100 Years Ago… – Tabligh efforts and distinctive achievement of Ahmadi missionary in America

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The Review of Religions (English), March 1921

Qadian

His Holiness, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra], head of the Ahmadiyya community left for Lahore on 4 March [1921]. There he delivered a lecture on The Need of Religion, before an audience composed of students of various local colleges. 

From Lahore he proceeded to Malerkotla and after a brief sojourn of three days, he came back to Qadian on 11 March [1921]. At Malerkotla he delivered a lecture on the truth of Islam. 

Our London mission

Our missionaries, Maulvi FM Sayal and Mubarak Ali, are carrying on their work with all earnestness and are sparing no pains to guide the people of the west to their salvation. In his latest letter Mr Sayal reports two more conversions – one being a gentleman who has been named Faruq and the other, a lady who has embraced Islam after a thorough study of its teachings and principles for six long years and has chosen for herself the beautiful name of Mahmudah (praised). 

During the period under report (16 January to 4 February [1921]), our brethren delivered 13 lectures on various topics. Mr Sayal requests his friends to pray for the success of the Ahmadiyya missions, beset as it is on all sides by the forces of materialism. 

Mr Nayyar was accorded a hearty send off by some of his Ahmadi brethren and sisters when the ship set sail from Liverpool for Sierra Leone. 

In his last letter from London dated 31 January [1921], Mr Nayyar informs us that at the request of the Independent Spiritualist Church of Portsmouth, he gave a lecture on Sunday, 30 January [1921]. The church was packed to its utmost capacity and even the doors of the Church were kept open to make room for the audience. 

The lecture was much appreciated and he was asked to address the audience again in the evening. He explained to the best of his ability in the time at his disposal the mission of Ahmad[as]

The people were much pleased to hear the lecture. In his last lecture in Hyde Park, Mr Nayyar delivered his farewell message to English people which was that their salvation lay in Islam only. 

News has been received that Mr Nayyar reached Sierra Leone safe on 21 February [1921]. 

In one of his letters, Mr Sayal narrates two interesting visions which he saw recently in London. He says: 

“I saw myself sitting in a chair in a room, surrounded on all sides by difficulties which stood there in the shape of idols, made of artificial stones. They were so numerous that I grow uneasy at their sight and exclaimed in a loud voice ‘How shall we get rid of these difficulties?’ Then I saw the Promised Messiah[as] standing there and he said that there was no other asylum from these difficulties save the lap of God.” 

The same night, writes Mr Sayal, he saw the devil in the form of a strong woman. She was standing on a lofty place and a large number of her agents were standing before her. She was angry with them and said, “What a cry there was about the Ahmadis?” She heard from all sides, she said, that the Ahmadis were gaining successes against them and she asked whether nothing could be done against them. Her agents in reply, confessed their powerlessness in the matter and said, that as Ahmadis did everything by means of prayers, they could make no interference with their affairs.

Our American mission

Every Sunday our brother [Mufti Sadiq Sahibra] gives two lectures, one in the Church of Love and the other in his own lecturing room. 

In the course of one of his lectures, a gentleman stood up and said, “A time there was when we considered East to be uncultured and uneducated and we sent there our missionaries but now our spiritual blindness has been brought home to us and east has provided us with a missionary.” 

On 16 January [1921], our brother delivered a lecture on Revelation and Prophethood

At the conclusion of the lecture, a person stood up and brought forth his claim to prophethood. A controversy was proposed to take place on next Sunday. The Christian was to prove his own claim and our missionary was to speak on the prophethood of Muhammad[sa] and Ahmad[as], leaving the audience to judge for themselves the soundness of the arguments advanced from both sides. The controversy is expected to attract a big audience. 

Our readers will be much pleased to know that the Lincoln Jefferson University has conferred on our learned brother Mufti Muhammad Sadiq the honourary degree of Doctor of Literature (LittD) in recognition of his attainment as a scholar. The following is a copy of the certificate: 

“This is to certify that under and by virtue of a charter granted by the State of Illinois to the Trustees of the Lincoln Jefferson University.

“There has been conferred upon MUFTI MOHAMMAD SADIQ, the honourary degree of Doctor of Literature (LittD) on the nomination and approval of the faculty, in recognition of his attainments as a scholar, success as a leader of men, and his devotion to promoting the higher and nobler relations between man and man. 

“To him we grant all the rights, privileges and honours appertaining to this degree, and in testimony thereof witness the signature of our President and the Seal of this University. 

“Done in the City of Chicago, Illinois: this the 16th day of December 1920.

“(Signed) John FB Walker, PhD, DD, LittD. President of the University and of the Board of Trustees.” 

East and West

M Clemenceau, the late Premier of France, recently said at Bombay:

“The East was not backward. All noble ideals of love and humanity came from the East. The West had adopted them and made them their own. Therefore I speak not as one of a higher civilization but as one swimming to the source of civilization.” 

In the present age also, God raised the Promised Messiah[as] in the east in fulfilment of the word which He had spoken to the prophets (vide, for instance, Isaiah 41:2, “who raised the righteous man from the east”). It is now for the West to adopt the truth which he taught to the world and to make it their own. […]

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original article in The Review of Religions [English], March 1921)

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