100 Years Ago… – German and American converts, Ahmadi pilots and preaching in the west


Al Fazl, 15 April 1920

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

Where we acknowledge our limited resources and apparent obscurity in the eyes of the world, we are also proud to possess the blessings and assurance of our Pure Lord. Moreover, we see that the God Who sent the Promised Messiah is doing our work by Himself and countless opportunities for the promulgation of Ahmadiyyat are being created in different parts of the world. Below is the letter of a recent Muslim convert German lady, which she wrote to the Khalifa, Hazrat Syedna Mahmud[ra]. Our new convert sister, Mahmuda states:

“To Hazrat Imam Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, my holy guide, Assalamo Alaikum!

“I am a German woman. I was born in Berlin. I belong to a respected family. Prior to changing nationality through marriage and coming to England, I used to work as a clerk at a bank in Berlin.

“It was with good luck that I met Ahmadi missionaries here and after comparing Christianity and Islam, I converted to Islam. I find the teachings of the Holy Quran far more superior to the doctrines of the Trinity [Christian] religion. I have faith in One God, accept the prophethood of Muhammadsa Rasulullah [Prophet of Allah] and believe Hazrat Ahmad[as] of Qadian to be the prophet of this age.

“My holy master! Pray to God that His Supreme Being grants me a life of prosperity, chastity, and happiness. Huzoor, also pray that my poor country, which has experienced enough Christianity, embraces Islam, the religion of peace and harmony and then, blissfully accepts it.

“Servant of Huzoor, Martha Mahmuda, 3 March 1920”

An American accepts Islam

A young man from the Caribbean Islands located in America runs his own business in London. He is also the chairman of the United African Brotherhood and is a well-educated decent person. He was introduced to Ahmadi missionaries through Brother Aziz Brown. After many meetings and studying literature, a beam of Islam’s light struck his heart and the darkness of Christianity transformed to the light of Islam. Praise be to Allah Who made it all possible!

The Christian name of our new friend was Hubert Marvelli. Keeping in mind his noble character, he has been given the Islamic name Sharif. Our friend belongs to the coloured nations like the eastern Prophets and is an American citizen.

Lecture of Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sayal

As I have mentioned in the previous [issue], Hazrat Chaudhry Sahib’s lecture on “Muhammad Rasulullah and his teachings” was due to take place at Western and Eastern Studio on 27 February. The speaker reached the lecture hall at the scheduled time and Mrs S Hall Simpon, being the president of the gathering, introduced the Ahmadi missionary before the audience. Apart from other praise worthy remarks, she said:

“He is a well-travelled missionary and an experienced lecturer. No greater exponent of Islam could be found to speak on the teachings of the Arabian Prophet. I hope you will enjoy his speech.”

The speech was held and by the grace of God, it was remarkable. Its standard in terms of language and subject was such that the harshest of critics stood in harmony with me in saying,

“Today’s speech was eloquent, effective, interesting and well-thought-out. It was decorated with the quality of discussing the issues such as divorce and polygamy before the ladies [audience] with well-suited, befitting and reasonable arguments. Thus, the speaker deserves every kind of congratulations on this success.”

After the lecture, each of the attendees confirmed this fact through their actions and words.

Summary of the lecture

After highlighting the teachings of tolerance, magnanimity, wholeheartedness and morality taught by the Holy Quran and explaining that Muhammadsa Rasulullah [Prophet of Allah] is the perfect reformer and a testifier to the teachings of the earlier Prophets, the erudite speaker compared the commandments of Prophet Adamas, Jesusas and Mosesas with the comprehensive laws of Islam. He presented a fine explanation of the following verses:

وَ جَزٰٓؤُا سَیِّئَۃٍ سَیِّئَۃٌ مِّثۡلُہَا

[The recompense of an injury is the injury the like thereof. (Surah al-Shura, Ch.42: V.41)]

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَاۡمُرُ بِالۡعَدۡلِ۔۔۔

[Verily, Allah requires you to abide by justice, and to treat with grace, and give like the giving of kin to kin; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and transgression. (Surah al-Nahl, Ch.16: V.91)]

By elucidating that Allah the Almighty is the source of all goodness, noble motives and actions, he refuted the modern and superficial ideas of those new religions which reinforce the doctrines of human worship. He also explained and revealed the reality behind the statement of Prophet Jesusas, “Why do you call me good? Only God is Good.”

At this point in the lecture, finding the audience interested and realising that no matter what the subject is, the questions will most probably be on polygamy, divorce and the [Jihad of] sword, the able lecturer shed light on all of these issues, giving sound arguments. He said that the West only gives women the status of a wife but Islam, which always adheres to moral education, promotes feelings of dignity, respect and honour by calling her a mother. Men are exposed to all dangers and difficulties. Why? Because human race can survive the limited death of men. However, the deaths of the mothers of the sons of Adam would result in the extinction of entire human race. These are the reasons that justify polygamy. Adultery is a source of human destruction. Therefore, Islam has ordained a punishment of death for it because the adulterer is a murderer and in their death lies the protection of human race. Facilities in divorce have been provided in order to secure the status of women, to prevent adversity and suffering and to make them a beneficial member of the human society.

Post lecture

As the answers to all the questions were already given in the speech, no one felt the need to ask any questions after it. Only one Anglo-Indian officer asked, “What do you think of the fact that in India, we have seen women as inferior to men and witnessed them walking behind men?”

The first answer was given by the speaker and then Nayyar followed it by saying, “You should realise that we belong to that Jamaat which is reformed and presents the true Islam. According to the teachings of Hazrat Ahmadas, women have been given that status in our community which they hold as per the doctrines of Islam. You might have seen Hindus and other people.”

Some other speeches

Another lecture of Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sayal was held at the Ahmadiyya Lecture Hall on “Evolution of the World and Prophets.”

Likewise, Mr Muhammed Suleiman Faith delivered a speech on the subject of “The Holy Prophetsa in the Bible.”

Brother Suleiman read out the original Hebrew Bible before the audience and highlighting the prophecies about the blessings promised to the descendants of Ishmael, the birth of a prophet similar to Mosesas in the brethren of Israel and the glad tiding of “Muhammadim” given by the Prophet Solomonas, drew their attention towards the rightful advent of the Holy Prophetsa and then, he gave prominence to the appearance of Hazrat Ahmadas, the prophet of this age.


In the week under discussion, this humble one went to attend the speech of the Right Honorable Lord Headley at International Society of Philology. After the Lord’s speech, owing to the significant participation in the discussions, I was thanked by the speaker and had the honour of being introduced before the audience. I also had the opportunity to convey the message of the true Jamaat to an American tourist, an Englishman of Cairo college and an English woman of noble decent.

Likewise, an interesting discussion took place in Hyde Park with a notable Christian sermonizer on Islam being a universal religion.

Pakka Pathan Kacha Krischan

Following the speech of Brother Muhammad Suleiman Faith on 29 February, Colonel Cockburn Sahib, who was in the audience, attested to the speaker and said, “Agreeing with the entire speech, I want to tell the participants that I am a Muslim and my name is Ibrahim Khan Pakka Pathan Kacha Krischan [resolute Pathan and uncommitted Christian].”

The colonel is 100 years old and travelled a long distance to attend the lecture.

Flight of Ahmadi pilot to Hindustan

Ahmadi members will be happy to hear that Brother Muhammed Abdullah Bottomley, who is in Royal Air Force, intends to visit India along with Mrs Bottomley. There lies a passion in his heart to visit his master and mentor. Apart from him, Mr Hassan Goar Ahmadi of Egypt, who holds the rank of Aircraft Leader in the Air Force Department, is keen to visit Darul Aman during his service period. Thus, Ahmadi members who keep praying for their brothers working across lands and seas, should now know that those flying in the air also request prayers from them.

Goodnight Father

I had the opportunity to carry out tabligh to a group of African Christians, consisting of English speaking black brothers. They listened very carefully to the message of the Promised Messiahas and when this humble one took leave from them, everyone spoke in united voices and in a very respectable manner, “Goodnight Father.”

New fellows have arrived

By the grace of God, Brother Babu Azizuddin Sahib and Khan Nawabzada Abdul Rahim Khan have arrived safely in London on 3 March 1920. Each of the two Ahmadi servants of Islam were present at the Victoria Station to welcome them. Both Nawab and Aziz are in good health by the blessings of God.

Hazrat Mufti Sahib

A wireless telegraph of Hazrat Mufti Sahib has been received from the ocean, along with a letter from the coast of Canada, and another from Philadelphia. On his way, he suffered due to the turbulent [tides] but he was fine at the time of writing the letters. We pray to Allah that long before this writing reaches Hindustan, dear Mufti regains good health and achieves the strength to work successfully and catch white birds in the new world. Amin thumma Amin!

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