Al Fazl, 21 August 1923
Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Dinra (1881-1983)
Friends know how the means of the rise of Islam in the West were provided out of nowhere by Allah the Almighty. God accepted the sacrifices and services of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib and made them apparently visible in the form of Moslem Sunrise or Shams al-Islam [Sunshine of Islam]. Through [this magazine, God desired that] the works of Hazrat Mufti Sahib be manifested in the world like the sun and that this star of truth may continue to shine at all times at its highest point.
However, the friends should understand that in the early days, a quarterly magazine was sufficient for the time. But keeping in view the present circumstances and the needs of the country, if it is not prolonged, its novelty value will be lost. For example, the wonders of the world also have an attraction, but that too does not last long.
It [America] is a Christian country, and we are competing with the missionary magazines here. Every day, new articles are published against Islam. If they are not responded to, it has a bad effect, and if the response is given after a long time, it is equivalent to not answering at all. [Newspaper] announcements cannot achieve in this country what a regular magazine can accomplish. Day by day, the needs of our Jamaat here are increasing. The teaching work of our members is also being done through this magazine. If it is published after a long period of time, many people will forget their previous lesson.
Here, the situation is such that when we eventually got in touch with some newspapers, they did not send their paper again, because they did not receive our magazine for three months and thought it was closed.
Sometimes, due to a lack of funds, the magazine is delayed. As it happened now that it has been published after six months. The subscribers also start to dwindle, and most people eventually get frustrated.
If there is no progress in a work, it eventually regresses. On the other hand, work begins to collapse if there is regression instead of advancement. Therefore, in my humble opinion, Moslem Sunrise should be a monthly magazine, and only then can it become an organ [of the Jamaat in America]. At present, an organ is very much needed for a mission. If it is not published on a monthly basis, it cannot become an organ. Moreover, a mission cannot fully succeed today without an organ, especially in the Western world, where all work requires publicising.
The question of expenses is indeed difficult, but there is an easy way out. That is, if at least 3000 regular subscribers can be achieved, this magazine will easily be published without delays. Its annual subscription will be set at around 6 or 7 rupees. At present, its annual cost is five rupees. If there are 3000 subscriptions, raising its price to 6 rupees per year means that there will be an increase of only one rupee or at most two rupees. And this is not a huge increase in price. If all the anjumans of the Jamaat make special efforts for this purpose and the affluent friends contribute generously to this cause and send a total of 3000 subscriptions, it is hoped that this magazine will stand on its own two feet and become a monthly.
It should be noted that I have stipulated a minimum of 3000 subscribers. It should not be misunderstood that we are requesting 3000 rupees. Around 2000 rupees would be enough for this purpose. I did not ask for 5 or 6 thousand rupees because, hearing this kind of request, some friends might be taken aback.
At the aforementioned price, it is impossible to find such a magazine in the religious circles of India. Political magazines can, of course, be found, but as they are bought in large numbers, they can be made available at low prices. Moreover, this magazine will be especially helpful for English readers who are fond of learning Arabic. After reading this magazine, those who are familiar with English letters will be able to learn to read Arabic in Roman English within a short time. Eventually, they will be acquainted with Roman [English], but this is not relevant to the topic under discussion. In short, the magazine will be able to do very beneficial work. If [the funds] are made available, we will be able to add one or two pages of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish with it, as we are receiving many such requests through letters. Especially from Iran and Turkey, letters are being received. It is hoped that friends will seek reward by participating in this good work. All contributions and letters for this purpose should be sent to “In-Charge Almasjid Chicago”.
4448 Wabash Avenue,
Ahmadiyya Mosque in Saltpond, Ghana
Al-Haj Hakim Fazl-ur-Rahman (1901-1955)
assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!
It has been a year and a half since I left Qadian Darul Aman [Abode of Peace]. Soon after coming here [to Africa], I started working. Every brother who has had the opportunity to take part in any important task can understand the difficulties one has to face in a new work. Especially if a person is weak, ignorant, and inexperienced like me, they have to endure even more hardships.
A man’s weaknesses could be covered if he had to work among his friends or in his own country. In a place where a person is familiar with their language, habits, and culture, his work becomes much easier. Keeping this whole situation in mind, friends may well understand my difficulties as I have to work among the people of a foreign country with a foreign language, and foreign habits.
The geographers have termed Africa the “Dark Continent” [….] However, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, having complete faith in the prayers of Hazrat Fazl-e-Umar [Khalifatul Masih IIra] and our friends, the work has been started [in Africa].
Fruits of tabligh efforts
I cannot say that I have completely fulfilled my responsibilities; no, I have not even fulfilled one-hundredth of my duty. All praise belongs to Almighty God that where more than two hundred disbelievers and Christians have entered Ahmadiyya Jamaat in the last year, and the reformation and edification of the previous members have also taken place.
When I arrived here [in Saltpond, Ghana], I found the new converts in a strange state. The reason is obvious that no teacher could be sent to them immediately for their edification. On reaching here, I found the condition of these people to be so low as to be unimaginable. Whether in terms of knowledge or in terms of habits and morals, they were weak in every way. […] Regarding moral and religious weakness, they cannot be blamed because the early Hausa Muslims can be seen in the market drinking alcohol, dancing, and collecting money by writing amulets. And when the former Muslims have set this example, what will happen to the new converts? In fact, they are the enemies of Islam, and seeing them, the people of the African coastal areas are becoming frustrated, nay, hating Islam. However, Allah the Almighty helped me and made those people understand. By the grace of God Almighty, there are now a great number of people who have brought about a positive change in themselves and are sincere in their faith. Moreover, they have now understood what Islam really is.
I have mentioned these few preliminary points so that Ahmadi friends can understand my difficulties.
Ahmadiyya Mosque of Saltpond
What I want to mention particularly in this report is the special blessing of Allah the Almighty that He showered upon us in the form of the inauguration of the Ahmadiyya Mosque in Saltpond, [Ghana] on 29 May . A mosque built by the non-Ahmadi Hausa Muslims of this place left and moved to another place. The land on which the mosque was built is owned by a Christian, and the Hausa people used to pay rent for it. When those people left, the owner of the land asked to demolish the mosque because it was of no use to him, except that he could have utilised the debris of this mosque and brought it to work, but when I met him, this good-hearted person gave permission to use this mosque and, for the time being, gave it to me for free. The cost of the land and the mosque together is no less than fifteen hundred rupees. May Allah the Almighty grant him the best of rewards.
This mosque is very far from my house. Moreover, there is no proper jamaat in this region of Saltpond. There are only a few [Ahmadi] schoolboys in this area. Currently, I have started leading Fajr, Asr, and Isha prayers there. Friends are requested to pray that Allah the Almighty may also increase worshippers in this mosque.
I used to pray to be granted both a mosque and a jamaat. Allah the Almighty has blessed us with a mosque. By God’s grace, the time is not far when we will be granted a jamaat as well. Therefore, from the day I started leading the prayers there, non-Ahmadis have also started praying behind me, and what is interesting is that they pray exactly like we do.
The jamaat here is seriously considering the matter of building a house for the Ahmadiyya Mission near the mosque. Therefore, I have requested land for the house from the same Christian friend who gave us the mosque. Now, by gathering the jamaat in a jalsa and coming to a conclusion on this matter, if Allah the Almighty grants us the strength, we desire to build a [mission] house within this year. Friends should help us with their prayers. People are sending money to London, America, and Germany, so please at least send bags of prayers to us.
(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 21 August 1923 issue of Al Fazl)