100 Years Ago… – Some of worldwide tabligh efforts during era of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II


The Review of Religions [English], May & June 1923

Hazrat Musleh e Maud 1

Qadian, India

His Holiness, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] is in good health and is busy devising plans to combat the Shuddhi Movement (of the conversion of Muslims to Hinduism) in some districts of the United Provinces. About 100 of our preachers are working in the affected area under the guidance of Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sayal MA. Fifty more workers will very shortly be sent to relieve those whose terms of employment are about to expire. His Holiness is fully determined not to leave the affected districts until we have done our best to save the Malkanas, whose beliefs and faith are being corrupted. Our work there is defensive and we have begun our peaceful preaching campaign with full force in other parts of India. Nearly 700 Ahmadis – a number comprising barristers, graduates, pleaders, big landlords and great merchants have offered themselves to work as honourary preachers. The enthusiasm that permeates the Ahmadis can well be gauged from the fact that men of very high social standing consider themselves very fortunate if they are allowed to work in one of the hottest regions of India in the hottest part of the year.

To a superficial view, Islam seems to be losing ground to Hinduism in India, but those who, like the famous Dr Tagore, are endowed with foresight and acumen, have said that the present struggle between Islam and Hinduism shall end in a stupendous defeat for the latter. The signs are already visible.


After working unremittingly and incessantly for seven long years in England and America and after undergoing great hardships and encountering discouraging oppositions and hindrances, which consequently be overcome, Dr Mufti Sadiq is about to start back in India. He is expected to start in July [1923] and reach India somewhere in September of next year. Maulvi Muhammad Din BA, the late editor of “The Review of Religions” Qadian, has reached America to relieve Mufti Sahib.

It is impossible to give a detailed account of the work done by Dr Sadiq during his stay in England and America. He has had such a bright career as a missionary and has scored such great success that it requires a very long article to describe them. Suffice it to say that the Mufti started for England in 1916, a year when the Great European War was in its full swing and the German submarines were patrolling the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean and every ship bound for England was feared to fall an easy victim to them. The aged Mufti faced these dangers under the directions of his master, the Khalifa, leaving behind small children under Divine protection. The ship had not reached the Mediterranean when the Mufti was told by God that the ship shall be saved for him. He told the captain of the ship the promise of a safe arrival in England that God had given him. The captain was at first astonished to hear this from Mufti Sahib, but on his safe arrival in England, he believed in the truth of the words of God. During his four years’ stay in England, the Mufti Sahib earned a great and wide reputation as a Muslim missionary and was successful in gaining over one hundred converts to Islam. After his successful work in England, he was commanded by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] to proceed to America to start a new mission there. On arriving at the American seaport, he was refused entry on the ground that he was a follower of a religion which allowed and preached polygamy. The learned Mufti, however, succeeded at last in getting admission into the country. During his stay in America, the Mufti secured over 400 converts to Islam and started a quarterly magazine, The Moslem Sunrise, to educate the ignorant Americans in the fundamental doctrines and outstanding beauties of Islam. The magazine has gained wide popularity and its issues are anxiously awaited by a majority of Americans. Moreover, the Mufti has been able to erect a mosque in Chicago, the birthplace of the infamous Dowie, who died an ignominious death as a result of a prayer duel he fought with the Promised Messiah[as]. A brief sketch of his present activities is given by Maulvi Muhammad Din in his latest letter, dated 5 April [1923]. The Maulvi Sahib writes:

“Through the grace of God, I reached Chicago on 29 March [1923]. The Mufti, along with some new Muslim friends, was at the railway station to receive me. I reached the Masjid within a very short time in a motor car. The Masjid as regards its accommodation, extension and general management, far exceeds the Masjid in London. Yesterday was Sunday and though it was the first of April 1923, celebrated as April Fools’ Day, more than fifty men and women of all ages assembled to hear the Mufti. I saw that educated old men and learned youth all repeated like children in a loud voice the outstanding doctrines of Islam and the words of the Islamic prayer uttered by Dr Mufti Sadiq. Some of them were so completely engrossed in this act of memorising and repetition that I cannot conceive that, save for the remembrance of God, they had any other thought in their heads for three consecutive hours from 11am to 2pm. Dr Mufti was engaged in giving lessons. I am much interested in educational work and I have been a teacher myself, but I had never seen, in the whole of my life, such a teacher, such a class or such a manner of teaching. At 3pm the Mufti was to give a lecture on “The Life of Buddha.” Without interruption and without taking his food, the Mufti Sahib began whole-heartedly to prepare the lecture, which continued till 5pm before an audience quite different from those who were given lessons by him. Seeing these meetings, I have come to appreciate the great and noble work done by Mufti Sahib and now I have realized the vast field of work that lies before us. Hundreds and thousands of people are interested in Islam.”

In his second letter, Maulvi Muhammad Din writes:

“In the last week, four Christians embraced Islam. Every Monday and Wednesday, Arabic classes are held. This week, Mufti Sahib delivered four lectures. On Saturday, from 11am to 2pm, the classes were held as usual. At 3 pm, Mufti Sahib gave a lecture on “Islam, Christianity and Coloured Races,” before a large audience. The hall was packed to its utmost capacity. The Mufti spoke for a full hour and explained that practically the entire Christian world had abjured Christianity and followed Islam in all branches of life, i.e., marriage, mutual dealings, way of life, administration of government, education and culture. All these points were exhaustively dealt with, and the lecture was quite peculiar and of its own kind. The audience was so impressed that at the end of the lecture, an old man of reputed erudition stood up and said, ‘Christianity has kept us quite in the dark and if there is any religion in the world which can properly guide us it is that religion which the Mufti has presented before us today.’ Besides other people, he and his wife promised to come to the next lectures.”

Dr Mufti Sadiq, in his last letter of 7 April [1923], writes:

“My photo and that of the mosque, which was taken by the agents of the associated press, have been published in all the papers of the country and have proved a good means of propagation. I have received many letters full of questions about Islam. Last Sunday, two gentlemen were taken into the fold of Islam and were named Abdul Wali and Abdul Karim. Maulvi Muhammad Din has reached safe and sound and has read to our new brothers the message of His Holiness[ra], which was listened to with rapt attention and much appreciated. The American Mission, with its headquarters in Chicago, has branches in St. Louis and Detroit. Both of these places have lecture halls and libraries. Sheikh Ahmad Din and Sheikh Abdus Salam, who were formerly Christian missionaries, have been appointed amirs (heads) of the two places, respectively. They work quite zealously without getting any remuneration. ‘The Moslem Sunrise’, is being conducted quite efficiently and regularly.”

London, England

Owing to long and continuous hard work, the health of Mr Nayyar, our Nigerian missionary, had suffered a great shock and he had to leave Nigeria for England for a change of climate and recuperation. But the Nayyar knows no rest, and he is busy working as hard in England as he was in Nigeria. Under his directions, open-air lectures and lectures in the mosque are regularly held and Islamic literature is freely distributed. In his latest letter, dated 3 May [1923]. Mr Nayyar writes that he had a meeting with Colonel Douglas, “the Second Pilate,” i.e., Lt. Col Montagu William Douglas CSI, CIE. The Colonel was struck with wonder to see the strikingly rapid progress of the Ahmadiyya Community. Surely, Colonel Douglas could never conceive that the followers of a man who lived in a remote corner of the Punjab and who once stood before him in the capacity of an accused person at Gurdaspur prosecuted for alleged conspiracy to take the life of a Christian missionary would one day come over to England to convert it to Islam. He was already interested in the Promised Messiah[as] and in the Ahmadiyya Community and he was quite naturally delighted to see the splendid work done by our missionaries in England. On the occasion of the marriage of HRH Duke of York, the imam of the Ahmadiyya mosque sent a congratulatory telegram to their Imperial Majesties. The Private Secretary of His Imperial Majesty very kindly gave the following prompt answer by wire:

“I am commanded to thank you for your loyal and dutiful message to their majesties on the occasion of the marriage of the Duke of York.”

Nigeria, Africa

M Mohammad Yaqub, President of the Ahmadiyya Executive Committee, writes to Mr Nayyar:

“You will be glad to know that the work is going on as regularly and successfully as ever. The new converts, Yahya Williams, Murtala Devishan and others, attend prayers and lectures punctually. I feel great pleasure in conveying to you that the seeds sown by you are developing into a strong and big plant.”

Imam Qasim, incharge Lagos Mission, writes to Brother Nayyar:

“There are 800 students on roll in our school and young men are joining the movement in such large numbers that we are running short of bai‘at forms. The chief imam is making strenuous efforts to ameliorate the condition of the Ahmadis.”

The second item of the rules and regulations of the Ahmadiyya Community of Nigeria shall be read with interest. It runs as follows:

“The community, like its sister communities in different parts of the world, owes allegiance to His Holiness the Khalifatul Masih II[ra] at Qadian, who is the spiritual head of all the Ahmadis and the central and final authority on all religious matters.

“Since October last, we have gained more than 1,000 converts in Nigeria. The chief of Ovode, whose Christian name is Daniel, is about to join the fold of Ahmad[as] with the whole of his community. His father was a Muslim, but he, like other nobles, had become Christian.”

Gold Coast, Africa

Hakim Fazal-ur-Rahman, our missionary in Gold Coast, reports that he is busy devising schemes and collecting funds for the erection of a mosque in Saltpond. He hopes that in the near future, 80 per cent of Christians and infidels will embrace Islam.


Our readers will be glad to know that we are about to erect a mosque in Berlin. The expenses to be incurred in the building of the mosque shall be defrayed from the Berlin Mission Fund, exclusively raised by our sisters. They were required by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra], the Head of the Community, to collect Rs. 50,000 within 3 months. God be praised, the sum exceeded this limit before the expiration of the fixed date. Our sisters are deserving of every congratulation and we are well proud of the splendid example set by them. They have evinced an enthusiasm and zeal for the dear cause of Islam that, if it does not exceed, is at least not surpassed by the ardour demonstrated by our brethren. M Mubarak Ali BA is now in charge of the Berlin Mission. Some time ago, he wrote private letters to the notable personages in Germany and to the ex-Kaiser inviting him to join Islam, as in it alone he would get the contentment of mind that he badly wanted now. A learned professor of Hungary has been so deeply impressed by reading “The Present to the Prince of Wales” that he intends to translate it into all the European languages he knows. A doctor of literature has promised similar translations of “The [Philosophy of the] Teachings of Islam.” M Mubarak Ali is expected to come back to India before September next year. Shaikh Ghulam Farid MA will take his place.


Sheikh Mahmud Ahmad, our missionary in Egypt, is working there very sincerely and zealously. He has secured over two dozen converts to Islam Ahmadiyyat, some of whom are very influential. The Sheikh Sahib intends to start a weekly Al-Bushra from Alexandria. We wish him every success. God be with him in all his undertakings.

(Transcribed and edited by Al Hakam from the original in The Review of Religions [English], May and June 1923)

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