The Moslem Sunrise, October 1923
By Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Dinra (1881-1983)
Islam: Solution for African Americans
My dear [African] Americans!
As-salaam-o-alaikum – Peace be with you and the mercy of Allah.
The Christian profiteers brought you out of your native lands of Africa, and in Christianising you, made you forget the religion and language of your forefathers – which were Islam and Arabic. You have experienced Christianity for so many years, and it has proved to be no good. It is a failure. Christianity cannot bring real brotherhood to man, especially to a fallen and downtrodden nation.
So, now leave it alone. Join Islam, the real faith of universal brotherhood, which at once does away with all distinctions of race, color, and creed. The Holy Quran is the true book of God. You need a religion that teaches manliness, self-reliance, self-respect, and self-effort. Islam does not teach you vicarious sacrifice, nor does it teach you that all human nature is corrupt and thus makes you suffer needlessly. Islam frees you from all sorts of debasing associations and idolatry. Muhammad[sa] does not tell you not to live a full life here in this world. He tells you the world is good; therefore, you must make the most of it. Islam does not say sell all you have; it says get all the good you can out of this life and make it a good start for the life to come, for our future is to be shaped by our present. It is not a bad world we live in. Moreover, you can be good Muslims in America as well as in Asia, Europe, and Africa. Join Islam in the Ahmadia Movement founded by Ahmad[as] of India, the Prophet of the day, and be blessed. For further particulars, address all communications to the undersigned.
4448 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Tu Quoque (Logical Fallacy)
Reviewing the book, “Spirit of Islam” by Syed Amir Ali, the “Moslem World” for July 1923 says that the author has made some disparaging remarks on Christianity that ill-fitted a man who had received his education as well as his titles from Christian people.
The reviewer forgets that his own co-religionists owe most of what they have to others, and yet they are not ashamed to launch the vilest abuse against their former teachers. “In writing the best that can be said of Mohammed and Islam, it ought not to have been necessary to take such a hostile attitude against Christianity,” says the reviewer, and it is a nice bit of advice, but it is Christianity that started the ball rolling and the others had to take it up in self-defence. And yet we think a Christian should be the last man to come forward with this olive branch, for was it, not Jesus [according to Gospel] who started this campaign of invective by calling his opponents vipers, or sons of vipers, a wicked generation, an evil generation and so forth? Was it not Jesus who said [in a gospel], “All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers?”
It is Islam that tells us that we should believe, respect, and revere the memory of all the teachers. It is Islam that tells us that we should not say aught in offense even against false deities, lest their adorers, in pique as well as ignorance, revile the one True God. It is Islam that teaches us that our discussions with the People of Book should be in the best of spirits. But there are instances where Islam does not teach us the turning of the left cheek to be slapped without returning the blow. So, therefore, let the reviewer hold his own [horses] and then plead for fair criticism.
Mrs Sadiqah Sadiq: $10; Mrs Abdul Hakim (August): $6; Sister Fatima (Mrs Russel): $5; Mrs Abraham Holasi: $10; Sister Saeeda (Mrs Omar): $2; Miss Romeesa Rahman: $2; Mrs Andrew Jacob: $2; Mrs Thomas F Glem (Abdul Karim): $5; Muhammady: $5; Mrs Essac Bairam: $5; Mrs Thelma McGaughey: $1; Mrs Restum of Cleveland: $5; Mrs EM Ensoof of Tela: $5; Mrs Mary McGaughey: $1; Mrs Charley Harrel (Fauzy): $4; Mrs Isom Harrells (Majeed): $5; Mrs GF Crawley (Aldus Samee): $5; Sister Saleema: $5; Mrs Melvin McGaughey: $1; Mrs Montrose McGaughey: $1; Mrs Adam Jackson: $1; Brother Abdur Raheem: $2; Unknown: $1
Appreciation of Dr Sadiq’s work in America
Dr Sadiq is shortly to leave America for home after three years’ work in this country as a Muslim missionary and seven years’ continued absence from home, the first four of which he spent in England. That within these three years’ space, he has been able to secure more than seven hundred new converts to Islam from among the ranks of American Christians speaks for itself, in spite of the fact that he has had to work under circumstances unusual for a pioneer in such a work. However, his work is done, and done well. Glory be to God, who enabled him to accomplish all this within a short space of three years. Indeed, it is God’s work, and it will certainly come about. Below we give a few of the excerpts appreciative of his work:
“I did so hope that the letter sent to His Holiness, Khalifa-tul-Masih II[ra], by Moslem members of the Ahmadia Movement in Chicago, requesting that you be permitted to remain with us indefinitely, would have received more consideration and that you would have been instructed to remain at least for another year; but, no doubt, His Holiness knows best […] and has other and perhaps greater work in sight for you. I will console myself with the belief that we will meet in person one of these days; if not here on earth, then on some other plane of life in the great beyond.” – Mr JL Mott of New Orleans
“To Dr Sadiq belongs […] praise, because he has shown the world that Islam is not a dead but very much alive religion. The Moslem Sunrise enlightens the public about the Turks and Arabs and proves that we have been misinformed about them. The Turks are cultured, and the Arabs are not fanatical; in fact, everybody knows that culture comes from the East. The Ahmadia Movement, which has abolished the irrational doctrine of the Jehad, is bound to bring Islam into all parts of the world hitherto untouched by it. May it be the same comfort to others as it has been to me.” – Achmet Anderson of New York City
“You have done splendid work in America in enlightening us Americans to the lofty principles of Islam and the new interpretation of it through the Ahmadia Movement. You certainly did a splendid service to your cause in establishing a mission and Mosque, and your tireless speaking everywhere in your convincing style added by your intimate knowledge.” – Samuel Robert Shapiro of Chicago, Illinois
“While we are sincerely sorry to learn that you are about to set sail for your native land, let us believe God’s will is being done in thyne guidance. We wish to send our best wishes for a safe journey, a hearty welcome to you from your people upon your safe arrival, and may there be many more useful years of your valuable service from you to other people, be that service rendered in America, India or wherever the Lord wills.
“God be praised for your great work in our beloved America, and may the new successor find his way into the hearts of these Americans as you have done. While we feel that no one else can come over here and become as well beloved as you have, my dear Dr Sadiq, you will be missed by thousands who have become attracted to you and your good work. […] We believe you are the most beloved missionary of God that has ever visited our beloved America. Yes, our system, mode of living and beliefs in general may differ from those of your beloved country, but our hearts are in harmonious accord with you and greater now for your country and people. You have performed wonderful work in bringing the Far East nearer to the Far West. May we all become one nation in one accord and one love for each other and for the One God whom you so faithfully serve. Earnest prayers shall ever be sent up for our dear Dr Sadiq, and India.” – Mr and Mrs Alberto of Tampa, Florida
“It is with deep regret that we learn of your departure from our country. You have worked hard and accomplished much during your short time here. I believe you have had many difficulties to encounter, and you have worked quietly on and your good work will still remain when you are far away. Personally, I appreciate your kind prayers, and I believe they are and have been a great benefit to me and my home. I hope and trust God will give you health and strength to continue spreading your good work and influence for many years to come. May you, and yours always, enjoy the blessings God bestows upon you.” – Mrs Zelma Mai Zaher
“May the success you have enjoyed in America follow you wherever you may go. […] It is my fervent hope that out of the small beginnings may spring things greater and nobler than this country has ever seen. This country is a very fertile soil for the seeds of truth, and may Allah grant that they bring forth a bounteous harvest. […] The great work you have done in this country is deserving of the highest praise, and every true Moslem heart will be quickened to learn of your success, and as in a vision, see the dawn of a Moslem Sunrise illuminating the universe.” – Abraham Holasi of Pitcairn, Pennsylvania
“The new Moslem [Sunrise] number is the best number yet edited. As it is for the benefit of the old and new members of the Moslem faith, and is a book of great interest to read.” – Mrs Helen of Carr
“The last issue of the Moslem Sunrise is very interesting, and I am delighted with it. Please accept my congratulations. Sadiq Sahib, you are an improving Mr Editor.” – Miss G Berry of London
“Dr Sadiq, I could never forget the day that I first saw you and the evening you turned me to that wonderful religion of Islam, for which I am thankful. May the mercy of Allah be with you. I kept the fasting month of Ramazan and offered five daily prayers. [The] Holy Quran is a great help in every way.” – Mrs Taher of Buffalo
“I congratulate you upon the success of your great work and the modest and artistic manner in which you have promoted the Moslem cause. Surely this magazine would be of value to every devotee of any religion in the world, and I am very glad to receive the valuable information that it contains. […] May the peace of God and His Mercy abide with you and your holy cause.” – Mr Henry of Wilcox
Shaikh Muhammad Ibrahim
Brother AES Mondezie, whose Islamic name we have given above [i.e., Shaikh Muhammad Ibrahim], has established himself as a Muslim missionary at Princes Town, Trinidad, British West Indies. He converted to Islam in January 1923, after a careful study of two years, and was initiated into the Ahmadia Movement by Dr MM Sadiq.
He is so full of zeal for the spread of truth that he has taken upon himself the spread and propagation of it come what might, and he is doing it in spite of much opposition. He has already secured some converts to Islam from among the Christians, and now he is trying to bring the fifteen thousand of the scattered Muslims all over the island under some sort of organization. For this purpose, he recently called a representative meeting of the Muslim delegates from all parts of the island and enlisted their sympathy and co-operation for the betterment of their condition.
We wish our new brother and missionary every success in the arduous task that he has taken upon himself. His address is “The Islamic Mission House, High Street, Princes Town, Trinidad, British West Indies.”
Hakim Fazlur Rahman
Salt Pond, West Africa: The brother is working very hard in spite of heavy handicaps. He made a long journey to Accra, the capital of the Gold Coast Colony and spent a few days there preaching individually to English and Arabic-speaking people. There are signs that the seed sown with so much care and self-sacrifice will bear a rich harvest, in the near future.
Our best thanks are due to Messrs. M Dial Dass and Sons for their cordial reception and princely entertainment of our brother, [Hakim Fazlur Rahman Sahib].
(Transcribed and edited by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Moslem Sunrise, October 1923)