100 Years Ago… – Tabligh tours to Michigan, North Dakota and Minnesota, new converts and missionary epistles


The Moslem Sunrise, January 1923

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra (1872-1957)
Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq

During the last quarter [of the year 1922], I have been very busy, invited to many places outseide the city (in the States of North Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan) to deliver lectures on Islam.

[Talk on Islam in Michigan]

On 27 November last, I was honored by the Exchange Club of Grand Haven, Michigan, as the guest of the club at a banquet attended by a large gathering of ladies and gentlemen. I was introduced to the members by the president [of the club], Mr John Hoffman, before the dinner. And after the dinner and music, which was played by a local toy musical band, I was asked to give a talk on Islam. While introducing me for the talk, the chairman remarked: “We are used to hearing of our missionaries going to India, but here is something extraordinary, a missionary sent by the Indians to preach their religion to the Americans.”

I spoke amid applauses and cheers for about an hour and a quarter on what Islam is, and what it is not; in what it agrees with Christianity and in what it differs; jehad; polygamy; genuinity of the Quran, which is not found in the present Bible; continuation of revelation, and the Prophet of the Day – Ahmadas.

When I finished my lecture, four clergymen got up one after the other to ask questions, which were ordinary, and were answered to the satisfaction of the majority of the audience.

I am thankful to Mr Joe Negen for his hospitality and for arranging for my appearance before such an intelligent group of people who gave me their undivided attention, and who showed their expressions of appreciation in many ways.

[North Dakota]

I very much enjoyed lecturing and my visit in and near Ross and Stanley, North Dakota, for which I ask Allah to pour His blessings on Mr SM George, Hessen Husain Jaha BA, Farhat, Omar Brothers and others.

[Lecture in Minnesota]

In Crookston, Minnesota, I was invited by the Superintendent of the State Farm School to give a talk on Islam in the school hall. The lecture was announced in the local papers, and therefore, in addition to the students and teacher, there were also present some citizens of the little town too. I spoke for an hour on Islam, and the chairman, thanking me for the speech, said: “All I knew of Muhammedanism before this was that the Muhammadans worshipped Muhammad and killed the Christians, but today I have learned the real facts and I am thankful for it.”

[Letter from Abas and Heider]

Brothers, Abas and Heider wrote me in their letter of 11 November 1922: 

“The day after you left for St. Paul city, there were a number of people [who] called over the telephone and inquired about you. When we informed them that you had left for the cities, they were very disappointed, as they all wanted to have a talk with you. However, we tried to satisfy them by telling them that you would come back here again some time.

“We must say that your lecture out at the State Farm was very much appreciated, as people are all talking about it and had planned to have you speak again in some building. They all say that it was a wonderful Oriental talk and they only wish that you would have stayed longer and given another lecture.”


Below we give the article that was printed in the Crookston Daily Times: 

“Visitor from India visits Crookston

“Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq of India is visiting with Messrs. Abas and Heider at 419 North Broadway for a few days, arriving in the city yesterday from a lecture tour, in North Dakota. The visitor is a Moslem missionary.

“Dr Sadiq is the editor of the Moslem Sunrise, a magazine published at Chicago and widely circulated in northern Minnesota and North Dakota. He is the first Moslem preacher to be sent to America by the Ahmadia movement from India. His headquarters and church (The Mosque) are located in Chicago.

“Dr Sadiq is a man of wide travels and many experiences. He is able to speak seven languages fluently and has a wonderful command of English, which he acquired while attending the Indian universities and later schools in England.”

[Saint Paul]

I enjoyed my very short visit of three days to St. Paul on account of the luxurious hospitality of Messrs. Ajoon and Kaderies, who managed for my stay in the St. Paul Hotel. The editors of the local papers and some of the celebrities of the city visited me in the hotel to seek information on Islam and the Ahmadia movement.

[Lectures in Detroit and new converts]

I delivered five lectures at the UNIA [Universal Negro Improvement Association] meetings in Detroit, Michigan, and secured about forty new converts to Islam. Out of the converts there, an intelligent and enthusiastic young man, Rev. Sutton, has been appointed as the leader of that congregation, with his Moslem name as Sheik Abdus Salaam. Another zealous member of ours there is Mrs Wright (Sister Nazeefa), who, together with her little children, is studiously learning the Arabic language. 

Sister Rahatullah is still doing her very good work in Highland Park, Detroit.

I am much obliged to Mr and Mrs Thaha, Mr and Mrs MS Zaher, Mr Muftizadada Ali Riza Effendi, and Mr and Mrs Adaree for their hospitality during my recent visit to Detroit, Michigan.

Rev BD Sutton (Sheik Abdus Salaam) of Detroit, Sheik Ahmad Din of St. Louis, Missouri, Brother Yousaf (Mr Joseph), Sister Saeeda in Gary. Indiana, and Sister Amina (Mrs Anne Brooks) of Chicago Heights, have been busy in their places convincing the people of the truth of Islam, and have been successful in converting many to the Blessed Fold.

[Weekly meetings]

Our regular weekly meetings are now held every Sunday morning at 11 o’clock in our Mission House. Three rooms are joined together for the purpose, and some sit on the staircase, but still, many have to stand for want of accommodation. The meeting is started with two rakaat of prayers in the Mosque to teach the new converts the Islamic mode of worship. Friday meetings are held, as usual, in the house of Mrs V Clark (Sister Ayesha).


Thanks are due to Manager Picture Hall, Stanley; Superintendent Farm School, Crookston; Secretary Turkish Cafe Hall, Detroit; President UNIA, Detroit; Exchange Club, Grand Haven; Attorney H Wilcox; Lady Marion, President Chicago West African Woman’s Club, and others for allowing me to use their halls and churches for lectures and talks on Islam.

I am much obliged to Mr James Sodick, Sister Ahmadia and other members in Chicago for carrying on the work as usual during the days of my absence from the headquarters.

Missionary epistles

Missionary epistles were written on behalf of the Ahmadia Order in America and literature was mailed to many celebrities all over the world, including: 

1. Mr Shapurji Saklatvala, congratulating him on his being elected a member of the British Parliament; 

2. Mr Bonar Law on his being appointed by His Majesty the King as Prime Minister. (The Prime Minister acknowledging this epistle has expressed his appreciation in his letter to me, dated 14 November 1922).

Honorable Shapurji Saklatvala MP, in reply to my epistle mentioned above, writes as follows:

“Chapel House, New Broad St., London, EC 2. 29 November 1922. 

Dear Dr Sadiq: 

I thank you for your kind message of the 16th instant.

I am afraid I am not in a position to make any benevolent promises for the freedom of Hindustan, because I firmly believe that until people begin to understand and realize that the lowest class of working men have got the same rights as the highest class of rich men or educated persons, there is no salvation for anybody. 

(Sd.) Shapurji Saklatwala.”

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Moslem Sunrise, January 1923)

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