100 Years Ago… – Islam Ahmadiyyat continues to spread in the West

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Last Updated on 21st December 2020

Al Fazl, 20 December 1920

All praise be to Allah that the work of tabligh of Islam is succeeding in every way in this country. The message of the religion of Islam is being spread through lectures and publishing of articles in newspapers and the misconceptions of the people are being removed.

Some new convert Muslims have memorised the Arabic wording of Salat and a few of them still pray in English. I came from New York to Chicago, which is relatively in the middle of the country, and it is easy to carry out tabligh across the country from here.

A letter has been received from the city of New Orleans that the people of that place want to invite me for a series of lectures. After the previous report, the following people converted to Islam:

1. Mr L Holt, who has been given the Islamic name Fateh Din

2. Mr Andrew Jacob, who been given the Islamic name Muhammad Yaqub

Finding a home in Chicago was very difficult. I had to change my house many times due to tabligh work. We had to leave one of the houses only because the owner of the house did not like the above mentioned two Muslims visiting me there and therefore gave me a notice.

Finally, a portion of a house was taken on a one-year written contract. Its rent, along with the electricity charges, is 100 dollars a month. Around 800 dollars are required for provisions.

Lectures have also been arranged in this house and the first lecture was held last Sunday on the topic of Islamic Unity. Next Sunday, another lecture will be conducted on The Universal Spirit of the Islamic Brotherhood, insha-Allah.

The people of America were very busy in the election of a president these days. A lot of speeches, discussions and clashes took place. In some places, the situation got to the point of bloodshed. Millions of rupees were spent by each party. In the end, Mr Harding and his associates were elected by a majority. All of them were sent congratulations and invited to Islam from our office here.

(Your servant, Muhammad Sadiq, 6 November 1920. 4334 Ellis Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Tabligh through speeches

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyar says:

With the support of Allah the Almighty, tabligh is being carried out very successfully through speeches. Outdoor jalsas are held three times a week and hundreds of men and women listen intently to the message of Islam.

I met a priest, who is not as bigoted as ordinary Christians can be, and he said, “I have heard one of the speeches and I am glad that you are making your presence felt.”

I also had the opportunity to talk to an engineer from the Caribbean Islands, America. He said, “Your views about the death of Jesusas are acceptable, reasonable and factual. I discussed them with a priest and conveyed him the message of Ahmad’sas arrival, which you express in the speeches.”

Another gentleman said, “You people should set up a grand mission in London and circulate [your message] on large scale.”

Lecture in Northampton

In addition to the above series of speeches, lectures were also delivered in various societies. Hence, a lecture of Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sayal Sahib on India and England was held before an association of British women on 9 November [1920] at Northampton Heath, located in the outskirts London. Around 70 women and some men were present in it.

In the lecture, they were told that India and England were taking equal advantage from each other in political and cultural terms. Therefore, it is beneficial for these two countries to be merged into a single empire. Apart from the said gains, there are many other advantages as well. The people of Asia need education of business and industry. Moreover, they need to come to the UK to learn the art of agriculture, medicine, engineering, etc. and strive to advance their countries in this regard. Likewise, England needs to learn religion because religion has faded away not only in England but in the entire West. People here are either idolaters or super-stitionists, which is even worse and others are atheists. You have lost the true faith, which is the spirit of all nations. To you, religion is merely a story or a tale, and to us, it is a reality based on truths. You read the words of Jesus in the Gospels, and we have witnessed a man like Jesus of Nazareth with our own eyes. As a matter of fact, he was even better then him. Thus, the only way to attain salvation now is in learning the religion of Islam and the truth of spirituality from India. All this is for the good of your people, so that you may prosper religiously and in the world as well.

The lecture ended with a few questions and answers regarding the concept of politics and civilisation in Islam, and the Islamic principles of economics. Thereafter, literature was distributed.

Maulvi Mubarak Ali Sahib went to attend the lecture along with Muhammad Hussain Sahib and Aziz Zafarul Haq Chaudhry Sahib.

Mr John Garden’s lecture

Regular weekly lectures are held at the Ahmadiyya Lecture Room, located in Ahmadiyya Dar-ul-Tabligh [mission house]. Last Sunday, there was a speech by a friend named Mr John Garden. This gentleman is being preached to and is a very sensible and educated person. He participates in all the jalsas on regular basis.

We hope that Allah the Almighty will someday help him announce his conversion to Islam.

His speech was excellent and full of praise for the religion of the Prophet Muhammadsa of Arabia. The erudite speaker said:

“I am familiar with spiritualism. The messages received from the spirits indicate the same true status of Prophet Jesus as is described in the Holy Quran. Moreover, an expert of spiritualism established a connection with Jesus himself and attested to the truth of Islamic beliefs.”

Comparing the teachings of Jesus and the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, the speaker said:

“Jesus turned water into wine but Muhammad changed wine into water and made desert a garden.”

Daily Graphic Newspaper

The accounts of our outdoor meetings have been published in the well-known newspaper of London, Daily Graphic. Its [correspondent] stated:

“Near the Christian pulpit, a tall man in an oriental dress and turban was zealously preaching the message of Muhammad, saying that Islam will be the religion of Europe in future. I read the words written in front of his pulpit and found out that he was the servant of Ahmad[as]. Ahmad[as], as the speaker said, was the Prophet of God, who was appeared in the East at the time of the need of mankind. Ahmadas passed away in 1908.

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