over. All the sacred scriptures notably the Bible and the Holy Quran lay it down that such afflictions always overtake the world in the days of such prophetic reformation. Hence the present affliction cannot but be the fulfilment of the signs of the promised one that the surest means for the alleviation of human ills was repentance, deep and sincere. 

Our brother corresponded with the French Consul and expressed the community’s heartfelt gratitude towards the French Government for the latter’s generous contribution towards the Paris Mosque. For the reader’s information, we reproduce the whole correspondence as below: 

From 

HG Muhammad Ahmadi, Muslim Missionary, Rose Hill. 14 March 1922. 

To 

The French Consul, Port-Louis. 

Sir, I most respectfully ask your leave for taking liberty to convey to you heartfelt gratitude which the Muslim community of the whole world owes to the French Republic because of the generous contribution of a large sum of money in the construction of a mosque in Paris – a standing monument of French kind sentiments towards Islam. 

May Almighty God open their hearts to receive heavenly bliss which God has sent down in time in the blessed person of Ahmad[as] of Qadian, Punjab, India, who claimed to be the Promised Messiah[as] of the Latter Days and whose veracity has been fully demonstrated by heavenly signs. The believers in Ahmad[as] are true Muslims because they follow the precepts of the Holy Quran and the blessed practice of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on his noble soul. 

Islam means peace and consequently Islam is the religion of peace. It does not require any sword or force in propagating religion which is truth all in all. The Holy Quran says in clear words, “There is no compulsion in religion” (Chap. II, the Quran). Hence those who expect the advent of a blood thirsty Mahdi and a warrior Messiah go against the clear teachings of the Holy Quran and the authentic traditions of the Holy Prophet[sa]

Ahmadis no longer look for the advent of any person waging war in the world for the sake of religion. The world is already disgusted thereof. Let the world adhere to the tenets and principles of Ahmad[as] and taste the sweet fruits of peace of all kind. Then and then alone there will be no war and peace will reign supreme in the world. 

Again, I thank the French Government for its share in the sacred cause of constructing a mosque in their capital. I will be very glad and grateful if you kindly communicate the heartfelt gratitude of the whole Muslim community to the President of the French Republic. 

Hoping to receive full consideration of my humble writing. 

I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant, HG Muhammad Ahmadi. 

Republique Francaise

Consulat dae France, Port Louis. 

Port Louis le 15 March 1922. 

Monsieur, 

J’ai l’honneur de vous accuser reception de votre lettre en date d’hier et jem’ m’empresse de vous en remercier. 

Ce me sera un tre’s agreable devoir de donner connaissance a mon Government des sentiments eleves qu’ arec la eommunaute Musulmane vous professez a son egard. 

Veuillez agreer, monsieur, les assurances de ma consideration distinguee. 

Le Consul DeFrance 

Monsieur, 

Monsieur Muhammad Ahmadi, Muslim Missionary, Rose Hill. 

English translation of the above French passage:

Port Louis. 15 March 1922.

Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter with the date of yesterday and thank you for that earnestly.

It will be a very agreeable duty for me to apprise my government of the elevated sentiments of the Muslim community which you profess on their behalf. 

Hoping you will accept all assurances of my distinguished regards for you.

Sir, I am the Consul of France. (Signed) 

America

America

Brother Dr Sadiq’s work is too well known to require any commentary. The Moslem Sunrise is a living testimony of the solid work he is performing in spite of the fact that he is being handicapped among other insurmountable difficulties by financial anxieties. The brave soul, undaunted, is carrying on his work of enlightening the American public. Below we reproduce what an American paper has to say about him:

Mohammed Religion is Modern One, Says Moslem Missionary

The Mohammed religion is alive, progressive, up with the times, does not cling exclusively to worn out traditions and superannuated prophets as does the Christian religion, says Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq of India, who is in Grand Rapids as the guest of Alexander Brown, 517, Fairview Ave., NE. 

Dr Sadiq is a Moslem Missionary sent by a community of the Ahmadia movement in India to lecture in the United States on Islam and oriental subjects. He has degrees of B Phil, PFC, FC Chrom., D LLT, ASP and AMRS. 

The Ahmadia movement, he explains, is a reformation of the Mohammedan religion to keep it up to date according to the teachings of the prophet Ahmad[as] who died in 1908. 

He says the Mohammedan religion is misunderstood in America; people believe that Mohammed is worshipped. The fact is, he says, that, unlike Christians who worship Jesus as God, Mohammedans worship only one God and consider Mohammed[sa] as a teacher who instructs in the word of God. Mohammedans believe God is keeping his people up to date in His wishes by sending messengers to them at occasional interval. Ahmad[as], he says, is the latest of these. 

Ahmad[as] is said to have prophesied the war, the fall of the Czar of Russia and other world events in detail and with accuracy 10 years before they occurred. His son, Mahmud[ra], is now leader of the movement, of which there are over 700,000 followers in India. 

Dr Sadiq will remain in Grand Rapids about a month and will try to arrange for lectures. (Grand Rapids Herald)

A famous lady lecturer named Jane Hooper entertained some of her friends at her house and invited brother Sadiq to address them on the occasion. It was a great success and a very good impression was created on all who had assembled on the occasion. A respected lady of good family offered to join our movement, but she was requested by our brother to think over the question again and deferred her initiation to some other occasion, giving her some literature to study in the meantime. In addition, many lectures were delivered in the period under report and many an inquirer after truth saw our missionary at his lodging and made further inquiries about the Holy Ahmadiyya movement. Our brother is suffering from the enlargement of piles which is greatly interfering with his missionary activities. Our prayers daily go out to him to help him on in the furtherance of the divine faith and we pray [to] Lord to cure him of this fell disease which is greatly interfering with our brother’s work. 

The Ceylon Ahmadiyya Association

Ceylon

The seventh Annual General Meeting of the above Association was held at the Association Hall on 22 January [1922] at 7 pm. There were present Maulvi AP Ibrahim (Chairman), Messrs TK Lye, B Satheen, BW Lye, Majid Khan, DH Mantara, M Zainudeen, K Omerdeen, AL Mohidin, Kunhi Koya, Mahmod Sahib MLM Sheriff, SA Sadie, Abdul Azzi, A Ibrahim, OA Majid, BS Lye, CH Mantara (Hon. Secretary), and others.

The secretary in submitting the report said – That the Association has done considerable progress during 1921, having its headquarters in Colombo, a branch has been opened in Negombo. The propagation of Islam as interpreted by the Ahmadiyya Movement is spreading in all parts of Ceylon and the relations with non-Ahmadis are now friendly and improving gradually. With a love to deliver our message peacefully our mission has a great future. The Association is proud to have a hall of its own bought by its members in Ceylon. With the prayers of the Caliphatul Masih of Qadian, who has contributed 50 rupees and sanctioned the raising of 5,000 rupees from all Ahmadis for the improvement of the present holding, the work will be taken up immediately. The English and Tamil literature – “The Message” and the “Thuthan” [magazines] published by the Association weekly is much appreciated by our readers and a “Malayalam” weekly will be issued in a few weeks. 

Our missionaries Mufti Sadiq in America, Mubarak Ali in England, AR Nayyar in East Africa, Ghulam Mohamed in Mauritius, Hassan Mussa Khan in Australia, Shah Waliulla (sic) in Mecca, are doing good work for Islam, and two and a half lakhs of rupees have been spent in 1921. 

Though Ceylon has closed its doors for our missionaries, giving us no reasons, we are repeatedly appealing to the Governor to remove the restrictions. Owing to limited time being allotted at the Jetty permission is not granted to us to present an address but an address and a copy of the Holy Quran will be sent to the Governor for presentation to the Prince of Wales. A pandal in front of the Association will be put up as the Prince will be passing the Association Hall at the Shorts Road. Weekly lectures are being delivered at the association hall with a fairly good gathering. With the addition of an upstairs building, accommodation would be complete with light and telephone service when lectures will be arranged from different religionist. Taking advantage of Mr Abdur Rahaman’s presence in Ceylon, several lectures were delivered in Colombo, Candy, and Negombo. Our visitors included Mr Khalid Bannerjee and Shaik Ahmadullah from England and several Indian gentlemen. Though we failed to enlist the sympathy of the police and the Government for permission for street preaching, we shall renew our application in 1922, and we failed to see the permission accorded to Christian and Buddhists and not to Muslims. For the first time, Mr CH Mantara represented as a Ceylon Delegate, at the Annual Conference at Qadian, having travelled over 6,000 miles. 

The report was unanimously adopted. The following were elected office-bearers for 1922:

Patron – His Holiness, the Caliphatul Masih II[ra]; President – Maulvi AP Ibrahim; Registrar of Mohammedan Marriages appointed by Government, Vice-president, Editor, Printer, and Publisher of “The  Message” [and] “Thuthan” – Mr TK Lye; Sub-Editor – Mr BW Lye; Treasurer [and] Manager Chand (a collector) – Mr K Omerdeen (acting); Secretary and Accountant – Mr CH Mantara; Auditor  – Mr B Satheen (acting); Correspondence – Mr M Zainudeen; Committee – Messrs YLA Rahman, ALM Mohidin, A Musafer, B Satheen, OA Majeed, BW Lye, K Omerdeen, AL Ahmed Lebbe, and AH Cassim.

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original published in The Review of Religions, March, April & May, 1922)

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