100 Years Ago… – Guardians of Faith: Ahmadi missionaries defending Islam in London


Al Fazl, 10 June 1924

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra (1883-1948)
Nayyar Sahib

Favours of Islam on India

In the April 1924 issue of the Asiatic Review, while mentioning the discussion that took place after the paper of Mr JC French, Esq., ICS’s on “Continuity in Indian Art” was read out [in the meeting of East India Association], the following excerpt was published: 

“The Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyar, Imam (Ahmadia Movement in England), speaking as a Muslim missionary and friend of England, observed that the lecturer had used the phrase, ‘destructive flood of Muhammadan invasion’ and the like words, and had thus ignored the large amount of constructive work done by Muslims in India. He wished to point out that Moghuls whose contribution to Indian art had been rightly acknowledged and praised by the lecturer were Muhammadans; and the late Sister Neviditta had once enumerated 150 blessings of Muhammadan rule to India.”

This humble one, [Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra] regrets that while the old prejudices against Islam have not entirely disappeared, and in some cases, certain political figures wish to keep them fresh, Muslims everywhere are indifferent to protecting their interests.

However, those who consider missionaries of Islam Ahmadiyyat as narrow-minded and partisans should know that the servants of the rightful Khalifatul Masih, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad[ra], always fulfil their duty to protect and support the religion of Muhammadsa on every occasion.


In a gathering of high-ranking retired army and navy officers at the Central Asian Society, a lecture was given by a French priest.

This priest had joined the French army during the war and participated in battles in Iran and the Caucasus Mountains. Using a magic lantern, [i.e., an early type of image projector], he illustrated his lecture by showing a map of Islamic countries and their populations. He explained that if General Dunston had not halted the Turkish advance in Iran, thereby blocking their path to India, the plans of Pan-Islamism or Pan-Turanism would have prevailed. This would have been fatal for the future of England and France, who were ruling the Muslim populations.

The president of the gathering also emphasised that France and England must make joint efforts to counter the threat of Islam. After the lecture, speeches were given by General Dunston, General Ian French, and Sir Charles Arthur. 

At this point, considering it my foremost duty to defend Islam, I sought permission, with the assistance of Sir Michael O’Dwyer and General Egerton, to give a brief speech. The room was fully packed. Ascending the podium, I first introduced myself and then dispelled their doubts […] highlighting the teachings of Islam Ahmadiyyat. My speech was well received, and many distinguished attendees shook hands afterwards. The president gladly expressed that, “There is such a peace-loving movement within Islam, as mentioned by Maulvi Nayyar.”

I believe that Allah the Almighty granted me this opportunity to present the teachings of Islam Ahmadiyyat [under the guidance] of our beloved Khalifa and defend the faith of Islam’s founder, Prophet Muhammadsa of Arabia, in front of those whose views significantly impact the global perception of Islam. 

On this occasion, nearly the entire distinguished staff of the French embassy was present. I specifically mentioned that, according to the teachings of Islam Ahmadiyyat, Muslims in every country should strive to progress by cooperating with their governments while remaining obedient to them.

– Abdur Rahim Nayyar

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 10 June 1924 issue of Al Fazl)

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