100 Years Ago… – Does Ahmadiyyat promote sectarianism? New Ahmadis and letters from Africa


Al Fazl, 18 April 1921

Hazrat Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sayalra, (1887-1960)

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the work of the London mission is progressing by the day. During the period of this report, the work of the tabligh of Islam continued in both places – Star Street and Putney. On Sunday, lectures were held at both houses. The speeches are delivered from 3:30pm to 6pm at the Putney house and from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Star Street house. As London is such a big city, it costs a lot of time and money for people of one area to go to another. The two houses are about an hour’s train journey from each other and it costs one rupee and four annas [a unit of currency formerly used in the subcontinent, equal to 1/16 of a rupee] to travel from one place to another, so considering the given situation both markaz [centres] have been retained.


During this period, tabligh was done by meeting various people. All the Indian notables who came to visit us made excuses that, “You people promote sectarianism.” I answered them that firstly, sectarianism existed in Islam before the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Therefore, this accusation should be leveled at all the Islamic groups that existed before the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. The second answer was that the actual problem that is befalling Islam and Muslims is not because of sectarianism but due to the universal slackness and carelessness that is found in every Islamic sect. This problem is not because the people are [divided into] Sunni, Shia or Wahhabi [sects], but owing to the fact that the Sunnis are no longer Sunnis and the Shi‘ites have turned away from Shiaism and the people of the Wahhabi sect are oblivious to Wahhabism. Since true faith is lacking, there is no longing in the hearts for the tabligh of Islam.

Christians also have sects, but this sectarianism has not diminished but increased their zeal for preaching Christianity. Hence, if the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is separated, then all the Muslims of the world together are not doing as much for the tabligh of Islam as each Christian sect is doing independently.

In addition, discussions were held with the members of the delegation of Turks and literature was distributed among them. Most of them are well acquainted with the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. I have mentioned this because some people in India say that the Turks do not know about the arrival of the Promised Messiahas and they are thus excusable for the time being.

New members

By the grace of God Almighty, three new members have become the part of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, London. Among them, Brother Keel is noteworthy. He is from Ireland and is a smart, intelligent and learned person. He is currently residing in Manchester. He has lived in India for a long time in military service and can speak fluently in Urdu. The second person is Abraham Kapaka, who is an African from Salt Pond. He is highly educated and has travelled all over Europe. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, it is a good omen that a learned resident of that place entered Ahmadiyyat before Brother Abdur Rahim Sahib Nayyar reached there. It has been almost a month since he came from America and said that 10 million Africans are ready to convert to Islam in America. There is a lot of national enthusiasm in these people. The hypocrisy of Christianity is very clear to them. Thus, they have decided to study Islam and become Muslims and adopt the same religion that their brothers and sisters have in Africa. The situation described by Abraham Kapaka is confirmed by the study of American magazines published by Africans there. By the grace of God Almighty, that day is near when we will see this scene with our own eyes:

يَدۡخُلُوۡنَ‭ ‬فِيۡ‭ ‬دِيۡنِ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬اَفۡوَاجًا

[“(And thou seest men) entering the religion of Allah in troops.” (Surah al-Nasr, Ch.110: V.3)]

Hazrat Mufti Sahib, who is currently in America, if he pays attention to these people, it is hoped that most African Americans will believe [in Islam] through the blessings of God Almighty.

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We have received a letter of Master Abdur Rahim Sahib Nayyar from Sierra Leone and it is hoped that by the grace of Allah the Almighty, he would have reached Salt Pond by now. One of our best friends in Sierra Leone is Khairuddin Sahib. He is an educated young man and respectable resident of Freetown. He has been exchanging letters with me for almost seven years. He has also corresponded with Qazi Abdullah Sahib and Mufti Sahib. Moreover, this gentleman has carried out an in-depth study our literature as well. He is well aware of our internal differences. Until now, due to some misunderstandings, he thought that the Ahmadiyya Jamaat had developed a new style of prayer and fasting. After Master Sahib reached there and gave lectures etc., he has become convinced that Ahmadiyya Jamaat has not introduced any [bad] innovation [in Islam]. He has thus started tabligh of Ahmadiyyat among his friends with great enthusiasm. He has written to me to send a telegram to Qadian for a missionary. Consequently, the telegram has been sent according to his wish. Their good news of success and delight is received from Hazrat Mufti Sahib on regular basis. 

Haji Sufi Hassan Musa Khan Sahib, who is carrying out tabligh of Islam in Australia, is in a lot of distress due to being a chronic patient. Members of the Jamaat are requested to pray for him. 

All the friends here are well and each of them is helping me in his own way. My arm has become even stronger with the safe arrival of esteemed Ali Muhammad Sahib, son of Seith Abdullah Aladdin Sahib, and Sheikh Ahmadullah Sahib, here last week. May Allah the Almighty grant the best of rewards to all these friends. The lectures are being held on regular basis.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in the 18 April 1921 issue of Al Fazl)

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