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Nusrat Jehan Begum and other women didn’t get into to MGA’s bait in 1889 and after–were they illiterate?

It seems that women weren’t allowed to take MGA’s bait?  Either that or they were illiterate and unable to sign their names on a paper.  Its most likely both.  In 1896, MGA published a list of 313 sahabis, there are no women listed, however, some men are listed as with wife, for example, Noorudin is listed (with wife), and thus moves the number to 314, and that upsets what MGA and his team were working on, i.e. a parallel to the amount of Muslims that Muhammad (saw) had early on, if they would have added the women, the number would have swelled to 400+.  Further Nusrat Jehan says that since she was with MGA, i.e. married to him, she was always in his bait.

In the below, we present a reference from Seeratul Mahdi, wherein Nusrat Jehan Begum admits that she never came under MGA’s bait, nor did any other women it seems.  We are not sure when the Ahmadiyya Khalifa’s began accepting bait from women.

The quote
pdf page 22 of 296
Narration no. 20

“My mother narrated to me that mgaq took his first bai’t (oath of allegience) at Ludhiana. First day 40 men took bai’t and when He came back some women took bai’t. First of all Molvi Noordin took bait. Humble one asked WHEN DID YOU TAKE BAI’T? MOTHER SAID, IT IS KNOWN THAT I DELAYED MY BAI’T AND TOOK IT AFTER MANY YERAS. THIS IS WRONG….RATHER I NEVER SEPARATED FROM HIM (mgaq) AND ALWAYS STAYED WITH HIM AND RIGHT FROM THE START, I CONSIDERED MYSELF IN THE BAI’T AND NEVER FELT THE NEED FOR SEPARATE BAIT”

“A Discourse with the imaginary Messiah Mirza of Qadiyan” 1889, Ishaat us Sunnah (Khayali masih Mirza Qadiyani se guft o gu)

My team and I have found a rare essay vs. MGA and his team.  This is surprising since Ahmadiyya leadership tells us that MGA claimed to be “The Messiah” (See Dard) in 1891, and this refutation is from 1889.

Read it here:

Did Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claim to be the Messiah in 1889 or in 1891?”


Ahmadiyya leadership is fond editing the writings of MGA.  My team and I have found a interesting situation wherein it seems that MGA made his claims in 1889.

Friedman quotes the Ishaat us Sunnah of 1889 and 1890 vs. MGA
On page 6, of the 2003 edition, in a footnote, Friedman quotes as follows:

“Isha’at al-Sunnah 12 (1889): 353-388; 13(1890): 1-100, under the titles, “A Discourse with the imaginary Messiah Mirza of Qadiyan”  (Khayali masih Mirza Qadiyani se guft o gu) and “A discourse with the fictitious apostle” (farazi hawari se guft o gu).  An account of the debate itself was published in the same journal, 13(1890): 115–326.”

Why is this strange?
Ahmadiyya leadership tells us that MGA claimed to be the Messiah in 1891, however, this data seems to disprove that.

Some additional data
Remember, MGA was claiming to be “like the messiah” in this era.  The Maseel e Maseeh claim.

The PDF file of Ishaat us Sunnah
FB Masih Maoud Claim

What’s in this PDF?
Ishaat Sunna No 12 (december) vol 12, printed in 1889, a discourse with the fictitious apostle, also i have uploaded related pages from Fateh Islam, which were mentioned in Ishaat Sunna, so at least Urdu readers can read the letters exchanged between Mohammad Hussain batalwi and Mirza Ghulam ahmad of qadian. Reading all that i am convinced that Mirza ghulam claimed the title of Masih Maoud in 1889. I have also circled the printing of first edition fateh Islam as 1308 Hijri. Please see the letter in Ashaat sunna where MGA says “yes” to batalwi query.

Ahmadiyya leadership lied about the First Bait ceremony in 1889

Ahmadiyya mullahs have been lying on behalf of the Mirza family for over 100 years.  In this specific case, they themselves cant figure out the exact date for the first ever Bait ceremony in 1889.  The reference is to the Muslim Herald magazine, which was an Ahmadiyya magazine. Its from Aug–1971.  Obviously, Ahmadis made many errors in their writings, and then attempted a clean up for the next 50 years.  And they continue to do so…Ahmadis engage in cleanup work all over social media as they defend the Mirza family and live their lives simply for the betterment of the Mirza family.

First-Initiation   —–Muslim Herald Magazine 1971

Some interesting points to note
1.  MGA had a toilet attendant by the name of Shaikh Hamid Ali (see page 9).  It seems that Sanoori was also there and MGA had a few toilet attendants in those days.

2. Seeratul-Mahdi, the 1st edition, was published on Dec 10th-1923, the second edition was published on November 14th, 1935.

3.  Maulvi Abdul Karim Sialkoti took MGA’s bait in 1889 (se page 13), later Ahmadiyya records lied about this (mirza bashir ahmad lied), most likely because Maulvi Abdul Karim Sialkoti was a ghost writer and speech giver, in place of MGA, or on MGA’s behalf.  Ahmadiyya leadership seems to have tried to cover up this fact.  (see page 13 of the Muslim herald–1971)

Some additional scans

MGA’s first bait ceremony has been lied about (1889)

Ahmadis lie about everything, in this specific case, they lied about the dates of the first bait in Ludhiana.  Below is the data

The reference

MGA forced Noorudin to pretend to be Hanafi, even though he was a Wahabbi aka Ahl-e-Hadith

Nooruddin and MGA were both Ahl-e-Hadith (aka Wahabbi) type of Muslims before 1889.  In fact, MGA’s nikkah was read out by the top Ahl-e-Hadith mullah in North India in 1884.  Wahabbi’s or Ahl-e-Hadith don’t follow any of the 4 schools of Sunni Islam.

You can read about Noorudin’s affiliation to the Ahl-e-Hadith here:

The data

In his book  “Siratul Mahdi”  Mirza Bashir Ahmad, son of MGA Qadiani, wrote:

“””[In the name of Allah, The Merciful. Hafiz Roshan Ali told me saying: At a time, the promised messiah (MGAQ) asked, for a religious necessity, from Maulvi Noor Uddin to announce that he is belonging to Hanafi Madhab despite he (MGAQ) was knowing that he (Noor Uddin) was belonging to Ahle Hadith. In response to him, Maulvi Noor Uddin wrote, on a paper, a verse of Persian poetry its literal meaning is: If your guide commanded you to dye your place of prayer with wine, you should do; as the guide doesn’t ignore the etiquette of love ways and its traditions. He wrote under it “Hanafi Noor Uddin”]   Siratul Mahdi, narration no. 359.”””

The scan work

Related essays

#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #ahmadiyyat #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #drsalam #AhmadiMosqueattack #AhmadiyyaPersecution #Sialkot #Mosqueattack

The Ahmadiyya Khalifa’s will not allow Ahmadi’s to vote in Pakistan

Ahmadi’s have been heavily involved in politics since their inception in 1889.  In the specific case of Pakistan, Ahmadi’s were ordered to vote for Bhutto in the first free elections in Pakistan’s history (1970).  After the events of 1974, Ahmadi’s were now a minority, and thus could never be President or Prime Minister of Pakistan, since that job was only reserved for Muslims (shia/sunni/sufi or any other type of Muslim).  After being declared Non-Muslim in Sep of 1974, Ahmadi’s were given minority seats and thus allowed to present a political party if they chose to do so.  However, the Ahmadiyya Khalifa at the time, Mirza Nasir Ahmad, he wouldn’t allow any Ahmadi to vote or run for political party.  As soon as an Ahmadi tried, he was immediately kicked out of Ahmadiyya

In 1976, an Ahmadi put his name forward for election and was ex-communicated immediately
As quoted in Friedman

The Pakistan People’s party nominated Bashir Tahir (An Ahmadi) to the minority seat in 1976.  The Khalifa immediately ex-communicated this Ahmadi.  Since 1976, no Ahmadi has ever been allowed to hold any minority seat.

Ahmadi’s counter that they won’t declare themselves as non-Muslim for voting rights
However, they declare themselves as Non-Muslim when they apply for ID cards and passports.  This proves the duplicity of Ahmadi’s.  They say one thing to western powers, but do things very differently behind the scenes.

The scans

#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #ahmadiyyat #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #drsalam #AhmadiMosqueattack #AhmadiyyaPersecution #Sialkot #Mosqueattack

“Victory of Islam” or “Fateh-e-Islam”—-the real publish date?

Per Ahmadiyya records, (see Dard), MGA and his team wrote and published 3 books in the early part of 1891, Fateh-e-Islam (Victory of Islam), Taudhe Mauram (Elucidation of Objectives) and Izala Auham Part 1 and 2.  The Lahori-Ahmadi records also indicate the same.  However, articles from the Ishaat us Sunnah prove that these 3 books were actually written and published in 1889 and 1890.  See here:

Victory of Islam, Lahori Ahmadi translation

Victory of Islam

The victory of Islam, glad tidings of the special assistance of God, and a call to the ways of following it and means of its support

My Lord! place the spirit of blessing into this word of mine, and make the hearts of people turn towards it.

O readers! May Allah protect you in both material and spiritual ways! Today, after quite a long time, this humble servant calls your attention to an important matter concerning the Divine mission for the support of Islam, entrusted to me by God the Most High. In this writing I wish to impress upon you respected persons, with all the power of speech God has conferred upon me, the greatness of this mission and the need to assist it, so that I may be absolved of the duty of propagation which is incumbent upon me. I am, therefore, not concerned in this statement with what effect this writing will have upon the hearts. My object is only to convey, as best as it ought to be done, that which is my duty and the message which is a burden like debt, irrespective of whether people listen to it willingly, or look upon it with revulsion and disgust, whether they entertain favourable thoughts about me or harbour suspicion in their hearts. I leave my affair to Allah, Who is ever watchful over His servants. Now I write as follows the discourse indicated above.

Present dark age

O you seekers of truth and true lovers of Islam! It is clear to you that this age in which we are living is a time of such darkness that great deterioration has taken place in all matters, whether relating to belief or action, and a severe storm of misguidance and evil is raging from every direction. What is termed faith has been replaced by a few words merely professed by the tongue; and what are called good deeds are considered to be some rituals or works of extravagance and show, while there is utter ignorance of true righteousness. The philosophy and science of this age too is strongly opposed to spiritual welfare. Its teachings cast a very harmful influence upon its followers, and have proved to lead them towards darkness. They quicken the poisonous matter within man, and awaken the satan from slumber. People involved with these branches of knowledge often create such an aversion to religious matters in their hearts that they begin to look with scorn and ridicule at the Divine teachings and the devotional practices such as prayer and fasting. In their hearts there is no value or honour for the existence of God; on the contrary, most of them are imbued with godlessness and filled with atheism, being opponents of the faith while being known as the offspring of the Muslims. In the case of those studying in colleges, it frequently happens that even before they have finished the acquisition of the necessary knowledge they are finished in, and divested of, all interest in the faith and its service.

Honesty and integrity vanished

I have mentioned just one branch laden with the fruits of misguidance in the present age. But there are hundreds of other branches besides, no less dangerous. It is generally observed that honesty and integrity has so departed from the world as to have completely disappeared. Deceit and fraud, for the purpose of material gain, have increased beyond all limits, and the most wicked is considered to be the most worthy. All sorts of crookedness, dishonesty, corruption, deception, falsehood, the most devilish cunning, greedy designs, and evil habits are becoming rampant. Malice and disputes, combined with the most utter ruthlessness, are on the increase. A storm of bestial and animal passions is raging all around. And the more the people become accomplished and adept in these sciences and the established laws, the greater is their decline in the natural qualities of goodness and virtuous behaviour, and in the innate traits of modesty, shame, godliness and honesty.

Christian defamation of Islam

The teachings of the Christians too are digging all sorts of tunnels to blow up the edifice of truth and faith. In order to extirpate Islam, the Christian people have worked very hard to create all manner of subtle falsehood and fabrications which they employ at every place and opportunity to rob the faith. Ever newer methods and modern techniques to mislead and misguide are invented. They are abusing and reviling that Perfect Man [the Holy Prophet Muhammad] who is the pride of all the holy ones, the crown of all the chosen ones, and the chief of all the prophets. So much so, that plays are staged in theatres which, with extreme wickedness, depict images of, and mimic Islam and its Holy Founder in an extremely adverse sense. Fabricated calumnies are spread by the medium of the theatre, sparing no degree of villainy in dishonouring Islam and the Holy Prophet.

Divine plan for defence of Islam

O Muslims! listen, and listen attentively! All the intricate fabrications and the devious methods employed by the Christians to hinder the purifying influence of Islam, and the efforts made to spread them by the utmost exertion and by the spending of money like water, so much so that the most disreputable means, the details of which are best omitted to avoid tainting this book, have been fully used to this end — these are the crafty activities of the Christians and the believers in the trinity. And to combat their enchantment, until God the Most High shows His powerful hand which possesses the might of a miracle, and smashes this talisman of magic by means of this miracle, it is impossible to imagine that the simple hearts can ever be freed from the spell of this Western wizardry. Therefore, to destroy this magical influence, God the Most High has shown the true Muslims of this age the miracle of raising this servant of His to fight the opponents, having bestowed upon him His revelation, word and special blessings, and endowed him fully with the subtle knowledge of His way. And He gave him many heavenly gifts, signs from above, and the knowledge of spiritual truths and fine matters, so that with this Divine stone the waxen idol made by the Western enchantment may be smashed.

So, O Muslims! the advent of this humble servant is indeed a miracle of God the Most High to dispel the darkness of this spell. Was it not essential that to combat magic a miracle should come into the world? Do you consider it strange and impossible that, to defeat these schemes of extreme cunning which truly are magical, God the Most High should shine the flare of truth which has the strength of a miracle?

God’s promises fulfilled

O people of wisdom! Be not astonished that God the Most High has sent down a light from heaven at this time of dire need and in these days of deep darkness, and sent a servant into the world specially for the purpose of the propagation of Islam, dissemination of the light of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, support of the Muslims and the reform of their internal condition. Surprise there would have been if God, the Defender of the faith of Islam, Who had promised that He would ever be the Guardian of the teaching of the Quran, and would never let it become lifeless, desolate and lacklustre, had done nothing seeing these internal and external troubles, and failed to recall His promise which He had clearly given in His Holy Word. I say again, what would be a matter of surprise would be if the clear and plain prophecy of His Holy Messenger had gone wrong, which stated that at the head of every century God the Most High shall raise a man who will revive His religion. {Note 1}

So it is not an occasion for astonishment, but for offering thousands upon thousands of thanks, and the time for the strengthening of one’s belief and faith, that out of His grace and kindness God the Most High has made true His promise without even a moment’s delay in the fulfilment of His Messenger’s prophecy. And He not only brought to pass this prophecy, but also opened the door to thousands of prophecies and signs for the future. If you really possess faith, you should express thanks, bowing before God with gratitude, because the time for whose coming your forefathers were waiting and passed away, and countless souls departed yearning for it, that time has been found by you. Now to value it or not, to take advantage from it or not, lies in your hands. I will say it again and again, and I cannot refrain from declaring it, that I am that man who has been sent exactly at the right time for the reformation of the people so that the faith may be established afresh in the hearts.

Mujaddid raised like unto Messiah

I have been sent like that man [Jesus] who was sent after the Kalim-ullah [Prophet Moses], whose soul was taken up to heaven after suffering many afflictions in the reign of Herod. So when, for the chastisement of the latter Pharaohs, there came the second Kalim-ullah [Prophet Muhammad], who is in reality the foremost and the chief of the Prophets, of whom it is said: “Surely We have sent to you a Messenger, a witness against you, as We sent to Pharaoh a Messenger” [Holy Quran 73:15], and who was in his works the like of the first Kalim-ullah [Moses], but superior to him in rank, he too was promised a like of the Messiah. And that like-of-the-Messiah, bearing the power, spirit and qualities of Jesus, son of Mary, has descended from heaven in a similar age and after the lapse of a similar period of time to that which passed from Moses to Jesus, i.e. in the fourteenth century. And his descent was in a spiritual sense, as is the descent of the perfect men, after their ascension, for the reformation of mankind. Moreover, he has come in an age which, in all respects, resembles the age in which Jesus son of Mary came, so that it may be a sign for those who understand. {Note 2}

Triumph of Islam by spiritual means

No one should be hasty in denial, lest he be adjudged to dispute with God the Most High. The worldly people whose minds are in darkness and who are clinging to their old notions will not accept him. But that time will shortly come which will make their error manifest to them. A warner came into the world, but the world accepted him not. God, however, will accept him, and establish his truth with very powerful onslaughts. This is not the saying of a mortal, but the revelation of God the Most High and the word of the Glorious Lord. I believe that the days of these onslaughts are near, but they shall not be with the sword and spear, nor will there be any need for bayonets and guns. On the contrary, the help of God the Most High will come with spiritual armaments, and there will be a tremendous battle with the Jews. Who are they? They are today’s worshippers of the outward forms, about whom it is agreed that they are following in the exact footsteps of the Jews. The heavenly sword of God will cut them into two, and obliterate the Jewish trait. Every worshipper of the world, the one-eyed Dajjal who hides the truth, being blind to faith, shall be slain by the sword of cutting arguments.

Truth will be triumphant, and that day of freshness and brightness will dawn again for Islam as prevailed in earlier times, and the sun of Islam shall rise again in its glory as it rose before. But it is not so yet. It is essential that heaven must keep it from rising until our hearts bleed with toil and sacrifice, and we forsake all comforts for its manifestation, and accept all manner of humiliation for the honour of Islam. The revival of Islam demands of us a sacrifice. What is that? That we lay down our lives for this end. This is the death upon which depends the life of Islam and the Muslims, and the manifestation of the Living God — and this is what is known in other words as Islam. It is the revival of this Islam which God the Most High now wishes to bring about. For the implementation of this grand plan it was essential that He should create a great Movement which is effective in every way.

So the Wise and Powerful God did just that by sending this humble servant for the reformation of the people, and in order to draw the world towards truth and righteousness He divided the work of the support of truth and the propagation of Islam into several parts.

One part, from among these branches, is the work of writing and producing books which has been entrusted to this humble servant. And I have been taught the profound knowledge and the fine, subtle truths which can only be learnt through Divine power, and cannot be attained by human effort. Difficult and intricate points have been solved, not by human reasoning, but by the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

The second part of this work is the publication of notices which is carried on by Divine command for the purpose of fully conveying the arguments and proofs. Till now, more than 20,000 copies of notices have been published to present the arguments of Islam to the non-Muslim people, and this will continue in future according to the needs of the times.

The third part of this work is in connection with the visitors, callers, those journeying in search of the truth, and those arriving here for various purposes, who, having received news of this heavenly Movement, constantly come to meet us, being prompted by their inner intentions. This aspect, too, is under development. Although some days there are fewer visitors, but on others this activity becomes more vigorous. As a result, in the last seven years more than 60,000 guests have been received here. As to how much spiritual benefit was conferred upon the responsive people among them by my talks, how far their problems were solved, and their weaknesses removed, God the Most High knows. But there is no doubt that the giving of answers orally in reply to the questioners, or explaining something according to the time and the circumstances, has been proved in many cases to be more beneficial, effective and easier to absorb than by means of writings. This was the reason why all prophets employed this method, and except for the Word of God which was published under special arrangements and was in fact written down, all the other utterances of the prophets spread as speeches made on various occasions.

The usual practice of the prophets was that, at times of need, quite like a lecturer who recognises the demands of the occasion, they, with the power of the Holy Spirit, delivered discourses in various assemblies and gatherings to suit the level and condition of the audience. This was not like the speakers of this age who merely wish to make a display of their knowledge through their speech, or to entrap the simple-minded by their deceptive logic and false arguments, making their victims even more deserving of hell than themselves. The prophets, on the contrary, spoke in very simple words, and what flowed out from their own hearts they poured into the hearts of others. Their sacred utterances exactly suited the occasion and the needs of the time. They did not speak as a pastime or relate tales to the audience, but rather, finding them spiritually ill and stricken with moral ailments of all kinds, they gave them good counsel as a healing and dispelled their doubts with incontrovertible arguments.

They spoke in few words, but with much meaning. The same principle is also followed by this humble servant, so that the speech is always in accordance with the capacity of understanding and the needs of the visitors and guests, and bears in mind their spiritual ailments. {Note 3} Having identified evil as a target, to shoot arrows of corrective advice at it for its destruction, and considering bad morals to be like a distorted and dislocated limb, to restore it to its true form and position, is a treatment which can only be applied in the physical presence of the afflicted person, and is not properly possible otherwise.

Need for company of the righteous

This is the reason why God the Most High sent thousands of prophets and messengers, and commanded that the privilege of their company should be sought so that people in every age, seeing the perfect models before their own eyes and finding them to be the embodiment of the Divine word, try to follow them. If it had not been an essential of the faith to attain the company of the righteous, God the Most High could have revealed His word without sending messengers and prophets by some other means, or He could have restricted messengership to the very beginning of history, and henceforth terminated the institution of prophethood and messengership and revelation forever. But the profound wisdom and knowledge of God did not accept this at all, and at times of need, when love of God, Divine worship, righteousness, purity and other essential qualities has gone into decline, holy men receiving revelation from God the Most High have been coming into the world as models. Each of these two propositions implies the other. If God the Most High is always to be turning towards the reformation of His creatures, then it is absolutely essential that such men always continue to appear whom God the Most High has specially granted spiritual light and established firmly on the path of following His will.

It is undoubtedly certain and recognised that the great task of the reformation of mankind cannot be done merely by paper-work. For this purpose it is essential to tread that path along which the holy ones of God have been walking since the beginning. And Islam, at its very outset, has established this effective method so firmly and strongly that its parallel cannot at all be found in other religions. Who can show another example of the large community, exceeding ten thousand in number, which, with perfect faith, humility, devotion and utter engrossment, lay day and night at the Prophet’s threshold in order to find the truth and learn the ways of righteousness? No doubt, Moses also had a community of followers. But how rebellious, wayward, and far and forsaken from spiritual grace and the right path they were, is well-known to readers of the Bible and students of Jewish history. The followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, however, had created such unity and spiritual concord among themselves, for the sake of their Chosen Messenger, that in terms of Islamic brotherhood they really had become one single body, and the light of prophethood had become such an integral part of their daily lives and dealings, inwardly and outwardly, that it was as if they were all living images of the Holy Prophet. This mighty miracle of inner transformation, a transformation by which those who practised gross idolatry were raised to the stage of the perfect worship of God, and those who were every moment sunk in worldly matters attained such a relation with the True Beloved God that they poured their blood like water in His way, this was in reality the result of living their lives in the company of a true and perfect Prophet with sincerity.

So it is on the same basis that this humble servant has been raised in order to continue this institution. And I wish that the coming of people to stay in my company be expanded even further, and that such persons spend day and night here who yearn to increase in faith, love and certainty, and they receive the light which has been made manifest to this humble servant, and are granted the zeal and ardour which this humble servant has been granted, so that the light of Islam may spread all over the world and the dark stain of disgrace and humiliation may be cleansed from the brow of the Muslims. With this glad tiding did the Lord God send me, saying:

Rejoice that you shall see that time very soon, when the Muslims have been firmly established on a lofty tower.”

The fourth part of this work is the writing of letters to the seekers after truth and the opponents. Up to now, in the period mentioned above, over 90,000 letters have been received, which have been replied to, except those which were considered to be junk or unnecessary. This work continues regularly, and the number of letters exchanged every month probably varies from 300 to 700 or even a thousand.

Forming a Movement

The fifth part of this work, which God the Most High has specially established with His revelation, is the formation of disciples and those who take the bai’at (Pledge). At the time of founding this Movement, God informed me, saying:

“There is a storm of misguidance raging on the earth, so build this ark at the time of this deluge. Whoever enters this ark will be saved from drowning, but he who denies will perish.”


“He who gives his hand into your hand, he has given it not into your hand but into the hand of God.”

And the Lord God has given me the following glad tidings:

“I will cause you to die and exalt you towards Myself, but your true followers and devotees will remain till the Day of Judgment, and will always be dominant over those who oppose.”

This is the five-fold Movement which God the Most High has set up with His own hand. Although a person looking superficially will consider only the work of producing writings to be essential, and regard the other parts as unnecessary and superfluous, but in the sight of God all of these are essential. And the reformation which He has willed cannot be accomplished without the use of all these five methods.

Appeal for help in this work

Although all this work has been left to the special assistance and grace of God the Most High, as He is sufficient to accomplish it and His promises of good news set the mind at rest, yet it is at His command and prompting that I call the attention of the Muslims to provide help, as all the prophets of God in the past called attention at times of difficulty. Therefore, for the same purpose of drawing attention, I say that it is obvious how much collective help of the Muslims is required to carry out all these five parts in the best way and on a wide scale.

Consider, for instance, just the writing of books. If we undertake the work of propagation in the fullest sense, how much financial resources shall we stand in need of? For, if our purpose is the full accomplishment of propagation, then it must be our object that our religious literature, which is full of jewels of knowledge and matters profound, and draws seekers of the truth to the right path, should rapidly and in large quantity reach people who are afflicted with fatal spiritual diseases, even almost to the point of death, by the influence of unwholesome teachings. We must always have it in view that whenever a country is in a dangerous spiritual condition, due to the murderous poison of misguidance, our books should be disseminated there without delay, and reach the hands of every seeker after truth.

But it is obvious that it is impossible to attain this object to its fullest if we always have in our minds the consideration that our books should be distributed by sale. To publish books merely for the purpose of sale, and to force worldliness into a religious cause for selfish motives, is a mean and objectionable method, and its ill-effect will be that we would neither be able to distribute our books speedily in the world nor make large numbers of them reach the people. It is undoubtedly and absolutely true that if, for instance, we were distributing free a hundred thousand copies of a book, we would be able to take them to the most distant countries in only twenty days, and disseminate them generally among every community and in every place, giving them to all those who seek the truth and the right path. But if a price were to be charged, we would not be able to accomplish the same kind of work on such a grand scale perhaps even in twenty years. If the books were to be sold, we would keep them locked up in boxes and wait for customers or for their orders by mail. And it is possible that during this long wait we may ourselves pass away from the world, and the books remain locked in boxes. Therefore, as the scope of selling books is very restricted and damaging to the real object, and prolongs the work of a few years to centuries, and as no generous and enterprising wealthy man from among the Muslims has so far come forward to buy a large number of our recent books to distribute them free in the way of Allah, nor is there any Society for Islam, like the Christian missions, to assist in this work, {Note 4} nor can any reliance be placed on one’s life so that we could wait for long in expectation of reaching a great age, I have, therefore, from the very beginning adopted the rule regarding all my books that, so far as possible, a large proportion of them should be distributed free in order that, being full of the light of truth as they are, they spread rapidly and extensively in the world.

Funds needed for work of Movement

But as my personal financial resources did not permit me to bear this weighty burden by myself, and there was also the heavy expenditure on the other branches of the work in addition to this part, so the publication of books after progressing to a certain point came to a standstill, and that is where it rests today. God the Most High looks upon all the branches of work of this Movement as equally important, and wishes all of them to continue and be completed alike. But the expenditure on these five branches is so high that it requires the special attention and support of sincere people.

If I gave full details of the expenditure on this religious cause, it would reach an enormous length. But brethren, by way of example, just consider the number of visitors and realise that in the last seven years about 60,000 or more guests came here. Now you can imagine how much was spent on their service, look after and hospitality, and what necessary requirements had to be provided for their comfort in winter and summer. A thoughtful man will indeed wonder as to how all the essentials of hospitality for such a large number of people were fulfilled from time to time, and how this great service can continue in the future.

Similarly, consider those twenty thousand leaflets printed in English and Urdu, more than twelve thousand of which were sent to the leaders of the opponents of Islam by registered mail, leaving not even a single Christian preacher in India to whom they were not sent registered. In fact, these leaflets were also sent to the countries of Europe and America, by registered mail, to complete the work of conveying the arguments. Considering these expenses, is it not a matter of wonder how they are being met with such limited means? These are only the chief items of expenditure. If we just examine those expenses which are incurred every month in despatching letters, they too will amount to a large sum, for the continuance of which there is as yet no financial help. Then as to the maintenance of those who, having taken the bai’at, wish to stay with me for the seeking of truth, like the Companions of Suffa, I have to look to heaven. I know that the Powerful God, Whose special purpose forms the basis of this Movement, will Himself devise ways for the continuance of these five branches of work, but it is necessary to inform the people about it to fulfil the duty of propagation.

Postponement of writing

I have heard that some rather ill-informed people are circulating the allegation against me that a sum of about Rs. 3000 was collected from the public, as the price of the book Barahin Ahmadiyya and as funds towards it, but this book has not yet been published completely and in its entirety. In reply, I make it clear to them that the amount received from the public was not merely Rs. 3000, but in addition to it a further sum of about Rs. 10,000 was also received, which was neither a contribution towards the book nor payment for it. Rather, it was given as donation from some who had requested for prayers on their behalf and from other friends who helped just out of love. All of it was gradually spent on the essential works that arose for this Movement. And as Divine wisdom had delayed the work of the writing of books, no savings could be made for it from the other important branches of work established by Divine command. The Divine purpose behind the postponement of the publication of books was precisely that during this interruption certain subtle and fine truths be fully disclosed to the author, and also that the opponents may give full vent to all their vehemence.

Now that the Divine purpose has again turned towards bringing the remaining writings to completion, God has drawn me to pen this treatise of invitation. At this moment, it is a most pressing need for me to complete the writings. Much of the Barahin is yet to be printed. If it is prepared, it will be sent to buyers as well as those who have been given the previous parts free of charge and were promised more in future. And the same with other books, such as Ash’at al-Qur’an, Siraj Munir, Tajdid Din, Arba’in fi ‘alamat al-muqarrabin. It is also intended to write a commentary of the Holy Quran, and fervently desired to bring out a monthly journal to refute false creeds, such as Christianity and others, and to counter their periodicals. And there is no obstacle to the continuance of all this work except for the lack of financial arrangements and monetary assistance. If we were to have the facility of our own printing press and a calligraphist always at our disposal, and have the means of meeting all necessary expenditure, i.e. funds to pay for all that is spent on paper, printing and salaries of printers should reach us from time to time, then there would be adequate arrangements for the full development and progress of this branch out of the five.

Heart-felt appeal to Muslims

O you land of India! Is there no enterprising man of means within you who, if not more, can at least bear the expenses of this branch of work? If five Muslims possessing the means recognise the need of the time, they can take upon themselves the financial support of these five branches. O Lord God! rouse these hearts with Thy power, for Islam is not yet so poverty-stricken. It is the hearts that are closed, not that the hands are empty. And those people who do not possess such extensive means can also render help by making contributions every month, according to what they can afford, with a determined resolve, and donate some funds to this Movement. Indifference, apathy and mistrust can never help the cause of faith. Suspicion destroys any construction and produces disunity between the hearts. Consider the great sacrifices made by those who lived in the times of the prophets for the propagation of the faith. If the wealthy one brought forth his cherished riches for the sake of the faith, the beggar too presented his valued bowl of crumbs collected from door to door. And so they continued doing until the time came for the victory bestowed by God the Most High. It is not easy to be a Muslim, nor painless to be called a believer. Therefore, O people, if there is in you that spirit of righteousness which is given to believers, then take not my appeal lightly. Be anxious about earning goodness, for God the Most High is watching you from heaven as to what response you give on hearing this plea.

O Muslims! who are the remaining signs of the great believers, and the offspring of the virtuous, hasten not to denial and mistrust, and fear the terrifying pestilence spreading all about you, which has entrapped a countless number of people. You are seeing what vigorous efforts are being undertaken to obliterate the religion of Islam. Is it not your duty to make efforts in reply? Although Islam is not made by man so that the exertions of man could destroy it, but alas for those who are bent upon its annihilation, and alas again for those who have everything to spend on their wives, their children and their own pleasures, but have nothing for Islam in their pockets! Woe to you, O indolent ones, while yourselves lacking the strength for the propagation of Islam or showing its light, you do not even accept with gratitude the Mission established by God to manifest the brilliance of Islam. Today Islam is like a lamp shut up in a box or a sweet spring of water covered over with dust and filth. This is the reason why Islam is in a state of decline, and its lovely face cannot be seen nor its handsome figure known. It was the duty of the Muslims to exert themselves, to their breaking point, to show its beloved face, and not only their wealth but they should have poured forth even their own blood like water. But they did not do so. On account of their excessive ignorance, they adhere to the erroneous view that the earlier literature on Islam is adequate. They do not know that in order to repel the modern evils, which are appearing in ever newer ways, a modern mode of defence is also required. Moreover, at the time of the spread of darkness in every age when prophets, messengers and reformers made their appearance, were not previous books already in existence?

Meaning of Lailat al-Qadr

Therefore, O brethren, it is essential that at the time when darkness prevails, there descend light from heaven. I have already explained in this treatise that God the Most High says in Surah al-Qadr, in fact He gives the glad tidings to the believers, that His Word and His Prophet were sent down from heaven in the Lailat al-Qadr. And every reformer and Mujaddid who comes from God descends during the Lailat al-Qadr. Do you know what Lailat al-Qadr is? It is the name of that dark age whose blackness is total and complete. That period, by its very nature, demands the descent of a heavenly light to dispel the darkness. It has been figuratively called Lailat al-Qadr, but it is not in fact a night. It is an age which resembles the night because of its darkness. After the death of a prophet or his spiritual successor, when a period of a thousand months has passed, which nearly brings to a close the span of human life and announces the departure of human faculties, then this night becomes established. Then, by means of Divine action, are secretly sown the seeds of one or more reformers who are nurtured out of view to make their appearance at the head of the new century. This is what Allah the Glorious points to by saying: “Lailat al-Qadr is better than a thousand months” [the Holy Quran, 97:3], the meaning being that the one who sees the light of this Lailat al-Qadr, and has the privilege of attaining the company of the reformer of the time, is better than the old man of eighty years who did not find that luminous period. Finding even an hour of it is better than the thousand months which passed before. Why? Because in this Lailat al-Qadr descend the angels of God the Most High and the Holy Spirit from heaven accompanying that reformer, by the permission of the Lord, not without purpose but in order to reach the responsive hearts and to open up the ways of peace. So they remain engaged in opening all the pathways and lifting all the veils until the darkness of indifference disappears and the dawn of guidance breaks.

Now, O Muslims, read these verses carefully, and see how much God the Most High acclaims the age in which a reformer is sent into the world at the time of need. Will you not value such an age? Will you look down upon the words of God with contempt?

Appeal continued

O men of means of Islam, look, I deliver to you the message that you must assist this Reform Mission which has come from God Himself, with all your heart, full attention, and absolute devotion. You should have regard for all its various aspects, and fulfil your duty of service very soon. He who wishes to make monthly donations, in accordance with his means, he must make the payment every month by his own motivation and concern, considering it an essential religious obligation incumbent on him, and allow no neglect or laxity in making the payment, as a duty purely for God. And he who wishes to make a lump sum donation may render his assistance in this manner. But it must be remembered that the real manner by which this Movement is expected to function without fail is that the true well-wishers of the faith should make a binding compact with themselves to give such affordable sums monthly, according to their resources and means, which they can conveniently pay unless prevented by some unforeseen occurrence. But the one who has been granted a generous heart and the opportunity by Allah the Glorious can also render help, in addition to the monthly contribution, by a lump sum in accordance with his motivation and his means.

And O my dear friends and my beloved ones, the flourishing branches of my tree, who have entered into my Movement by the mercy of God which is upon you, and are sacrificing your lives, comfort and wealth in this path, I know that you will accept what I say, considering it your good fortune to do so, and will not hesitate to do as much as is within your power. But I do not lay upon you any duties for this service in explicit words, so that your work should be of your own accord and not under compulsion from me. Who is my friend, and who is dear to me? It is the one who recognises me. And who recognises me? Only he who believes that I have been sent, and accepts me as are accepted those who are sent by God. The world cannot accept me, for I am not of the world. But those whose nature has a share of the other world accept me and will do so in the future. He who forsakes me, forsakes Him Who has sent me, and he who forms a bond with me, forms a bond with Him from Whom I have come.

I have a light in my hand. He who comes to me shall definitely get a share of that light. But he who runs away from me with suspicion and mistrust shall be cast into darkness. I am the impregnable fort of this age. He who enters within my gates shall save himself from thieves, robbers and beasts, but he who wishes to live outside my walls confronts death from every side, and even his dead body will not be safe. Who enters into my gates? He who shuns evil and adopts good, forsakes perversity and walks on the path of righteousness, frees himself from the servitude of the devil and becomes an obedient servant of God the Most High. Everyone who does this is within me, and I am within him. But only he is able to do this whom God has placed under the shadow of a purifying soul, so that when the latter takes a step into the hell of the inner self of that man, it cools down as if fire had never been in it. Then he progresses higher and higher, until the spirit of God the Most High comes to dwell in him. The Lord of the worlds becomes established in his heart with a special manifestation. Then, his former self having been consumed by fire, he is granted a new and pure human nature. And God the Most High too forms a new and special relation with him, as if He had become a new God, and he receives all the pure provisions of heavenly life in this very world.

Some leading followers: Maulvi Nur-ud-Din

I cannot here refrain from mentioning, and expressing gratitude for it, that God the Most High by His grace and kindness has not left me alone. Those who have formed a bond of fraternity with me, and have entered into the Movement which has been created by the hand of God Himself, are imbued with love and sincerity of a most remarkable kind. It is not as a result of my efforts, but due to the special favour of God the Most High that He has given me souls which are overflowing with the quality of truthfulness.

I feel the urge in my heart to mention, first of all, a spiritual brother of mine whose name, like his shining sincerity, is Nur-i Din. I have always looked with a sense of longing at some of his services for the propagation of Islam, which he has been rendering by spending his lawfully-acquired wealth, wishing that I too could do likewise. When I think of the zeal for the cause of the faith which entirely fills his heart, I can picture the power of God as to how He draws His servants towards Himself. He stands ever ready to obey Allah and His Messenger with all his wealth, all his strength, and all his resources. And I do know it for an actual fact, based on experience and not simply on my high opinion of him, that, let alone wealth, he would not even hesitate to sacrifice his life and honour in my way. Had I permitted, he would have sacrificed all he had for this cause and would have fulfilled the requirement of living in my company, acquiring physical fellowship like his spiritual nearness to me. I reproduce below for the readers, by way of example, a few lines from some of his letters, to show them that my dear brother Maulvi Hakim Nur-ud-Din of Bhera, physician to the State of Jammu, has attained to perfection in the grades of love and sincerity. These words are as follows:

“My master, leader and imam. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmat-ullah wa barakatu-hu.
Esteemed sir, it is my prayer that I should always stay in your presence, and derive those benefits from the Imam of the age, to bestow which he has been made Mujaddid. If you allow me, I shall resign from my employment and remain in your exalted service day and night. Or if you command me, I shall leave my post and journey in the world, calling people to the true religion, and give my life in this cause. I have sacrificed myself in your cause. Whatever I have is not mine, but yours. Honoured mentor and guide! I say most truly that if all my wealth and property be spent for the propagation of the faith, I would attain my ultimate desire. If the buyers of Barahin Ahmadiyya are worried at the delay in its publication, allow me to undertake the minor service of returning back the price they had paid, from my own resources. Honoured mentor and guide! It is a request from this humble servant, and if you approve, it will be my good fortune. It is my wish to bear all the costs of the printing of the Barahin. Then whatever money is received as its price can be spent on your other needs. My relation with you is like that of Farooq, and I am prepared to spend everything in this cause. Please pray that my end be like that of the truthful ones.”

Just as these words of the Maulvi Sahib show his truthfulness, perseverance, sympathy and devotion, these qualities are even more evident from his actual deeds in the form of earnest services. He is moved by the strongest feelings of love and sincerity to wish to sacrifice everything in this cause, even the necessities of his family. His spirit, empowered and intoxicated by love and utter engrossment, is urging him to go beyond his capacity. He is engaged in this service every instant, and with every breath.{Note 5} However, it would be the height of injustice to overwhelm such a devoted one with a burden beyond his power which can only be borne by a community. There is no doubt that the Maulvi Sahib will agree to give up all his property in order to perform this service, and say like the Prophet Job, “I came with nothing, and shall depart with nothing”. But this is an obligation to be shared by the entire community, and it is incumbent upon all, in this age of dangers and tribulations which is violently and vigorously shaking the delicate link which ought to exist between God and His creatures, to give thought to a good end for their lives and to carry out good works, upon which depends salvation, by devoting their beloved wealth and time to this service. And they should fear the immutable and established law of God which He has laid down in His mighty Word, saying: Lan tanalu-l-birra hatta tunfiqu mim-ma tuhibbuna [Holy Quran, 3:92], i.e., you cannot, by any means, attain to true righteousness, which takes you to salvation, until you spend in the way of God your wealth and the things you love.

I consider it appropriate to mention here a few more of my true friends who have joined this Divine Movement, and have a fervent love for me in their hearts. One of them is Shaikh Muhammad Husain of Muradabad, who these days has come from there to Qadian, and is transcribing a copy of this treatise merely in the way of Allah. The Shaikh Sahib’s crystal-clear heart appears to me like a mirror. He entertains the highest degree of love and sincerity for me, merely for the sake of God. His heart is replete with the love of Allah, and he is a man of the most wonderous nature. I believe him to be a shining light for Muradabad, and hope that the light of love and sincerity which is within him shall one day penetrate others also. Although the Shaikh Sahib is a man of limited means, he has a big, generous heart. He is constantly engaged in helping me, and a conviction full of love permeates his soul.

Another one of our friends is Hakim Fazal Din of Bhera. I have no words to describe the depth of love, sincerity, goodly devotion, and spiritual connection which the Hakim Sahib bears towards me. He is a true well-wisher and sincere sympathiser of mine, and has the power of discerning the truth. After God the Most High had directed my attention to writing this pamphlet, and gave me good hope by His special revelations, I mentioned the idea to several people, but none agreed with me. This dear brother of mine, however, even without my mentioning it to him, urged me of his own accord to write this pamphlet, and contributed Rs.100 from his own pocket towards its expenses. I marvel at his spiritual foresight, as to how his exhortation concurred with the will of God the Most High. He is always rendering service without show, and has contributed many hundreds of rupees to this cause confidentially, merely to attain the pleasure of Allah. May God the Most High grant him a goodly reward!

Another very dear brother, who has left a gap in my heart by his demise, is Mirza Azeem Beg, may God forgive him and have mercy on him, a Chief of Samana in Patiala, who departed from this mortal world on 2 Rabi’ as-Sani, 1308 Hijra. “We belong to Allah and to Him do we return; the eyes shed tears, the heart grieves, and we are sorrowful at his departure!” I cannot find the words to describe his state of devotion, the high degree of his love for me, purely for the sake of God, and the extent of his self-effacement in me. As to the grief and sorrow I have felt at his untimely departure, I find very few parallels of it in my past life. He has led the way to our destination and guided us, departing from us as we looked on. As long as we live, we shall not forget the grief of his departure.

“My heart is so overwhelmed with pain that if I removed the sleeve before my eyes, the tears would deluge the whole garment.”

The memory of his death makes one feel sad, while the heart is aggrieved and restless because of overwhelming anguish, and tears start flowing from one’s eyes. His whole being was saturated with love, and he was valiant in showing passionate feeling. He had dedicated his entire life for this cause, so much so that I do not expect that he even dreamt of anything else. Although he was a man of limited means, but when it came to the service of the faith, which he was always carrying out, wealth carried no more value for him than dust. In comprehending the subtle secrets of Divine knowledge, his understanding was most sound. His belief in my humble self, which overflowed with love, was itself a miracle of perfect Divine influence. Seeing him brought as much joy to the mind as the sight of a garden full of flowers and fruit. As it appears, he has left behind him survivors and a small child in a state of utter helplessness, poverty and destitution. O Mighty God! Be their Guardian and Protector, and inspire my followers to fulfil their duty of sympathy towards the bereaved family of their sincere brother who have been left helpless and deprived.

“O God! Consoler and Comforter of the aggrieved soul, Refuge and Shelter of the helpless and afflicted, the Forgiver of sins: be gracious out of Thy mercy to this servant of Thine, and shower Thy blessings on the departed ones.”

Here I have mentioned only a few friends by way of example. I have other friends of this kind and of this eminence, a detailed account of whom I shall give in a separate pamphlet, if Allah wills. As this subject is getting protracted, I leave it here.

I consider it appropriate here also to let it be known that of those people who have taken the bai’at of my movement, not all of them deserve as yet that I express some fine opinion about them. Instead, some of them are like dry branches which my Lord, Who is my Protector, will sever from me and cast into the wood which is to be burnt. There are some others who were tender of heart and sincere in the beginning but now they are afflicted with narrowness, and the zeal of sincerity and the glow of a disciple’s love is no longer there, leaving only the cunning as that of Ba’laam [of the Bible, Book of Numbers 31:16]. Like decayed teeth they have no use but that they should be pulled out and thrown under foot. They became weary and exhausted, and the vile world has entrapped them in the meshes of deception. I say truly that they shall soon be cut off from me, save him whom the grace of God the Most High takes by the hand afresh. And there are also many whom God the Most High has given to me forever. They are the flourishing branches of my tree, and, Allah willing, I shall write an account of them elsewhere.

Some criticisms answered

I wish here to dispel the misconception of those who are wealthy, and consider themselves to be very generous and entirely devoted to the service of religion. However, at the time of need they have utterly refused to give of their wealth, saying: if we had lived in the time of a true man, sent by God, who had been raised by God for the support of religion, we would even have sacrificed our-selves entirely to help his cause, but as there is fraud and deception raging all around, what can we do? So, O people, let it be known to you that a man has been sent to the aid of the faith but you have failed to recognize him. He is in your midst, and it is he who is addressing you, but your eyes are covered with thick veils. If your hearts earnestly seek the truth, then it is quite easy to test the man who claims to receive revelation from God the Most High. Come to him and stay in his company for two or three weeks; then if God the Most High wills, you shall see with your own eyes the heavenly blessings that are being showered upon him and the lights of Divine revelation that are descending upon him. It is the one who seeks that finds, and it is for one who knocks that the door is opened. If you close your eyes and hide in a dark den, and say that you cannot see the sun, your complaint will be absurd. O you fool, open the doors of your den, and lift the veil from over your eyes so that the sun may not only be visible, but it may also illuminate you with its light.

Some people assert that all that is required for the aid of the faith is to establish organizations and open religious schools. But they do not know what is the real significance of religion nor do they know what is the ultimate aim of our existence, and how and by what means can that object be attained. They should realize that the ultimate aim of this life is to attain that true and definite bond with God the Most High which, freeing us from base connections, takes us to the fountain-head of salvation. And the paths to that perfect faith can never be discovered by human devising and planning, nor can man-made philosophy be of any use for this end. In fact, this light is only sent by God from on high, at the time of darkness, through His chosen servants. Only he who has come down from heaven can lead the way to heaven.

So, O you people, who are sunk in the pit of darkness, and are trapped in the clutches of doubt and scepticism, and are slaves to the lower desires of the self, be not proud of following Islam only in name and ritual, and think not that your true benefit, actual progress, and ultimate success lies in the plans made and carried out by the organizations and schools which exist today. These activities are no doubt beneficial, in principle, and may be considered as the first rung of the ladder of progress, but are very far from the real purpose. These ways may perhaps sharpen the mental faculties, create intellectual skills, produce quickness of mind, and give practice in the use of formal reasoning, leading to the attainment of titles of scholarship and learning. And perhaps, after acquiring knowledge for a long time, they may even be helpful in attaining the real object. But, as the adage runs, By the time the antidote arrives from Iraq, the one bitten by the snake will have died.

Arouse yourselves, therefore, and be watchful so that you may not stumble and set out on the journey to the hereafter in a state which is really one of unbelief and faithlessness. Know it for certain that hopes for salvation in the next life cannot at all be made to rest entirely on the acquisition of this formal knowledge. Rather, that heavenly light is needed which removes the dirt of doubt and uncertainty, extinguishes the fires of greed and low desires, and draws towards the true love, true devotion and true obedience of God the Most High. If you question your own conscience, you will receive just the same reply, that true satisfaction and contentment of mind which instantly bring about a spiritual transformation have not yet been achieved by you. It is a matter of the utmost regret that while you display so much zeal for propagating the ritual aspects of the teachings and the formal aspects of knowledge, you do not possess the tiniest fraction of that feeling towards the heavenly movement. Your life is mostly being devoted to works which, in the first place, have no connection whatsoever with religion, and even if there is any, it is very insignificant and far less than the real object. If you possessed the sort of sense and understanding which shows you the true goal, you would not rest until you achieved that real object. O people, you have been created to gain knowledge of, to love and to obey, your true Lord God, your real Creator, and the One Who actually ought to be worshipped. So until this chief purpose of your creation is manifestly displayed in you, you will remain very far from true salvation of your soul.

If you are fair, you can yourself bear witness to your internal condition, and see that in place of Divine worship it is the gigantic idol of the worship of this world which is before your hearts every moment, in front of which you bow down thousands of times in every second. All your precious time is so taken up with the idle talk and prattle of the world that you have no time to raise your sight to the other side. Do you ever even remember what the ultimate end of this existence is? Where is the justice in you, where is the integrity in you, where is the righteousness, fear of God, honesty and humility in you, towards which the Quran calls you? For years you do not recall, even accidentally, that you have a God. It never occurs to you what duties you have in respect of Him. The fact is that you have maintained no concern, no relation, no bond whatsoever with the true, eternal God and you are even reluctant to utter His name. You will now argue, quite cleverly, that this is most definitely not the case. But the law of God the Most High puts you to shame when it makes plain to you that the signs of the faithful are not to be found in you. Although in matters of the cares and concerns of the world, you forcefully claim for yourselves wisdom and soundness of opinion, but all your ability, ingenuity and foresight extends only as far as the worldly domain. And by means of your intellect you cannot see even the smallest corner of that other realm although your souls have been created to live there for eternity. You are so perfectly content with the life of this world as is a man content with something which is to remain forever. But you never think, not even once in your whole life, of that other world, the pleasures of which provide true contentment and last forever.

What a great misfortune it is, that you are absolutely indifferent to a matter of paramount importance. You have closed your eyes to it and are running day and night headlong in pursuit of your desire for transitory things that are worth neglect. You know quite well that the hour will undoubtedly come upon you which will extinguish your life and all your ambitions in a single blow. Yet it is a curious misfortune that, despite knowing this, you are squandering all your time in just running after the world. And it is not as if this yearning for the world is confined to legitimate means; no, you have allowed all manner of unlawful means, from falsehood and fraud to murder of the innocent. Yet with all these disgraceful misdeeds which are widespread among you, you still assert that you have no need for heavenly light and the heavenly movement; in fact, you bear bitter hostility towards it. You hold the heavenly movement established by God the Most High in very low estimation, so much so that when you even mention it your tongues utter scornful, hateful words in a most arrogant and haughty manner, to ridicule it. You ask over and over again how you can be sure that this movement is from God. I have already given the reply to it, that you shall know this tree by its fruit and this star by its light. I have delivered this message to you once. Now it is up to you to accept it or reject it, to remember what I have said or to remove it from your memory.

“When alive a man is not valued, dear ones,
You will remember my words after I am gone.”


At the end, a poem lamenting the sorry state of Islam

Every believer must shed tears of anguish, at the grave crisis Islam faces and the dearth of true Muslims.

The religion of God is passing through a dangerous and terrifying phase. Unbelief and hard-heartedness have filled the world with turmoil.

Even people who are devoid of any form of goodness take the liberty of criticizing the person of the ‘Best of Prophets’ (may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him).

He who is himself trapped in the dungeon of impurity hurls objections at the Chief of the Pure.

Evil-natured and wicked people attack that Sinless one. Heaven should rain stones on the earth.

Islam is crumbling to dust before your very eyes, O men of wealth! What excuse do you have before God [for not spending in His way]?

The forces of unbelief are surging with power on all sides like the army of Yazid. And the true religion is sick and helpless like Zain-ul-Abideen.

The wealthy are lying in the lap of luxury, enjoying themselves in the company of beautiful women.

The Ulama are fighting day and night for selfish ends, while the holy men are totally oblivious to the needs of the faith.

People are following their own ends for their low desires. Religion has no helper, so every enemy has savagely attacked it.

O Muslims! are these the signs of you being Muslims, that the religion is in such a state and you are clinging like a vulture to the world.

Think you that the world is a very safe and strong abode, or maybe you have forgotten the death of those who lived before you.

O heedless people! death is approaching you — worry about it. For how much longer will you be enjoying wine with your beautiful lovers?

O wise one! make not yourself to be a slave of the world. Else you will face much hardship at the time of death.

Love not anyone but the One whose Beauty is everlasting, so that you can attain eternal happiness from your Lord, the Benefactor.

The wise man is one who follows His path madly. The clever man is one who is intoxicated by the face of his Beautiful Beloved.

The brew of His love is like an eternal water of life. Whosoever drinks it, shall then never ever die.

O brother! be not engrossed in the luxuries of this world. Every drop of this honey is saturated with sweet poison.

Exert yourself with your soul and wealth, as far as you can, for the service of Islam, so that the Lord of the Throne bestows His pleasure upon you.

Prove by your actions that you have the light of faith within you. If you give your heart to Joseph, then you must also journey to Canaan.

Do you remember the days when this religion was the centre of attention? And it had freed the world from the path of the accursed Devil.

The knowledge it spread bestowed the world with virtuous training. The esteem and honour in which it was held made its position as high as the sky.

And now the time has come when every ignorant one stupidly opposes this wise religion.

Millions of foolish ones have left their religion and millions of the ignorant have fallen prey to the cunning enemy.

All this disgrace Muslims suffered, because their energy failed to equal their feeling for their religion.

Even if a whole world abandon the religion of the Mustafa, Muslims are not roused into the least action, even as little as the movement a foetus could make.

Every moment they spend in concern about this despicable material world, and spend their wealth on their women and sons.

They preside over every gathering where evil and wickedness are committed, and shine like a diamond in every group of sinners.

Lovers of alcohol but ignorant of guidance. Hateful of religious luminaries, they keep company with drunkards.

The true Beloved has turned away from them, Who used to love them when they had an earnest and faithful yearning for Him.

The days of their prosperity and glory are over. Now the evil consequences of their actions have brought bad times.

The progress in the beginning was achieved by following religion. In future too, it shall be by the same way.

O God! when will the time of Your help come? When shall we witness that blessed day and year again?

Two worries for the religion of Ahmad have consumed me from within: the abundant numbers of its enemies and the paucity of its supporters.

O God! come soon and shower us with Your help. Else, my Lord, remove me from this burning place.

O God! cause the sun of guidance to dawn from its rising-place of mercy. Show bright signs to illuminate the eyes of the ignorant.

As You have granted me to be sincere in grief and longing, I think not that You will let me die in failure.

The mission of the truthful never remains incomplete. For them, there lies hidden in their sleeves the hand of God.

Note 1: What is revival or mujaddidiyya{Referred from}

To spread translations of the Holy Quran merely as a ritual carried out in an outward form, or to disseminate religious books and works of Hadith translated into Urdu and Persian, or to teach the lifeless spiritual techniques, full of unfounded novelties, practised by most of the spiritual teachers of the present time, are not methods which can be described as revival of faith in the full and real sense. Indeed, the last-mentioned method constitutes the regeneration of devilish ways and an attack upon religion. To propagate the Holy Quran and the authentic Hadith in the world is undoubtedly excellent work, but to do it merely as a formality and ritual, by means of human thought and deliberation, without truly making one’s own self to follow the Quran and Hadith, are pretentious and hollow services which any man possessing knowledge can perform, and are always being performed. These have nothing to do with the mission of mujaddidiyya (revival of the faith). All these works, in the sight of God the Most High, are nothing more than ostentatious bragging. He says:

“Why do you say that which you do not? It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not” [Holy Quran 61:2, 3],


“O you who believe, take care of your souls. He who errs cannot harm you when you are on the right way” [5:105].

How can the blind lead the blind, or the leper cleanse the bodies of others? The renewal of the faith is that pure and sacred state which, first of all, descends with loving enthusiasm on that pure heart which has risen to the stage where it receives Divine communication. Then, sooner or later, its influence penetrates into other people. Those who are given the power of renewal of the faith (mujaddidiyya) from God the Most High are not merely boasters, but they are in actual fact deputies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, and in a spiritual sense his khalifas (successors). God the Most High makes them inherit all the blessings which were given to the prophets and messengers. What they teach effuses from them spontaneously, and is not the outcome of mere labour and effort. They speak from their own state and experience, and it is not merely their words. Their hearts are illuminated by revelation from God the Most High, and at the time of every difficulty and trouble they are guided by the Holy Spirit. Their words and deeds have no element of worldly motives, for they are purified through and through, and are perfectly and completely drawn to God.

Note 2: Similarity to Jesus and his time {Referred from}

The times in which we live is an age in which worship of outward forms, remoteness from the real essence and spirit, lack of honesty and integrity, abandonment of truth and moral purity, and predominance of greed, meanness and materialism, have become as widely rampant as these were among the Jews at the time of the appearance of Jesus. So, just as the Jews of that age had become utterly oblivious to real goodness, believing the mere performance of rites and rituals to constitute virtue; and besides this, just as the qualities of honesty, trustworthiness, inner purity and justice had entirely disappeared from them, and there remained no trace whatsoever of sincere sympathy and kindness, and all manner of worship of created beings had taken the place of the True God, similarly in this age all these evils have made their appearance. The halal (permitted) things are not consumed with gratitude and thankful humility, there is no longer any revulsion or disgust felt in committing forbidden deeds, and the sacred commandments of God the Most High are avoided by means of pretexts.

Most of our Ulama are no less than the legalists and Pharisees of those times. They would strain out a mosquito, but swallow a camel. They shut the doors of the kingdom of heaven upon the people, neither entering it themselves nor allowing those who would enter, to go in. They perform lengthy prayers, but in their hearts there exists no love or reverence for the real One Who is to be worshipped. From the pulpits they preach very heart-moving sermons, but their inner practices are quite different. Strange are their eyes which, despite the rebelliousness of their hearts and the foul intentions harboured therein, still have so much capacity for shedding tears; strange are their tongues which, despite the great alienation of their hearts, still make professions of love of the faith. In the same way, the evil characteristics of Jewishness are seen to be prevailing everywhere. There has been a great deterioration in righteousness and godliness. Weakness of faith has made love for God grow cold. People are being submerged under the love of the material world.

It was necessary that it should so happen because our Leader and Master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, has foretold by way of prophecy that a time would come upon the Muslim Umma when it would acquire the most striking similarity to the Jews, and commit the transgressions which the Jews had committed, so much so that if the Jews had crept into the hole of a mouse, the Muslim Umma would enter into it too. Then a teacher of faith shall appear, of Persian descent, about whom it is written that “even if faith had departed to the Pleiades he would bring it back from there”.This is a prophecy made by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the true meaning of which has been disclosed to my humble self by Divine revelation, making its manifestation very clear to me. God the Most High disclosed to me by His revelation that the Messiah, son of Mary, too was in reality a teacher of faith who appeared 1400 years after Moses, at a time when the moral and spiritual condition of the Jews had deteriorated to the weakest point, and as a consequence of the weakness of faith they were caught up in all those evils which are in fact the traits of faithlessness. So when a period of about 1400 years passed over this nation too, after the coming of its Holy Prophet, the same evils appeared among them as had appeared among the Jews so that the prophecy made with regard to them may be fulfilled. So God the Most High sent for them out of His perfect power a teacher of faith who is the like of the Messiah. The Messiah who was to come is none but myself; you may accept if you want to. Let him listen to this, who has ears to listen. This is the work of God the Most High, and appears strange to the people. If anyone rejects it, the righteous of previous ages have also been rejected. John the Baptist, namely Yahya the son of Zacharias, was not at all accepted by the Jews, even though Jesus had testified with regard to him that he was the one who had been taken to heaven, for whose coming again from heaven the sacred scriptures contained a promise.

God the Most High always makes use of figurative language, and confers the name of one person upon another due to their nature, characteristics and capacities. He whose nature is like that of Abraham is Abraham in the sight of God, and he whose nature is like that of Umar Faruq is Umar Faruq in the sight of God. Do you not read the Hadith report that if there are among the Muslims any who are muhaddas, to whom God speaks, then Umar is such a one? Now does this hadith mean that the institution of muhaddasiyya came to an end with Umar? Most certainly not; in fact, the meaning of the hadith is that whichever person has a spiritual condition like that of Umar, he will be the muhaddas at the time of need. Thus it was that my humble self, too, once received a revelation about this as follows: fi-ka madat-un faruqiyya. [“In you is the substance of faruqiyya (the quality of Umar).” — Translator.] This humble one, besides having a resemblance of nature with other holy ones, an account of which is given with full details and explanation in Barahin Ahmadiyya, has a particular similarity with Jesus. And it is because of this similarity in nature that I have been sent bearing the name Messiah to crush to destruction the doctrines of the cross. I have been sent to break the cross and kill the swine. I have descended from heaven with those holy angels on my right and left whom my God, Who is on my side, will cause to enter — and is even doing so already — every responsive heart for the accomplishment of my mission. Even if I were to keep silent and my pen refrained from writing, nonetheless the angels who have descended with me cannot stop their work. They have big hammers in their hands given to them for breaking the cross and crushing the cathedral of man-worship.

Those who are unaware may wonder as to what is the meaning of the descending of angels. It should, therefore, be understood that the practice of God has always been that whenever a messenger (rasul) or prophet (nabi) or saint (muhaddas) descends from heaven for the reformation of humankind, there must descend with him such angels as infuse guidance into responsive hearts and draw them towards goodness. They continue to descend until the darkness of disbelief and misguidance is dispelled and the true dawn of faith and righteousness appears, as God has said:

“The angels and the Spirit descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair — peace it is till the rising of the morning.”[The Holy Quran, 97:4.]

So the descent of the angels and the holy spirit, in other words their coming down from heaven, takes place just at the time when a highly exalted man, wearing the mantle of Divine office and having the privilege of Divine revelation, descends upon the earth. The holy spirit is specially granted to this khalifa, and the angels who are with him are made to descend upon all the responsive hearts of the world. Then a reflection of this light falls on all the worthy souls wherever they are found in the world, and a kind of resplendence spreads all over the earth. Due to the purifying influence of the angels, good and noble thoughts start arising in the hearts spontaneously, and they are attracted to the Oneness of God. A spirit of love for righteousness and the pursuit of truth is breathed into sincere hearts, the weak are granted strength, and a wind starts blowing everywhere to help the mission and cause of this Reformer. The working of a hidden hand causes people gradually to slide towards spiritual welfare of their own accord, and a commotion begins to arise among the nations. Then people who lack understanding imagine that the prevailing ideas have of themselves turned towards the right path. But in reality it is the work of those angels who descend from heaven accompanying the man commissioned by God (khalifat-ullah), and bestow extraordinary powers for the acceptance and understanding of truth. They rouse those who are sleeping, awaken those in slumber, restore hearing to the deaf, breathe life into the dead, and bring forth those who are in the graves. Then people open their eyes for the first time and begin to understand the things hidden from them before. These angels, in fact, are not separate from that chosen man of God. They are but the light which is upon his countenance, and the manifest signs of his spirit of determination, drawing towards themselves with their magnetic force everyone who is capable of being attracted, whether near in distance or far [from the man of God], whether an acquaintance or a complete stranger who does not even know his name. To sum up, whatever movement there is in that age towards goodness, and whatever impulses are created for the acceptance of truth, whether that urge be produced in the people of Asia, the natives of Europe or the inhabitants of America, it is really brought into being by the prompting of these angels who come accompanying the chosen man of God. This is a Divine law in which you will never find a change. It is very plain and easy to understand, and it will be your misfortune if you fail to ponder over it.

As this humble one has come from God the Most High with the right path and truth, you will find the signs of my truthfulness on every side. The time is not far but near when you will witness armies of angels descending from the heavens upon the hearts of the people of Asia, Europe and America. You know from the Holy Quran that the descending of angels along with the coming of the chosen man of God is imperative in order that they may turn the hearts towards truth. Await, therefore, this sign. If the angels do not descend, and you fail to see the clear effects of their coming down in this world so that the inclination of the hearts towards the truth is not found to be any more than usual, then know that no one has come from heaven. But if all this comes to pass, you must then desist from denial, lest you be adjudged by God as a rebellious people.

The second sign is that God the Most High has specially bestowed upon this humble one those lights which are given only to His chosen ones, and cannot be matched by other people. So if you doubt this, then come out to face me. But know it for certain that you will never be able to stand against me. You have tongues but no heart, bodies but no life, and eyes but no sight within them. May God grant you light that you may be able to see.

The third sign is that the honourable Prophet, in whom you claim to believe, that Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, has made a mention of this humble one which is found in your authentic books of Hadith, and upon which you have never pondered. Therefore you are actually the Holy Prophet’s hidden enemy, for you are anxious, not to prove his truth, but to belie him.

Now many of you will draw up the charge sheet of heresy (fatwa of kufr), and if it were possible put me to death. But this government is not the government of a nation which is excessively fanatical, utterly incapable of reason, lagging far behind in tolerance, and reviving the example of the Jews. This government, although not possessing the virtues and blessings of true faith, is nonetheless far better than the rule of Herod which Jesus had to deal with, and is superior to the Islamic states of the present day in terms of establishing peace and prosperity, granting liberty, the security and education of the people, the system of law and justice, and punishment of criminals.

Just as the profound wisdom of God the Most High did not send Jesus during the time of the rule of the Jews and under their government, the same wisdom was followed in the case of my humble self so that it may be a sign for those who understand. If the deniers of the present time treat me with contempt, it is not to be regretted because those before them treated the prophets of their times much worse. Jesus too was ridiculed many a time. Once his own brothers, born of the very same mother, wanted to have him certified as a lunatic and placed in custody. Others planned on several occasions to murder him, they stoned him and spat on his face with contempt. Indeed, according to their belief, they once put him on the cross and killed him. However, as his bones were not broken he survived by the help rendered by a friendly and good man, and after spending the rest of his life was taken up to heaven. Even the followers, disciples and friends of Jesus stumbled. One betrayed him for a bribe of thirty pieces of silver, another cursed him to his face pointedly, and the remaining disciples who professed great loyalty to him took to their heels, and they created many kinds of doubt in their hearts about Jesus.

But as he was a righteous man, God brought his mission back to life after its death. The resurrection of Jesus, which is firmly fixed in the minds of the Christians, is in reality a reference to the revival of his religion which was resurrected after its death. In the same way, God the Most High has also given to me the good news that after death He will raise me to life, and has said that those who are near to God are brought to life again after their death. And He said: “I shall display a flash of My light and raise you up by manifesting My power.” So the meaning of this second life of mine is only the keeping alive of my mission, but few are those people who understand these secrets.

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Note 3: Incident with a Maulvi Sahib {Referred from}

At this point, it is worth relating a strange incident which occurred when I once had the occasion to go to Aligarh. Due to a condition of mental exhaustion of which there had also been an occurrence before in Qadian, I was not fit to talk at length or to undertake work requiring mental exertion. I still have the same condition, and lack the energy to speak too much or to over-exert myself in pondering and deep thinking. It was while I was in this condition that a Maulvi Sahib of Aligarh, Muhammad Ismail, met me and made a humble request for a lecture. He said that people had been long yearning to hear me, and the best arrangement would be for all of them to gather in a house and for me to deliver an address there. As it has always been my desire and heart-felt wish to expound matters of truth to the people, I accepted the invitation whole-heartedly, with the desire to explain to a general gathering of people the real essence of Islam, as to what Islam actually is, and what the people of today are understanding it to be. The Maulvi Sahib was accordingly told that, Allah willing, the meaning of Islam will be elucidated.

But after this, I was stopped by God the Most High. I am sure that as I was not in good health, God did not wish that I should fall victim to some physical disease by this excessive mental exertion. So He stopped me from delivering the discourse. It had happened similarly once before that, when I was in a condition of weakness, a prophet of the prophets of the past met me in a vision and by way of kindness and good advice asked me why I did so much strenuous mental work, as it would make me ill. In any case, this was a bar placed by God the Most High, and the excuse was communicated to the Maulvi Sahib. It was certainly a genuine excuse. Those people who have seen the severe attacks of this ailment afflicting me, and have observed with their own eyes its flaring up shortly after I have been speaking a great deal or pondering and thinking very deeply, although they may not believe in my revelations because they do not know enough about them, nonetheless they are absolutely sure that I do in reality suffer from this disease. Dr. Muhammad Husain Khan, who is also an honorary magistrate in Lahore, and has been treating me up to now, has always been stressing upon me to avoid intellectual exertions as long as I have this illness. He is the first witness of this condition that I suffer from. Many other sincere friends of mine are eye witnesses, for instance Maulvi Hakim Nur-ud-Din, the renowed physician of the State of Jammu, who has always supported me with all his heart and soul and wealth, and Munshi Abdul Haq, Accountant, who resides and works in Lahore, has nursed me so well in my illness that it is quite beyond my power to express it. But regrettably, although a Muslim is required to cherish a favourable opinion about others, instead of graciously accepting my excuse, the Maulvi Sahib thought the worse of me and treated it as falsehood. So I record below his entire statement, which a friend of his called Dr. Jamal-ud-Din wrote down with his permission and circulated among people, and along with it I write my reply.

His statement: I asked him (this humble servant in Aligarh) to deliver a sermon on the following day, which was Friday, and he promised to do so. But the next morning there came a message from him intimating that he had been stopped from delivering the sermon by Divine revelation. I think his refusal is because of his inability to express himself and from fear of being tested.

My reply: Maulvi Sahib’s reply is nothing but an ill-natured surmise on his part, having no truth or basis in it, which is amongst the practices strictly forbidden by Islamic Law and is not the work of noble men. If this particular occasion at Aligarh had been the first time I had claimed to receive Divine revelation there would have been some cause for suspicion. It could certainly have been thought that I panicked, having witnessed the high status of Maulvi Sahib’s knowledge and his great and awe inspiring accomplishments, and so I made up an excuse and a pretence to avoid the occasion. But I already had my claim to Divine revelation published throughout the country some six or seven years before undertaking this journey to Aligarh and several parts of Barahin Ahmadiyya are replete with it. If I lacked the ability to make a speeech, how could all those books which have been published containing my speeches delivered and recorded in public meetings, attended by thousands of both supporters and opponents, such as Surma Chasm Arya, be produced by a man so weak in the power of speech? Moreover, how could this splendid arrangement of delivering lectures have continued till now, in which I always have to explain things to thousands of people, all of different backgrounds and mental capacities?

A thousand woes unto most Maulvis of this age, for a jealous passion has consumed them completely from within. They are always ready with lessons on moral values, brotherly affection and mutual good will for the people and recite sacred verses of the word of Allah to them from their pulpits, but they do not pay the slightest heed to these commandments themselves. Sir, may God the Most High open your eyes! Is it not possible for the Almighty God, for some reason, to stop the recipient of His revelation from undertaking a certain action? There could be yet another reason for this Divine interdiction, namely, to test the inner aspects of your character, and to expose that vile quality present within people who are just like you in their nature and activities.

As for your allegation that I got frightened by your superior knowledge and awe inspiring status, rest assured that all those people who are steeped in darkness and entangled in their base desires, even if they are the repositories of all the philosophy and scientific knowledge of the world, they have no more value in my eyes than a dead worm. But you are not even a man of that calibre. You are just an old-fashioned, dreary mullah and possess the same baseness which pervades other narrow minded mullahs. You should know that often people who come to see me are so scholarly, profoundly learned and of vast knowledge, and they derive benefit from my exposition of the deep points of knowledge, that even if I were to call you a school child as compared to them I would be giving you more honour than you deserve.

Now, should your imagination still not be satisfied and your ill natured feelings still not be assuaged, then by the help and mercy of Allah, I am ready to deliver a speech in front of you. I cannot undertake a long journey now on account of illness, but I can, if you agree, trouble you to come to the provincial capital Lahore at my expense, for this purpose. I hold out this promise with full resolve and shall await your reply.

His statement: This man has no ability whatsoever and possesses no scholarly merit.

My reply: Sir, I lay no claim to worldly wisdom and cleverness. What shall I do with its cleverness and cunning which can neither illuminate the soul, nor wash off inner pollution, nor can it produce humility and modesty, but creates layer upon layer of rust and increases disbelief (kufr) more and more. It is enough for me to know that Divine favour came to my support and conferred upon me that knowledge which cannot be acquired in any institution of learning but only from the Heavenly Teacher. If I am called an ummi (unlearned) there is nothing derogatory to me about it; rather it is a matter of pride, for the great teacher of mine as well as of the whole human race, who was sent for the reformation of mankind [Holy Prophet Muhammad], was also an ummi. I do not consider worthy of any regard a mind which is arrogant because of its knowledge but whose outward and inward character is full of darkness. Open the Quran and ponder on the parable of the donkey. Is that not enough?

His statement: I asked him a few questions about Divine revelation. After giving some meaningless replies he assumed silence.

My reply: I remember that a most meaningful reply was given which was quite sufficient for a man possessing some measure of intelligence and fairness. But you could not understand it. Who, therefore, stands exposed in this: you or someone else? Publish the same questions in a newspaper and test your false impression again.

His statement: I just cannot believe that this man is the author of such fine books!

My reply: How can you believe it, when this belief was not even attained by the disbelievers who had seen the Holy Prophet with their own eyes? Due to their understanding being heavily veiled the excellence of the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, was not clear to them and they kept on saying that the eloquent speech that came from his lips, and the Quran which was being recited to the people, were really the writings of some other man that were secretly taught to him, morning and evening. In a way those disbelievers were right, and the Maulvi Sahib, too, has spoken the truth, for no doubt the language of the Quran in its eloquence and wisdom was far above the intellectual capacity of the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be on him, in fact beyond and out of reach of the power of any created being. It could not be composed by any other than the All-Knowing and the All-Powerful. In the same way, the books written and published by my humble self are all in reality the outcome of hidden Divine help and are far above my power and ability. It is an occasion for thanksgiving because through the criticism of the Maulvi Sahib a prophecy recorded in Barahin Ahmadiyya has come true, namely, that some people will say after reading this book that it is not the work of this man: A’ana-hu qaum-un akharun [“Another people have helped him”], see Barahin Ahmadiyya, page 239.

His statement: Sayyid Ahmad the Arab, whom I know to be reliable, told me that he stayed with him for two months among his close disciples. He used to be present on every important occasion with a view to test and judge his veracity and he learnt that this man has some astrological instruments which he makes use of.

My reply: “Come, let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our people and your people, then let us be earnest in prayer and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars” [the Quran, 3:61]. This is in fact my reply through this verse of the Quran. I certainly do not remember who this gentleman Sayyid Ahmad was, who is said to have stayed with me for two months. It is the responsibility of the Maulvi Sahib to produce him before me so that he may be asked about the instruments he observed in my possession. And while I am still alive, let the Maulvi Sahib himself stay with me for two months to make his own observations without the medium of an outsider, whether an Arab or a non-Arab.

His statement: Reflecting on the words of the revelations, I just cannot believe that they are Divine revelations.

My reply: Those people also did not believe, of whom God the Most High said: “They call our messages a lie” [the Quran 78:28]. The Pharaoh did not believe, the jurists and Pharisees of the Jews did not believe, Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab did not believe, but those people believed who were humble at heart and pure in soul. [As a verse of poetry says:] This blessing cannot be achieved by the strength of the arm, until and unless it is bestowed by the Most Beneficent God.

His statement: To be a claimant is incompatible with the miracles performed by saints and to say that: “Anyone who denies should come and see”, is a false claim.

My reply: These matters are not from man, but from One who has a right to every claim. No lover of truth, therefore, can call them false. It is, however, true that even a prophet cannot lay claim to any supernatural power. But is it then not permitted even for God the Most High to make such a claim through the agency of a prophet, messenger or muhaddas?

His statement: I have lost all faith in him since I met him. In my opinion, any believer in One God who meets him will not continue to believe in him. He offers his prayers at the last moment and does not join the congregation.

My reply: I do not care about the Maulvi Sahib’s disbelief but I am deeply shocked by his lies, fabrications and extreme suspicion. O Generous Lord! bestow your mercy on a nation which has taken such Maulvis for its leaders, guides and heads. Now the readers should think over the objection which the Maulvi Sahib had made out of jealousy and ill-will. Quite obviously, I stayed at Aligarh for only a few days as a traveller. To disregard permanently the concessions that the law of Islam has conferred on travellers is a form of heresy. It was essential for me to abide by all these concessions. So I did only that which I ought to have done. I cannot deny that during the few days I spent there, I often combined two prayers in accordance with the Holy Prophet’s Sunna, and sometimes offered the zuhr and ‘asr prayers together at the end of the time of the zuhr prayers. The Maulvi Sahib’s believers in One God sometimes combine prayers even at home, without being in journey.

I also do not deny that during my short stay in Aligarh I did not go to the mosques regularly, but in spite of being ill and in travel, I did not forsake it altogether. The Maulvi Sahib must know that I offered the Friday congregational prayer behind him, although I am now in doubt as to the validity of it. It is absolutely true that while on journey I always avoid going to mosques, not for any reasons of laxity or disregard of the Divine commandments, but because in this age most of the mosques in our country have fallen into a deplorable and most pitiable state. If one should intend to lead the prayer in these mosques, then those holding the office of imamat become angry and incensed. And if they are followed as prayer leaders, the validity of the prayer becomes doubtful to me, for it is openly known that they have adopted imamat as an occupation and they go to the mosque five times daily, not for the offering of prayers but for opening a shop at these times, and upon this shop they and their dependents subsist. So disputes about the appointment and removal of imams even reach the courts of law and the Maulvis take their appeals from one stage to the next to get the judgment of imamat in their favour. This is not imamat but a despicable way of making money by unlawful means. Are you not entangled in the same selfish practice? If not, then how can a man who is aware of the facts put his faith at stake? Hadith reports foretell of the gathering of hypocrites in mosques in the latter days. It undoubtedly contains a reference to these Mullahs who, standing at the pulpit, recite the Holy Quran with their lips while in their hearts they are counting money. I do not know since when the combining of zuhr and ‘asr or maghrib and ‘isha prayers whilst on journey has been forbidden and who has given judgment against offering them at the close of their time. It is curious that you consider it lawful to devour your dead brother’s flesh but you think it absolutely forbidden to combine zuhr and ‘asr prayers in a state of travel. “Be careful of your duty to Allah, O believers in One God, for surely death is nigh and Allah knows what you hide.”

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Note 4 {Referred from}

It is said that the British and Foreign Bible Society has since its inception, that is in the last twenty-one years, disseminated more than 70 million copies of its religious books in the world. The wealthy but neglectful Muslims of the present time should read this article thoughtfully and with shame which was published in the newspapers during October and November 1890. Were these books distributed by booksellers or spread free by an active society of a community for the cause of its religion?

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Note 5 {Referred from}

Hazrat Maulvi Sahib possesses an extensive knowledge of Fiqh, Hadith and commentaries of the Holy Quran, and an excellent insight into philosophy and science, ancient and modern. He is an able physician in the practice of medicine. Having obtained books from the countries of Egypt, Arabia, Syria and Europe, on all sorts of subjects, he has built up an invaluable library. Just as he is a great scholar of these branches of knowledge, he also possesses wide learning in the art of religious debate. He is the author of many a fine work. Recently he wrote the book Tasdiq Barahin Ahmadiyya,which to the seekers after truth is worth more than precious jewels.

Muslim Encounters with Nazism and the Holocaust: The Ahmadi of Berlin and Jewish Convert to Islam Hugo Marcus

We found this article today.  It has lots of good info about Ahmadiyya in it.  Read our related essays here:

The official reference

The American Historical Review, Volume 120, Issue 1, 1 February 2015, Pages 140–171,

09 February 2015

Taken from here:

#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #ahmadiyyat #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #drsalam  


The full paper
FROM 1923 TO 1935, DR. HUGO MARCUS (1880–1966) was among the leading German Muslims in Berlin. The son of a Jewish industrialist, and a homosexual, Marcus studied at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Berlin in the first decade of the twentieth century. To support his family after financial reverses caused by World War I, he tutored foreign Muslim doctoral students in German. This led to his conversion to Islam, and for a dozen years, under the adopted name Hamid, he was the most important German in Berlin’s mosque community. Nevertheless, he did not terminate his membership in the Jewish community, nor his ties to friends in the homosexual rights movement.

The Nazis incarcerated Marcus in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp as a Jew in 1938, and he claimed to have remained there until a delegation led by his imam, Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (1889–1956), gained his release. Abdullah obtained a visa for Marcus to travel to British India, where a sinecure at a Muslim organization awaited him. Just before the outbreak of World War II, using travel documents secured by the imam, Marcus was able to escape to Switzerland instead, where he intended to establish an Islamic cultural center.


Hugo Marcus with fellow German and South Asian Muslims in front of the mission house attached to the Berlin mosque, ca. 1930. Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (1889–1956), the imam of the mosque, sits on Marcus's left. Others in the photo include convert Fatima Beyer, the future wife of convert Hikmet (Fritz) Beyer; Conrad Giesel, who converted to Islam on October 1, 1924 (top row, right); and assistant imam Dr. Azeez Mirza (1906–1937) (top row, with turban). Photographer unknown. Copyright MJB-Verlag & Mehr.

Hugo Marcus with fellow German and South Asian Muslims in front of the mission house attached to the Berlin mosque, ca. 1930. Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (1889–1956), the imam of the mosque, sits on Marcus’s left. Others in the photo include convert Fatima Beyer, the future wife of convert Hikmet (Fritz) Beyer; Conrad Giesel, who converted to Islam on October 1, 1924 (top row, right); and assistant imam Dr. Azeez Mirza (1906–1937) (top row, with turban). Photographer unknown. Copyright MJB-Verlag & Mehr.

Hugo Marcus with fellow German and South Asian Muslims in front of the mission house attached to the Berlin mosque, ca. 1930. Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (1889–1956), the imam of the mosque, sits on Marcus's left. Others in the photo include convert Fatima Beyer, the future wife of convert Hikmet (Fritz) Beyer; Conrad Giesel, who converted to Islam on October 1, 1924 (top row, right); and assistant imam Dr. Azeez Mirza (1906–1937) (top row, with turban). Photographer unknown. Copyright MJB-Verlag & Mehr.

These facts alone challenge many deeply ingrained preconceptions about Muslim attitudes toward Jews, and even toward homosexuals. Who were these tolerant Muslims who created an intellectual and spiritual home for Marcus and allowed him to rise to be the representative of their community? What was their understanding of Islam and religious conversion that attracted German intellectuals yet offended the Nazis? Why did they risk the standing of their community in Nazi Germany to save Marcus’s life? Hugo Marcus and Muhammad Abdullah do not figure in academic and popular narratives of Muslims during World War II. Why is their extraordinary story of Jewish-Muslim interaction practically unknown? What are its implications for the history of Muslims in Europe?

The history of the Berlin mosque community and the life of its leading convert shed light on two interconnected topics: Muslim responses to Nazism and Muslim-Jewish relations. Largely because of the tendentious politics of history and memory produced by the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, we do not yet have a complete answer to the question of how Muslims responded to Nazism and the persecution of Jews. Until recently, few academic and popular responses to this question have focused on Muslims who came from Germany or had resided there for decades; most look at Muslims in the Middle East or those who were temporarily located in Berlin during World War II. In fact, research on Muslims in Nazi Germany has overwhelmingly focused on Arabs, and for that matter on a single Palestinian, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni (1897–1974), who was the guest of Hitler in Berlin and whose notoriety for working closely with the Nazi regime has overshadowed the activities of all other Muslims in Germany, and indeed elsewhere as well.1

For seven decades, scholarship on Muslim-Jewish relations has been seen as part of Middle Eastern history, shaped by the conflict in Palestine.2 Immediately after World War II, supporters of the establishment of a Jewish state began campaigning to delegitimize the competing Palestinian national movement by claiming that al-Husayni’s antisemitic views and collaboration with the Nazis were representative of the sentiment of all Palestinians, and consequently of all Arabs.3 Referring to the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem’s Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Peter Novick notes, “The article on the Mufti is more than twice as long as the articles on Goebbels and Göring, longer than the articles on Himmler and Heydrich combined, longer than the article on Eichmann—of all the biographical articles, it is exceeded in length, but only slightly, by the entry for Hitler.”4 After recognizing nearly 25,000 people over fifty years, only in 2013 did Yad Vashem accept its first Arab “righteous gentile,” Dr. Muhammad Helmy, an Egyptian physician who saved the lives of several Jews in Berlin.5 Such preconceptions about Arabs—and Muslims—still prevail even in academic circles today. A recent study uses Al-Husayni’s actions to implicate all Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims in the perpetuation of the Shoah. Its author depicts Arabs as uniformly pro-Nazi and antisemitic, citing the “fateful collaboration” of Arab exiles in Berlin with the Nazis and the alleged widespread acceptance of Nazi ideology in the Middle East, then and even now.6 The appetite for biographies of the Mufti of Jerusalem and conspiracy theories about ties between Nazis and Islamists appears insatiable.7

Other scholars have rejected such a one-sided depiction, finding that Arab intellectual elites—Christian, Jewish, and Muslim—overwhelmingly rejected fascism and Nazism as ideology and practice and condemned the persecution of European Jewry, and that al-Husayni’s views were peripheral in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and North Africa.8 Moreover, they have presented evidence that Arabs—especially Jewish Arabs—were also victims of the Nazis.9 Yet by focusing on the Arab Middle East, and Arabs in Germany, this scholarship, too, implicitly takes the Arab experience to represent the Muslim experience more generally.

In fact, al-Husayni did not reach Berlin until 1941, eight years after the Nazi seizure of power. Pro-Nazi Muslim exiles did not take over the Berlin mosque and leadership of the only recognized Muslim organization in the Third Reich until 1942, twenty years after Muslims had first established Islamic institutions in the city. Few have yet asked how those who built the mosque responded to the Nazis and antisemitism.10For what has been largely missing from the debate until now is a “pre-history” of al-Husayni’s collaboration, an introduction to the diverse Muslim groups present in the city beginning in the 1920s, a discussion of how their rivalries affected their responses to the Nazi takeover, and a narrative of the spectrum of Muslim responses to Nazism in Germany from 1933 until al-Husayni’s arrival, including that of German converts to Islam.

The Muslim encounter with the Holocaust is not just a Middle Eastern story, nor one that concerns only Middle Easterners in wartime Europe.11 It also is not limited to Muslims of the majority Sunni denomination. After World War I, the Muslim population of Berlin included Afghans, Arabs, Persians, Tatars, Turks, and South Asians, Germans and other Europeans, Sunnis and members of other Islamic confessions, secularists and Islamists, nationalists, and socialist revolutionaries.12Too little attention has been paid to the non-Arab Muslims who first established Islam in Germany, especially South Asians, including those of a minority Islamic confession, the Ahmadi. That they were not Arab, Sunni, or Middle Eastern, not connected to any nation-state’s politics of memory, and not in conflict with Israel are among the many possible reasons for that neglect. Moreover, South Asia is not the usual focus of research into the relations between Muslims and Jews.13 None have yet asked whether they were victims, resisters, accommodators, or collaborators during the Nazi era. Also obscured in the debate is the crucial role played by German converts in the establishment of Islam. Just as not all Muslims in Germany were Arabs, nor were they all foreign. And not all German Muslims were former Christians. A question previously unexplored is the fate of German Muslims of Jewish background during the Nazi reign of terror, and how other Muslims responded to their persecution. Answering this final question enables us to simultaneously explore both Muslims and the Holocaust and Muslims in the Holocaust.14

An analysis based on an examination of the publications and archival records of the first German Muslim communities and the personal documents and private correspondence of their leading members can address these lacunae and add something new to the literature on Muslims in Germany. As the most prominent German Muslim, Hugo Marcus played a leading role in Berlin’s mosque community. The city’s first and only mosque established by Muslims was built and, from 1923 to 1939, controlled by the Ahmadi, made up of South Asians of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaʿat-e-Islam (Ahmadi Movement for the Propagation of Islam), an Islamic confessional minority based in British India, and German converts. From its establishment, the Ahmadi mission in Berlin attracted German avant-garde intellectuals, partly by promoting conversion as a kind of double consciousness, preaching interreligious tolerance, practicing inclusion of homosexuals, and speaking out against racism, nationalism, and war. When German society was Nazified, the Ahmadi—like the other Muslims in Berlin—found themselves needing to make accommodationist overtures to the regime. Yet in helping Marcus to escape from Germany, they managed to thwart the Nazi reign of violence. Their actions in saving the life of their formerly Jewish co-religionist call into question the claim that Muslims shared the Nazis’ deep-rooted antisemitism.

A close examination of Marcus and his mosque community thus moves the debate away from the Sunni Arab al-Husayni, sheds light on the history of the diverse Muslims of prewar Germany, and contributes to a growing body of literature focusing on the “lost stories” of European Muslims and Muslims of Europe who saved Jews from Nazi persecution.15 By acknowledging Marcus’s life, we can help change not only how the Muslim encounter with Nazism is depicted, but also how the history of the Muslims in Europe is portrayed—when it begins, and who it includes.16

A focus on Marcus also provides insights into two broader issues. First, it offers historians a methodological approach to the broader issue of relations between Muslims and Jews. Scholars have been inclined to examine the Muslim-Jewish encounter in terms of “cultural interaction” and “religious exchange,” and the impact of that exchange across the border between different faiths. Positing clear-cut religious borders but nonexistent cultural boundaries, they have often focused on the ideas, practices, innovations, and “goods”—the secular and religious culture—that passed back and forth between the two groups.17 Studying religious texts, language, law, ritual, sacred spaces, intellectual and spiritual movements, art, architecture, and literature, many scholars have concluded that the Muslim-Jewish relationship can be characterized as “creative coexistence,” “cultural symbiosis,” or even a common “Judeo-Islamic civilization.”18 The most recent example of this approach is the impressive collection of state-of-the-art research edited by Abdelwahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora, who present “points of intersection and mutual influence” between Jews and Muslims.19 Their aim is to enable readers to figuratively cross borders, to break free of communitarianism and nationalism and think about Jews and Muslims not in isolation but as two peoples engaged in an intimate historical relationship. Such an aim raises the question, however, of why historians should visualize Jews and Muslims crossing imaginary borders when we can look at the actual experiences of those originally of one faith who converted to the other. The liminal space between religions is also a “crossing point for people.”20

By examining the post-conversion lives of formerly Jewish Muslims instead of framing the interrelated histories of Jews and Muslims as an encounter between two distinct groups or civilizations, we can contribute to an emerging field of scholarship that renders more complex the lines that have traditionally shaped historiographical accounts of the nature of their interaction.21 Studying religious conversion and its aftermath is a useful strategy for moving “beyond religious borders,” seeing the history of Jewish-Muslim relations from within, and recognizing the literal points of convergence between these two faiths, as well as the unexpected outcomes of that encounter.22 Conversion opens a window into the historical experience of individuals and groups of men and women within the larger framework of intercommunal relations.

Including Jewish converts to Islam and their descendants within the history of Muslim communities helps break down the reified frameworks of “Muslim” and “Jew” in two ways. First, recognizing the significant role these individuals could play despite their background brings the diverse creative forces that forged Islam and Islamic history into focus, making it possible for us to recognize the full participation of Jewish converts in Muslim political, intellectual, and religious life. Studying them also helps us move beyond borders because converts played a historical role out of proportion to their limited numbers. As leading Muslims, they formulated Islamic thought and practice through lectures and publications on Islam. Through their Qurʾan translations and commentaries—still in wide use today—they have had an impact on successive generations of Muslims.23

Second, exploration of the new spiritual and social lives that converts created changes how we think about religious, cultural, and national boundaries. The fact that converts adopted a mix of Jewish and Muslim beliefs, practices, and identities challenges their conventional depiction. This historical approach addresses issues that cut across disciplines, illuminating the complex social and historical processes behind ontological classifications.24 Hugo Marcus, who was one of the most prominent German Muslims in interwar Europe yet remains largely unknown to historians, can be used to illustrate both of these points. Marcus was not an isolated case. Other Jewish intellectuals, including Muhammad Essad Bey alias Kurban Said (Lev Nussimbaum, 1905–1942) and Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss, 1900–1992), converted to Sunni Islam in Berlin in the 1920s.25 Unlike these men, however, Marcus became a prominent Muslim in Germany while retaining membership in the Jewish community.26 His religious identity should give us cause to rethink where the boundary between “Muslim” and “Jew” lies, especially in historical eras when the definition of belonging was a matter of life and death.27

AFTER WORLD WAR I, DURING WHICH millions of Muslims fought for the European powers and Germany launched a “jihad” together with the Ottoman sultan, Muslims established their first institutions in Europe, including mosques in London, Paris, and Berlin.28 Muslims—especially Bosnians and Tatars—had lived in Germany and given their lives in Prussian wars since the eighteenth century; Ottoman diplomats, soldiers, and war college students had likewise had a presence for two centuries, concentrated in Berlin and Potsdam.29 What was new was Berlin’s non-diplomatic civilian Muslim population, numbering two to three thousand Germans and foreigners—businessmen, physicians, doctoral students, anticolonial activists, intellectuals, and university lecturers.30 Despite constituting only a tiny percentage of the population—less than 1 percent of the four million residents of the metropolitan region known as Greater Berlin—Muslims became visible in the early 1920s. They established Muslim institutes, libraries, publishing houses, schools, and clubs, and more than a dozen Muslim journals and newspapers, published in German, appeared.31 Nile Green describes Muslims as making German into “a new Islamic language,” with Germany becoming “a Muslim publishing center,” and parts of Berlin transformed into “Muslim space” through the establishment of a mosque.32While Green is correct in noting Islam’s new linguistic, spatial, and geographical configurations, he flattens diverse interpretations of Islam into one generic category, and fails to consider the confessional diversity and political differences of Muslims in Berlin.

The Muslims who established themselves in Berlin after World War I were highly heterogeneous and divided into a number of camps, most prominently the two self-described as Ahmadi and Sunni. They competed to build and then control the Berlin mosque, to gain public recognition as the single group representing Muslims, to disseminate their interpretation of Islam through preaching and publishing journals and a Qurʾan translation and commentary in German, and to gain converts. Their disputes and differences spilled from the street into the courtroom and forced the reluctant involvement of German authorities.

The messianic missionaries of the Ahmadi and their German converts were the most significant group, yet they are the least-remembered. The Ahmadi believed that Muslim reformer Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1839–1908) of Qadian, near Lahore, Punjab, in British India, was Jesus Christ reincarnate and a prophet.33 After his death, followers took his message to the colonial metropole, where they established a mission at the mosque at Woking, near London, in 1913.34 In 1914 the movement split into two branches. The leader of the branch of the Ahmadi that rejected Ahmad’s claims to prophecy, Muhammad Ali (1879–1951), sent Sadr-ud-Din (1881–1981), who had been imam at the Woking mosque during World War I, to Berlin as a missionary in 1922.35 Within two years of his arrival, he laid the foundation stone of the city’s first mosque, completed in 1927 in a well-to-do district.

The year of Sadr-ud-Din’s arrival also witnessed the establishment of the Islamische Gemeinde zu Berlin (Islamic Community of Berlin), founded by Abdul Jabbar Kheiri (1880–1958) and Abdul Sattar Kheiri (1885–1953), who were also Muslims from British India.36 The Kheiri brothers were Sunni Muslim socialist revolutionaries who, while earning Ph.D.’s at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Berlin during World War I and introducing Islamic studies there, worked with the German government to promote independence for the Muslims of British India.37 Archenemies of the Ahmadi, they used their German-language journal, Islam (1922–1923), to attack the legitimacy of the group’s mission and its right to build a mosque.38 The Kheiris and their organization, which was led from its founding to 1930 by one or the other of the brothers, and which never had a building constructed specifically for prayers, promoted normative Sunni Islam.39 They challenged the Ahmadi’s Islamic credentials, considering them sectarians who sowed discord among Muslims by promoting heretical beliefs. As anticolonial activists, the Kheiri brothers labeled the Ahmadi British agents.40 In campaigning to have Muslims in Berlin boycott the Ahmadi mosque, or to have other Muslims take possession of it, they were joined by Egyptian nationalist Mansur Rifat, who quoted from the Qurʾan (9:107–110) in condemning “those who build a mosque to cause harm and for unbelief and to cause disunion among the believers,” urging Muslims “never to stand in it.”41 The Ahmadi rejected these charges, noting that such differences did not prevent individual Sunni Muslims from praying at their mosque and celebrating the major Muslim holidays in it, or from publishing in their journal.

The Ahmadi had their sights set on larger goals, seeing themselves as “missionaries” devoted to propagating Islam around the globe. This modern religious movement is an example of conversion emerging out of the colonial encounter not as “a unidirectional process of cultural influence and adaptation,” but rather “as resistance to ideological domination,” for its members viewed it as a counter-response to Christian missionizing.42 The first of their missionaries to Europe was the barrister Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din (1870–1932), a leading disciple of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who claimed to have been on the verge of converting to Christianity before he joined the Ahmadi. After arriving in England in 1912, he established the mission and began to publish its journal, the Islamic Review. He also took over the Woking mosque. Built in 1880 by Dr. Gottlieb Wilhelm Leither (1840–1899), a Hungarian Jew who taught Arabic and Sharia at King’s College, London, and served as principal of Government College in Lahore, Britain’s first purpose-built mosque had fallen into disuse before being converted into the headquarters of the Muslim Woking Mission in 1913. The mission had many influential converts, and used its journal “not only to spread the message of Islam but also to inform and encourage the converts in their new religion.” As of 1924, of the estimated 10,000 Muslims in England, 1,000 were converts—all of Christian background, they claimed.43

Interested primarily in encouraging conversion, and seeking the same success elsewhere in Europe, the leader of the Ahmadi, Muhammad Ali, “resolved to extend its work of the propagation of Islam to Germany,” and accordingly “sent two missionaries to Berlin.” One of them was Sadr-ud-Din; born in Sialkot, Punjab, British India, and companion of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, he was a member of the first Ahmadi council (1914), the second missionary to England, and editor of the Islamic Review (1914–1917) and the Ahmadi English translation of the Qurʾan (1918).44 Sadr-ud-Din explains how Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s “enthusiasm for Islam and its propagation lit a fire in the souls of those who followed him,” such that his disciples “aimed to spread knowledge of Islam to the whole world.”45

The Ahmadi missionaries in Germany followed the same strategy they had followed in England: establish a mosque and a journal in the local language, win over high-profile converts, set up an organization headed by converts to propagate their vision of Islam, and translate the Qurʾan into the local language. They built their mosque in the well-to-do Wilmersdorf district of Berlin, and it remained the only mosque built by and for Muslims not just in Berlin, but indeed in all of Germany.46 In 1924, Sadr-ud-Din established the Moslemische Revue, modeled on the Islamic Review, with the express aim of “explaining the teachings of Islam to Germans” in German.47 Many articles in both journals were written by converts, including the Qurʾan translator Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (1875–1936, conversion 1917) in the Islamic Review, and Professor and Baron Omar (Rolf) von Ehrenfels (1901–1980, conversion 1931) in the Moslemische Revue. Converts played a leading role in the Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft (German Muslim Society), a mosque-based organization whose aim was “to promote understanding of Islam through educational work, lectures, and intensive community life in Germany.”48 For the entire eight years of its existence, converts were always in the majority on its board.49 Since the society “mostly consisted of new German Muslims,” it “played an effective role in making the activities of the mission vibrant and known to Berlin’s literary circles.”50

All of these efforts served to proselytize. In 1925, the Islamic Review boasted that in the new “mission field” in Berlin, “twenty-five converts have already turned to Islam.”51 By 1932, the missionaries claimed that one hundred Germans had converted, all of whom except Hugo Marcus were apparently of Christian background.52 Just as significant is the Ahmadi understanding of religious conversion, something that has largely escaped scholarly analysis.

Borrowing Christian proselytizing techniques—especially autobiographical conversion narratives—the Ahmadi deployed double consciousness as a strategy to win over converts in Europe.53 Sadr-ud-Din did not demand that converts make a clean break from their former religious beliefs and practices. On the contrary, he asserted: “No ceremony is required in order to become Muslim. Islam is not only a rational, widespread, and practical religion, it is also fully harmonious with the natural human disposition. Every child is born with this disposition. This is why no one needs to convert to become a Muslim. One can be a Muslim without telling anybody. Committing to Islam is merely an organizational formality.”54 At the same time, however, using a technique favored by British missionaries in India, the Ahmadi boasted of the new converts the community had won, splashing their photos and conversion narratives across the opening pages of the same journal that declared in every issue from its founding in 1924 through 1929 that one did not need to convert to become Muslim.

The autobiographical conversion narratives of these new Muslims, which promote the self-identity they and the missionaries aimed to create, reveal this understanding of conversion.55 For example, the founder of the Ahmadi Mission Vienna, the Austrian convert von Ehrenfels, was described by the Ahmadi as a “great success achieved,” inasmuch as he and his wife were “members of an aristocratic family.” According to von Ehrenfels,

The Islamic teaching of successive revelation implies in my opinion the following: The source from which all the great world religions sprang as one. The founders of these great paths, prepared for peace-seeking mankind, gave witness to one and the same basic divine teaching. Acceptance of one of these paths means searching for Truth in Love, but it does not imply the rejection of any other path, i.e., another religion … The acceptance of Islam and the path of the Muslims by a member of an older religion thus means as little rejection of his former religion as, for instance, the acceptance of Buddha’s teaching meant the rejection of Hinduism to Buddha’s Indian compatriots … The differences of religion are man-made. The unity is divine.56

Similarly, Marcus wrote: “Islam is the only religion that recognizes all prior revelations of all other peoples likewise as divine. For example, for a Muslim, the Vedas, the teachings of Buddha and Zoroaster, the Old and the New Testament are likewise holy and binding books. And for a Muslim, Buddha, Zoroaster, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus are also prophets sent on a divine mission.”57 “In the Berlin mosque,” he confirmed, “adding the Muslim religion which I embraced to my Judaism was permitted … since there are no fundamental doctrinal differences between the two confessions.”58The foreign Muslims in Berlin formed an “Islamic middle class.”59 Most of them were university students financially supported by their homelands, professors, diplomats, businessmen, journalists, doctors, and other professionals.60 The leaders of the Ahmadi and the Islamic Community—South Asian Muslims with Ph.D.’s—used German middle-class values such as simplicity, practicality, a thirst for knowledge, reason, and intellect to attract members of the middle class and intellectuals, who were facing severe financial and spiritual distress.61 As a result, German converts who came from the same educated middle class as the missionaries made up a significant proportion of the Muslim population.62 Natalie Clayer and Eric Germain claim that a third of Germany’s Muslim population in the 1930s consisted of converts, despite the fact that the exact numbers of Muslims and converts cannot be determined, since Islam was not a recognized religion in Germany given community status.63 As Germain notes, the social status of the aristocrats, professionals, and scientists who did convert was of greater importance than the number of converts.64For as Humayun Ansari points out, they were best able to establish “consonance” between Islam and the “native” religions (Christianity and Judaism), making Islam “indigenous.”65

Hugo Marcus, referred to by the Ahmadi as “the most valued prize of our Mission in Berlin,” was one of those converts.66 A poet, philosopher, political activist, and writer, Marcus committed to several communities, movements, and ideologies over the course of his eighty-six years. His choices speak to a desire to find a utopia, or to join universal “brotherhoods.” After completing Gymnasium in 1898, he migrated to Berlin, and around that time—before his parents arrived in 1901—he joined the first organization in the world to campaign for the rights of homosexuals, the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee (Scientific Humanitarian Committee), founded by his friend Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935), who was also of Jewish background.67 Like many other scions of German Jewish provincial families in imperial Germany, Marcus then studied philosophy at Berlin’s university, where he befriended Kurt Hiller (1885–1972), another leading homosexual rights activist of Jewish background, whose 1922 book § 175: Die Schmach des Jahrhunderts! (Paragraph 175: The Disgrace of the Century!) is a seminal work in the homosexual rights struggle, aimed at winning “the liberation of a human minority that, although harmless,” is “oppressed, persecuted, and tormented.”68 Their academic mentors included Georg Simmel (1858–1918), himself the son of Jewish converts to Christianity, who, although renowned today as the founder of sociology, in his day was known as “the philosopher of the avant-garde” and played a leading role in the left-wing, pacifist, feminist, and homosexual rights movements.69 A countercultural iconoclast, Simmel “sought to undermine the status quo by social critique, opposing accepted tastes, hierarchies and conventions”; “believing there was no such thing as self-evident and universal Truth,” he sought “to construct a new morality and spirituality.”70Marcus first joined the George-Kreis (George Circle), a quasi-religious group composed of the rapturous disciples of the poet and “prophet” Stefan George (1868–1933), who thought of themselves as an avant-garde waging a cultural and spiritual war of redemption to renew Germany. He was probably inspired to do this by Simmel, who was George’s close friend. Then, however, he went on to join the Ahmadi, apparently becoming the only Jewish member.71 Prior to World War I, Marcus earned some renown with a half-dozen well-received philosophical works.72In one of these, Meditationen (Meditations)—written while the precocious twenty-four-year-old was still a doctoral student, and whose major themes, like those of George’s works, include pederasty and the master-disciple relationship and a search for a new utopia—we catch a hint of his openness to joining a new spiritual community.73 Marcus’s utopia includes “a new, lay priest order devoted to the purpose of spreading a uniform worldview and a truthful social doctrine.”74

Marcus did not have the luxury of being able to devote himself to philosophical and poetic pursuits alone. Like other Jewish youths sent to the capital to seek higher education to facilitate their families’ social climbing, he was expected to work in the family business. The First World War would change that. During the war, Marcus worked with Hiller in the latter’s pacifist organization, the Aktivistenbund, and served on the staff of his pacifist-socialist journal, Das Ziel: Jahrbuch für geistige Politik (1916–1924).75 After the war, Marcus’s family lost their home and factories when Prussian Posen became Polish Poznán, freeing him from the burden of having to follow in his father’s footsteps.

It was also as a result of this that he found Islam, presented to him as a universal brotherhood that united men of all nations and races, and that, as he quickly discovered, promotes homosocial bonds. To support his family, he began working as a German tutor to young Muslim men from the Ahmadi mission, a community not unlike the George Circle, in that both consisted of disciples who were devoted to the teachings of a charismatic master originally seen as a prophet, and who perceived themselves as waging a war to redeem the soul of Germany. In 1923, the Ahmadi community hired him as editor of all of its German-language publications. He formed an especially close bond with the chic, handsome bachelor Sadr-ud-Din. Inspired by the imam, Marcus converted to Islam in 1925. As the Ahmadi boasted, “The West is destined sooner or later to witness the sunrise of Islam, and we hasten to congratulate Dr. Marcus on his being one of the few chosen ones who are the harbingers of that sunrise.”76 That same year, he helped craft and signed a petition that was organized by Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science and sent to the justice minister urging repeal of Paragraph 175 of the criminal code, which penalized, in the law’s language, “unnatural sexual acts” between men.77

Marcus shared the intellectual reasons for his conversion, stating that he was drawn to Islam by “the absolutely rational and at the same time lofty construction of Islamic doctrine.” At the same time, we see in his conversion narrative, as in that of von Ehrenfels, conversion as a kind of double consciousness. Converting to Islam “deprived me of nothing,” Marcus wrote, “for it allowed me to preserve the worldview that I had formed for myself. But in addition it gave me several of the most pathbreaking human thoughts that have ever been conceived.”78 This interpretation may explain why Marcus did not leave the Jewish community of Berlin for nearly a dozen years after his conversion, and then did so only when he thought it might save his life.79 Nor did he sever ties with Hiller and Hirschfeld, accompanying the latter to an art exhibition six months after his conversion in 1925 to show the famous sexologist a portrait of Marcus done in the mission house of the Berlin mosque by the Jewish feminist painter Julie Wolfthorn (1864–1944 [Theresienstadt concentration camp]).80 It is also significant that being of Jewish background, and retaining membership in the Jewish community, did not hinder Marcus from becoming the leading German in the Ahmadi mosque community’s intellectual and administrative life.

Marcus’s impact was significant throughout the time the missionaries were active in the city. For over a decade and a half, he helped shape the expression of Islam and presented it to the German public. He edited all of the mosque’s German-language publications and served as the chief editor of and the major contributor to the Moslemische Revue (1924–1940), which had a circulation of at least 1,000, and in which he published nineteen articles between 1924 and 1933, the most by far by any German author.81 He was also the editor of the Ahmadi German Qurʾan translation and commentary, published in 1939 in several thousand copies. Marcus was the chairman of the German Muslim Society from its founding in 1930 to 1935.82 He gave dozens of lectures at the society’s “Islam Evenings” at the mosque, which attracted between 250 and 400 attendees, including two of his acquaintances from homosexual rights and literary circles, Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse, and other German intellectuals.83 The “Islam Evenings” were, along with Muslim holidays, not for Muslims to celebrate alone, but mass media events as well; the Eid al-Fitr sermon in 1931 was broadcast live on radio. The mosque was an “in” place to see and be seen, and the events it hosted were frequently written up in the German press, including the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, which had a circulation of nearly two million, and in society papers.84 Marcus introduced foreign Muslim dignitaries at the mosque to crowds of German guests and embassy officials from Muslim-majority lands.85 He was on good terms with politicians of the Weimar Coalition—Social Democrat, Liberal, and Catholic—as well as with Protestant and Catholic clergy and German royalty.86 According to the last imam of the mosque, Sheikh Abdullah, Marcus “made our community life bloom through many new endeavors and his broad initiative.”87

Marcus and the Ahmadi consistently presented Islam as a tolerant religion that allowed its members to rise above national and racial sentiment.88 From the founding of the mission, the Ahmadi used their public message to stress interreligious tolerance, emphasizing the unity of humankind—based on the idea that all people, no matter their race or nationality, are created by the same God—and pointing out the similarities between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and the affinities between members of the three religions.89 The Ahmadi claimed that as progeny of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad were related by blood—in the language of the day, Christians, Jews, and Muslims were all “Semites.” Displaying a complete lack of anti-Jewish sentiment, they appealed directly to Jews to convert to Islam and join their community.90

Throughout the Weimar era, the Ahmadi spoke out against nationalism and racism, condemning Europeans for being blinded by hatred and prejudice. According to Sadr-ud-Din, when people accepted that the same God is lord of all people, that no one people is favored or preferred by God, they would be freed of the curse of national pride and prejudice and promote the international brotherhood of man.91Asserting that the world had seen enough of “the bitter consequences of national hatred and religious prejudice,” Sadr-ud-Din condemned Christians’ persecution of Jews and antisemitism.92 He argued that Europeans should heed the suffering that hate begets, as witnessed in the misery of World War I. In a report on the mosque’s opening ceremony on Eid al-Fitr in 1925, an Ahmadi newspaper proclaimed: “It is on such occasions that you see Muslims from all parts of the world, of all shades of complexion from the white European to the dark African, embrace one another like members of the same family. It is such scenes that in these days of racial hatred present a broad silver-lining to an otherwise dark over-clouded horizon.”93 If these were their values, how did Ahmadi respond to the rise of the Nazi regime of violence and its targeting of “racial mixing” and Jews? If “tolerance is the main feature of Islam,” as Sadr-ud-Din claimed at the groundbreaking ceremony for the mosque in 1925, and if the mosque was open to all, then what happened to it while it was controlled by the Ahmadi between 1933 and 1939, as the Nazis consolidated their power?94 Did the society remain “equally open to members of all confessions and races”?95 It was easy for these Muslims to practice what they preached in Weimar Germany, but how did they act after the Nazi takeover, and how did they respond to the persecution of one of their own?

DESPITE THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF conversion and religious belonging, Marcus and the Ahmadi were compelled by the Nazi takeover to rethink this Muslim’s membership in the Jewish community and his relationship to homosexual activists. In 1922, Hiller had written that “a German Kaiser” “had named antisemitism as the shame of his century. Yet when were the Jews in Germany ever as persecuted as the homoerotics? Does the criminal law contain an exceptional provision against that racial minority as with the notorious exceptional provision against this sexual minority? The shame of the century is anti-homoeroticism; the shame of the century is Paragraph 175.”96 Hiller could not have foreseen what would occur after 1933: he was beaten nearly to death in the Oranienburg (Sachsenhausen) concentration camp and then took refuge in England. Hirschfeld fled to France; his Institute for Sexual Science was looted and plundered, and its library, as he related, was “thrown into an auto-da-fé and burnt to cinders.”97 Marcus lost one of his two brothers, who was hounded by Nazis and driven to suicide in 1933; his other brother would be murdered by the Nazis a decade later.98 He also had to confront the new reality in his mosque community.

The tone and content of the Moslemische Revue changed. For the first time, articles expressed antisemitic sentiment, claiming that Islam and Nazism shared basic principles.99 In an article that was published in 1934, convert Faruq Fischer argued that National Socialism and Islam shared the same “modern” values.100 He wrote that Islam rejected Judaism’s claim that there is “a chosen people,” which had “created much bad blood and made Jews unjustifiably egotistical and conceited.”101He asked how Islam could be considered “arrogant” when “it is the Jews who repudiated and libeled Jesus and crucified him for being a false prophet,” whereas Muhammad declared him a prophet sent by God. He concluded by arguing that “Islam recognizes the Führer of each nation.” And “just as the Qurʾan declares, ‘For every nation there is a messenger’ (10:47), one can also claim that the political Führer of a nation is chosen by God.”102 That issue also included a congratulatory letter from Muhammad Ali, the Ahmadi world leader based in Lahore. Ali welcomed “the new regime in Germany” because “it encourages the same simple life principles that Islam emphasizes.”103 He claimed that “the new Germany” and Islam were of the same mind, and he predicted that someday all of Europe would follow the German model.

German converts who belonged to the Nazi Party also became more visible in the mosque community. In 1934, Fischer attended the German Muslim Society’s annual meeting for the first time and was also elected to the board.104 That same year, Nazi Party member and convert Hikmet Beyer (b. 1907) received the second-highest number of votes for chairman, initially receiving only one vote less than Marcus, who had been chairman of the society since its founding.105 Marcus obviously still had the support of society members, despite his Jewish background, but there was significant and increasing preference for converts who were Party members.

The Gestapo reported that rather than being closed down due to “subversive activities,” as was rumored, the mosque actually featured an imam (Deputy Imam Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah) who, while conducting tours of the mosque, spoke “only glowingly” about the Nazi seizure of power and expressed goodwill toward the regime.106 Abdullah also made a crucial change in Sadr-ud-Din’s 1925 lecture “What Has Islam Given to Humanity?” when he presented it at the mosque after the Nazis came to power: he replaced the word “democracy” with “Volksgemeinschaft” (national community).107

As the mosque community began to succumb to the Nazification of society and then to the new antisemitic legislation, Marcus resigned as chairman and member of the board of the German Muslim Society.108 Before the election was held for a new president in 1935, the prominent members of the organization were summoned “to renounce their membership in a society that still tolerated Jews, or bear the consequences, for their careers and political lives, if they remained.” So Marcus relinquished his positions “to save the Society from further troubles.”109

Despite an atmosphere in which “antisemitism became a principle governing private life as well as public,” Marcus participated in the society’s annual meeting barely a week after the notorious 1935 Nazi Party Rally, where the Nuremberg Laws were proclaimed.110 The board needed a new member. Disregarding the antisemitic laws, another non-German member of the society, Assistant Imam Dr. Azeez Mirza (1906–1937) of British India, proposed that Marcus again play a leadership role.111The board also proposed that Marcus give two of the monthly “Islam Evenings” lectures to be held at the mosque the following year. Were they not aware of the laws separating Jews from other Germans? Were they defying them?

It is unlikely that Marcus actually gave any lectures at the mosque in 1936, since Jews were being attacked both in print and in person.112 In March, at the behest of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, a Nazi press release declared that the German Muslim Society “should not be acknowledged, as first and foremost it is made up of Jews.”113

As Jews were increasingly isolated and made to feel like unwelcome guests in their own land, Marcus, having converted to Islam eleven years earlier, finally gave notice in May of his withdrawal from membership in the Jewish community of Berlin, effective that summer.114 Having officially renounced his connection to the Jewish community, Marcus appeared at the society’s annual meeting in autumn 1936.115Attendees included senior civil servants of the Third Reich. It is remarkable that he participated in the event, for a recent decree for civil servants had prohibited them from “consorting with Jews.”116 Even more astounding, one vote was cast for Marcus as chairman.117 Did he vote for himself? Or was it another member? Was it a silent act of resistance?

The fellow convert whom Marcus had chosen to succeed him as chairman died suddenly in September 1936.118 He was replaced instead by convinced Nazi and convert Hikmet (Fritz) Beyer.119 During his two years as the society’s head officer, Beyer used National Socialist racist principles to reinterpret a crucial Islamic tenet that promotes interracial harmony. Muslims had always endorsed the idea that what matters to God is not one’s origins but one’s piety. Qurʾan 49:13 states that God divided humankind into different peoples so that they might know one another, not because any is better than the rest; the best are those who are most pious. Referring to this verse, Beyer proclaimed instead that “the sign of a truly advanced culture is not its interbreeding, but rather its recognition of [different] peoples!,” pledging that “the German Muslim Society will act in the coming year with this in mind.”120

In 1936, the society “had to redouble its efforts to prove its right to exist anew” and control the only mosque in Germany in the face of a sustained campaign by the Islamic Community of Berlin, which continued to challenge the Ahmadi’s Islamic credentials.121 After 1933, the Islamic Community was led by supporters of the Third Reich: by 1934 its executive director was Habibur Rahman, a Sunni Muslim journalist from India who later became a major figure in Nazi broadcast propaganda.122 In the new climate, the Islamic Community reframed its attacks against the Ahmadi, attempting to convince Nazi authorities that the society was a Jewish Communist organization, unworthy of any claim to the mosque.

Unfortunately for the society, the ensuing period brought continued conflict with the Islamic Community and scrutiny by the police, the Nazi Party, and the Gestapo.123The Berlin police reported on the society to “special representatives” charged with “monitor[ing] the spiritual and cultural activities of Jews in the German Reich.”124The Nazi Party reported to the chief of police in spring 1937 that “the Society is made up of members from the most varied races and nations,” claiming that at their gatherings, “when the participants believe they are among comrades, they have apparently made derogatory comments about National Socialism and its Führer.” In addition, “quite a few Jews belong to the Society. Most notably, the Society became a lair and flophouse for Kurfürstendamm Jews, especially in the years 1933–4.”125 The Kurfürstendamm, where Jews made up a quarter of the population, and Berlin West, where the mosque was located, had long been targets of Nazi rhetoric.126

Since only members and Muslims could attend the German Muslim Society’s functions at the time, it is apparent that German converts or Muslim members were reporting to the Party or the Gestapo. Fischer? Beyer? The Nazis seem to have believed that many Jews were members of the society, although the only known one, Marcus, had ceased playing any public role in the organization, and even attending its meetings, the previous year. He does not appear in a photo taken on the front steps of the mosque on the occasion of Eid al-Adha in 1936.127 Perhaps he continued to show up at the mosque out of the public eye; we know that he maintained a relationship with the imam. Whether or not Marcus surreptitiously continued to visit the mosque, the report that it was a flophouse for Jews has been misinterpreted by Muslims in Germany, who claim that, like the members of the Grand Mosque in Paris, Muslims at the Berlin mosque saved Jews during the Shoah. But Nazi rhetoric should not be mistaken for fact. Nor were Jews in mortal danger in 1933–1934 such that they would have sought refuge.128 During this period of scrutiny, Sadr-ud-Din, the founder of the mosque and community and the architect of its tolerant interreligious and interracial message, left Berlin.129

The new head imam was Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. Born in British India, in Rasul Nagar, Punjab, he had earned a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. at Forman Christian College in Lahore.130 After serving as joint secretary of the Ahmadi in Lahore in 1927, he was appointed deputy imam of the Berlin mosque in 1928, and subsequently earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at Berlin University in 1932.131 Imam Abdullah praised the regime while leading public tours of the mosque, and he made important changes to stock lectures, incorporating Nazi neologisms. He made further overtures to the Nazi regime in the summer of 1938. He offered to give lectures sponsored by the Kulturpolitisches Archiv of self-proclaimed Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg (1892–1946 [executed at Nuremberg]), proving that there were “numerous points of contact between the Islamic and National Socialist worldviews.”132 This attracted the agency’s attention.133 The Reich Foreign Ministry certified that he posed no danger to the state, and the Public Education Agency approved him as a lecturer for winter 1939.134 But the Kulturpolitisches Archiv was tipped off by a Gestapo agent that Abdullah “in his capacity as leader of the Muslim Society had been under Communist influence until the Nazi takeover, and until recently under Jewish influence,” specifically “the Jew Dr. Hugo Markus [sic],” who “had founded the society, and who had played a not insignificant role in society life until 1936.”135

Abdullah’s overtures may reflect a change in philosophical orientation, or a strategy for survival in the face of a totalitarian regime that brooked no dissent. At any rate, in those years the Moslemische Revue published articles that reflected the former, such as “The New Germany According to a Muslim: Hitler Is the Appointed One,” which appeared in the August 1938 issue and was written by Dr. Zeki Kiram (1886–1946), a member of the rival Islamic Community.136 Kiram was a former Ottoman army officer and a longtime Berlin resident.137 A Turkish citizen who maintained close relations with the Turkish embassy, he was employed as an interpreter of Turkish in the Reich Foreign Ministry and worked for the Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS (the SS Intelligence Agency) for years, but his main job was dealing German arms.138 In 1936 he wrote an ecstatic letter to Adolf Hitler, his “highly esteemed Führer.”139 In the 1938 article, Kiram asks, “Is this man not sent by God to save the German people from the trap that the Jews and their various organizations, established ostensibly in the name of humanity, have set? These Jewish organizations, which appear to bring benefits, in fact pursue destructive ends.”140

Reflecting this sentiment, on November 9, 1938, the Nazis unleashed the nationwide pogrom, signaling the beginning of the Shoah. Fellow Jewish convert to Islam Essad Bey had fled to Italy earlier in the year, but Marcus, defined as a Jew according to the Nuremberg Laws, was among the six thousand Jewish men from Berlin and northern and eastern Germany who were subsequently imprisoned at Berlin’s main concentration camp, Sachsenhausen.141 After arriving, the fifty-eight-year-old was forced by the SS to stand absolutely still on the roll-call ground for twenty-four hours. He and the others were “crammed into the ‘small camp,’” recently built to handle the influx of Jewish prisoners, “where they suffered continual mistreatment.”142 Marcus was held in prison block 18, an overcrowded wooden barrack.143

Fortunately, he did not have to remain there long. Most Jews arrested following the November pogrom were released by spring 1939, although two thousand died in detainment. They were freed on condition that they would leave the country immediately. Marcus was slated for release on November 19, 1938, and inmates with release orders were typically let go the following day.144 Like other former detainees, he was given a stern warning about the horror that awaited him should he remain in Germany. As he recalled after the war, “On the day of their release, former detainees were urged to leave Germany posthaste, because otherwise they would disappear forever in a concentration camp.”145

Facing this reality, Marcus asked Imam Abdullah to defend him, which might seem an odd choice, as Abdullah had earlier praised the regime and promoted the idea of the consonance between Nazism and Islam. But to whom else could Marcus turn? Abdullah, probably responding to the shock of the November 9 pogrom—when the flames of burning synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses would have been visible from his residence in the mission house at the mosque—and Marcus’s incarceration, worked on an exit plan.146 It quickly bore fruit. Within a week of his release from Sachsenhausen, Marcus was informed by the Albanian consul in Bern, Switzerland, that he could obtain an entry visa for the Muslim-majority yet secularizing kingdom, still an independent monarchy at that time, if he submitted a valid passport to Albanian authorities in Switzerland.147 British India, the headquarters of the Ahmadi, for whom Marcus had worked for fifteen years, was a better option. Abdullah sought to help Marcus obtain a visa for India. On December 1, 1938, he wrote the British passport control officer in Berlin, assuring him that Marcus “is known to us personally and intimately.”148

By January 1939, the Nazi Party was “increasingly and ever more openly” emphasizing that its principal duty was “the solution of the Jewish question.”149German news reports broadcast Hitler’s Reichstag speech of January 30, in which he “threatened the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.”150 In February, a Gestapo agent repeated a claim he had been making for years: that the society was “without a doubt an international organization wholly under Jewish-Communist influence.”151Moreover, according to the agent, “even today the Muslim Society, and especially Dr. Abdullah, maintain close relations with various followers who due to their political views have had to leave Germany.” Accordingly, he opposed any “domestic recognition” of the society.152

In this atmosphere, new rivals to the society emerged. Foremost among them was the Maʿhad al-Islam (Islam Institute).153 Unlike the German Muslim Society, the Islam Institute was outspoken in its Nazi sentiment. Its board members included a variety of Muslims who served as Nazi propagandists and agents.154 And while the society had never included such language in its constitution, despite having had the opportunity to do so, the Islam Institute’s constitution contained the following provision: “A German who applies to be a member must present documentation that he is not a Jew, in accordance with the fifth decree of the Nuremberg Laws (of 30.11.1938).”155 The organization was on such good terms with authorities that in summer 1939, the Nazi Party’s foreign policy office informed the Berlin police that it had no objections to the Islam Institute, or to its board members.156 Its chairman would soon be Habibur Rahman, one of the Islamic Community’s earliest members, and its leading member after the departure of the Kheiri brothers.157 Rahman continually urged Nazi authorities to view the Ahmadi as false Muslims and the German Muslim Society as a Jewish organization, in part motivated by a desire to take over their mosque.158

The situation worsened for Marcus. Having already surrendered his German passport, on March 16, 1939, he was fingerprinted like a criminal and given a new identity card under the name “Hugo Israel,” marked with a large “J” for Jude(Jew).159 And with an earlier decree having declared that Jews who converted to Christianity were still Jewish by race—from which one could infer that the same would be true for conversion to other religions—he would no longer be able to escape the consequences of his origins.160 Remarkably, however, in spite of the fact that his life was in danger, that same day Abdullah asked the British to postpone the date of Marcus’s Indian entry visa, so that he could stay in Berlin to finish editing the German translation of the Qurʾan: “Mr. Hugo Marcus has been indispensable for this work and thus his presence here in Berlin has been unavoidable. The climatic conditions in India combined with the above mentioned work entrusted to him here in Berlin, necessitated his departure to be postponed.”161

Was it better to remain in the eye of the storm in Berlin and avoid the heat of India? Was this Marcus’s wish, or Abdullah’s? Abdullah may have been aware that others who employed Jews on similar projects were able to save their colleagues from deportation at that time.162 But why would Marcus choose to remain in Berlin at a time when talk of impending war filled the air, war measures were already being taken, and converted Jewish contemporaries were wondering, “Will they beat us to death … Will they come for me tonight? Will I be shot, will I be put in a concentration camp?”163 Was Marcus so single-mindedly determined to edit the Qurʾan that he considered nothing else, that he was able to look past the violence and humiliation to which he had already been subjected? As a Jew, he was completely isolated from the rest of society. He would have had no interest in attending the segregated Jewish cultural activities, for he had renounced his attachment to the Jewish community. He was forced to surrender all assets, cash, securities, and valuables.164 Had it not been for his salary from the mosque community, which he received until August 1939, and for the one-time fee he was paid for editing the Qurʾan, he would have been destitute.165

We can gain insight into Marcus’s seemingly irresponsible decision to stay when we compare him to other German Jews of his generation. A majority of the Jews who remained in Germany at that time were over the age of fifty and—like Marcus, who was fifty-nine—could not imagine leaving their homeland, for despite everything they had experienced in the past five years, they remained German patriots and still considered themselves Germans.166 In any case, even if they had wanted to flee, there were few countries willing to take them in, especially since they would arrive penniless, as Jews had to forfeit all their wealth and property when they left Germany.167 Like other German Jewish men of his age, Marcus had been honored as a veteran of World War I, despite having served in only an honorary capacity at a desk job for nine months in the heart of Berlin and offering his services in the city as a voluntary nurse.168 In recognition of this minimal wartime effort, in April 1936 the Wilmersdorf police personally delivered a swastika-stamped document to his home: he had been awarded the Honor Cross for War Veterans by Reich president and war hero Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, “in the name of the Führer,” while he was still officially a member of the Jewish community.169 Perhaps thinking that such recognition could protect him, Marcus sat in his room and improved the Qurʾan translation, delaying his departure by six months. Yet even remaining in his home was no guarantee of safety: as of the end of April 1939, Jews were “stripped of their rights as tenants, thus paving the way for their forcible ghettoization. They could now be evicted without appeal.”170 Marcus was most likely forced to vacate his apartment and move into a “Jews’ House,” denied access to radio, telephone, and typewriter.

In April the Ahmadi invited Marcus “to stay permanently” at their headquarters in Lahore, India, offering to be responsible for his maintenance and defraying all expenses.171 Assured that he would be gainfully employed translating Ahmadi literature into German, several weeks later the British Government of India granted him a visa.172 But he remained in Berlin, working on the Qurʾan translation, which was finally published a month before World War II broke out. In its foreword, Sadr-ud-Din wrote, “Throughout the entire duration of my work on the translation, a great German friend exerted himself working for me, bestowing upon me the greatest help imaginable. His assistance was both indispensable and invaluable. His love of Islam is boundless. And accordingly the labor was his sacrifice and duty. May God bless and reward him.”173 That “great German friend” was Marcus.174

Marcus may not have been mentioned by name in the Qurʾan translation, yet in light of the context in which it was published, it was a remarkable accomplishment. The commentary that accompanies the Qurʾanic text often takes up to 90 percent of a given page, with one line of Arabic text and German translation accompanied by more than fifty lines of commentary. The commentary for the verse “there shall be no compulsion in religion,” for example, expresses the conviction that one should not be persecuted for confessing a particular religion, including having one’s wealth and property confiscated and being targeted for belonging to a particular faith.175Moreover, explaining the verse that refers to people protecting churches, monasteries, and synagogues from destruction by others, the editors state their hope that Europe will take this verse to heart and act upon it, to protect the houses of worship of all believers in which prayers are made to God.176 This is an astonishing statement in the wake of the November 9 pogrom and the persecution of Jews. Such commentary passages and others that condemn racism and blind submission to leaders show the Ahmadi’s perseverance in articulating their core beliefs despite living in the Nazi metropolis: “Goodness and excellence must be promoted, in whatever race and community they are found; on the other hand, evil and maliciousness must be combated, wherever they are found. Help the one who does good, even if he is a non-Muslim! And whoever proves himself evil, refuse to assist him, even if he is a Muslim!” and “Even if you are led astray by a Führer, you will also be punished, for you have followed him blindly.”177

Ten days before the outbreak of war, the imam submitted a certification of Marcus’s good character.178 With this testimony, Marcus was permitted to leave Germany, just one week before the Nazi invasion of Poland. He left not on the long and precarious journey by ship to India, however, which may have been a life-saving decision, but rather for Switzerland.179 The plan was for him to open an Ahmadi “cultural center” in Lausanne and publish the Moslemische Revue there, serving as the editor. He accomplished neither of those objectives, however; nor did he continue on to India.180Had he traveled there, he would have been arrested as an enemy alien and spent the war in a British internment camp, sharing the fate of fellow converts von Ehrenfels and Asad.181 His entry into Switzerland was facilitated by the intervention of a German convert to Catholicism, wartime European director of U.S. radio station NBC and postwar monk Dr. Max Jordan (1896–1977).182 Jordan and Marcus were acquaintances from the homosexual rights movement and the early years of the mosque, when Jordan, who like Marcus wrote for the Berliner Tageblatt, covered the German Muslim Society’s “Islam Evenings” as a journalist.

After World War II erupted, Abdullah, who was a British citizen and thus an “enemy national,” had to leave the country or face incarceration.183 In October he traveled to Copenhagen, and a month later to India.184 Even in mid-November, after his departure, the mosque community was still promoting the brotherhood of man, regardless of race or religion, as in the Eid al-Fitr sermon given by the imam appointed by Abdullah before he left the country, the Egyptian Dr. Ahmed Galwash.185Refuting the 1936 lecture by Nazi Party member and German Muslim Society chairman Beyer, Galwash gave the traditional Islamic interpretation appreciating human diversity, based on Qurʾan 49:13, which states that if any people can claim to be superior to others, it is only by virtue of their piety. Galwash concluded by beseeching “the God of all people and nations” to fill the hearts of all people “with respect toward one another so that peace and well-being for all will yet remain on earth.”186

“SLICES OF LIVES” CAN BE USED “as tracers, to illuminate aspects of the past that would otherwise remain obscure, hidden, or even misunderstood,” just as the histories of individuals, no matter how unique, can “yield global stories that challenge conventional narratives.”187 Hugo Marcus may have been an idiosyncratic historical character—homosexual, Jewish, and Muslim—yet the questions raised by his life are salient for understanding the interrelated issues of Muslim responses to Nazism in Germany and the history of Muslim-Jewish relations.188 Like Christians, Muslims responded to Nazism and its persecution of Jews in a variety of ways. They expressed opinions ranging “from outright refusal to fascination [with Nazism], with sympathy and scepticism often being voiced by one and the same person.” Everywhere Muslim responses were conditioned by local conditions and conflicts.189

The religious and political rivalries that dominated Muslim life in Berlin contributed to German Muslims’ response to the Nazis in the 1930s. Ahmadi beliefs about prophecy and the messiah were condemned by Sunni Muslims centered in the Islamic Community of Berlin, who challenged the Ahmadi’s Islamic credentials and labeled its members British agents. Throughout the 1920s, the Islamic Community of Berlin tried to wrest control of the city’s only mosque from the Ahmadi for these two reasons. When the Nazis rose to power and presented themselves as liberators of Muslim-majority lands, protectors of Islam, and enemies of British, French, and Soviet imperialism, they found a natural ally in the Islamic Community, just as the Ahmadi, seen as too pro-British and too cosmopolitan to fit Nazi aims, began to voice alleged affinities between Islam and Nazism in order to survive as an organization.190 The Islamic Community, which was founded by socialist revolutionaries and had once boasted Jewish converts among its ranks, appealed to the Nazis by portraying the Ahmadi as a Jewish Bolshevist organization.

The Ahmadi’s accommodationist statements and actions after 1933 demonstrate that the mission failed to live up to many of its Weimar-era promises. Most of these actions were meant to curry favor with the regime by adopting its terminology so that the organization could continue to exist and hold on to the mosque. Yet even if not based on ideological rapprochement, such actions as publishing antisemitic material and dismissing a Jewish officeholder did subject them to “personal liability for the interaction with a totalitarian and racist regime” and for crimes of the era, for they facilitated the Nazi project of separating “Jews” from “Germans.”191 Moreover, they betrayed their own principles by distinguishing between Muslims based on “racial” categories.

Yet like other foreigners in Nazi Germany, the Ahmadi responded in contradictory ways, for other actions they took successfully opposed Nazi racism. Marcus continued to head the German Muslim Society and remained editor of the mosque’s publications for several years after he was prohibited from doing so by Nazi law. Some members of the community supported his continuing role in the organization and, astonishing in the face of the new racial statutes, the public life of the mosque. They maintained social relations with him long after they were forbidden to do so, and they supported him financially until 1939; otherwise he would have been destitute. The society and mosque resisted pressure to merge with pro-regime organizations and withstood Gestapo and Nazi Party inquiries. Sermons at the mosque—republished in its journal—continued to call for interreligious and interracial harmony until the end of 1939. The Qurʾan translation published that same year condemns religious persecution and racism and offers rejoinders to those wishing to escape culpability for following leaders such as Hitler. These actions in context and the choices made by other Muslims stand as proof of Ahmadi open-mindedness.

When it mattered most, the Ahmadi, Imam Abdullah, and the international leader of the organization, Muhammad Ali, converted their profession of interreligious harmony and condemnation of persecution of Jews into life-saving action. Even as their accommodation to Nazi ideology helped contribute to the antisemitic atmosphere in Berlin, they ultimately frustrated the Nazis’ attempt to annihilate the Jews of Europe, if only by saving one life. They brought together a diverse group of men—one Protestant, one Catholic, and one Muslim, a “Weimar coalition” that had formed interconfessional affinities at the mosque during the 1920s—to save Hugo Marcus from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1938. As Marcus revealed after the war, “The united efforts of Superintendent Joachim Ungnad and Father Georg, Crown Prince of Saxony—both men had visited our ‘Islam Evenings’—and our Imam Dr. Abdullah managed to free me.”192 The Ahmadi created a sinecure for Marcus in Lahore, and the imam got him a visa to India, testifying to Marcus’s good character and obtaining certification that he was not a danger to the state. As a result, he was granted an exit permit that enabled him to leave Germany just one week before the outbreak of World War II, and thus to escape the brutal end meted out to his brothers. The story of Hugo Marcus sheds light on relations between Muslims and Jews as part of world history, of a history connecting Europe and South Asia.193

Research for this article was carried out during extended periods of research leave granted by Carolyn Boyd, Robert Moeller, and Jeffrey Wasserstrom, successive chairs of the History Department at the University of California, Irvine. I conducted research in Berlin and Zurich initially under the auspices of a Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2006 and 2007, thanks to my academic hosts, Maurus Reinkowski at the University of Freiburg and Gudrun Krämer at the Free University, Berlin, and subsequently thanks to a fellowship at the Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin, directed by Ulrike Freitag, from 2009 to 2011. A follow-up visit to Berlin in 2013 and 2014, thanks again to the Humboldt Foundation and renewed affiliation with the ZMO, allowed me to complete the research and write the article. I am especially indebted to Bekim Agai, Umar Ryad, and Mehdi Sajid for including me in the International Symposium on Islam in Inter-War Europe and European Cultural History at Leiden University, the Netherlands; to Jasmin Khosravie, who invited me to participate in the International Research Colloquium, Institut für Orient- und Asienwissenschaften, University of Bonn, BMBF Research Group “Europe from the Outside”; to the participants at these workshops as well as audiences at the University of Bonn and the University of Tübingen in Germany and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. The following colleagues based in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. offered insightful critiques of this article at various stages of its development: Corry Guttstadt, Heike Liebau, Nils Riecken, Peter Wien, Dietrich Reetz, Ulrike Freitag, Gerdien Jonker, Mehdi Sajid, Stephan Conermann, Jasmin Khosravie, Şevket Küçükhüseyin, Manfred Backhausen, Stefan Heidemann, Umar Ryad, David Motadel, Moez Khalfaoui, Robert Moeller, Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Matthias Lehmann, Rachel O’Toole, and Winston James. I am grateful for the assistance of Muhammad Ali, Imam of the Berlin Mosque; Dr. Zahid Aziz, webmaster of the Berlin and Woking Ahmadi missions; Father Placidus Kuhlkamp, Order of Saint Benedict, Librarian at Beuron Abbey, Germany; Robert Parzer, archivist, Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten, Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen; Thomas Ripper, Librarian, Bibliothek ZMO; and the directors and staffs of the Handschriftenabteilung, Zentralbibliothek Zürich; the Landesarchiv Berlin; and the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. I am especially indebted to the AHR‘s Editor and Editorial Board members and the anonymous reviewers commissioned by the journal for their critical reading of several revisions of the article.

1On the Mufti’s collaboration with Hitler, espousal of Nazi antisemitism, and support of the genocide of the Jews of Europe and the Middle East, see Gerhard Höpp, ed., Mufti-Papiere: Briefe, Memoranden, Reden und Aufrufe Amin al-Husainis aus dem Exil, 1940–1945(Berlin, 2001); Bernd Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland von 1920 bis 1945 (Cologne, 2001), 117–126; René Wildangel, Zwischen Achse und Mandatsmacht: Palästina und der Nationalsozialismus (Berlin, 2007), 331–332, 336–343; Gilbert Achcar, The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives (London, 2011), 150–158. As Philip Mattar has observed, most accounts of al-Husayni either vilify or glorify him, which tells us more about the politics of the biographers than about the Palestinian leader. Mattar, The Mufti of Jerusalem: Al-Hajj Amin Al-Husayni and the Palestinian National Movement, revised ed. (New York, 1988), xiii–xiv.
2To see how it has impacted the historiography of the Jewish past in Islamic history in general, and that of Egypt, Iraq, and Morocco in particular, see Mark R. Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages (Princeton, N.J., 1994), chap. 1; Joel Beinin, The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, Politics, and the Formation of the Modern Diaspora (Berkeley, Calif., 1998); Orit Bashkin, New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq (Stanford, Calif., 2012); Aomar Boum, Memories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco (Stanford, Calif., 2013).
3As an example, see Simon Wiesenthal, Grossmufti: Grossagent der Achse (Vienna, 1947). See Gerhard Höpp, “The Suppressed Discourse: Arab Victims of National Socialism,” with a prologue and epilogue by Peter Wien, in Heike Liebau, Katrin Bromber, Katharina Lange, Dyala Hamzah, and Ravi Ahuja, eds., The World in World Wars: Experiences, Perceptions and Perspectives from Africa and Asia (Leiden, 2010), 167–216, here 213–216.
4Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (Boston, 1999), 158.
5Ofer Aderet, “Yad Vashem Names Egyptian First Arab Righteous among the Nations,” Haaretz, September 30, 2013,; and the Yad Vashem website,
6Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (New Haven, Conn., 2009). For a similar view, see Klaus Gensicke, The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis: The Berlin Years, 1941–1945, trans. Alexander Fraser Gunn (Edgware, 2010); and Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers, Halbmond und Hakenkreuz: Das Dritte Reich, die Araber und Palästina(Darmstadt, 2006), translated into English with the redundant and extreme title Nazi Palestine: The Plans for the Extermination of the Jews in Palestine (New York, 2010). But see Gudrun Krämer, “Anti-Semitism in the Muslim World: A Critical Review,” Anti-Semitism in the Arab World, Special Issue, Die Welt des Islams: International Journal for the Study of Modern Islam, new series, 46, no. 3 (2006): 243–276; Peter Wien, “Coming to Terms with the Past: German Academia and Historical Relations between the Arab Lands and Nazi Germany,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 42, no. 2 (May 2010): 311–321; Götz Nordbruch, “‘Cultural Fusion’ of Thought and Ambitions? Memory, Politics and the History of Arab–Nazi German Encounters,” Middle Eastern Studies 47, no. 1 (January 2011): 183–194; Donald M. McKale, review of Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab WorldHolocaust and Genocide Studies 25, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 149–152. More nuanced studies that focus on French North Africa, such as Raffael Scheck, “Nazi Propaganda toward French Muslim Prisoners of War,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 26, no. 3 (Winter 2012): 447–477, demonstrate that Nazi propaganda was largely ineffective in inciting Muslims to commit violence against Jews.
7See now Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East (New Haven, Conn., 2014); and Tom Boggioni, “Anti-Muslim Long Island Blogger to Run Ads Linking Hitler to Islam on DC Area Buses,” The Raw Story, May 17, 2014,
8Moreover, “In the majority of instances, fascination with fascist ideas (and elements of fascist politics, not all of them symbolic) did not stretch to include racism and anti-Semitism.” Krämer, “Anti-Semitism in the Muslim World,” 260. See also Wildangel, Zwischen Achse und Mandatsmacht, 143–157, 181–189; Israel Gershoni and James Jankowski, Confronting Fascism in Egypt: Dictatorship versus Democracy in the 1930s(Stanford, Calif., 2009), 281–282; Israel Gershoni and Götz Nordbruch, Sympathie und Schrecken: Begegnungen mit Faschismus und Nationalsozialismus in Ägypten, 1922–1937(Berlin, 2011); Götz Nordbruch, Nazism in Syria and Lebanon: The Ambivalence of the German Option, 1933–1945 (New York, 2009), 135–136; Bashkin, New Babylonians, chap. 5; Israel Gershoni, “Confronting Nazism in Egypt: Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Anti-Totalitarianism, 1938–1945,” Deutschlandbilder: Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte 26 (1997): 121–150; Gershoni, “Egyptian Liberalism in an Age of ‘Crisis of Orientation’: Al-Risāla‘s Reaction to Fascism and Nazism, 1933–39,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 31 (1999): 551–576; Gershoni, “‘Der verfolgte Jude’: Al-Hilals Reaktionen auf den Antisemitismus in Europa und Hitlers Machtergreifung,” in Gerhard Höpp, Peter Wien, and René Wildangel, eds., Blind für die Geschichte? Arabische Begegnungen mit dem Nationalsozialismus (Berlin, 2004), 39–72; René Wildangel, “‘Der größte Feind der Menschheit’: Der Nationalsozialismus in der arabischen öffentlichen Meinung in Palästina während des Zweiten Weltkrieges,” ibid., 115–154; Peter Wien, Iraqi Arab Nationalism: Authoritarian, Totalitarian, and Pro-Fascist Inclinations, 1932–1941 (New York, 2006); Orit Bashkin, The Other Iraq: Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq (Stanford, Calif., 2008).
9Gerhard Höpp complains, “There is a discourse about Arab perpetrators, but none about Arab victims”; “The Suppressed Discourse,” 170. Peter Wien, “The Culpability of Exile: Arabs in Nazi Germany,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 37 (2011): 332–358, here 332.
10For an exception, see Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 58–99.
11For an analysis of Muslim encounters with Nazism in the Balkans, the Soviet Union, and other regions, see David Motadel, Islam and Nazi Germany’s War (Cambridge, Mass., 2014).
12For this era, see Gerhard Höpp, “Zwischen Moschee und Demonstration: Muslime in Berlin, 1922–1930,” pts. 1–3, Moslemische Revue 10, no. 3 (1990): 135–146; 10, no. 4 (1990): 230–238; and 11, no. 1 (1991): 13–19; Höpp, “Zwischen Entente und Mittelmächten: Arabische Nationalisten und Panislamisten in Deutschland (1914 bis 1918),” Asien, Afrika, Lateinamerika 19, no. 5 (1991): 827–845; Höpp, “Zwischen Universität und Straße: Ägyptische Studenten in Deutschland, 1849–1945,” in Konrad Schliephake and Ghazi Shanneik, eds., Die Beziehungen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Republik Ägypten (Würzburg, 2002), 31–42; Goetz Nordbruch, “Arab Students in Weimar Germany: Politics and Thought beyond Borders,” Journal of Contemporary History 49, no. 2 (2014): 275–295; Sebastian Cwiklinski, Die Wolga an der Spree: Tataren und Baschkiren in Berlin (Berlin, 2000); Cwiklinski, “Between National and Religious Solidarities: The Tatars in Germany and Poland in the Inter-War Period,” in Nathalie Clayer and Eric Germain, eds., Islam in Inter-War Europe (New York, 2008), 64–88; Corry Guttstadt, Turkey, the Jews, and the Holocaust (Cambridge, 2013); Marc David Baer, “Turk and Jew in Berlin: The First Turkish Migration to Berlin and the Shoah,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 55, no. 2 (April 2013): 330–355.
13An intriguing example of what is possible is found in Amitav Ghosh, In an Antique Land: History in the Guise of a Traveler’s Tale (New York, 1994). On the study of Jews in India, see Yulia Egorova, Jews and India: Perceptions and Image (London, 2006), 1–8.
14Gerhard Höpp, “In the Shadow of the Moon: Arab Inmates in Nazi Concentration Camps,” Germany and the Middle East, 1871–1945, Special Double Issue, Princeton Papers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 10–11 (2001): 217–240.
15See Robert Satloff, Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands (New York, 2006), chaps. 5–7; Norman H. Gershman, Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews in World War II (Syracuse, N.Y., 2008); Ethan Katz, “Did the Paris Mosque Save Jews? A Mystery and Its Memory,” Jewish Quarterly Review 102, no. 2 (Spring 2012): 256–287. See also Mohammed Kenbib, “Mohammed V, Protector of Moroccan Jews,” in Abdelwahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora, eds., A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations: From the Origins to the Present Day, trans. Jane Marie Todd and Michael B. Smith (Princeton, N.J., 2013), 362–364; Benjamin Stora, “Messali Hadj, the Refusal to Collaborate,” ibid., 365–366; Habib Kazdaghli, “The Tunisian Jews in the German Occupation,” ibid., 367–369; Irena Steinfeldt, “Muslim Righteous among the Nations,” ibid., 372–374.
16Most studies focus on the mass migration of “guest workers” from Muslim-majority lands after World War II. See Ulrich Herbert, Geschichte der Ausländerpolitik in Deutschland: Saisonarbeiter, Zwangsarbeiter, Gastarbeiter, Flüchtlinge (Munich, 2001); Betigül Ercan Argun, Turkey in Germany: The Transnational Sphere of Deutschkei (New York, 2003); Deniz Göktürk, David Gramling, and Anton Kaes, eds., Germany in Transit: Nation and Migration, 1955–2005 (Berkeley, Calif., 2007); Kira Kosnick, Migrant Media: Turkish Broadcasting and Multicultural Politics in Berlin (Bloomington, Ind., 2007); Gökçe Yurdakul, From Guest Workers into Muslims: The Transformation of Turkish Immigrant Associations in Germany (Cambridge, 2008); Rita Chin, The Guest Worker Question in Postwar Germany (Cambridge, 2009).
17For a recent example, see Miriam Goldstein, “Introduction,” in David M. Freidenreich and Miriam Goldstein, eds., Beyond Religious Borders: Interaction and Intellectual Exchange in the Medieval Islamic World (Philadelphia, 2012), 1–12.
18On friendship between Jews and people of other faiths, especially Christians, see Daniel Jütte, “Interfaith Encounters between Jews and Christians in the Early Modern Period and Beyond: Toward a Framework,” American Historical Review 118, no. 2 (April 2013): 378–400. For examples from this rich literature, see Bernard Dov Cooperman and Tsevi Zohar, eds., Jews and Muslims in the Islamic World (Bethesda, Md., 2013); Jacob Lassner, Jews, Christians, and the Abode of Islam: Modern Scholarship, Medieval Realities(Chicago, 2012); Joseph V. Montville, ed., History as Prelude: Muslims and Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean (New York, 2011); Emily Benichou Gottreich and Daniel J. Schroeter, eds., Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa (Bloomington, Ind., 2011); Mark Mazower, Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews, 1430–1950 (New York, 2006); F. E. Peters, The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, new ed. (Princeton, N.J., 2006); Emily Gottreich, The Mellah of Marrakesh: Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco’s Red City (Bloomington, Ind., 2006); María Rosa Menocal, The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Christians, and Jews Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain (New York, 2003); Ross Brann and Adam Sutcliffe, eds., Renewing the Past, Reconfiguring Jewish Culture: From al-Andalus to the Haskalah (Philadelphia, 2003); Avigdor Levy, ed., Jews, Turks, Ottomans: A Shared History, Fifteenth through the Twentieth Century (Syracuse, N.Y., 2003); Raymond P. Scheindlin, Wine, Women and Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life (1986; repr., Oxford, 1999); Scheindlin, The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel and the Soul (1991; repr., Oxford, 1999); Steven M. Wasserstrom, Between Muslim and Jew: The Problem of Symbiosis under Early Islam(Princeton, N.J., 1995); Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross; Ross Brann, The Compunctious Poet: Cultural Ambiguity and Hebrew Poetry in Muslim Spain (Baltimore, 1991); Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam (Princeton, N.J., 1984); S. D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza, 6 vols., new ed. (Berkeley, Calif., 1999); Goitein, Jews and Arabs: A Concise History of Their Social and Cultural Relations (1954; repr., Mineola, N.Y., 2005).
19Abdelwahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora, “Introduction,” in Meddeb and Stora, A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations, 13–23, here 16.
20Daniel Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (Philadelphia, 2006), 1–2.
21My thanks to an anonymous reader for formulating this contribution in this way.
22Freidenreich and Goldstein, Beyond Religious Borders. Despite its title, the volume does not contain a single essay concerning religious converts.
23This includes the Ahmadi translation and commentary in German, and Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qurʾān (Gibraltar, 1980).
24See Marc David Baer, The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks (Stanford, Calif., 2010).
25Gerhard Höpp, “Mohammed Essad Bey: Nur Orient für Europäer?,” Asien, Afrika, Lateinamerika 25, no. 1 (1997): 75–97; Tom Reiss, The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life (New York, 2005); Muhammad Asad, The Road to Mecca (New York, 1954); M. Ikram Chaghatai, ed., Muhammad Asad: Europe’s Gift to Islam (Lahore, 2006); Abroo Aman Andrabi, Muhammad Asad: His Contribution to Islamic Learning (New Delhi, 2007); Martin Kramer, “The Road From Mecca: Muhammad Asad (born Leopold Weiss),” in Kramer, ed., The Jewish Discovery of Islam: Studies in Honor of Bernard Lewis(Tel Aviv, 1999), 225–247; Günter Windhager, Leopold Weiss alias Muhammad Asad: Von Galizien nach Arabien, 1900–1927 (Vienna, 2002); Ismāʿīl Ibrāhīm Nawwāb, “A Matter of Love: Mu˙hammad Asad and Islam,” Islamic Studies 39, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 155–231; Murad Hofmann, “Muhammad Asad: Europe’s Gift to Islam,” ibid., 233–245; Talal Asad, “Muhammad Asad between Religion and Politics,” Road to Mecca: The Journey of Muhammad Asad (documentary film, dir. Georg Misch, Mischief Films, 2008).
26For an overview of his life, see “Der deutsche Muslim Dr. Hamid Hugo Marcus,” in Manfred Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung in Europa: Geschichte, Gegenwart und Zukunft der als “Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung zur Verbreitung islamischen Wissens” bekannten internationalen islamischen Gemeinschaft (Wembley, 2008), 110–119.
27For another example, see Baer, “Turk and Jew in Berlin.”
28Gerhard Höpp, Muslime in der Mark: Als Kriegsgefangene und Internierte in Wünsdorf und Zossen, 1914–1924 (Berlin, 1997), chap. 2; David Motadel, “The Making of Muslim Communities in Western Europe, 1914–1939,” in Götz Nordbruch and Umar Ryad, eds., Transnational Islam in Interwar Europe: Muslim Activists and Thinkers (New York, 2014), 13–43; Eric Germain, “The First Muslim Missions on a European Scale: Ahmadi-Lahori Networks in the Inter-War Period,” in Clayer and Germain, Islam in Inter-War Europe, 89–118, here 102.
29M. S. Abdullah, Geschichte des Islams in Deutschland (Graz, 1981); Höpp, Muslime in der Mark, 9–18; Alexandra Schäfer-Borrmann, Vom “Waffenbruder” zum “türkisch-deutschen Faktotum” Ekrem Rüştü Akömer (1892–1984), eine bemerkenswerte Randfigur der Geschichte (Würzburg, 1998); Gültekin Emre, 300 Jahre Türken an der Spree: Ein vergessenes Kapitel Berliner Kulturgeschichte (Berlin, 1983); Ingeborg Böer, Ruth Haerkötter, and Petra Kappert, eds., Türken in Berlin, 1871–1945: Eine Metropole in den Erinnerungen osmanischer und türkischer Zeitzeugen (Berlin, 2002).
30While small numbers of Muslims—especially Turkish doctoral students, laborers, and craftsmen—lived elsewhere in Germany, Berlin is unique, for it was home to the overwhelming majority of Muslim residents in Germany and their institutions. See Börte Sagaster, Achmed Talib: Stationen des Lebens eines türkischen Schuhmachermeisters in Deutschland von 1917 bis 1983. Kaiserreich—Weimarer Republik—Drittes Reich—DDR(Cologne, 1997).
31David Motadel, “Islamische Bürgerlichkeit: Das soziokulturelle milieu der muslimischen Minderheit in Berlin, 1918–1939,” in José Brunner und Shai Lavi, eds., Juden und Muslime in Deutschland: Recht, Religion, Identität (Göttingen, 2009), 103–121, here 104.
32Nile Green, “Spacetime and the Muslim Journey West: Industrial Communication in the Making of the ‘Muslim World,’” American Historical Review 118, no. 2 (April 2013): 401–429, here 418–423. See also Green, “Journeymen, Middlemen: Travel, Trans-Culture and Technology in the Origins of Muslim Printing,” International Journal of Middle East Studies41, no. 2 (2009): 203–224; and Gerdien Jonker, “A Laboratory of Modernity: The Ahmadiyya Mission in Inter-War Europe,” Journal of Muslims in Europe 3, no. 1 (2014): 1–25.
33“Kurze Geschichte der Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung,” in Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung in Europa, 9–17; “Wer war Mirza Ghulam Ahmad?,” ibid., 18–24; Dietrich Reetz, Islam in the Public Sphere: Religious Groups in India, 1900–1947 (Oxford, 2006), 76–77, 97–98, 100–101, 139–142; Yohanan Friedmann, Prophecy Continuous: Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and Its Medieval Background (Berkeley, Calif., 1989), especially 105–118.
34Shah Jahan Mosque,; Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung, 25–39. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community retains a belief that Ahmad is the promised messiah and mahdi, and a prophet. See the organization’s homepage, This branch established a mission in the United States in 1920, the first Muslim American organization, and a journal to propagate its view, the Muslim Sunrise. It is led by an infallible caliph, to whom all members owe absolute obedience. It is not the subject of this article. The second, based in Lahore, maintains that Ahmad is the promised messiah and mahdi but a mujaddid (renewer of Islam) rather than a prophet, and rejects the idea of a caliphate. See the group’s homepage, This is the group referred to in this article with the term “Ahmadi.”
35Muhammad Ali, “Correspondence: Mosque in Berlin,” The Light 2, no. 3 (February 1, 1923): 2–3. See also “Brief History of the Woking Muslim Mission,”
36Anmeldung zur Eintragung der Islamischen Gemeinde zu Berlin, e.V., an das Preussische Amtsgericht Berlin, November 4, 1922, Akten vom Amtsgericht Charlottenburg betreffend die Islamische Gemeinde zu Berlin, e.V., Landesarchiv Berlin, Rep. 42, Acc. 2147 [hereafter Akten Islamische Gemeinde], in Bibliothek Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin, Nachlass Professor Dr. Gerhard Höpp [hereafter Nachlass Höpp], 07.05.002.
37Majid Hayat Siddiqi, “Bluff, Doubt and Fear: The Kheiri Brothers and the Colonial State, 1904–45,” Indian Economic and Social History Review 24, no. 3 (1987): 233–263; Heike Liebau, “The Kheiri Brothers and the Question of World Order after World War I,” Orient Bulletin: History and Cultures in Asia, the Middle East and Africa 13 (2007): 3–4.
38Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung, 51–57.
39Hassan (Walter) Hoffmann, Islamische Gemeinde zu Berlin, an das Amtsgericht, Berlin Mitte, Berlin, April 17, 1929, Akten Islamische Gemeinde, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.002; Prof. Sattar Kheiri, Berlin, an Amtsgericht Berlin Mitte, Geschäftsstelle, Abteilung 94, August 7, 1930 ibid.; Statuten der Islamischen Gemeinde zu Berlin, e.V. 1922, Berlin, February 21, 1934, ibid.
40Höpp, “Zwischen Moschee und Demonstration,” pt. 1, 142–146; Nathanael Kuck, “Anti-Colonialism in a Post-Imperial Environment: The Case of Berlin, 1914–33,” Journal of Contemporary History 49, no. 1 (January 2014): 134–159.
41Mansur M. Rifat, Der Verrat der Ahmadis an Heimat und Religion: Ein Anhang zu der Schrift “Die Ahmadia-Sekte” ein Vorkämpfer für den englischen Imperialismus (Ahmadis’ Betrayal of Country and Religion: A Supplement to the Pamphlet “The Ahmadia Sect,” Vanguard of British Imperialism and the Greatest Danger to Islam) (Berlin, 1923), 7. He also penned Vollständiger Zusammenbruch der Ahmadia-Sekte: Weitere Beiweise für ihre Tätigkeit als englische Agenten. Mirza Ghulam—Der geisteskranke Mirza—ausgesprochene Paranoiac (Berlin, 1924). See Gerhard Höpp, “Zwischen alle Fronten: Der ägyptische Nationalist Mansur Mustafa Rif’at (1883–1926) in Deutschland,” in Wajih ʿAbd as-Sādiq ʿAtīq and Wolfgang Schwanitz, eds., Ägypten und Deutschland im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert im Spiegel von Archivalien (Cairo, 1998), 263–273.
42Dennis Washburn and A. Kevin Reinhart, “Introduction,” in Washburn and Reinhart, eds., Converting Cultures: Religion, Ideology, and Transformations of Modernity (Leiden, 2007), ix–xxii, here xiii; Gauri Viswanathan, Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief (Princeton, N.J., 1998); Peter van der Veer, Imperial Encounters: Religion and Modernity in India and Britain (Princeton, N.J., 2001).
43See; Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung in Europa, 25–39. See also Humayun Ansari, “The Infidel Within”: Muslims in Britain since 1800 (London, 2004); and Ron Greaves, Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam (London, 2010).
44Ali, “Correspondence: Mosque in Berlin”; “Brief History of the Woking Muslim Mission.”
45Der Koran Arabisch-Deutsch: Uebersetzung, Einleitung und Erklärung von Maulana Sadr-ud-Din, 2nd ed. (1939; repr., Berlin, 1964, 2005), xi.
46Gerhard Höpp, “Islam in Berlin und Brandenburg: Steinerne Erinnerungen,” in Gerhard Höpp and Norbert Mattes, eds., Berlin für Orientalisten: Ein Stadtführer (Berlin, 2001), 7–23, here 16–20. The only purpose-built mosque in Germany at that time was constructed during the war for the use of Allied POWs interned at the “Crescent” camp at Wünsdorf, an hour and a half by train from Berlin. Paid for by the German General Staff, as War Ministry and Foreign Ministry sources concede, the well-publicized construction of the mosque was nothing more than wartime propaganda and instrumentalization of Islam and Muslims, although it was used for a decade after the war by Berlin Muslims. Margot Kahleyss, Muslime in Brandenburg—Kriegsgefangene im 1. Weltkrieg: Ansichten und Absichten (Berlin, 1998); Höpp, Muslime in der Mark, chaps. 4 and 8; Cwiklinski, “Between National and Religious Solidarities,” 65–66.
47Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 61.
48Protokoll of the 1930 annual meeting, March 22, 1930, Satzungen, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft Berlin,” Landesarchiv Berlin, B Rep. 42, Nr. 27515, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft, Berlin e.V.” [hereafter “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft”].
49Annual meeting Protokolls: March 22, 1930; September 19, 1931; September 24, 1932; September 22, 1934; September 19, 1936; August 14, 1937; October 1, 1938, ibid.
50Nasir Ahmad, comp. and ed., Eid Sermons at the Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, England, 1931–1940 (Lahore, 2002), xxix.
51“Notes: The Berlin Mosque,” Islamic Review 13 (March 1925): 82.
52Thus according to Nasir Ahmad, “A Brief History of the Berlin Muslim Mission (Germany) (1922–1988),”
53Peter G. Stromberg, “The Role of Language in Religious Conversion,” in Lewis R. Rambo and Charles E. Farhadian, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion (Oxford, 2014), 117–139; Bruce Hindmarsh, “Religious Conversion as Narrative and Autobiography,” ibid., 343–368.
54Sadr-ud-Din, “Das Glaubensbekenntnis des Islams,” Moslemische Revue 1, no. 2 (July 1924): 91. The article was republished verbatim in every subsequent issue from 1924 to 1926. It later appeared as F. K. Khan Durrani, “Was ist Islam?,” such as in Moslemische Revue 4, no. 1 (January 1929): 41–45.
55Hindmarsh, “Religious Conversion as Narrative and Autobiography.”
56Ahmad, Eid Sermons at the Shah Jehan Mosque, xxix; Dr. S. A. Khulusi, comp., Islam Our Choice (1961; repr., Woking, 1963), 234–235. See also Germain, “The First Muslim Missions on a European Scale,” 99; Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung in Europa, 85.
57Hugo Marcus, “Was ist der Islam?,” 1–10, here 4, Vorträge, Nachlass Hugo Marcus, in Nachlass Walter Robert Corti, Handschriftenabteilung, Zentralbibliothek Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland [hereafter Nachlass Hugo Marcus].
58Hugo Marcus, Brief an Eidgenössische Fremdenpolizei (Swiss Federal Aliens’ Police), Bern, Switzerland, January 23, 1957, Korrespondenz von Hugo Marcus an Institutionen, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
59Motadel, “Islamische Bürgerlichkeit,” 106.
60For examples of Muslim students in Berlin serving as mediators of conversion, see “Drei Europäerinnen bekennen sich zum Islam,” Moslemische Revue 7, no. 2–3 (April–July 1931): 53–59.
61Bernd Widdig, “Cultural Capital in Decline: Inflation and the Distress of Intellectuals,” in Kathleen Canning, Kerstin Barndt, and Kristin McGuire, eds., Weimar Publics/Weimar Subjects: Rethinking the Political Culture of Germany in the 1920s (New York, 2010), 302–317.
62Motadel, “Islamische Bürgerlichkeit,” 111; Höpp, “Islam in Berlin und Brandenburg,” 19.
63Clayer and Germain, “Introduction,” 15.
64Germain, “The First Muslim Missions on a European Scale,” 105; Umar Ryad, “Among the Believers in the Land of the Colonizer: Mohammed Ali van Beetem’s Role among the Indonesian Community in the Netherlands in the Interwar Period,” Journal of Religion in Europe 5, no. 2 (2012): 273–310.
65Humayun Ansari, “Making Transnational Connections: Muslim Networks in Early Twentieth-Century Britain,” in Clayer and Germain, Islam in Inter-War Europe, 31–63, here 48.
66Editor’s note, Hugo Marcus, “Muhammad’s Personality: The First Democrat-Prophet, the First Cavalier-Prophet,” The Light 4, no. 17 (September 1, 1925): 1–6. The Ahmadi boasted of converting this “scion of a high German family, a Ph.D. of Berlin University, a scholar of distinction and author of [a] good many books.” “Islam in Germany: Great German Scholar Won, First Eid Celebrated,” The Light 4, no. 10 (May 16, 1925): 1.
67Hugo Marcus, “Lebenslauf,” undated but ca. 1956, Zürich, Nachlass Hugo Marcus. Hirschfeld founded the organization in 1897 and led it until 1929. For Marcus’s relationship with Hirschfeld, see Hans Alienus (pseudonym for Hugo Marcus), “Erinnerung an Magnus Hirschfeld. Zum 30. Todestag—14. Mai 1935,” Der Kreis 33, no. 5 (1965): 6–7, here 6. On Hirschfeld, see Charlotte Wolff, Magnus Hirschfeld: A Portrait of a Pioneer in Sexology (New York, 1986); Manfred Herzer, Magnus Hirschfeld: Leben und Werk eines jüdischen, schwulen und sozialistischen Sexologen, 2nd ed. (Hamburg, 2001); Rainer Herrn, 100 Years of the Gay Rights Movement in Germany (New York, 1997); Ralf Dose, Magnus Hirschfeld: Deutscher—Jude—Weltbürger (Teetz, 2005); Dagmar Herzog, Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century Germany (Princeton, N.J., 2005), 19–25; Elena Mancini, Magnus Hirschfeld and the Quest for Sexual Freedom: A History of the First International Sexual Freedom Movement (New York, 2010); Ralf Dose, Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement (New York, 2014).
68Kurt Hiller, § 175: Die Schmach des Jahrhunderts! (Hannover, 1922), 1. See especially “Recht und sexuelle Minderheiten,” 105–118. Hiller led the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee from 1929 until its closure in 1933. On Marcus’s relationship with Hiller, see Hiller, Leben gegen die Zeit, vol. 1: Logos (Hamburg, 1969), 74, 107, 408.
69Ralph M. Leck, Georg Simmel and Avant-Garde Sociology: The Birth of Modernity, 1880–1920 (Amherst, N.Y., 2000), 13.
70Ibid., 15–16.
71Robert E. Norton, Secret Germany: Stefan George and His Circle (Ithaca, N.Y., 2002); Martin A. Ruehl, “Aesthetic Fundamentalism in Weimar Poetry: Stefan George and His Circle, 1918–1933,” in Peter E. Gordon and John P. McCormick, eds., Weimar Thought: A Contested Legacy (Princeton, N.J., 2013), 240–272.
72Die Allgemeine Bildung in Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft: Eine historische-kritische-dogmatische Grundlegung (Berlin, 1903); Meditationen (Berlin, 1904); Musikästhetische Probleme auf vergleichend-ästhetischer Grundlage nebst Bemerkungen über die grossen Figuren in der Musikgeschichte (Berlin, 1906); Die Philosophie des Monopluralismus: Grundzüge einer analytischen Naturphilosophie u. eines ABC der Begriffe im Versuch (Berlin, 1907); Die ornamentale Schönheit der Landschaft und der Natur als Beitrag zu einer allgemeinen Ästhetik der Landschaft und der Natur (Munich, 1912); Vom Zeichnerischen, Malerischen, Plastischen und Architektonischen in der Winterlandschaft: Zugl. e. Beitrag z. Klassifikation dieser Begriffe (Berlin, 1914).
73Marcus, Meditationen, 107, 199–200.
74Ibid., 79.
75Hiller, Leben gegen die Zeit, 1: 107; Leck, Georg Simmel and Avant-Garde Sociology, 171.
76“Islam in Germany.”
77The text can be found online at On the history of the petition, see Robert G. Moeller, “The Regulation of Male Homosexuality in Postwar East and West Germany: An Introduction,” Feminist Studies 36, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 521–527; Moeller, “Private Acts, Public Anxieties, and the Fight to Decriminalize Male Homosexuality in West Germany,” ibid., 528–552.
78Hugo Marcus, “Warum ich Moslem wurde” (1951), Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
79Compare with other conversion narratives: M. A. Rahman, “Why I Became a Muslim,” Islamic Review 29 (February 1941): 50; John Fisher, “Why Islam Appeals to Me,” Islamic Review 22 (March 1934): 61–63; David Omar Nicholson, “Some Reasons for Accepting Islam,” Islamic Review 23 (March 1935): 106–108; ʿUmar Rolf Baron von Ehrenfels, “The How and Why of Conversion to Islam,” Islamic Review 49 (June 1961): 23–24; Abdullah Robert, “Warum ich aus der römisch-katholichen Kirche austrat,” Moslemische Revue 6, no. 4 (October 1930): 106–109.
80Hans Alienus, “Erinnerung an Magnus Hirschfeld,” 7; Heike Carstensen, Leben und Werk der Malerin und Graphikerin Julie Wolfthorn (1864–1944): Rekonstruktion eines Künstlerinnenleben (Marburg, 2011), 130–131, 331.
81Sheikh Muhammad Din Jan, comp., Annual Report for the Year 1928–29 of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i-Ishaʿat-i-Islam Lahore, 17,
82There is no explanation why the journal and the society used different spellings for “Muslim.”
83For Marcus’s lectures, see Vorträge, Nachlass Hugo Marcus; Motadel, “Islamische Bürgerlichkeit,” 114.
84The 1937 visit to the mosque of the Agha Khan was written up in the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung. “Aus Unserer Arbeit,” Moslemische Revue 13, no. 3 (November 1937): 69–71, here 70. The circulation figure of 1.85 million is from 1930. Eric Weitz, Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (Princeton, N.J., 2009), 211. For a Berlin society write-up of the mosque and its imam, see “Ein Gespräch mit Professor Abdullah am Fehrbelliner Platz,” Rumpelstilzchen 9, no. 14 (December 13, 1928), quoted in Höpp, “Islam in Berlin und Brandenburg,” 20. For other accounts in the contemporary German press, see Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 65–69.
85Such as Geneva-based Lebanese pan-Islamist Shakib Arslan (1869–1946) in 1931. See “Empfang in der Deutsch-Muslimischen Gesellschaft,” Der Tag, January 16, 1931, 1, Beiblatt, Höpp Nachlass, 07.05.035.
86The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), German People’s Party (DDP), and Catholic Center Party (BVP). Hugo Marcus, Oberwil, Basel, Brief an Eidgenössenische Fremdenpolizei, Bern, July 1, 1947, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
87Bestätigung vom 21.8.1939, Der Imam der Moschee Berlin-Wilmersdorf, S. M. Abdullah, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
88Both groups offered Islam as a panacea for Germany in crisis, presenting it as a roadmap to perpetual peace, security, and prosperity, and for the rebuilding of a shattered world. Abdul Jabbar Kheiri, “Der Untergang und die Rettung: Eine Untersuchung über Islam die Heilmittel mit aufbauender Kraft,” Islam 1, no. 1 (1922): 2, cited in Höpp, “Zwischen Moschee und Demonstration,” pt. 1, 138.
89See the first Ahmadi publication in Germany, the first issue of Moslemische Revue, volume 1, no. 1 (April 1924), including “Der Zweck der Zeitschrift,” 1–2; Sadr-ud-Din, “Die internationale Religion,” 3–10; and Sadr-ud-Din, “Moses, Jesus, und Mohammed sind Brüder,” 14–22.
90Sadr-ud-Din, “Eine Botschaft an die Juden,” Moslemische Revue 2, no. 3–4 (July–October 1925): 4–7.
91Sadr-ud-Din, “Die internationale Religion,” 7.
92Sadr-ud-Din, “Die Christen und die Juden,” Moslemische Revue 1, no. 1 (April 1924): 41–42.
93“Islam in Germany.”
94“Die Eröffnung der Moschee,” Moslemische Revue 2, no. 2 (April 1925): 2.
95“Monatliche Zusammenkünfte in der Moschee,” Moslemische Revue 2, no. 3–4 (July–October 1925): 2.
96Hiller, § 175, 118.
97Wolff, Magnus Hirschfeld, 379; Herzer, Magnus Hirschfeld, 230–233; Dose, Magnus Hirschfeld, 89–90.
98His brothers were Dr. Richard Marcus of Leipzig and attorney Dr. Alfred Marcus of Berlin-Charlottenburg, the latter of whom was deported from Berlin to the Theresienstadt ghetto on May 19, 1943, and died January 29, 1944. Das Gedenkbuch des Bundesarchivs für die Opfer der nationalsozialistischen Judenverfolgung in Deutschland (1933–1945)
99Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 83.
100Faruq H. Fischer, “Ist der Islam ‘unmodern’? Eine Parallele zwischen der alten Religion und dem heutigen Europa,” Moslemische Revue 10, no. 2–3 (April–July 1934): 62–73.
101Ibid., 67; Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 87.
102Fischer, “Ist der Islam ‘unmodern’?,” 67.
103Muhammad Ali, “Der Beitrag des Islams zur Zivilisation,” Moslemische Revue 10, no. 2–3 (April–July 1934): 44–46, here 45; Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 88.
104Protokoll, September 22, 1934, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.”
105He joined the Nazi Party on May 1, 1932. On his position on the board, see Landesarchiv Berlin, A Pr. Br. Rep. 030-04, Nr. 1350; for his membership in the Nazi Party, see A3340, MFOK Series (Master File, Ortsgruppenkartei, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), Roll No. A068, Frame 770, National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized (Record Group 242), National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; Protokoll, March 22, 1930, and September 22, 1934, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.” In the 1934 election, Marcus received thirteen votes at the meeting to Beyer’s twelve; write-in-ballots from converts Huda Schneider and von Ehrenfels gave him a more comfortable margin of victory.
106Brief, Deutsches Generalkonsulat, Kalkutta, an das Auswärtige Amt, Berlin, May 14, 1935, PArch AAB, R 78242, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.032; Brief, Geheimes Staatspolizeiamt Berlin, an das Auswärtige Amt, Berlin, June 26, 1935, ibid.
107“Die Moschee aus der Vogelschau: Dr. Abdullah vom Fehrbelliner Platz,” Rumpelstilzchen 38 (May 31, 1934), Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.028.
108Protokoll, July 20, 1935, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.”
109Marcus, “Lebenslauf.”
110Protokoll, September 21, 1935, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.”
111Ibid. Azeez had served as assistant imam in 1933, and earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität. The other was Iraqi Yussuf Aboud al-Ibrahim.
112Victor Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933–1941 (New York, 1999), 186.
113ZSg. 101/7/169/Nr. 250, March 6, 1936, in NS-Presseanweisungen der Vorkriegszeit: Edition und Dokumentation, ed. Hans Bohrmann, revised by Gabriele Toepser-Ziegert, vol. 4/I: 1936 (Munich, 1993), 249.
114Hugo Marcus, Austritt aus der Synagogengemeinde Berlin, Bescheinigung vom 18.5.1936, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
115Protokoll, September 19, 1936, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.”
116Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, 161.
117The Nazi Beyer, by contrast, received fifteen votes. Dr. Klopp vom Hofe was elected chairman with twenty votes.
118Amin (Fritz) Boosfeld (b. 1888) had converted to Islam in 1932. “Nachruf auf Amin Boosfeld,” Moslemische Revue 12, no. 3 (November 1936): 67–72.
119A 1933 wedding photo of Beyer posing on the steps of the mosque with his new wife, Fatima, a fellow convert, appeared in Moslemische Revue 10, no. 1 (January 1934): iii.
120“Nachruf auf Amin Boosfeld,” 72.
121Protokoll, September 19, 1936, “Deutsch-Muslimische Gesellschaft.”
122Protokoll der konstituierenden Generalversammlung der Islamischen Gemeinde zu Berlin, February 21, 1934, in Humboldhaus Berlin, Akten Islamische Gemeinde, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.002.
123Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, Reichsleitung, Amt für Schulung, Abteilung Verbände, Berlin, an Polizeipräsidenten in Berlin, Abteilung V, Vereine, November 24, 1936, Landesarchiv Berlin, A Pr. Br. Rep. 030-04, Nr. 1350.
124Sonderbeauftragten zur überwachung der geistig und kulturell tätigen Juden im deutschen Reichsgebiet, December 15, 1936, ibid.
125Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, Reichsleitung, Abteilung Verbände an den Herrn Polizeipräsidenten in Berlin, Abteilung V, Vereine, April 13, 1937, ibid.; Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung, 123; Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 96–97.
126Joseph Goebbels, “Around the Gedächtniskirche,” in Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg, eds., The Weimar Republic Sourcebook (Berkeley, Calif., 1994), 560–562, originally published as “Rund um die Gedächtniskirche,” Der Angriff, January 23, 1928; Cornelia Hecht, Deutsche Juden und Antisemitismus in der Weimarer Republik(Bonn, 2003).
127Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung, 100.
128Ibid., 124–127.
129“Maulana Sadr-ud-Din verläßt Berlin,” Moslemische Revue 13, no. 3 (November 1937): 71–75. Sadr-ud-Din would succeed Muhammad Ali as the amir (leader) of the Ahmadi movement upon the death of the latter in 1951, and serve in that position until his own death thirty years later.
130Originally known as the Lahore Mission College, Forman Christian College was founded in 1864 by Dr. Charles W. Forman, a Presbyterian missionary from the United States. See the university’s website,
131Ahmad, “A Brief History of the Berlin Muslim Mission.”
132Hauptstelle Kulturpolitisches Archiv an die Deutsche Arbeitsfront, Amt Deutsches Volksbildungswerk, Abt. II/Vortrag, Berlin, September 27, 1938, Bundesarchiv, NJ 15, Nr. 27, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.033.
133Hauptstelle Kulturpolitisches Archiv an das Sicherheitshauptamt, Berlin, September 27, 1938, Bundesarchiv, NJ 15, Nr. 35, ibid.
134Hauptstelle Kulturpolitisches Archiv an das Sicherheitshauptamt, Berlin, October 10, 1938, ibid.
135Hauptstelle Kulturpolitisches Archiv an die Deutsche Arbeitsfront, Amt Deutsches Volksbildungswerk, Abt. II/Vortrag, Berlin, March 31, 1939, Bundesarchiv, NJ 15, Nr. 28, ibid; Film 15205, Brief der Geheimen Staatspolizei an den Reichsminister für die kirchlichen Angelegenheiten, February 11, 1939, Bundesarchiv Berlin, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.039.
136Protokoll, July 21, 1923, Akten Islamische Gemeinde, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.002.
137Umar Ryad, “From an Officer in the Ottoman Army to a Muslim Publicist and Armament Agent in Berlin: Zekî Hishmat-Bey Kirâm (1886–1946),” Bibliotheca Orientalis63, no. 3–4 (2006): 235–268.
138Brief, Der Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, Berlin, an das Auswärtige Amt, z.Hd.d. Hernn Gesandten Luther, Berlin, December 10, 1940, Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts, R 101196, Nachlass Höpp, 01.21.013; Umar Ryad, Wathʾiq Tijarat al-Silah al-Almani fi Shibh al-jazira al-ʿArabiyya: Qiraʾa fi Arshif Zeki Kiram (Documents on the German Arms Trade in the Arabian Peninsula: Readings in the Archive of Zeki Kiram) (Cairo, 2011).
139Brief, Dr. Zeki Kiram, Sanaa, Yemen, an Führer und Reichskanzler Herrn Adolf Hitler, Berlin, May 19, 1936, Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts, R 101196, Nachlass Höpp, 01.21.013.
140Dr. Zeki Kiram, “Ein Moslem über das neue Deutschland: Hitler ist der berufene Mann,” Moslemische Revue 14, no. 2 (August 1938): 59–60, here 60; Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 88–89.
141Günter Morsch and Astrid Ley, eds., Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, 1936–1945: Events and Developments, 4th ed. (Berlin, 2011), 52, 55; 1367/1/15, Bl. 080, Russian State Military Archive, Moscow; D1 A/1015, Bl. 080, formerly R 203/M 10, Bl. 147, Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten, Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen.
142Morsch and Ley, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, 50.
1431367/1/15, Bl. 080, Russian State Military Archive, Moscow; D1 A/1015, Bl. 080, formerly R 203/M 10, Bl. 147, Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten, Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen.
145Marcus, “Lebenslauf.”
146Jews had owned businesses on the largest nearby avenue, Hohenzollerndamm, and a Jewish family had lived on the same street as the mosque. The nearest synagogue was located at Prinzregentenstrasse 69, although the Berlin West skyline would have been marked by smoke and flames. See Jüdisches Adressbuch für Gross-Berlin 1931 (Berlin, 1931), 20–21, 316,
147Albania was to be occupied by Fascist Italy in April 1939, and by Nazi Germany thereafter. Hugo Marcus, Erteilung eines Einreisevisums für das Königreich Albanien, November 26, 1938, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
148S. M. Abdullah to British Passport Officer, Berlin, December 1, 1938, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
149Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, 292.
150Richard Evans, The Third Reich in Power (New York, 2006), 604; Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, 293.
151Quoted in Höpp, “Islam in Berlin und Brandenburg,” 21.
152Anmeldung zur Eintragung der Islamischen Gemeinde zu Berlin, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.039.
153Gerhard Höpp, “Muslime unterm Hakenkreuz: Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Islamischen Zentralinstituts zu Berlin e.V.,” Moslemische Revue 70, no. 1 (1994): 16–27.
154ʾA˙tā ˙Tāheri, Deutsche Agenten bei iranische Stämmen, 1942–1944: Ein Augenzeugenbericht (Berlin, 2008).
155Islam-Institut (Maʿhad al-Islam) zu Berlin an Polizeipräsident, Abteilung V, March 21, 1939, Satzungen, “Islam Institut,” Landesarchiv Berlin, A Pr. Br. Rep. 030-04, Nr. 2314.
156Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, Aussenpolitisches Amt an Herrn Polizeipräsidenten in Berlin, August 8, 1939, ibid.
157Vorstandsmitglieder, October 30, 1940, ibid.; Protokoll, July 21, 1923, Akten Islamische Gemeinde, Nachlass Höpp, 07.05.002. Rahman was executive director from 1934 to 1936, general secretary in 1936 and 1937, and chairman in 1941 and 1942. Protokoll, Generalversammlung der Islamischen Gemeinde zu Berlin e.V., January 18, 1936, ibid.; Habibur Rahman, Islamische Gemeinde zu Berlin, an Amtsgericht Berlin, June 3, 1942, ibid. See also Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 110–111.
158Despite pro-Nazi actions and pronouncements, during World War II, both Habibur Rahman and Zeki Kiram were accused by other Arabs in Europe of being British agents.
159Hugo Marcus, Kennkarte Deutsches Reich, ausgestellt: Berlin, March 16, 1939, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus; Evans, The Third Reich in Power, 575.
160The decree was promulgated in October 1937. More than three hundred baptized Christians of Jewish background in Berlin were murdered in death camps. Hildegard Frisius, Marianne Kälberer, Wolfgang G. Krogel, and Gerlind Lachenicht, eds., Evangelisch getauft—als Juden verfolgt: Spurensuche Berliner Kirchengemeinden (Berlin, 2008).
161S. M. Abdullah to British Passport Officer, Berlin, March 16, 1939, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
162For example, Hans Wehr employed the German Jewish Arabist Hedwig Klein (1911–1942) from 1939 to 1942 to assist him with his German-Arabic Dictionary project, deemed essential for the German army and Nazi propaganda. It prolonged her life; at one point she was spared from a deportation thanks to the efforts of her Hamburg University employers. Peter Freimark, “Promotion Hedwig Klein—zugleich ein Beitrag zum Seminar für Geschichte und Kultur des Vorderen Orients,” in Eckart Krause, Ludwig Huber, and Holger Fischer, eds., Hochschulalltag im “Dritten Reich”: Die Hamburger Universität, 1933–1945, vol. 2: Philosophische Fakultät (Berlin, 1991), 851–864.
163Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, 299, 307. Klemperer (1881–1960) had converted to Christianity.
164Ibid., 596.
165Sadr-ud-Din, Head of the Ahmadia Anjuman, Lahore, India, to Hugo Marcus, Basel, Switzerland, August 20, 1957, Nachlass Hugo Marcus. The Ahmadi gave Marcus financial support into the 1950s.
166Evans, The Third Reich in Power, 565. In spring 1941, Klemperer could still assert his commitment to Germanness. Ibid., 343, 385.
167Although Marcus had family in the United States, there is no evidence that he attempted—nor that relatives assisted him—to seek refuge there. See Else Th. Marcus, M.D., St. George, Staten Island, N.Y., to Hugo Marcus, September 23, 1939, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
168Danksagung vom 30.9.1919, Kriegsministerium Berlin, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus; Verleihung der Roten Kreuz-Medaille 3. Klasse, der Kommissar und Militär-Inspektor der freiwilligen Krankenpflege, Berlin, April 10, 1920, ibid.
169Verleihung “Ehrenkreuz für Kriegsteilnehmer” Berlin, April 9, 1936, ibid. He left the Jewish community in May. Hugo Marcus, Austritt aus der Synagogengemeinde Berlin, Bescheinigung vom 18.5.1936, ibid.
170Evans, The Third Reich in Power, 595.
171Secretary, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaʿat-e-Islam, Lahore, India, to Herr Hamid Marcus, c/o Dr. S. M. Abdullah, Der Imam der Moschee, Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Germany, April 19, 1939, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
172J. G. Simms, Under-Secretary of the Government of India, Home Department, Simla, to British Passport Control Officer, Berlin, May 12, 1939, ibid.
173Der Koran Arabisch-Deutsch, Vorwort, x.
174Backhausen, Die Lahore-Ahmadiyya-Bewegung, 128–131, 146–151. Marcus was not credited by name in the 1964 or 2005 editions, either. Ibid., 77.
175Der Koran Arabisch-Deutsch, Sura 2:256, 77.
176Ibid., Sura 22:40, 557.
177Ibid., Sura 5:2, 184; ibid., Sura 7:38, 260.
178Bestätigung vom 21.8.1939, Der Imam der Moschee Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Persönliches, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
179Hedwig Klein was denied her Ph.D. in 1938 due to antisemitic legislation, and sought to flee to British India thanks to contacts through her Oriental Studies Department in Hamburg. She obtained a visa in June 1939 and was set to sail from Hamburg to Antwerp, and from there on to India, on August 18, 1939. But as the German trade ship sat in the harbor in Antwerp, it was warned to return to Hamburg because an international voyage would be too dangerous at the time. Accordingly, on August 27 it returned to Germany. As of September 3, 1939, India was at war with Germany. As a result, Klein was eventually deported to her death in July 1942 on the first direct train from Hamburg to Auschwitz. Freimark, “Promotion Hedwig Klein.”
180Hugo Marcus, Zürich, Brief an Eidgenössische Fremdenpolizei, Bern, Switzerland, January 23, 1957, Nachlass Hugo Marcus; S. M. Abdullah, The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaʿat-e-Islam, Lahore, India, to Hugo Marcus, Oberwil, Baselland, Switzerland, June 3, 1940, ibid.
181On von Ehrenfels’s internment, see S. M. Abdullah, The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaʿat-e-Islam, Lahore, India, to Hugo Marcus, Oberwil, Baselland, Switzerland, December 1, 1940, ibid.
182Chronik der Erzabtei Beuron: Advent 1977–Advent 1978 (Beuron, 1978), 4–5; Marcus, “Lebenslauf”; Max Jordan, Washington, D.C., to Hugo Marcus, Basel, Switzerland, September 1, 1941, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
183He returned to British India, where he served as general secretary of the Ahmadi in Lahore from 1940 to the end of the war, and from 1946 as imam at the Woking Mission. He revised the English translation of the Qurʾan in 1952, before passing away in England in 1956.
184Brief von Sadr-ud-Din, Lahore, an Hugo Marcus, October 24, 1939, Nachlass Hugo Marcus.
185“Id-ul-Fitr in Berlin,” Moslemische Revue 15, no. 3 (December 1939): 73–76.
186Ibid., 76; Bauknecht, Muslime in Deutschland, 89–90.
187Introduction, “AHR Forum: Transnational Lives in the Twentieth Century,” American Historical Review 118, no. 1 (February 2013): 45.
188For another idiosyncratic Jewish character whose life provides insight into larger historiographical issues, see Sarah Abrevaya Stein, “Protected Persons? The Baghdadi Jewish Diaspora, the British State, and the Persistence of Empire,” American Historical Review 116, no. 1 (February 2011): 80–108.
189Götz Nordbruch, “The Arab World and National Socialism: Some Reflections on an Ambiguous Relationship,” in Rethinking Totalitarianism and Its Arab Readings, Orient-Institut Studies 1 (2012), 2–7, here 3,
190On Nazi efforts to recruit Arab Muslims to serve their aims, see Nordbruch, Nazism in Syria and Lebanon; Wildangel, Zwischen Achse und Mandatsmacht; Bernd Philipp Schröder, ed., Deutschland und der Mittlere Osten im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Göttingen, 1975). For efforts to recruit other Muslims from southeastern Europe and the Soviet Union to fight in the Wehrmacht and SS, see David Motadel, “The ‘Muslim Question’ in Hitler’s Balkans,” Historical Journal 56, no. 4 (December 2013): 1007–1039; Motadel, “Islam and Germany’s War in the Soviet Borderlands, 1941–5,” Journal of Contemporary History 48, no. 4 (2013): 784–820; George Lepre, Himmler’s Bosnian Division: The Waffen-SS Handschar Division, 1943–1945 (Atglen, Pa., 1997); Peter Heine, “Die Imam-Kurse der deutschen Wehrmacht im Jahre 1944,” in Gerhard Höpp, ed., Fremde Erfahrungen: Asiaten und Afrikaner in Deutschland, Österreich und in der Schweiz bis 1945 (Berlin, 1996), 229–238; the speech of al-Husayni before the imams of the Bosnian SS division on October 4, 1944, in Höpp, Mufti-Papiere, 219; letters from al-Husayni to Heinrich Himmler, ibid., 212, 213, 229; Abdullah, Geschichte des Islams in Deutschland, 34–42.
191On the question of the culpability of foreigners in Nazi Germany, see Wien, “The Culpability of Exile”; quote from 1.
192Marcus, “Lebenslauf.” Joachim Ungnad (1873–1942) was a member of the “Confessing Christians” (Bekennende Kirche) who opposed the Nazification of the Church and the persecution of baptized Jews, although they, too, discriminated against Christians of Jewish background and had an ambivalent relationship to Nazi antisemitism. Father Georg was the last crown prince of Saxony (1893–1943). Both men promoted ecumenism and interreligious dialogue and opposed the Nazis; the latter is credited with protecting Jews during the war. Evans, The Third Reich in Power, 220–230; Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness, 431. On the German Christian churches and Nazism, see Victoria Barnett, For the Soul of the People: Protestant Protest against Hitler (Oxford, 1992); Doris L. Bergen, Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1996); Robert P. Ericksen and Susannah Heschel, eds., Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust (Minneapolis, 1999); Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience (Cambridge, Mass., 2003); Matthew D. Hockenos, A Church Divided: German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past(Bloomington, Ind., 2004); Susannah Heschel, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton, N.J., 2008); Robert P. Ericksen, Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany (Cambridge, 2012).
193On the concept of connected histories, see the following works by Sanjay Subrahmanyam: “Turning the Stones Over: Sixteenth-Century Millenarianism from the Tagus to the Ganges,” Indian Economic and Social History Review 40, no. 2 (2003): 129–161; “A Tale of Three Empires: Mughals, Ottomans, and Habsburgs in a Comparative Context,” Common Knowledge 12, no. 1 (Winter 2006): 66–92; Mughal and Franks: Explorations in Connected History (Oxford, 2011); and From the Tagus to the Ganges: Explorations in Connected History (2005; repr., Oxford, 2011).


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