100 Years Ago… – Missionaries of Islam in St Louis, Auckland and Huntington


The Moslem Sunrise, October 1923

Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Dinra (1881-1983)
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Joey Csunyo| Unsplash

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In the language of a writer of popular songs, Ahmad Din is the kind of a Sheik who does his sheiking [i.e., holding lectures and sermons] once a week. Not before a movie camera, but before a devout group of [African Americans], Turks, and a sprinkling of whites, who gather at Sheik Ahmad Dins’ Moslem Mission at 2658 Olive Street on Sunday nights to hear him preach the doctrine of “Alhamdolillah Rabbil ‘Alamen,” or “All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.”

The Sheik explained to a Post-Dispatch reporter after the services that Friday is the regular day of worship for Moslems, this being the birthday of Adam, or “adum,” who was the first prophet, not the first man as many believe, he said.

“No color line in Islam”

“There is no color line in Islam, all are brothers in the sight of Allah. Our requirements are few. We keep in communion with God, hold one month’s fast during the year – during this time we eat at night instead of in the day – join the Holy Annual Assembly at Mecca at least once in our lifetime, and say five prayers a day – the Fajr in the morning, the Zuhr in the afternoon, the Asr later in the afternoon, the Maghrib at sunset and the Isha at bedtime.

“When we get well established here, the meetings will be held on Friday. Then we’ll go through the regular Salat. I have one hundred converts to the faith in St. Louis, and I’ve been here six months. I hope soon to have the necessary facilities to perform wuzu [ablution] before our Salat.

“There is but one and the same God of all ages, all countries and all nations; who through His grace and mercy sends the prophets, sacred guides and holy reformers. Such were Zoroaster of Persia, Confucius of China, Jesus of Palestine and the Master-Prophet Mohammed of Arabia [peace be on them].

“But we must not worship any of them. Worship God alone. Christ is worshiped by many as the son of God. He is but a prophet. He did not die on the cross. He was taken down from it, revived, and carried to the little town of Sirinager, [Kashmir], a shelter for refugee Jews, south Afghanistan on the River Indus. Here he lived, and died full of days, at the age of 130 years. His tomb is visited by thousands.”

“In a pamphlet published by Moslem Society, the [African Americans] are told that Christianity is a failure and cannot bring true brotherhood to the nations. ‘So now leave it alone,’ it says, ‘and join Islam, the real faith of Universal Brotherhood.’”

Condolence on Mr Harding’s death

Letters of condolence were sent to the widow of the late President Harding and the new President, Mr Coolidge, who duly acknowledged. We give here the letters and the reply:

The Ahmadia Mosque, 4448 Wabash Ave., Chicago, Ill., 10 August 1923.

Dear Madam,

The loss of your beloved husband is indeed a keen and poignant grief for you, but you can find this consolation that the one whom you mourn was the darling of the whole world, since there is no nation that is not sympathizing with your nation in their bereavement. Your loss is shared by all the world. Yet the One who has called him is dearer than all, hence I would ask you to look to Him the Giver of life and the Taker of it, for He does not do anything in vain. His ways are inscrutable indeed, yet there is Mercy everywhere. I as a representative of the Ahmadia Moslems of America on behalf of my community convey to you the sincerest condolences of all and pray to God that He may give you fortitude and patience and may He be your comfort and consolation in your hour of sad bereavement.

I beg to remain, dear madam, your most obedient servant.

Muhammad Din,

Muslim Missionary.

Letter to President

Dear Mr President,

Through the inscrutable will of God, the mantle of presidency has fallen upon your shoulders. It is a great office and a high honour, hence I on behalf of the Ahmadia Moslems of America, the majority of whom are American subjects, congratulate you on the assumption of this office and I pray to God that He guide you aright in the discharge of its onerous duties.

That you were the right hand man and a trusted friend of WG Harding, whose sad demise the whole world is mourning, I deem it proper to express my deep sympathy with you and with Mrs Harding through you, whose loss, I am sure you feel no less keenly than any. I close it with the prayer that Allah may direct you in the path of rectitude.

I beg to remain, dear Mr President, your most obedient servant.

Muhammad Din, Muslim Missionary.


The White House, Washington, 13 August 1923.

Mr Muhammad Din, The Muslim Sunrise, 4448 Wabash Ave., Chicago, Ill.

My dear Mr Din,

The President has received your kind letter, and has asked me to express to you his sincere appreciation.

Such a message is a source of both encouragement and help at this time, and only the urgent press of other matters prevents a personal acknowledgement.

Very truly yours,

ET Clark,


Notice to subscribers

With this number, the second volume of Moslem Sunrise is complete, and with the January issue will begin the third volume. Subscribers who have not already cleared their arrears must pay up all the monies due from them and the subscription for the third volume should be sent in advance. We intend to turn the quarterly into a monthly journal. If by the end of December 1923, we can secure a fairly good number of subscribers, or we are assured of it, then the January 1924 number will be the first of the monthly edition. If not, it will, as usual, be the first of the quarterly issue. Will our readers and patrons help us in this direction? The monthly rates, we hope, would vary very little from the present rates. Anyway, we will see to it that no undue burden is imposed. Final announcement in this behalf we shall make with the January issue. But we assure our subscribers that the increase, if any, will amount only to a fraction of the present rates. All correspondence and remittance should be addressed to:

The Manager, Moslem Sunrise, 4448 South Wabash Ave., Chicago, Ill., USA.

The Review of Religions

The only magazine of its kind published in India every month dealing with important religious questions, offering a fair and impartial review of the prominent religions of the world and removing misunderstandings about Islam. Subscription, $2 per annum; for sample copy write to the Manager, [The] Review of Religions, Qadian, Punjab, British India.

The Muslim

A monthly magazine in English to uphold and maintain the honour of Islam. It publishes articles on the message of the Quran, and the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad[sa], and boldly refutes all calumnies against Islam. It attempts to give a clearer idea of God and religion generally. Annual subscription, post free, $4 (foreign 10 shillings). Apply to the honourary secretary Aujuman-e-Islam, No. 52, Kerban Road, Singapore.

Opinion by Mr Wilcox of Love Mission

Muhammad was a great sensitive medium who got his message from the spiritual world. He was a wonderful man and one of the greatest benefactors of humanity. He had absolute faith in the Unity of God and the brotherhood of man. He was a man of great ability and capacity and he won the hearts of men by his true and deep sympathy for mankind at large. […] He left his mark on the page of history by establishing the great commonwealth of Islam. – Mr Wilcox of the Church of Love Mission, Chicago. […]

New converts

Indianapolis: Miss Laura B Howard, Aaminah; Miss May Lee Curtis, Azeezah; Miss Ado Streffer, Amatulghani; Miss Bettie Saunders, Amatur Rehman; Miss Lillian Hall, Amatur Rehman; Miss Cauders Williams, Amatul Muqsit; Miss Virginia Jackson, Mughni; and Mrs. Anna James, Amatul Muhyee.

Buffalo: Miss May Hasan, Ameenah.

Ross: Mrs Rossenna Forhat, Wardy.

Trinidad: Mr AES Mondizie, Shaikh Mohammad Ibraheem.

Illinois: Mrs Sarah Daniels, Bushra; Mr Cleveland Gober, Azhar; Mr Edward Berry, Bilaal; Mr William Johnson, Mobashir; Mr Charles Zachaway, Omar; Mr Washington Branch, Noor Ahmad; Mrs Meggie Bell, Siddiqa; Mr Henry Peory, Noor; Mrs Mary L Bell, Mariam; Mr Joe Davis, Dana; Mr Guss Reed, Raza; Mr Will Washington, Ahmad; Mrs Mary A Washington, Madia; Mr Samuel Lanier, Abdul Momin; Master Sammel D Lanier, Abdullah; Mr Joe Williams, Yusuf; Mr Frank Edwards, Fazal; Mr David J Logan, Daood; Mr Robert Riley Gaston, Abdullah; Miss Mary Tucker, Mariam; Mr Robert Campbell, Ibraheem; Mr JL Logan, Abdur Rahman; Miss Tessona Terrier, Saleema; Mr William S Hopkins, Soleiman; Mr Atlas Terrier, Lateef; Mr William, Robinson; Mohibbur Rehman; Mr Augustus Dacus, Mubarik; Mr James Justus, Yacoob; Mr Homer McQuire, Abdul Mannan; Mr Cowasjee Karachi, Karam Ilahee; Mr Peter Jones, Jan Muhammad; Mr James H Brown, Hajee; Mr Robert Conty, Rehmatullah; Mr Thomas, Abdullah; Mr Emley Stanton, Aamil; Mrs Jewel el-Ammeh, Amatullah; Miss Lena Dotson, Ameenah; Mr Sylvester Stanton, Saleem; Mr Huston Chamblee, Mukhlis; Mr Henri R Francois, Abdul Haq; Master Francis, Abdullah; Mrs Amelia Francois, Ayesha; and Margarette M Francois, Omama.

Ohio: Rev. B Jackson, Junaid; Mr Davis, Dabeer; Mr Milton Looke, Lall; Mr John Adkin Hill, Hameed; Mr Edward Rodgers, Rehmat; Mr CR Parker, Payinda; Mr BN Poket, Pnaah; Mr Elijah Aiken, Aleem; Mr William Brewer, Behram; Mr Marrell Payne, Murad; Mr Cato Clark, Karamat; Mr Bosken, Bakhsee; Mr W. MH, Hammaad; Mr Green Thomas, Tameem; Mr Marshall Cook, Qaim; Mr Sules Michel, Mukhlis; Mr Walter B Laires, Lateef; Mr J Hall, Haamid; Mr J Johnson, Yehya; Mr J Leo Marsl, Mateen; Mr Henry H Hill, Hameed; Mr Win Williams, Waly; Mr William J Malley, Mufeed; Mr Daniel Malley, Danial; and Mr William Coleman, Ghulam Ahmad.

Pennsylvania: Miss Sophia Zasky, Kareema; Mr Melvin Hofmann, Shareef; and Miss Delfina Segoviano, Saleema Saleeman.

Missouri: Mr William Gassoway, Khaleel; Miss Jessia Perkins, Saeeda; Charlie Wong Hing, Hasan; Mr Charlie Jones, Jaalib; and Mr Joseph William Reynoud, Wali Muhammad.

Iowa: Miss Mary Allick, Mariam.

Minnesota: Mr Hyde, Alee Haider; Mrs Nellie E Bernard, Nimat; Mr Paul Jordan, Peer; and Mr WR Lauder, Rehman.

Michigan: Rev. RD Sutton, Rasool; and Mr James Warfield, Ishaaq.

Honduras: Mr RD Meggs, Sadiq Ahmad.

West Virginia: Miss Golda Boraby, Zahabee; Miss Lula Hymore, Looloo; Miss Sallie McCoy, Laeqah; Miss Lula Duty, Laila; Mr JD Gibson MD, Muhammad; Mrs Annie Ackison Shaheen, Sajida; and Miss America Cowford, Aalia.

Kentucky: Mrs Smiley, Ayesha.

The following Moslems have joined the Ahmadia Movement:

Guialudin Piang of Philippines.

Hassan bin Hajee Fadhell of Java.

Mr WM Mansoor.


“Dr Mufti Sadiq, Native of India, Tells of Faith”

“Ashland today entertains a Moslem missionary, a man seeking converts for the faith of Mohammed[sa], a man doing in this country a similar task to the men and women America sends to Africa, India and Burma, a learned man who is the head of the Moslem faith in the United States.

“As he walks about the streets of this city, attention is attracted by the bright green turban adorning his head, his heavy grey beard and his general demeanor.

“A passerby nudges his companion, whispering, ‘Who is that man?’ The answer that he is a Mohammedan missionary increases instead of satisfies natural curiosity.

“‘A Mohammedan missionary? Why, what is he doing here?’ These questions are not unexpected as the friend explains that the man is in Ashland to convert men and women to the Moslem faith. Perplexity grows as the passerby remembers that only a few Sundays ago, he made a contribution in his church to send a missionary to Arabia, the home of the Mohammedans.

Who, what, why, etc.?

“Surely, there is something unexplained, is his natural thought, as he puzzles over the situation.

“But the answer to his unspoken question lies in his own mind. What is so puzzling about Americans sending missionaries to foreign lands to secure converts for Christianity? In the same vein, is it not natural for Mohammedans to attempt to secure converts for their religion? Theirs would not be a religion without faith among its members, and its millions of followers in India, Arabia, Africa and numerous other countries attest to their faith.

Here three years

“Dr Sadiq has been in the United States for three years, and spent the same length of time in England before coming to this country. His stay in these two countries is apparent after a moment’s conversation with him. He speaks English fluently his oriental accent being noticeable only on certain words.

“Dr Sadiq is a careful student of government and seems enlightened with conditions in many countries of the world. His home is in Qadian, Punjab, India. During his conversation yesterday, he spoke of the great passive resistance to British government movement and said that he believed it would have no wide effect as the English are permitting home rule in India as rapidly as possible.

“The missionary will be in Ashland for a few days more and then will go to Williamson, W. Va., to visit Mohammedans in that mining center. He is touring the central states at present and says that he is being accorded a wonderful reception in every city.

“Dr Sadiq spoke of the broad-mindedness of the American people relative to religion and said this characteristic was much more noticeable here than in England. He said that in the United States, the citizens were willing to listen to his or any preacher’s remarks and to accept or not as their minds dictated.

“‘Seven hundred citizens of this country have become converts of my faith,’ said the missionary. ‘There are about a million Mohammedans in the United States, with the majority of them in the eastern states. I go out and visit their largest cities about twice a year and in that way, I keep in touch with them continually.’

“In addition to his travels about the country, Dr Sadiq conducts regular services when he is in Chicago. The Ahmadia movement has bought a house in Chicago and converted it into a church. The Mohammedans call it a mosque, and to make it more realistic of their life in their native countries, they have built a large dome on the top of the house, enabling it to serve as a minaret for them. Mohammedans observe Friday as their Sabbath. On this day, the call for prayer is heard from the minaret, and the Moslems gather in their mosques for two hours of prayer.

Basic tenants

“They believe that [Jesusas] Christ was a wonderful prophet, but do not believe that he was the son of God, nor that he was divine, nor that he died on the cross. They believe that he was a prophet, and according to their belief, no prophet dies on the cross.

“They believe in God as the Divine Being, but they do not believe in the trinity, their faith in this regard approaches somewhat the views of the Unitarians of this country. They believe that Christ, Confucius, Moses, Buddha, David, Abraham, and Zoroaster were great prophets, but that Mohammed[sa] of Arabia was the greatest Master-Prophet of all.

“They read and study the Christian Bible, but obtain their religious faith from the Koran and the laws laid down by Mohammed[sa].

“The Moslem faith, too, has its movements, as does Christianity, but the Ahmadia movement, which Dr Sadiq represents, is the only one which sends out missionaries to foreign lands. This movement was started by the prophet Ahmad[as] of India.” (Ashland Daily Independent, Kentucky, by Vernon C Bailey)

The Sunday Advertiser, Huntington, West Virginia

“Mufti Muhammed Sadiq, a Moslem missioner of the Ahmadia movement and lecturer on Islam and Oriental subjects, arrived in Huntington [on] Saturday and will deliver several lectures in this city during the coming week. In view of the fact that there is so little information available at first hand on the religion generally referred to as Mohammedanism it is expected that his lectures will be attended by many Huntington people.

“Sadiq is the editor of the ‘Moslem Sunrise,’ a paper published in the interests of the religion he represents, and he has six degrees. Among his degrees, he has the degree Doctor of Divinity from St. Louis and a Doctor of Literature from the University of Chicago.

“In an interview with an Advertiser reporter [on] Saturday, he stated that the name of his religion was Islam and not Mohammedanism as it is called by writers on this continent and the continent of Europe. ‘We follow Muhammed[sa],’ he said, ‘but he was not God, nor the son of God, just a man like ourselves and a prophet of God. You ask why we should ascribe ourselves to a man. Muhammed[sa] was the greatest of all teachers. He gave us a complete law and a complete religion.

“‘Our sacred book is the “Quran.” It should not be spelled with a capital “K” as it is commonly spelled in this country,’ he continued.

“When asked if the followers of Islam believed in Christ, he replied that they did. ‘We believe in Jesus Christ and a prophet, and in one of the teachings of Christianity that has been attached by some Christians, we believe in His virgin birth. We also believe in his miracles, but we do not believe that He was God or the son of God.’

“Upon being questioned about the origin and meaning of the word Islam, the name he gives to his religion, he said that it meant ‘resignation of our will to God.’ ‘According to Islam,’ he continued, ‘we have to say five prayers daily, fast for one month every year, give two per cent of our income to charity once a year and make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in our life.’ These are the main precepts of the religion, according to Sadiq.

“In reply to the quest as to whether or not he thought that Islam had any superiorities to other religions, he said, ‘Yes, because Islam is a progressive religion. Every century sees an inspired reformer in my religion. The prophet of this century is prophet Ahmad[as] of India, the founder of the Ahmadia movement.’

“Sadiq stated that in the three years that he has spent in this country he has converted 700 people to his faith. He has a Moslem church which he calls a mosque, in Chicago, at 4448 Wabash Avenue which he said was his headquarters at the present time. It is here that he publishes his papers, the ‘Moslem Sunrise.’ His visit to Huntington will be short, as he says that he must hurry back to his paper and church, but that while here he would be glad to give anyone an interview who is interested either in his religion or in the Orient. He is staying in Huntington at 1955 Eighth Avenue.

“The dates of his addresses will be announced later.”

(Transcribed and edited by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Moslem Sunrise, October 1923)

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