100 Years Ago… – Bai‘at requests from France, the impact of tabligh in America, and an appeal for Al Hakam


Al Fazl, 5 February 1924

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra (1872-1957)
Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra

On my way back from America, I [Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra] had to stay in France for a few weeks. During those days, I prepared a brief announcement on Islam Ahmadiyyat in French and, after having it printed, distributed it in various cities of the country. Since then, letters of acceptance of Islam with requests for bai‘at to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] are being continously received from France. As of now, the number of newly converted Ahmadis in France has risen to 20.

In its latest issue, a Chicago newspaper writes:

People here [in America] are eager to send missionaries from Chicago to other countries. On the other hand, a single Muslim missionary in their own city has converted 650 Christians to Islam in the last six months by propagating Islam and carrying out preaching work in a small mosque. He is a student at the University of Chicago, and his name is Maulvi Muhammad Din.

(Maulvi Muhammad Din Sahib went to the University of Chicago for a few days and observed the system of education there; hence, the news correspondent has referred to him as a student.)

A letter has been received from a new French convert, David Anderson. He has requested to establish Ahmadiyya missions in Marseilles and Paris.

Mr Sievwright (Abdul Haq Sahib) writes from America that, by the grace of God, our mission has been successful in the United States, and now we should establish Ahmadiyya missions in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

A letter from Maulvi Muhammad Din Sahib substantiates that he has sent the January [1924] issue of The Moslem Sunrise magazine for printing.

– Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, Qadian, India.

Appeal for extensive publication of Al Hakam

Hazrat Syed Zainul Abideen Waliullah Shahra (1889-1967)
Hazrat Syed Zainul Abideen Waliullah Shahra

Brothers! Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

Before making an appeal for the extensive publication of Al Hakam newspaper, I [Zainul Abideen, Nazir Talif-o-Isha‘at] want to highlight that on the occasion of the Jalsa Salana [of Qadian], Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] particularly appealed for the publication of our newspapers [on a large scale]. This is not the first time he has drawn our attention, but in fact, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih has encouraged us almost every year. To put this appeal into practice, I present the following proposal:

I fully agree with the opinion of Al Hakam’s editor that our Jamaat should not look to the former in the cause of Allah. Rather, they should discharge their duties in the same way as something is done by a natural desire or tendency.

On Jalsa Salana [Qadian], Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] regretfully expressed that the appeal he had made earlier in this regard was not received with much attention. Concerning the future, Huzoor[ra] said that if the publication of our newspapers is not satisfactory, he will either keep the newspapers alive by giving Isha‘at-e-Islam’s funds or give an imperative instruction to members of the Jamaat to buy them. Thus, before the time comes that [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih has to give these orders], though I do not believe that such a time will ever come, it is better for Ahmadis to pay attention to this.

Every newspaper has its own essential characteristics and is distinguished by its particular features.

Encouraging the publication of Al Hakam, I have to shed light on the fact that Al Hakam is the very first newspaper of the Jamaat, and the Promised Messiahas has declared it one of his arms. During the difficult times in the era of the Promised Messiahas, the service rendered by this newspaper in spreading the message of the Jamaat is a special grace of God upon Al Hakam.

Then, during the caliphate of Hazrat Khalifa Ira, the courage and resolve shown by Al Hakam in rescuing the Jamaat members from going down the wrong path is also an open secret.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira considered Al Hakam very essential, so much so that he took a solemn promise from the editor of Al Hakam not to cease its publication. During his last speech on the occasion of the annual Jalsa [of Qadian], Hazrat Khalifa Ira gave Al Hakam the title of Awwal Ittihadiyyin [First Supporter or Ally], and he personally made an appeal for it as well.

There is no denying the fact that in the last days of his life, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira gave the supervision of Al Hakam to Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud[ra]. Towards the end of the first Khilafat, in obedience to the instructions of Hazrat Khalifa Ira, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud[ra] continued to look after its [publication and circulation]. However, later on, the responsibilities of Khilafat separated him from it.

The Jamaat members are well aware of what Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] has said about Al Hakam on various occasions and it has also been published in newspapers and his annual speeches’ [transcripts].

Having stated these facts, I do not find the words or the manner in which I should present the appeal.

It is the duty of every one of us to keep alive this souvenir of the blessed era of the Promised Messiahas. The simplest way of achieving this endeavour is that those who can read the newspaper should buy it with the intention that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih desires the continuous publication of these newspapers, and those who cannot read should also buy it with the same intention.

Every Anjuman should also purchase a newspaper from its local fund. If I am not mistaken, there are around 300 associations. Hence, 300 permanent subscribers can be reached in a day. After my appeal, the associations that cannot buy it for certain reasons should inform me; otherwise, I will assume that every anjuman is ready to purchase it. I will then give the list of all associations to the editor of Al Hakam and instruct him to start publishing the newspaper.

Thus, the secretaries of the associations should inform me as soon as possible. Apart from this, it is also the duty of the secretaries to encourage every person who is not purchasing this newspaper to become a permanent subscriber. The lists of such subscribers should be compiled and sent to my office. For the friends who will become permanent subscribers of the newspaper under this appeal, I will present a request every week before Hazrat Khalifatul Masih to especially pray for them.

The annual subscription for Al Hakam is 1 rupee. The purchase requests should be directly sent to the postal address of the editor of Al Hakam, Qadian.


– Zainul Abideen, Nazir Talif-o-Isha‘at (1924).

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 5 February 1924 issue of Al Fazl)

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