100 Years Ago… – Muslim Afghan Minister praises Ahmadis for preaching Islam and annual report of London 


Al Fazl, 9 November 1922

Afghan Minister

Ahmadiyya Mission 1922

The report of the gathering held at the Ahmadiyya Mosque in London on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha and the activities carried out by holding a jalsa in addition to the Eid prayer was published on 18 August 1922 as an appendix in a foreign newspaper, “Hind”. For the information of the readers, it is given below:

A large gathering of Muslims from all parts of the world, i.e. India, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, Arabia, Palestine, South Africa, Riff [Morocco] etc., was held in Putney to perform the Eid prayer. After the Eid prayer, all the attendees were given refreshments. In the latter part of the day, a meeting was organised under the chairmanship of Professor HM Leon, in which, the imam of the Ahmadiyya London Mosque (Maulvi Mubarak Ali Sahib BA) first presented the annual report of the mission. After that, Mr Chaudhry Maula Bakhsh Janjua Sahib (Oxon), barrister-at-law, IDSM, gave a very interesting and scholarly speech on ‘Islam and Socialism’. He explained a difficult subject in a very eloquent manner that greatly impressed the audience. He tried to prove the compatibility of Islam and various aspects of socialism. This is one of the most difficult questions faced in the present time and it was explained in the light of (Islam), one of the world’s major global religions.

His Excellency, the Afghan Minister on Ahmadiyyat

Professor Leon [Abdullah Quilliam], Mr WH Owen and other speakers highly praised the works of the missionaries, (Imam Maulvi Mubarak Ali BT and S Azizuddin). 

His Excellency, the Afghan Minister, Sardar Abdul Hadi made some strong and impactful remarks in his speech. He said, “Whether you accept the claims of Ahmad[as] of Qadian or not, you cannot ignore the great services that his followers are doing for Islam in the remote corners of the world, carrying the torch of religion. I am a great admirer of the works of the Ahmadi missionaries and I am very happy that a gathering of Muslims from all walks of life has been arranged here.” He concluded his speech by saying that “Although religion deserves full attention in this age, at the same time, a Muslim cannot ignore the political circumstances that are being faced by the Islamic empires.”

Annual report by the imam of the Ahmadiyya Mosque

Mr Mubarak Ali delivered the following speech:

Aims of the Ahmadiyya Western Mission

“Mr President, Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen!

“The objectives of our mission are to remove the prejudice that is spread against Islam and to convey the message of Islam to the people of the West. It is an indisputable fact that the grip of Christianity has loosened on a large part of the population. Instead, materialism reigns supreme in the West. Consequently, the Western people have been overshadowed by evil and destruction and through it, disorder and corruption have spread in society. These circumstances are heralding a disastrous revolution. The development of science and rationality is demanding a religion in this age that supports and affirms the existence of God on the one hand, and on the other, it can completely adapt to the scientific developments of the age. Islam, which is the most recent of the major historical religions of the world, presents an unambiguous yet grand concept of the attributes of Allah. Being a practical example of human brotherhood, and showing recognition and reverence for all the founders of the true religions and their fundamental principles, this is the only religion that is appropriate for the times. Therefore, it is the duty of a Muslim to invite to Islam all those people with whom they meet and develop a relationship.

“The second purpose of establishing this mission in this country is to take care of the young students who have come to this country for the purpose of education and to arrange their accommodation and admission to universities. They should also be adequately supported through various other sources.

Origin of the Ahmadiyya Mission London

“This mission was started in 1914 by our worthy brother Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sahib Sayal MA under the instructions and desire of the current Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II[ra]. After that, the formation of the small Ahmadiyya community in this country demanded that there be a mosque of the mission and a residence for the missionaries. Therefore, the present house and the adjoining vast land were bought in 1920 for the purpose of building a mosque. The former mission office, which was located on Star Street was moved here in January 1921. The ‘Oriental House’ was launched last year to finance the London Mission, which supplies Indian-made goods for trade in England and other European countries.

Assistants of Ahmadi missionaries

“The gentlemen who have consistently graced our lecture programme are the following honourable friends:

1. Professor HM Leon MA, LLD 

2. Mr Khalid Sheldrake 

3. Mr LB Augusto (West Africa) 

4. Mr AJ Tongue 

“Our mission is sincerely grateful for their continued keen interest.”

Preaching means

“Along with numerous publications of announcements and small magazines, other articles related to the Jamaat were also published. Hence, the monthly magazine The Review of Religions, the quarterly magazine The Moslem Sunrise, the English translation of the Holy Quran, and the books [The Philosophy of the] Teachings of Islam, etc., were delivered to the places [and people] where it was thought that they would be studied with due consideration. It will also be of interest to you that our missionary work is being done largely through correspondence. This year, more or less 2353 letters were sent by our office to different people, which contained some very interesting religious discussions and answers. For example, “What is the Need for Religion?” and many other similar articles, etc.

Work of Sheikh Azizuddin Sahib

“Very soon, another missionary is coming [to London]. We hope that after his arrival, I will be able to retire from local work for some time and devote more of my time to preaching the cause of the mission in the environs of the country and in the important centres of the continent.

“In this year, my friend Sheikh Azizuddin Sahib, notwithstanding the engagements of his respective business, lectured before a considerable number of attendees at several places, i.e. Dublin, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, Knighton, Sheffield, Derby, etc., and in many other cities as well. These lectures do not include the speeches and debates in which he has participated with me twice a week at Hyde Park, Ahmadiyya London Mosque in Putney, Southsea, Portsmouth, Princetown and other important centres.

Facing difficulties in the West

“The lack of knowledge of the people of the West and the general prejudice against Islam in their hearts is not at all discouraging to us. Rather, we will double our efforts and our intensities in order to cope with the task that lies before us. We believe that this unprecedented world of miseries and misfortunes, through which the present human race is passing, is the harbinger of the dawning of a new age, and its spiritual foundation has been laid by Islam and the spiritual teacher of this age has shed light on it.

Our faith is based on these things: 

1. The world is lacking in spirituality. 

2. It is the eternal law of God that whenever there is a scarcity of spirituality of this kind, it is removed by the breeze of spirituality that blows in the world after the arrival of the Messenger of Allah.

Prophet of the present age

“Now and then, God Almighty has sent His messengers. He has been sending His revelations upon them to fulfill the spiritual need that the world is in dire need of today.

“At present, there is a prophet before us if only we open our eyes to see him. Look at the divine light of Ahmadas of Qadian. Thus far, hundreds of his prophecies have already been fulfilled, and we have no doubt that his prophecies about the glorious future of Islam will surely be fulfilled as well.”

[The purpose of the following is not to highlight any supposed ‘virtues’ of the 19th-century movement, the defects of which have been underlined by the Ahmadiyya caliphs on various occasions. Rather, it is merely a historical account of the personal views of Chaudhry Maula Bakhsh Janjua about how some aspects of socialism may become compatible when infused with the spirit of Islam. — Editor Al Hakam]

Islam and socialism

State of the world

Chaudhry Maula Bakhsh Sahib Janjua, barrister-at-law, said: 

“Today, the world is shifting into a new dimension. Not even the wisest of people can predict what will be the outcome of the current situation.

“Since the Great War of 1914, nations, empires and superpowers have crumbled like the house of cards. In place of them, new kingdoms sprang up like mushrooms growing in the darkness of the night. The world is flailing like a blind person and is struggling to create a new system. Many different kinds of movements are being established and they are striking every rational person. We observe that socialism has taken the path of extremism in the form of Bolshevism. It is the duty of all religions to help their followers solve these social disorders, as we are witnessing the effect of socialism in our surroundings. Thus, my aim today is to express what is the Islamic point of view regarding these very important and necessary questions.

Was there socialism before the Holy Prophetsa?

First [Chaudhry Maula Bakhsh Sahib Janjua] defined socialism and then explained its relationship with Islam in detail. He then said: 

“To assess the impact of Islam or socialism we must first see whether such movements were present before the arrival of the Holy Prophetsa or not. We know that a few states were definitely trying to implement the democratic form of government, but they did not know the true socialism. In Arabia, the most barbarous system of government prevailed. Taking personal revenge was the common law of that time. Drinking, adultery and marrying countless women were common practices there. The slaves were considered property. Everywhere, there were unfathomable sins. This was the state that cried out in unison for a saviour. Thus, a saviour was sent by the Most Merciful God and he was none other than the Prophet Muhammadsa who appeared with this message of Allah the Almighty that, ‘Humanity has complete superiority over nationality.’”

He [Chaudhry Maula Bakhsh Sahib Janjua] explained in detail as to what the mission of the Holy Prophetsa was. He expressed that it was essential for a living religion to be able to answer the most important and necessary questions of the time. Then he presented the general teachings of Islam and also mentioned in its light as to what effects were produced in the Islamic professors with respect to the judicial, political, strategic and economic state.

Religious socialism

While discussing the religious civilization, he said, “The greatest socialist of the world (Muhammadsa) ultimately gave hope to all mankind of salvation.”

Political socialism

Finally, while discussing the Prophet’s successors and electoral method, he clarified the relationship between the rulers and the subjects. He said, “The noise we are hearing today about the difference in status between the poor and the rich, there was no sign of it in Islam.”

Judicial socialism

He explained the law of inheritance. He shed light on the policy of the Holy Prophetsa in detail and said, “The prohibition of usury encourages the spirit of hard work and commerce. It puts an end to those Shylocks who are destroying the very foundations of socialism of our time.”

Modern inventions

After discussing the progress of Islam, he referred to the failures of the present socialist movements and said, “This is the age of knowledge and science. Science has invented countless devices. Science has given us aeroplanes, and submarines and opened many deadly avenues. This is the age of materialism.”

He then said, “Genuine socialism cannot be expected from such nations that shed the blood of mankind like water.” He said, “The community of Islam is also not free from the stain of materialism to some extent. However, this is not the fault of Islam. The later generations are responsible for this. On the other hand, Islam has many signs of true socialism as preached by the Holy Prophetsa.”

While explaining these signs, he said, “socialism can only be achieved if the individual character is uplifted and purified. This character can only be developed by true religion.”

Islam can cure the present suffering

“Europe is apparently not capable of providing this efficient religious power and it was never present in them, but the question is where this power can be found. Islam is the only religion that can fulfill this need in its pure and original form. The Holy Prophetsa was sent to all mankind, then why does Europe not extend its hand to accept the Islamic beliefs.

“Before concluding my speech, I would like to point out to my friends that the Holy Prophetsa had openly predicted that a Messiah would appear at an appointed time to revive and strengthen Islam. Now there is no doubt that the Promised Prophet has been sent with the name, power and spirit of the Messiah of Nazareth. His name is Ahmadas of Qadian. He was born in 1835. He was a constant phenomenon and a manifestation of God’s power and glory from the time of his birth until his death. It is through him that I have mustered the strength to show that only Islam is the cure for Europe’s social disorders, as it is standing on the right foundations.”

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 9 November 1922 issue of Al Fazl)

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