100 Years Ago… – ‘This book almost made me a Muslim’: Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Din’s passion for preaching


Al Fazl, 8 March 1923

By Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Dinra (1881-1983)

Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Din Sahibra, son of Ghasita Sahib, was a resident of Lahore. He was born on 4 December 1881. At the age of 20 in 1901, he was blessed with the audience and bai‘at of the Promised Messiahas. In 1903, he migrated to Qadian.

In September 1907, when the Promised Messiahas encouraged members of the Jamaat to devote their lives, Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Din Sahibra was among the first 13 Companionsra who responded to his call. At that time, he was a student of BA [Bachelor of Arts] at Aligarh College, Lahore.

From 1914 to 1921, Hazrat Maulvi Sahibra was the headmaster of Talim-ul-Islam High School, Qadian. From 1923 to 1925, he served as a missionary in America. He was also the headmaster of Girls’ High School, Qadian, from 1942 to 1947. After the creation of Pakistan, he served as the Nazir-e-Talim [Head of the Education Department] and editor of The Review of Religions. In 1965, he was appointed president of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya and held that position until he passed on 7 March 1983, at the age of 102. Hence, he was able to serve Islam Ahmadiyyat for around 76 years.

Two Afghans were going to Angora [now Ankara] from Bombay [now Mumbai]. One of them was my age, and the other was slightly younger than me; both boarded the ship with me. As they did not know English, I helped them in every way. Moreover, as they could only speak Persian, I spoke to them in Persian. I drew their attention to the weak state of the followers of Islam and the spiritual decline of Muslims. At the same time, I conveyed the message of Ahmadiyya Jamaat to them. I think they left the ship with a good impression of the Jamaat. They told me that there were many members of the Jamaat in Afghanistan. It is my intention that, insha-Allah, I shall continue preaching to both of them.

From Port Said, a very wealthy Jew boarded the ship. He is a resident of New Orleans, America, and a big supporter of the Zionist Movement. He has a well-established trading business in Palestine and the United States. He intends to settle permanently in Jerusalem. I had a lot of discussions with him, and finally, I gave him the book, [The Philosophy of the] Teachings of Islam, to read. By the time we reached Marseilles, he had read the entire book. He gave it back to me, saying that the study of that book had impacted him so much that he no longer had the same views about religion [as he had in the past]. This person did not believe in revelation, Judgement Day, etc., and used to say that Prophet Moses was a very cunning person. On the last day [of his journey], he came on the deck of the ship, and in the presence of a Hindu friend, he said:

“This book, [The Philosophy of the] Teachings of Islam, has almost made me a Muhammadan [i.e., a Muslim].”

A Hindu student from Bombay [now Mumbai] also boarded the ship with me. I gave him an overview of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. He became so interested that he began to inquire about the details of the Jamaat with special attention and curiosity. I gave him the book, A Present to the Prince of Wales. He not only studied it himself but also read it aloud to others in his cabin. He then requested other books [of the Jamaat]. Although his brother and other friends were also in London, he stayed with me at the mosque in London for two days. He still asks me for more books. For now, he thinks that, as it is time for him to focus on his studies, he should not delve deeply into religion. He belongs to a rich family and is very surprised to learn about the progress and state of the Jamaat. I believe that one day Allah the Almighty will lead him to the truth [of Islam Ahmadiyyat].

An Indian merchant who got married in Ireland and has a large factory in South Africa has also expressed his interest in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. He has not only promised to study the book, [The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam], himself but has also said that he would make ten other individuals read it as well. Moreover, he says that he will keep this book in his home library and also make his Muslim friends read it.

Muhammad Din, London.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 8 March 1923 issue of Al Fazl)

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