100 Years Ago… – Maulana Nayyar in Portsmouth and tabligh activities in London


Al Fazl, 14 June 1923

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra (1883-1948)
A map of Great Britain


In order to improve my health, I went to Portsmouth for a week. During my stay in Portsmouth, I met fellow people and Ahmadi friends. Brother Muhammad Yunus was present at the train station [to welcome me]. He also arranged for my stay. He has a lot of passion for spreading the message of Islam, but he regrets that they do not get the opportunity to have a missionary [in Portsmouth] for even a single month. His views and feelings can be understood from the fact that wherever he sees a suitable place, they immediately say: “If only I had money, I would build an Ahmadiyya Mosque here.”

I was delighted to meet with Sister Fatima Payson Foldhall, Mrs Evans, Sister Salma Croxford, Ahmad Cripps and Salima Cripps. May Allah increase their sincerity, devotion and faith, amin summa amin. I have always believed that our Jamaat will soon grow faster in Portsmouth as people here pay more attention than in London.

From Portsmouth, I went to Bognor [Regis], Ryde, and Ventnor and distributed the literature of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat.

Work in London

On 15 April [1923], Dr Henri Mustapha Leon’s [Abdullah Quilliam] lecture will be held at the Ahmadiyya Mosque under the auspices of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat on the topic of “The state of the people of Arabia before the advent of the Holy Prophet[sa]”. In the following weeks, Khalid Sheldrake, Muhammad Hill and Dr Salomon will deliver speeches. Invitation cards and handbills have been printed and published. An announcement has also been issued in the local newspaper.

Through personal meetings, the series of individual preaching has been started.

Hafiz Syed Mahmudullah Shah and Dr Muhammad Sulaiman from South Africa are very helpful. Both of these gentlemen are working diligently and passionately, considering preaching their duty. May Allah the Almighty grant them the best of rewards.

A series of outdoor lectures has also been started. The summer season has arrived and London’s parks are in full swing. Through the blessings of Allah the Almighty, we have planned to distribute literature and start an extensive series of lectures.

Religious world

In Russia, the Roman Catholic Church is going through severe atrocities. The brutalities against the church are being avenged by the hands of fate. Romania has also strictly prohibited Roman Catholics and other Christian and Jewish religious activities. The news of Arya Samaj’s new zealous Shuddhi Movement in India and the reports of riots in Amritsar have sent a clear message to the British that the illusion of Hindu-Muslim harmony has been shattered. Kemal Pasha, the Emir of Turkey, is now organising his new party. He is in favour of continuing the practice of seizing the kingdom and control from the Caliph. The Muslims of Yugoslavia have sent several representatives to meet the Caliph of Constantinople. On the other hand, there is a dispute over the selection of the representatives in Bosnia. The government does not like the approach taken by M Spaho, a famous Muslim political leader. Thus far, no one has been sent from Bosnia.

Muslims of Albania held a religious conference and passed the following strange resolutions:

There is no caliph after the Holy Prophetsa of Arabia. Therefore, the Muslims of Albania are free to their matters of faith and are entitled to do their own religious ijtihad [finding solutions to Islamic legal questions through reasoning].

There is no need to bow and prostrate in prayers, rather, it is enough to stand [and perform the complete salat].

Albanian Muslims should only have one wife [at a time].

The practice of the veil among women should be abandoned.

The Protestants of England are strongly against the departure of the United Kingdom’s King to meet the Pope. […] The Bahá’í sect is establishing centres in Europe.

Among all this religious perplexity, we are doing whatever we can with our limited resources for the protection and propagation of Islam, just to win the pleasure of God.

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلۡ مِنَّا ؕ اِنَّکَ اَنۡتَ السَّمِيۡعُ الۡعَلِيۡمُ

[“Our Lord, accept this from us; for Thou art the All Hearing, the All Knowing.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.128)]


From 18 April [1923], Ramadan will start here. Hafiz Syed Mahmudullah Shah Sahib will recite the Holy Quran in the Ahmadiyya Mosque.

Abdur Rahim Nayyar.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 14 June 1923 issue of Al Fazl)

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here