Edith Sadiqah Sadiq & Edith Nurmahal Sadiq: American Wife and Daughter of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq

Mahmood Kauser, Missionary USA
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As the 100 years since the arrival of the first Muslim Missionary to America came to a close, more and more about the days of his missionary work have come to light. Among the many challenges he faced and the triumphs he achieved in that short while; God blessed this disciple of the Promised Messiahas with many supporters to continue the mission of Islam in America. 

One important aspect of teaching Islam to new Muslims is the training and education of a vital segment of society; women. One such method of teaching the women of a society is outlined by the sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa in the blessed examples of his wives. For example, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa married Hazrat Safiyyara who was of Jewish descent. Similarly, his wife Maria al-Qibtiyyara (Maria the Copt) was originally from Egypt. She is the wife who bore the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa a son named Ibrahim who died in his infancy. Each of his wives played a pivotal role in the education and training of other women of their time.

It is therefore likely that under the same direction, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra also wed in various places during his global mission. (“Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra [Urdu]”, p. 263, www.alislam.org) Recently, an article was published regarding his grandchildren in the United Kingdom reconnecting with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to learn about their grandfather, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra. It seems, from the reports, that this marriage was likely short-lived, and although a child was gifted as a result of this union, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra only reconnected with him after the child attained the age of maturity. He even gave the name Fatima to one of his granddaughters. Additionally, his next tour was in the United States from 1920 to 1923. During this visit, he also wed a newly converted American by the name of Edith Hoffman. Details of her life are presented in greater detail in this article. And lastly, on his return to Qadian, India in 1927 he also wed Hidayat Budd, a Dutch woman who travelled with Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra on his journey back to Qadian and settled there with him. (“Early days of the Holland Mission”, www.alhakam.org)


Therefore, the story begins on the shores of Philadelphia when Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra was denied entry into the United States and subsequently detained for seven weeks. The charges were based on a fear of preaching polygamy. The very act itself was already outlawed in the US, therefore it was the promotion and propagation of the custom that was the cause of his refusal to enter as a missionary. The Immigration Officers initially gave Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra an ultimatum, “either return on the same ship you came” or face the consequences of a decision from the President himself. His response is important to understand the magnanimity of the work of this man of great fortitude and integrity. He said, “I will not leave for my Khalifa has told me to enter this country and help those who are looking for faith.” This earned him a place in a detention centre in New Jersey. (Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra, “Khilafat-e-Thania Kay Karnamay”, Al Hakam (Khilafat Number), 21-28 December 1937, p. 6)

After seven weeks, he was finally released and permitted to work as a missionary. He began his mission in New York City. He then moved to Detroit where he started the Moslem Sunrise Magazine, finally settling in Chicago, IL. He spent the first two years devoted to establishing the mission of Islam Ahmadiyyat from sea to shining sea. It was by this time that over 500 new converts had joined the Movement. In October of 1922, an American woman by the name of Edith Hoffman also stepped forward to take the leap of faith. She was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1895 and had served abroad in the Red Cross in 1921 during the Greco-Turkish war. (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 August 1923, p. 12) After she had returned, she came across the Mission of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and eventually embraced it as her own. She was given the name Sadiqah. Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra wrote to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra for permission for a second nikah. After receiving the blessings of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, in December of 1922 the nikah (Muslim marriage ceremony) was held which officially united in holy matrimony Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra and Edith Sadiqah Hoffman, now named Sadiqah Sadiq. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 31 August 1923, p. 6)

They later registered their marriage in Cook County on 3 March 1923. (Ancestry.com, Cook County, Illinois Marriage Indexes, 1912-1942 [database online]; Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011) Since it was a well-known fact through the news media at the time that he already “had a wife in India,” getting his marriage registered was a very significant step to draw a clear picture for us today. International relations and immigration status’ were not the same as they appear in this day and age. The fact that he was able to successfully register his marriage reveals he was not in violation of USA polygamy laws. Additionally, there were no criminal charges levelled against him as a result of this marriage registration to indicate otherwise.

Thereafter, Edith Hoffman, now Sadiqah Sadiq, continued her work as a devout Muslim American. (Moslem Sunrise, 1923, Issue 1, p. 169) She not only preached Islam but also served mankind in every possible way. Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra in the second quarter of 1923 in the Moslem Sunrise mentions that “Mrs. Sadiqah Sadiq, being a graduated registered nurse and having vast experience in that branch of medical science, will be glad to help the Moslem sisters in the country by her valuable advice personally or through correspondence. Address all communications to 4448 Wabash Ave. Chicago Ill.” (Moslem Sunrise, 1923, Issue 2-3, p. 214) In addition, she also contributed to the Berlin Mosque that has now been built in only recent years and has been named Khadija Mosque. (Moslem Sunrise, 1923, Issue 2-3, p. 196) By this time, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra had already sent another missionary to carry on the work of the Mission in the USA; Hazrat Muhammad Dinra. He had begun his work as the chief editor of the Moslem Sunrise, for which Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra also mentioned in the following words: “I gratefully acknowledge the assistance rendered by M. Mohammad Din, B. A., and Sadiqah Sadiq, R. N. in the preparation of this issue of the magazine.” (Moslem Sunrise, 1923, Issue 2-3, p. 190)

His work had seen great fruition, but it was time for him to return to Qadian. Anyone not familiar with the sacrifices that go along with the life of an Ahmadi Muslim missionary would not be familiar with the ability to leave your family behind while the missionary carries on the Mission. There are countless examples in the history of Ahmadiyyat in which missionaries had to sacrifice distances and decades away from their families for the purpose of establishing the Mission. It is not done out of cruelty or neglect, but out of sacrifice and service. These examples are in line with the example set by Hazrat Ibrahimas when he had to leave his wife and son behind in a barren land for the sake of Allah. Therefore, the life of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra was one of sacrifice for the sake of faith.

In the early part of 1923, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra received his summons from Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and began work to transfer the many organs of the mission to the newly arrived missionary, Hazrat Muhammad Din. At this time, the members of the USA Jamaat wrote a special letter that was published in the Moslem Sunrise asking Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra for any chance to stay back. However, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra must continue to the next place on the commands of his Khalifa.

At this point, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra and Edith Hoffman (Sadiqah) are preparing to welcome a great gift to their world; the birth of their daughter. It was in August of 1923 that Nur-Mahal Sadiq was born. At this same time, they were preparing to depart for Qadian together. It is reported “Dr. Sadiq expects to return to India with his wife and daughter. He will take up the work of increasing the educational facilities there for women.” He met his daughter at the age of two weeks for the first time in Philadelphia. “It is a poor time for lectures and sermons, besides I had a small daughter whom I had not seen. Although my wife is American, she belongs to my faith and we decided to name the child Noor, the Arabic name for ‘Child of the light’”. (The Evening News, Wilkes-Barre, PA, 22 August 1923, p. 3) On her birth certificate, it was written Edith Nurmahal (Noor-Mahal) Sadiq. His wife and daughter were at the time residing at 3940 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 August 1923, p. 12)

It seems though that legal issues were raised which prevented Edith Hoffman (Sadiqah) from leaving with Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra on his scheduled voyage back to India. This entire ordeal is captured in a newspaper report which also included the photos of Edith Hoffman and the newborn. Charges were made against Edith Hoffman on what is known as “bigamy.” This is known as the criminal offence of marrying one person while still legally married to another. At the time, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra was in Massachusetts. The article highlights the defence of Edith Hoffman (Sadiqah), “She had been informed by an attorney in Chicago that she was legally divorced.” Additionally, she reports that “she met her first husband in Europe in 1921 while she was serving a Red Cross contingent in the Near East […] the couple later met in New Orleans and were married.” She adds that “she left her husband a few days after the marriage and has never lived with him since.” To draw a clear picture of the kind of ex-husband he was, she tells the paper that after their marriage ended, “he, however, trailed her from one city to another […] trying to force her to return to him.” Concluding, “In Chicago, she said, she applied for a divorce and later learned it had been granted.” After several months, she ended up hearing a lecture by Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra which convinced her of the truth of Islam, allowing her to officially embrace the faith.

Such attempts to halter the initial progress of Islam were seen often during these first three years. One such example was at the very beginning of the mission of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra when he first moved to New York City. He mentions in his own words “After my arrival in America, I rented a house that was owned by a lady. I was once praying in the house when a person saw me through the glass door and presumed I was performing magic. He reported this to the homeowner and she came hurriedly and told me to vacate her house immediately while I was still praying. After finishing my prayer, I told her this is how we meditate, but she did not hear a word from me. Thus I was forced to vacate the house.” (Shaikh Muhammad Asmaeel Paani Pati, Lataife Sadiq, Jamaluddin Anjum, 1946, p. 138-139) The same seems to have occurred again when Sadiqah Sadiq (Edith Hoffman) was charged by her first husband who outrageously claimed that she was still his wife even though she had made clear to the court that she had divorced him.

In the end, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra had to return to India and was unfortunately not able to take his wife and child back with him. His desire was always to preach and establish Islam across the globe. He embodied the sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa by marrying those of different nations so that he could train them and educate them about the true essence of Islam and through them train and educate not only a specific segment of society but the future generations as well. Therefore by September of 1923, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra left the USA, stopping briefly in England on route back to India. (Ancestry.com, UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 [database online], Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.) After this, very little is known about the whereabouts of his wife and daughter other than the fact that in the 1930s census, they are reported to have been living in San Francisco, California. Later even his daughter is reported to have lived at 504 Laura Ann CT, Bay Point, CA, 94565 which is less than a mile and a half from our current Bay Point Mosque. (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 31 August 1923, p. 6) Nothing much is known from then on other than the fact that Edith Nurmahal Sadiq, daughter of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra, died on 14 April 1992 in Contra Costa, California. (Ancestry.com. U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 2 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. xiii Ancestry.com Number: 207-14-0524; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951) To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.

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