100 Years Ago… – The first English weekly “Al-Bushra” and news from Ahmadiyya missions

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Last Updated on 21st October 2022

The Moslem Sunrise, October 1922

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra (1872-1957)
Africa Map

Ahmadia news

[Qadian]

The various activities at the headquarters (Qadian, India) are all making good progress. Our weekly Al Fazl prints a large list of new members every week. His Hazrat, the Khalifatul Masih [IIra], has been busy writing an epistle addressed to His Majesty, the Amir of Afghanistan. Brother Abdullah Allahdin, the famous editor and author of many books for the [Ahmadiyya] Movement, has recently secured three more new converts to Islam. His Hazrat, the Khalifatul Masih, has not been enjoying very good health, but [despite] all this, he continued working strenuously for the cause of truth just the same.

Maulvi Muhammad Din BA, late manager of Talim-ul-Islam High School Qadian and editor of The Review of Religions, has been appointed to work in this country and is expected to reach here in the month of October 1922. He has been living at the headquarters of the Ahmadia Movement and studying and practising the Sacred Knowledge under the directions of the Promised Messiah[as] and his successors for more than twenty years and is thus a very fit person for the mission work abroad. May Allah help him and make him successful. 

The result of our Qadian High School examination in the number of successful candidates has been very good, which evinces the diligence of the headmaster, Qazi Abdullah, and his assistants in the teaching work. The Punjab University has granted the title of Maulvi Fazil (Honors in Arabic) to three more students of our Divinity School this year. 

[London]

Our missionary in London, England (Maulvi Mubarak Ali), helped by his young voluntary associates, delivered the message of truth to many of the celebrities in England, including the various foreign ambassadors, and delivered several lectures in the open public park and in the Mission House. One of his recent converts from the English people is Mr Sydney Blashill. 

Brother Azizuddin, during his commercial tours in the British Isles, loses no opportunity to deliver the message of Islam to those he comes in touch with, and Messrs. Augusto, Khalid, Zubair, Allahdin and Chaudhry devote all the time they can spare from their studies to the work of God and His Holy Prophet[sa]Jaza-hum Allahu Khaira [May Allah grant them the best of rewards]. 

london 2243489 1920

[Africa]

Professor AR Nayyar is busy educating his vast and widespread fold of African Ahmadi Moslems and has published a very useful short and pithy circular, named “What Is the Ahmadia Movement?” 

Maulvi FR Hakeem, our missionary in Gold Coast, has secured 117 new converts to the Ahmadia Movement.

[Ceylon]

The Message (published weekly at 30 Short Rds., Colombo, Ceylon, subscription $2 per annum) of 28 June [1922] has among others, a very interesting article by Ali Muhammad Abdullah, a civil service student in London. 

[Eygpt]

Shaikh Mahmud Ahmad has started his work at 19 Shara Khairiat Street, Cairo, Egypt. 

[Australia]

Mr H Musa Khan has been doing good work in sending communications in favour of Islam and Ahmadia Movement to the periodicals of Australia at an average rate of one every day. He names his articles as Moslem Sunshine, and as he informs us in his letter dated 11 July 1922, he had sent up fifty-one communications up to that date. He had also a strange experience of giving the message [of Islam] to the original inhabitants of Australia where, lying sick in a forest camp, he was miraculously helped by Allah and enabled to return to Perth in better physical and financial conditions. His address is GPO, Box 305, Perth, West Australia.

[Eid celebrations in London]

The Eid celebrations in our London Mosque have been reported by London Press as a complete success. We quote the following lines from Southfield Boro News of London, dated 11 August 1922, and West Africa of 3 June 1922:

“Id-ul-Azha or the Muslim festival of Sacrifice, was celebrated at the Ahmadia Mosque, Southfields, on Friday. Prayers were offered in the garden behind the Mosque at 11:30 am. The Imam gave a sermon in English, in which he compared the Islamic idea of sacrifice with the Christian idea of atonement.

“A Spanish lady, a student of the London University, joined the fold of Islam, and in a neat little speech gave her reasons for her conversion. The visitors were treated to luncheon with Indian dishes, and with tea in the afternoon.

“His Excellency Sardar Abdul Hadi Khan, the Afghan Ambassador, the Afghan Consul, and their staff, members of Riff (Morocco) delegation, Prof. HM Leon, Madame Leon, and many other ladies and gentlemen came in the afternoon.

“A meeting was held at 5 pm, in which the imam or head of the Ahmadia Islamic Mission in London, read his annual report. After that Mr MB Janjua, barrister-at-law, gave a lecture on “Islam and Socialism,” in which he contended that no real socialism existed before the advent of the great prophet (Muhammad[sa]), and that Islam was the only cure for Europe’s unhappy groping after a Socialism that was based on a true religious foundation.

“The Afghan Minister, the President, Mr WH Owen, President of the National Secular Society, and several other gentlemen spoke in appreciation of the work of the London Ahmadia Mission. A Riff delegate also spoke, and expressed his pleasure to meet Moslems from different parts of the world.

“In a sermon, Mr Mubarak Ali reminded his hearers of what the last of the great prophets of the world, Muhammad[sa] of Arabia, had laid down for Islam; that the festival observed by the Moslem at the end of the lunar month, which began this year on 28 April [1922] and ended the previous day, was for self-discipline and hygienic reasons. During the month of fasting Moslems were strictly enjoined to lead a good life. The object of this was to prove to a man that if he could practise and lead a good life for one month, he could lead a good life for the rest of the year. Mr Mubarak Ali stated that this Movement was destined to be the salvation of India in the near future, for it was welding the Hindu and the Moslem neighbours for a thousand years who had never really come together before. Ahmad’s message had a deep significance for India and the world. The highest ideal for India was not political freedom. Ahmad’s was a spiritual message. India was an epitome of the world, and it was not for nothing that so many races and communities met there. Islam had received a great impetus from the Ahmadia movement.

“Some explanation of the origin and strength of the movement, which is spreading all over the world, will not be out of place here. Its founder was Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad[as], who, the Promised Messiah, died in 1908. The Movement began in the Punjab. Ahmad[as] lived as an unassuming man, with about 400,000 followers, chiefly in India – the northwestern parts. Today, there are probably 500,000 members in the Movement, but the number is steadily growing. Ahmad’s first successor was Hazrat Maulvi Nur-ud-Din. He died in 1914. Today, Hazrat Mirza Besheer-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad[ra] is the head of the Ahmadiyya community. 

Qadian

“What is he like, then, the high priest of truth and piety, who represents the Ahmadiyya Movement today?

“In a small peaceful town, increased from a small village, owing to the prosperity of the Movement, some 11 miles northeast of Batala, Punjab, lives the social and religious reformer. The road to Qadian is always crowded with pilgrims, who come to pay homage from all parts of the globe. What Jerusalem is to a Christian or Benares to a Hindu, that or more is Qadian to an Ahmadi.

“Imagine the head of the movement, seated on a small patch of carpet. He is in neat and simple dress. His head is bent, his eyes are half closed. He lifts up a majestic head. You see a face half pleasant, half prophet-like. Sympathy thrills in his voice. His manner is meek. Yet he is wise. That is the leader of the movement, distinguished by its discipline and organization.

“The word Islam means the pure, divine, intelligent existence. In Islam, no church has ever had seats reserved for anybody. If an African or a European entered first, and took the front seat, the Sultan, if he happened to follow, would not think of removing him from that seat. ‘I tread under the feet the racial prejudice,’ said the Prophet Muhammad[sa]. Arabic is the common language of all Moslems, and Moslem is not the name of a particular exclusive nationality. He belongs to no one country, and he knows no distinctions of colour.

“While a great deal of misconceptions exists regarding the Ahmadia Movement in Islam – chiefly among those who will not trouble to understand it, though a well-known writer the other day dragged in Islam when considering the fate of Turkey – there is nothing concerning it that cannot be grasped. It is of supreme importance, however, to appreciate that Ahmadia is a religious movement purely, having nothing to do with politics. Its adherents do not eat pork or drink wine, and they follow the religious observances imposed by the Master-Prophet Muhammad[sa]. Its headquarters are at Qadian, Punjab, and there are branches all over India, Burmah, Ceylon, China, Australia, Mesopotamia, Persia, Arabia, Egypt, East Africa, Mauritius, West Africa, England and the United States.

“In West Africa, from where, it is understood, the Movement arrived here, the branch is at Saltpond, with Professor AR Nayyar, Phil B, as a missionary; in Lagos, at 62 Bangabose Street; and in Sierra Leone. During the last 12 months, 16,000 people in West Africa have joined the Movement. It is one of the articles of faith that members of Ahmadia should obey the laws of the country in which they live.

“The last-named fact explains much concerning the welding of Hindu and Moslem in India under Ahmadia and – the ideals of the Movement – that the Muhammadans of India before Ahmad[as] did not recognise the prophets of the Hindus. Ahmad[as] taught them differently. This paved the way for the unity of Hindus and [Muslims] on a spiritual basis and led to the extension of the Movement to Britain. All the followers of Ahmadia devoutly believe in the prophecy of Ahmad[as] that Islam will spread to all parts of the world and eventually become the predominant religion. The important thing is that the Ahmadia Movement in Islam teaches the highest ideals – peace [and] submission to the will of God. Islam is the name of the religion of Muhammadans, who do not regard Muhammad[sa] as a god, but as a man, a prophet. Nor do they call themselves Mohammedans, but Moslem.”

Al-Bushra

We have now on our table the first four numbers of “Al-Bushra,” the first English weekly started at Qadian (Punjab, India). It is full of readable, interesting matter. Friday Sermon and the table-talks of our Blessed Leader are very instructive features. Subscription $4 per annum. We strongly recommend it to the Moslems and the Seekers of truth in this country. The subscription can be sent to the office of The Moslem Sunrise, 4448 Wabash Ave., Chicago, Illinois.

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Moslem Sunrise, October 1922)

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