100 Years Ago… – Detroit, centre for Islam: Mufti Sadiq continues to spread Islam in America


The Moslem Sunrise, October 1921

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra (1872-1957)

A learned Christian lady after reading the first number of “Moslem Sunrise” writes to me from Iowa, “It is so instructive and gives a person an insight into things which no matter how prejudiced they may be cannot but help to make them believe the facts produced by the Divine power. But my dear Mufti, such is the way of the world. It is hard to convince us or to replace an image once deeply implanted in our bosoms.” 

How truly is reflected in these words the intensity of the hard task before a worker in Faith. There is a proverb in India, “It is very difficult to drive away literate demon.” People like to remain stuck to their traditional thought and usages and have no mind to shake them off even if they find them wrong. This is the reason that the Prophets and Reformers are always abused by those very people for whom they are sincerely ready even to sacrifice their very lives. I am trying my best according to the means in my hand to convince the people of the truth of Islam, but it will take some time to gain the desires of our hearts. Living being very high in this country, it requires a big sum of money to start and continue all sorts of work to reach the people and give them our message. Hasbo-n-Allah wa-na-Tawakkal aleihe – God is enough for us and in Him we put our trust.

Brother Mubarik and Sister Berket (Mr and Mrs Alberto) although new members themselves have been zealous in spreading the truth and have secured two new converts in Florida.

Shaikh Abdullah Din Muhammad (Mr JL Mott) is planning to build an Ahmadia Moslem Mosque in New Orleans. Some of his American friends have promised considerable help and he himself intends to put 500 dollars into the funds out of his own pocket. May Allah assist him to accomplish this wonderful task.

Brother James Sodick – our young Russian Tatar Ahmadi – is enthusiastically figuring over securing a magnificent Ahmadi Moslem House in Chicago. Insha-Allah.

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Mr James Sodick

In addition to the usual work at the centre, I made a short tour through Toledo, Fort Wayne, Bremen, Chicago, and back by MC railroad, delivering lectures and giving interviews to the Press and the public. Thus, I have made some new friends who have become interested in Islam and are studying our literature.

The correspondence work is growing very heavy. Mr M Yusuf Khan, the young Indian Ahmadi, has been helping me. The communications received for the quarter ending July 1921 were 646 and those dispatched were 2800, including that of the magazine. About 300 little leaflets and books also have been distributed.

Madame Rahatullah has been busy in New York making people interested in Islam and has already secured one American convert to Islam and one Moslem to the Ahmadia Order. Her enthusiastic little article on Islam appears in this magazine on page 39 [which has been published in the previous issue of Al Hakam]. Madam will start lecturing in New York assisted by Mrs Emerson (Allahdin) of Oriental Shop there.

The Brotheren in Chicago hold regular meetings every Sunday with Mr L Roman as their Secretary. 

Brothers Muhammad Yaqoob (Mr Andrew Jacob) and Ghulam Rasul (Mr Elias Russell) have been working like missionaries in Chicago and have succeeded in bringing nine American souls to the fold of Islam. Their names are given in the list below:

New converts

Since the last report in The Moslem Sunrise No. 1, the following persons have joined the blessed [Ahmadiyya] Faith. Their Moslem names are given along with their family and old names.

Mr H Alberto in Florida (Mubarak), Mrs B Alberto in Florida (Berket), Mr T Don (Abdur Rashid), Miss Victoria Soider (Mrs Ameen Khader), Mr CC Cohan of Butte, Mont. (Amanullah), Mr R White of Chicago (Kabiruddin), Mr Joes David of Chicago (Ahmaddin), Mr Henry Bell of Chicago (Saddeek), Mr JH Durden of Chicago (Omar). Mr MA Cruzat, originally comes from Chile, South America, and now lives in New York. His Moslem name is Shareef. Mr Anthony Burkhardt of New York, named Muslim. Mr RR Torres of Laredo, Texas. This young man had met me first in Toledo. He is very sincere and is helping others to reach the Truth. His Moslem name is Abdur Rahman. 

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Mr RR Torres

Mr Henry Hill of Chicago (Mustaqil), Mr Edward Bryan Lesher of New York (Islam), Dr Charles D Allen of Tampa (Hakeem), Mrs Francis Russell of Chicago (Fatima), Mrs Anna Jacob of Chicago (Amina), Mr Thomas F Glenn of Chicago (Abdul Kareem), Miss Irene Luero of Reading, Ohio (Euvery), Mr John Keel of Chicago (Yahya), Mrs Louise Keel of Chicago (Lateefa), Viola Bell of Chicago (Hameeda), Walter Jacob (Waheed), William Clark (Abdur Raheem), Daniel Cassimore of Chicago (Muhammad). 

The following gentlemen in this country joined the blessed Ahmadiyya Movement. Mr A Rashid of New York, Mr Ameen Khadra of Detroit, Hassan Yaqub El-Haj of Bremen, Abbas Muhammed El-Hajj of Bremen, Ibrahim Akeel El-Haj of Bremen, Mr Hossain Omar of North Dakota, Mr Ali Omar of North Dakota, Mr Abdul Muthleb of Chicago. 

Missionary epistles

Letters and literature was sent to many celebrities in this country and abroad, taking advantage of events and occurrences about them – including His Royal Highness Prince of Wales of British Empire; Mr Henry Ford of Detroit; President Harding; Mr Edison, the inventor; Bishop Anderson of Cincinnati; Rev. V. Cooper Mathieson of Australia; Lord Northcliff, on his recent visit to America; Mr Hudson Maxim, inventor of the Maxim machine gun; Sro. II. I. Bonomi, the new Premier of Italy; Ex-President Taft, on his appointment as the Supreme Court Judge; and Prince Regent Alexander of Servia, on his escape from death when a bomb exploded in Belgrade. 

500 letters giving the message of Islam with sample copies of Moslem Sunrise were sent to Masonic Lodges all over the country. 

1000 Missionary Epistles with literature were mailed to the chief libraries all over the United States. 

Press notices

We have culled a few lines out of the articles that have recently appeared in the American papers about Islam and our mission here.  

Free Press, Detroit: “That Highland Park is to be the centre of Mohammadansim in the western world was indicated Friday when the first issue of the ‘Moslem Sunrise,’ a monthly magazine devoted to missionary work among English speaking people was circulated by Dr Mufti Mohammad Sadiq, 74 Victor Avenue. 

“Dr Sadiq is the head in America of the Ahmadia movement or the missionary work of Islam which is under the direction of Mirza Basir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad of Qadian, Punjab, India.” 

News, Detroit: “Detroit is to be the center for the teaching in America of the Ahmadia movement of the Moslem Faith. This movement is described as a reformed Mohammadanism, with Dr Mufti Mohammad Sadiq, formerly of the India, as its apostle to America. Dr Sadiq will publish the first Moslem paper in English in America. It is the Moslem Sunrise, and appears in July. It will serve as a medium to explain Mohammadanism to the non-believers, and to link the English-speaking Moslems in America into a closer unity, Dr Sadiq says.”

Bremen Inquirer: “The first Moslem missionary to America speaks faultless English and is a brilliant conversationalist. Concerning his religion, he says: Islam is no new religion. Islam means obeying the will and commandments of God. It is continuance of that great religious system started by Abraham and followed by Moses. David and Jesus worship none but one God. He is the only God – God of the forefathers. Mohammad is the latest exponent of that religious system. He cleared whole Arabia from idol worshipping. We believe and respect all the Prophets of all the religions, but take Mohammad as the master prophet, and the Quran as the latest sacred book of law from God. 

“No Mohammadan ever takes Mohammad as God. Mohammed was a man prophet, a great teacher. Revelation from God never ceases. God is God of all ages, all nations and all countries. As he spoke to Holy men in the days of old, so he does even now. Thus He spoke recently to the Prophet Ahmad of Islam in India, who spoke many prophecies, including those about the great war and the dethronement of the Czar of Russia. He founded the Ahmadia Movement, called after his name. We are preparing an English translation of the Holy Quran.”

News-Bee, Toledo, dated 12 July 1921, printed a long article about our mission. 

Toledo Times, 17 July 1921: “Handsome automobiles continue to drive up to the humble dwelling where Dr Sadiq is a guest and many remain for long periods in consultation with the gentleman from India. His personality and charm merit their acquaintance, even though his faith may not attract the occidental mind, say those who have met him. He has been lending books on Islam to his callers and receives his visitor daily from 4 to 8 p.m.”

Times, Toledo, dated 12 July 1921, published my photo with a long description of Islam. “If you see a more or less venerable gentleman wearing a vivid green turban on Toledo streets this week make obeisance, it is none other than Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq. On the visiting card of Dr Sadiq is the Mohammadan Motto in Arabic and beneath is the translation, ‘There is none adorable but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.’ ‘We are unitarians in the strictest sense,’ the Doctor explained. ‘That is, we do not believe in the Trinity. We believe in a future life and that no soul shall ever come to naught. We do not believe in transmigration of souls.’ Dr Sadiq has been in America but little more than a year. English he speaks perfectly. His hands are the smallest imaginable for a man and in all his bearings is unmistakable refinement.”

In addition to above, small paragraphs appeared in Al-BayanEl-HodaBlade and several other newspapers.

(To be continued…)

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original in The Moslem Sunrise, October 1921)

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