100 Years Ago… – ‘Soul spoke to soul’: Australian Ahmadi convert Charles F Sievwright (Muhammad A Haqq) on meeting Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad


The Moslem Sunrise, October 1922

Muhammad Abdul Haqq (Charles F Sievwright 1862-1933)
Abdul Haqq 1

In The Review of Religions published at Qadian, India, in the issue of April 1906, No. 4 of Vol. 5, there appeared a contribution from my pen, telling the story of my experiences and belief after 10 years in Islam. I explained how, in my 34th year of age, on 23 March 1896, I was led to investigate the Islamic Philosophy, which became the means of converting me from Orthodox Christianity to the natural religion of which the Holy Prophet Muhammad[sa] was the Founder. 

I may here inform the readers of the present day “Moslem Sunrise” as I did those others to whom I addressed my statement in 1906, similarly; “That I am not a Muhammadan in a racial sense but am a true believer of Muhammad’s religion.” 

When I visited India in 1903 as the accredited Representative or Commissioner of the British and Indian Empire League of Australia, to present a petition to the Indian National Congress at its annual Conference at Madras held in December of that year, my mission was also for the purpose of completing my Muhammadan education by means of a tour through Islamic countries en route to Madras, as well as to explain the cruel operations of “The White Australia policy” and the restrictions of the Alien Immigration Act that had been created as constitutional law by the Commonwealth Government of that country.

To tell you of the result of that historical journey on my part to India would be impossible in these columns, for the incidents of that wonderful mission, if published, would fill a great volume. And amongst which much could also be related in regard to my personal visit and sojourn, whilst in the North West Provinces, at Qadian in the Punjab – and how I met the Ahmadis and conferred with the Promised Messiah Ahmad (the peace and blessings of God be upon Him for all he suffered for Islam’s sake; as every Christ must also suffer who lays down his life for his friends).

I saw him in his yellow garments as was prophetically foretold he should wear indicating sickness […] – notwithstanding all that his loving Disciples did to alleviate it.

What my feelings were towards the Good Man beforehand when I was warned against him during my journey through the Far East (either to Doubters or Suspicioners) were removed entirely at Qadian. Spirit perception of the clear fulfilment of the prophecies of the Promised One gave me certain proof of their Divine origin. 

This meeting with Ghulam Ahmad[as] in Qadian in the year 1903 was a wonderful proof of the truths of Islam, that words which had been uttered thirteen hundred years ago were then being fulfilled. But space and other subject matters do not permit me to here refer to them more extensively. 

My visit was locally or only decided upon whilst I was lecturing at the Town Hall Lahore on the question “Are the Indian Peoples British Subjects?” 

On 22 October 1903, I was at Qadian and received the hospitality of the entire community, to most of whose dwellers I was the first white man that had ever visited their holy village as a guest. Nothing astonished me more, among all the extraordinary incidents during my missionary travels, than the finding of myself in that sacred place and face to face with its Messiah. 

Eventually, when I was presented to him and eyes looked into eyes. He knew me to be Abdul Haqq (The Slave of Truth) and I knew him to be the Divinely appointed one to call the true believers (the faithful) to gather again to make the world safe for Islam. The Muslim confidences that followed betokened the love of God between us. Soul spoke to soul through spirit, after Allah had joined them by means of that miraculous meeting, the fore-ordained or predestined, as all events are arranged in Islam by the Almighty and One only true God (Allah-o-Akbar). 

Abdul Haqq
Muhammad Abdul Haqq (Charles F Sievwright)

Finally, after long months of deliberation and separation no wonder then that I made the declaration in The Review of Religions in April 1906 that “I have become a member of the Ahmadiyya Society of Qadian, so as to be associated with the most advanced sections of the Muslim Students of all the important religions of the world, as well as to be united in a very active Muhammadan Missionary Association for the spreading of Islamic knowledge.” 

This was written from far away (New Zealand). I meant every word I wrote in the above paragraph and have been true to my statements, ever since I said “Good Bye” to the Master at Qadian now over 19 years ago. Thus, did I again manifest the principle “I must cooperate before God can operate.” 

After the advent in America of Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, I have further fulfilled my pledge to associate with the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, and have been active in assisting its first missioner, for many months past, to gain a footing in these dis-United States. To every Muslim or true believer who may read this article today, I give a Call in the name of Allah and by the love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad[sa], to answer my appeal, which is concisely given in the following words: 

“We must cooperate before God can operate!” 

To every Christian or free thinker, or adherent of any other sectarian body I give a challenge to also enter into this cooperation with Islam. For each and all of us can repeat with all our heart and soul the memorable words uttered by the Promised Messiah[as] in 1902, and give assent thereto, “There is an indescribable bliss which one enjoys in the sight as well as in the word of God, who is the author of all existence and the cause of all causes. His word transports a man into a paradise of bliss in exactly the same manner as His sight does. It has not a single point of resemblance with the lifeless voices which proceed from satanic suggestions or delusions. It is an animation; it has a power; it has a magnetism; it has the characteristic of producing a certainty; it has a bliss; it has a light, and it has a supernatural glory. It is impossible that receptacle (yourself) of such revelation should ever have any misgiving as to its divine origin. To him a doubt is as fatal as unbelief.” (Wonderful words of life). 

Such a revelation to an atheist is with him the greatest of miracles even if God would work no other miracle to make an atheist a believer. So, I regard it. A little philosophy inclines a man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds back to a religion of truth like Islam is!

Those who have been through it know that atheism is rather in the lip than in the head or heart of man, even as Bob Ingersoll, Tom Paine, Voltaire and others, alone, knew full well. They that denied God destroyed man’s nobility, for atheism in all respects is hateful. 

But man, when he resists not evil and assures himself of Divine protection and favor, gathers a force and faith which human nature in itself could not obtain. 

Thus, in these sayings will you clearly understand my appeal: “We must cooperate before God can operate.” We can if we believe we can.

(Transcribed and edited by Al Hakam from the original in The Moslem Sunrise, October 1922)

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