100 Years Ago… – Spreading the message of Hazrat Ahmad in America, England, and Africa

David W. Meyer | Unsplash

The Moslem Sunrise, April 1924

Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Dinra (1881-1983)

Divine love

(A Persian poem rendered into English by an American new convert Siddika Rahatullah)

My Love what wonders hast 

Thou worked without pain: 

The cuts and the salve 

Thou hast made the same.

The collection of all the worlds 

Thou hast scattered to the winds; 

All Thy lovers Thou hast 

Confounded and confused in mind.

A single manifestation of Thee 

Makes a mote become sun at noon; 

Many an earthly atom hast Thou 

Turned into a bright clear moon.

O what a miracle was it that 

In a sudden bestowal of favour 

Thou took away all the barriers 

That Thou might descend as a Saviour.

In truth none sacrifices for another; 

Sincerity is an easy way to tread – 

Thou hast made Thy path so simple 

That by children it hath been read.

Bold airs, graces, wiles and guiles have seen

Their consummation in Thee – 

Not a knavish coquet but is crying 

For Thy affliction and Thy self to see.

Whoever fell into Thy furnace 

Thou roasted with Thy fire. 

Whoever come to Thee in joy. 

Thou turned him away in tears.

Until I became insane for Thee 

My head was bereft of all sense; 

My life for Thee my fancy what a favour 

Hast Thou done to me, so dense.

My Love-Fever, by God, Thy fury 

Makes Thee an infidel most brave; 

But Thou hast made me 

A Muslim, a submissive slave.

Direct or indirect it is Thee 

That causes all unrest; 

Muslim or non-Muslim there is 

Thy simmering in every breast.

The Messiah that was said to be 

Located somewhere in the firmament above;

Thy Grace came down and raised him

From the earth, unto the world of Love.

– Siddika Rahatullah


All praise is due to Thee O God;

None other than Thee we adore. 

Thou art the Master of the Worlds, 

Thine aid do we implore.

Thou art compassion: lead Thou on 

To Thy right path our human race,

Thy Mercy floweth evermore, 

Do guide us to the path of Grace.

Thou art the Lord of Judgment Day,

For sure shall all be judged by Thee,

O keep us off the path of sin

And error’s way, so mote it be.

– Abdur Rahim

The Review of Religions

The only magazine of its kind published in India every month dealing with important religious questions, offering a fair and impartial review of the prominent religions of the world and removing misunderstandings about Islam. Subscription, $2 per annum; for sample copy, write to the Manager, The Review of Religions, Qadian, Punjab, British India. 

The Muslim

A monthly magazine in English to uphold and maintain the honor of Islam. It publishes articles on the message of the Quran, the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad[sa], and boldly refutes all calumnies against Islam. It attempts to give a clearer idea of God and religion generally. Annual subscription post free $4 (foreign 10 shillings). Apply to the honorary secretary Anjuman-i-Islam, No. 52, Kerban Road, Singapore. 


A monthly journal devoted to Islam and Islamic culture. Annual subscription, including postage, 14 rupees in land, 3 shillings foreign. The cheapest monthly in India, containing every month valuable articles from the pen of learned writers. Subscription commences front August of every year. Apply: The Manager, Peace, РО Ramna, Dacca, Bengal, British India.

Moslemische Revue

A German quarterly published in the interests of Islam. Edited by M Sadr-ud-Din, Muslim Missionary, Giesebrechtstraße 5, Charlottenberg, Berlin, Germany. Annual subscription 4 [German] Marks.

Debunking claims of a Christian preacher

There is a learned Christian missionary [in America] who claims to be an authority on Islam and Muslims. He has written books entitled Arabic Thought and Its Place in History and Short History of the Fatimide Khalifate, etc. This savant says that the Prophet Muhammad[sa] or his early successors had no intention of carrying the religion of Islam beyond the confines of the Arabs or Arabia. A wonderful statement, proceeding as it does from a great authority on Islam and this statement must be true if it could be substantiated by facts. 

Alas for our missionary friend, we could not find a single fact that would bear him out. The Holy Quran tells the Prophet[sa] that He is a Messenger for and to all mankind. Moreover, he is told to convey his message to all, and he had to write epistles where he could not reach himself so as he may carry out the divine behest. As to his early successors, they carried this divine message to the East and West from the Atlantic to the remotest Pacific on the Chinese shores. 

Maybe our missionary friend does not regard them as facts. But what has he to say to the message of the man who said that he was sent only for the lost sheep of Israel, and that the bread of the children should not be cast before the dogs? He would not preach even to the Samaritans. Yet, him, he regards as the saviour of mankind. When should we expect to see fair play at the hands of the worshipers of the lamb, [i.e., Jesus Christ]?

New converts

Since the last issue of the Moslem Sunrise, the number of new converts, to Islam has been about 113, but below we give the names of 34 only, because in the case of the other 79 certain details we have not been able to get, hence we leave over their names for the next issue. The American and the Muslim names of the 34 we give below: 

Mr Howard Caruthets, Hammad; Mr Anderson Jackson, Ahmad Jaleel; Mr C Johnson, Jan Mohammad; Mr John Santiago, Shamsud Din; Mr Olive Pibsoyj, Peer Muhammad; Mr Virgil Washington, Abdul Wodood; Mr Rothelz Mason, Monawwar; Mr James Mason, Moneer; Rev JD W Ross, Abdullah Saifur Rehman; Mr John Samson, Jamal Muhammad; Mrs Emma Wilson, Amanat; Mr Lee McGruder, Lutfullah; Mr Walter Walker, Muhammad Saleem; Mr Janer Hill, Hilawl; Mr Troy Logan, Solieman; Mr Rufus Kyles, Abdus Subhan; Miss Linda Sealy, Amatullah; Mr JS Louis, Amanullah; Mr Edgar A Craig, Abdul Ghaffoor; Mr Leo Logan, Sher Muhammad; Mr WM Freeman, Freid; Mrs Virgil Jenkins, Jameela; Mr SG Greene, Ghulab; Mrs Addie Young, Shabab; Mr Merril Van, Battenberg, Badrud Din; Mr Duncan Hamilton, Hameedullah; Mr Willie Rooks, Ruknud Din; Mr Sam Buckner, Sameeullah; Mr James Fridge, Freid; Master B Wilson, Wilayet; Mrs Martha Hayes, Hawwa; and Mr Saeed Hassen, a Syrian Muslim, has joined the Ahmadiyya Movement.

– Muhammad Din

Display of immense devotion by Ahmadis in Assin, Africa

Al Fazl, 23 and 27 May 1924

Kano, Nigeria, 1911 | Wiki Commons

Al-Haj Hakim Fazl-ur-Rahman Sahib (1901-1955)

Tabligh tour of Assin region

Our friends from the Assin region of Africa, after reestablishing their connection with the Jamaat, have been actively participating in community activities with great enthusiasm by the grace of God. They are displaying remarkable examples of devotion and dedication. 

At their request, I [Hakim Fazl-ur-Rahman Sahib], along with the secretary of mission, Mr BE Keelson as my interpreter, reached the distant boundaries of the Assin region. Through lectures in various [African] villages, i.e., Yankumasi, Dompim, and Brecoe, etc., we were blessed with the opportunity to convey the message of the One God to hundreds of pagans and Christians. By the grace of Allah, 123 men and women have entered into the fold of Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Among them, 115 were non-Ahmadi Muslims, 10 idolaters, and including children, the total number of new converts reaches around 200.

All these villages are located along the road that stretches from the former capital of the Gold Coast, i.e., Cape Coast, to the old capital of the Ashanti kings, Kumasi. This route is very famous due to the early battles between the British and the Ashanti people. A motor car can travel for 57 miles along this path, but beyond that, there is no alternative but to proceed on foot.  

Sincerity of Assin friends

All the Ahmadi friends from the Assin region, including women, men, children, and the elderly, except for a few differently-abled, accompanied me throughout my tabligh tour. The journey took 10 days to complete, and a palanquin was provided for me. However, for most of the journey, I walked with my friends. 

In some places, if we did not find adequate sleeping arrangements or faced any difficulties with food, everyone endured it for the sake of Allah the Almighty. If anyone had any concerns, it was not about their physical comfort but about guiding others to the right path. Therefore, with a heart full of gratitude and praise, I pray to God Almighty that He grants great progress in the faith and sincerity of these devoted individuals and bestows them with the best of His spiritual and worldly rewards.

His Holiness, Imam Hazrat Fazl-e-Umar, [Khalifatul Masih IIra] and other members of the Jamaat are also requested to pray for these friends and the new converts.  

Promise for work in future

These friends did not just fulfil their duties during this one journey, but in fact, they made a promise for the future as well. They have all vowed that at least twice a year, they will join me in the same group form to preach in the Assin region, and they will go with me wherever I wish to take them. May Allah grant them the ability to fulfil this promise in the best possible manner, Amin.

Ahmadiyya school in Saltpond

Placing our trust in the grace and blessings of Allah the Almighty, Talim-ul-Islam Ahmadiyya School has been established in Saltpond with the strength of 30 boys. We are facing difficulties with accommodation. This problem might persist until our own [mission] house is built.

I am confident that our school will grow, flourish, and expand by every passing day. 

– Hakeem Fazl-ur-Rahman

Nigerian letter and pictorial lecture in London

Al Fazl, 27 May 2024

Secretary Tabligh Lagos

Alfa Joshua Shodande, the Secretary Tabligh of the Lagos Jamaat, who was injured in a motor car accident, has now recovered. Opponents of the community had spread the rumour that he had passed away, but Allah the Almighty has thwarted the enemies of Islam. The young Ahmadi missionary has resumed his work in full health.  

Progress of Jamaat

The work of Jamaat is progressing, and people’s hearts are inclining towards Islam Ahmadiyyat. Every day, new friends are joining the Ahmadiyya Community, and the bai‘at forms have also been published in the Yoruba language. The most recent convert is a Christian woman who has been named Rasheeda. Recently, her nikah has been arranged with a young Ahmadi man. […]

Lecture in London

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra writes:

On 14 March [1924], I delivered a lecture at a [literary] society in London, of which I am a member of their management committee. The topic of the lecture was “My Journey to West Africa,” and the presentation was illustrated using a magic lantern, [i.e., an early type of image projector]. Forty-two slides were shown on the screen, and the lecture was well-received by both Ahmadi and non-Ahmadi attendees. All praise is due to Allah the Almighty for granting this opportunity to present the teachings of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in a manner that reached the hearts of the audience.


To begin, I came to the platform and introduced Islam Ahmadiyyat to the audience. During this introduction, a full portrait of the Promised Messiahsa was shown on the screen. Witnessing this sight, where on one side the Promised Messiahas was standing on a high place and on the other, his servant was presenting arguments and a lecture in favour of Islam in English, reminded me of the blessed vision of Hazrat Ahmadas recorded in his book, Izala-e-Auham. This manifestation, along with the hope and certainty of the fulfilment of this prophecy of the future success of the propagation of Islam, inspires waves of faith in the hearts of believers.  

Next, a map of West Africa was displayed, followed by images of African inhabitants. After that, [an Ahmadi missionary], Nayyar was shown preaching. Various stages of the Eid prayer were then displayed, explaining the meaning of certain phrases. Thereafter, the modest attire of Ahmadi women was presented in comparison to the traditional dress of African women. In the same way, pictures of different places were shown, and scenes of preaching in the courts of kings were displayed, with the exact words of the speeches given there.

Along with showing images of Nigeria and the Gold Coast, including students and teachers at schools and the work of missionaries, the core teachings of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat were also presented. Additionally, the mosques in Europe and America, and the before and after images of Lekh Ram and Dowie were shown to illustrate the fate of imposters.  

My heart is filled with praise for Allah the Almighty as I was blessed with the opportunity to convey the truth to people in an impactful manner, Alhamdulillah. I am making arrangements for this lecture to be delivered in various parts of England in a similar manner.  

Speech by alfa Sheta

After my lecture, some attendees asked questions which were answered satisfactorily. Following this, Maulvi Muhammad Ismail Sheta, the naib imam of Lagos Jamaat, who is staying as a guest at [Ahmadiyya] Dar al-Tabligh, London, gave a speech. He said:  

“I testify to all the statements that my Maulvi Sahib has presented before you, and I want to express that the beneficial work done by the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in West Africa is something to be seen firsthand. I have travelled to England solely to meet my Maulvi Sahib, and I hope that you will also benefit from the teachings of the Promised Messiahas.” 

A new convert wrote:  

“I, whose former name was Arnold Lowell and now is Nasir Ahmad, declare my acceptance of Islam today. The reason for my conversion is that I find Christianity to be futile. I find no evidence for the divinity of Christ. I believe that Moses, Jesus, and other prophets, and our master Muhammad, peace be upon them all, are servants of Allah. Today, I become a member of the [Ahmadiyya] Jamaat, with its headquarters located in Qadian, Punjab, India and its branch established in London at 63 Melrose Road, SW 18.”

Preaching efforts

With the change in weather, outdoor gatherings have come to life. The seed of Islam is being sown in the hearts of hundreds of people, and citizens of various Asian and European countries can be seen at our gatherings. We are also engaged in distributing literature and participating in meetings of different religions.

(Transcribed and edited by Al Hakam from the original English published in The Moslem Sunrise, April 1924, and translated from the original Urdu, published in the 23 and 27 May 1924 issue of Al Fazl)

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