100 Years Ago… – Lectures in Richmond, Dr Luke’s conversion to Islam and a sincere letter of Abdullah Bottomley


Al Fazl, 17 June 1920

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

First lecture in Richmond

It has been stated in the previous London’s letter that three lectures of Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sayal MA, missionary of Islam, are due to be held in Etherington Hall.

The first of these lectures took place on 3 May [1920] with all its glory. Regarding this lecture, which is the first lecture in this series, Richmond Times writes:

Islam and the British Empire

“Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sahib Sayal MA, Qadian, Punjab, gave the first lecture of the proposed series of speeches on Islam and the British Empire (3 May at 8pm) at Etherington Hall. The speaker said that while studying Islam, the first thing that attracts the attention of the seeker of truth is that this religion is a historic religion and its prophet is a historic prophet. This is a matter in which no other religion or any other founder of religion can compete with Islam. There is no denying the fact that the Prophet of Islam acted as a messenger in the world. The world knows where Muhammadsa was born and under what circumstances [God’s] authority employed his services. How he lived as a boy, as a young man, how he got married, how he contributed to the government and culture in his hometown, what mental struggles he had to pursue for enlightenment and how, eventually, the final light emanated from the original source of light.

“What was Islam? It was a strong, vibrant and progressive religion. Therefore, this religion spread rapidly around the world.

“One hundred million Muslims live in the British Empire. Therefore, the peace and honour of this kingdom depend on mutual relations of love between the Muslims and the British. The literal meaning of the word Islam is obedience or harmony. The basic tenets of all religions are found in Islam in their pure form. Islam, as some European authors believe, is not only a combination of the [purest] teachings of Judaism and Christianity, but also contains the best of Egyptian, Babylonian, Iranian and Hindi teachings. Muslims are commanded to follow Divine attributes in their lives so that they treat God’s creation with compassion.

“The second lecture will be held on Monday evening at 8 pm.” (Richmond Times, 8 May 1920)

The second lecture

The second lecture in the above series took place on 10 May at the scheduled time. After an interesting one-hour speech, which was listened to attentively by the educated upper class, the question and answer session continued for about half an hour. As the representatives of local newspapers took notes of the lecture and we hope that they will publish a detailed account of the occasion, the description of this lecture will be gifted to the readers next week, insha-Allah.

Dr Luke Faruq

An educated young man from Trinidad and a resident of America, after studying Teaching of Islam and other Ahmadiyya literature and conversing with missionaries for nearly two months, left Christianity and converted to Islam on 12 May, and … became an Ahmadi and [changed his name to] Muhammad Faruq from Luke. Praise be to Allah who made it all possible.

A detailed report will be given next week, insha-Allah.

Demolition of churches

These days, newspapers in London are criticising a report published by a commission appointed by the Bishop of London on the churches in the city of London. The commission has recommended that 47 churches are too many for 13,000 people and that the Church of England cannot afford to keep 47 churches.

Therefore, 19 of these churches should be demolished. Although superannuated minded Christians do not want churches to be demolished, but newspapers write:

“Whatever happens, some churches will be demolished because the church must take part in this sacrifice, which has resulted from the ‘consequences of time’ and the people of London should be pleased about it.”

The readers of Al Fazl should not be surprised, as many churches have been demolished before, while some have become the worship places of Jews [synagogues], some are warehouses and one of the churches displays motion pictures. Christianity is automatically melting before the effects of time.

Now, there is no need for an external attacker. God’s angels are covertly putting an end to human worship.

Al Fazl, 21 June 1920

Second lecture in Richmond

Richmond and Twickenham Times writes about Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sayal’s second lecture:

“The second interesting lecture in a series of lectures on the subject of Islam and the British Empire, which began at Etherington Hall, took place on Monday evening.

“Mr Edmund, president of the gathering, told the audience that his personal knowledge of Islam is that it is a driving force in teaching morals and a very high standing religion and the current declining condition of Muslims is the result of turning away from Islam. The speaker, Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sayal MA, stated that the Messenger of Islam attested the truths taught by Jesus and other prophets, and declared that these heads of religions, as their followers have or did believe, were not Gods but had been appointed as tutors by God, and so Muhammadsa presented these heads of religions in their actual status.

“Christianity is grateful to Muhammadsa because the devotion of the Islamic world towards Prophet Jesus is the result of the teachings of this Prophet and Muslims who share their feelings of respect about Prophet Jesusas with their Christian brethren are inspired by the Prophet Muhammad’s guidance. Friendly relations between Islam and the British Empire can bring good results and may lead to the advancement of both the groups.

“Since Islam is a simple, natural and progressive religion and will surely spread across the globe, therefore it is the duty of the British people on the one hand to study Islam and on the other hand, it is the duty of the Muslims to appreciate those virtues which they have received from the UK. Muslims need Western knowledge and Europe needs Islam. The nations that considered it a disgrace to meet other nations and did not care to exchange views, fell into disgrace.

“New inventions in warfare and present day modern destructive equipment are making it clear that either the world will now end wars or be destroyed.

“A very interesting series of questions and answers followed the speech.” (Richmond Times, 15 May 1920)

New Muslim converts

Trinidad’s young, intelligent, polite, Dr A Luke, mentioned in the previous letter, is writing detailed reasons for his conversion to Islam, which shall be gifted to the readers of Al Fazl in an upcoming letter, insha-Allah.

In addition to brother Luke, the following brothers have recently become members of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and have earned the honour of becoming Muslims from Christianity:

1. John William – Mubarak

2. John Lingo – Yahya

3. Thomson William – Zahid

Speech at Hyde Park

As the weather is bright, warm and clear and it is a blessing for the people of London to have such a weather, large numbers of men and women come to Hyde Park for their afternoon walk. Speakers express their views at the park entrance.

Most of these Christian preachers are men and women who call, “Come to Christ.”

Among them, Ahmadi missionaries call to the “One God” and keep calling, “Come to Ahmad.”

This call was made for three consecutive hours last week and free-spirited English men and women listened intently. Catholics, Protestants and Christian clergy came [after us] from different angles one after the other, but I swear in the name of the One God that they were embarrassed and defeated at the hands of Ahmadi missionaries. All praise belongs to Allah.

Sincerity of beloved Bottomley

Respected Brother Abdullah Bottomley, may Allah safeguard him, writes about his wife’s conversion to Islam, the giving of the name, Hameeda and on the suggestion of circumcision of the baby, Bashir:

Alaikumussalam! Thank you for your letter and for naming my wife after your daughter Hameeda.

“Hameeda (wife of Mr Bottomley) is coming to spend holidays in Portsmouth with little Bashir. I hope that Allah the Almighty will make this change of atmosphere beneficial for the mother and the son. Given the circumstances, I request that the circumcision of the child be postponed for some time. If I had been at home, this duty would have been carried out much earlier than today because I think it is important for every child to be circumcised after birth.

“I’m glad to know that we have good friends and that we have finally been led to the light. Now, our lives will be spent in doing good on this earth and spreading the news of the coming of the Messiah and the teachings of Huzooras.

“Today’s world seems to be experiencing the shocks of the earthquakes and it is warding off the laziness in which it used to be. The world’s men and women are now struggling to see the light. I am hopeful that millions from these doubtful people shall bow down their heads and acknowledge Allah as the God of all universes.

“I hope you are in good health and you will not have to leave London, where so many people love you.

“Your brother, Abdullah Jacques Bottomley.”

Brothers! Pray for respected Abdullah Bottomley, respected Hameeda Bottomley and little Bashir Bottomley. This sincere English family is the most precious from the white birds of the Allah the Almighty’s Messiah. One of the phrases from the translation of the letter I have given above is as follows:

Insha-Allah, our lives shall be dedicated to doing good upon this earth and spreading the news of teachings of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him).”

Azan in the ear of another Ahmadi child

God has given another boy to brother Mr Carr. The ceremony of the call to prayer in this child’s ear and the prayer for the parents was held last Friday. Members of the Jamaat will be happy that after dear Musa Faith, God has given another Ahmadi boy within three months.

May Allah bless us with many more. The circumcision and aqiqah [Islamic tradition of sacrifice on the occasion of a child’s birth] of this child will be done this week, insha-Allah.

The message of the Messiah

The Review of Religions (English), June 1920

Muhammad Dilawar Khan


14th May, 1920.

My dear Khan,

The message of truth, which I had the good opportunity to convey to you, I hope you remember still. Much can be gained by invocation and by constantly praying to God to open our understandings. If you will only do this you will find at an early stage the light of God coming to dwell in your heart.

Vain are the treasures and dignities of this life. Blessed are those who try to prepare themselves for the life of ages – the life where there are no sorrows, nor lust of the vain treasures and dignities of this our temporal life.

Brother, remember and bear it in your mind that there can be no happiness – that bliss and tranquillity of mind which we are all so fond of achieving in our life – until we really believe in the blessed Messiah, Ahmad, of Qadian. Let not the world and all its paraphernalia become a stumbling block in our way to find life, which Ahmad brought down for us.

Great is the reward for us undoubtedly, but great also is the sacrifice which Ahmad has demanded of us. Without sacrifice and without a spirit of self-abnegation, there can be no spiritual attainment. The world has had great visitations from God; but I tell you that greater calamities, more terrible pestilences, earthquakes and hurricanes are still in store for the world; for “God sent a warner to the world but the world accepted him not, but God has accepted him and will manifest his truth by mighty onslaughts.”

Let the world laugh at the warner of God. The world has always laughed at the chosen ones of God. This warner from God, this our Messiah, who came in the fullness of time, did warn us of all these disastrous calamities – some of which the world has already experienced; while others sufficient to smash the so-called civilisation of proud man, are near at hand, even at our door.

Shall we not even now turn to God with a heart full of contrition, full of longing to create true affinity with Allah through this, His Messiah, the Warner, who came to warn the world and foretell the time when Heaven will open the vial of its wrath to punish the seed of Adam for their vile crimes? That day has come upon us. Arise, throw off your shackles.

Let not the world and its allurements impede you on your way while running to drink at the fountain of life which the Messiah has opened for you. Behold, his disciples are going far and wide to give the water of life to those who are thirsty for it.

These are the Heavenly spirits who will bring the “mighty West” to the feet of Muhammad, peace be upon him. It is now futile to talk of conquering the world by the sword. The days of sword have passed away. The spirit of truth is shining today from the “Minaret” of God at Qadian, illuminating East and West with its grand celestial light. A new era has begun, a new Adam has come among us.

God has brought into existence from him a great family; a family which may well be called cosmopolitan in its true Meaning, nay, a family of God’s humble servants. It is now through these that the spiritual banner of Islam will be carried right and left to every home.

Let us hasten to join the fold of the Messiah in order to escape the coming wrath of God. Verily disasters are at the door. None will be saved except those who come to the warner with a humble heart; for he said more than once, that every one that would not believe in him would be cut off from the world.

Rejoice therefore, that even in these days of sorrow and pain there has come among us a Saviour, to warn and teach. Shall we not join his fold to be saved? Glory be to God – Lord of the Universe who sent the Messiah to redeem the world; but the world accepted him not, but God has accepted him and will manifest his truth by mighty onslaughts.

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