100 Years Ago… – Eid in West Africa, my will and 10,000 new converts


Al Fazl, 25 July 1921

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra, (1883-1948)


I have regained health

Dear friends! I am weak so forgive me for writing a short article. Ramadan started here on 9 May [1921]. In spite of weakness, I fasted to set an example and to make peace with Allah the Almighty. Moreover, I continued to carry out tabligh to thousands of people in outdoor gatherings three times a week. 

Through divine providence, I was given the chance to rest and pray in the last 10 days of Ramadan because of African fever. I was bound to a room and a kind of mu‘takif [a person in the state of e‘tikaf]. I became very sick and came face to face with death. The youth of the Jamaat began to cry their eyes out and started to call the doctor again and again. 

Allah the Almighty healed me after I was bedridden for 12 days, owing to their supplication, my humility and helplessness, and due to the honour and dignity of the mission of the Promised Messiahas. Now, I am busy again in work with diligence, alhamdulillah.

My will

During my illness, where I felt in my heart that I was ready to be in the presence of God and to gladly accept the honour of going to the divine court after performing my duties, the following Punjabi couplets were expressed through my mouth owing to human nature. These couplets voice my desires. My friends and the Jamaat should take note of the wishes of this humble man and my chief, my dear master, the rightful Khalifa is already aware of them. Below are those couplets:

اللہ‭ ‬بیلڑى‭ ‬ساڑے‭ ‬كوچ‭ ‬ڈیرے‭ ‬تخن‭ ‬لا‭ ‬دنا‭ ‬اہل‭ ‬سہیلیونى

میرى‭ ‬جگہ‭ ‬اوتے‭ ‬كسى‭ ‬پیارڑى‭ ‬داچرخہ‭ ‬ڈا‭ ‬ہونا‭ ‬اہل‭ ‬سہیلیونى

That is, “Khuda Hafiz [God be your protector]! Be happy. Friends, I now begin my journey. Certainly, my friends should remain busy in carrying out tabligh and another missionary should be appointed in my place in West Africa”.

Then, human nature compelled me to say:

عائشہ‭ ‬پیارى‭ ‬نوں‭ ‬بین‭ ‬نہ‭ ‬كرن‭ ‬دینا‭ ‬جیوڑا‭ ‬لاونا‭ ‬اہل‭ ‬سہیلیونى

Meaning, “Do not let my wife be sad. Please, try to divert her attention from [my passing].”

Allah the Almighty is the Knower of the unseen. However, in countries like this where there is a struggle against climate, food, mosquitoes, insects and evil enemies, it is quite possible that the moment of death suddenly comes from Allah the Almighty and its news reaches India many months later. Thus, I considered it appropriate to convey my heart’s feelings through the pen.

10,000 Ahmadis

Allah, the God of the Promised Messiahas is surely Holy and Omnipotent as He really showed me Eid after Ramadan. 10 days after my illness, 10 thousand people, including men, women and children of a group called Ahl-e-Quran, took bai‘at of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, Mahmud[ra], in the name of Prophet Ahmadas at the hand of Nayyar. 

The imam of this group and 40 dignitaries came on behalf of the whole group and said, “Listening to your speech and finding you relevant with the prediction of our late imam that a white man would bring the news of the Promised Messiah from the sea and express the truthfulness of the Holy Quran, [we consider that] you are that very white man. Thus, we enter the Ahmadiyya Jamaat by taking bai‘at at your hand.”

Hence, this humble one took bai‘at on his hand from all these elders on behalf of their group. All praise belongs to Allah! Again, praise be to Allah! Nayyar [the sun] rose from the west. The Promised Messiahas conquered the crescent land and the following scene was witnessed:

يَدۡخُلُوۡنَ‭ ‬فِىۡ‭ ‬دِيْنِ‭ ‬اللهِ‭ ‬اَفۡوَاجًا

[“(And thou seest men) entering the religion of Allah in troops.”]

Friends are requested to pray for the perseverance of this Jamaat.

Eid-ul-Fitr prayer

Eid-ul-Fitr prayer was offered by Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Lagos in an open field away from the populated area. All the new and former Ahmadis prostrated before Allah the Almighty with new achievements and happiness to express the praise of God. 

On the door of the Ahmadiyya Eid gah was written in English, “Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam”. For the first time in the history of Lagos, women came out to pray. Photographers, Europeans and men and women came to watch the Eid prayer and listen to the sermon in English. Two dozen high raised flags, half a dozen motors, horses and rickshaws, and glittering clothing highlighted this peculiar Eid with their glory. 

Along with this procession, a person carrying the blessed staff of the emirate walked in front of this humble servant of Messiah. The procession came from the Eid gah to the residence of this humble one under the delightful slogans of صَلِّ‭ ‬عَلٰى‭ ‬مُحَمَّدٍ [(O Allah), bless Muhammad]. Seeing this scene, this honour and this success, I only said that and would say it again: 

اللّٰھُمَّ‭ ‬صَلِّ‭ ‬عَلٰى‭ ‬مُحَمَّدٍ‭ ‬وَعَلٰى‭ ‬عَبْدِكَ‭ ‬الْمَسِیْحِ‭ ‬الْمَوْعُوْدِ

[O Allah, bless Muhammad and Your servant, the Promised Messiah.]

I am in need of your prayers.

The holy Mahmud’s humble, menial servant, but a leader of thousands, Abdur Rahim Nayyar. 10 June 1921.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in the 25 July 1921 issue of Al Fazl)

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  1. Maa shaaa Allah! I wish I could be dedicated as this humble one. Oh Allah forgive your servant Nayyar, and bless with the spirit of dedication.


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