100 Years Ago… – London letter


Al Fazl, 15 November 1919

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

London’s weather

In the current week, cold and warm weather would keep alternating. Rain poured down as well. One day, it seemed as if this time, winter would start early, but the sky is clear today. There is no sign of clouds and the weather is “fine and pleasant” for the English people.

This week, someone’s clothes caught fire when he was struck with lightning and was unable to recover from the shock. He passed away on his way to the hospital. As strange as it seems, the imprint of the tree under which he was standing at the time of the lightning strike was imprinted on his body.

Meeting with Jamaat members

In the present week, we met Mr and Mrs Musa, Mr and Mrs Karim, Mr Faith, Mr Saeed Wilson and Miss Beard Najma. Mr Musa is a gentleman from Bengal and Mrs Musa is an Irish new convert.

Mr Karim is a resident of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and Mrs Karim is a Swiss lady, i.e. a resident of Switzerland. The Islamic name of Mrs Musa and Mrs Karim is Fatima and Mehbuba, respectively.

The characteristics of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and the responsibilities of an Ahmadi were explained to both ladies. Mr Wilson is a supporter of the Eastern nations’ advancement and a worker of the Labour group. He stays with us when he visits London and offers prayers alongside us.

Miss Beard Najma is an educated lady. She has written a poem which will be published in The Review of Religions, Insha-Allah!

Lectures and discussions

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Last Sunday, my lecture was held on the subject of divine revelation. Apart from the new converts, there was a Christian lady in the audience by the name Mrs Rasben, who listened to the lectures with keen interest. I delivered a 40-minute speech and proved that the Holy Quran is the word of God. I presented the revelations revealed to the Promised Messiahas as supporting evidence.

Last Friday, I had a discussion with a Roman Catholic priest in Hyde Park. The public kept listening to the refutation of Christianity with keen interest. During my discussion with the priest, an English lady and gentleman by the name of Mr and Mrs Welch were of great assistance. Below is the summary of the discussion:

Discussion in Hyde Park [London]

A Jewish lady turned towards me and said, “Ah! There is no such thing as the Christian religion. Catholic faith is by far the worst.”

A long-bearded priest responded to the Jewish lady, “What matter of the Catholic faith is it that you dislike? Object to it and you shall receive an answer!”

As the Jewish lady was replying, the priest spoke out:

Priest: Have you studied comparative religion? Before the Jewish lady could respond, I replied:

Nayyar: Yes, I have studied it. Please, give me the answer.

Priest: Pray tell, which issue do you object to?

Nayyar: Just explain the concept of Trinity!

Priest: [After a lot of discussion, he said] This matter is beyond comprehension.

Nayyar: In other words, it [Trinity] is not for us humans; not for the progeny of Adam. It is for some other creation and for the inhabitants of another world.

Mrs Welch: Yes, old man! Respond to the question of this gentleman. I myself was a Catholic till the age of 14. I know your Paul very well.

Priest: It is surprising that you were able to understand it at the age of 14.

Mrs Welch: Listen! Try to talk sensibly with women and answer the question of this nobleman. “Beyond comprehension” in other terms means irrational.

Priest: Two men and one lady [are up against me]!

Nayyar: These noble Englishmen and lady are educated and free people. They are in favour of the truth. If you possess any rational answer, please present it for they will support you.

The priest: You are very clever. It is a great scheme of yours.

An aged person spoke from behind, “I belong to the Catholic Church, the most truthful religion of God. These (Mr and Mrs Welch) are atheists.”

Mr Welch: Old lady! Are you drunk?

Nayyar: Friends, maintain silence now! Alright Mr Priest, let’s say that the concept of Trinity is beyond the comprehension of these sensible Englishmen and it is not for the people of the earth. It is for some other creation. So, please, explain the concept of the “Son of God” then!

Priest: It is as the Bible explains.

Nayyar: The Bible mentions various sons of God.

Priest: No, no! As the church educates about it.

Nayyar: I know that there is no honour of the Bible in view of you from the Roman Church.

Priest: Is that so? Jesus went through hardships and gave his life for us. He is our saviour, the Lord.

Nayyar: Let alone be God, he doesn’t even prove to be a perfect man from your sayings and beliefs. The only man who experienced hardships and presented the perfect and supreme heights of morals was the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him.

Priest: Oh no! Muhammad never faced hardships.

Mrs Welch: You are ill-informed and you are not aware. He was inflicted with extreme pain.

Thereafter, a discussion continued on the Pope’s views and various wrong beliefs of Christianity. The priest said at the end in fretfulness, “Okay! You tell me, what mistakes were reformed by Muhammad?”

Now that Allah had given me the opportunity, I presented the complete detail about the claim of Jews regarding the “death of Jesus” and the confession of Christians, and the viewpoint of the Prophet Muhammadsa. Moreover, I conveyed the message of Nabiyullah [Prophet of God], Ahmadas.

The priest said, “Goodbye” and left. I asked for the address of Mr and Mrs Welch and returned after expressing thanks.

Tabligh in various ways

Nowadays, respected Mufti Sahib is residing at Southend and the work of tabligh is being carried out over there. Literature is being distributed. [People] speak with Mufti Sahib. A lecture of brother Muhammad Sagar Chand Ahmadi (Barrister-at-Law) on the subject of revelation is due to be held on 20 September in Folkestone. Previously, he has delivered five lectures there.

An interest for research about Ahmadiyyat has been developed among the people. Observing the favourable circumstances and in order to benefit from the occasion, respected Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sahib has gone to Folkestone. There, he will deliver a lecture and satiate the thirst of the finders of truth.

Brother Sagar Chand suggests that a branch of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat should be established in Hastings.

Chanda of London Ahmadis

Since the past week, the Ahmadis of London have decided that according to their capability, they shall offer a weekly Chanda from their income for the requirements of the Jamaat established by the Promised Messiahas. Certain members have sent the Chanda of this week and within four days only, the total funds of the Anjuman amounts to 20 rupees and 4 annas. Moreover, it should be noted that most of those friends who come to meet us or take part in lectures have to spend 12 annas per person.

Beseech prayers

The field of work is vast but expenditures are increasing by the day. The cost of bread has increased and milk prices have risen. There is a shortage of coal. The demands of labourers are growing by the day. Therefore, there is an earthquake of revolutionary change in the entire land of the West.

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