100 Years Ago… – Progress of Islam Ahmadiyyat in North America, Germany, Nigeria, Mauritius, Ceylon and Egypt


The Review of Religions [English]January, February and March 1923

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North America

Dr Mufti Mohammad Sadiq is doing very useful work in the USA. Our readers are probably aware that we have purchased a decent house in Chicago, a part of which (the house) has been set aside as a mosque. The Moslem Sunrise, our quarterly magazine edited by our Brother Mufti Sadiq, is regularly published and is indeed proving very useful for propaganda work. Our brother has made it very interesting and every issue is eagerly waited for and read by the subscribers. Conversions to Islam [take place] daily and every issue of the Moslem Sunrise contains a list of the new converts. These converts come from both the white and the negro [black] populations of the country and some of them are very zealous in their new faith. Our missionary has also succeeded, by the grace of Allah, in winning some converts from among the Christian clergy. Besides private interviews, regular public lectures are also delivered every week and lessons in Arabic are given twice a week. Brother Muhammad Din BA has been sent to relieve Mufti Sahib and he has already reached America.


It has been decided to establish a mission in Germany and Brother Mubarak Ali BA of the London Mission has gone to Germany to make preliminary arrangements.

He has bought around two acres of land in a good part of Berlin and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra], Head of the Ahmadiyya Community, Qadian, has appealed to the female members of the Ahmadiyya Community to raise a sum of 50,000 rupees for the purpose of building a mosque and a house there. No male member is permitted to make any contribution to the fund so that our sisters may feel the weight of their responsibilities and the world may know that the pious zeal of faith is not confined to the male members of the Community but that Ahmadi ladies are also as good followers of Ahmad as their brothers in faith, and it is a matter of immense gratification for us to know that the appeal of the Khalifatul Masih has not fallen on deaf ears. Ahmadi ladies have shown an enviable zeal of faith and have risen to meet the occasion to the best of their powers, for, although hardly a month has passed since the appeal was made, our sisters have already raised a sum of 40,000 rupees, i.e., four-fifths of the whole sum required. Their zeal is so great that they have tempted non-Ahmadi ladies to also enter the fold of Ahmad[as] simply to be able to take part in this pious movement. Nearly forty non-Ahmadi ladies have so far joined the Ahmadiyya Movement in this connection. So, the first mosque in Germany will be built entirely with the subscriptions of Ahmadi ladies.



Our missionary work in Nigeria is in a prosperous state. A large number of men have joined the Ahmadiyya Movement and they are now being educated and trained in the doctrines of our movement, and it seems the new converts are fast imbibing true zeal for the faith. A non-Ahmadi father was hard on his Ahmadi son and pressed him to renounce Ahmad. “Father, listen,” the boy said, “I will leave your house, but I will not leave Ahmad[as].” There was some trouble on account of the non-Ahmadis who badly harassed the new converts, and the government officials, not knowing the real state of affairs, decided in favour of the latter, but upon more mature consideration, the matter was decided in a way that was equitable to both parties, though it must have been unpalatable to the non-Ahmadis. Our missionary has been very busy with interviews. Local chiefs have also been approached and the message of Ahmadiyyat has been conveyed to them. Some of them are very favourably inclined toward the movement. It has been decided to open schools for the education of Ahmadi children and an Ahmadiyya madrasa has already been established in Lagos. The number of boys is very encouraging. Brother Nayyar has come back to England and will stay there for some time before starting for India. The climate in Nigeria has adversely affected his health. He will however be remembered as the Pioneer Ahmadiyya Missionary in West Africa. The work in Nigeria is now being carried on by Hakim Fazl-ur-Rahman. But the work there is so great and the field so vast that it is very difficult for one man to shoulder the whole task. Consequently, the sending of another missionary to Nigeria is under consideration by our missionary department at Qadian.


The Ahmadiyya Community in Mauritius is now a well-established Community and has, thank God, imbibed the true Ahmadiyya spirit. The work of educating and training is being very ably conducted by our Brother Hafiz Sufi Ghulam Muhammad BA and Brother Maulvi Obaidullah. Missionary work is also carried on satisfactorily. One Mauritius student is under training at Qadian and we hope to be soon able to send him for work to his native land and thereby spare at least one of our missionaries from Mauritius for some other field. Another Mauritius student who was formerly at Qadian has proceeded to England for medical training, after which he intends to devote himself to the Ahmadiyya Mission work.



Our Ceylon brethren are always up and doing. Their zeal for faith sometimes throws them into trouble, which they joyfully bear. It has long been under consideration by our Missionary Department to establish a regular Mission on the island, but the proposal has not yet been put into practice for want of a suitable man. Personally, we think that if Hafiz Sufi Ghulam Mohammad BA, now working in Mauritius, could be spared for Ceylon, it would, God helping, do immense good to the Ceylon Ahmadiyya Community which is in great need of a local spiritual leader. The Ceylonese students who came to Qadian for religious education have mostly gone back to Ceylon. But it is to be regretted that, on account of the shortness of the period of training and certain other causes, these students could not receive proper training. The Ceylonese boys, however, who are now studying in our High School at Qadian, are making good progress.


Sheikh Mahmud Ahmad is doing very useful work in Egypt. Detailed reports of his work are regularly published in the Al Hakam, Qadian – a weekly vernacular paper edited and published by his able father. It appears that Sheikh Mahmud has succeeded in gaining access to the high and intellectual society of Cairo with whom he seems to be popular. We have not yet heard of any public lecture delivered by him in Egypt, but his private interviews and his taking part in social functions are believed to be creating a healthy influence. We wish him every success.

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Review of Religions [English], January, February and March 1923)

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