100 Years Ago… – Eid in London, meeting with Turkish ambassador’s son and an English nurse’s conversion to Islam

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Hazrat Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sayalra (1887-1960)

Eid in London

In my previous letter, I could not write anything about the Eid of the London Ahmadiyya Jamaat and other accounts because the letter was written in a hurry.

There were over 50 people on the occasion of Eid, including Muslim, Hindu and Christian friends. Some Hindus also prayed with us. After the Eid sermon and prayer, the audience was photographed and then 60 people were served a meal. Some London newspapers reported on the Eid prayer.

Talks with the son of the Turkish ambassador to London

At about four o’clock, Yümi Bey, son of Turkish Ambassador to London, arrived along with Prof Leon [Abdullah Quilliam] and Madam Leon, and a long discussion was held on the current situation of Muslims and the future of Islam. Mr Yümi Bey is a very humble and intelligent man and a senior military engineer and has been admitted to a college in London here to complete his education. 

In the conversation, Yümi Bey said, “Those of us who do not yet believe in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad[as], the reason behind it is that we have knowledge of him yet. Otherwise, all Muslims are waiting for the Mahdi and if the Mahdi is really Mirza Ghulam Ahmad[as], then no Muslim should have an excuse not to believe in him.” 

As he was leaving, I presented him some books which he gladly accepted and said, “I will study them myself and also give them to my elder brother to read.”

Lectures

I have already mentioned in a previous letter about the lecture of Letchworth. Last Sunday, I had a lecture in a place in East London called Welcome Mission Hall. The audience, although small in number, seemed to be very intelligent and devout Christians. The subject of my lecture was, Islam is a Religion of Harmony and Peace

Brother Shamshad Ali Khan Sahib and Malik Muhammad Hussain Sahib accompanied me. I spoke on the said subject for more than an hour and then there was some discussion over it. As it was [an interesting] subject, it had a great impact on the participants. 

Ahmadiyya literature was then distributed among the audience and they even paid and bought some books for themselves. In the end, they said, “We will soon request you again [for another lecture].” The above-mentioned lecture was in the morning.

At four o’clock in the evening, I gave another lecture on Islam Respects and Trains Human Nature at the Ahmadiyya Mosque. The attendees were mostly English Christians. Since a comparative analysis of Christianity and Islam was carried out in the lecture, there was a heated debate in the end as to whether monasticism was superior or monogamy. The Christians were surprised that we [Muslims] considered monogamy to be superior to monasticism. At the end of the discussion, Christians also agreed that monogamy as a whole was superior to monasticism.

Meeting with Sant Nihal Singh

Nowadays, Hindu and Muslim friends often meet us here and it seems that their inclinations are changing because of Allah the Almighty. In this regard, Sant Nihal Singh Sahib, who is a high-level journalist and is a pride of Punjab in a sense, met us three times. He especially admires Islam and the Promised Messiahas. As he is an expert in the art of tabligh (preaching), he guided me through his experience and valuable advice and said, “The inner condition of [the people of] India at the moment is such that the speech of the Promised Messiah[as]A Message of Peace [Paigham-e-Sulh], should be published frequently. He also said, “It is difficult to preach successfully in this country unless you have small pamphlets with you.”

A nurse converts to Islam

The city of London is divided into different areas for medical treatment. The people go to public hospitals for treatment and from there, the doctors diagnose and prescribe medicine. However, there are also nurses in each area who also give medicine and see the patient at home every day and report to the doctor if needed. Such nurses are called district nurses. One such nurse is also present in our area and she came to visit our house several times. We had successive discussions on Islam. Today, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, she has expressed her desire to convert to Islam.

Friends who are being preached to

The following friends are being taught about Islam Ahmadiyyat and members of the Jamaat are requested to pray for their Islam:

• Mr Walsh is an Englishman who is a resident of Russia and has now come to London. He is very close to Islam.

• Mr Baxon is a civil engineer whom I met through Brother Khalid Bezji. He is a Roman Catholic Christian but has a positive effect after studying the writings of the Promised Messiahas.

Among others include Yümi Bey (son of Turkish Ambassador to London), Syed Al-Sharif (an Egyptian gentleman), Galer Henry, Mr Bamforth, Mr William Barn and some English students of London College.

Apart from them, some are our Hindu brothers. Members of the Jamaat are requested to especially pray for them too.

From Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sayal MA, 2 June 1921

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

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