By 2020, we estimate that there are barely 10k Ahmadi’s in all of Sierra Leone. This is based on the amount of missionaries that they have working and the amount of Qadiani-mosques. The Amir and Missionary-in-charge is Maulana Saeed-ur-Rahman. It is unclear as to how many Ahmadi mullahs are working underneath him (we have counted about 10, of which, the majority are working at Jamia). However, his english is terrible. It is also unclear when the first Ahmadiyya place of worship was built. It seems to be Baitul Sabuh, which is in the Kissy Dockyard area of Freetown. Official Ahmadiyya sources claim 500,000 Ahmadi’s in Sierra Leone which is a farce.
Ahmadiyya places of worship in Sierra Leone
It’s unclear where and when their first place of worship was built. Per Ahmadiyya sources, it seems to have been in Freetown, the name of the place is Baitul Sabuh.
There are only 7 additional places of worship in the entire country, these are all very small and can only hold 50-70 worshippers:
- Ahmadiyya Mosque in Gbonkobana
- Ahmadiyya Mosque in Gbendembu
- Ahmadiyya Mosque in Kailahun
- Ahmadiyya Mosque in Makeni
- Ahmadiyya Mosque in Bo, also called Nasir hall or Masjid Nasar
- Ahmadiyya Mosque at Kenema, Sierra Leone
- Nasar Ahmadiyya mosque, Bo, Sierra Leone (site of Jamia)
- Wordu, Sierra Leone (2019)
How many Ahmadi mullahs are currently working in Sierra Leone?
It seems that there are just a few Ahmadi mullahs working in the whole country. The Amir and Missionary-in-charge is Maulana Saeed-ur-Rahman. By 1987, there were only 9 Pakistani mullah’s working the entire country. In Kenema, Sierra Leone, Ahmadiyya sources tell us that another Ahmadi mullah is also working, his name is Maulvi Muneer Hussain. Mubarak Ahmad Ghumman is the principal at the Ahmadi missionary training center (Jamia). He would be Ahmadi mullah #3. Ibrahim Ahmad Keifala is Ahmadi mullah #4, he works at the Jamia. Mohammad Moris Kamara is #5. Alimamy Sesay is #6, he is also the first ever local Sierra Leonian Ahmadi who became a missionary for the Qadiani’s. Sulaiman H. Kamara is #7. Zafir Usama is #8 (at Jamia right now). Abdul Hadi Qureshi is another teacher at Jamia, he is #9.
Jamia in Sierra Leone
The Ahmadiyya missionary training center was started in 1987 in Bo. It was basically in the mosque, the students slept on the floor and etc. It was closed by 1993, due to a lack of students and civil war. It was re-opened in 2005. Maulvi Mohammad Yusuf Khalid Dorwie how was shahid missionary as a principle of Jamia. And the interest about Jamia started growing and within one two years it was grew up to fifty students and Maulana Dorwie sahib was the principle and Jamia was still in masjid nasir near there is a small building that was the boarding house but it was not purposely build as a boarding house. And the veranda and sometime the gallery of the mosque was use for the classes. So, then it was sad news for sierra Leone and history of Sierra Leone Maulvi Dorwie sahib he passed away in 2007.
They had been using the Ahmadiyya Mosque in Bo, also called Nasir hall or Masjid Nasar.
maulvi Mubarak Ahmad Ghuman Sahib who was already in Jamia as a teacher as an acting principle. Then later than His holy ness Khalaifatul Masih the fifth send a missionary from Pakistan Maulvi Dawood Abid sahib as a principle and in his time this historical work was done that now finally Jamia moved from Masjid Nasir or Nasir mosque central Mosque BO to the secondary school the assembly hall. Assembly hall was divided in three classrooms and there Jamia started taking place it started taking shape of the Jamia now. And that second historical also improvement and development happened that the boarding house of secondary school was empty dew to some reasons local reasons and it was just there so we decided that we should move the students from Nasir Mosque Majid Nasir to the boarding house and that boarding house was purposely build as a boarding house. Then in 2010 dawood sahib was transfer to Jamia Ahmadiyya Uk and Mirza Masroor Ahmad graciously appointed Maulana Mubarak Ahmad Ghuman sahib as a principle. Presently Jamia staff consist of five central mubhalghin and three local missionaries we have academic block, boarding, mess, library, multipurpose hall, mosque and play ground. Students get admission with the recommendation of their regional missionaries. Recommended applicants are interviewed by a panel of Missionaries and eligible students are selected and sent for Medical checkup. Those who successfully pass all these stages get admission in Jamia for a course of four-year.
The earliest history of the Ahmadiyya Community in Sierra Leone can be traced to the year of 1916, during WW-1. In that year at least six people are said to have conveyed their adherence to the Ahmadiyya faith, after being influenced by the circulation of Ahmadiyya literature in Sierra Leone from neighbouring West African nations (See Fisher, page 121).
The ROR of June-1916 alleges that a man named Y.S Din A. Fahm has accepted MGA as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi.
The ROR of Oct-1916 reports that 6 people from Freetown, Sierra Leone have sent in bait forms.
The ROR of Nov-1916 reports 8 people have become Ahmadi’s via an anonymous letter, names are also given.
The ROR of Dec-1916 reports that some guy named Y. Sadr ud Din has sent a post card of sorts to Qadian for 10s (whatever that means).
The ROR of June-1917 reports that Ahmadiyya is thriving, however, it doesn’t say how. They claimn that the 2nd Khalifa intends to send a missionary.
The ROR of Aug-1917 reports that a man in Sierra Leone, Brother Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din (an honorary worker) has converted 6 people to Ahmadiyya and even mailed the bait forms to Qadian.
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 (See Fisher, page 121). He tried to convert the imam and his adherents and failed.
The ROR of April-1921 reports that Nayyar converted 4000+ Fante Muslims to Ahmadiyya in Sierra Leone.
The Al Fazl of 2 October 1922 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”.
His fascinating method of preaching won the sympathy of the late Alhaji Muhammadu Aminu, who later became the Emir of Zaria and his successor, the late Iyan Gari as well as Alhaji Saidu Zango and a host of other Hausa speaking elites. The Hausa speaking elites held Maulvi Hakeem in high esteem.
Al Hajj Fadl-ul-Rahman Hakim was mostly working out of Ghana as the first permanent missionary to Ghana. In 1923, Hakim started an elementary school in Saltpond. Further primary schools were opened in a number of other towns and villages, such as in Mumford and Potsin, all in the coastal regions. He stayed until 1929, at which point he was called back to Qadian.
For the first decade, the Ahmadiyya mission had only a single missionary at any one time, supported by a Fante interpreter. During the 1920s, Hakim conducted open-air lectures across notable locations along the southern coast. In his efforts he adopted the Quran and the Bible. Many of these discussions revolved around the death of Jesus, a perspective at odds with the non-Ahmadi Muslim and Christian populations of Ghana. Titles included “The Bible Shows Jesus did not die on the cross” and “Jesus did not die on the cross, nor is he sitting alive in the fourth heaven at the right hand of God.” Such polemics, on the one hand, were a cause of confusion for the Christian peasants in the southern regions and on the other hand created a negative relationship between Hakim and some Christians. In some cases, polemics induced intra-religious violence directed towards Ahmadis.
From the very beginning, the Ahmadiyya movement adopted Western-style education system and at the same time advocated for Islamic curriculum.
Two of his letters show up in the November edition of the ROR, from Saltpond, Ghana.
By 1927, the Community numbered 3,000 across forty localities in the southern regions and the Ashanti Empire. In 1927, an increased missionary outlook was adopted, which facilitated its spread among the Fante people in the south, the Wala people in the north, and the Ashanti people in-between.
In 1928, the Community requested the colonial government for permission to build a mosque and a secondary school in Kumasi. However, the government rejected the application, on the basis that there already existed a Muslim mosque and a school in the region. The following year, another letter was sent with over 400 signatures from Asante members of the Community.
Photo from the English ROR of Nov-Dec 1929, you will see Maulvi F. R. Hakeem and Maulvi M. N. Ahmad, who would eventually replace him. Nevertheless, Maulvi F. R. Hakeem claims to have defeated Lahorism in 1929 in Sierra Leone (See ROR of Nov-1933).
In the ROR of Nov-1933, Maulvi F. R. Hakeem claims that he returned to Qadian on Jan-27-1930.
Maulvi F. R. Hakeem has an essay in the ROR of May-1933 entitled, “Islam in West Africa”. In this essay, he talks about the educational system of Ghana (Gold Coast), Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
Maulvi Nazir Ahmad Ali is also mentioned in the ROR of Aug-1933 as being welcomed back to Qadian. Maulvi F. R. Hakeem relieved him. They alleged to have 369 students, 5 Ahmadi teachers and 8 Christian teachers. They alleged to have 5000-6000 Ahmadi’s in West Africa. 60 centers have been setup, there are 8 paid preachers who are Ahmadi. During Maulvi Nazir Ahmad Ali’s stay in the Gold Coast, he alleges that 243 persons became Ahmadi in 1929-1930, 384 in 1930-1931, 1119 in 1931-1932 and 847 in 1933 until he left.
The ROR of July-1933 reports that another Ahmadi missionary who was already working West Africa named F. R. Hakeem has relieved Maulvi Nazir Ahmad Ali and he has went back to British-India. In the ROR of Nov-1933, Maulvi F. R. Hakeem claims to have stopped in Sierra Leone, from London, he travelled to West Africa. He complains about Lahori-Ahmadi’s (most likely about West African’s who have denied the Khilafat). Nevertheless, Maulvi F. R. Hakeem claims to have defeated Lahorism in 1929 in Sierra Leone.
Maulvi Nazir Ahmad Ali was sent to the Gold coast (Ghana) by his Khalifa in 1929, he stayed at worked until 1933 (see Fisher). His real name was Nazir Ahmad. He was a sickly man and always spit blood. He had to be quarantined many times while traveling. He was sent again to the Gold Coast (Ghana) by the Khalifa in 1936. He stayed for one year. In 1937, he moved over to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and thus became the first ever permanent Ahmadi mullah in Sierra Leone. He seems to have died in Sierra Leone in 1954 (see Fisher). While he was in Ghana in 1936, he seems to have worked with Al Hajj Fadl-ul-Rahman Hakim for a short while. He was given the title of Ali in 1954, after his death.
In 1939, Ali transferred to Baomahun, a flourishing gold mining town, south of Bo in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. Multiple reasons have been postulated for this move. It has been suggested that a Syrian trader in Baomahun wrote a letter to Ali after having read Ahmadiyya literature. In another instance, Droman, a vice-chief, invited Ali to Baomahun. Nevertheless, Ali was welcomed as a renowned preacher, as his fame grew across the country. Soon after his arrival, he initiated his preaching efforts inviting people to accept the message of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Imam Mahdi. During this period a prevalent belief in Sierra Leone was that the appearance of the Mahdi would be announced by the beating of great drums, as a result of which the nonbelievers will perish, which Ali interpreted as a parable. Soon, Baomahun developed into a full-fledged headquarters of the Ahmadiyya missionary activities in Sierra Leone, as many people joined the Community.
As Baomahun was a mining town, its gold was gradually exhausted, and thus its future was bound to be threatened. This led to two important consequences. The dispersion of its inhabitants, many of whom were Ahmadi Muslims, led to the spread of Ahmadiyya teachings across towns and villages of the country. On the other hand, the Ahmadiyya headquarters had to be relocated for which Bo was conveniently selected.
During the 1940s, Ali made multiple expeditions across the country. One notable journey was towards the east, as a consequence of which two of the most prominent people became Ahmadi Muslims. In Boajibu, Ali met Khalil Gamanga, a Paramount Chief of the Kenema District. Gamanga soon accepted Ahmadiyya and made notable contributions to the faith in the country. In Fala, Ali confronted with Qasim, Chief of Baama and a leading diamond magnate.
In the summer of 1944, per request of the caliph, Ali left the country, and Muhammad Siddiq, became the country’s missionary-in-charge.
In March 1945, Muhammad Siddiq established a religious school in Bo.
Muhammad Siddiq announced the relocation of the Ahmadiyya school in Baomahun.
Maulvi Nazir Ahmad Ali arrived for his second trip which lasted for a few months. By this period Ali was in-charge of the Ahmadiyya missionary efforts of West Africa.
In 1948, Ahmadiyya finally found a noticeable foothold in Freetown where a mission house was erected.
In 1954 Ali made his third and final journey to Sierra Leone. He died in the country on 19 May 1954. By this time, Ali was the only Pakistani Ahmadi to have given the majority of his working life to West Africa.
Muhammad Ibrahim Khalil (1901-75) was a missionary in Freetown from 1949 to 1956. He built the mosque 60 years ago single-highhandedly with meager resources of the community. He left Qadian with 12 missionaries all wearing green turbans, headed for Europe. For a while he was station in Sicily. later stationed in Sierra Leone. He was called Papa Ibrahim by native people. This is all recorded in History of Ahmadiyyat by Maulana D.M. Shahid.
The Ahmadiyya headquarters are in Freetown, Sierra Leone (see Our Foreign Missions).
The first ever Jalsa Salana was held. By the 1960s, Bo hosted the two mission houses, an English, Arabic and Urdu Ahmadi Muslim library and a printing press. It also was the center of the largest Ahmadiyya primary school in Sierra Leone.
Mirza Nasir Ahmad visited.
Mirza Nasir Ahmad visits again. A young Mirza Masroor Ahmad receives him in Ghana.
An Ahmadiyya missionary training center (Jamia) was opened. It was closed by 1993, due to a lack of students and civil war. It was re-opened in 2005.
Mirza Tahir Ahmad visits the country.
The Jamia was re-started in 2006. Maulvi Mohammad Yusuf Khalid Dorwie how was shahid missionary as a principle of Jamia. And the interest about Jamia started growing and within one two years it was grew up to fifty students and Maulana Dorwie sahib was the principle and Jamia was still in masjid nasir near there is a small building that was the boarding house but it was not purposely build as a boarding house. And the veranda and sometime the gallery of the mosque was use for the classes. So, then it was sad news for sierra Leone and history of Sierra Leone Maulvi Dorwie sahib he passed away in 2007.
The Amir & Missionary In-charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Sierra Leone, Maulana Saeed-ur-Rahman and his entourage of missionaries and secretaries called upon the new President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency, Julius Maada Bio at State House, Sierra Leone.
Links and Related Essay’s
Stefan Reichmuth. “Education and the Growth of Religious Associations among Yoruba Muslims: The Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria”, Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 26, Fasc. 4 (Nov., 1996). p 8.
- “THE AHMADIYYA MOVEMENT IN NIGERIA”. HARVARD DIVINITY SCHOOL. RETRIEVED SEPTEMBER 19, 2015.
- Animashaun, Bashir (2012) Jibril Felix Martin (1888 – 1959) and the spread of Western education among Muslims in 20th century Lagos. Ilorin Journal of History and International Studies Vol 3 No 1 2012
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