100 Years Ago… – Press reports from America and Singapore, and Ahmadiyya news abroad


The Moslem Sunrise, April & July 1923

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra (1872-1957)
Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib ra 1

Newspapers and magazines

The agents of the Associated Press in a recent interview with me took a detailed account of our Mission work in this country. [Their] report has been published in many daily and weekly papers throughout the United States and Canada with my photo and that of the Mission House. This publicity has brought in correspondence from many inquirers in different localities.

  1. The Muslim of Singapore for February, 1923, writes:

It gives us unmixed pleasure in seeing the efforts of the Muslims to lay before the Western World the beauties of Islam. Among other instances in this direction, we find that Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq has taken upon himself the arduous task of carrying the message of Islam to the people of America. He has pitched his missionary tent in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and as we write we have before us The Moslem Sunrise, a quarterly which is edited by him. It is an attractive and instructive little magazine printed on excellent paper and contains many photographs of the American converts to the ranks of Islam. Dr Sadiq has, so far, met with great success in the New World and is sanguine of gathering a still richer harvest in the near future. We greatly appreciate his zeal in the good work he has undertaken.

  1. Los Angeles Examiner of 18 April 1923 gives the following note:

Followers of the Mohammedan religion, of which there is a number in Los Angeles, according to Mohammed Abdul Haqq, local minister of that faith, will soon celebrate a month’s fast, termed by the Mohammedans the “Month of Ramazan”.

The months’ fast is described by Mohammed [Abdul] Haqq as a period in which those of the faith change their routine so as to observe the Feast of the Spirit. Ritualistic features of the religion are also observed during this month.

“This is a ‘Fast of the Sensual’,” Mohammed [Abdul] declared. “Those of the faith practically abstain from eating, taking just enough food to tide them over the month. The time is given over to rest of mind and body. Much of speech is also refrained from by the followers. In fact, all efforts are centered in at month’s observance of the Spirit of Allah.

“The object of the Ramazan month is to create a general fast.”

  1. Minneapolis News, the Knoxville News and many other papers have given the following note with my picture and the Mosque’s photo:

Mufti Muhammad Sadiq […] is the pastor of what is thought to be the only Mohammedan Mosque in the United States […]. Muhammad’s parish is in a crowded district in Chicago. He says he is drawing many converts.

  1. St. Louis (Missouri) Star prints the following communications from Sheik Ahmad Din (Mr Nathaniel Johnson):
  2. I read with interest the letter of Mr Tizoions in last Sunday’s Star, and in regards thereto will say: That it never pays to abandon the Holy Faith of Islam in order to gain the goodwill of others, whether they be Jew, Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist.

My Dear Brother, you should have stuck to your guns by all means. This would have at least proved that you were an honest soul; and those whom you thought, were your enemies, would have proven to have been your dearest friends. When you apostatized, it merely betrayed weakness on your part and revealed your dishonesty. The Holy Koran says: “How shall God guide one who, after they had believed and bore witness that the Holy Prophet was true, and after that clear proofs of his mission had reached them, they disbelieved? God guideth not the people who transgress.” As for those who say they do not believe anything; take their sayings with the usual grain of salt, for you will find that there is something hidden under, their egotism, their vanity, their bombast, and basso, they do believe.

I advise you: Ask Allah for forgiveness and mercy, return to the straight path of Islam, be a good Moslem, and peace of mind will certainly be yours and you will find many friends. Remember the slogan of the Faith – La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasoolullah.

  1. Moslem View of Color Line: 

Editor, The St. Louis Star: The late “Baptist Soul-Saving Campaign”, in one respect, is one step forward. The feeble attempt to erase the color line from religious worship was commendable, but the way it ended was pitiful, tragic and almost ridiculous.

I am a Moslem, and I understand that true religion should always be free from the question of race or color, not for one day, one week or two weeks, but for all time. A few days after the drive ended. I saw black people walking past two and three white churches, in order to reach his own church before he dares [to] stop to say his prayers. And I saw white people walking and riding past dozens of black churches before they would stop to say their prayers. Some Christian spirit this! Comic opera of the highest order. The question of color must be erased from the church service, in the factory, in the shop and everywhere.

Much interest shown in Islam missionary

  1. Dr Sadiq heard here with interest by many exchangites and guests last night.

At a meeting of the Grand Haven Exchange club last evening, many interested persons listened to Mufti Mohammed Sadiq, the only accredited missionary of Islam to this country, talk on his religion, Dr Sadiq is very learned in his particular faith and gave many sidelights on comparisons between his religion and that of the Christians.

Notwithstanding a difference of opinion. Dr Sadiq’s talk was enjoyed by all and a new idea of Mohammedanism [Islam] was gathered by many who previously had a very hazy understanding of this religion which is believed by so many people on the continents of Asia and Africa.

Following his lecture, Dr Sadiq stated that he was very well pleased with the reception which was accorded him and that the Grand Haven people whom he spoke before, compared very favorably with any other representation that he has spoken to in America. He also said that he would be glad to come here to give another lecture if at any time there was a call for it. (Grand Haven Daily Tribune, dated 28 November 1922)

  1. The Turkish war threats in Smyrna will be carried up to, but not into, warfare. They are being made simply for financial purposes. There will be no war with the Turks. That is the opinion of Mufti Muhammad Sadiq of India, a missionary of Moslem in the Ahmadia movement, who arrived in Buffalo this morning from New York. He was interviewed at No. 450, Seneca Street, by The Enquirer.

Dr Sadiq will lecture in Buffalo during his stay and then will go to Chicago, his missionary headquarters. Many Arabs called on the missionary from India this morning. Attired in his turban and a full-length garment of dark grey, the missionary explained to The Enquirer the religion he is bringing to America, and to which he claims already 500 converts. He has been a missionary in the United States for three years, but this is his first visit to Buffalo.

His Belief

“We believe in all of the prophets and all of the books of the Bible, both old and New Testament,” explained. Dr Sadiq. “We believe that Jesus[as] was not divine, but came as a prophet of God. He died like the other prophets and is not sitting in the highest. There is a tradition […] that Jesus[as] is buried in Cashmere, a state in the north of India with a climate cold like Syria and Palestine. It is called the Palestine of India. The tradition is that Jesus[as] was not dead when he was taken from the cross by his friends but had fainted from his wounds. He was taken to a cave, where he recovered and left the country, going to India, where he lived for 120 years. The tomb of Jesusas] is there now. […]

“We believe in the continuation of the prophets because after Jesuas]s came another prophet Muhammad[sa]. That was 700 years after Jesusas] died. The Scriptures say, ‘I will send you a comforter,’ and Muhammad[sa] came like Moses. He brought a book of laws and like Moses, he fought with his opponents. As Moses saved the Israelites from Pharaoh, Muhammad[sa] saved his people from idolatry and caused them to believe in one God,” explained the missionary from India.

“We pray five times a day, morning, noon, afternoon, at sunset and before retiring. During one month each year we fast and do not take any food, take any water […] during the day. At night, we may eat anything we would ordinarily eat during the daytime. April is the month to fast this year. It is similar to the Lenten season in your churches.

“Every member of our faith [of Islam] who has any wealth must give two and one half per cent of his annual income as [financial contribution i.e., chanda,] to be used for the poor, the travellers and in religious work.

“Ahmad[as] is the prophet who came recently and whose religious belief I follow. The new [sect of the] religion [of Islam] teaches us to have no religious wars. There are 700,000 members of that order. They take no part in politics,” the missionary stated. Then he told of the movement among the sect which is similar to the woman suffrage movement here. (Buffalo Enquirer of 12 February 1923)

Moslem mullah in mission to Chicago

  1. Aged Dr Sadiq claims 500 converts to Mohammedanism here [in America].

In a little room at 4448 St., Wabash Av., made into a miniature mosque, an aged man kneels. He is garbed in severe clerical costume and his head is wrapped with a green turban. His dark face is fringed with gray whiskers and horn-rimmed spectacles surmount a thick nose.

The aged priest’s head is bowed toward Mecca as he leads his disciples, mostly [African Americans], in supplication to Allah. He is Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, and claims to be a descendant of Mohammed. “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allah is the greatest of all,” he chants above the kneeling forms facing the East.

It is quiet and peaceful in the little prayer room. The “messenger’s” followers evince sincerity in the faith expounded by the kneeling figure in the mosque.

During the short time he has been here, Dr Sadiq says he has converted 300 persons to the Mohammedan faith. Three hundred of these are [African Americans]. (Chicago Herald & Examiner, 11 March 1923)

  1. The Jewish paper, The Day, of New York City, printed in the Jewish language a lengthy account of our work. 

Ahmadia news abroad

The headquarters, Qadian, India, are busy raising funds for the building of a Mosque in Berlin, Germany. Twelve thousand dollars ($12000) is the estimated cost of the building, the site for which has already been secured in a very respectable quarter. This fund, as desired by the blessed Leader, [Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra], is to be wholly subscribed by the ladies of the Movement at home and abroad, and already the sum of eight thousand dollars ($8000) has been promised and donated in the form of cash and jewelry. The Ahmadia ladies deserve our greatest thanks for this spirit of self-sacrifice and devotion. 

Another sum of twelve thousand dollars ($12000) is being raised to reclaim the Muslim Rajputs of UP, India, who are in danger of being inveigled into other camps owing to their complete ignorance of their Moslem faith. The Holy Leader of the Ahmadia Movement has made a call upon each of his followers who are to go out at their own expense and help in reclaiming those whose ignorance and poverty have exposed them to the blandishments of others. Batches of such men have already left for work among those people under the leadership of Mr Fateh Muhammad Sayal[ra] MA, formerly Ahmadia Missioner in London and now in-charge of the Propagation Department at Qadian.

A donation list, for the Berlin Mosque, being opened here, the following are the first few donors:

Sadiqah Sadiq, $10; Mrs Abdul Hakim (Agusto), $7; Sister Fatima (Mrs Russell), $5; Faruq (Mrs Ellis) $7; Mrs Abraham Holasi, $10; Sister Saeeda (Mrs Joseph), $5; Miss Romeesa Rahman, $5; Sister Zeineb (Mrs Watts), $1; Mrs William McSwain, $4; Mrs Andrew Jacobs, $2; Mrs Anna B Ross, $5, and Mrs W Hill (Nejmad Deen), $4.

The complete list will be printed in the next issue of this magazine.

Maulvi Mubarak Ali

Mubarak Ali Bangali Sb

Maulvi Mubarak Ali who is now in Berlin, Germany, made an extended tour of that country. He is very sanguine of success among a people whom defeat and humiliation have sobered a good deal, and whose hearts are now turned from materialism to things spiritual. The brother has bought a piece of land for the erection of a great Mosque for which the Ahmadia ladies are showing much zeal and keenness.

Most of the highly educated people, such as professors of Universities and the intelligentsia are evincing a keen interest to know the truth and the religion of Islam as portrayed in “The Teachings of Islam,” by the holy Founder of the Movement, [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas], and the claims and truths of the Missions of Muhammad[sa] and Ahmad[as] as briefly but beautifully described in “A Present to the Prince of Wales,” by the present leader of the Movement. Both books are gaining widespread appreciation. May Allah accord His success to our brother’s efforts in the cause of the spread of Truth.

Abdur Rahim Nayyar

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Professor Nayyar, we regret to learn, has been ordered out of West Africa on medical advice. He is now in England and the latest advices of him show that he has made a marked improvement in the salubrious climate of South England. While out for health this zealous missionary of truth has been devoting his time in holding meetings and delivering lectures, and moreover, he is carrying on his educational work in West Africa through correspondence. Imam Shodende is carrying on the propagation work within Lagos in our brother’s absence. The “West Africa” of London in its issues of 16 September 1922, and 20 January 1923 publishes photos of Ahmadia Movement women’s section at prayer. Mr AR Nayyar, Mr FR Hakeem, [and] some of the young members of the Ahmadia Community, Lagos, [arranged] farewell gatherings of teachers and pupils of the TI Ahmadia School, Lagos, on the departure of Professor Nayyar for Nigeria.

Fazal Rahman Hakeem

Hakeem Fazl ur Rahman

Our missionary in Gold Coast is also pushing on with his missionary and educational work. He has a hard task before him, for converting is a simple matter as compared to the teaching, the real conversion and assimilation work. We wish our brother all success in the arduous task set before himself.

Hafiz Ghulam Muhmmad BA and Hafiz Obeidullah

Brothers Hafiz Ghulam Muhammad BA and Hafiz Obeidullah are also devoting their whole time and energy to teaching the truth to the people of Mauritius. Both the brothers have a big community to look after, and it is to the brothers’ credit that their community is contributing so much to the advancement of truth. A good many of the members are highly educated and well-to-do people, and they are ever-zealous to promote the interests of faith.

One of the Mauritius young men, Zeinul Abideen, has qualified himself in higher theology at the headquarters, while another, S Ghulam Hussein who passed through the High School course at the headquarters, is now studying medicine at Edinburgh, Scotland.

Hafiz Obaidullah sb Mubaligh Mauritius 1
Hafiz Obeidullah Sahib

Misbahuddin Ahmad

Brother Misbahuddin Ahmad, in the absence of M Mubarak Ali in Germany, in addition to his other duties, has been holding the weekly meetings in the Ahmadia Mosque, London. Professor Nayyar’s arrival has given a great impetus to this work.

Brothers, Sayyed Mahmudullah Shah BA and Ali Muhammad have also been lending a helping hand, especially the former who sometimes lectured in Hyde Park, and read a paper on Islam at the Mosque.

Shaikh Mahmud Ahmad

Shaikh Mahmud Ahmad is actively carrying on his work in Egypt in addition to his own duties. He deserves our greatest thanks for pushing on the sale of the “Moslem Sunrise”, and his wide ambitious plans and schemes for the spread of truth. Through his untiring efforts, ten more persons have joined the holy Ahmadia Movement.

H Musa Khan

Hassan Musa Khan

Mr H Musa Khan, Australia, has sent, to date, one hundred fifty-six communications to different papers in that country. As our readers already know, he names his articles “Muslim Sunshine” and they find their way into different periodicals and papers in and out of Australia. His is the only labour of love we know of, for though infirm and weak, suffering from cold and asthma, without possessing any fixed home or habitation, earning his own living to keep body and soul together, yet at a great cost and expense to himself, he has been doing a yeoman’s work in the cause of Islam. To understand his difficulties, it is sufficient to record that his bedroom is his office and visiting room; his knees and his pillow his writing desk; and his bedstead his chair; yet in spite of this, this heroic soul carries on undauntedly his work of evangelization, and there is no place in Australia where he has not carried the message of Allah. May Allah bless him!

Berlin Mosque

One very interesting incident in connection with the raising of the Berlin Mosque fund that will be a source of great gratification for all inquirers after the truth is that a respectable family of nine persons had to openly declare themselves as Ahmadis in order to be able to contribute their quota to this sacred work, as no donation was accepted from non-members.

(Transcribed and edited by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Moslem Sunrise, April and July 1923)

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