100 Years Ago… – Gift from Sadiq

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Al Hakam, 28 July 1918

Advertised many weeks in advance, this article by Hazrat Mufti Muahammad Sadiqra, included in the 28 July 1918 issue of Al Hakam, expresses his support for the newspaper and reflects his missionary activities in England.

Glorification of Allah

Allah the Almighty is the Superior Being, Who is Eternal and shall remain forever. However, the word “eternal” does not suffice in describing His eternity because His being Eternal is far above our comprehension and contemplation. He is never in a state of decline, and weakness cannot be associated with Him. He does not neglect, He does not slumber, nor does he sleep. The words “beginning” and “end” cannot be associated with His being.

He is Everlasting and the One who grants eternity. He alone was, He alone is and He alone shall always be. He is the Creator of all and all is His creation. He is the Master of all and everyone is His servant. He is the Lord and everyone is His slave. He is the ruler of all and everyone is His subject. He is not dependent on anyone, but all are dependent on Him. None can question Him whilst all are answerable to Him. He provides for everyone and He does not need to take anything from anyone. His knowledge encompasses everything and all knowledge originates from Him. He possesses all treasures and through His grace, others achieve that treasure. He is the true King and through Him, others are bestowed kingship. 

The earth, sky, sun, stars, planets, fire, air, water, atoms, lightening, radium and the millions of things which we do not have any knowledge of, are all busy in serving Him. All humans, animals, birds, and all that is in the ocean, and those which dwell on the earth, and those that live in the stars, the heavenly angels and the jinn which dwell on the earth are subjects of His power. There is not a single grain that can move without His permission and there is no air that can blow without His permission. 

There is no power for us except for what He has granted. We have no provision except for what He provides for us. We have no salvation except for that which is graciously bestowed by Him. We have no life except for the one which is granted from the Eternal One. We have no sustenance except for what comes from the Everlasting. He is, and we are nothing. He forgives our sins, and this forgiveness does not lessen His treasures. He is One as there is none like Him. His being did not depend on the presence of a father nor does His eternity require a son or daughter. No matter is separate from what He has created and no soul is detached from what He has made. His being is undivided; trinity does not exist in Him, nor is He four or five. He is pure, the One who is praised and the Ever-Merciful; the Gracious, Compassionate, Timeless, First and Last.

سُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ سُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيْمِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن

(All praise belongs to Allah, the most praise-worthy; all praise belongs to Allah the highest and allpraisebelongs to Allah alone, Lordof all the worlds.)

Hamd-o-sana usi ko jo zat-e-javidani

Hamsar nahin hei uska koi na koi sani

(All Glory be to Him whose being is eternal; neither is one like Him, nor is anyone second to Him.)

Blessings

The Gracious God, through His sheer blessing, continuously sent reformers for mankind, for instance Adamas, Noahas, Abrahamas, Mosesas , and Jesusas, as well as all those who came during their time or before and after them. Setting pure examples, they taught humans the ways of achieving God’s pleasure. They not only practiced those ways themselves but also guided others on this path; finally leading them to God. May Allah the Almighty elevate the status of these reformers and shower His mercy, blessings, bounty and peace upon them, especially on their Master who is the crown of all the Prophets, Chief of all the Messengers, King of the two worlds, a noble titan, the Beloved of God, our reformer and leader of all the creation, Muhammad the Chosen One, may His blessings be forever upon him. 

Peace and blessings be upon the true embodiment of the chief among the chosen ones, the complete manifestation of “Ahmad”, the Promised Messiah, the foretold, the prophet of the age who is the king of the spiritual world and like an engine of the Islamic machinery, the Imam of the holy Jamaat. He is the proof of God Almighty’s existence and the defender of the truthfulness of Islam. May God shower His abundant mercy, blessings, assistance, bounties and benevolence upon him, and upon his progeny, his companions, his Khulafa, his followers, his helpers, those who rest beside him in their graves, his Jamaat, his devotees, his faithful admirers, all the holy men, adherents and the righteous who have passed away or are yet to come. Bi-rahmatika Ya Arhamar-Rahimin. (By Your mercy, O Most-Merciful of those who have mercy.)

First Newspaper of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat

In the early age of Jariyullah fi hulalil anbiya [the champion of God in the mantle of the Prophets], when the Jamaat of the faithful was fewer in number and the opponents were in their full swing, articles were published in the newspapers of Punjab and Hindustan against Ahmadiyyat, the true Islam. However, there was not a single newspaper devoted for the articles of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.

At times it was very difficult to eradicate the misconceptions spread by the opponents. I remember the time when the editor of Chaudhvin Sadi newspaper published an article against us, I wrote an answer to that article and sent it to the Promised Messiahas from Lahore. Huzooras replied to me with his own blessed hand saying that I had written an outstanding answer, but the opponents would not publish it. Allah the Almighty would surely provide us some other sources, he said.

In those difficult times, God the Benevolent gave the courage to Hazrat Sheikh Yaqub Ali Turab Sahib to launch a newspaper for the true cause; he named the newspaper Al Hakam. 

I was in Lahore and the late Hazrat Maulana Maulvi Abdul Karim [Sialkoti] Sahibra happened to be there as well when the first issue of Al Hakam reached Lahore. Hazrat Maulvi Sahibra said that our community was in great need of this kind of newspaper and Allah the Almighty had fulfilled that requirement. And so, the first newspaper of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was launched. 

Although the newspaper was not fully functional in its early days due to low sales and difficulties in acquiring equipment for printing in Qadian, we were still happy whenever Al Hakam was published as if it was Eid. After all, it was the first newspaper of the community. The face of every Ahmadi was delighted by the sight of this newspaper – it was spiritual nourishment for us through which we were nurtured. 

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Services of Al Hakam

The great service which Al Hakam has provided since its inception goes without saying. I feel there is no need to delve into it with great detail.

At the moment, the Editor of Al Hakam offers a collection of previous issues of Al Hakam for 150 rupees and politely thanks the purchaser, considering the sum a donation. However, I see the day when this collection will be bought for 100,000 rupees and the purchaser will be proud that this treasure fell in their hands.

This newspaper has recorded clear signs of the progress and the outstanding history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. It served as the only organ to record and publish Allah the Almighty’s fresh revelations [to the Promised Messiahas]] for a long time. Collections of the late Hazrat Maulana Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib’s writings and sermons are present in it. As a matter of fact, those who are full of grudges and hatred against Al Hakam themselves copy its columns in their newspapers and books. Owing to their cowardice, at times they do not even care to mention that a certain article was taken from Al Hakam, but deep down in their hearts they know that they are indebted to Al Hakam and its Editor for those precious pearls (published in their newspapers and books). 

Many newspapers and magazines of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat were launched after Al Hakam, all serving religion in a magnificent manner. Thereby each and every one these publications is worthy of commendation and praise, but difficulty always lies in the beginning of any work. When a passageway of water lies ahead, and we are to pass through it, then real courage lies with the one who throws themselves in the arms of danger without knowing the depth, thereby guiding others and providing a safe passage for the rest. As a result, those who come after do not find it difficult to pass through it. 

Thus, it is an honour for Al Hakam to fall in the category of the leading newspapers of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. It thus helped the Jamaat increase in confidence and determination that Ahmadiyyat has the capacity to produce this kind of literature. 

Happiness

I find myself completely drawn towards Al Hakam due to the qualities mentioned earlier and for many of its unique characteristics. It was quite upsetting when it stopped being published but I was certain that its closure was temporary.

I have read this news with great delight that Al Hakam has started to be published again. All praise be to Allah! This will serve as a sign for the blessed era of the Second Khilafat that Al Hakam survived, overcame its difficulties and started to be published again. 

It may be due to the wisdom of Allah the Almighty that Al Hakam was not published for a period of time. One reason for it being stopped was that according to some, Al Hakam caused certain people to fall into doubt. However, when the time came, no one could say that Al Hakam was the reason for those people abandoning the Jamaat. Their departure was the outcome of their own actions, their arrogant writings, their secret conspiracies which were at last unfolded, and their prejudices, enmities and grudges against the family members of this Prophetas. May Allah the Almighty save us from the uprisings of evil and rebellion. Amin

Newspaper Assistance

It is not possible for me to serve Al Hakam during my stay in this country. The only thing possible for me is to write an article whenever I find time. I have hope from the Ahmadis of Hindustan and other countries that they will provide support to the Editor and workers of Al Hakam by increasing its purchase. 

Along with brief reports which I send to all newspapers and which will continue to be published in Al Hakam Insha-Allah, some very special articles will be written for Al Hakam. Editor of Al Hakam may select a title for those set of articles and this article should be considered the first of those that fall under that title.

Winter Report

Now I shall present a brief report of the works done in the previous five months for the readers of Al Hakam. At times, when I was in Hindustan, it was quite difficult for me to bear the cold of Qadian owing to my weak body and that I do not generate much natural body heat. As I had the honour of being in the company of the Promised Messiahas during his journeys, he was quite aware of my natural weakness and he used to say, “Mufti Sahib’s body is particularly weak, and this is concerning.” I hope that this worry was a source of special prayers for me and thus, through this weak body, Allah the Almighty, by His Grace, saw the accomplishment of those tasks which many strong men were not able to do.

So the winters of Qadian were quite tough for me, and after experiencing a [relatively warm] winter of Hyderabad Madras, I would say that had it not been for the immense attraction of Qadian, I would have built a home in Hyderabad Deccan to spend winters. However, what value does human planning have? Only that which Allah desires, happens. Instead of (Hyderabad) Deccan, I had to spend winters in England where the intensity of the cold in June and July exceeds the cold of Decembers in Qadian. 

I remained in London from April to November 1917. Many a time, I fell sick owing to cold weather. Accordingly, due to the cold climate, I received an instruction from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih which read: “Leave for Nigeria, if the journey is not dangerous.” Letters from the people of Nigeria started pouring in saying that as I had been directed by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II to leave for Nigeria, I should immediately travel to Nigeria. I would have gladly left for Nigeria without having cared about any danger if the following instruction was not in the message: “if the journey is not dangerous”. 

The passage was not safe even at the time I left Qadian for London in April 1917, and our ship, whilst crossing the Mediterranean Sea, went through seriously dangerous stretches, before reaching the destination unharmed by Allah the Almighty’s grace. The monthly reports of sunken ships which have been published till now show that the highest number of ships sunk in April 1917, but at that time I was sent here on the instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, may Allah strengthen his hand, and there was no condition attached to it. Now that there has been a condition attached about journeying to Africa, it would inappropriate to weather the storm. Due to these reasons, the recommendation for Nigeria was postponed, and through mutual consensus it was settled that I spend the winter in the town of Ventnor [Isle of Wight] which is located near the seashore beneath high mountains, as the temperatures there are not as cold as London’s. Thus, on 4 December 1917, I came here to spend winter. Now, after passing five months, on 6 May 1918, I leave for London again. 

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Photograph of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra found in his own personal records

The cold

Though there has been intense cold here [in Ventnor, Isle of wight], however the rooms are full of warmth with fire and plenty of warm clothes are available; beds are kept warm by an abundance of sheets, blankets and hot water bottles. Medicine also helps to retain warmth, but all these are materialistic approaches. The fact is that the prayers of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, may Allah strengthen his hand, and members of the Jamaat helped me pass this winter season with good health. All praise be to Allah, surely, all praise is for Allah.  

The earth rendered white with snowfall in December-January, and to some extent, in February and April as well. The temperature would be around 23°F and sometimes even less than this as the strong cold winds kept blowing. Sometimes I fell ill and caught a cold or flu, but for the better part, I was fine. Alhamdolillah.

Work in winter season

It is quite obvious that it was difficult for me to work due the intensity of the cold, yet still, by the Grace of Allah Almighty, I had the opportunity to spread the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. Several lectures were delivered, articles were published in newspapers and dialogues were held with several people. Applications of Bai‘ats and acceptance of Islam by five people were sent to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, among whom two were men and three were ladies. Two ladies bore testimony to the prophethood of the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas

Many towns were visited for the purpose of tabligh and literature was distributed. During these days, I received news from London that in response to the movement which arose after my lectures in London, the London College of Physiology had selected me as their Fellow and awarded me with a diploma and the title of FPC. Two of my poems written for the propagation of Islam, and the articles written by me, as a way of preaching, regarding the loyalty of the Government in English newspapers were published, and letters of appreciation were received from the Prime Minister of England and Lieutenant Governor of Punjab. The reply of the letter written to the Sultan of Egypt for the purpose of tabligh was received, expressing his gratitude. Many respectable people held tea parties for me and I had the opportunity to preach there. Many other works were carried out which have been stated previously in the many issues of Al Fazl, Faruq [and other such periodicals]. 

The people of Europe

There are two main spiritual problems in this country: Christianity and materialism (in other words, atheism). Mostly there are Christians, but there are also a few who are in-between Christianity and atheism, while the rest are engrossed in atheism.

Concepts and beliefs which are instilled from childhood are very difficult to let go of, and this problem is found throughout the whole society. Atheists are very defiant, aggressive and abusive but their target is mainly Christianity and the concept of God, which is presented in front of the world. We had the experience of taking part in conversations and debates with various people, coming across all sorts of questions. But Allah the Almighty unveils the most suitable answers which strike through the hearts of the opponents. 

Debate with a Christian

Once, a person came to meet the owner of the house in which I am staying. He belonged to a passionate sect of Christianity called Plymouth Brethren. The concept of priesthood is not present in this sect; a group of people gather together to take part in a silent prayer and suddenly, a person stands up who believes that they have been raised up by a certain spiritual force. This ceremony is concluded by the person praying or delivering a speech. 

As the members of this sect are quite passionate to preach, the owner of the house acquainted me with the guest, leaving both of us on our own in the room as she attended to some work. Recalling the discussion which we had will be quite interesting. The name of that person was Mr Stripp. 

Stripp: Have you come from Hindustan?

Sadiq: Yes, I have.

Stripp: The greenery and the hilly areas of this town are worthy of praise! 

Sadiq: I feel exactly the same.

Stripp: Oh, how remarkable is the love of God for mankind that He sacrificed His son for them!

Sadiq: Which son to be exact? There are many sons of God.

Stripp: There are not many sons of God. I am talking of Jesus Christ, the only son of God.

Sadiq: I beg your pardon! I made a mistake to assume that your holy book was the Bible, but maybe you deny the Bible. 

Stripp: No, I am not a denier of the Bible, the Bible is the word of God!

Sadiq: Alright then, if the Bible is the word of God, it states that Israel was the son of God, in fact, the first son, and that Solomon was the son of God. Among those abundant sons and daughters falls Jesus as well. How could you consider him the only child of God?

Stripp: (Nervously) Oh! You present philosophical arguments. A German scholar happened to meet me, he too presented similar arguments. God’s words are not worthy of philosophical solutions. 

Sadiq: I have not presented any philosophical explanation. I have only presented the exact words which, according to you, are the words of God.

Stripp: Yes, but not every person can comprehend the word of God. It is only the Holy Spirit who can teach the word of God.

Sadiq: Does that Holy Spirit only come to you or can someone else be in his company as well?

Stripp: Yes, whoever prays for him, he comes to that person!

Sadiq: Alright then, I have prayed for the Holy Spirit and he has come to me. I tell you that this matter has been resolved with the help of the Holy Spirit that God does not possess a son or a daughter and that the near ones of God are called the sons of God as a figure of speech in Hebrew. Jesus Christ passed away like any other person and his tomb is present in Hindustan.

Stripp: (Angrily) This conversation is insulting and hurtful towards the Holy Spirit. I cannot continue this discussion, but we will talk on this matter some other time perhaps.

Sadiq: That’s fine, some other time.

After this encounter we happened to come across each other many times but he never had any religious discussion with me again. As to his spouse, she does not agree with his logic. When she heard about this incident, she invited me to have tea and thus, this opened the door of preaching. A number of times I had the honour of being at their home and at times she visits mine. 

Blessings of Khalifatul Masih II 

May an abundance of blessings of Allah the Almighty be upon the living embodiment of Hazrat [Umar] Faruqra – the resolute Khalifatul Masih, Mahmud – under whose influence, a feeble part of this precious Jamaat was separated.

They were in a constant effort to close the door of Prophethood. Undoubtedly the accomplishments of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II will be remembered not only by Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya and Muslims in general, but the whole of mankind will remain indebted to him. Unfortunate are those who wish to compel God not to award prophethood to anyone; who wrongfully allege that Hazrat Muhammadsa closed the door of prophethood; who say that this door has been shut so firmly that it cannot open for anyone. Although the Promised Messiahas perceived and satisfied them, they disbelieved.

فَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَالِكَ فَاُولٰٓئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُوْنَ

(“Then whoso disbelieves after that, surely, they are the rebellious”)

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوْبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِنْ لَّدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ۔

(Our Lord, let not our hearts become perverse after Thou hast guided us and bestow on us mercy from Thyself. Surely, Thou art the Great Bestower.) Amin

Qazi Abdullah Sahib

My colleague Qazi Abdullah Sahib in this winter season has not only borne the difficulties of the intense cold but remained in London under heavy bombardment from fighter jets and continued his work of preaching. He constantly presented the challenge of dialogue and discussion to Khawaja Sahib but whenever Khawaja Sahib agreed to have a discussion on the insistence of Arab Sahib and Qazi Sahib, Khawaja Sahib vanished into thin air when they went to his place.

During his stay, Qazi Sahib delivered many lectures, had debates with several people, answered letters, preached to those who came to his house and showed hospitality. As we now have our own residence, the expenses of hospitality have increased. According to the values of this country, whenever someone pays a visit and it is time for a meal, then that person must be invited to join. There are at least four different meals here. Despite being alone, Qazi sahib single-handedly took care of such matters and did so whilst being very economical; something which he has mastered. May Allah be his reward Himself and bless him with a long, healthy and virtuous life. 

Expenses

Firstly, the expenses have increased because of war and lack of food, and secondly, immense progress in work demands more expenses. I hope that, Insha-Allah, a time will come when the people of this country will themselves bear the expenses of propagation, but owing to the present situation, it rests with Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya as a whole. It is necessary for the members of the Jamaat to offer special donations for the London Mission Fund, owing to the increased requirements of work, and submit them in Anjuman Taraqi-e-Islam, Qadian. God knows how long the repercussions of the present war and its difficulties may last. Thus, in my view, it would be appropriate for the members of the Jamaat, through special sacrifice, to provide us with the expenses for the whole year. 

Consequences of the war

The war has affected the whole country’s trade, economy and labour, but my observation is that every man and woman of the country is full of confidence that eventually they will be victorious. Nervousness, worry or cowardice is nowhere to be found. Women are not only helping men with courage and valour, they are performing duties usually attributed to men like driving cars, shop-keeping, bearing responsibilities of clerks, accountancy, working in factories and industrial labour. In fact, everything is being managed by women with full devotion and preference. 

Women are delivering sermons in some churches where the priests have gone to the frontiers and even leading prayers on certain occasions. Several women work in the police and steadily stand on duty in police uniforms. As to the scarcity of paper, newspaper prices have doubled and tripled, yet every man and woman purchases it and nobody seems empty-handed. Several newspapers are published three or four times a day. Thousands of them are published and sold each day. 

The food stock of the country is being managed extraordinarily well, where the rich are not permitted to buy purchase more food than they need, and thus, the poor are getting their full share, making no room for complaint. If anyone is found stocking surplus food in their homes, the police file a case against them, and some people have already been fined in this regard.

Divorce and polygamy cases in courts have increased as a result of the war. Contrary to the religious principles of Christianity, divorce has been legalised, and it could very well be that due to the current situation, polygamy is allowed. Although army service during the war has been made compulsory for every adolescent, but whoever says that their conscience does not allow them to take part in war, they are either relieved from responsibilities or are given some work which is free from bloodshed. 

Precaution in food-intake

A Muslim should take precautionary measures while eating in this country. Although at times it might be permissible to eat whatsoever is presented to you in restaurants and encourage friends to eat quietly without enquiring about the ingredients or the process of cooking – like Khawaja [Kamaluddin] Sahib does – however, I have reason to believe that one can save themselves by taking good caution. I have found all sorts of Halal and lawful meat available in this country. Qazi Sahib has been living here for more than two years and I have been living here for over a year; by Allah’s grace, we have been eating Halal and lawful meat, alhamdolillah.

Undoubtedly, there is no sin if someone unknowingly eats something, and we pray that Allah forgives, however, Haram meat can have a very bad effect on one’s spiritualty and thus, salihin [righteous men] have remained very cautious about it. 

I remember when Sheikh Rahmatullah Sahib went abroad for the first time, I believe the first advice the Promised Messiahas gave him was not to eat the animals slaughtered by Christians, as they did not slaughter it in a Halal way. Sheikh Sahib took special care of that and benefited from the advice. Special care is needed here because the people here are unmindful of the concept of Halal and Haram. In my view, the meat which is delivered to me from a Jewish butcher is cooked in separate pots, stirred with separate utensils and is placed separately from others because the landlady has been briefed carefully. I also take special care myself in terms of eating. I take good care myself in this regard. 

On one occasion, although I had explained everything to the landlady, she once served me peas, and when I routinely enquired about it, I came to know that they were cooked separately but were put on the same plate as unlawful meat, so I returned them and did not eat them. Thus, precautionary measures can save a person, though the real safety rests with the blessings, benevolence and beneficence of Allah the Almighty.

Prayers

Although there was not much work for me during my stay in Ventnor, but I found ample time to pray, by the grace of Allah. I said combined prayers for everyone and also individually. I cannot write the names of every single person, but I wandered the streets of Hindustan and other countries of the world during my prayers, praying for Ahmadis. It is the sheer mercy of God that in such times, the memory of dear friends is triggered and when someone writes a letter for prayer, I find that I would already have prayed for them. However, I specially pray for them again after reading their letter. 

May Allah the Almighty, through his sheer blessing, benevolence, mercy and kindness, fulfill these prayers and the prayers of members of the Jamaat for us. Amin

Wassalam

Muhammad Sadiq

2 May 1918

Ventnor, England (Permanent Address: 4 Star Street, W2, London. England)

(Translated by Al Hakam)

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