Al Fazl, 5-8 February 1924 &The Moslem Sunrise, January, [February, March] 1924
Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Dinra (1881-1983)
In the period of this report under discussion, 133 men and women have converted to Islam and joined the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Alhamdulillah, 60 of them have become Muslims through the efforts of a sibling pair (brother and sister), and 30 have entered Islam through the efforts of another friend. Moreover, 15 of them converted to Islam as a result of the efforts of our dear friend Sheikh Ahmad Din Sahib, who is in charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in St. Louis. May Allah bless the efforts of all these friends. May God Almighty grant perseverance to every new and old convert and increase them in faith.
A significant challenge here [in America] is its extensive geographical size. For instance, it is almost twice the size of [British] India. Sometimes, a person gets acquainted with Islam in one part of the country and also becomes a Muslim, but then it is very difficult to look after them. They do not find many Muslims to interact with in their surroundings and not to mention, the general environment is also not very Islamic.
On the other hand, the lifestyle here is completely different. Generally, fair and pastime are the religions of the people here. They do not go beyond that and some of them are even heedless of the very name of their religion, etc. In such a situation, it is very difficult to bring them together and keep them consolidated. Only Allah the Almighty can cause their state to change.
A recent example of irreligiousness is the sermon of a priest who was saying publicly that God has given beauty so that people can see and admire it. Therefore, the girls must bare their thighs while dancing in the churches. He further stated that the teaching of Jesus had been corrupted and changed form by falling into the hands of ignorant Jews and Orientalists. He added that as compared to them, the teachings of the people of Rome and Greece were quite right, as they were fond of ‘natural beauty’, which they expressed in their paintings and statues. Their bare dances are not for fun, but to make the eyes take full advantage of the beauty, and hence the words of these priests are: “Back to Paganism.” That is, turn back to paganism and benefit from its true spirit.
The women of Europe and America are generally opposed to polygamy, that is, a man should not have more than one wife. When one discusses this matter with them, their first response is that a woman should also be allowed to have more than one husband. They do not easily understand the fact that, naturally, it is difficult for a woman to practice [polygamy] and moreover, society’s structure cannot stand on it. […]
– Muhammad Din, America.
Al Fazl, 8 February 1924
Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra (1883-1948)
It has been reported from Berlin through mail and telegram that on 20 December , Maulvi Ghulam Farid Sahib reached Germany with his family.
Receiving the news of the illness of his sister and the wife of Maulvi Ghulam Farid Sahib, (caused by the inconvenient journey of the ship), Zafar Haq Khan Sahib (BSc) of Wales also reached Berlin from England.
God willing, Abdur Rahim Khan Khalid Sahib and Syed Mahmudullah Shah Sahib, who went to Belgium during the Christmas holidays, are visiting Berlin to meet Maulvi [Ghulam Farid] Sahib.
Friends are requested to pray for the establishment of missions in the Western world and the success of those newly departed missionaries who are the flag bearers of Ahmadiyyat in the centre of Europe.
I am very close to our dear friend, Maulvi Ghulam Farid Sahib, so I personally congratulate him and pray to Allah the Almighty for his success in every endeavour.
Efforts of Ahmadi students in holidays
Abdul Rahim Khan Sahib (Khalid) from Belgium writes:
“We spent the last night in great distress and the sea was very turbulent. Syed Mahmudullah Shah Sahib is still unwell. The first thing we did was to distribute [Ahmadiyya] literature among the travellers in accordance with your instructions. In this way, God gave us a little opportunity to serve the religion [of Islam].”
Malik Muhammad Ismail Sahib, son of the late Dr Elahi Bakhsh Sahib, is temporarily residing in Turkey. During his short stay, he renders service to faith by distributing literature [of Ahmadiyyat] and carrying out individual discourses. He possesses a great desire for tabligh [preaching].
A dear friend, who recently converted to Ahmadiyyat, is engaged in continuing the work initiated by Mufti [Muhammad Sadiq] Sahib. Every week, literature is sent to him from here [i.e., England] and he distributes it in various [literary] societies. In this way, the message of Prophet Ahmadas is being spread in the capital of France, [Paris], and this is surely the True Islam. When we use the term “Ahmadiyyat,” we mean the religion Islam brought by Prophet Muhammadsa of Arabia. This faith was revived with manifest signs by the Promised Messiahas, the reflection of the Holy Prophetsa. He restored the beauty of True Islam by removing the darkness of superstitions and misconceptions that had placed a veil over Islam’s pure countenance.
On 23 December , it was the first Saturday of Sulh. On this occasion, the Ahmadi missionary and some other friends gave speeches on “Peace” and “Reconciliation”. This humble one emphasised that it is futile to look for avenues of peace in the world, as true peace is exclusively found in the servitude of the Promised Messiahas. The world has never truly progressed before without religion, and even now, a desolate house will never be inhabited until the throne of the “Prince of Peace” is firmly established in it.
Miss Theodor, a saintly lady, was lecturing at a society. She has authored books on “Drama and Holy Chronicles”, and her speech was on the same subject. During the speech, the lecturer stressed that it is essential to adopt different postures of the body in worship. When I asked [about recitation], she added that reciting pleasantly in worship and shedding tears from the eyes is very helpful in the advancement of spiritual levels. However, the erudite speaker said that shedding tears is seventh on the list. Then, she also said that there will occur a great change in the world in [the next] 10 years.
After her lecture, I expressed in a short speech that, “Today’s lecture was rather an explanation of the Islamic worship, [i.e., salat].”
Glimmer of hope
For the past two weeks, I have been very concerned. I was deeply saddened and worried that the enemies are all around us and the armies of opponents and apostates are always ready to crush the truth. On the other hand, despite the promise of Allah the Almighty, the time for God’s help seems far away owing to the consequences of our shortcomings. Some nights, I can’t sleep due to these reflections, but on second thoughts, the last week of the year 1923 fills my heart with contentment and the bright sunshine of 1924 shows a glimmer of hope in the darkness prevailing in England.
غم مخور زانکہ من دریں تشویش
خرّمى وصل یار مے بینم
[“But do not grieve, for in the midst of these anxieties, I envision the joy of meeting the Beloved [God].”]
I have found that Spiritualists on the one hand, and Theosophists, New Thought adherents, etc., on the other, and all those in pursuit of spirituality are more or less seeking a “witness”, “bearer of glad tidings” and a “warner” who will be the healer of the world’s ailments and the divinely appointed leader of mankind.
Promised Messiahas and Christmas
This realisation [that people are looking for a divine leader] and that the hopes of religious men are associated with the year 1924, prompted me to announce the arrival of the “Promised Messiah” in London with great vigour. For this purpose, a magazine with the title “Promised Messiah” has been prepared and printed in thousands. On its cover page is a portrait of the Promised Messiahas along with the mosque and the tall minaret. It is as if God’s Messiah is preaching Islam in English from the top of the minaret in London. This magazine will be a monthly and an effort will be made to make this four-page treatise an interesting read, insha-Allah. A copy of this magazine can be obtained from Nazir Talif-o-Isha‘at (1924), [Hazrat Syed Zainul Abideenra], Qadian, by sending a postal ticket of one and a half anna [a unit of currency formerly used in India and Pakistan, equal to 1/16 of a rupee].
We distributed this Christmas gift to scores of people in London on the big day, alhamdulillah summa alhamdulillah.
(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 5 and 8 February 1924 issue of Al Fazl)
Press reports on missionary work in America and appreciations
The Moslem Sunrise, January, [February, March], 1924
‘Ahmadi missionary preaches faith of Muhammad’
[A news piece by the Chicago Daily Journal stated:]
While churches of Chicago are sending men and women and money to the far-away Orient to spread the gospel of Christianity, there is in this city a Moslem missionary, six months from India, seeking converts to the faith of Mohammed.
In an improvised mosque at 4448 Wabash Avenue, each Sunday and Friday morning, Maulvi Muhammad Din, a picturesque man of middle age, with a short black beard tinged with grey, conducts services before a devout gathering of Turks, Africans and a few Americans.
There, in this temple, which was a two-story gray stone residence, and which now is topped with a large green dome and three spires. Maulvi Din, in fluent English colored with a rich oriental accent, performs a mission that to Chicagoans may seem strange in their city.
200 Chicagoans converted
Through the efforts of Maulvi Din, (“maulvi” is a title of respect similar to “reverend”), and his predecessor in the Chicago Mosque, Dr MM Sadiq, more than 200 Chicagoans have accepted the doctrine of “One God, one aim, one destiny.” In all the United States there are more than 700 converts for the Ahmadiyya movement in Islam.
The services in the mosque, opening with the sing-song “call to prayer” from the minaret, played upon a phonograph in a corner of the mission “living room,” and concluding with prayers in a second-floor room reserved for that purpose only, are impressive.
Most picturesque of all is the fifteen minute “salat” to Allah, in which the converts, sometimes kneeling, sometimes standing, sometimes touching their foreheads to the floor, are led by Maulvi Din.
In short Arabic phrases the missionary, who stands facing cast upon a small brown prayer rug spread beneath a green dome, repeats the words of devotion. His followers, standing shoulder to shoulder at their prayer rugs and also facing cast, drone the words after the leader.
Has five prayers daily
On the walls of the prayer room, which at one time might have served as a bedroom when the house was used as a residence, are tacked colorful prayer rugs and a large, finely woven, red and yellow drape.
“We have five daily prayers,” Maulvi Din explained to the [Chicago Daily] Journal reporter after the services. “They are Fajr in the morning, Zuhr at about 1 o’clock in the afternoon, Asr at about 4 o’clock, Maghrib at sunset and Isha at bedtime. There are five positions assumed by the Moslem in prayer, and while praying he is forbidden to speak to any one, to look about at random, or move from his place until he has finished.”
Before entering the prayer room to lead his followers in devotion, Maulvi Din performs “wuzu,” which, he explained, consists of washing the hands and face several times to express physical cleanliness in the salat. – Chicago Daily Journal
650 join Islam in Chicago
Chicago, 3 November : The teachings of Mohammed are making great headway in Chicago, according to Maulvi Muhammad Din, newly come to the city as conductor of a south side mosque.
Since his arrival from Punjab, [British] India, last April, the newcomer said, 650 Chicagoans have accepted Islam.
“Christianity on the decline in India,” he told International News Service. “Christianity is not profound enough for the philosophical Indian mind.”
“What a glorious ‘Sunrise’ in the West. The sun of Islam is sending forth his life-giving rays from the zealous Ahmadi missionaries in America, thus fulfilling our Holy Prophet’s[sa] wonderful prophecy. May this sun never set until the whole earth embraces Islam.” – Mahomet Kamel Anderson, Paris, France
“The contents of the Moslem Sunrise are undergoing great advancement under your able editing in giving the world-wide readers of its columns something worthwhile their notice and financial support.” – Charles F Sievwright
“The more I hear from Maulvi Muhammad Din, the more I am attracted to him; he writes a most interesting letter and he is clearing up many perplexing questions concerning the early history and traditions of the holy faith. I am fortified with facts and will soon be able to fare forth and cause some of these orthodox … ‘to seek the tall timbers,’ as well as being able to answer questions of those interested in faith.” – Brother Shaikh Abdullah Allahdin (Mr JL Mott) to Dr. Sadiq
“[The] Moslem Sunrise is a Moslem missionary paper brought out by a body of Indian Moslems at Chicago, USA. We are in receipt of its latest issue in which it is stated that about eighty Americans, men and women, have joined Islam in the month of January, 1923. We thank the movement on the great work it has undertaken to spread Islam in the Western lands.” – Al-Yaqeen of Baghdad
(Transcribed and edited by Al Hakam from the original in The Moslem Sunrise, January, [February, March], 1924)