100 Years Ago… – Daily diary of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II: Unrelenting efforts of Christian missionaries and the role of Muslim missionaries

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Last Updated on 21st May 2021

Al Fazl, 19 May 1921

6 May 1921

Need of courage and perseverance for tabligh

On the mention of the tabligh efforts of Christian missionaries, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] said:

“These [Christian] people work with great perseverance and steadiness. They wait patiently for the results of their work for a long time. The efforts of Christian missionaries in India were not given much importance and people wondered who could listen to them, but now it has come to light that about four million people have converted to Christianity. 

“If India will not make any effort to save itself but remain silent as before, then regions of regions will soon fall in the hands of Christianity. The Christians have achieved this owing to their persistent and unceasing efforts, which they have been doing for many years. In some countries, their efforts have been going on for almost a hundred years and then someone converted to Christianity. 

“Among the accounts I have read about Christian missionaries, it is written about Java that Christian missionaries went there in 1818 and they started their efforts. However, not a single person converted to Christianity before 1908. 

“When one person converted to Christianity in 1908, the door for Christianity opened. During this period, the missionaries there used to send reports that great success was being achieved. They used to write in the beginning, ‘Now, the people hate us less than before.’ Then, they would write that, ‘People no longer hate us.’ Later on, they would write that, ‘This year, one or two persons have listened to us’ and used to increase that number in the next year. Then, they would write that, ‘This number of men took our tracts and read them.’ 

“They used to present such things as their great success. Moreover, they were highly praised by their mission and provided with as much money as they needed. As a result, Christians are found in large numbers over there. 

“However, our folk get nervous very quickly and start criticising the conversion of a handful of people to Islam by saying that nothing will come out of it and that the money is being wasted gratuitously in this way or if they see any weakness in new convert Muslims due to their previous condition, they say that what the benefit of making such Muslims is? 

“However, as much as we are succeeding in the initial stage of our work, it is a great achievement, and it also shows that if we continue our efforts with courage and perseverance, the results will be great and far-reaching by the grace of God Almighty. 

“I consider the example of one or two Christians converting to Islam as that of the inventor of chess. It is said that the person who invented chess, took his invention to the king. The king was very happy and said, ‘Ask for whatever reward you want and the wish will be fulfilled.’ The king would have given him half of the kingdom as a reward if he would have asked for it. However, he said [to the king], ‘I do not ask for anything else, [just reward me] by putting cowries [a currency – 1 damri (i.e. 1/256 rupee) roughly equates to 10 cowries] in all the squares of the chessboard, but to double it each time.’ The king thought that he had asked for very little money in his ignorance and said, ‘You are asking for nothing. You may wish for anything else’, but the man insisted on the said technique. 

“Eventually, the king ordered to reward him as he wished. When the treasurer went and began to give the said reward to him, the treasury became empty while the chessboard squares were still remaining. The treasurer came to the king and asked him, ‘What should now be given [to the man as nothing remained in the treasury]?’ The king was very surprised. 

“So even though one or two people are converting to Islam at the moment, it is the same as the cowries in this incident. 

“By the grace of God, a day will come when the world will be amazed to see us, but it requires courage and relentlessness. If our missionaries show perseverance in the said way and never give up, no matter how many years it takes and we also provide them monetary assistance, great results can be achieved. Though Islam is such a truth that does not require much time to be accepted as it does for Christianity, it still requires courage and perseverance.”

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in the 19 May 1921 issue of Al Fazl)

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