100 Years Ago… – Eid in London and Ahmadi missionaries in Wheeling, Williamson and Logan


The Moslem Sunrise, October 1923

Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Dinra (1881-1983)
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Muslim missionary in Wheeling

“Wheeling folks seeing a bearded man on the streets yesterday and today, wearing a green turban, were wont to look upon him as a member of some new side degree of the Pythians, hordes of whom are now overrunning the city. But such is not the case. The green-turbaned stranger is the real article – none other than Mufti Muhammad Sadiq of Quadian, Punjab, India, a Moslem missionary of the Ahmadi movement in Islam.

“Dr Sadiq is calling on local Mohammedans [Muslims] and will leave shortly for Chicago, where he is making his headquarters while in this country.

“The Ahmadi movement, according to Dr Sadiq, accepts the prophet Mirza Ghulam Ahmad[as] of Quadian, as the Promised Messiah. He has passed away, and the present head of the movement is Mahmud Ahmad[ra], who has his headquarters in Quadian. There are two missionaries in this country.

“‘The Moslems, or Mohammedans as they are called, in America,’ said Dr Sadiq, ‘believe in one God, just one, who has no father nor son.’ Mohammed[sa] was a man and messenger of Allah, the Arabic word for God. They believe in all the prophets of God. Noah[as], Abraham[as], Moses[as]. They consider [Jesusas] Christ one of these prophets.

“The Quran is the Mohammedan Bible, the final book of Sacred law given to humanity through revelations to the master, Mohammed[sa]. ‘Islam,’ Dr Sadiq contends, ‘was never spread by the sword. The battles fought by Mohammed[sa] were all defensive. All Turks are not Moslems and all Moslems are not Turks. The Moslems are Arabians, Syrians, Palestinians, Kurds, Beluchis, Hindus, Malayas, Chinese, Egyptians, Tripolitans, Javanese, Algerians, Tunisians, Moroccans and Somalis [etc.]. Turks are in the minority. Their fighting with Armenians has been political, nothing more. Stories brought here are badly warped.’

“Dr Sadiq speaks English fluently and knows seven languages. He has the degree of Doctor from several universities and has worked for his faith in this country for about three years, securing 700 converts to Islam. He has a permanent mission and a mosque at Chicago and edits the quarterly Oriental Magazine, ‘The Moslem Sunrise.’” (Wheeling Daily News, West Virginia, 9 August 1923)

Muslim visitor in Williamson

“Williamson is entertaining a distinguished visitor in the person of Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, Moslem missionary and editor of Moslem Sunrise, who is here for a time. Dr Sadiq will be glad to give interviews to those who are interested in Eastern religions and Oriental subjects, of whom there are many in this city. He is the guest while here, of M Madlom, and will be at home to visitors at the store of M Madlom-Shaheen Company, on Second Avenue.

“Dr Sadiq is a man of high culture, broadly traveled, and having had a wide and vivid experience of life in many lands is a most interesting personage.”

Muslim minister in Logan

“Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, the Moslem Missionary of Ahmadia movement of India is visiting Logan and staying at the Aracoma Hotel will be glad to give interviews to those who are interested in the Eastern Religions and Oriental Subjects.”

Poem by new convert

Allah, Allah, Allah! Oh, Protect and bless us

Waking, sleeping, journeying, wherever we may be.

Only Thou, O Allah, can keep us from wrongdoing:

Heal the sick, cure the lame, make the blind to see.

Allah, Allah, Allah! All the world adores Thee.

Thou wilt lift our burdens. Thou can’st give us peace.

Thy Word shall be established, victory manifested,

Bow the knee to Allah. His mercy shall not cease.

Allah, Allah, Allah! He is Omnipotent.

The hour approaches, His power it shall be known.

Lo, He sent a “Warner” and the world rejected,

But Allah doth accept and bless the seed that’s sown.

Allah, Allah, Allah! Show Thy signs around us,

Flash Thy light that all may see the wonders of Thy love.

Multiply the faithful. Give them of Thy knowledge,

Lead them to the pastures of Thy home above.

By E Maulding

Divine love

[Poem of the Promised Messiahas: An Interpretative rendering into English by the new convert, Miss Dorothy Taher Siddika]

How evident is the splendour

Of that source of Light so nigh,

And the whole world has become

One great mirror for the eye.

The sight of the moon last night

Unnerved me as it shone from above.

For it betokened something

Of the beauty of my Love.

My heart is bubbling over

With that Blooming Beauty,

Mention not to me

Any Helen or a Cleopatra beauty.

On all sides my Dear

Thy lustre is visible in every race.

Whichsoever way we look

We see the way to Thy Face.

Thy waves are plainly visible

In the fountain of the sun.

Every star is redolent with Thy Light

If ignorance we would shun.

Salt hast Thou sprinkled on the souls

With Thy own hands –

Why do the distracted lovers

Make so much noise throughout the land.

The atoms with wonderous properties

Were created by Thee;

Who can read through the whole volume

Of these secrets as they flee?

None can fathom the limit of Thy

Power Upon this plane;

Who can unravel this tangled, mysterious skein?

The mellowness of a beautiful face is due

To Thy sweetness, which Thou hast imparted,

Every rose bed is but a reflection

Of Thy rose garden.

The dreamy looks of every sweet soul

Reveal Thee.

Every curling lock only points

Its hand to Thee.

The blinded eyes have been shut off

By many a barrier.

Else faithful and infidel

Would be Thy message carrier.

Thy sweet looks my Love

Are a sharp dagger

Which severs all ties

With the stranger who staggers.

To meet Thee we have reduced ourselves

To the dust of the nation,

That relief we may find

For this pang of separation.

Not a moment can I feel at ease

Without Thee,

As the heart of a patient sinks

So, my life ebbs from me.

What noise is this in Thy alley?

Haste Thee and hear.

Lest some love distracted

Put an end to his life in fear.

Religion of peace: Islam, not Muhammadanism

[In its issue of April 1923], the “Peace Number” of the “Theosophical Path” [magazine] includes among other things an appreciative notice of Islam under the heading of “Science and Early Muhammedanism”. The perusal of the “Peace Number” has impelled me [Hazrat Muhammad Dinra BA] to write a note on Islam in so far as its message is concerned with peace, its promotion and establishment.

I have preferred the name of “Islam” to “Muhammadanism” because this is the name that the Holy Quran, the sacred book of Islam, gives to the system of religion taught by it. The words “Muhammadan” and “Muhammadanism” are given to us by those who would not understand us. We call ourselves Muslims and our religion Islam, and these are the names given to us in our revealed word of God. Says the Holy Quran, “Verily the religion with God is Islam.” In another place it says, “And I have chosen for you Al-Islam as a religion.” The believers in this faith have been called Muslims, vide the verse, “And He named You Muslims.”

We don’t worship Muhammad[sa], neither any other man. We worship one God alone and we regard Muhammad[sa] as no more than His prophet. We are asked to pray for him just as we would pray for any other man. It is not a question of stickling in words; it is a matter of principle, for our religion requires of us the avoidance of every association with idolatry. Yet among other misrepresentations against Islam, it is this bogus and fictitious name that has been fastened upon us.

Islam is pre-eminently the religion of peace. The very name is significant – in fact the word Islam indicates the very essence of the religious system known by that name. It comes from the root silm which means “peace” and the primary significance of the word Islam is “Peace with God and peace with man.” I think I am justified if I say that of all the religions of the world Islam alone is the one that proclaims this peace mission in its literal implication.

According to the Holy Quran, a Muslim is one who has made his peace with God. And as a Muslim, is at perfect peace, he enjoys peace of mind and contentment. “Peace” is the greeting of a Muslim to another and “Peace” shall also be the greeting of those in paradise. Nay, in the paradise which Islam depicts, shall no word be heard but “Peace, Peace,” says the Holy Word, “They shall hear therein no vain words or sinful discourse, but they shall hear the only words, peace, peace” (Ch.19: V.63). As-Salaam, i.e., the “Author of Peace” is the name of God in the Quran (Ch.59: V.24), and the goal to which Islam leads is Dar-us-Salaam, i.e., “the abode of peace” as is said in the chapter 10 (V. 25). Peace is therefore the dominant note and essence of Islam, peace being the root from which it springs and the fruit it yields.

In former times, wars were waged under the cloak of religion, while even now another religion called enlightenment, progress, and civilisation is being pushed through by forceful methods. Such a thing was denounced and forbidden in clear and unmistakable terms, for says the Holy Quran, “There is no compulsion in religion.” Nay, we are enjoined “to strive hard to remove all the disturbing elements and to establish freedom of worship and freedom of conscience so that everyone may worship God according to his own way.” The Prophet Muhammad[sa] says that “a Muslim is one from whose hands, tongue, and thoughts others are free.” And if anybody has the temerity to break the peace then a Muslim’s duty is to bring about such a strong moral pressure against him as to make him quit his waywardness, but if this remedy fails then the culprit must be forced to give up his violent methods.

By Muhammad Din. […]

East meets West in London suburb

“A quiet garden in a prosaic London suburb provided the setting yesterday for a scene more in keeping with the colour and heat of a street in Bombay or Madras than the grey skies and brick-and-mortar background in which it was staged.

“Black, white, and olive skins; natives of Southern India, [… Africans] from the swamps of West Africa, Afghans from beyond the Khyber Pass, impassive Egyptians, brown-eyed Italians from the Mediterranean, Englishwomen, wearing costly furs, were among the crowd gathered together in honour of the Id el-Fitr, the Moslem Feast, which was celebrated at the Mosque in Southfields.

“After the service and sermon in the morning the Id was celebrated by those present embracing each other in the manner characteristic of the East.

“The Imam, a picturesque figure with a half-black beard tinged slightly with grey, and wearing a black and white pagri [turban], welcomed his flock with Eastern enthusiasm.

Prayers on the Lawn

“A number of praying mats were laid on the lawn in the garden, and at intervals during the day the Imam conducted services, reading passages from the Koran, chanting prayers in Arabic, and delivering his sermon in English.

“During the past 30 days Mohammedans [i.e., Muslims] have been keeping the Fast of Ramadan, and the festival marks the breaking of the fast.” (Westminster Gazette, 19 May 1923)

(Transcribed and edited by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Moslem Sunrise, October 1923)

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