100 Years Ago… – Tabligh of Islam in the capital of France


Al Fazl, 30 August 1920

Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

Sayal in Paris

The purpose of establishing an Ahmadiyya Mission in London is not only to convey the message of truth to the British Isles, but, keeping in mind the markazi [central] significance of the city, its goal is to convey the message from Darul Dawat [tabligh house], London, to as far as possible around the world.

Thus, after all pertinent requirements were met, Maulvi Fateh Muhammad Sayal MA visited Paris last week with the aim of conveying the message of the heavenly Jamaat to the people of Paris. Despite his short stay, he managed to do a lot of work. May Allah grant him the best of reward.

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Paris, France’s capital, 1920

First day in Paris

Muslims of different countries are living in the capital of France these days. They are making every effort to achieve their political goals and rights. Apart from them, many noble sons of France have converted to Islam by studying the interesting, easily understandable and reasonable teachings of Islam.

Thus, the duty of the Ahmadi missionary was to provide water to all these people when they were thirsty and to show them light in the time of darkness. Hence, a series of meetings were started to accomplish this objective. Consequently, meetings were held with French, Tunisian, Syrian, Arab and Azerbaijani Muslims. The message of the coming of the Messiah was delivered to all of them.

French new Muslims

Many Englishmen and women had already converted to Islam long before the Woking Mission was established. They are considered scholars among the English Muslims and the precious fruits of the mission of Khawaja Sahib. However, these people, as I have mentioned in the beginning, have been Muslims for a long time.

Likewise, there is a group of French Muslims in France. Chaudhry Sahib accompanied by Dr Abdullah Brendan Ahmadi PhD BD, who also worked as an interpreter because he knew French, met with some new French Muslims. Notable among them were Mr Sherif and Mr Dinet. The former has written a book in French and proved that Napoleon was a Muslim. The latter has written a biography of the Holy Prophetsa. Both of these noble sons of France were informed about the arrival of the Promised Messiahas and the teaching of Ahmadiyyat.

Mr Sharif highly appreciated the political approach of the Jamaat, i.e. the principle of giving priority to religion over politics and the commitment to put religion before the world. He expressed great happiness when he met the Ahmadiyya missionary. He also expressed the desired to study the literature of the Jamaat.

Other Muslims

In addition to the French new Muslims, a meeting was held with Muslims from Tunisia, Syria, Arabia and Azerbaijan. Representatives of each country were given the message of “Muslims’ hope”, i.e. the [message of the] appearance of the Messiah and the Mahdi. Among the Syrian Arabs, a young man was a friend of Syed Zainul Abidin. He was a fan of Syed Sahib’s religious life.

The Muslims of Azerbaijan were saddened and depressed owing to the suffering in their country. However, they were delighted and amazed to hear the good news that Russia would soon convert to Islam. Since all of them knew French, everyone was gifted a French translation of the Promised Messiah’sas speech [which was delivered at] the Conference of Great Religions. In this way, the Ahmadi missionary of London went to Paris and informed the Muslims of other Islamic countries about the arrival of the Muhammadan Messiah and successfully carried out the work of inviting them to become believers. Praise be to Allah Who made it all possible.

Lecture at Croydon

One of London’s top lodges, Croydon’s Theosophical Lodge hosted Chaudhry Sahib’s lecture on Islam. The first lecture was so well received that the second lecture was requested by the said society. After the second lecture, the third lecture was requested. The first two lectures were held on the subject of Islam, i.e. the principles and doctrines of Islam. The third lecture was due on the Prophetsa of Islam. As Chaudhry Sahib was in Paris:

قرعہ فال بنام من دیوانہ زدند

“This humble one’s name was drawn in a lot.”

Thus, I gave an hour-long speech in the above mentioned society. I highlighted that the Holy Prophetsa was a living prophet and [talked about] his uswa-e-hasana [exemplary manner], and the appearance of the Promised Messiahas. After the speech An opportunity of questions and answers was given after the speech.

Mr Lewis Lincoln, an intellectual Englishman who is also a writer, not only stood up and thanked me from the bottom of his heart, but also said, “Today, I found the confirmation of my opinion which I reached after nine years of study, in Islam.”

A lady said that the entire lecture was spiritual food. All praise belongs to Allah who made it possible. Lectures of Ahmadi missionaries will be held at this lodge in the future as well, insha-Allah!

General tabligh

Outdoor meetings are held four times a week on a regular basis. By the grace of God, very reasonable men and women of intellectual and scholarly class have started taking an interest in the true faith [of Islam]. They stand for hours listening to the speeches and sermons of the Ahmadi speakers. Slogans of shut-up are raised against Christian protesters. People regularly visit our [mission] house and enquiry. Going along the way, they [follow the teaching of Islam and] say Salam [peace be upon you], without any introduction, which is against their national norms.

Last Sunday, a young man said, “Why don’t you expand the promulgation of your Jamaat! Everyone should know about this.” Today, a person said, “A friend of mine expresses special interest in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. He will come to visit.” Hence, the purpose of establishing Darul Tabligh [mission house] in the UK, i.e.

بَلِّغۡ مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَ اِلَیۡکَ

[convey to the people what has been revealed], is being fulfilled with the utmost honesty, hard work and diligence through the succour of God. Moreover, the certainty of being honourable in the eyes of God for fulfilling this duty brings joy and happiness to our hearts.

All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, peace and blessings be upon His messenger, Muhammad, the seal of all the prophets.

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