Officially called Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyar (1883-September 17, 1948, born close to Kapurthala, close to Phagwara, in a small village). Per Ahmadiyya sources, he became an Ahmadi in 1901, they also claim that he began learning about Ahmadiyya in 1897. He was married twice (2 wives).
He seems to have been sent to West Africa as the first Ahmadi missionary in 1921, per the ROR of August-1921, he landed on 4-8-1921, also see the ROR of July-1921. He stopped in Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Nigeria. In Ghana, Nayyar refused to pray behind behind Mallam Yakubu at Ekrawfo’s mosque and thus discredited himself (See Hanson, page 176).
In Nigeria, he seems to have immediately taken over a mosque with 10,000 followers, this is a fishy story. His first speech in Nigeria was at the Shitta-Bey Mosque, he preached extreme loyalty to the British government. He seems to have contracted Malaria, and by 1923 had left West Africa altogether (See the ROR of Jan-Feb-March-1923). Ahmadiyya sources claim that he left a local Nigerian in-charge, a man named Imam Dabiri. He was succeeded by Imam Qasim R. Ajose, missionary-in-charge and school supervisor, Ahmadiyya Movement, Lagos (see ROR, Jan-1927 and ROR of Dec-1989).
He moved to Qadian permanently (roughly at the 8 min mark).
He is discussed in Aenas Sadaqat (1921), he is mentioned as overhearing Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamaluddin as they opposed the Khilafat (see page 246, online english edition).
He lived in Qadian for the first part of 1919. The ROR of May-Jun-July-1919 explains how the arrival of Nayyar and Sial is expected in the UK.
Per the ROR of Aug-Sep-1919, he left Qadian for the UK in the middle of June-1919 and arrived in the UK on 8-16-1919. They also announce the conversion of a man named Sagar Chand. He returned to London to be the Imam again, Nayyar travelled with him.
Abdul Rahim Nayyar was initially sent by the caliph Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad to London in 1919 where he worked, briefly, with Fateh Muhammad Sial. He was instructed by the caliph to leave for the Gold Coast, however, when a nascent group of Sunni Muslims and ex-Christians among the Fante people in the southern region of the colony, no longer interested in remaining under the spiritual supervision of Hausa Muslim clerics from the north, made contact with the caliph in Qadian, India, through the Review of Religions and requested assistance. However, this seems like a dubious story.
He is mentioned in the ROR of July-1920 as working closely with Azeez ud Din and Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sial, who is the other Ahmadiyya missionary in London.
Nayyar sailed from London to Freetown, in Sierra Leone. While in Freetown Nayyar delivered a lecture at a mosque in Fourah Bay, in the east end of the city at the request of the city’s chief Imam. Although at least six people are said to have conveyed their adherence to the Ahmadiyya movement in Sierra Leone as early as 1916 after being influenced by the circulation of Ahmadiyya literature from neighbouring West African nations, no conversions were recorded following Nayyar’s visit.
After the brief Hiatus in Freetown, Nayyar continued towards Saltpond in the Gold Coast where he arrived in March 1921. Following a lecture, the Fante community “believed there and then”, following which an oath of allegiance was held. In the history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mahdi Appah, the leader of this group, is regarded as the first Ghanaian to become an Ahmadi Muslim. Despite resistance from northern clerics, the Fante Muslims converted en masse, giving immediate rise to the Ahmadiyya movement in the region. Nayyar also toured Accra and Kumase. Having established the movement in the Gold Coast, Nayyar left within a month for Lagos, in Nigeria, before returning again in fall of 1921. While in Nigeria, Nayyar made very early connections with other Muslim groups from which many also joined the Ahmadiyya movement including the Imam of a Quranist group. Nayyar left the colony once again in 1922 and was replaced by Al Hajj Fadl-ul-Rahman Hakim, as the first permanent missionary to the Gold Coast.
Per Ahmadiyya sources, Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyar arrived in Lagos, Nigeria and immediately went to the central mosque and took it over. Along with the mosque came 10,000 Muslims who were unaware of who and what Ahmadiyya was (see Devotion of Life, page 485).
One of the many people present in the mosque said that Alfa Ayanamo, a former Imam of the mosque, before he passed away, narrated to them a dream in which he saw Hadrat Imam Mahdi (as) who told him that he himself would not be able to visit this country, however, one of his disciples would come here and guide the Muslims. The next day after this incident, two representatives of the mosque visited him and gave him the message that all of the members of their community would like to enter the fold of Ahmadiyyat. He sent a message and asked the Chief Imam and forty representatives of the community to come to him to take an oath of allegiance as representatives of the whole community. Thus, in this way, the whole community belonging to their sect numbering ten thousand entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat by taking an oath of allegiance simultaneously (see Devotion of Life, page 485-486).
He delivered his first lecture at the non Ahmadi Shitta Bey mosque and was active in bringing in new members to the movement. Nayyar did not make inroads within the other factions with the exception of the Quranic group, primarily based in Okepopo and Aroloya. After an agreement to merge with Ahmadiyya, Imam Dabiri of the Quranic group was selected as Chief Imam. Dabiri was succeeded in the 1930s by Imam Ajose.
The Fante Muslims were initially informed of the presence of the Indian-origin Ahmadiyya movement in Nigeria by a resident of Saltpond who himself was originally from Nigeria. Nayyar sailed from London to Freetown, in Sierra Leone. While in Freetown Nayyar delivered a lecture at a mosque in Fourah Bay, in the east end of the city at the request of the city’s chief Imam. Although at least six people are said to have conveyed their adherence to the Ahmadiyya movement in Sierra Leone as early as 1916 after being influenced by the circulation of Ahmadiyya literature from neighbouring West African nations, no conversions were recorded following Nayyar’s visit.
The April-1921 edition of the ROR mentions Nayyar’s farewell from the UK. The ROR of April-1921 reports that Nayyar converted 4000+ Fante Muslims to Ahmadiyya in Sierra Leone, he only stayed for a few days. In the Oct-1921 edition of the ROR, it written how Nayyar gave lectures at an “Ahmadiyya Hall” in Lagos. He is now headed to the Gold Coast (modern day Ghana). They claim that he was in Lagos for 4 months. They also claim that he converted 4000 Fantee Muslims to Ahmadiyya. They further claim that an additional 15,000 West Africans have converted to Ahmadiyya. He is also mentioned in the March-1921 edition of the ROR. He is also mentioned in the ROR of Jan-1921 as getting sent to West Africa.
The ROR of Oct-Nov-1922 mentions how Nayyar is giving weekly lectures in Nigeria. He has also opened schools and has given classes to women. The ROR of March-April-May also mentions him and how he is trying to get an Ahmadiyya mission going in East Africa.
He is mentioned in the The Al Fazl of 2 October 1922, it also reports that Ahmadiyya has spread to West Africa and 16,000 people have joined in only 12 months. It also reports that Professor AR Nayyar Phil B, as a missionary; in Lagos, at 62, Bangabose Street, Saltpond; and in Sierra Leone. [As mentioned before, Ahmadiyyat reached West Africa from London and not the other way around.] This was quoted by a newspaper called “West Africa” by its special correspondent. The aforementioned newspaper, under the title “The Ahmadia Movement in India, West Africa, and London”.
He is mentioned as having just returned to London from Nigeria.
It is reported by the Moslem Sunrise that he contracted malaria while in West Africa and is soon to go back home to India.
He was working as Missionary-in-Charge at the London mosque. He even received the Khalifa as he came to deliver his speech (which he didn’t deliver anyways). In November, he returned to Qadian with the Khalifa in 1924.
He lived in Qadian and worked for the Khalifa (aka the Mirza family). He was in-charge of the Hyderabad, India area, he did tabligh and other work.
He gave a speech at the 1933 Jalsa at Qadian (See the ROR of Jan-Feb-1934).
He is mentioned in the ROR of May-1934.
He was at the 1934 Jalsa at Qadian and gave a speech on the alleged spread of Ahmadiyya in West Africa and many other places. Nayyar is briefly mentioned in the ROR of Nov-1934.
He gave a speech at the Jalsa of 1936 at Qadian (see the ROR of Jan-1937), his speech topic was The Hari Jan Movement and Ahmadiyya tabligh.
Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 24, p. 689
Muhammad Yar Arif along with Maulana Abdur Rahim Nayyar, represented the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in the annual session of the Muslim League on 23 March 1940, in which the Lahore Resolution, also called the Pakistan Resolution, was passed. Thus, this was a historic moment which they had the honour to be a part of.
The ROR of Nov-1945 mentioned Maulana Abdur Rahim Nayyar and his pioneer missionary work in Nigeria.
In late August of 1947, he moved to Lahore with the Khalifa.
He died on September 17, 1948, in Pakistan.
He is mentioned in the ROR of Dec-1989.
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