100 Years Ago… – Ahmadiyya Mission in America reported on by various newspapers and reports from other foreign missions


The Moslem Sunrise, January 1923

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra (1872-1957)



The heavy burden of leading, guiding, managing and spiritually helping such an active and zealous missionary movement as Ahmadiyya often inflicts the body of our beloved Leader with many illnesses, and we are sorry to hear that he has been suffering with pain in his leg. With all this, he never confines himself to bed, but continues doing various works for the cause of Islam.

According to the latest reports. His Holiness, [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra] was dictating a refutation to a book written by a Christian, open or hidden in Hindustan, abusing some holy women of early Islam. Three more well-educated young men have offered their lives’ services to the cause of Truth, and have started their training for missionary work under the directions of His Hazrat Khalifatul Masih.

Our committee at headquarters has decided to open a new mission in Germany, and Brother Maulvi Mubarik Ali has gone to that country to investigate the proper ways and means of establishing such a mission.


Misbah-ud-Din Ahmad is the name of the new missionary who has joined the corps in London to help Brother Azizuddin and Maulvi Mubarak Ali in their [administrative] and religious works, respectively. He has devoted his life to the cause of Islam. May Allah be his Protector and Helper in all his undertakings.


Mr HM Khan in Australia has been busy circulating literature and writing articles on Islam in Australian papers. He informs in one of his letters that there were 19 mosques built by Afghans in Australia. 


Meer Sakender Ali writes from Bengal about the various activities of the Ahmadi Brethren in that vicinity under the superintendence of our venerable Maulana Muhammad Abdul Wahid Sahib. 1200 rupees were subscribed this year by our Bengal Anjuman to the Central Mission Fund at Qadian. 


The Hyderabad Bulletin of Secunderabad, India, has printed a whole page communicated article in defense of the Ahmadia Community.


Professor Nayyar writes to me that, under medical advice, he is retiring to India soon. The attacks of malaria have affected his health badly.

Mr AA Yusuf writes from Lagos about our Ahmadia mission work in West Africa: 

“Notwithstanding opposition, in certain quarters, the mission work is making rapid progress. Ahmadiyya Hall weekly meetings, Quran and Hadith classes, etc., are regularly held. Open-air lectures in different quarters of the town are attracting more attention and larger numbers have commenced lending their hitherto inattentive ears to the call of Ahmadi missionaries.

“The Maulvi addressed 20 meetings and traveled up to the terminus of the Nigerian Railway.

“In addition to 152 Muslim initiates, including such notable people as the Iman of Zaria township, Elhajj Ahmed of Bida, Prince Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abubekar bin Usuman Dan Fodio of Sokoto, uncle to the present Sultan, the venerable Maulvi succeeded in converting to Islam a number of converts from Christianity and paganism, of whom Station Master of Kaduna, a well-educated and intelligent West Indian gentleman, deserves mention.”


Many articles have been published in American journals and papers in Turkey, Persia, Syria and other countries about our Islamic work in America. Below, we give a few extracts from some of them:

Indian Lecturer Here

“Monday Night, 26 October [1922]: Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, a very highly educated and cultured man from India, is scheduled to deliver a lecture at the Stanley theatre Monday evening at 7 o’clock, his subject being ‘Islam and India.’ Dr Sadiq is one of the distinguished citizens of his country and it is said he speaks seven European languages. He is on a short visit here with friends and has been induced to deliver an address and it will no doubt prove of great interest to all, who can come to hear him.” (Stanley Sun, 26 October 1922)

Delivered an Address at Chapel

“Dr Mufti Mohammad Sadiq, addressed the students of the Northwest School of Agriculture this morning at the assembly period. Dr Mufti is the editor of The Moslem Sunrise, a magazine published in Chicago. He also has charge of the Moslem church [mosque] in that city. He speaks very fluently and clearly and it is a real pleasure to hear him. Dr Mufti realizes the interest that people of the United States take in learning something of the customs of his country and he told of the customs and life of his people, and explained the fundamental principles of their beliefs and religion.” (Crookston Times)

A very intelligent article on Turk and Greek appeared in the editorial columns of the Cumberland Progressive, Appalachia, Virginia, on 21 September 1922.

The Field Far, a Roman Catholic missionary magazine published at Maryknoll, New York, begins one of its leading articles with this tribute to the Muhammadans [Muslims]: “We stopped several minutes at one station and our attention was riveted to a Mahometan [Muslim] only a few paces from our train. He was in full view of the passengers as also of scores of other people walking or working near him. His face was turned in our direction, but he seemed rapt in his devotions. His lips moved silently and his hands followed his eyes as he made his appeal to Allah. No one, except strange passengers like ourselves, appeared interested in the man’s movements and doubtless, the sight is not at all unusual, but we were impressed with the utter lack of self-consciousness, as also by the evident seriousness of the act of worship that we were witnessing. It helped us understand why Mahometanism [Islam] is gaining ground so rapidly and why its followers are characterized as the greatest propagandists in the world.”

This excerpt, copied from an article under the caption “Around the Circle with the Superior of Maryknoll,” was evidently written by a group of young missioners en route to the Holy City (Jerusalem) and published in The Field Afar for September 1922.

The Field Afar

“From America, via the current number of The Moslem World comes news of The Moslem Sunrise, an Ahmadiyya magazine founded to illuminate the pitchy darkness of the middle western states of America.

“Prominence is given to one of the Hadith (tradition of Muhammad[sa]), which says, ‘That which is lawful but most detested by God is divorce.’ An Australian Mussulman describes how ‘Prohibition is Prohibited’ in the United States.

“The magazine also contains accounts of large meetings addressed by Moslem leaders, of subscriptions received, of circular letters sent to all the universities and colleges, and a list of American converts.” (Times of India, 21 July 1922)

The African Messenger of 14 September 1922, contains an account of the new Muhammadan [Islamic] school started by Professor Nayyar in West Africa. 

West Africa of 16 September 1922 has printed a photo of Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyar with his newly arrived colleague, Maulvi FR Hakim, and some of the young members of the Ahmadia Community. Lagos.

Missionary of Islam is Here Tonight

Local Men who have Met Famous Islam Missionary Tell of Real Personality Possessed by Him

[He] Belongs to the Newest Branch of Mohammedans [Muslims] with Progressive Ideas

“A real scoop has been made for the Grand Haven Exchange Club in that they have secured as their speaker tonight, Mufti Muhammed Sadiq, an accredited Islam missionary who is working in the United States. Dr Sadiq was secured through the efforts of Joe Nejem, who was a member of the entertainment committee during the present month. Some trouble was encountered in bringing the famous exponent of Islamism [sic] here, but finally, he was persuaded to come. Dr Sadiq has been speaking in many different places and is widely sought after, so bringing him to Grand Haven was something of a task.

Is Accredited Missionary

“Dr Sadiq is the first and only Islam missionary to come here with official credentials. He has worked here for over three years and has come to a conclusion, which he stated to a local party on the occasion of a short visit to this city before. He believes that America is as much in need of Islam missionaries as India is (thought to be) of Christian missionaries.

“During his stay here, Dr Sadiq has done much work among his own people and a mosque has been built in Detroit through the incentive furnished by him. He has also lectured in churches, before lodges and before civic bodies.

“Educated in English schools, Dr Sadiq has an excellent education and is able to speak five different languages. He is said to be an excellent speaker and to have a strong personality. 

Is Islam Progressive?

“Mr Nejem stated that Dr Sadiq was a member of the Sennay [sic] or Islam’s progressive element. That is the newest branch of Islamism [sic] […]. At present, it has more followers than any other branch of the faith, being the religion in vogue in India. Arabia, Turkey, Turkestan, Baluchistan, Afghanistan and other countries.

“In speaking of what is commonly termed ‘Mohammedanism’, Mr Nejem stated that throughout the east, the religion which we style ‘Mohammedanism’ is really called ‘Islam’ and that the term commonly used in America is not in use among the people of the east.” (Grand Haven Tribune, 27 November [1922])

In Detroit Daily News, dated 12 November 1922, were printed Madam Rahatullah’s picture and the following article: 

“Mrs Mustapha Thaha, the first woman Mohammedan [Muslim] missionary to the United States, has come to Detroit to attempt to make converts. She is living at 128 Victor Avenue. Mrs Thaha is not a native Mohammedan [Muslim]. She says she was born on an Indian farm, to Swiss parents, but was converted to Islam by the late Sheik Mohammed Majid Gilani. She represents the Ahmadia movement of Islamism [sic].”

Saturday Blade, Chicago, 4 November [1922], prints the following article with my picture: 

“Mohammedanism [Islam] is said to be gaining adherents in the United States. So promising has this country become as a field for Moslem propaganda that missionaries have been sent from Asia and Africa. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, a Moslem missionary directing the work of spreading the Mohammedan [Islamic] faith in America, is shown in the oval at the top. The building is the Mohammedan [Muslim] Mosque in Highland Park, a suburb of Detroit, Mich., one of the first of many contemplated in the United States.”

City versus country

“Do you like Mufti?” asked Mr H Murray in Detroit, Michigan, of his little daughter, Fatamy.

“Yes, I like him very much.”

“How much?”

“O, I like him ten thousand dollars.” 

When the same question was asked of little Fatamy on the farm near Stanley, North Dakota, by her mother, Mrs Helen Hessen, the little girl’s answer was:

“I like Mufti one bushel.”

[The Hero as Prophet Muhammadsa]

Carlyle, in his book “On Heroes,” exclaims, speaking of [those who, out of bigotry, lie about the ministry of] our Master Prophet Muhammadsa, “A false man found a religion? Why, a false man cannot build a brick house! If he does not know and follow truly the properties of mortar, burnt clay and whatever else he works with, it is no house that he builds, but a rubbish-heap. It will not stand for twelve centuries, to ledge a hundred and eighty millions; it will fall straightway.”

Cable address

Our short address has been registered at the Chicago Telegraph Office as “Almasjid Chicago.” Any cablegram from India or any other country with these words will reach us safely, insha-Allah. The full [postal] address is not necessary for telegrams and cablegrams. The cablegram from Brother FM Sayal in November last was addressed to “Almasjid” and reached us safely. Our telephone number is Atlantic 0014.


Mr ALA Mustapha writes from Lagos: 

“The books you have sent to me have done tremendous work among the educated natives. The eloquent preacher here, Mr Nayyar, is doing great work and since he came to this coast, more than three thousand men, women and children have embraced the Ahmadia movement.”

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Moslem Sunrise, January 1923)

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