100 Years Ago… – Hazrat Nayyar’s tabligh in Salt Pond and Adukrom, Ghana

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Last Updated on 18th February 2022

Al Fazl, 16 February 1922

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra (1883-1948)

Tabligh in Saltpond

Five lectures have been held of the series of lectures that was started at Saltpond’s dar-ul-tabligh [mission house]. The educated populace listened to them with great attention and interest. It requires a lot of perseverance, significant effort and courage to remove and change the great misconception in the world about Islam and the horrible image of Islam in the minds of the learned African Christians. I am grateful to God that my insignificant efforts are being blessed with acceptance. The series of speeches has changed the mindset of the educated class, as a friend said, “The people have now realised the importance of your mission.”

The situation is improving. The hatred Christian community had against Islam is disappearing and the series of lectures has been so influential by God’s grace that people have started studying Islam with keen interest, alhamdulillah.

People are drawing close to Islam Ahmadiyyat

The Saltpond’s treasurer, the postmaster and a chief, who are all African Christians and learned people, are preparing to accept the Ahmadiyya Jamaat along with several shopkeepers. Two of them will openly accept Islam, insha-Allah, because they are already secretly expressing love for Islam and aversion to Christianity. One of them is now known by the name of Jibrail Arthur and the other by Bashir Burd. All praise belongs to Allah.

Rabbana taqabbal minna

God Almighty sometimes tests man’s sincerity and devotion, and observes the patience and admiration, and brings hardships [upon them] to remove certain indolences. I, too, was slowing down, and as far as I was concerned, I had finished the most difficult part of the preaching, but then I experienced that which had never happened to me before in Africa.

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلۡ مِنَّا ؕ اِنَّكَ اَنۡتَ السَّمِيۡعُ الۡعَلِيۡمُ

[“Our Lord, accept (this) from us; for Thou art All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”]

A large volume is needed to describe the difficulties I have suddenly encountered. However, let’s have brief look [at them]:

Financial difficulties

There is sincerity and devotion in the newly converted Ahmadis of Fante nation. However, as they were already poor landlords in the first place, and now the other problem is that there is a severe recession of trade and no one buys cocoa, so in such circumstances, it is futile to expect that they would bear the expanses [of the mission]. The famine of India and the weak economic condition is compelling us not to bother Qadian as much as possible. 

We have opened the dar-ul-tabligh [mission house] and the Ahmadiyya madrasa has been inaugurated. I have launched the library reading room as well. 

How will they continue to run? This is the concern that is putting a strain on my weak body and humble heart. I need an interpreter at all times, but we do not have sufficient funds to hire an English-speaking interpreter. Therefore, I am working with the help of an Arabic interpreter. He is poor and also has limited knowledge. Moreover, the people here ask for money even to have a conversation.

Adukrom

A village called Adukrom is located in the jungle, 13 miles from Saltpond. A road goes there for around 10 miles and the rest of the journey is covered on foot. At the request of the sincere friends there, I decided to go there. 

We left the car on the road and arranged a gathering in the village by the side of the road. I gave a sermon and then travelled three miles on foot in a hilly area on a narrow path. The associates expressed their desire to carry me on their shoulders, but I found it appropriate to walk. 

Our entire trail passed through green fields and there were hills of mica [mineral] in some places. The path was full of clear shining flakes of [mica] stone. In the mountainous region, where there is no presence of dust and there is an abundance of green uniformed trees on every side to the furthest extent, the hopping wind among the mica particles presented a wonderful sight. We travelled three miles while profoundly witnessing that magnificent scene of the greatness of God. 

[After reaching Adukrom], I gave two sermons in the village. The Christians in particular asked a lot of questions and the associates were glad. The people sang in Fante language. They translated and summarised my sermon in Fante songs. The translation of one of their verses was, “Muhammad[sa], the Messenger of Allah, is superior to Jesus[as].” After completing the work, I travelled back three miles and thus covered six miles on foot. The six miles [journey on foot] is now no less than a hardship for me.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu on 16 February 1922 issue of Al Fazl)

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