Al Fazl, 17 January 1921
Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahibra, who was serving as a pioneering missionary in the USA at the time, sent the following letter to present to the audience of Jalsa Salana Qadian. It was read out on 28 December 1920.
From this article, one can learn a great deal about our responsibilities in this age and how earnestly we must strive for the service of Islam Ahmadiyyat, irrespective of whether we are missionaries or not. The likes of Hazrat Mufti Sahib, may Allah continue to elevate his status in Paradise, left no stone un-turned in practically manifesting their heart-felt passion for the service of the Promised Messiahas and Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. Not only that, but they did it in the most decent, pragmatic and effective manner.
We must ask ourselves: Are we following suit?
Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra (1872-1957), Companion of the Promised Messiahas and first Ahmadi Muslim missionary of USA
The sun never sets on the Khilafat of Mahmud
Dear brothers! Assalamo alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. I had a longing to live and stay in Qadian for the sake of Allah and His Messengersa, but presently, I am so far away from my friends and loved ones and children that if the sun is shining on you at this time, I am in the dark night, and if the night has spread its wings upon you, I am in the bright day.
Owing to the Promised Messiahas and through the blessings of this righteous Khilafat, the sun never sets on the tabligh of Islam in this age. When the missionaries of the East are in a state of rest, the missionaries of the West are engaged in tabligh and when the missionaries of the West have finished their works of the day, the missionaries of the East stand to deliver lectures.
This never-setting sun is announcing the truth of the Khilafat of Mahmud to the top of its voice. Think and reflect as to whose sun is shining from the West for the spread of the truth [of Islam]. Can this service to the religion of Islam be achieved by anyone without divine support?
Why am I out of Qadian?
I wanted to live and die in Qadian and I wished to be buried in the footsteps of the Promised Messiahas. I still long for it. Then the question arises: Why am I so far away from Qadian?
I never understood how anyone could stay away from Qadian. I used to warn and caution those who did not live in Qadian and thought that it might be their punishment. However, I am satisfied that I am out of Qadian for the sake of which I used to live in Qadian. All praise belongs to Allah that the practical interpretation of the following verse of the Holy Quran is manifesting through my life:
وَ قُلۡ رَّبِّ اَدۡخِلۡنِیۡ مُدۡخَلَ صِدۡقٍ وَّ اَخۡرِجۡنِیۡ مُخۡرَجَ صِدۡقٍ وَّ اجۡعَلۡ لِّیۡ مِنۡ لَّدُنۡکَ سُلۡطٰنًا نَّصِیۡرًا
[And say, “O my Lord, make my entry a good entry and then make me come forth with a good forthcoming. And grant me from Thyself a helping power.” (Surah Bani Israil, Ch.17: V.81)]
Accommodation in England
I spent a period of three years in England. All the good or average works that were performed during that time have been published in various reports so there is no need to repeat them. I beg before Allah the Almighty to accept the good deeds of that life and forgive the bad ones. Wa huwa Khairul-Muhsineen [And He rewards good deeds in the best possible way].
I have full confidence in the grace of God Almighty that the foundations of the London mission have become so strong that the work there will progress day by day and it will never see downfall, insha-Allah.
In the beginning, when I set off for London, I came across a time of great danger of war. My ship voyage was such that the sailors expressed a fear of sinking at every step of the way. Moreover, the life in London was such that every night, there was a danger of enemy planes dropping bombs.
However, as I look back on my three years in London now, I think that those days were spent in great comfort and solace. Much of this convenience was due to the valuable companionship of a noble and hardworking friend. Apart from the works of tabligh, Qazi Abdullah Sahib used to carry out all the household chores and make the necessary arrangements.
Moreover, since he had lived in England for some time before me, he was well experienced in all matters, which was helpful to me and I used to carry out meetings and engage in the work of writing or travelling without bothering about anything. I was so fearful of the cold in London that in winter, I would go to a city where it is less cold. It was easier for me to do that during Qazi Sahib’s companionship, as when I would be out of station, he would handle the work in London.
In addition, we had full freedom in London because we were citizens of the British Empire. At the time of my departure from England, a large number of friends had tears in their eyes due to parting from me and I still have their addresses and loving letters with me. Leaving England was the beginning of hardships for me.
To this day, nine months after I have left England, I still have not felt the comfort I had back there. I do not complain about this and I am happy in every situation. I am ready to lead any sort of life in this way. Several times, I have had near death experiences in this way and I am still willing to sacrifice my life at any stage, but as a friend of Sadiq once said, “Perhaps our blood is not so colourful that it be granted the honour of martyrdom.”
Zikr-e-Habib [recollection of beloved’s memories]
I only mention these things for the information of friends and to increase the knowledge of future missionaries; otherwise, comfort and hardships are apparently similar for us in this path:
اے محبت عجب آثار نمایاں کردی
زخم و مرہم بَرہِ يار تو يكساں کردی
[O love, how strange are your signs and wonders that you have left no difference between the remediation and the wounds afflicted in the way towards the beloved.]
What comfort and joy can I desire when the pleasures of the holy gatherings and noble companionship of the beloved Messiah are no longer for me? Who is more fortunate than me to have had the pleasant companionship of the Holy Messiah of God, who was surely the Prophet of God, Ahmadas of Muhammadsa.
I heard his charming words while travelling and staying with him, in the mosque and the bazaar, in the crowds and the wilderness and on the train and on the ground. I witnessed the charisma of his love. I can never forget the words of grace and kindness. At times he would say, “Mufti Sahib, come inside with me. I ordered a basket of mangoes for you.”
On other occasions, he would bring a spouted jug full of milk and give me a glass filled to the brim and say, “Drink this. I will pour some more.” Sometimes he would bring a tray of food in his blessed hands and place it in front of me, saying, “Start eating. I will bring some water from inside.”
At times he would call me inside [his house] and say, “I am writing an important essay. Please keep copying it as you have good handwriting.” While writing the essay, we would come to know that night had passed and the call to the Fajr prayer would be made.
Once, he said to my late mother, “A mother loves her son very much, but I am sure that Sadiq is much dearer to me than he is to you.” Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest)! What a pure example of good morals that is hard to find in humans. Surely, he was a prophet of God and divine morals manifested through his personage.
I was going to write about something else, but the charm of the recollection of the beloved’s memories led me off course. I only mentioned these accounts to express that after the holy companionship of the Promised Messiahas, I have no value for any worldly pleasure. Be it comfort or distress, the rest of the days [of my life] will pass.
I have expressed these incidents to enhance the experience and imagination of members of the Jamaat.
Journey to America
Travelling by ship is really hard for me and [it is all the more difficult] on days when there are strong gusts of wind. Coincidentally, I happened to board a ship that sailed from one port to another for some government needs and took so much time that what should have been a five-day voyage was completed in 19 days.
The winds were very strong and the unsteady movement of the ship caused dizziness, nausea, vomiting and many other problems. It was difficult to get out of bed for several days. The desire to eat anything had vanished in the first place.
However, I used to have whatever little food I could eat and that too while lying down. The second major problem was that the meat and all the meat products, i.e. soup etc. had to be avoided from the foods served in the ship because it was doubtful whether they were [halal or not].
Experiencing the said conditions and facing the hardships of the journey, this idea repeatedly came to my mind that we should have our own Ahmadiyya ship to take our missionaries to different countries.
Moreover, it would take Ahmadis from Bombay [now Mumbai] to Jeddah for Hajj and other passengers besides Ahmadis would also be accommodated as per its capacity. The ship must be large in size as it would help keep it steady. It should have all the accessories that are present in the ships made to date.
I put my trust in the blessings of Allah the Almighty that the day is not far when [we] will have such a ship.
Tabligh of Islam in America
40 men and women have converted to Islam since I boarded the ship from England. In addition, 10 Muslims have joined the rightful Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Those people who converted to Islam from Christianity, directly joined Ahmadiyyat. It is not that they are first converted to Islam and then asked to enter Ahmadiyyat at some other time.
Likewise, those who convert to Islam from Judaism, they directly join Ahmadiyyat and not that they are first converted to Christianity, then to Islam and then persuaded to join Ahmadiyyat.
The details of the most prominent new converts are as follows:
1. Mr Rachford [written as راخ فورڈ]: This gentleman met at the coast during my detention [at the Philadelphia port]. He converted to Islam after reading the book, [The Philosophy of] the Teachings of Islam. He was so absorbed in Islam that he decided to do his business in the city where I would carry out the work of tabligh to help me spread the message of Islam. Unfortunately, due to some legal complications, he was not allowed to enter the country. However, his letters are received on a regular basis and he still wishes to dedicate himself for the spread of Islam whenever the opportunity presents itself.
2. Mrs Sobolewski [or Sobolevski]: I gave her the Islamic name Fatima Mustafa to fulfill one of my dreams. This honorable lady presents weekly chanda out of her hard-earned money, as in this country, salaries are given on a weekly basis. She has memorised the complete Arabic wording of Salat and regularly offers five obligatory prayers. She has twice presented five dollars before Hazrat Khalifatul Masih[ra]. That sacrifice also contributed to the fulfillment of a dream of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud[ra]. This dear sister is sick. We request our friends to raise their hands right now and pray for her return to full health (Editor Al Fazl 1921: A prayer was carried out in the Jalsa). I hope that Allah the Almighty will listen to someone’s prayer and she will immediately get well. Huwa al-Shafi [He is the Best of Healers].
3. Mr James Sadiq: This young native of Russia has lived in this country for a long time. He works in a restaurant. Every day in his spare time, he carries out some work of religion. The management of the Sunday gathering is entrusted to him. He is keen on learning Arabic and Urdu so that he can study the books of the Promised Messiahas.
4. Madam Siddiqat-ul-Nisa: This honorable lady has memorised half of the Arabic wording of Salat. She has done all the decoration of that section of the house which has been rented for office work of the Jamaat with her own hands. Occasionally, she gives lectures in support of Islam.
5. Mr Moses Johnson: His Islamic name is Moses. This young man is in Baltimore city nowadays. He is very fond of doing tabligh. A person has converted to Islam by his tabligh efforts.
I will stop the special mention of new converts on number five, and present some quotes from various other friends:
1. Miss Wilston, who is under tabligh, says, “The most delightful thing for me in exchanging letters [with you] is that you are Sadiq [truthful] before that God, Who is the Giver of all things.”
2. Mrs Griffin of New York, who is also under tabligh, writes, “I am sad that I am deprived of your wonderful and useful lectures since you left New York. I have planned to go to India.”
3. Mr Louis Loir [written asلائر], whose Islamic name is Ahmad Mufti, writes, “I am currently thinking to pass on this nur [spiritual light] granted to me through you to my friends and attach them with me.”
4. Ibrahim Faith writes, “You were a shining star made of spiritual light and we are deeply saddened by your departure.”
There are a lot of other letters as well, but I think this should suffice for now.
Letters of friends from India
I will write below a few words from the very many letters of friends from India that make me happy every week and give me spiritual strength:
1. Maulvi Ghulam Akbar Khan Sahib of Hyderabad Deccan:
“All the time, heartfelt prayers come out for you on their own. At times, your memories turn into a kind of prayer.”
2. Maulvi Muhammad Amiruddin Sahib of Assam:
“We sincerely congratulate you on your resoluteness, perseverance and your blessed achievements. Well done; well done; well done!”
3. Mirza Kabiruddin Ahmed Sahib of Lucknow:
“This heavenly Adam will breathe life into the American people because Sadiq’s trumpet is no less in any way and it will surely prove revolutionary. We are only waiting for the order of Allah the Almighty. The call of the trumpet happens on time, so the first trumpet has been blown in which several people converted to Islam.”
4. Asadullah Khan Sahib of Kanpur:
“You did what was not possible in the time of Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Alira.”
5. Abdul Majeed Khan Sahib of Kapurthala:
“You deserve a place in Paradise as you are spreading the teachings of the second Adam [the Promised Messiahas] to the corners of the world.”
6. Maulvi Muhammad Usman Sahib Badni of Lucknow:
“The truth is that you have done such work as will be remembered in the pages of the history of Islam till the world ends.”
7. Babu Sheikh Fazal Ahmad Sahib of Nowshera:
“As you enjoy special blessings of Allah the Almighty, you should be much more grateful for them. I have written these words considering the special favours and significant distinction.”
8. Maulvi Muhammad Abdul Hameed Sahib of Deccan:
“Our hearts desire that the whole of America converts to Islam through your hands. Amin!”
9. Khan Bahadur Sheikh Muhammad Hussain Sahib (Pensioner):
“Congratulations to you that the seed of success in America is being sown by your hands.”
10. Syed Azizullah Shah Sahib of Raia:
“There is probably not a single Ahmadi who does not pray for you from the depth of their heart. My parents specially pray for you at all times and their prayers are full of love and compassion. May Allah accept [all the prayers].”
There are many more letters and some of them possess such highly regarded words of sincerity and love that I cannot even express them. I will now write a prayer that was made for some special needs. It might prove beneficial for someone and someone’s amin [asking Allah to accept the prayer] may become useful for me.
“O my Lord, You reward my good deeds, make up for my loss and solve my problems. O Lord of the heavenly armies, Lord of the skies and the earth and Lord of everything, forgive me, my Sattar (Coverer of flaws) and my Ghaffar (Most Forgiving); everything is in Your control and You are Omnipotent.
“You do whatever You wish and You can do whatever you want. Nobody can question Your authority and everyone is under Your rule. You are my Creator, my Master, You Forgive me, You are my Helper, You are extremely kind to me, I have trust in You, You are my pride, You are my glory, You are my power and You are my strength. I am a beggar at Your threshold and You are the One who fulfills every need. I am a beggar before You. You are my eyes.
“Please forgive us our sins and expunge our shortcomings. O Everlasting God, efface our bad deeds, wipe out our sinful actions, save us from every disgrace and humiliation and protect us from every sorrow and calamity. Suppress, annihilate and obliterate every strife that rises against us. Humiliate and destroy our enemies:
اِک کرشمہ اپنی قدرت کا دِکھا
تجھ کو سب قدرت ہے اے ربّ الوریٰ
“[Pray, show a sign of Your might; You are Almighty, O Lord of the worlds!]
“You were always Merciful and Gracious to me. You forgave me, pardoned me and covered my [sins]. You come to my aid on every occasion and in every field. O my Lord of the heavenly armies, come to help me again and take me in Your refuge. Yes, O Lord, take us all in Your refuge – me, my admirers, my friends, my associates, my helpers, those who pray for me, my family and children, my well-wishers and their families in [Your refuge]. Help us every situation, for there is no helper except you.
اللّٰھم ایّدنا بنصرک وھب لنا من لّدنک رحمۃ وحسن المآب۔ ربنا اغفرلنا ذنوبنا۔ انّک انت الغفور الرحیم۔ اللّٰھم یارب انّک انت السمیع الدعا۔ اللّٰھم امکرلنا ولاتمکرعلینا وانصرنا ولاتنصر علینا وانت خیرالناصرین۔ واھدنا ویسر الھدی لنا وانت خیرالمھدیین۔ برحمتک یا ارحم الراحمین۔
[O Allah help us with Your support and bestow on us mercy from Thyself and an excellent home. O our Lord, forgive us our sins. Surely, You are the One, Most Forgiving and Merciful. O Allah, my Lord, Thou art the Hearer of all prayers. O Allah, always plan in our favour and do not let anyone’s plan succeed against us; help us and do not help anyone against us. Surely, You the Best of Helpers. [O Allah] guide us and make it easy for us to achieve guidance. Surely, You are the Best of Guides. O Most Merciful, (bless us) with Your Mercy.]”
Apart from lectures and other tabligh activities, routine correspondence is such that the number of letters received in the month of May was around 200 and approximately 400 letters were sent.
In the month of June, around 300 letters were received and roughly 600 letters were sent. In the month of July, around 1,300 letters were received and nearly 1,900 letters were sent.
It is worth mentioning that India is in a state of peace and tranquility as compared to the number of crimes committed here on a daily basis. Not a single day goes by without the news of murder, bloodshed and theft being published in the newspapers.
Right in the middle of the market, girls are abducted and taken away on cars and no trace is found afterwards as to what happened [to them]. A bomb fell in New York in broad daylight and around 24 persons were killed. The banks are robbed openly. Looters break into the banks by force and snatch the money from employees.
You may have heard of other robberies, but you might not have heard of what happened in this country last month. An entire train was stolen. It was a freight train that was attacked by bandits in the middle of woodlands. They stopped the train and removed the guard and driver. They then drove the train themselves and stopped it in the woods a few miles away. The valuables were loaded into cars and taken away and the train was left there.
Hence, in comparison to the hostile incidents and accidents that take place over here, the people of India should be grateful to Allah the Almighty that they are in peace and comfort thanks to the British government.
I have a lot of work over here and need the help of as many friends as possible. I wish that some friends come to this country for trade or education.
At the end, I request all the friends that they pray to Allah the Almighty for my success in the works of tabligh and that He may grant me His holy approvals.
May all of my desires be for His sake and may He fulfill each and every one of them.
Wassalamo alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!
Humbly yours, Muhammad Sadiq, 10 November 1920. 4334 Ellis Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA
(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu)