100 Years Ago… – Tabligh in Hyde Park and James William Leader accepts Islam


Al Fazl, 5-9 August 1920

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

Speeches at Hyde Park

By the grace of God Almighty, the speeches in Hyde Park are attracting the attention of London’s public. The Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday gatherings are becoming an effective means of conveying the message of Islam to a reasonable number of intelligent men and women of London. The interest levels of people are such that some ladies and gentlemen regularly arrive at our Jalsas on time and continue to stand up for five hours at times. People are showing great interest in research. Some come to visit us at home. Some give their addresses and request to send [Ahmadiyya] literature to them.

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The questions and answers take on a very interesting colour. Chaudhry Sahib’s reasonable and irrefutable answers oft en draw tribute from intelligent educated people.

Mr Leader’s conversion to Islam

Mr James W Leader was mentioned in a previous letter to Al Fazl [newspaper]. He regularly met with Ahmadiyya missionaries and showed great interest in the message of the Promised Messiahas. He denied being a Roman Catholic priest simply because he considered it against his conscience to accept certain principles of this religion.

Finally, after deliberation, prayer and study of the Holy Quran, he has entered into the fold of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. All praise be to Allah who made it possible. The details of his conversion to Islam will be sent next week, insha-Allah.

Our esteemed visitors

Apart from the Ahmadis, the notable among those who came to meet us at the Ahmadiyya Dar-ul-Tabligh [mission house] this week are Dr Henri Mustapha Leon MA [also known as Abdullah Quilliam], Madam Maryam Leon MA, Mr Tidmore Khidr, Muhammad Salman Shalaikh, Mr Muhammad Usman Fisher (Bar-at-Law), Mr Hassan Rosher and Rev Dr Kateen Bernaden DSCBD.

People desirous of coming to England

People who have a longing in their hearts to convey the true message of Islam and the message of the Promised Messiahas and those who have intended or are intending to come to these islands should remember that living in this country is very difficult. The currency is the pound. Everything is expensive. There is no place to pass water for free. One anna [a unit of currency formerly used in the subcontinent, equal to 1/16 of a rupee] is spent on it. Inflation is rising day by day. Job opportunities for foreigners are close to zero. Old Indians who used to earn a reasonable amount of money during the war by working as cooks or dishwashers are out of work and wander here and there unemployed.

English people of certain areas hold prejudice against people of other countries. Some people used to earn their living by hawking [trade] etc. but nowadays, there are many difficulties in it as well. First, there is the difficulty of acquiring the license. After that, buying goods from Indians is considered unworthy to the rich. Noble Indians feel ashamed to go to the neighborhoods of the poor and deal with women. On the one hand, if there are not enough sales per day, the capital income has to be consumed.

Our friend Babu Azizuddin Sahib had to face these difficulties. If the Anjuman did not have a share in the Faith Brothers’ shop and if he had not secured a job there, there would have been no other option for him but to come to Dar-ul-Dawat [tabligh house] to stay and Anjuman Taraqqi-e-Islam would have had to pay his allowance.

Thus, friends coming to England should not plan to move here on mere tawakul [complete trust]; rather, they should worry about tying the camel’s feet with the strong rope of income.

On the other hand, it is even enough for Ahmadi friends to express their good intentions in front of their Imam. In spite of the difficulties, the person chosen by him [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih] will be granted all the means by Allah the Almighty.

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