Watch my video on this here. Kenya was part of British-East-Africa uptil 1962. The Ahmadiyya movement got access to all of British-East-Africa since 1934, however, as early as 1919, we find an Ahmadiyya association and a few Ahmadi’s working in the area (See ROR of Aug-Sep-1919). Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad was a pioneering missionary to East Africa, as well as South Africa. In 1934, he landed in Mombasa, Kenya (it was British-Kenya at the time)(See Fisher). He served as the missionary in-charge until 1962, he was recalled to Rabwah, which was not Qadian. He picked Tabora, (modern day Tanzania) for his headquarters, he started a press and school, both seem to have shut down by the 1950’s. In 1962, Kenya got its independence from the British and began to be independent (in terms of Ahmadiyya management) from the 2 other East African nations that were created, i.e., Uganda and Tanzania.
In 2020, a Pakistani, Tariq Mahmood Sahib is the Amir and Missionary-in-Charge Kenya.
Before the Portugeuse and British
The Kilwa Sultanate was a medieval sultanate centred at Kilwa, in modern-day Tanzania. At its height, its authority stretched over the entire length of the Swahili Coast, including Kenya. It was said to be founded in the 10th century by Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi, a Persian Sultan from Shiraz in southern Iran. However, scholars have suggested that claims of Arab or Persian origin of city-states were attempts by the Swahili to legitimise themselves both locally and internationally. Since the 10th century, rulers of Kilwa would go on to build elaborate coral mosques and introduce copper coinage.
By 2020, only 10% of the Kenyan population is Muslim, and mostly on the coast. An overwhelming 85% is Christian, this happened as the colonizers arrived. There are most likely barely 3000 Ahmadi’s in the entire country. There seems to be 20 small mosques that are owned by the Ahmadiyya community, mostly empty and barely having an occupancy of 40 worshippers.
Ahmadi Maulvi’s in Kenya
There has been a succession of seven chief missionaries in Kenya since the mission was formed. Of these only four have served for periods of two years or longer: Sh. N.H. Anwar, Sh. M.I. Soofi, Sh. A,K. Sharma, and Sh. J.R. Rafiq. The last served the longest for a term of three years and seven months. Also during this same period there have been three or four Pakistani missionaries serving continuously in the country (See Martin).
Per the English-Review of Religions of September-1915 (see page 355) an Ahmadi was living in Kampala, Uganda by the name of Fazl Din, he was a Veterinary Assistant. This Fazl Din mentions about Eid and how many people showed up and he asked them for money to send to Qadian, then he tells us that the British government has given the Ahmadiyya Movement 4000 acres of land to use for a mosque. September-1915, pages 350-357.
The Jan-Feb-1919 edition of the ROR reports that M. Ahmad Hassan seems to be an Ahmadi there in Nairobi, British-East-Africa and has organized an anjuman. The Aug-Sep-1919 edition of the ROR reports that the Ahmadiyya Association of Nairobi presented an address to the Governor General of British-East Africa. This address is full of lies, mostly that MGA’s prophecies were successful.
The Ahmadiyya mission in East Africa in mentioned in the ROR of March-April-May, they claim to have been part of a meeting in the Royal Theatre Hall in Nairobi, which is modern day Kenya.
Commander Dr. Abdul Latif is sent as a medical missionary to Uganda and Kenya, basically East Africa. The other one was Major Dr. M. Shah Nawaz Khan (1899–1977), he was the pioneer Ahmadi Muslim medical missionary to West Africa.
Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad arrives in the port city of Mombasa (modern day Kenya) he traveled to Nairobi, and then inland, all of the coastal cities seem to be heavily influenced by the Shafi Fiqh of Sunni-Islam and thus hostile towards Ahmadiyya. However, in the inland cities, there was less resistance, quite the opposite situation was happening in West Africa (See Fisher). Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad picks Tabora, which falls in modern day Tanzania for his headquarters. The first Ahmadiyya place of worship was opened in 1945 (when WW-2 ended) in Tabora. Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad is the supreme Amir in British-East-Africa and remains as such until 1962.
It should be noted that the Ahmadi’s (Indian immigrants) paid the expenses of this missionary, not the central Jamaat at Qadian, not the new Tehrik-i-Jadid program. In fact, most of the mosques in East and West Africa were either taken over by the Ahmadiyya community (in west africa mostly) or wealthy donations were given from Indian immigrants living in East Africa (see the case of the ahmadiyya mosque in Mombasa).
Eshaq Osman Memon seems to have been doing business in the area.
1935 to 1962
Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad served as Missionary-in-Charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim missions in East Africa, and established Ahmadiyya Muslim outreach centers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. During this period, Ahmadiyya mosques were constructed in several East African cities. He translated several Islamic religious books in Swahili; his most memorable achievement being the translation of the Holy Quran and commentary in that language.
After being the only Ahmadi murrabi in all of British-East-Africa, Nur-al-Haq Anwar is sent from Qadian to help Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad.
A translation of the Quran into Swahili is published from Nairobi (See Mubarak Ahmad). The Ahmadi Maulvi, Abdul Karim Sharma, was posted in Dar es Salaam (Nairobi) in 1953 at a time when the emnity of Sunni leaders was strong against the Ahmadis.
Construction is started at the first Ahmadiyya mosque, mission house and school in modern day Kenya. In the city of Kisumu, Kenya. The building was made possible largely through the major donation of funds by a leading Ahmadi in the Kisumu community, Mr. A. Ghauri. It was not funded by Tehrik e Jadid. When the Ahmadis proposed to build one in Dar es Salaam having scarcely any funds they found a sympathetic Sunni contractor who agreed to build without payment until after the work was completed. At the time of the laying of the foundation stone rumours were rife with threats against the Ahmadis. A police van with several constables appeared at the site just prior to the ceremony. However, the expected trouble did not materialise. During the process of construction contributions were received from East African Ahmadis, sympathisers from among Sunni Muslims and from members of the Hindu and Sikh communities. These funds were duly paid to the contractor earlier than expected. Sh, Abdul gave oversight to the construction while at the same time functioning as itinerant missionary in certain districts outside of Dar es Salaam such as the Rufiji area.
In less than ten years after Sh, Al-Amin made his oensure against the Ahmadiyya mission taunting them to confront orthodox Islam in places like Mombasa where its bastions were strong the mission was launched in this major port. There has been a continuous presence of Ahmadis in the city since the earliest Ahmadis had arrived at the beginning of railway construction. The community in the first half of the century varied in strength from ten to twenty Asian families with no more than two or three Africans at any given time. In 1955 missionary Sheikh Nur-ud-Din Muneer was posted in Mombasa. His immediate task was to stimulate a favourable response to Ahmadiyyat among Kenyans, to consolidate the community, and to erect a mosque and mission house as a locus for worship and propagation. The generous contribution of Mrs Sayed Meraj—ud—Din in memory of her husband making possible half the cost of the construction programme has al- ready been mentioned.
K. Amri Abedi was the new Ahmadi Maulvi stationed at Darussalam in Nairobi, Kenya. He seems to be working with Sheikh Nur-ud-Din Muneer.
The first Ahmadiyya mosque opens in modern day Nairobi, Kenya (see Mubarak Ahmad, named Darussalam). Another Ahmadiyya mosque in Mombasa is under construction (Masjid Rehman). The mosque in Kisumu, Kenya opens also. The East African Times was begun in May 1957 in Nairobi by Nur-ud-Din Muneer, the first editor.
The mosque, known as the Masjid Rehman was completed, and opened early in 1958 (See Martin). This is given a brief description by the authors Berg and Walter, referring to it as as:
“””quasi non-communal mosque … erected by the Ahmadiyva, a missionary sect …. Unlike the Sunni non-communal mosque, its presence is more symbolic of contemporary religious trends than of demographic or economic factors at work in the Muslim community””
Kenya got independence from the British. The Ahmadiyya community allowed Uganda to operate independently, with management coming directly from Rabwah. However, the Tanzania Ahmadi mission was placed under the administration of Sh. Muhammad Munawwar with the head office in Dar es Salaam (Nairobi). The famous Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad is re-assigned to Rabwah, he thus leaves East Africa to another Ahmadi Maulvi, Sh. Nur- ul-Haq Anwar was installed as the chief missionary for Kenya.
The first ever Jalsa Salana is held.
Sh. Muhammad Isa, the first missionary posted there, began the work in July, 1966, in the environs of this border town on the Kenya/Tanzania boundary. There are only a very few Ahmadis in the town itself. The work has taken a firm hold in three scattered rural centres nine or ten miles out from Taveta. Small verted from Sunni Islam to become Ahmadis. It was disclosed that the principal reason for this change en masse was the failure of the Sunni association to assist with the construct ion of the mosque. When the Ahmadiyya mission offered to provide the metal roof the Muslim community responded by its concerted willingness to accept Ahmadivyat. Customarily the mission assists in the financing of the construction of indigenous mosques to the extent of one-half of the total cost (which usually provides the metal roofing materials). The Matawa mosque had only recently been completed and ceremonial opened (See Martin).
In the past the missionary at Kisumu has been responsible for relating to Ahmadis in Eldoret and Nakuru. In 1967 there were seven Asian Ahmadi families in Nakuru. At present there remains no Ahmadi in that city. At Eldoret there have been in past years similarly a few Asian families. Now there are only one or two apart from the community out of the town at Matuma which has already been mentioned.
There were barely 1000 Ahmadi’s (men, women and children) per Martin.
A new Ahmadiyya mission house and mosque were opened in Luanda, Kenya.
Mirza Masroor Ahmad didn’t announce any converts to Ahmadiyya from Kenya in 2019-2020 fiscal Ahmadiyya year.
The Ahmadiyya Movement is raising funds to build a for-profit/government funded hospital.
Links and Related Essay’s
“Certain Aspects Of The Ahmadiyya Movement In East Africa With Particular Reference To Its Religious Practice And The Development Of Its History And Theology In The East African Environment by Earl Richard Martin (1974)
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