In 1904, Dr. Pennell visited Qadian and requested to speak with MGA (See Al Hakam 10 January 1904). He was a Church of England missionary appointed in Banu for 11 years, Dr Pennell arrived on his bicycle in Qadian as part of his travels with his disciple who he referred to as his son. He was dressed as a Sadhu in ocher-colored clothes, wearing a turban and traditional sandals. His appearance described in Al-Hakam corresponds directly with a picture of Dr Pennell in his book “Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier” (published in 1923)in which he describes some of his experiences during his travels including his visit to Qadian.
He met Mufti Muhammad Sadiq in Qadian in 1904 and asked to meet MGA (See Al Hakam 10 January 1904). Mufti Muhammad Sadiq told him that MGA was sick and wouldn’t be able to meet him. In 1923, Dr. Pennell wrote vs. Ahmadiyya, a few years later, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq wrote about him in his famous book, “Zikr-e-Habib”.
Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier P.248-250 By T. L. Pennell
“Pennell of the Afghan Frontier, The Life Of Theodre Leighton Pennell” by Alice M. Pennell
Dr. Pennell recalls his visit to Qadian in 1909:
“Passing over our stay here and at other intervening places, I might mention our visit to Qadian, rendered famous by being the headquarters of the Muhammadan reformer Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who died in 1908. This man had collected round him a band of zealous followers…. Heavy rain-clouds were overcasting the sky when we set out, and we had scarcely covered the eleven miles of unmade road that connects Batala with Qadian when the downpour commenced, and continued throughout the day. Moulvi Muhammad Sadiq, the head-master of the Mirza’s High School, received us with the greatest courtesy, and gave us one of the schoolrooms to rest in, and shortly afterwards, as the Mirza himself was indisposed and unable to see us, we were taken into the presence of his lieutenant, Moulvi Moha-ud-din. This Moulvi is very learned, probably the most learned in Qadian; he comes from the town of Bhera, in the Panjab, but has travelled a good deal. He was teaching theology to a large class of youths and men in Eastern fashion, reclining on a simple mat and cushion himself, while his pupils sat on the ground round him. Tea was brought in for us and him while he went on teaching. The Hadis from which the pupils were reading was on the subject of prayer, and the Moulvi explained the passages with great force and perspicuity as the pupils read them out turn by turn. After some dissertation on the correct intonation of prayers, he took up (probably for our benefit) a comparison of the texts of the Quran and the Bible, showing how the custom of committing the former to memory had resulted in its verbal correctness. Following the same line, Muhammad Sadiq compared with this the recent criticisms on the Bible by the Christian expositors; and the “Encyclopædia Biblica,” which he seemed to have studied minutely, afforded him an inexhaustible store of argument…. I was shown the high school, college classes, and boarding-house. Though the buildings for the latter were second-rate, yet the management seemed good, and the inmates orderly and well trained. In particular, I noticed that, though the next morning was chilly and drizzly, yet all were up at the first streak of dawn, and turned methodically out of their warm beds into the cold yard, and proceeded to the mosque, where all united in morning prayers, after which most of them devoted themselves to reading the Quran for half an hour to one hour. Many of the masters, too, seemed very earnest in their work, and had given up much higher emoluments to work for quite normal salaries in the cause to which they had devoted themselves…. We were disappointed, too, in receiving a message that the Mirza was still too unwell to see us, but would do so in the morning. However, when morning dawned, we heard with much regret that he had passed a bad night and was still unable to see anyone. As his attendants were unable to hold out any prospect of a speedy interview, and as, indeed, we felt doubtful whether the interview was desired, We had been kindly and hospitably received, and there was something inspiriting in seeing a number of educated men thoroughly zealous and keen in the active pursuit of religion, though the strong spirit of antagonism to Christianity was saddening”
Dhikr-e-Habib by Hadrat Muhammad Sadiq, p. 111, via the 2009 online edition of Tadhkirah, page 1047
“”””Narrated by Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra: In August 1903 a Christian of Bannu of the name of Gul Muhammad came to Qadian and indulged in very irreverent argumentation and discussion and he went back in the same attitude. After he had left, the Promised Messiahas saw in a dream that Gul Muhammad was applying collyrium to his eyes. The Promised Messiahas said that this was an indication that he would be guided aright. Several years later it was heard that
he had reverted to Islam. I received a post card from the widow of the well known Dr. Pennell of Bannu in which she stated that Gul Muhammad had left Christianity and had reverted to his original faith.”””
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