100 Years Ago… – Calling London unto Allah

2

Al Fazl, 12 July 1920

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

Speech in Western and Eastern London Lecture Society

A speech on the subject of the influence of Islam on India was delivered by the Ahmadiyya missionary, Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sayal MA at the hall of Western and Eastern London Lecture Society on 28 May [1920] at 5pm.

The president of the gathering, Mrs Alice Hall Simpson introduced the speaker in the following words:

“Mr Sayal is a learned preacher and teacher of the Ahmadia movement. He is an experienced lecturer. I hope you will enjoy his speech. Mr Sayal will in the course of his lecture, let you know where Ahmadia movement differs from Orthodox Muslims of Woking.”

The Indian Prophet

In his speech, the erudite lecturer explained the moral, religious and cultural condition of India before the [arrival of] Muslims and what changes came about with the influence of Islam, how various evil rites came to an end and with the formation of a central government for the first time in the history of India, how [people of] various parts of the country began to interact and socialise with each other and that eventually led to the origination of the language named Urdu or Hindi. He then clarified that under the influence of Islam, Hindu reformers like Nanak, Kabir, Ram Mohan Roy and Dayanand were born, who preached [the concept of unity of God] لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللہ. [He explained that] in the future, the means God has created for India to become a single nation and move forward on the road to progress is through the Indian Prophet. Thereafter, he read an excerpt from [the book] of the Promised Messiahas, Paigham-e-Sulh [A Message of Peace].

Preaching the unity of God in Hyde Park

In the present beautiful weather, London’s main recreational area, Hyde Park, is becoming an interesting spiritual, corporal, social and religious destination for the people of London.

At the entrance of the park, preachers of various nations and schools of thought express their respective views. The park’s gate is shaped in the form of a crescent, from where several paths lead to this vast greenery.

From different platforms present beyond this crescent, the aforementioned speakers call London’s men and women to their respective beliefs. Alongside the preachers who believe in three gods and worship [Jesus], son of Maryam, the Ahmadi missionary calls to the One God and conveys the message of the Promised Messiahas.

He begins his sermon with the recitation of the Holy Quran and continues to convey the message of the Messiah of Muhammad. Last Sunday, Brother Babu Azizuddin Sahib also joined this humble one. He read out the precious words of Hazrat Ahmadas from Risala Ahmad and enthusiastically participated in the questions and answers after the speech. May Allah grant him the best of rewards.

Babu Azizuddin Sahib

By the grace of God, the park’s sermons are bearing decisive results. Intelligent people take interest in Islam. Christian clergymen come with the intention of disrupting and causing chaos in our gathering by asking absurd questions. However, an illustration of the way English men and women silence them is as follows:

An old Roman Catholic priest repeatedly asked nonsensical questions and interrupted our speech. The following voices were raised against him:

An Englishman: Do not interrupt. Are you trying to take over the gathering?

A lady: Don’t talk nonsense. We will listen to this gentleman.

A young lady: Just stay silent. Let us hear these new things.

A young man: Addressing me, “Don’t answer him [the priest].”

Nayyar: Alright! Honest Englishmen and women, do justice between this Christian gentleman and me!

A lady: Threw off the hat of the priest.

A boy: Snatched his umbrella.

A gentleman: Took him by the hand and led him out of the Jalsa.

Dear friends! It is an honour to convey the message of hope to the world, God’s chosen one, Ahmadas and the just attitude of these white birds is a blessing of Allah.

[Message of] Ahmadas of Qadian reaching the corners of the world

The people to whom we have conveyed the message of the true prophet of Allah, Syedna Mirzaas, in the last week, include not only the British people but also the esteemed citizens of other countries. Hence [they are]:

1. Captain AR Glodwyn Bronden DSC, is a doctor of science and sincerely engaged in studying the literature of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. He met Chaudhry Sahib for the first time in Hyde Park. He is a resident of the country, Argentina, located in South America.

2. Burnant de Goldstam is a Portuguese and very serious natured young man. He is studying our books. He came to the gathering last Sunday and met me in Hyde Park.

3. Mr Salam, Mr A Mufaraj and Mr Aruti are Syrians. They met us at Hyde Park and Charing Cross. They take keen interest in Ahmadiyya literature.

Hyde Park, London

4. AM Ramzi is a young Egyptian student and takes interest in Ahmadiyyat. He not only studied [the book], The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam himself but also got an Italian lady to study it. He met me at a gathering and is very impressed [with the Jamaat].

5. Mr Arthur Mooney is a young noble natured military engineer. He personally came and met me in Hyde Park and asked about the difference between Islam and Christianity. He showed so much interest after hearing [the reply] that he came home and took the literature to study.

Ahmadi friends! These are the seeds we are sowing in the field of hearts. Pray that they may become fruitful plants.

The Muslim idea of man is higher than the Christian idea of God

The Ahmadiyya Movement on Christianity

The Review of Religions (English), June and (Urdu) July & August, 1920

While reviewing the “Ahmadia Movement,” in the Moslem World, Mr Walter, the late Mr WRW Gardner, again and again tries to impress his readers that the Ahmadia Moslems do not believe in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, and therefore, they are the bitterest enemies and greatest foes of the Christian Faith. He says on page 61:

“The Ahmadia Movement is in reality the rise of a new sect in Islam, a sect, which in many respects, is marked by special bitterness and antagonism toward Christian doctrine, especially the belief in the Death, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord.”

If disbelief in the doctrine mentioned above, and preaching against them is proof of enmity towards the Christian religion, then surely the majority of European and American people, who are looked upon as good Christians must be classed among the bitterest foes of Christianity, for they are at one with the followers of Ahmad, and no longer hold beliefs which are attributed to them by Christian preachers in Moslem and other oriental countries.

To prove my assertion I quote hereunder the opinions of a few gentlemen, who are themselves churchmen:

“There is widespread and growing indifference to spiritual things. The masses are not actually hostile to religion: they do not care enough about it to be hostile: they simply pass it by, on the other side. Look at the churches or chapels on any Sunday morning; the empty benches are like the bones of a skeleton pointing to spiritual deadness. Nor is this spiritual decline manifested only in public worship. Men and women have ceased to read their Bible. They may not know much about higher criticism, but they have read enough about it in magazine articles, or even in the half-penny press, to assure them that they cannot accept all the Bible narratives as actually and literally true; and once deprived of their old belief in verbal inspiration, they think that the Bible had no more value for them. Whether the majority of men say their prayers, except in some desperate emergency, it would be hard to see: certainly family prayers are the rarest possible phenomenon.” (Facing the Facts or, an Englishman’s Religion by the Bishop of Hull, p. 2)

In his book on the condition of England, Mr Masterman quoted the Bishop of Birmingham to the following effect:

“Some thirty years ago there was a sort of Protestant Religion, with a doctrine of the Trinity, Heaven and Hell, of Atonement and Judgment, of Resurrection and Eternal Life, which, for good or evil, could be more or less assumed. Such a standard has gone. I seriously doubt whether nearly half the men in the country could seriously say, they believed that Christ is God or that he actually rose from the dead on the third day”; from a speech by the Bishop of Birmingham.

I now quote a few passages from “Do We Believe” by a prominent rationalist, John Allan Hedderwick:

“Then the question ‘Do We Believe’ almost answers itself. The mere fact of asking it in the twentieth century of the Christian Era, is a reply in the direct negative.”

Further Mr Hedderwick says on page 12:

“The direct attack and the indirect competition, if one may use the word, have thrown the old faith so completely on its defence that the anxiety of the Christian apostles to prove their faith is even greater than the willingness of the Rationalists to demonstrate that their faith is false, and that the other kind of faith is better.”

Again he says on page 14:

“All through, the controversy the Sermon on the Mount has played so conspicuous a part that one is forced to believe that it occupies a supreme position in the mind of the believer … If this is so, then the supernatural doctrines, which were once alleged to be the foundations of the Christian Faith – the Incarnation, the Miracles, the Resurrection, the Ascension – are only the husk which one must break to get at the real food of religious life … The shining lights of the Christian Church do the exact opposite of what the Sermon on the Mount urges them to do: they do not remain poor; they are not humble; they do not turn the other cheek to the smiter or love their enemies; therefore the people who follow them do not believe.”

As Christian doctrines are unbelievable and the so-called Christian ethics are impracticable, the attempt of the Christians to bring the kernel of Christianity into practical political and business life is, as one Christian writer says, a ‘miserable failure.’”

“The same is the case with the Christian sacred scriptures. The Bible, as the word of God, has ‘passed away,’ leaving behind only a record of early history, of the working of primitive passions, warlike ambitions and hopes of peace in universal loving kindness. The spread of scientific knowledge and historical research have given a death-blow to the authority and character of the Bible. The churches saw this clearly and they opposed the spread of science with all their great strength. But it was of no avail. The conquest has been so complete that the church is now trying, with almost pathetic eagerness, to prove that science is its obliging ally or assistant teacher, and not a victor over supernatural philosophy. ‘As far as the Bible itself is concerned, the worst that destructive critics have said to prove its futility as an absolute guide, is now being preached by the deans and curates.’”

If such is the case of Christian belief in Christendom, it is really strange that Moslems who never looked upon Jesus Christ as God, should be blamed for not believing in doctrines that distinguish Christianity from other religions.

Moslems have always believed that Jesus the Christ was a godly man and a divinely inspired teacher. They still continue in this belief, and Jesus (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) is one of the great prophets of Islam. The Moslem idea of a man is higher than the Christian idea of a God; therefore when we say that Jesus was a man, in no way do we degrade his position, and all the talk that we dishonour Jesus by declaring him to be a man is futile. It seems to be rather hard for a Western mind to fully comprehend this idea; therefore a true Moslem ought to overlook this writing on the part of Christian missionaries and pity them and pray for their enlightenment, that they may see the greatness and grandeur of the human soul, that has the capability of becoming the throne of the Almighty and Eternal Lord.

2 COMMENTS

  1. On top of the the picture of Hazrat Fateh Mohammed Sayal Sahib (ra) you have in headline the name “Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyar (ra)”. The article has no mention of Nayyar Sahib so you may wish to remove it as it is confusing when you read the article itself

    • Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullah

      The report was authored by Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyar Sahib r.a. This is why his name is written at the start. Jazakumullah Ahsanal Jazaa

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