100 Years Ago… – Wonders of America, by Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq

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Al Fazl, 14-17 November 1921

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra (1872-1957)

An unparalleled example of wasteful spending

Mrs Smith Wilkinson is an English woman and a resident of London. She spent 2 crore rupees [20 million] on her personal expenses within three weeks in Paris. Her dinnerware and bathtubs are all studded with jewels and pearls. She is coming to America in some days and American merchants are happy because she will spend a lot of money over here. Her servants are already present in New York to buy the best house for her and decorate it according to her taste.

Mr Wilson became a lawyer

Mr Woodrow Wilson has now taken up the profession of a lawyer after eight years as President of America. The state secretary and private secretary of the presidency, who must have left at the same time, have now joined him to assist in the legal profession. Mr Taft, who previously served as President of the country, has been appointed chief judge of the Supreme Court.

New land

After so much geographical research, as if every part of the earth has been measured, still something or another comes out which is completely new. While travelling in the Antarctic Ocean, Dr Cope [كوپ] has discovered a new continent, rich in oil and mineral deposits. There, birds of peculiar shapes and sizes have been found.

How can wars end

How can wars end when European experts are devoting all their intellectual powers day and night to the idea of inventing destructive weapons to annihilate human lives and property. Dr Hutchinson of America has invented a cannon that soundlessly fires 14 cannon-balls which fall at a distance of three hundred miles. To date, no such cannon has been invented.

Church for animals

Mr Royal Dixon has spent his life studying the wonders of animals and plants and has written several books on this subject. He has set up a new church for the protection of plant and animal rights. Its members will gather on Sundays for the said purpose and collect donations for sending their missionaries to every country.

Famine

There are many Indians, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus in California who are farmers by profession. Sad news has been received from there that due to heavy rainfall, the crops have been destroyed and people are in a dire situation.

Extreme heat

The weather of this country and especially of this region in which I am staying these days is many degrees colder than that of London. It is many degrees hotter [in summer] as compared to Punjab. However, there is no hot wind and the night is relatively cooler. At the beginning of July, the temperature was between 90 °F to 100 °F. Within a month, seven people died of heatstroke in Detroit, five in Chicago and 40 in Ohio. When the heat intensifies, the wind stops and there is severe humidity and this is probably the reason why the heat becomes deadly. Both the extreme temperatures, hot or cold are not good. May Allah the Almighty keep us safe and sound in all circumstances.

Independence Day

4 July is Independence Day in America. This is the day when, after many battles, the country finally became a completely independent state and the foundation of a democratic government was laid after separating from the British Empire. This day is called “Independence Day”. All businesses except for sports and theatres are closed on this day. 

The meaning of holiday in India is that government offices and courts are closed on that day. Here [in America], all the shops are also closed on holidays so that the merchants and their employees may also celebrate. Only bakeries and tea shops are open for people to eat and drink. 

On the said day, children set off fireworks which is a very scary sight. Since most of the houses are made of wood, fires start in many places. In previous years on 4 July, 35 houses caught fire in Detroit alone. The fire engines could not reach all the places on time and many lives were lost. 

نعوذ‭ ‬باللہ‭ ‬من‭ ‬النار‭ ‬و‭ ‬غضب‭ ‬الجبار

[We seek refuge with Allah from the fire and the wrath of the Almighty.]

A man was “stolen”

When I was in school, Persian was taught in government schools. I don’t know what is the state of the Persian language now, but at that time, a book was taught in lower primary education that had a story of a man whose donkey got stolen. When he heard about it, he went to the mosque, prostrated and started thanking Allah the Almighty. The people asked him as to why he was being grateful. He replied, “I am grateful for the fact that when the donkey was stolen, I was not riding it, otherwise I would have been stolen as well.” 

We used to laugh when reading this story that do men also get stolen? However, not a day goes by over here without the mention of the news of one or two men being stolen [abducted] in some parts of the country. In some places, robbery takes place in the form of looting and in other parts, it is done with proper planning. 

A man came to the house of a rich woman around noon and mentioned the name of her sister and said that a woman by that name accidentally fell on the road after being hit by a car and collapsed. [He told her] “Some people recognised that she was your relative and was coming to meet you. I have been sent by the police to take you by car for identification immediately.” The woman panicked and left with him. Several days later, it was discovered that she was in the hands of thieves who demanded millions of dollars. 

Recently, a famous lecturer, whose civil [rights] speeches were against some parties has been kidnapped. 12 men came and took him from his house and put him in a motor. His whereabouts is still unknown.

Exercise for women

A London-based female doctor published that those women who did excessive exercise were not able to have children. The sports-officer of the ministry for education here has rejected this [observation]. Her name is Dr Miss Perrin. She writes that under her supervision, girls in schools had been made to do regular exercise for a long time, and there were those among them who got married had children.

Medical treatment of a thief

A woman who has children and whose husband earns a reasonable income and happily provides for her needs has been arrested three times for stealing. A doctor suggested that it was a crime that could not be treated in a prison. [He was of the view that] some of her body’s glands were undernourished and weakened, leading her to steal. The authorities have kept that woman in hospital for three months as part of a doctor’s orders. That lady’s name is Mrs Leibowitz and the said doctor’s name is EH Waghan.

[From, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq.]

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in the 14-17 November 1921 issue of Al Fazl)

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