By 1927, Qasim R. Ajose was the missionary-in-charge and school supervisor, Ahmadiyya Movement, Lagos, British West Africa 1925–1935 (modern day Nigeria)(see his photo in the below and how it appeared in the ROR of Jan-1927). He seems to have met Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyar in 1922. 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. Imam Dabiri would lead the prayers for the newly converted West Africans, who prayed via Maliki fiqh, Nayyar doesn’t seem to have ever led the prayer (see Fisher). Nayyar gave speeches in english which were translated by Ajose and others (see Fisher). Nayyar left by late 1922, and Ahmadiyya sources claim Nayyar 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). In 1932, during controversy wherein many sects of Ahmadiyya were being created, Ajose was appointed the imam (see Fisher, page 106).
After 1935, he created a splinter sect of Ahmadi’s who were disloyal to the Khalifa (see Fisher also, page 109). West African Ahmadi’s had issues with the Indian-Ahmadi-imam’s and always wanted Imam Qasim R. Ajose to lead the prayer (see Fisher). Ajose had apparently replaced Imam Dabiri, who was the West-African face of Ahmadiyya in Nigeria uptil the early 1930’s. Fisher wrote his name as K.R. Ajose.
The english ROR of Jan-1927 reports that a nigerian was made an Imam by the Ahmadiyya movement, his name is listed as Imam Qasim R. Ajose, missionary-in-charge and school supervisor, Ahmadiyya Movement, Lagos. Ahmadiyya sources claim that he succeeded Imam Dabiri. Many years later, Imam Ajose would leave the Qadiani-Ahmadi’s and create his own form of Ahmadiyya. Is also report that reports that Jibril Martin was given a going away party, as he left the UK for Nigeria.
Between 1933 and 1940
Internal wrangling caused a split within the mission into two factions. A group was loyal to Imam Ajose and another group was loyal to F. R. Hakeem a Pakistani and representative of the Khalifa who aspired to replace Imam Ajose as lead Imam. Unlike, Nayyar’s mellow demeanor, Hakim was heavily involved in the affairs of the Ahmadi’s and his presence caused dissension in the group. A faction surrounded Imam Ajose and sought some form of local autonomy while Hakeem wanted strict adherence to the Ahmadi doctrines. The Khalifa withdrew recognition of the Ajose group and in 1940, the Hakeem led Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission was formally inaugurated in the country with the support of the Khalifa. The Ajose group maintained the name, the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam and the Hakeem group was launched with the name Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission later came to represent the core of the Ahmadi’s in Nigeria. The movement split again in the 1930s over the issue of foreign control. A Nigerian branch of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam took shape under the leadership of Alhaji Jibril Martin, a leader of the Nigerian Youth Movement.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________Links and Related Essay’s
- “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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