Al Fazl, 23 February 1922
Hazrat Sheikh Yaqub Ali Irfanira (1875-1957)
My God knows very well the longing and passion in my heart for the continuation and perpetuation of Al Hakam. The Ahmadiyya Jamaat is not unaware of the fact that in the last days of his life, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira left the responsibility of publication and continuation of Al Hakam in the hands of the next Khalifa. He [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra], in the early days of his Khilafat, continued to run it despite the heavy responsibilities of Khilafat. Eventually, he was compelled to hand it over to a committee, but unfortunately, the committee was not able to run it.
Then, I kept running it [Al Hakam] to the best of my abilities. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] acknowledged my efforts with respect and regard and expressed happiness in the annual gathering of the Jamaat. I have been out of the markaz [Qadian] under Divine providence for some time. I was eagerly desirous of publishing Al Hakam on regular basis, but I was not able to do so despite spending a reasonable amount of money.
In my absence, I could have trusted dear Sheikh Mahmood Ahmad Sahib that if he worked hard, he would have been a good editor. However, I devoted his life after birth to the service of the Jamaat myself, and after acquiring education and reaching the age of maturity, he personally renewed the promise I had made [at his birth]. Now, soon under the instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih he will leave for Egypt at his own expense for tabligh [preaching]. (May Allah make him successful in every way, amin).
My state is such that despite my determination, I cannot edit the [Al Hakam] newspaper from a distance of 1500 miles from the markaz. On the other hand, the state of the support of members of the Jamaat (with some exceptions) is such that the dues for the last two years of Al Hakam have not been received. Frequent reminders are needed to draw attention towards the instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih regarding monetary assistance [for Al Hakam]. In these circumstances, it seems very difficult to keep the newspaper going. For me, it is no less than death that I stop publishing Al Hakam.
Thus, as long as I am out of the markaz under Divine will, or as long as a capable editor is not available and members of the Jamaat show some manifest support, I am compelled to publish Al Hakam on monthly basis and I am making this announcement with great spiritual distress.
[The Al Hakam newspaper] was first published twice a week, then it became weekly, and now I am going to publish it monthly. The first issue [of Al Hakam] under this new arrangement will be published on 14 March 1922. There will be no reduction in price. I think that by now, this secret has been openly revealed that by the grace of God, I have never made Al Hakam a source of profit. However, the blessings that showered upon me, as a result, are beyond the comprehension of others.
I want to keep Al Hakam alive believing it is a significant souvenir of the blessed era of the Promised Messiahas, a preserver of the true Signs of the Jamaat and in fact, a sign itself. Consequently, the readers should not worry much and just help enable it to be published every month with great glory and splendour.
It is too early to say what this new structure will be like. A series of VPs [value payable post] has been issued in the name of the friends who are responsible for the previous dues.
For the friends who have not yet subscribed to Al Hakam, the new issue will be sent to them with the assurance that they are not at all reluctant to be a buyer of Al Hakam. Thence, the second issue will be sent with the demand of its price. All correspondence regarding administrative matters will be carried out through the office of Al Hakam, Qadian, Darul Aman, as usual.
I am sure the Jamaat will not neglect its responsibility regarding the establishment of Al Hakam.
This humble, Yaqub Ali Turab Ahmadi Irfani, [the then] Editor of Al Hakam, Qadian, Darul Aman.
(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in the 23 February 1922 issue of Al Fazl)