100 Years Ago… – New converts in Gold Coast, difficulties in Lagos and good news from Benin


Al Fazl, 4 & 15 January 1923

Al-Haj Hakim Fazl-ur-Rahman Sahib (1901-1955)
Map West Africa


I had to delay my tabligh tour due to rain. Consequently, I met some people within Saltpond on an individual basis and preached to them. Though people are discontented with Christianity, their hearts are still reluctant and they do not have the courage to accept Islam. May Allah guide these people, amin.

An advertisement has been given in a newspaper regarding the need for an interpreter. The work of the school is going on as usual and four more boys have been admitted this month.

Meeting with the governor

On 11 September [1922], the Governor of Gold Coast visited [our] place. I prepared an address of welcome for him and delivered it in the presence of 40 representatives [of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat], ten of whom were amirs of particular jamaats.

Due to the bad state of the Hausa people with respect to Islam in these countries, the views of the government are quite political, so I presented the purpose of the establishment of our jamaat and mentioned the beliefs of Ahmadiyya Jamaat in the address. Moreover, I explained the matters in which we disagree with other people. Finally, I requested him to allow the Ahmadi missionaries to preach without any kind of hindrance. It was a public event and all kinds of people were present. In the end, literature was distributed.


Mr Arthur, the postmaster here, is a very noble person. He is a well-wisher of the Jamaat and has played an active part in overcoming the initial difficulties. Even now, he is not as concerned about Christianity as he is anxious to spread the message of Ahmadiyyat. Currently, he is facing some family problems.

I request members of the Jamaat to particularly pray that his problems are resolved and may he accept Islam. Moreover, friends should pray a lot for the mission. It is not difficult for Islam to spread in these countries, but resources are needed to go out and preach to the people and tell them what Islam is.

A large jalsa gathering

In the village of Accra, which is the centre of the Accrafol constituency, a jalsa of all the Ahmadis of the Gold Coast was held. The participants included 26 amirs along with the representatives of different jamaats. Haji Hassan Sahib of Senegal, the prime mover of this mission, expressed his spirit and made people aware of the needs of the mission. Then, it was decided that the work of collecting chanda [donations] will be done actively and three madrasas [schools] will be opened in the Saraha constituency soon. A lot of tabligh [preaching] was done during the days of Jalsa.

New converts

Five idolaters converted to Islam. Their Islamic names are as follows:







Maulvi Fazl-ur-Rahman Sahib Hakim

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra (1883-1948)

Difficulties and cases

The mosque case, which I reported earlier, is currently under hearing. We have appeared once before the Honourable Judge of the High Court, Justice Chington, and lawyers of the plaintiffs have been given time to consider another similar judgement (relating to the Victoria Mosque, Jami‘ Masjid Lagos). The final decision will be made on 30 October [1922], insha-Allah.

Apart from this, a criminal case has been filed in the Magistrate’s Court by Secretary Tabligh Lagos Anjuman Ahmadiyya on 11 non-Ahmadi ringleaders for “inciting people against Ahmadis”, “throwing stones at Ahmadi missionaries”, and “injuring Ahmadis with knives”. For the last two weeks, daily hearings are being held. On behalf of the Ahmadis, four well-known barristers (of Saltpond Jamaat), the Honourable Mr Jisa, Mr Taylor, Alai Kijao, and Ala Kisja, are appointed to follow the case. It is hoped by Allah the Almighty that the Jamaat will be victorious in both cases, insha-Allah. Friends are requested to pray that Allah Himself deals with these people who intend to cut the fruitful branch [of Islam].

Various jamaats

Gold Coast, (the Gold Coast letter has been published separately), Sierra Leone, Northern Nigeria and other jamaats are diligently engaged in preaching work. Dars [religious sermon] of the Holy Quran has been started in Kano. Zaria and Kano jamaats are proposing to build a school in their respective cities. Lagos Jamaat, God willing, will try to make Madrasa Talim-ul-Islam Lagos more successful after getting rid of the cases.

Good news

A famous chief of the region of Benin was preached through the exchange of letters. One of his compatriots happened to go there while I was on leave. According to my instructions, he started preaching there and by the grace of Allah the Almighty, it had a positive impact and the following telegram was sent by the honourable brother Gimba from the aforementioned region:

“Arrived home safely. Chiefs and people accepted the preaching and believed in the advent of Mehdi. About 1000 willing [to] join. Arrangement [made for] your transport Sapele to Auchi. Waiting in hospital [in] care [of] Thomas Nurse, Sapele. Please buy 150 Quran and 300 Arabic Primer [Yassarnal Quran], there is great demand.” (Gimba)

Reply to Telegram

I am unwell and very weak. Moreover, there are many cases to pursue. The following telegram was therefore sent in reply:

“Maulvi Sahib, I am happy with your telegram. I pray for the chiefs and the people. I seek the blessings of Allah. [I am happy that] Maulvi Sahib is very concerned about the education of his brothers. Kindly inform us about the situation in detail so that proper arrangements can be made. Books have been ordered. Insha-Allah, I will try to visit myself or I will send a missionary from here.” 

Imam Ahmadiyya Lagos

Abdur Rahim Nayyar, 25 October 1922.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 4 and 15 January 1923 issue of Al Fazl)

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