100 Years Ago… – Berlin Mosque: Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II’s appeal to Lajna Imaillah


The Review of Religions, [Urdu], March 1923

In his Friday sermon on 2 February [1923], Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra] said the following about the Berlin Mosque while explaining that women are also equally responsible as men when it comes to the fulfilment of religious commandments. Devotedly responding to his call, the women of the poor community of Qadian have already collected nearly ten thousand in chanda [donations for the Berlin Mosque]. And, insha-Allah, the total amount [required to build the mosque] will be collected soon. [Editor, The Review of Religions (Urdu)]

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“After careful consideration and contemplation, I have decided that the mosque that is going to be constructed in Germany should be built with the chanda [donations] of women. There is no denying the fact that many women will not have personal property, but there is also no doubt that they have jewellery to support them financially. Moreover, most men without a doubt have no savings due to their responsibilities, but women definitely have some wealth in the form of jewellery. For this very reason, men borrow from women in times of famine for their subsistence and survival. Therefore, no one should think about where women will get the money to donate or that they will take money from us [men]. Women can donate through their jewellery, etc. However, it is a completely different discussion that some of them will have a lot [of jewellery] and others will have less. Before God Almighty, it does not matter if someone gives less or more. The only thing that matters in front of Allah is sincerity. Thus, it is my desire that the mosque in Germany be built with the donations of women, because the people of Europe think that women are treated here [in the East] like animals. When the Europeans will come to know that the Muslim women have helped build a mosque for the new Muslim brothers of Germany in their city which is currently becoming the centre of the world, they will be surprised and regret the way they think about Muslim women. When they will pass by the mosque, they will realise their misapprehension. The mosque will be a constant reminder that those priests lie who say that women have no status in Islam. On the one hand, they spread this misinformation that Muslims consider women as animals, and on the other, when a mosque will be built there only with the donations of Muslim women, they will realise that the women here [in the East] even know that there are some people in the world who still worship a man [i.e., Jesus Christ].

“Maulvi Mubarak Ali has sent me a letter in which he wrote that an expert architect had given an estimate of 225,000 rupees to build the mosque. [He gave this estimate] assuming that the people who intend to build a mosque in their country will be a very wealthy party. However, when Maulvi Sahib told him that we did not have that amount of money, he then estimated 50,000 rupees. Five thousand rupees will be spent on purchasing the land and 45,000 rupees on the building. He was somewhat right in thinking that since it was a big city and a rich neighbourhood, it should have a magnificent building that would have a great impact on residents and that the public would also pay attention to it. A simple building will not have an effect on their minds. [A plain building in this big city] will be like making a section of a concrete house with raw bricks, which will certainly look outlandish. However, we have to work within the bounds of our existing resources and funds. According to his latest estimate, the mosque can be built for 50,000 rupees. There will not only be a mosque, but a mission house will be built as well.

“I present this matter to all the women of the Jamaat. This is the age of excelling one another [in sacrificing for God Almighty]. The women abroad compete with men in bar and medical exams to show that they are equally competitive, even if they don’t work according to their field of study. Well, then, they waste their time. However, our women should also compete with men in good deeds. Thus, I call upon our women to build a mosque in Europe.

“For the mosque in London, men have collected a donation of around 150,000. The target for women, according to the sharia, is half. Therefore, women should donate 50,000 for the mosque in Berlin within three months. It is a prophecy of the Promised Messiahas that the sceptre of the Tsar of Russia was taken away and it had come into his hands. The door to Russia is Berlin, and through this door, Russia can be conquered. Due to the current situation, let alone preaching in Russia, it is all the more difficult for us to even enter it. The only way to spread the message of Islam in Russia is through Germany. Through Germany, we can easily preach in Russia. The fulfilment of the abovementioned significant prophecy at the hands of women will greatly influence later generations. They will know that women are no less sincere than men. On the other hand, the people of Europe will realise how passionate Muslim women are about spreading their religion. It will be written in bold letters on the entrance of the mosque that the Ahmadi women helped build this mosque for the new Muslim brothers.

“Consequently, the eyes of other people will be opened, and the Paighamis [Lahori party] will also know that Ahmadi women alone donate as much as they collect from strangers by stretching their hands before them.

“Thus, women everywhere should be informed to donate to this work. Moreover, all the newspapers that are published from Qadian should make an appeal for donations. They should publish this sermon of mine so that all the people who are connected through these newspapers tell the women in their homes and motivate them to donate for the mosque within three months. [All of us] should spread this word in our homes and ask them to donate.

“I have entrusted this work to the [auxiliary] organisation named Lajna Imaillah [servants of God]. There is an organisation in India that calls itself Khadiman-e-Hind [Servants of India]. We are not servants of any particular nation. We are servants and slaves of Allah the Almighty. Therefore, I have given this name [Lajna Imaillah] to this [auxiliary] organisation and entrusted this work to them. Since women would not have had such an impact if they had made this appeal on their own. Therefore, I have made this appeal on their behalf. The women should also keep in mind that collecting donations is not the work of a few distinguished women; every single one of them should stand up and collect donations from the rest of the sisters within three months.

“The land for the London Mosque has been purchased, but as its building was to cost 100,000 rupees, it could not be constructed immediately. However, this will not be the case for the Berlin Mosque, rather, it is intended that as soon as the money is collected here, construction work will be started there. We are confident that this work will eventually be completed, so as soon as the money starts to accumulate, the building work will be started immediately.

“I now call upon all Ahmadi women through this sermon to donate 50,000 rupees within three months for this work [of the Berlin Mosque]. Indeed, it should be kept in mind that the contributions of men will not be taken for this purpose. Only women will contribute to it, so that this mosque remains as a memorial to women forever. I pray that Allah the Almighty grants the women the strength to perform this work.”

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Review of Religions [Urdu], March 1923)

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