100 Years Ago… – From Paris to Kano: Ahmadiyya missions in France and Northern Nigeria


The Moslem Sunrise, April 1924 & Al Fazl, 13 May 1924

An article was published in Le Petit Marseillais newspaper of France on 7 November 1923. It delved into the works of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra, offering a concise history of the new converts and the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, alongside a detailed portrayal of the blessed life of the Promised Messiahas. Additionally, it recounted the incident of the martyrdom of Hazrat Shahzada Abdul Latifra of Kabul. The summary of its English translation published in the April 1924 issue of The Moslem Sunrise is as follows:

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq (ra)
Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra

Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq embarks on a journey through Marseilles after spreading the message of Islam across Africa, Egypt, Germany, and England. Dressed in a distinctive attire of a long green tunic and rose silk, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq is characterised by his solemn demeanour, adorned with a beautiful beard and spectacles, and soft-spoken nature.

The mission of MM Sadiq encompasses preaching the essential virtues of Islam and the teachings of the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas. Prophet Ahmad’sas message, rooted in revelations he claimed to have received, aimed to restore the faith of Islam, as he said, “I have been informed by clear and full revelations that I am the Promised Messiah who came at the time appointed by God to revive and strengthen the weakening faith of Islam.”  Muhammad Sadiq, having spent two decades in the company of Ahmadas at Qadian, takes on the responsibility of spreading his message globally.

Prophet Ahmadas is regarded as the second coming of Jesus Christ and the divinely inspired interpreter of revealed law [of Islam]. He has amassed thousands of conversions to his movement, [Islam Ahmadiyyat]. He made numerous prophecies, all of which are said to have been fulfilled, and moreover, authored a significant number of books that have garnered widespread readership.

Muhammad Sadiq, entrusted with the preaching of Ahmad’sas teachings, travels extensively with his bags and cloak, dedicated to his holy work. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq’s conviction lies in the belief that religion evolves with time, advocating for embracing the true prophet of God Almighty.

Prophet Ahmad’sas teachings, conveyed by Muhammad Sadiq, emphasise welcoming all and sundry to their faith of Islam. The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam advocates self-defence and permits divorce and polygamy [i.e., a maximum of four wives at one time].  Despite facing challenges, Muhammad Sadiq remains hopeful for peace and goodwill among humanity. He has participated in conferences worldwide, including in Paris, London, and Chicago, to promote the faith of Islam. Followers of Prophet Ahmadas observe five daily prayers. Islam Ahmadiyyat is represented by mosques in London and Chicago, with plans to establish another in Paris, reflecting the growing influence of Islam in diverse regions. Muhammad Sadiq envisions France transitioning into an Islamic nation due to its authority over many Moslem peoples here. As he prepares to return to his homeland at Qadian, nestled at the foot of the Himalayas, Muhammad Sadiq carries with him the hopes for a future shaped by peace and spiritual enlightenment.

 – Le Petit Marseillais, Wednesday, 7 November 1923.


Tabligh tour of Nigeria: Kano, Zaria, Ibadan, and Abeokuta

Al Fazl, 13 May 1924

Imam Qasim R Ajose, Missionary In-Charge, Lagos (1924)


On 7 January 1924, I embarked on a journey from Lagos to conduct an inspection of the Anjuman Ahmadiyya located in Northern Nigeria, accompanied by Zaka Ayeni. We travelled directly to Kano, Nigeria.

Situation in Kano

The state of Kano Jamaat was not good and there was a need to rectify the situation. Thus, we made every effort, gathering the people and had tarbiyat discussions with them for five long hours, i.e., from 5 pm to 10 pm. Those who had separated from the Jamaat were persuaded to return, and 18 new converts signed the bai‘at form and joined the Jamaat. The administrative structure of the Jamaat was restored.

Land in Kano

Regarding the property in Kano, actions were taken about the 2 pieces of land granted to us by the government. I took along with me a letter of Maulana Nayyar Sahib addressed to the General Secretary, and we went to the Magistrate Office at Kano Cantonment. In the documents of land, which were in the name of Maulvi [Abdur Rahim Nayyar] Sahib, the address was written as “Islamic Review, Woking,” so I requested the magistrate to change the address and write:

“Maulvi AR Nayyar, Ahmadi Missioner, 63 Melrose Road, Southfields, London, SW 18.”

The Magistrate of Lagos and Kaduna provided me with the form to change the address. Lagos is the capital of the entire Nigeria, and Kaduna is the capital of Northern Nigeria. After correction, a copy of the deed was left with the imam of Kano Jamaat.

Imam Ahmadiyya Kano

Imam of Kano Jamaat, Mr Dean is a very noble person and holds a deep devotion towards Ahmadiyyat. He has been appointed in place of the former president [of the Jamaat].

Madrasa Ahmadiyya in Kano

There is an instruction to construct a building [of school] on our land in Kano at a cost of £200 before October, but the Jamaat members are destitute and do not possess the required funds. However, we have still requested for a donation and people have promised to give £18.


There is an arch enemy of the Jamaat here and he is engaged in hostile activities. I encountered him and he asserted that his imam was in Woking. I replied that Kamaluddin and his associates left [us].

Friday prayers in Kano

In Kano, I have initiated the commencement of Friday prayers from 11 January 1924. I instructed the imam of Kano to continue the Friday prayers regularly even after my departure.

Jamaat Zaria

After staying in Kano for four days and restoring the entire structure, we reached Zaria on 12 January [1924]. Brother Sulaiman Shawki Bari, who is the president of their jamaat, is striving for the propagation of Islam Ahmadiyyat.

We stayed in Zaria for six days. During this period, we did not spare a single moment. The whole time was spent explaining the problems, answering questions and performing religious obligations. We also delivered sermons and announced 3 nikahs. A group photo of the jamaat was also taken before our departure.


We departed from Zaria on Thursday and arrived in Ibadan on Saturday, 19 January [1924]. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the jamaat here is actively engaged in work with great discipline and organisation. We gave sermons and announced two nikahs. We were able to deliver only two lectures here. However, lectures in Kano and Zaria were conducted on a daily basis.


After departing from Ibadan, we reached Abeokuta at 2 am on 21 January [1924]. Due to travel fatigue, we could not make public speeches, but the issues observed within the jamaat’s administration structure were rectified and our discussions continued throughout the night. On 22 January, we left Abeokuta for Lagos after giving a sermon.

Pilgrims to Mecca

After presenting the above brief report of the tour, I wish to inform [the readers] that we arrived safely in Lagos. Here, Brother Ismail Sheta is going to Egypt for Arabic education, and Brother Abubakar Oshodi is travelling with him on the ship “SS ABA” with the intention of performing Hajj. May Allah be their protector and helper [along the way]. The Jamaat members are requested to pray for our success.

Rules and regulations

The rules and regulations of Lagos Jamaat, i.e., the constitution, have not yet received its final signature. However, its reading in Majlis-e-Nazim has been completed three times. Now, the only thing remaining is that Majlis-e-Akbar receives it and everything is explained to them.

Prayers for the chief imam’s health

The chief imam of Ahmadiyya Jamaat Lagos, Imam Muhammad Dabri is unwell. He could not attend the Friday prayer. In my absence, due to his severe illness, alfa Junaid conducted the Friday prayers and delivered sermons. The chief imam is now in Dr Jones’s hospital and is recovering. Please pray for his health. My [Qasim R Ajose’s] wife is also sick; please pray for her as well.

Disagreement among non-Ahmadis

Jamaat al-Muslimeen group has filed a case against Imam Ibrahim’s Jamaat in the court. The Victoria Mosque has been locked and the keys of the mosque have been handed over to the court, and until the decision is made, Jami‘ Masjid [central mosque] will remain closed.

Women of Lagos Jamaat

In the October 1923 issue of The Review of Religions, a list of donations presented by the women of Lagos Jamaat for the Berlin Mosque was published. The women here were very pleased to see it.

– Qasim R Ajose, Nigeria

(Transcribed and edited by Al Hakam from the original English published in The Moslem Sunrise, April 1924, and translated from the original Urdu, published in the 13 May 1924 issue of Al Fazl)

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