100 Years Ago… – Ahmadi missionaries win hearts in West Africa

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Al Fazl, 2 February 1922

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra (1883-1948)

لَا‭ ‬اِلٰهَ‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬مُحَمَّدٌ‭ ‬رَّسُوْلُ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ

Passing through a village, I found people gathered at a death ceremony and engaged in dancing and singing. However, the calls of “subhanallah”, “alhamdulillah” and “Allahu Akbar” drew their attention towards our caravan and hundreds of boys, girls, children and old people came to see the white asufun [maulvi]. I took advantage of the opportunity and stopped there. I instructed members [of the caravan] to recite a naat [poem in praise of the Holy Prophetsa] in the Fante language. It was only a matter of Yaqub’s voice and the response of members of the caravan that the gathering grew bigger. All the children were standing alongside me. 

After the public sermon, which was translated simultaneously into Fante and Arabic languages by the Arabic interpreter, I addressed the children and asked them to reciteلَا‭ ‬اِلٰهَ‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬مُحَمَّدٌ‭ ‬رَّسُوْلُ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬ [“There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”] with me. The children of all those idolaters, who were naturally drawn towards Islam, beautifully recited the Kalima [creed]of that religion which is based on nature, alhamdulillah.

Report of Ahmadi missionary: 57 new converts

Brother Yaqub has sent a report of his work in Arabic which is translated as:

“I am a missionary of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. I preach to the people and 57 new men and women have joined the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. I hope you inform Hazrat Khalifatul Masih and request him to pray for me.”

This letter has been sent to be presented before Hazrat Khalifatul Masih.

Report via telegram: Six new converts

Abdul Karim Sahib, secretary Swedru Saraha, has sent a telegram:

“Please send me four names of men and two names of women.” Karimo

In coastal English, “to take or give names” means somebody has converted to Islam. Thus far, the missionary and the new converts are all new Muslim nomads. Allah the Almighty will produce wise and knowledgeable people from among them, insha-Allah. This telegram has also been sent to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. The reply given to [the missionary] is as follows:

“God bless you. Give the names Mahdi, Adam, Ahmad and Isa, to men and name the women Maryam and Ayesha. I call to goodness and piety.”

Dar-ul-tabligh [mission house]

All praise belongs to Allah, the new dar-ul-tabligh [mission house], which was rented at three pounds per month, has started functioning from 15 October [1921]. The top floor of the house has two spacious halls, one with a library and the other with a madrasa. There are four rooms. One of the rooms is reserved for prayers. The Salat-ul-Khusuf [solar eclipse prayer] was also performed in congregation in that room on the night of 17 October [1921] and the sermon was delivered with the help of the interpreter. Yoruba and Fante people both joined in the silent prayer and sermon of the inaugural ceremony of dar-ul-tabligh. The interpreter of both languages translated the sermon and presented it [to the audience]. We hope from Allah the Almighty that this seed will one day blossom and flourish in Saltpond. Although there is not a single Ahmadi in the main Saltpond at the moment, with the inauguration of the dar-ul-tabligh, well-educated people have started coming. The following board is hanging on the door of the dar-ul-tabligh [see image below]:

Translation of latest printed programme 

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyar, Phil B, MSP, etc., missionary of Ahmadiyya Jamaat, will start a series of speeches at the dar-ul-tabligh, located adjacent to Millers Factory, Commercial Road, on the following topics:

1. “Islam is the religion of peace, harmony and true love”, on Saturday, 22 October [1921], at 5-6 pm

2. “The Holy Messenger, Jesus Christ, did not die an accursed death”, Sunday, 23 October [1921], at 5-6 pm

3. “Second coming of Jesus and the fulfillment of the world’s desperate needs”

4. “How to be saved from sin”, on Tuesday, 25 October [1921], at 5-6 pm

All and sundry are sincerely invited and the opportunity to ask questions and express views will be provided. The library and reading room will be open from 5 to 7 pm.

The dars [religious sermon] of the Holy Scriptures will be delivered every evening from 7:30 to 8:00.

Secretary, 19 October [1921], Saltpond

Prayers’ request

There is a lot of work and not enough time. Loneliness, a struggle against the climate, poverty and destitution, I have to fight with everything. My only recourse is prayer and work is solely dependent upon it and that is all.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in 2 February 1922 issue of Al Fazl)

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