The Review of Religions, October and November 1919
The future of Turkey, which forms the first article of this issue, has also been translated into Arabic by Syed Zain-ul-Abideen Wali Ullah Shah for distribution in Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia and other Muslim countries. The pamphlet is to be printed in Egypt.
The annual gathering of the Ahmadiyya community will Insha-Allah take place on the 26, 27, 28 and 29 December 1919. It is expected that there will be a gathering of Ahmadi ladies also, as usual.
Chaudhary Abul Hasham Khan M A, Assistant Inspector of schools Dacca Division, Bengal, has come to Qadian on long leave ans is nowadays engaged in translating Hazrat Khalifatul Masih’sra reply to Mr Muhammad Ali’s pamphlet entitled The “Split”.
Students from Ceylon, Mauritius and Nigeria are making satisfactory progress in their studies and we are glad to say that Mr Abdur Rahim Smith of Nigeria who arrived at Qadian on the 6th September 1919, can now express himself in Urdu fairly well.
Our missionaries in England are actively engaged in their propagation work. They are receiving visitors daily who inquire from them about Islam and the Ahmadiyya Movement and we are glad to say that they are generally favourably impressed. These visitors are not only Englishmen, but also men and women coming from foreign countries. Lately, they had two visitors, a gentleman and a lady, from Brazil and two from Italy. Among the visitors are also men from Arabia, Egypt and other Muslim countries. New converts also visit them as frequently as possible.
Lectures are delivered every Sunday at the Ahmadiyya Lecture Hall and many seekers after truth have begun to take a keen interest in Islam as represented by the Ahmadiyya Movement. Following is a list of the subjects on which our Missionaries have delivered lectures between 8 August to 8 October, 1919.
1. Are you Christian?
2. Love of God
3. Muhammad, the perfect ideal
4. Need of the Holy Quran
5. Islamic prayer
6. Word of God
7. Children of God
9. The philosophy of sacrifice
The above lectures were delivered in London. Lectures were also delivered at Hastings and Folkestone by Qazi Abdullah BA, BT, Chaudhary Fateh Muhammad Sayal MA and Mr Muhammad Sagar Chand, Bar-at-Law, some of the subjects they covered were, “certainly of faith”, “prayer”, “Islam” and “revelation”. These lectures are generally followed by a discussion.
Propagation work is also being conducted by distributing literature. A new pamphlet entitled “A Call to Truth” has been published and is being freely distributed. A curious incident took place while our brother, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, offered a copy to a number of old men sitting in a railway train. One of them had a short discussion with the learned Mufti, and was soon silenced. Then another of the party remarked, “Do you not then believe in the Atonement?”. “I cannot believe in it as you do,” replied the Mufti. “Oh! what is the use of talking with you then?” said the old man. Then the learned Mufti explained to him that it was vain to believe in Atonement and that it served no useful purpose at all. “You are doing harm to the world,” exclaimed the old gentleman and with these words, he tore up the pamphlet and threw it away. That act was well worthy of such a gentleman.
A good deal of propagation work is being done by means of correspondence which is carried on not only with persons living in England, but also with those living in foreign countries, such as Denmark, Norway, Honduras, Persia, Africa, America &c.
We thank God that the propagation work is making satisfactory progress and many persons have begun to feel great interest in Islam. There are said to be a large number of men who have become Muslims at heart, though they have not yet openly declared their faith. There are others who have declared their faith in the truth of the Holy Prophet (may peace and the blessings of God be upon him) and even in the truth of Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and have also adopted Muslim names but have not yet formally joined the Ahmadiyya Movement by signing the form of Bai‘at (initiation into the Ahmadiyya movement).
Among these, may be mentioned the name of Miss Reynold who, during the period under report, declared her faith in the truth of the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas and was given the Muslim name of Saeedah.
The following is a list of the gentlemen and ladies who have embraced Islam and joined the Ahmadiyya movement during the period under report:
1. An Arab gentleman, named Abdullah Hasan, who is the proprietor of a hotel in London.
2. An Egyptian gentleman, named Hasan Gauhar.
3. An Indian student, named Ali Muhammad.
4. An English lady, whose Christian name was Lilion, embraced Islam in August last. She knows something of Arabic and when she signed the Bai‘at form, she expressed her determination to remain true to her word and said, pointing to her lips, “my profession of faith is not from this,” – meaning, it is not merely a lip-profession, and then pointing to her heart, she said, “but it is from this,” i.e., “my faith is sincere and true”.
5. A British lady named Anne May who was given the Muslim name of Ayesha.
6. An Arab named Haji Ali Musa.
7. An Arab named Haji Hasan Ali.
8. George Samuel Bailey MD, who has been given the Muslim name of Ahmad.
9. Mr F William, who has been given the Muslim name Mahmud.
10. A Nigerian prince, Mr Thomas, who has been given the Muslim name Ahmad Ibrahim. Mr Thomas is the son of a Nigerian Muslim Chief. He had been Christian for some years but now, thanks to the efforts of our preachers in London, has re-embraced Islam and has become a member of the Ahmadiyya community. His coming in contact with our missionaries in England is, he says, in fulfilment of a vision which his father had seen years ago and which he had told him when he was yet a child.
11. An English lady named L Wilson, who has been given the Muslim name Fakhira.
12. A learned Jew of Russian descent named Solomon Faith. He had embraced Christianity and even acted as a Christian preacher. About three years ago, our brother Qazi Abdullah met him at Hyde Park and as a result of our brother’s preaching, his faith in Christianity was shaken and he gave up that faith. At last a vision led him to the acceptance of Islam. He saw himself on a rock and was in imminent danger of being drowned. Just then he saw a holy figure clad in an eastern dress holding out his hand from another rock and beckoning him to lay hold of a rope. Having seen this dream he came to our missionaries at 4 star street and related to them his dream. They told him that the rope which could rescue him from the storm was the one spoken of in the Holy Quran as ÍÈä Çääç “The rope of God”. Then they showed him a photo of the Promised Messiah, upon this he said, “this photo does bear resemblance to the holy man whom I he saw in the dream, but he was a different man.” Then they showed him the photo of Hazrat Mirza Bashirudin Mahmud Ahmad, son and second successor of the Promised Messiah and the present Head of the Ahmadiyya Community. At seeing this [photo] he declared, “this is indeed the photo of the holy man who stretched out his hand from the other rock and beckoned me to lay hold of the rope.” The dream had made him restless and he had in vain rummaged the pages of the Bible for some passage which might give him some consolation, but when he read in the Holy Quran the verse which says, “lay hold of the rope of Allah all together” and when he saw the actual image of the holy man who had beckoned him with his hand to lay hold of the rope, he was convinced of the truth of Islam and signed the Bai‘at form which begins with the words, “Today I enter the Ahmadiyya Movement and repent of all my sins at the hand of Mahmud.”
He is a learned Jew and knows Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, German, Lettish, Finnish, Flemish and English. He is now inspired with a zeal to preach the truth to other people. May God help him!
13. Mr W J Sarsh who has been given Yahya as his Muslim name.
14. A Scotch lady named Mrs S Roberts. She has been named Majidah.
15. Yoosaf Ammad
16. Abdullah Ibrahim
17. Abdullah Adham
18. Ali Adam
19. Farih Abdulla
20. A. Muhammad
11. Muhammad Farih
22. Muhammad Ali
The last named eight gentlemen who joined the Ahmadiyya Movement on the 5 October come from Arabia and Somaliland.
23. A respectable Englishman of good family whose name has not yet been disclosed.
Twenty-three converts in two months’ time is a good number and we congratulate our brethren in England on their success. Of these twenty-three persons, four are British gentlemen, 4 are British ladies, 1 Russian Jew, 1 Nigerian, 1 Indian, 1 Egyptian and 11 Arabs and Somalis. It is also gratifying to learn that among this number, there is a Doctor of Medicine, a Jewish Scholar, a Nigerian prince, and the rest are also mostly educated and of good social position.
Some of the converts and even some Christians have begun to learn the Holy Quran. They have also begun to make weekly contributions to the mission funds.
Our brother, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq also acted as a political delegate of the Ahmadiyya community to represent the views of the community on the Indian Reform Scheme before the Parliamentary Committee for Indian Reforms. His Memorandum on the Reform Scheme which he laid before the members of the Committee was published in our last issue.
English papers have published in their columns the substance of this memorandum with a photo of our brother and a brief account of the Ahmadiyya Community. While attending one of the sittings of the Committee in the House of Lords, our brother met Sir Michael O’Dwyer, late Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, who happened to be sitting close to him. Without recognising the late Lieutenant Governor, he delivered his message to him and the latter listened to him with close attention and showed great respect for him. Afterwards our brother learnt that the gentleman to whom he had been preaching was Sir Michael O’Dwyer who had only recently come from the Punjab.
[The fact that] the people of London have now become well acquainted with the message which our brothers have gone there to deliver is clear from an incident which occurred on the day of the Victory Celebrations. Our brother Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, as a representative of a loyal community, thought it his duty to share with the Londoners their rejoicings at the victory and joined a victory procession with a green flag in his hand. His green turban soon attracted notice and a party of spectators who were watching the procession from a roof, in order to convey to him the pleasure they had felt by his presence in the procession, took a brass horn and sounded through it the words:
“Allah is Great, and Muhammad is His Apostle”
Our brother made a courteous acknowledgment and passed on with the procession.
Brother Qazi Abdullah who has worked as an Ahmadi preacher in England for about 4 years, and Mr Muhammad Sagar Chand who declared his faith in Islam not long ago and who has done good missionary work at Hastings and Folkestone have come back to India. Brother Mufti Muhammad Sadiq will shortly proceed to another country to deliver the message of Ahmad to another people. May God grant him success! We congratulate our esteemed brothers and friends, Qazi Abdullah and Mufti Muhammad Sadiq on the success with which, through God’s grace, their work in England has been crowned.
Ahmadi preachers are working as usual in different parts of India. Meetings have also been held in different places and there have also been controversies with non-Ahmadi maulvis and others. Propagation secretaries have also been appointed in a large number of towns and villages whose duty it will be to make arrangements for preaching through the members of the Ahmadiyya Community in their respective districts, to superintend the work of these honorary preachers, devise and carry out different plans for the dissemination of Ahmadiyya doctrine and send regular reports of their work to the Secretary for propagation at Qadian. Arrangements have also been made to establish Libraries and Reading-rooms in different towns.
Among honorary workers, the name of Seith Abdullah Allah Din of Sikandrabad deserves special mention. He is filled with great zeal for the propagation of the truth taught by the Ahmadiyya Community and has spent thousands of rupees in publishing and distributing Ahmadiyya literature. He has only recently succeeded in winning over a learned Imam of Sikandrabad whom he now wishes to employ as an Ahmadi preacher and has asked him to prepare himself for that purpose. It is gratifying to learn that many a seeker after truth has benefited by the literature published by our brother and Ahmadi preachers are making the best use of his publications. They are mostly English and Gujrati translations of the writings of the Promised Messiah.
Among those who have been led to the acceptance of truth by a perusal of Seith Abdulla’s publications, is the name of Sulaiman Ismail Jamoter of Cutch Jakhao, who is a big business man and is the owner of several vessels sailing to Bombay, Karachi, Malabar, Colombo, Arabia &c. He is now a devoted adherent of the Ahmadiyya movement and proposes to hand over his whole business to his younger brother so that he may be able to devote himself wholly to the propagation of truth.
The records in the office of the Secretary to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih for propagation, show that since the 1 January 1919, 1640 new men have joined the Ahmadiyya Movement by entering into the Bai‘at of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih but the figures are not complete, as most of those who enter into the Bai‘at by coming to Qadian are not included in the above number. The above figure represents mostly those who send written applications for admission into the Ahmadiyya movement.
The secretary of the Colombo Ahmadiyya Association reports:
“Opposition to us has become very bitter again, owing to malicious letters appearing in a local non-Ahmadi paper and the continued preaching by a South Indian, thousands flocking to hear him. He has preached in four centers and now last of all is expected in Slave Island. We are not afraid. Allah is our Helper.”
This bitterness of opposition on the part of the non-Ahmadi public of Ceylon and the activities of the South Indian preacher who is going about delivering lectures against the Ahmadiyya movement is a proof that our brethren there are working zealously to convey to their fellow-islanders the message of the Promised Messiah. Enemies of truth always do their worst to destroy heavenly movements and so are our opponents in Ceylon doing. But all their efforts are doomed to failure and we pray that God may help our brethren in the island and enable them to make Ceylon an Ahmadi Island.