100 Years Ago… – Berlin Mosque and Eid in Africa


Al Fazl, 5 October 1923

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra (1883-1948)
Masjid in berlin
Tadib-un-Nisa, April 1923: Artist’s impression of the Berlin Mosque

Foundation of Berlin Mosque

On 2 August [1923], as previously reported, the foundation stone of the Berlin Ahmadiyya Mosque was laid. Around 400 people accepted the invitation and attended this auspicious occasion. Among them, the number of Almanians [Germanic peoples] was higher than that of other foreign Muslims. Some of the prominent people in attendance included the German Minister of Interior, the German Minister of Public Welfare, and many other high officials. Moreover, His Excellency, Ambassador of Afghanistan, Imam Bukhari of Turkey, Professor Mirza Hassan Irani, Professor Kemp Famer and Dr Schmelz were also present. Apart from them, many famous German scholars, businessmen and newspaper correspondents were also present.

There were four Ahmadis in this fortunate gathering: Maulvi Mubarak Ali Sahib, the missionary of Islam; Dr Attaullah Butt Sahib with his brother; and Muhammad Ishaq Khan Sahib, the son of our sincere friend, the late Mistri Qutbuddin Sahib. Along with these Ahmadis, the fifth thing was the presence of “Truth” that the Promised Messiahas brought to this world. Surely, it [the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat] will continue to prevail despite the efforts of opponents against it.

In this gathering, after reciting Surah al-Fatihah and Surah al-Asr, Maulvi Mubarak Ali Sahib explained the purpose and objectives of the Berlin Mosque in English. He expressed how the women of Ahmadiyya Jamaat had offered monetary sacrifice for this mosque and that this place would be the centre of the propagation of Islam in Europe. It will also fulfil the desperate need of Berlin’s countless Muslims for a place of worship. We will invite leaders of different faiths to this place, and an opportunity will be given for the unbiased study of Islam as well as other world religions.

Maulvi Mubarak Ali Sahib laid great emphasis on two things: (1) The door of this mosque will be open to every Muslim without any distinction of race or ethnicity, and (2) This mosque is a manifestation of the great sacrifice of Ahmadiyya Jamaat’s women and an example worth following for the Muslim world.

The members of the wicked clan are present everywhere, and opposition to the truth is inevitable, so on this very occasion, an inhabitant of Egypt made a huge clamour and called the Ahmadi missionary a British spy. The police escorted this deceiver out of the gathering and after his expulsion, Professor Mirza Hassan Sahib, Syed Muhammad Hashim Inspector, Afghan students and His Excellency, Ambassador of Afghanistan, thanked the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and expressed delight at the establishment of the mosque.

In the end, Maulvi Mubarak Ali Sahib mentioned the unjustified opposition that some so-called Muslims of India possess against the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and also refuted the false accusation of that student from Egypt. He said, “We are a religious party, and the work of faith is our aim and objective.” Mubarak Ali Sahib then expressed gratitude to the audience, and after a silent prayer, the event concluded.

We sincerely congratulate the Jamaat of Messiah Ahmadas, Ahmadi women and [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra], the promised son of our Holy Founderas. A detailed account of this gathering has been published in the German newspapers. The translation of some of those newspaper cuttings will be presented to the readers in a coming [issue of Al Fazl], insha-Allah.

Eid-ul-Adha in West Africa

On the evening of 22 July [1923], the following detailed announcement was posted in the streets of Lagos, West Africa’s largest city. Now imagine that, sailing through the Atlantic Ocean, you have landed on the eastern coast of [Africa], and then upon reaching Nigeria and passing through the streets of Lagos, you read this newly posted announcement as an observer:

“In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.

“Peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Holy Prophet.

“Ahmadiyya Jamaat, Nigeria Branch

“Gathering on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha

“The above-mentioned Jamaat will hold a sermon and a gathering on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha on 23 July [1923] from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm in Jami‘ Masjid Ahmadiyya, located at 37 Aroloya St. Lagos.

“Under the presidency of the chief imam Dabri, a special lecture on ‘Obedience of Allah the Almighty’ will be delivered by alfa [cleric] Ismail Sheta with the assistance of imam Qasim R Ajose (missionary of Ahmadiyya Jamaat).

“The event will be concluded with a silent prayer led by ‘Alfa Junaid’.

Insha-Allah, Eid-ul-Adha prayer will be offered on Tuesday, 24 July [1923] at 10 am. After the prayer, imam Muhammad Dabri (chief imam of Ahmadiyya Jamaat) will deliver a sermon on the ‘Purpose of Sacrifice’ with the assistance of Qasim R Ajose, in the Eid Gah located at Ikoyi, [Lagos].

“A sitting will be arranged beneath the shady trees of Cashew for the members of every faith and nation who are interested in the religion of Islam.

“Ahmadiyya Hall, 62 Bamgbose St., Lagos, 19 July 1923, MBA Ade, General Secretary Ahmadiyya Jamaat.”

Eid gathering

According to the announcement, on the evening of 23 July [1923] alfa Ismail Sheta’s remarkable and effective lecture on ‘Obedience to Allah the Almighty’ was held in front of a big crowd. Alfa Shodande, secretary tabligh, explained the number of Eid takbirs, and the entire assembly memorised them.

Imam Ajose writes:

“It was a very delightful night for us. On 24 July [1923], the Eid congregation gathered at Bamgbose Hall, and we left for Eid Gah at 9 o’clock. Four horse riders moved along with us. The opponents were escorted out of the Eid Gah by the police, and the route was specially cleared for us. Resident Sahib and the Chief Clerk were also present at the Eid Gah until the end of the prayer. By the grace of God, this year’s Eid congregation and general arrangements were much better than the previous years, alhamdulillah.

Thanks to government

Almost all Nigerian government offices are staffed by Christians because Muslims do not pay attention to education. However, a few Muslims are employed in government positions now. Due to the greater number of Christian officials, only Christian festivals are celebrated as holidays. There was no holiday for Muslims even during the days of Eid. Now, the government has ordered, on the request of the organising committee of Ahmadiyya Jamaat, that one holiday on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and two holidays on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha be allowed to be given to Muslim government employees. The Ahmadiyya Jamaat is grateful for this kind approval. Since Allah the Almighty has entrusted us with the work of the faith of Islam and its preservation, we congratulate Lagos Jamaat for playing their part in this cause.

Eid in Gold Coast

General Secretary Gold Coast Jamaat writes:

“A group of Fante Ahmadi Muslims offered their Eid prayer on 25 July at Accrafol constituency.

“After the prayer, Maulvi Fazlur Rahman Hakeem Sahib, missionary of Ahmadiyya Jamaat, delivered a very interesting sermon in English. It was translated into the Fante language by Mr Kenson.

“Maulvi Sahib explained the philosophy of sacrifice and the history of sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahimas in a very effective way and advised the audience to start a new life from here onwards by slaughtering their strong carnal desires.

“Despite his illness, Maulvi Fazlur Rahman Hakeem Sahib spoke for almost two hours. Praise be to Allah the Almighty, the Eid proceedings and gathering concluded successfully. […]”

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 5 October 1923 issue of Al Fazl)

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here