100 Years Ago… – Argentinian accepts Ahmadiyyat in London


Al Fazl, 5 January 1920

Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Rahim Nayyarra

The disbelievers of Khilafat and Islam became momin [believers]

On 22 November, the Islamic Society held its ‘That Home” [gathering]. The president, Dr Abdul Majid Sahib delivered the annual address on the issue of Khilafat. We were also invited to the conference. As luck would have it, Dr Leon, the chairperson walked out of the gathering and there came the time of questions and answers. In the presence of Maulvi Sadruddin Sahib, the speaker and Chaudhry Sahib had the following exchange of words:

Chaudhry Sahib: Is the issue of Khilafat a religious question?

Dr. Abdul Majid: Yes, it is a religious question and Khilafat is an important and integral part of Islam.

Chaudhry Sahib: Is it compulsory and necessary to obey the Khalifa?

Dr Abdul Majid: (Taking permission from Maulvi Sadruddin Sahib). Yes, it is obligatory.

It is up to our Muslim brothers to take the issue [of Khilafat] as they please and consider whosoever they want to be worthy of the office of Khilafat. It is their matter. However, we are surprised at those people who consider the Khalifa as a matter of dispute in India and believe him bad for themselves.

Moreover, they totally disagree with the need of Khilafat but coming to the UK, this disagreement has changed into belief. Now, “Our Khalifa” is a beautiful term for them. They are convinced that Khilafat is a religious question and the obedience of Khilafat is incumbent and important. So, should we think that they have reverted and repented or should we consider them like those “who have something else in their hearts while their mouths say something else?” Our ghair muba‘i [those who did not take Bai‘at at the hand of the Khalifa] brothers should ponder over this matter.

A series of lectures

By the grace of God, being impressed with his earlier lectures and association, various societies are inviting Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sayal MA, missionary of Islam to deliver lectures. Chaudhry Sahib has started the series [of delivering lectures]. Today, on 4 December, with the blessings of God, there is a lecture of Chaudhry Sahib on “Attributes of Islam” in Derby at the Theosophy Hall. Thereafter, he will make a tour of the UK tomorrow, Insha-Allah.

Last Sunday’s lecture

Last week, there was a lecture of Hazrat Mufti Sahib on the “Amended Bible” at the Ahmadiyya Lecture Hall. The audience consisted of new English Ahmadi converts, non-Ahmadi Muslims, Christians and Jewish men and women in great numbers. Mufti Sahib maintained his discourse in a very sublime and interesting manner. During the lecture, Hazrat Mufti Sahib made the subject of the alteration in the Bible much more interesting by the following incident:

Mufti Sahib: (Turning towards Dr Berkovich of Bosnia) Dr Sahib please take this Bible and read verse 21 from chapter 17 of Matthew.

Dr Fehmi Berkovich: (It states,) “However, these kinds of ghosts can be exorcised through prayer and fast.”

Mufti Sahib: Very well done, Jazakallah. You read it beautifully. This is a verse from that Bible which is called the word of God. Now, Miss Harvey (an educated Christian lady), please read the same verse in the same sequence. (He handed over another Bible to Miss Harvey.)

Miss Harvey: (Turning pages of the Bible) Matthew, chapter 17, verse 21, (somewhat surprised,) I cannot find it.

This witty incident made the audience laugh. Moreover, the greatness of the Bible and it being the word of God was practically refuted.

The House of Commons

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Wiki Commons

Our brothers read the account of the House of Commons in the telegrams of rewire and observe in Hindustani newspapers the way in which questions and answers are carried out in the British Parliament.

However, this humble one had the opportunity to witness this scene with his own eyes.

Entering into the great historical building situated on the bank of river Thames (with the statue of Cromwell at its door, recalling the efforts of its country for liberty and freedom), I heard those questions and answers which are published in the newspapers with my own ears.

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God Almighty made such arrangements that I was granted a distinguished place to sit which is famous by the name of special gallery.

Sitting there, not only did I see the public hall of audience but prayed for the Englishmen.

In fact, the green turban on a suitable day from a particular place, conveyed the message of that mission to the respectables, ministers and members of parliament for which the Ahmadiyya Missionaries are residing in this country.

Brother Abdullah Bottomley

The name of the new noble soul granted by Allah the Almighty to His Messiah is Jack Vess Bottomley. This young, educated friend was under tabligh through correspondence. On 25 November, he found peace and comfort in his heart after the prayer and left Christianity to accept Islam Ahmadiyyat. He expressed faith in لا الٰہ الّا اللہ محمد رسول اللہ [There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His messenger]. I gave him the Islamic name Abdullah. He is increasing in sincerity and affection. Below, I write a few lines from his last letter:

“Surely, I am the recipient of Allah Almighty’s reward. Thinking about the fact that the announcement of my Bai‘at was made in the report of the annual Jalsa pleases me very much. I am a married man and hope from God that I will be able to bring my wife as a new convert in your company. I have a one year old son as well. Desirous of prayers, Jack Vess Abdullah Bottomley.”

Brother Sikandar Bashir Sehul Solar

The ways in which the angels of God are working and stimulating the hearts, and we humble servants are serving the Promised Messiah[as], all this is very surprising for us. Brother Abdullah Bottomley’s acceptance of Islam is one example of these inspirations. Now, the new convert granted by Allah who is being discussed in this report is the second example of this inspiration.

Brother Alexander Sehul Solar is a resident of the South American state, Argentina. He speaks Italian, French, German and Russian. His native language is Spanish. He met me on his way to a conference and promised to meet me again on the coming third day. At last, he came as per the promise because he was a seeker of truth. He did not find comfort in the Roman Catholic faith and preferred the teachings of Islam above all other religions. However, he still had some doubts.

Chaudhry Sahib carried out a discourse of around an hour and a half and I also made him understand to the best of my abilities. Finally, his heart opened up by the grace of God and announcing his acceptance of Islam, he became the “Bashir” of South America. Alhamdolillah!

Letter of Brother Bashir Alexander Sehul Solar

This intellectual new convert friend wrote a letter in Spanish to Huzoor and translated it for me in English language …

“In the name of Allah the most Gracious, ever Merciful

“To His Holiness, Imam Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, Assalamo Alaikum wa Rahmatullahe wa Barakatuhu.

“I met with brothers Nayyar and Sayal in London. They elaborated the objectives and doctrines of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat before me. They told me that they want to spread Ahmadiyya Jamaat in South America as well.

“I totally agree with whatever I have listened [to] and read about Prophet Ahmadas. I am pleased to think about this matter that God Almighty will soon bring that time when I will serve this cause by joining those people who devote their lives to attain God’s delight.

“Being in relation of affection and brotherhood with the above-mentioned brothers (Nayyar and Sayal), I consider myself a member of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. I submit to His Holiness with utmost respect and pray for the safeguard of the pure being of Huzoor. I am the servant of Huzoor, Bashir Alexander Sehul Solar.”

If Sehul is changed to Sayal and Solar is translated to Nayyar as told by Brother Bashir, then it is as though the name of the new brother already possesses Sayal and Nayyar. All praise belongs to Allah!

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