100 Years Ago… – Address presented to King Faisal I on his coronation anniversary by the Ahmadiyya Community Baghdad


The Review of Religions (English), December 1922

Baghdad old 1
A view of Baghdad on the Persian side of the Tigris, circa 1808 | Wiki Commons

May it please your Majesty,

We, the representatives of the Ahmadiyya Movement Baghdad, humbly and respectfully offer your Majesty our sincerest and heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of your Majesty’s coronation anniversary and pray for your Majesty’s long life and happy reign.

Your Majesty! As it is most essential for a ruler to understand his people and as the Ahmadiyya Movement is only of recent origin and yet comparatively small in number, we deem it desirable to acquaint your Majesty with it.

Your Majesty! We are Muslims and we are proud of the name but what distinguishes us from the other Muslims of the day is that we believe in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, peace be on him and mercy of Allah, as the Messiah and Mahdi whose advent was foretold by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and mercy of Allah be on him, thirteen hundred years ago. This noble personage of blessed memory was born in 1835 AD at Qadian in the Indian province of the Punjab and from his very childhood, he was solely devoted to God. Even his worst enemies would admit, he led a life of perfect purity and righteousness. He was a recipient of Divine revelation and a very large number of his prophecies have been fulfilled to the very letter, while others still await fulfilment. Some of those fulfilled are the Great World War, the miserable plight of the Czar of Russia, the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire and the striving of Arabs for their national independence.

Your Majesty! It was at the end of 1890 AD that he received a revelation signifying the death of Isa bin Maryam, peace be on him, and his own appointment to the Messiahship. He therefore invited the world towards his divine mission. Endowed as he was with a perfect knowledge of the Holy Quran, he authoritatively proved the natural death of Isa bin Maryam, peace be on him, from its verses and from the authentic traditions of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Just as Isa bin Maryam, peace be on him, had replied to the Jews who demanded the advent of Elias from the Heavens before the coming of the Israelite Messiah that the former had died and that Yahya had come in his spirit and power, likewise did this Messiah tell the Muslims that he had come in the spirit and power of the Israelite Messiah.

Your Majesty! The Muslims who quite contrary to the clear teachings of the Holy Quran, which says لَاۤ‭ ‬اِكۡرَاهَ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الدِّيۡنِ [“There should be no compulsion in religion”], had been living in vain hopes of the advent of a Warrior Mahdi who would carry Islam in one hand and sword in the other received a great shock at his claim and as it has always been customary with the malcontents, they mocked at him and persecuted him in various ways. He succeeded, however, in gathering around him a large number of devoted followers, as had been promised to him by God beforehand, and breathed his last in 1908 AD. He was succeeded by Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin[ra] who died after a period of six years. He was then followed by the present leader of the Movement, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad[ra], the son of the Promised Messiah[as], [as Khalifatul Masih II].

Your Majesty! The Movement now numbers about half a million and is scattered all the world over. It is the only organised body carrying the bright torch of Islam in the Cimmerian darkness of the present age. Its headquarters are at Qadian and it has established its missions in England, America, Africa, Egypt, Ceylon and other countries. Its colossal sacrifices in the cause of Islam have come out fruitful and the Westerners who looked down on Islam with much abomination and hatred and had great misconceptions about it, (so much so that some think even to this day that Muslims worship Muhammad[sa]), are gradually joining its ranks. The Europeans who blasphemed the Holy Prophet[sa] before are now praying for Divine blessings on his peaceful soul.

Your Majesty! Another important feature which distinguishes us from a large section of the Muslims is that we do not recognise the Khilafat of the Sultan of Turkey. We owe allegiance to our spiritual Khalifa, chosen by God, and obey the government under which we live. In almost all his writings, the Promised Messiah[as] has laid great stress on sincere faithfulness towards the established government of one’s country [in light of the Islamic teachings] and total abstinence from all sorts of agitation, however slight; rather, he has made it a condition of his discipleship. This is not merely a lip-profession, but in practice as well, and quite in accordance with his prophecies, ours is the only Community which, as a common unity, has stood loyal to the government in India in the teeth of severe opposition and danger to life and property. Far from boycotting government institutions and English goods, Ahmadis have been exhorting the public at large to avoid these dangerous doctrines.

Your Majesty! Islam is a religion of peace as its very name suggests, the Muslims wish peace when meeting each other (أَلسَّلَامُ‭ ‬عَلَيْكُمْ), God calls us to a peaceful abode (وَاللهُ‭ ‬يَدْعُو‭ ‬إِلَى‭ ‬دَارِ‭ ‬السَّلاَمِ), and peace shall be the watchword in Heaven (لَا‭ ‬يَسۡمَعُوۡنَ‭ ‬فِيۡهَا‭ ‬لَغۡوًا‭ ‬وَّلَا‭ ‬تَاۡثِيۡمًا۔‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬قِيۡلًا‭ ‬سَلٰمًا‭ ‬سَلٰمًا). The main object of Islam being therefore the establishment of universal peace, it requires us to obey the government, under whose aegis we live, unless it meddles with our religious freedom. Even in case of religious interference, it wants us to leave the country rather than destroy public peace.

We assure your Majesty, therefore, that so long as we may live in this country, we shall, God willing, continue to be peaceful citizens.

In conclusion, we thank your Majesty for giving us an audience and respectfully request that your Majesty honour us by accepting our present of some books of the Movement, which we have made in all sincerity of heart, and by sparing a portion of your most valuable time to peruse these books at least once so that God may bestow a spiritual empire on you just as He has granted you a worldly kingdom.

May God, the King of all kings, shower His blessings on your Majesty, and guide you in the paths of His pleasure, and help you to a peaceful reign.

We have the honour to be, your Majesty’s most obedient servants.

Abdur Rahim (Amir Jamaat); Raja Firoz Bakht Khan (Secretary Talim-o-Tarbiyat); Mian Miraj Din, Abdul Hamid, Muhammad Rashid (Qadhi and Muhtasib); Jafar Sadiq Khan (Muhasib); Malik Muhammad Husain, Abdul Ghani, Sayad Abdul Hai (Secretary); Barkat Ali (Secretary Tabligh); Abdur Rahim Piracha and Khwajah Ghulam Husain.

Baghdad, 23 August 1922. 

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Review of Religions, December 1922)

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