Nauman Ahmad Hadi, Missionary, Islam International Publications Ltd.
The Second World War, by early 1940, had overwhelmingly turned against Britain. Hundreds of thousands of British troops had been withdrawn from Dunkirk to England in May as German forces extended their territory in France.
Operation Dynamo, as it was called, is also referred to as the Miracle of Dunkirk pointing towards the plight of the British army as it barely made it beyond mainland Europe.
Over the following several weeks, events unfolded dramatically as Winston Churchill, the then Prime Minister, delivered a series of speeches at Parliament that worked towards motivating and mobilising the nation.
His famous speech, “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” (delivered in the House of Commons, 4 June 1940) carried in it the warning that Britain might face a Nazi invasion. It was against this backdrop that a letter dated 20 June 1940 arrived in Downing Street addressed to the Prime Minister.
This historic letter, published below for the first time, was written by Hazrat Sir Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan Sahibra on behalf of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, the second successor of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, who had not only actively been following the British War effort, but had been the recipient of various dreams and visions pertaining to World War II.
He communicated all such dreams and visions to the British authorities. In this insightful letter, Sir Zafrulla Khanra informed Winston Churchill of the efforts of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, in aiding the British War effort by way of prayer. He further explained the prophecies of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra regarding the war that had come to pass.
However, the excerpt from the letter explains the main purpose of the letter:
“The Head of the Movement has asked me to convey to you that certain verses in the Holy Quran which appear indubitably to refer to the present conflict indicate that in case of invasion of Great Britain by Germany the only defenses that would ultimately operate as a check against the invading forces are steel fortifications which have been smothered or reinforced with molten bronze.”
In what can be described as a remarkable letter, we find Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra conveying the teachings of the Holy Quran to the British Prime Minister so that peace may once again prevail through the victory of Great Britain. He draws the attention of the Government towards the strategy of defence that ought to be applied in case of a Nazi invasion – a strategy similar to that of Hazrat Dhul-Qarnain mentioned in the Holy Quran.
Undoubtedly this adds to the already common belief that the history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is adorned with efforts made to secure peace at every level.
Most importantly, we find that Sir Zafrulla Khan Sahibra emphasises the key message of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra:
“We must at this very grave stage in the world’s history purge our minds and hearts of all that is selfish and impure and bend both our bodies and our souls in humble and sincere supplication before the Universal Creator whose help alone can at this stage save mankind from the doom that threatens to overwhelm them”.
This letter is further accompanied with correspondence between British bureaucrats that illustrates the high esteem and regard given to this blessed message.
20 June 1940
My Dear Prime Minister,
I am sure in the middle of your many and serious preoccupations you will forgive me for intruding upon your valuable time if I were to explain at the outset that were I not personally convinced of the importance and seriousness of the communication that I have to make to you I would not have ventured to take this liberty.
You are probably aware that I have the honour to be a member of the Ahmadiyya community which is an intensely alive Movement in Islam and the only Movement which today represents the real spirit of Islam. The Head of the Movement is Sahibzada Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad. Lord Halifax knows him personally and has some knowledge of the ideals and activities of the Movement.
Long before this war started the Head of the Movement had through visions and revelation been vouchsafed knowledge of a good deal of that which has since come to pass. In July or August of last year he had a vision in which he saw certain documents which purported to have passed between His Majesty’s Government and the French Government. One of these documents contained the text of a proposal from His Majesty’s Government to the French Government for a complete union between the two countries and their respective Empires. Among other people he had communicated this to me some months ago. At the time when he related this to me he thought that this was so extraordinary a proposal that his vision was probably susceptible of some interpretation rather than of literal fulfilment. As you are aware, the vision has been literally fulfilled. Again on the night of the 24th May last when he was travelling from Karachi to Qadian (the Head Quarters of the Movement) in order to arrange for prayers with the King’s wishes and while he was himself engaged in prayers for the Allies during the course of the journey he saw in a waking state a King and also received in revelation the single word “abdicated.” He related this experience to the people gathered at Qadian on the afternoon of the 26th on the occasion of the prayers in the course of his speech. Within three days the revelation was fulfilled by the virtual abdication of King Leopald of Belgium.
The Head of the Movement has made no secret during the course of the last year or two of the fact that the Empire would be faced with, and would have to pass through, a severe ordeal in the course of which much damage, injury and suffering would be experienced. In the other hand, he is himself the most loyal subject of the King that I know of anywhere and is most intensely and keenly interested in the welfare of the Empire. He has directed that prayers should be offered throughout the present period of crisis and has fixed Thursday the 20th June and five succeeding Thursdays as days of fasting on which days and on the respective Fridays following which special prayers must be offered.
I have said all this by way of introduction in order to impress upon you the fact that I have not been prompted by a mere idle fancy to take up your valuable time in writing this letter to you. The Head of the Movement has asked me to convey to you that certain verses in the Holy Quran which appear indubitably to refer to the present conflict indicate that in case of invasion of Great Britain by Germany the only defences that would ultimately operate as a check against the invading forces are steel fortifications which have been smoothed or reinforced with molten bronze. He says it may be that these fortifications may at places have to be in the shape of steel walls sunk to a certain depth into the earth and standing above the earth up to certain heights and at other places to be in the shape of pill-boxes which could accommodate a certain number of soldiers fully equipped and provisioned who could deal both with parachutists and with advancing tanks. The Quran distinctly specifies molten bronze being poured over the iron or steel fortification. For facility or reference I have the particular verses of the Quran referring to this matter at the present moment before me. These pill boxes should command all roads and approaches all over the country. The Head of the Movement also suggests that it would be just as well to construct tanks where the armoured plate has been treated in the same manner with molten bronze as he feels that the mention of molten bronze in the Quran is not without significance and it may be that the treatment of iron and steel with molten bronze may have some reference to some weapon or the other still undisclosed which the Germans might employ against Great Britain.
Another suggestion he has made is that in case Germany succeeds in carrying out an actual invasion of Great Britain some arrangement might be made whereby some notice might be given from the air to parties in the pill boxes of advancing tanks in certain directions so that the men in the pill boxes would be ready to deal with the tanks. If there are a sufficient number of these pill boxes scattered all over the country commanding all roads at short distances it would not be possible for tanks to penetrate very far in any direction.
Still another suggestion is that such petrol pumps on the roadside as are still in service in the case of an invasion should be enclosed within similar pill boxes, so that in the event of the enemy advancing in any particular direction these points could be defended and the enemy kept from obtaining the use of little stores of petrol at these points.
I am afraid these suggestions might appear ridiculous to your advisers, but both the Head of the Movement and myself feel that at this stage no false sense of modesty should prevent my conveying these suggestions to you. You are in no way bound to make use of them, but so many extraordinary things have happened during the course of the last two months and so many more may have to be contended with that perhaps the suggestions contained in this letter may start a line of thought in the mind of some of your expert advisers which may to a small or large degree help in the defence of Great Britain which at the present moment means the defence of all freedom, justice, culture, civilisation, and above all the defence of all faith that mankind have in their Creator.
May I venture on my own account to say that I have throughout been heartened by your speeches which breathe a spirit of clam and courageous determination. I am convinced in my own mind that victory will not be achieved by material means alone and that even material means can prevail only with the help of spiritual means and powers. Therefore whilst doing all that I can in my humble way to help with regard to the expansion and acceleration of supplies from India I am not neglecting the spiritual aspect of things and have made repeated appeals in private circles and to the country by means of the radio and otherwise that we must at this very grave stage in the world’s history purge our minds and hearts of all that is selfish and impure and bend both our bodies and our souls in humble and sincere supplication before the Universal Creator whose help alone can at this stage save mankind from the doom that threatens to overwhelm them and to lead them into the paths of true peace and progress and fruitful co-operation so that future generations may be enabled to dwell on earth in the enjoyment of prosperity and in obedience to the will of God. Apologising again for taking up so much of you very valuable time,
(Images of the letter can be viewed in the hard copy of this week’s issue)