The Review of Religions, January & February 1919
A letter written for the Review of Religions recounting some of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq’sra experiences whilst serving in England as a missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. This letter dates back a hundred years ago.
Cross or Christ?
“You won’t be cross,” I said to my land-lady with whom I had once put up in a sea-side town of England. “You won’t be cross Mrs … if I ask you to remove the wooden cross on the chimney-piece of my room? I don’t like the cross – an instrument used by the wicked people for torturing the holy men of God as Jesus, his companions and followers were.”
“Oh, no,” said the lady. “There is nothing to be cross in that. I will remove it from there. [I] myself do not like the cross. It was given to my child as a present and I kept it there. I can’t understand why High Churchmen make so much of it.”
Really, I wonder why Christians are so fond of [the] cross. They place it on the Church minarets. They hang it around their necks. They keep it on the altar. Some bow before it. Some kneel before it. Others go so far as to worship it. I don’t find this compatible even with their own present religious doctrines, to say nothing of those taught and practised by Jesus himself. It was Christ as they think who by victory over death brought salvation to them, not the cross which tortured or killed the Christ, their saviour.
Just fancy what the people will think of the man who makes an image of the long-range Big Bertha German gun and worships it because it killed those who gave up their lives for their king and country. Will he be a wise man?
The cross was the instrument used by the Devil and his friends to torment and kill the blessed Jesus. Ah, what a pain the spirit of Jesus might be feeling, when even those who call him “My Lord, My Lord” are loving and adoring it so much and spending a great deal of their money, time, labour and thought on it.
I think this was one of the causes that moved his spirit to reappear in some form in those days. And certainly he has appeared again, just as the Prophet Elijah appeared in John the Baptist.
And if you are willing to receive it, “Ahmad” is the Promised Messiah that was to come. “He that hath ears to hear let him hear.” He has proved his claims by miracles, arguments and teachings.
One of his great achievements is that he successfully proved that the cross and the advocates of the cross were not victorious over Jesus Christ, because he did not die an accursed death on the cross, but he was victorious over the cross and the advocates of the cross that failed to take his life. He came down from it in a swoon-like state, walked about and ate with his friends for forty days in the same neighbourhood, then went up a mountain and, hid in the clouds, crossed over the borders of that land, travelled through other countries till at last he reached [Kashmir] which was inhabited by the lost tribes of the Israelites, lived there to a good old age, died an honourable death like other prophets of God and his tomb can still be seen in Srinagar, the capital town of [Kashmir].
The tradition of the country, history, the old Gospel, The Crucifixion by an Eye-Witness and above all the latest revelation of God given to one who is the Christ of the day and a messenger from the Almighty and All-Knowing all prove that it is the Christ who should be honoured and not the cross.
O ye who call yourselves Christians, remember that you are following a wrong way by honouring the cross. Better correct your mistake even now. It is never too late to mend. Remove all the crosses from your flags, decorations, paintings, and memorials, from your minds and from everywhere and follow the Messiah of the day to have an everlasting life in the pleasure of your Creator, the One God who alone must be adored and worshipped.
A prophecy fulfilled
My letter published in the Daily Echo of Bournemouth dated 20 January 1919 is given below:
“Sir, as we read in the papers, King Hussein has now taken possession of another holy city of the Moslem world, viz., Medina. The word Medina, or more properly el-Medina, means “The City” being famous for containing the master-Prophet’s tomb. It was the centre of the Islamic world during the reign of the four chief Caliphs (successors) of the Prophet. This change of the rule from the Turks to the Sayeds (the direct descendants of the Prophet) will be thankfully looked upon by the Arabs specially, and the Mohammedans all over the world generally, except those who were vainly dreaming of a political pan-Islamism under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Power.
“Islam, as a religion, has nothing to do with politics. ‘No religious wars are now allowed’ said the Moslem prophet, Ahmad, of Qadian, India, not many years ago, ‘and if any Moslem ruler takes up Jehad (religions war,) he shall certainly fail, and this will be a sign of the truth of my claim and teachings.’
“It was the ill-fate of the Turks to prove first of all the truth of this prophecy. King Hussein’s securing the surrender of Medina by arrangement and not by assault, endears him the more to the Moslem hearts. King Hussein has really proved himself a wise and pious man by respecting the sacred relics. Thanks to the wise policy of the British Government in helping the Arabs to regain their traditional independence.
“Yours Faithfully. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq. 11, Methuen-road, 18 January 1919.”
A thin man
Bishop Mitchinson has died leaving an estate of Rs. 72,000. He has left the wine and the beer in the cellars to his successors. For all this, it is hoped that he, like many others of his rank in the Church, was thin enough to pass through the needle’s eye into the Kingdom of God.