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Khwaja Kamal-Ud-Din Prevents MGA From Being Jailed (1904)

Intro
In 1904, MGA had lost his court case vs. Karam ud Din.  He was set to be thrown in jail and etc.  However, he was granted bail and Khwaja Kamaluddin had the money in his pocket and paid it immediately.

Related Essay’s
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/03/04/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-lost-his-court-case-vs-karam-uddin-1904-but-won-on-appeal/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/12/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-vs-maulvi-karam-din-court-case-1903-1905-references-from-the-2009-edition-of-tadhkirah-and-some-other-sources/

The storyline
There is yet another story that surrounds the life of Khwaja Kamaluddin sahib in connection with MGA that has seemed to be forgotten by all ahmadis (Q and L). I don’t have the time to write a perfect article on this event, which has blown me away. I feel that KK sahib loved MGA with all his heart and he proved it in 1904, the story will impress any reader, I am sure of that!

In 1904, MGA was stuck in a court case which involved Maulvi Karam Din. The story of the court case is quite famous. From my knowledge MGA only had two lawyers that served as his counsel, they were Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamaluddin.

The judge was an Arya Hindu, he wanted MGA to suffer one way or the other. This case dragged on with adjournment after adjournment, then, the case was transferred to another Arya Hindu judge who really disliked MGA. This judge would not allow MGA the use of a chair or even a drink of water, MGA was almost 70 years old, it was very hard for him to stand, let alone not have a drink of water. This Hindu judge had it out for MGA, he was bent on giving MGA some type of jail-time. These were the conditions that KK sahib and M. ali were given. It was very important for them to be steadfast and cognizant of the environment.

This Hindu judge had finally announced that he would give his judgement on a certain day, then he strategically changed it to a Saturday. He planned to give MGA a hefty fine which MGA would not be able to pay, MGA would be forced to spend the weekend in jail. Somehow, KK and M. ali discovered the plan of the hindu judge, I am not sure how they figured this out, maybe good lawyers are able to anticipate things of this nature?

On Saturday afternoon just before the court was to close the judge called MGA forward and gave the police orders not to allow anyone in the court room. But MGA’s lawyer (I’m not sure whether this was M. ali or KK) brushed past the police officer claiming that it was illegal for MGA to stand in front of the judge without counsel.

The lawyer (KK or m. ali) appeared just in the nick of time, the judge had ordered HMGA to pay a fine of 500 rupees, immediately the lawyer presented the money, thus saving HMGA from spending the weekend in jail.

[Note inserted by Zahid Aziz: The fine was 500 rupees for Hazrat Mirza sahib and 200 rupees for his co-defendant Hakim Fazl Din. By coincidence, before Khwaja Kamaluddin entered the court room, a former client who owed him 700 rupees handed him this money, which Khwaja sahib stuffed into his pocket in a hurry without thinking.]

I read this story in Ian Adamson’s book, “Ahmad the Guided One”. Ian Adamson did not mention the name of the lawyer who saved HMGA. There is not any other book that gives this story. I am not even sure where Ian got his data from, Ian doesn’t give any references whatsoever.

[Note inserted by Zahid Aziz: It is highly likely to be in some Urdu book of the Qadiani Jamaat. Please see my link above which shows the relevant pages about this event from Mujaddid-i Azam by Dr Basharat Ahmad.]

All praise belongs to Allah, I understand that, I surely do. Allah allowed KK to serve in this capacity. It was Allah’s will! I hope the reader doesnt get the impression that I am boasting about the accomplishments of a simple man.

The link is provided below: see pg. 306

www.alislam.org/library/books/guidedone/index.htm?page=306#top

Also see—At this link I have given the relevant pages from Mujaddid-i Azam by Dr Basharat Ahmad (v. 2, pages 975-980)

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

When Khwaja Kamaluddin arrived in England (1912)

Intro
Khwaja Kamaluddin is the famous Lahori-Ahmadi who arrived in England in 1912 and began converting people in the UK to Islam, as well as leading prayers at the famous Woking Mosque.  This was an Ahmadi mosque until the late 1960’s, when Bashir Misri became imam, and then signed it over to the Sunni Community in the London area.  The lahori-Ahmadi’s lost the Woking Mosque and were never able to acquire another mosque in the UK.

24th September 1912
It was the day when Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din arrived in England for the first time. During this first visit, which lasted till August 1914, he established “The Islamic Review” monthly journal and the Woking Muslim Mission in 1913.

Data from the Lahori blog editor Zahid Aziz
As the website creator and maintainer of the website www.wokingmuslim.org I felt it my duty to mark the 100th anniversary of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s arrival. I have compiled an 8-page commemorative leaflet, with a 4-page insert of photographs that can go inside the leaflet, for this occasion. I hope it is interesting and informative.

Zahid Aziz’s comments on Bashir Ahmad Misri

(1) An interview on this very subject which a Harvard University researcher conducted with me face to face in 2007. See page 7 of the May 2007 issue of “The Light”, U.K. edition at this link.

(2) An article I wrote at the same time in refutation of B.A. Misri’s account is in the April 2007 issue from pages 4 to 7, at this link.

light-apr07

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

Noorudin’s comments on Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamaluddin

Intro
The split in the Ahmadiyya movement happened in 1914, however, the split started in 1909.  Noorudin was on his death bed by the winter of 1911, and wasn’t able to control all of the Ahmadi’s anymore.  He made some negative comments about Khwaja Kamaludin over the years, however, he also made some positive comments.  They are in the below..

The quotes

In a letter to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, dated 19th December 1913, he writes:

“Each and every hair of my body is pleased with you and is engaged in prayer for you.”

In the last of his Friday khutbahs which he was able to deliver, Khalifa 1 defended Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din against the supporters of your Khalifa 2 and said:

“You think ill of others. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din does not work out of hypocrisy. He works only for Allah. This is my belief about him. Of course, he can make mistakes. I am happy with his works. There is blessing in them. Those who spread mistrust about him are the hypocrites.” (17 October 1913)

“Kamal-ud-Din is a good man. He is doing religious work…. He is engaged in a good work. None of you can compete with him. … Can any of you do the work which Kamal-ud-Din is doing?” (7 November 1913)

More generally, in June 1912 he declared in a speech in Lahore to these critics (supporters of Khalifa 2):

“You should first of all try to make yourselves sincere as they are. The people of Lahore are sincere. They love Hazrat [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] sahib.”

 

 

“My beliefs about non-Ahmadi Muslims”, dated 18 August 1911 by Khwaja Kamal-uddin

Intro
This was the essay that was written by Khwaja Kamaluddin in the summer of 1911.  It was in response to Mirza Bashir-uddin Mahmud Ahmad’s essay, “A Muslim is one who accepts all those appointed by God” which was published in April of 1911.

This is part of a bigger essay on Takfir and the Ahmadiyya Movement
I plan to populate this with more info in the future.

Related Essays
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/20/tashhiz-al-azhan-was-a-magazine-founded-by-mahmud-ahmad-in-1906/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/01/20/a-muslim-is-one-who-accepts-all-those-appointed-by-god-by-mirza-bashir-uddin-mahmud-ahmad-april-1911/

Nooruddin’s comment on Khwaja Kamaluddin in 1913

Intro
Tensions in Ahmadiyya were bubbling in 1913, things were getting pretty bad, the educated section of the community was already leaning towards Khwaja Kamaluddin, Muhammad Ali and many doctors and rich people.  The poorer section of the community, the Ahmadi mullahs and a few others were clinging to Mahmud Ahmad and the family of MGA.  Noorudin was on his death bed, his leg was amputated and he was never the same.

Lahori vs. Qadiani factions
Noorudin was trying to get Ahmadis to agree on Takfir, there was a major dispute, Mahmud Ahmad and his group wanted to call ALL muslims as Kafirs, whereas the soon to be Lahori-Ahmadis wanted to do away with MGA, his prophethood, and Takfir.  Nonetheless, Nooruddin was in Lahore in 1913 and made the following statement:

(17 October 1913)——https://www.alislam.org/urdu/knoor/19131017.pdf

“You think ill of others. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din does not work out of hypocrisy. He works only for Allah. This is my belief about him. Of course, he can make mistakes. I am happy with his works. There is blessing in them. Those who spread mistrust about him are hypocrites.” (p. 622)

 

The Causes of Internal Dissensions in the Ahmadiyya Movement, By Khwaja Kamaluddin, 1914

Intro

I was reading about the split from 2005 to 2008 and convinced Zahid Aziz to translate this book for me into english.  He agreed.  He translated it weekly for his magazine, The Light.  Below is the copy and paste job.

Statement of beliefs

I believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Day of Judgment and Gathering, and destiny from Allah, whether of good or evil. I truly believe the Holy Quran to be the word of God and the Holy Prophet Muhammad _Mustafa,_ Ahmad _Mujtaba,_ may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, to be the true and perfect messenger of God, the best and most excellent of all messengers, the _khātam_ of messengers, and my guide and leader.

I hold the following beliefs as expressed in the words of my mentor Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, which he announced on 2nd October 1891 in Delhi in refutation of some false allegations against him:

bq. “After the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the _khatam-ul-mursalīn_, I consider anyone who claims prophethood and messengership to be a liar and _kafir._ It is my belief that revelation received by prophets (_wahy risālat_) began with Adam and ended with the Holy Prophet Muhammad.” Similarly, I hold the following beliefs as expressed in the words of the Promised Messiah in his book _Nishān Āsmānī:_

bq. “I firmly believe that our Holy Prophet Muhammad is the _Khātam-ul-anbiya,_ and after him no prophet shall come for this _Umma_, neither new nor old. Not a jot or iota of the Holy Quran shall be abrogated. Of course, _muhaddases_ will come who will be spoken to by God, and possess some attributes of full prophethood by way of reflection (_zill_), and in some ways be coloured with the colour of prophethood. I am one of these.” (_Nishān Āsmānī,_ May 1892, p. 28) I believe that from among these great men, one was my master Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah. This is a kind of prophethood by reflection (_zilli nubuwwat_), the door to which is open only in the _Umma_ of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, namely, the prophethood that is attained by perfectly following the Holy Prophet. Similarly, he writes in his book _Chashma-i Ma’rifat,_ pages 324–325:

bq. “He who makes the Holy Quran his guide and considers the Holy Prophet as really the _khātam-un-nabiyyin,_ and knows that he depends upon grace from the Holy Prophet, such a person becomes the beloved of God. And the love of God is that God draws him towards Himself, grants him the privilege of His communication, and manifests Divine signs in his support. When he reaches the stage of perfectly following the Holy Prophet he is granted a prophethood by reflection, which is a reflection of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet. This is so that Islam should always remain fresh by the existence of such persons and dominant over its opponents.” To fulfil this aim, persons of the greatest status arose in this _Umma,_ such as Abdul Qadir Jilani, Junaid of Baghdad, and other holy people. From among them, the greatest of the great was my mentor who, because of the needs of the time, was called ‘Messiah’. It was in the sense given above that the Holy Prophet Muhammad called him ‘prophet of God’, and it was in that sense that I accepted the mission of my master. I believe that his mission is true and that he was appointed by God and was a manifestation of the ‘Ahmad’ attribute of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Of course, I do not regard Mirza _sahib_ as the equal of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. As he himself wrote in _Ainah Kamālāt Islām:_ “God the Most High knows well that I am a lover of Islam, a _ghulām_ (servant) of Ahmad, and a devotee of the Holy Prophet.”

It is my belief and conviction that my master, Hazrat Mirza _sahib_, came only for the reform of the Muslims and the support and propagation of Islam. If Islam were to be broadcast in the world in its real sense and Muslims adopt a truly Islamic way of life, then I believe that the mission of Hazrat _sahib_ would be complete. These are my beliefs which I regarded as necessary to declare. Now I turn to the real subject.

Connection with the Founder

Do I bear animosity towards anyone? Towards Hazrat _Mian_ Mahmud Ahmad? He is the offspring of that holy body whose servant I am. How can I bear animosity towards the family of that holy one through whom I was rescued from Christianity, to which I was getting nearer day by day, and in 1892 I became a Muslim anew. Not only did I become a Muslim, but through his guidance and prayers I was able to make amends for the sin which had been taking me towards Christianity by showing Christians the right path today. It was the most auspicious and blessed day of my life in 1893 when I took the pledge, at the hand of the Messiah sent by God, to hold religion above the world. I would give any-thing for those times which I spent in the company and service of that spiritually perfect man, which enabled me to fulfil my pledge as best as I could. How can I forget those favours and that love which he bestowed on me, especially on me\! Even if I spent my whole life working for the aims and objects of the Divine mission of this Muslim Messiah, it would be little recompense for the continuous prayers he said for me.

Is it possible that I repay all this affection, favour and attention by fighting against his offspring? If we have a difference with the son of our mentor, it is on points of principle. Where we agree with him, it is also on points of principle. Differences too, according to the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s saying, can be a source of mercy provided that people are not irresponsible and they put aside their egos. Regrettably, it has always been the case that most human beings are unable to distinguish between principle and personality. By construing differences which are based on principle as being opposition to persons, they draw wrong conclusions and descend to a personal level.

This is the real basis of the breach and dissension which has now assumed a most dangerous form in the Ahmadiyya community, and has, it seems, shaken the very foundations of the Movement. This Movement is, in fact, like that strong tree whose roots are firmly embedded in rock, but whose branches and leaves are sometimes shaken so violently by storms and gales that a short-sighted person thinks it will be uprooted. However, storms come and gales blow but at the end the tree remains standing as before. At this time we are overtaken by a storm. Most of us are unable to think and ponder rationally to reach the right conclusion. But, O you Ahmadiyya community, remember the lesson you learnt from the Promised Messiah over a period of a quarter of a century. It is the lesson of perseverance, of patience, tolerance and forbearance. It is the lesson of thinking and reflecting and prayer. We have seen with our own eyes how non-Ahmadis treated us for long. That should have provided us with the lesson not to resort to the same means in our affairs which certain non-Ahmadis employed against us.

This _Jama’at_ has been created through much hard work and labour. It has been taught those matters of true knowledge that had vanished from the face of the earth. Our master held debates with his opponents. He taught us, in many different ways, to follow the principles that apply to the institution of prophethood. To comprehend some of the issues in relation to this Movement requires a fine understanding. That depth of understanding was produced in us by our master at times of trials and tribulations. Today you could have disagreements in certain matters if the affair of Atham and that of Mubarak had not been before us. Why did those events take place? So that you would acquire true knowledge, so that you would distinguish between revelation itself and (the human judgment of) the man who receives revelation, and so that you realise the difference between God Who sends revelation and the man who receives revelation.

Thus if there are issues of difference between us, resolve them by referring to the matters of knowledge that our master has taught us with much effort and exertion. It is contrary to reason and sense to determine subtle issues on the basis of events that take place or are created, and it is to sell yourself to mere emotion.

Today there are two parties among you. If the only difference was on the question of who should be leader, then I believe it would be the easiest possible dispute to settle. As far as I know, our Imam has removed egotism from the hearts at least of those people who are considered responsible for the present differences. If those highly-placed followers of Hazrat Mirza _sahib_ who were close to him and under his care, and benefitted from his prayers, were to fight for the leadership of the _Jama’at,_ it would mean that his mission failed. It is not only my faith but I know as well that no elder in the _Jama’at_ has the desire to be leader. If we are not able to prefer holding the position of servant to holding the position of leader, then tell me, what has this true Movement achieved? Alas, the _Jama’at_ is so overcome by needless, heated emotion that it has lost the ability to consider how detrimental our objections against one another will be to the cause of proving the truth of this Movement. When men arise in the world with a mission from God, their real object is not to perform miracles and make prophecies, but to reform mankind. Just think, for God’s sake, by making accusations against one another, are you not proving that the mission of my master was unsuccessful? Leaving aside the ques-tion of which party is in the wrong, when some leading persons are making accusations against others, both sides will be considered as guilty in the view of a non-Ahmadi. What will you then say about the achievements of Mirza _sahib?_

Foresight of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din

What a far-sighted man was he whose name was Nur-ud-Din\! Did he not warn you all his life about the dangers of the Shia attitude? Do not the Shias believe that all those around the Holy Prophet Muhammad were hypocrites except his relatives and a small number from among the companions? Did not Hazrat Hakim _sahib_ (Maulana Nur-ud-Din) repeatedly relate to us that an unworthy Shia commentator of the Quran has explained the verse “when they are alone with their devils” (2:14) as meaning that those around the Holy Prophet were hypocrites and their leader was Umar? Why did Hazrat Hakim _sahib_ tell us this again and again? It was because a time was to come over our _Jama’at_ when that history was to repeat itself. It was going to be alleged: Hazrat Mirza _sahib_ was surrounded by a group of hypocrites whose leader was Muhammad Ali. That time came as soon as Nur-ud-Din died.

Today, those people are being called hypocrites who were close to the Promised Messiah. O you people who call the faithful as hypocrites, is it not true that the Promised Messiah especially favoured the members from Lahore? Look at any of the times when the Promised Messiah faced some tribulation. Did he specially consult anyone at all except the members from Lahore? Can you think of any great work of this Movement in which our Imam did not specially turn to the members from Lahore to involve them in its execution?

The mission of my master was spiritual. His wars were by the pen and the tongue. For these wars, whom did he himself, with his kindness, appoint as his commanders? Whom but me did he want to send as his emissary to the emperor of Japan with a book written by him? God willing, this wish of his will be fulfilled. While he himself fulfilled in a spiritual sense the prophecy of the Quran that God will make Islam prevail over all other religions, did not Hazrat Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan declare in a speech in December 1911, in my presence, Maulvi Muhammad Ali to be the manifestation of this promise? Is it untrue that it is the pen of Maulvi Muhammad Ali through which Allah has shown the glory of Islam? Can you undo all these events?

That man is accursed who wishes to make a show of his services. The question for you is only this. If some servants of the Movement differ with Mirza Mahmud Ahmad on certain points of principle, and they are also unable to accept his view that a person differing with him on those points can still enter into _bai’at,_ and they hold their beliefs sincerely, then even assuming that they are wrong, how can they be called disloyal, immoral and treacherous for this mistake which is being made out of sincerity? Let us suppose that your views are right. What has the teaching and the benefit of the company of the Promised Messiah done for you? Is this how you treat those who acted on the command: “O you who believe, be with the truthful” (9:119)? This is why Hazrat Mirza _sahib_ used to exhort people to come and stay with him, to leave their native places and come and live under his eye. Did many of us not leave our homes, in effect or actually, during his life? Did we not do everything to please him? Did he not express his happiness and pleasure with us by his actions, deeds and words, directly and indirectly, and by his treatment and practice?

Leaving that aside, ponder over the views which you yourself entertained till the last day of the life of Hazrat Mirza _sahib_ about those whom you are now calling hypocrites, reprobates and traitors. My question is directed at the _Jama’at_ as a whole, not at any individual whose affairs may have developed a personal colouring since long ago. If we are what we are being called today, or if we became so after the death of Hazrat Mirza _sahib,_ what significance is left of his messiahship, and how ineffective was his company\! As I have just said, these spiritual men do not come to perform miracles and make prophecies. Their real aim is the reform of people.

Mirza Mahmud Ahmad has written in his book _Tuḥfat-ul-Mulūk:_ \\

bq. “*{_}Thus the work of internal reform achieved by the Promised Messiah consisted in founding a community which is a model of piety and purity. Even our enemies will bear testimony to the fact that as soon as a man turns an Ahmadi, the tenour of his life undergoes a change and a reformation is wrought within him, such that if a comparison be made between his past life and{_}* *{_}his new life, a difference can be seen like that of the Nadir from the Zenith. There are thousands who have increased in sincerity to an extent as to become the counterparts of the Holy Companions. … It may be possible and is natural that some small section of the community should still be weak, not having succeeded in deriving full benefit from the teachings of the Promised Messiah. But such weakness cannot be an argument against the truth of the movement, because in all communities there are sure to be found some members, who are more backward than others, even the Holy Companions being no exception to the rule, among whom even till the last days of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) there continued to exist a part of hypocrites. With the exception, therefore, of such a small section the community at large are the objects of the special favour of God.”_* \[_Editor’s Note:_ English edition, pages 80–81\] \\

He has cleverly referred to some “hypocrites” and pointed out that such hypocrites were around the Holy Prophet Muhammad as well. But did not God, the Most High, inform the Holy Prophet of the existence of the hypocrites, and then did He not bring about ways and means during the life of the Holy Prophet by which the hypocrites were identi-fied and separated? If Hazrat Mirza sahib is, as you and I believe, a spiritual image of Ahmad, then why did not Allah inform him, even by the end of his life, of the evil of those whom you call hypocrites? Then I ask the question: Were the hypocrites who were around the Holy Prophet as close to him and were they his specially favoured followers as were these men, whom you call hypocrites, the favourite followers of Mirza sahib? If your argument can be established, it can only be done on the basis of the principles of the Shiahs, not the beliefs of the Sunnis.

Such arguments show that Mirza sahib was a failure and not a purifier of people. But my conviction is that my Messiah was successful. God testi-fies to his success, so that his devotees and disciples rendered such service to Islam as befitted the training they received from their master. It was he who raised the dead to life in this world. His words were messianic and to be in his company was to receive life. The dead raised to life by him are alive even today and are doing the work that living ones do. But if your conclusions are right then one has to concede that, God forbid, the Messiah sent by God was unsuccessful. Alas\! By saying such things you placed a stain on his reputation. \\

According to our belief, did he not receive guidance from inner revelation always? Was he not one of those elect whom God does not let remain adhering to error? Then if these beliefs are correct, and you claim that some of the stalwarts of the Movement were inwardly full of impurity which has now become manifest, why did God the Most High keep him closely surrounded by such unclean persons till the end of his life? Why did he entrust the finances of the community to the hands of such deceitful people? Was he afraid of them? No one being an Ahmadi can hold this opinion. Is it not true that it was these persons whom he always sent as representatives of this Movement to government officials? If, as Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din and Maulvi Abdul Karim used to say, it is a sufficient rejoinder to Shiah doctrines that if the great companions had been hypocrites and disloyal it would mean that the teaching and training given by Holy Prophet Muhammad himself was at fault, then today I say the same about Hazrat Mirza sahib. If Muhammad Ali and his comrades are the kind of people that you keep on repeating they are, then the teaching and training given by Hazrat Mirza sahib was not correct, nor was he capable of recognising people for what they really are. May Allah save me and other Ahmadis from such appalling beliefs. \\

Such is obduracy and intolerance, that it takes a man to an extreme. For example, in the arguments that have arisen claiming that anyone who does not enter into the _bai’at_ of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad becomes a _fāsiq_ (violator of the Divine law), when a certain Maulvi sahib was given the reply in Lahore that Hazrat Aishah, Hazrat Zubair and Hazrat Talhah did not enter into the _bai’at_ of Hazrat Ali, I have heard that this gentleman felt no hesitation nor any fear in pronouncing the same verdict upon these three great elders of Islam. Do not let obstinacy and prejudice cloud your judgment, but think and ponder. No one can deny that some of the topmost followers of Hazrat Mirza sahib have now taken the _bai’at_ of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad. When his topmost and most trusted followers differ on these matters, it was imperative to treat these controversial issues with the greatest of wisdom, perseverance and gentleness, and moreover by means of strong prayers, not that we should unleash our tongues upon one another like sharp knives. \\

However, in this matter we have today exceeded even those opponents of the Ahmadis whose behaviour towards us was condemned by right-thinking non-Ahmadis themselves. Poems are written against one another worse than the poems that Sa’d of Ludhiana used to write in vituperation of Hazrat Mirza sahib. Our literature today contains abuse and bad language directed against one another. Not content with that, we have by means of our writings not hesitated to try to send our brothers to prison. We informed on one another. We were eagerly desirous of seeing those who differ with us meet with disgrace in this world so that it could be presented as a sign. For God’s sake, refrain from this. We have brought the Movement into such disrepute that it makes one seek God’s protection. This Divine Movement lost in a few months what it had hardly gained over a long period of years.

There is a revelation of Hazrat Mirza sahib: “There are two groups of believers, of whom God sides with one, and this is the fruit of disunity”. Although God’s revelation must be fulfilled, and it is true that God will support one side, but I say that this revelation does not at all convey disappointing news. It gives the cause of differences only as disunity. Disunity can be resolved. Difference of opinion is not the same as disunity, most certainly not. Difference of opinion, if not accompanied by disunity, is a blessing. Are we not capable of removing the disunity from our ranks? \\

Have recourse to love, patience, tolerance and calm thinking. Peaceably, and in a civilised manner, settle the matters which divide us. It is not difficult to accept someone as the head of the Movement. If that was the only disagreement between us, I think that, God willing, it could be settled in just a day. In fact, our differences are on certain points of prin-ciple, and we need to think of a way of resolving these. If, for the unity of the Movement, you believe that there should be one head — and I myself agree with this — and there is also the thought that the differences on principles should be settled after-wards, then elect a leader in such a way that beliefs and differences are not sacrificed while a leader is still elected.

Have recourse to love, patience, tolerance and calm thinking. Peaceably, and in a civilised manner, settle the matters which divide us. It is not difficult to accept someone as the head of the Movement. If that was the only disagreement between us, I think that, God willing, it could be settled in just a day. In fact, our differences are on certain points of principle, and we need to think of a way of resolving these. If, for the unity of the Movement, you believe that there should be one head — and I myself agree with this — and there is also the thought that the differences on principles should be settled afterwards, then elect a leader in such a way that beliefs and differences are not sacrificed while a leader is still elected. \\

The Mian sahib \[Mirza Mahmud Ahmad\] saw this as an obstacle in his path even during the life of the late khalifa. During probably the last week of his life, it was published in _Al-Fazl_ \[Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s organ\] that there can be differences of belief between the leader and the disciple. Accordingly, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad later declared that _anyone who takes the bai’at at his_ _hand can differ from him in matters of belief\!_ \\

In my humble opinion this is not a solution to the obstacle that is in his way. We who are asked to enter into his _bai’at_ will not be entering it for the administration of a state but it will be for the establishment and propagation of certain beliefs and principles we learnt from the Promised Messiah, which is our duty. We have to make a united effort for that purpose. When we take the _bai’at_ on someone’s hand, we pledge to propagate these beliefs and principles in obedience to that person. Now if I hold a doctrine to be true, and consider it my duty to propagate it, how can I preach it if it is opposed to the beliefs held by my leader? To preach it would be to deviate from obedience to my spiritual leader. If, however, while holding that belief I remain silent and do not declare it, and see my spiritual leader declaring the opposite belief and say nothing, would this not be hypocrisy? \\

Declaring other Muslims as kafir

Mirza Mahmud Ahmad should ponder over this submission of mine. For example, I consider it as a wrong doctrine to regard that person as _kafir_ who professes the _kalima_ and who does not call other Muslims as _kafir._ I believe that this causes great harm to Islam and in particular to the Ahmadiyya Movement. In my view, this creed is the chief obstacle in the way of the appeal and the spread of the Ahmadiyya Movement, a _fatwa_ about which has been handed to all non-Ahmadis. I have grounds for being sure of this. For example, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad prepared the declaration that all non-Ahmadis are _kafir,_ and it was printed in Amritsar. Its publication, I have learnt, was stopped by Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, but a few copies reached the hands of the opponents of the Ahmadiyya Movement. They published 5000 copies of it at their own expense in Amritsar, and wherever in those days Ahmadi missionaries would go, this declaration was distributed in those places several days in advance in order to render their preaching ineffective. This is sufficient proof of the fact that our opponents, far and wide, realise that this declaration of non\- Ahmadis as _kafir_ is an obstacle in the way of the spread of the Ahmadiyya Movement. Otherwise, why would the opponents in Amritsar print 5000 copies of this writing by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad? \\

To sum up, I believe it on the basis of personal knowledge that Hazrat Mirza sahib did not declare any Muslim as _kafir_ who did not call him _kafir._ He refrained from this. I consider the creed of declaring other Muslims as _kafir_ as against the teachings of the Ahmadiyya Movement and highly damaging to its spread. This is not only my view but also a large number of Ahmadis including those who have takenthe _bai’at_ of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad also hold the same view. As opposed to this, he not only regards non-Ahmadi Muslims as _kafir_ but, as I have learnt, he thinks that unless they are called _kafir_ they will not pay any attention to the Ahmadiyya Movement. That would be true if they held those who call them _kafir_ in some regard. Anyhow, it is God Who knows who is right: us or Mirza Mahmud Ahmad. \\

Ponder on this, as to how in view of these opposite beliefs, one can honestly and sincerely take the _bai’at_ of the other? But this is not the only difficulty. The other problem is that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad also believes that in his capacity of being _khalifa_ he cannot be in error. Now if a person disagrees with him in some point of belief, does that person not consider Mirza Mahmud Ahmad to be in error at least as regards that particular point? It is impossible to understand how a person can be expected to hold two conflicting views: that on the one hand I believe him to be in error \[in some belief\], and on the other I should believe that he cannot commit an error \[as he is _khalifa_\]\! \\

Most importantly, such an action involves grave dangers. To bring people together on one person’s hand by such means is not unity but will cause disintegration. Unity is brought about by agreement in beliefs. The suggested way allows every disciple of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad to construct any belief different from his. Will this unite the community or divide it? I am not speaking hypothetically. My fear has reached the point of fact. As far as I know, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad believes the Promised Messiah to be a servant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and considers his prophethood as merely a reflected one. But I hear strange things about those who have taken his _bai’at,_ and the people who have conveyed this information to me have done so in the mosque under sworn oath.

Those beliefs that are said to be held are a falsehood and fabrication against my master. It is said that Mirza sahib was a full-fledged, independent prophet. It is said that Mirza sahib is equal to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. It is said that Hazrat Mirza sahib made more prophecies than the Holy Prophet Muhammad. It is said that not only is Mirza sahib an independent prophet but the Mian sahib \[Mirza Mahmud Ahmad\] himself is also a prophet of a high rank, though he has not yet attained the age of prophethood, but at the age of forty he will be made a prophet. It is said that Hazrat Mirza sahib was so exalted a prophet that the great companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad are not worthy of untying his shoe laces. It is said that Ahmad is greater than Muhammad. It is said that Ahmad was not a name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. \\

I have not heard these statements directly, but I swear with God as my witness that people who have heard them have told me under oath that they have heard them from some followers of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad. I am not discussing here whether these views are right or wrong, but it is my belief and conviction that by holding these views a man neither remains an Ahmadi nor a Muslim. \\

The letter written by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad to the brother of Dr Muhammad Umar does refute the false beliefs mentioned above. However, his statement in it, that due to the _expediency of time_ Hazrat Mirza sahib is being called prophet, further nourishes the extremism of those fanatics who believe in the independent prophethood of Hazrat Mirza sahib. Anyhow, as far as I know, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad himself does not hold these beliefs. So why are his followers laying so much stress on these false ideas? This is merely the result of his direction that his followers can differ from him in beliefs. \\

Now I make a request to Mirza Mahmud Ahmad that, for God’s sake, he must counter these heresies. He should publish a statement of his beliefs in this matter. I am not asking him to enter into a debate or to make a long speech. Let him declare his beliefs in two lines, as to whether he considers the Promised Messiah to be an independent, actual, full-fledged prophet, who is equal to and like the Holy Prophet Muhammad, or he believes him to be a servant and devotee of the _Khatam-un-nabiyyin_ (peace be upon him), and through nothing but obedience and servitude to the Holy Prophet to have become a prophet in the reflected sense and a _Mujaddid._ For God’s sake, he must declare his belief under his signature. If his belief is the same as my belief as I expressed it at the beginning of this booklet then he must expel from his discipleship such people who hold and spread the false beliefs mentioned above. \\

It is not difficult to understand how these beliefs came into being. When the followers of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad accepted him to be a _khalifa_ according to the _istikhlaf_ verse of the Quran (24:55), it became essential to declare him as _khalifa_ of an independent prophet. Naturally, their minds turned towards the idea that Hazrat Mirza sahib should be an independent prophet. The fact is that those who refuse to accept Mirza Mahmud Ahmad as _khalifa_ can only be branded as _fasiq_ \[transgressors of Divine commands\] if he is considered to be _khalifa_ of an independent prophet. And that cannot be done unless the finality of prophethood is denied and Hazrat Mirza sahib is made into an independent prophet. \\

Likewise, other Muslims cannot be called _kafir_ according to any clear argument of the Quran unless in the verse “his name being Ahmad” (61:6) Hazrat Mirza sahib is considered to be the Ahmad meant. These are the consequent difficulties created by wrong beliefs. Hazrat Mirza sahib has called the Holy Prophet Muhammad as Ahmad more than five hundred times in his writings. He has explained the verse “his name being Ahmad” no less than thirty times, writing repeatedly that it refers to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Of course, he claims to be a perfect manifestation of the quality symbolised by the name Ahmad of the Holy Prophet. This is the true belief that we hold. The Holy Prophet was named Ahmad by his own mother. His uncle Abu Talib, I seem to recall, called him Ahmad in his poetry. Yet today, merely in order to apply the _khilafat_ verse of the Quran to Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, it is declared that no one named the Holy Prophet as Ahmad. \\

My belief is that my master, Hazrat Mirza sahib, manifested and displayed the name Ahmad of the Holy Prophet. I believe that the verse “his name being Ahmad” contains an implicit reference to Hazrat Mirza sahib. But I do not believe, certainly not, that this verse was _not_ fulfilled by the Holy Prophet Muhammad. I say that if we apply this verse to Hazrat Mirza sahib, it is only indirectly, and not because of his own person but due to his being a perfect follower of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Mirza Mahmud Ahmad should publish a brief statement of his belief on this question as well. \\

Alas, these two doctrines, whether Mirza Mahmud Ahmad himself holds them or not, have caused grave damage to the Ahmadiyya Movement. \\

All those false accusations and fabricated allegations which were made against Ahmadis are thereby today proved true. Why should not non-Ahmadis say about us that we have a different _kalima_ from the _kalima_ of Muhammad or that we do not believe in the Quran but that Mirza sahib has made a new _shariah_ for us? Why should they not say about us that we do not consider _hajj_ as an obligation? Some of my acquaintances have said to me that I performed the _hajj_ against the teachings of my mentor because it is alleged that we consider visiting Qadian to be the equal of performing the _hajj_ {footnote}Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had recently performed the _Hajj_ in October 1914 while returning from England to India.{footnote} ‘We seek refuge in Allah from such false beliefs.’ \\

Dear friends, are you going to spread the Ahmadiyya Movement? Listen, and listen attentively, if the news is true which I learnt last week from reliable sources, then the progress which Ahmadiyyat had been making quite speedily in Khorasan {footnote}This is an ancient term referring to parts of what are now called the central Asian republics.\\{footnote} and Afghanistan has come to an end and many Ahmadis have separated themselves from the Movement. The same two issues are the cause of this, as my information says: declaring non\- Ahmadis as _kafir_ and believing in the independent prophethood of Hazrat Mirza sahib. No one living in Afghanistan can hold the belief that all non-Ahmadis are _kafir,_ except by concealing it hypocritically. Moreover, to believe someone to be equal to the Holy Prophet or to be an independent prophet takes such a believer to the stage of unbelief and apostasy very easily. \\

Search all the books of Mirza sahib and you will find that all his writings can be summarised in the following words from his book _Ainah Kamalat Islam_ which I quoted at the beginning when explaining my beliefs: \\

“God the Most High knows well that I am a lover of Islam, a _ghulām_ (servant) of Ahmad, and a devotee of the Holy Prophet.” \\

“After the Holy Prophet Muhammad, I consider anyone who claims prophethood and messengership to be a liar and unbeliever.”

Then in his last major book _Haqiqat-ul-Wahy_ he has, in bold letters, called his prophethood as “metaphorical”: \\

“I have been named by Allah as _nabi_ by way of metaphor, not by way of reality.” \\

I have addressed Mirza Mahmud Ahmad regarding these matters because sometimes such writings appear from Qadian that should not come from there. It is true that they do not bear the name and signature of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, but they are in the public considered as emanating from him, and when no refutation appears afterwards from him this proves that they are from him. \\

Take the article published in _Al-Fazl,_ December 1914, entitled: _With whom should we have social_ _relationship?_ Should we consider it as emanating from Mirza Mahmud Ahmad? It is indicated in this writing that his followers must not meet those Ahmadis who have not taken his _bai’at,_ nor have social relations with them, nor accept their hospitality. It is due to this article that I rejected the idea, which was originally my intention, that his followers and those who do not accept him should gather together in Qadian. What must be considered is the effect this article will have on the ordinary person, not the meaning the writer will give to it by way of expediency. Can such articles, published just at the time of the annual gathering when it was possible that some agreement may be reached, lead to any good result, or will they estrange his followers so much that they will not meet or greet or sit and eat with people of the other side? \\

The purpose of that article is to widen the gulf of disagreement that exists between us. When his followers are not allowed to converse with or have any kind of relations with those Ahmadis who do not accept him as leader, and are told to seek refuge with God when they see such a person, then non-Ahmadis are better than they. If this is the treatment you teach towards Ahmadis who have not accepted Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, then do tell us what kind of treatment you will extend to non-Ahmadi Muslims.

Also, the writer of that article should inform the world at large of the treatment he believes in extending towards non-Muslims, so that the general population gets to know of his civilised beliefs. \\

It is a pity that the writer has cared not for the very basic principle of Islam. The Holy Prophet has described the real aim of Islam to be kindness towards all people, not even limiting it to kindness towards Muslims, and yet you, leaving aside Muslims, are preventing kind treatment even of Ahmadis. This article is what is responsible for my not going to Qadian, whereas my intention was to go to Qadian at once {footnote} Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had recently returned from England at the end of November 1914.{footnote}

Because of this article, I ceased to favour the idea that the two groups should gather in one place. I felt this article would incite those passions which would not be conducive to gathering together people of opposing views in one place, leading to the disturbance of peace. \\

If Mirza Mahmud Ahmad holds the same views as expressed in this article, he should declare this in _Al-Fazl_ under his own name. If these are not his views he should refute them and take some action against those irresponsible persons who bring out such writings. I know full well, and have realised it not only today but have known for the past five years or so, the way of operation of these people.

They are aware that the writings that come out of Qadian are generally considered to have the authority of the head of the movement. They also know that sometimes such writings do not come to the notice of the responsible persons in Qadian, or if they do they are generally not refuted. Therefore these irresponsible people achieve their aims by producing such writings. I want Mirza Mahmud Ahmad to take action against this and to write about these issues with his own pen. \\

I have just stated that there is a disagreement within our _Jama’at_ on some matters of belief and principle. The purpose of accepting a person as _Khalifat-ul-Masih_ is that under his leadership we should work for the aims and objectives for which this movement was created. Those aims are the spreading of the belief in the oneness of God (_tauhid_) in the world, which was the mission of all the prophets. That mission was finally completed at the hands of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, after him servants of his religion refuted all kinds of _shirk_ in different ways. But there remained the last and very dangerous obstacle in the way of the propagation of _tauhid._ That is the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus which is based on the twin beliefs that Jesus is still alive and that he will return again. It was required in order to defeat the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus that the issue of the death of Jesus should be resolved, thereby falsifying the idea of the return of Jesus. This was not possible unless a servant of the Messenger Ahmad came in the likeness of Jesus to declare these facts. This is what our master, the Promised Messiah, has explained in the following verses of poetry: \\

“As unbelievers are, for no benefit, worshipping the Messiah, So God’s sense of His honour has made me his like.” \\

and: \\

“I am not a _rasul_ nor have I brought a book, But I receive revelation and am a warner from God.” \\

Therefore, I consider this to be the mission of the Promised Messiah. He is Mahdi only for the purpose of bringing about internal reform. He is Messiah only so that by his coming the belief in Jesus being alive and in his return be refuted, and thus he should spread the doctrine of _tauhid_ in the world. This is what I understand to be the gist of the Ahmadiyya Movement. If this is the aim of this Divine Movement, then to achieve it we need a leader, whether you call him _khalifa_ or _ameer._

Under his leadership, all of us together resolve these problems through consultation, either by unanimous agreement or by majority opinion. Under these principles a _khalifa_ can be chosen, upon whom the entire community can today agree easily. It was in this sense that we elected Hazrat Hakim \[Maulana Nur-ud-Din\] sahib as _khalifa_ of the Promised Messiah, as I will later show. \\

Of course, if by _khalifa_ is meant that he should be considered as one commissioned by God (_mamur_), who is free from committing error and mistake, whose commands are like the commands of one holding a commission from God, whose orders in all matters are absolute, as was the case with the Promised Messiah, or will be the case with a Divine appointee when he comes, then to accept such a _khalifa_ is contrary to the beliefs of many of us. God well knows that it was not in these terms that we accepted Hazrat Hakim sahib as _khalifa._ To accept someone as _khalifa_ in these terms, or to compel everyone to take _bai’at_ at his hand, leads to disagreement and division in the Movement. If I honestly and sincerely believe that what the Promised Messiah meant was that the decisions of no person other than one commissioned by Allah are final and binding over the community, how can I enter into the _bai’at_ of a man who holds that the decision of the _khalifa_ is supreme over all consultations? I do not at all consider a _bai’at_ to be right if I and my mentor differ in beliefs.

O you wise ones of the Ahmadiyya community, for God’s sake listen to what I am saying and think about it\! I tell you truly that we have no personal grudge against anyone. If we have differences, it is only in matters of principle and faith. And strangely enough, even certain followers of Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib have the same differences with him. Here I will explain the major points of difference, and the reasons behind them. Let Hazrat Mian sahib ponder over these himself. Let him try to make me understand, and himself be prepared to understand. Along with this, he should try to find some way of reaching agreement.

I ask Hazrat Mian sahib himself to respond to my submission. That sacred figure who was his father did not ever leave his views to be explained by others. He always put forth his own position clearly. Hazrat Mian sahib is a writer himself. We do not need the pens of others. Then there is the difficulty that as his followers, according to his own permission, can hold beliefs different from his, how can their writings be authoritative about his beliefs, and what proof is there that what they say is also his own belief? Moreover, all the writings of his follo-wers that I have read employ far more appeal to emotion than to reason. The only response they give to the opposite point of view is to denounce it, and when facts are presented against them they avoid giving a reply by saying that these matters have been discussed before.

Anyhow, I say with God as my witness that I admit that we are not free of error. However, I have a true passion in my heart for this Movement and it is my desire that its greatness should be established in the world and its objectives should be achieved everywhere. With God as my witness, I say that I bear no grudge or ill-will towards Hazrat Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib. Allah the Most High well knows my inner feelings. I would be proud to accept him as my leader as I am merely a soldier and have to serve under a commander of the army. I have a commander above me now as well. There is no reluctance in me to serve Islam under the leadership of the Mian sahib. I am in the field of a battle which is literary and spiritual. It is my duty to inform the general of my army about my way of fighting from time to time and act on his guidance.

This is the way of working I followed from 1909 till the death of Hazrat Maulana Hakim Nur-ud-Din. My style of propagation of Islam, whether in India or in England, was devised and suggested by the Hazrat Hakim sahib himself. Wherever I went, it was with his permission and under his instructions. Soon I will publish the letters he wrote to me in England. Then those eminent persons who are in the habit of criticising others will find out what he thought of them. Here, to show that in the spiritual war by the pen, in which I am a soldier, I obeyed my general and took advice from him in every matter, I refer to some of his first and last letters.

When I appeared in Qadian to take my leave, Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din said to me: Preach nothing other than the _La ilaha ill-Allah_ there.{footnote}In Badr, 5 September 1912, front page, column 2, it is re-ported that Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din came to take leave from Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din and the latter said many prayers for him.{footnote} After arriving in England, I intended to get admission to a course in elocution and public speaking, and also attend a Christian college, in order to improve my language and become familiar with their ways. Upon this, he wrote to me two letters towards the end of 1912. He writes to me:

bq. “You may take admission in these colleges. But don’t spend a long time learning by rote like a child. It is only necessary to learn the principles, and then studying books is sufficient. It is enough there to teach _La ilaha ill-Allah._” In the second of these two letters he wrote:

bq. “Do take admission in the college, and teach _La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur Rasulullah,_ and the words of the _Azan._”

bq. “Hazrat Mirza sahib did not know English, and yet many English-knowing people entered into his _bai’at._ To have full command of the language is a blessing and an advantage, but it is only Allah Who can make the words effective and useful.” On receiving this letter I stopped going to college, and I know that God the Most High then Himself removed my defects. \\

In _Badr,_ 5 September 1912, front page, column 2, it is reported that Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din came to take leave from Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din and the latter said many prayers for him.

Likewise, when some members of the _Jama’at_ raised a clamour saying that, as I do not mention Hazrat Mirza sahib in my propagation, so it is fruitless for me to convert anyone to Islam, I wrote to the Hazrat Maulana asking for his instructions, saying that it was under his order that I was teaching only the _Kalima_ but some people had raised this criticism. At that time, a woman engaged to be married had come close to embracing Islam but her fiancé was opposed to Islam. I informed the Hazrat Maulana about her, and I also asked how I should teach Islam to Lord Headley, and mentioned the latter’s prayers.

The Hazrat Maulana replied in a long letter, part of which is quoted below. Regarding the woman, he told me to bear in mind having recourse to prayer. He wrote: “Keep in view the words ‘whoever keeps his duty to Allah, he ordains a way out for him’ {footnote}The Quran, 65:2.{footnote}. This is not a difficult matter.” Praise be to Allah, that prayers worked. The woman broke off her engagement and accepted Islam.

He then writes:

bq. “In every matter you must proceed with caution, foresight and patience. There must be nothing in the heart against the country, nation or law of the land. Every action must be done with sincerity, not out of hypocrisy. The fundamental and basic teaching is _La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur rasulullah._ All else is secondary. … Today I will say a special prayer for you … Lord \[Headley\] should concentrate on seeking help through _dua_ (prayer). He must have much recourse to _Sura Fatiha,_ and not neglect giving in charity. Allah willing, truth will become clear to him. He will start saying the _namaz_ (regular prayer). Do not be impatient. The cross should be broken, the doctrine of trinity should be proved wrong, and belief in _La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammad-ur rasul-ullah_ should enter the heart.” This letter of his is from December 1913. How closely did that man follow the path of the Holy Prophet Muhammad\! Only those can appreciate this advice of the Hazrat Maulana who remember the hadith of Mu’az ibn Jabal.{footnote}This is the hadith in which the Holy Prophet advised Mu’az on how to propagate Islam when sending him to Yaman.{footnote} O you who object, ponder over this, ponder well\! It was my mentor who urged me to impress only the oneness of God on people’s hearts. As to the fact that my every affair was under the orders, and for the pleasure, of my second spiritual leader, this is clear from another letter he wrote to me dated 19 December 1913:

bq. Respected and honoured Khwaja sahib, _Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatu-hu\!_ May Allah bless your efforts. My Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, _khatam-un-nabiyyin_ (may my parents be sacrificed for him), and your case is in London.3 Allah willing, you will win. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Each and every hair of my body is pleased with you and is engaged in prayer for you. — Nur-ud-Din, 19 December 1913. By these quotations I wish to show that I am like a soldier in the battle field and have always worked under the command of a general. Even now I do not reject the leadership of someone else. However, it is essential that there must be agree-ment of beliefs between me and my leader, to pro-pagate which I have accepted him as head.

It is important here that I should mention those matters which are at present causing differences of principles and doctrines in our _Jama’at_. These are as follows. # One group believes that the _khalifa_ has absolute power in every matter. His opinion cannot be wrong. His decision is binding upon the Anju-man. He has the same authority over the Movement as did the Promised Messiah himself. None other than the _khalifa_ can admit anyone into the _bai’at._ Whoever within the community does not enter into his _bai’at_ is \[denounced by the Quran as\] a _fasiq._ The group opposed to this believes that, apart from the Promised Messiah, such powers can only belong to the one who will be raised in this Move-ment through God’s revelation, and he will be the Promised Reformer (_Muslih Mau’ud_). Until he arises, every such person can admit people into the _bai’at_ who has been chosen to do so by forty members. The work of the Movement should be done by mutual consultation. That function is performed by the Sadr Anjuman, which is the successor of the Promised Messiah. Its decisions, arrived at by majority view or unanimously, will be final and binding in every matter. For existing Ahmadis it is not necessary to take the _bai’at_ on any person’s hand; it is a voluntary matter. # Is Mirza Mahmud Ahmad the _Muslih Mau’ud_ or not? # Is Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a full, perfect and real prophet, or is his prophethood a partial one without _Shariah?_ # Are non-Ahmadi Muslims _kafir?_ # What should be our way of preaching and propagating Islam?

These are the matters which are the basis of the disagreement between us. The books of the Promised Messiah are in the Urdu language, and we all know Urdu. So determine these matters by reading his books, not by means of weak arguments which pander to the emotions of love, prejudice and hate. All arguments I have heard are of this kind. Is it a valid criterion to say that one group is in Qadian \[and therefore right\] and the other is not in Qadian? Or that one group includes the progeny of the Promised Messiah and the other does not belong to his family? Similarly, there is no weight in the argument which is put forward that being chosen as the _khalifa_ is proof of truth. Or that those whom Hazrat Maulvi Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi supports must be right because he is highly knowledgeable (_ahl al-dhikr_) and the Quran tells us to follow such persons. Likewise, I do not consider it a conclusive argument that the side which has majority support is the right one. History and events in the world tell us that this is sometimes the case and at other times it is not. By itself, it is not an argument. Is not every prophet, _mujaddid_ and reformer opposed by the majority, and are not the supporters of the truth always in a minority? According to the Quran, those possessing uderstanding, good sense, power of thinking and who accept the truth are always the minority.

Of course there comes a time when a group’s large number is a sign of its truth, as the Quran says: “When you (O Prophet) see people entering the religion of Allah in companies” (110:2). But being in a majority or in a minority is not by itself an argument of a group’s truth. History shows that at the beginning of such controversies the majority adopts the wrong path and the minority remains on the right path. In the end, the majority come to the right path. There are factors and circumstances other than merely the number of followers which are decisive in determining the truth.

No one can deny that Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan is one of the two scholarly men whom the Promised Messiah appointed to the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya as one of the two men of learning \[as required by its rules\]. He called him as one of his angels. He is indeed an _ahl adh-dhikr_ (having authoritative knowledge). However, when two such men of authoritative knowledge differ, who is right?1 Was not Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din also a man of authoritative knowledge? Was he not also the first angel of the Promised Messiah? His merit and worthiness was borne witness to by Divine revelation \[of the Promised Messiah about him\]. Of these two leading figures, whose opinion should we accept? I do not know the views of Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan on the question of the prophet-hood of Hazrat Mirza _sahib,_ but in the matter of _kufr_ there was a difference between Maulana Nur-ud-Din and Sayyid _sahib._ Then there was the affair of the \[Anglo-Muhammadan\] University.1 Was not Maulana Nur-ud-Din a supporter and patron of this University, who donated 1000 Rupees towards it, and did not Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan object to this? I will explain this later on. So, which of these two venerable figures was right? If necessary, other examples of differences can also be given.

The issue of being the progeny is also clear. “So whoever follows me, he is surely of me” \[the Quran, 14:36\] is a prayer of Abraham which is conclusive on this. It is not by being someone’s physical progeny but by being his followers that you gain the right to be counted as the _āl_ of that person. We see before us the sayyids, who are the _āl_ of the Holy Prophet. The true _āl_ and members of the household of the Holy Prophet are those who follow him. Those who do not follow him are not from among his _āl._

If God considers the ways and beliefs of Hazrat Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib to be in accordance with the wishes of the Promised Messiah, then he is among his _āl_. If — and may God not let it be so — the opposite is the case then he is only the Promised Messiah’s physical son but not his spiritual son. It is true that the Promised Messiah said prayers about Hazrat Mian sahib, and they will be fulfilled, being the prayers of one whose prayers were accepted. But it does not mean that what is taking place in the Movement today is the fulfilment of those prayers. It is possible that Hazrat Mian sahib is on the wrong path, and eventually as a result of the prayers of the Promised Messiah he may be delivered from his error and unite the whole of the Movement. Thus this Movement may carry out the grand services for which it was created, and in this way those prayers of the Promised Messiah be fulfilled which he said in regard to the Mian sahib.2

The manner of the election of Hazrat Mian sahib is, again, not in itself a proof of truth. History records the means by which, after Hazrat Uthman, Muawiya was chosen as against Hazrat Ali. Does it seem strange to us that history could repeat itself? If we can see the example of the appointment, and justified appointment, of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar, we can also see the succession of Yazid. Election can neither make someone into an Abu Bakr nor into a Yazid. It is other circumstances that determine whether he is like Abu Bakr or is like Yazid. By this analogy I am not making a personal attack against anyone. God knows that in citing this example I am not pointing to any person. I have presented this parallel only in order to explain that the support of the majority at the time of election for one side is not, by itself, a proof of the truth of that side.

Leaving Qadian is no proof of being in the wrong

Then there is Qadian. There is no Ahmadi who does not regard Qadian as _Dar-ul-Aman_ (abode of spiritual security). There is no Ahmadi, no follower of the Promised Messiah, who does not regard Qadian as the last place from where the light of God was manifested, as the seat of Divine light. Yes, the light of God descended in Qadian, and from there that light reached and will reach the whole world. It will become a great place, to which people will flock. This is my belief, a firm belief. But I ask you: Do you and I not hold the same belief about Makkah and Madinah? These holy cities are greater in their sanctity and majesty than Qadian. Consider then, for God’s sake, that these two holy cities are in the custody of people whom you consider to be wrong in certain religious beliefs, and some among you even consider those people as _kafir._ If the fact that Qadian is in someone’s custody at a certain time is proof of the truth of that occupier, then our entire Movement would turn out to be false because those who have the custody of Makkah and Madinah consider the Ahmadiyya Movement to be in the wrong.

Ponder and think deeply over the point that the greatness of a true movement does not lie in its blessings being limited to its place of origin, but its value increases as that circle expands which was at first limiting its light to its home town. The Holy Prophet Muhammad left Makkah to go to Madinah. The place which was the ancient house of God, where a man like Muhammad was born, and where much of the Quran was revealed, was left by the Prophet of God who went to reside in Madinah. Then for many years Madinah remained the centre from which Islam won its victories. Then Hazrat Ali left that same Madinah. Think about this, and ponder over it much, that the centres of all the literary and scholarly achievements of Islam were places other than Makkah and Madinah. It always happened that the great righteous men of Islam travelled to Makkah and Madinah to attain that privilege and to complete their spiritual progress, but they did not belong there. In fact, having received blessings from there they returned and became a light for the guidance of the world. \\

Likewise, Qadian is the place where Divine light has rained down, and so it will continue. Persons of pure nature will go there, and after benefitting from that rain, wherever they go they will illumine the world with the light of their godly countenance. But to say that the mere presence of some people in Qadian at a certain time proves that they are right, or that they are wrong, is a claim which is illogical and very far from the right path. It is true that we regard Qadian as _Dar-ul-Aman_ (abode of spiritual security). The promise “whoever enters it is in peace” applies to it as well. But apart from Qadian there is the city about which God Himself has used the same words, that is, the venerable city of Makkah. Yet even within that holy Makkah a man of the stature of Abdullah ibn Zubair was martyred.{footnote}Abdullah ibn Zubair rebelled against the tyrannical caliph Yazid, and was eventually besieged and killed in Makkah in 692 (some sixty years after the Holy Prophet’s death).{footnote} Therefore it is unjustified to raise the objection that because certain persons have been compelled to leave Qadian, which was due to un-avoidable circumstances, it proves that they are on the wrong path.

Dear ones, your Movement is a group of wise people, so why are you talking like simpletons? Has not the Holy Prophet urged Muslims to pray in mosques and said that the reward for that is much greater than saying prayers at home? No one was a greater admirer and devotee of his than Hazrat Mirza sahib. Yet he was compelled to stop us from going to mosques of non-Ahmadis. Why did he tell us to pray at home instead of going to those mosques? If, because of the fear of disorder, it was not wrong to stop going to those mosques, and this is not an evidence against the truth of our Move-ment, then how can someone’s leaving Qadian because of certain adverse circumstances be wrong and a proof that he is not on the right path?

Remember it well that we did not stop going to the mosques because we considered other Muslims as _kafir._ The decree of being _kafir_ was issued against us in 1891. Even after this decree, Hazrat Mirza sahib himself prayed behind non-Ahmadis in Delhi. In 1892, Hazrat Mirza sahib prayed standing by my side in the Chaniyan mosque in Lahore behind Maulvi Rahim Bakhsh who had declared him a _kafir._ For years after the decree of _kufr_ against us by \[Maulvi Muhammad Husain\] Batalvi we prayed behind non-Ahmadi imams. However, the non-Ahmadis took their opposition to an extreme and disturbed our peace. Disorder was caused in mosques which led to court cases and people being bailed. We were put to difficulty in courts because of our small numbers and the large numbers of non-Ahmadis. It was then that Hazrat Mirza sahib realised that our safety and security lay in forsaking the mosques. Think about this: did not circumstances arise in Qadian which compelled Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ali to depart from it? For the sake of his safety and protection of his dignity he realised that he had to leave. These circumstances were created by the disagreement in beliefs. This disagreement did not arise just now. Its beginning was in 1909. Why then did he not leave Qadian six years ago, and why did he leave now? It was because as soon as Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din passed away, the honour and life of Maulana Muhammad Ali was placed in danger. The same difficult circumstances were created in Qadian for the persons who did not take the _bai’at_ of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad which, at one time, Ahmadis faced in the mosques of their opponents.

If Qadian is no longer for them _Dar-ul-Aman,_ where their honour and lives are safe, why should they not move elsewhere, so that in the words of the Promised Messiah, they “work together”, and create an organisation for the propagation of Islam? If they cannot carry out their duties in Qadian, why should they not move elsewhere to fulfil them? \\

Today, two weeks before the _Jalsa_ in Qadian, an article has been published in _Al-Fazl_ containing the instructions that members of the other side should be regarded as the devil himself, as soon as they are sighted one must recoil and seek refuge in Allah, meeting with them, eating with them and speaking with them must be stopped, and they must be treated with revulsion in every way. Then we are told during a _dars_ \[talk on the Quran\] that the treatment meted out to Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ali in the Nur mosque upon the death of Hazrat Hakim Maulana Nur-ud-Din is an evidence of the truth of Hazrat Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib.

Tell us, what effect on the members in general has that person tried to create who published these writings and statements? How far is he responsible for general peace and order? Those who subject someone to bad treatment, or to arrange to have him badly treated, and claim that this proves that person is false and disgraced, have forgotten the ill-treatment and abuse to which our leader, the Promised Messiah, was subjected in Amritsar and Delhi. It is a matter for consideration that this article which has been published in _Al-Fazl,_ just before the _Jalsa,_ entitled ‘With whom should we have relations?’, asking those who have accepted the leadership of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad to be rude to the others and to shun them, is giving teachings which are unacceptable to a person’s good nature. However, scores of people acting upon these teachings will be present at the _Jalsa_ in Qadian. How, then, can that gathering be a place of security and respect for those who have differences of belief with the Mian sahib?

Then think about those published notes of the _dars,_ in which the alleged disgrace suffered by Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ali is presented as proof of the truth of the Mian sahib. His only fault was to consider it wrong to enter into the _bai’at_ of the Mian sahib. If the incident at the Nur mosque is considered a sign of the truth of Hazrat Mian sahib, then why shouldn’t his supporters subject anyone else who differs with him to the same treatment? This would justify the writer of the notes of the _dars_ to repeat what he wrote: “You saw the great honour in which this man was held in Qadian. But when this same man opposed the truth, God brought him to disgrace in that very place.”

We have heard that there are many statements published from Qadian without the knowledge of Hazrat Mian sahib. This is why we have not attributed the above two writings to him. However, he bears a heavy responsibility for the fact that statements from the pens of highly irresponsible persons appear from there. He should recall the days of the court cases at Gurdaspur \[in 1904\], when problems were caused for the Promised Messiah by statements published from Qadian before the case without his knowledge. It is possible that the article in _Al-Fazl_ under discussion was written without his knowledge. Nonetheless, it was carelessness and lack of caution. Such writers should remember that the intent of a writing is not what is in the writer’s mind, or the interpretation he gives it out of expediency, but its aim in the eyes of the law is the effect it has on the general readers. To publish such articles before the _Jalsa_ was highly inappropriate and inopportune. It was because of these writings that I refrained from going to Qadian upon my return from England, or participating in the _Jalsa,_ or trying to gather the two parties at one venue. I am truly pained by these events. I wish that friends would join together, but what can one say to those whose personal interest lies in the disunity of the Movement? \\

The last straw was the latest announcement by Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan, stopping people from going to Lahore. Alas, how foolish is this\! In Lahore I saw that those who had entered into the _bai’at_ \[of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad\] were being instructed all the time not to meet or talk with the other side, nor to read their books and newspapers. This shows an anxiety that the arguments of the other side might have an influence. This technique is very wrong and cannot continue for long. If you are on the side of truth, why do you stop people from meeting those who disagree with you? This was the technique of non-Ahmadi religious leaders in regard to Ahmadis at one time. You should enter the field like men, listen and listen again, and allow people the freedom to go anywhere. If a person goes where you do not approve, you send him delegation upon delegation. For this _Jalsa_ men are being sent to different villages to urge people to come, so that the success of the _Jalsa_ may be presented as a sign of truth. These are only shallow techniques, which cannot be maintained for long.

Turning again to the writings and speeches I was mentioning above, no doubt they do not name the persons whom they attack. But remember that it is not in accordance with the tolerance and for-bearance which you have been taught that while you do not name those whom you are attacking, yet you refer to them by indication and allusion, and behind the scenes use the strongest language against them. Then, when someone raises an objection, you say: we have not mentioned any name, so why do certain people think that they are meant? I am saying that neither by taking someone’s name directly nor by alluding to them indirectly should you use abusive language about them or level accusations. The discussion should be about principles and beliefs, conducted in a peaceable manner.

In short, the circumstances in Qadian are such that anyone differing with Hazrat Mian sahib realises that his safety and dignity lies in either remaining silent or departing from Qadian. This in one way stems from his own declared condition that those who enter his _bai’at_ can differ from him in beliefs. Do not those who differ with him have the right to proclaim their views? What should those people do who are obliged under the Will of the Promised Messiah to “work together after me” and who bear the responsibility for propagation of Islam placed upon them by order of the Promised Messiah? Remember that the great Hazrat wrote clearly in his Will: “You must work together after me”. If work is done as directed by the personal opinion of one man, this cannot be called working together, but is obedience to one man. Can it be called “working together” if in some matter every-one else holds one view but the _khalifa_ holds the opposite view, and the Anjuman is required by its current rule \[as modified by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad in April 1914\] to obey that one, sole view? \\

So, since it has become difficult to remain in Qadian, and the current Anjuman has a rule comp-letely opposite to the intent of the Promised Messiah, what else can certain members of the Anjuman do if, as a matter of compulsion and necessity, they have to leave this holy place — the place which God blessed and where, according to the Will, the headquarters should be located? Since the Anjuman has, in effect, been dismantled, how can it be said to be located anywhere? \\

Moreover, to where did these people go, who have left? They went to Lahore, about which the Promised Messiah had received the revelation: “Our righteous members are in Lahore”. They went to that very place in Lahore where the Messiah sent by God died. This city was described as ‘Madinah’ in the revelation of the Promised Messiah: “I will die in Makkah or in Madinah”. O you unwise ones, fear God, and restrain your obstinacy. Are not Makkah and Madinah two different places? Does not the term ‘die’ mean the soul leaving the body, or does it mean being buried? How far has bigotry taken us? For God’s sake, don’t distort this revelation. It applies the name ‘Madinah’ to the place where the great Hazrat died, and not to any other place. In short, when it became impossible for those people to continue residence in ‘Makkah’, they sought refuge in ‘Madinah’ according to the example of the Holy Prophet. They started their work there, selecting for it the place where the house of the Promised Messiah’s servant, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, is located, about which house the great Hazrat had this revelation: “I will protect all those who are in this house”. I hope Hazrat Mian sahib will not deny this revelation which the Promised Messiah received on the 2nd or 3rd day of his stay in Lahore \[in April 1908\] in my presence in the courtyard of my house. \\

In short, when it became impossible for those people to continue residence in their ‘Makkah’, they sought refuge in ‘Madinah’ according to the example of the Holy Prophet. They started their work there, selecting for it the place where the house of the Promised Messiah’s servant, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, is located, about which house the great Hazrat had this revelation: “I will protect all those who are in this house”. I hope Hazrat Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib will not deny this revelation which the Promised Messiah received on the 2nd or 3rd day of his stay in Lahore \[in April 1908\] in my presence in the courtyard of my house. Mir Nasir Nawab had created an anxiety and the Hazrat was in a mood of uncertainty. It was after the _’asr_ prayers. He was lying on the bed and I was sitting near him. He became drowsy, and after a while he opened his eyes and said: “I have just received this revelation, and it is good news for you because it is about your house; now I will not follow the doubt created by Mir sahib.” \\

Also, it is not necessary that the move \[to Lahore\] is forever. It is possible, and may God let it be so, that moving out of Qadian may be a temporary change in location. The point under discussion was, which of the two parties is in error? The argument that the group which remains in Qadian is on the right path is in itself ridiculous and baseless. Likewise, two or three other points are presented which appeal to emotion, but are considered as solid arguments in support of one’s claim.

These are not arguments, but they are used to excite bigotry and hatred in order to obscure rational thinking and sincere motives. They render man unable to think and reflect correctly. \\

For example, the objection is strongly raised that Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib wrote a tract \[on the subject of _khilafat_\] while Hazrat Maulana Nurud-Din was alive but published it just as he died. You should ponder over what is written in the tract. You may object to him, but I have not published any tract: I am your servant, so hear from me what is in the tract. Was it a wrong Muhammad Ali committed that, when the time came for you to decide whether to act according to the intention of the Promised Messiah or to go against it, he informed you of the facts of the situation as he saw them? We seem to have become bereft of rational thinking. No one considers what is written in the tract; all they do is to question forcefully why the tract was published. Read it and think about it. If it is right then accept it, otherwise reject it. Hazrat Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib himself did something similar during the life of Hazrat Maulana Nurud\- Din. So if Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib is blameable, the Mian sahib also cannot escape the same blame himself. \\

Question of Khalifa (inserted heading)

The fact is that at the death of Hazrat Hakim \[Nur-ud-Din\] sahib there were two parties in the _Jama’at_ differing greatly on two basic principles. Now the points of difference are doubling and redoubling. One party regarded those non-Ahmadi Muslims as being Muslims who refrain from declaring Ahmadis as _kafir,_ while the other party regarded all non-Ahmadis as _kafir._ The first party regarded working with non-Ahmadis in the joint propagation of Islam as a duty according to the Quran, while the second party regarded it as against the honour of the Ahmadiyya Movement. The first group considers that, under some circumstances, my approach to the propagation of Islam is the right one and believes that the propagation of Ahmadiyyat should be done separately. The second group wants both works to be done together in all circumstances, even though in practice its leaders have adopted the same approach as myself. \\

Anyhow, these were the differences in principle and belief at the death of Hazrat Hakim sahib. One group held the same view as Hazrat Hakim sahib and followed him, while the other group followed Hazrat Mian sahib. Now after his death, the election of a _khalifa_ posed a difficulty. This is why Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib wrote the tract, and after mentioning these differences he advised the community that the head should be chosen on such a basis that the differences of belief do not cause difficulty while the _Jama’at_ stays together too. He found a way by which the Mian sahib could become head and yet the problem of differences of belief be resolved. The Mian sahib was not unaware of the problems arising due to difference in beliefs. To deal with these, he wanted to employ another way. Hence, he also, keeping this in view, announced in the last week of the life of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din that the members can be allowed to differ in belief with the head. You who possess sense, think about this: Did not both of them do the same kind of thing? Both Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib and the Mian sahib realised that due to the differences in the _Jama’at_ on certain points no person can become head with whom everyone agrees. So the Maulvi sahib thought of one solution and the Mian sahib thought of another. The Mian sahib published this before the death of Hazrat Maulana and this was the precursor of the standpoint he adopted later. \\

Both felt that the Movement needed a leader. The Maulvi sahib, for this reason, declares that entering into the _bai’at_ of the leader is not essential, and he gives arguments on it in the tract, because in his view it is hypocrisy for a person to hold different beliefs from the man whom he accepts as his spiritual guide. The Mian sahib resolves this difficulty by saying that the spiritual guide and his disciple can hold different beliefs from one another. If the Maulvi sahib wrote the tract during the life of Hazrat Hakim sahib and published it after his death, the Mian sahib published his belief at such a late stage in the life of Hazrat Hakim sahib that the latter could neither see it nor contradict it. If the Maulvi sahib did not inform Hazrat Hakim sahib about his tract, the Mian sahib also did not inform his leader. Ponder over this, you wise ones\! If the writer of the tract was in error, then the man who announced a new principle in _Al-Fazl_ and then took others into his _bai’at_ on that principle is also not free from error. \\

Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan has issued a new announcement which I have read today. It is stated in it again, sarcastically, that Maulvi Muhammad Ali was waiting for the death of Hazrat Hakim sahib. But does not this foul allegation apply also to the Mian sahib? If the Maulvi sahib waited till his death, the Mian sahib declared his intentions when he found that the Hakim sahib was near death. Both allegations are wrong and discourteous. Each had in mind the good of the Movement, and each did sincerely what he believed was right. It is, thus, baseless to present the publication of this tract as an argument in one’s favour. \\

Another argument has been presented which is regarded as irrefutable, and upon which the _khilafat_ of Hazrat Mian sahib entirely depends. It is asked that as we entered into the _bai’at_ of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, accepted him as the sole _khalifa,_ and became subject to his authority, why do we now have hesitation and objection as regards the similar election of Hazrat Mian sahib? Firstly, it is wrong, absolutely wrong, and entirely wrong, to claim that we accepted Hazrat Hakim sahib as our head and _khalifa_ in the same sense which Hazrat Mian sahib has applied to his own headship. It is equally wrong to suggest that we accepted Hazrat Hakim sahib as one holding an appointment from God or that we regarded him as having the absolute authority over the affairs of the Anjuman which the Promised Messiah possessed. We did only that which wasallowed by the Will of Hazrat Mirza sahib. In his election we acted according to the Will. I will discuss these points in detail later and show from events that what is asserted against us is wrong. Whatever we did in the case of Hazrat Hakim sahib was exactly in accordance with the Will, but the status which the Mian sahib is today giving himself is plainly contrary to the Will of the Promised Messiah. \\

Suppose, however, for the sake of argument that we had accepted the Hakim sahib as _khalifa_ in the manner in which the Mian sahib wants to be _khalifa._ If our action was contrary to the Will of the Promised Messiah then I ask you this in the name of God, you who are the people who accept the Promised Messiah, who are utterly devoted to his every word, and who regard going against his instructions as being an act which is contrary to the injunctions of Islam, the Quran, and God and His Messenger. Suppose that we made an error in case of Hazrat Hakim sahib and realise today that what occurred was contrary to the instructions of the Promised Messiah and his Will. Suppose also, for the sake of argument, that we bear malice towards the _khilafat_ and we accepted Hazrat Hakim sahib because we were cowardly and afraid of him, but now we have no fear of the Mian sahib. Supposing all this is true, nonetheless if you see that the entire action of the Mian sahib is absolutely opposed to the Will of the holy Hazrat and reduces to naught the intentions of the great Hazrat, will it not be your first duty not to repeat the earlier mistake? Will you be righteous and faithful Muslims and Ahmadis in the sight of God if, having found that what happened in the case of the Hakim sahib was contrary to the Will of the Promised Messiah, you still ignore the Will and stay firm on a wrong path? \\

O you members of this holy Movement, do not let go of fear of God. I say to you that what was done in the case of Hazrat Hakim sahib was not outside the Will. However, if it was contrary to the Will, then it is unjust to repeat the same mistake. If the words of the Will had been ambiguous, requiring clarification, and for its elucidation previous actions had to be looked at, then it would be a different question. Although it would not be a legally acceptable argument, but the earlier mistake would be considered as a legal precedent. However, if the words of the Will are absolutely plain and clear, and what the Mian sahib wishes to do is contrary to it, then you must act according to the Will. Look at how much the Quran emphasizes adherence to wills. Would you, due to the obstinacy and bigotry of partisanship, sacrifice the Will? Fear God and correct the grave error you have made by removing the name of the Promised Messiah and replacing it by the name of Mian sahib. \\

\[_Translator’s note:_ The reference here is to the following resolution passed in Qadian shortly after Mirza Mahmud Ahmad became _khalifa:_ \\

bq. “By Resolution 198 of the _Majlis-i Mu’timidin_ (Council of Trustees) held in April 1914 it was resolved that in Rule no. 18 of the rules of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Qadian, in place of the words ‘Promised Messiah’ the words ‘Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad the second Khalifa’ shall be entered. Therefore, Rule no. 18 shall now be as follows: In every matter, for the _Majlis-i Mu’timidin_ and its subordinate branches if any, and for the Sadr Anjuman and all its branches, the order of Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad the second Khalifa shall be absolute and final.” \\

— _Review of Religions,_ Urdu edition, the issues for April 1914 and May 1914, inside of the front cover. \] \\

I say again, we did not contravene the Will in the case of the Hakim sahib. If we did, it was an error, but neither according to Islam nor common practice nor legally does that error justify the committing of the same error again. Fear God and remember that a day will come when you will show your face to the writer of that Will. \\

Come, let us read the Will calmly and see if it says anywhere in it that a man who is not holding an office from God can run the affairs of the Anjuman by his own order only. Read the Will very thoroughly and see if it mentions an individual as the successor of Hazrat Mirza sahib or the whole Anjuman. Read the Will and ponder and see if it accords to one man the position of taking others into the _bai’at_. Listen to what the Will says with open hearts, and see if it gives control of the finances of the Anjuman and the administration of the Movement to one man or to more than one man. \\

Dear ones, if you cannot comprehend this by yourselves, then send the Will and its Appendix to some non-Ahmadi or Hindu or English lawyer without telling us and seek his advice. If you like, tell him that for six years in the time of Hazrat Hakim sahib the Will was acted upon in the way that you say. I do repeat, again and again, that at least as for myself I never acted contrary to the Will to my knowledge. But you, if you like, can tell the legal advisor that the affairs of the Anjuman were transacted under the total control of one individual. He will advise you that the present way of operating is contrary to the intent of the Will, and the Anjuman which has now been constituted has no legal standing, nor does it legally possess the powers that are bestowed upon the Anjuman in the Will, nor can it claim in court the rights given to the Anjuman in the Will. Fear God and reform yourselves. To act upon a will is the command of the Quran. \\

I fear the day, which I pray God may not show us, when you appear in some court, as is being threatened from Qadian. Remember that if the Anjuman appears in court as a claimant, the party against which you have instituted the case will object first of all that this is not that Sadr Anjuman, nor its successor, which was created in the Will. If the court accepted this, your entire system would be ruined. I pray that God does not let it happen that, overwhelmed with anger, you go to court against one another. The members of the Lahore group showed decency when they left all the property of the Anjuman in those hands which did not have legal right to it, and started their work without fuss on a different basis. They did not seek redress from a court, so as not to bring the Movement into even more disrepute. But I say to you finally that soon you will find yourselves in court. After the passing away of those people who have bequeathed valuable assets in their wills \[in the name of the Anjuman\], their heirs may not abide by their wills if they are not Ahmadis or if they have changed their intention. You will lose huge amounts of money, or if you go to court the heirs will raise the objection that you have no claim to the assets because you are not the true successor to the Sadr Anjuman created by the Will of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The foolish ones among you, whose only arguments are to incite people’s emotions, will immediately object here to say that I have called for some non-Ahmadi or Hindu or British person to be judge over Ahmadis about the Will of the Promised Messiah. O ignorant ones, to read and interpret a will does not require Islamic knowledge, nor would a court try to determine whether the Will of Hazrat Mirza sahib is or is not in conformity with the teachings of Islam. The court will only consider the Will or what the deceased did during his life. They will not consider what others did after the deceased passed away. \\

You will have occasions to go to court again and again. This is why we had the Anjuman registered. In the matter of Hakim Fazl Ilahi of Lahore we went to court, even though some of his sons were Ahmadis. His heirs opposed his bequest \[made to the Anjuman\] in court. If that case were taking place today, their first objection would be that this Anjuman is not the successor of the Anjuman in whose favour the will was made. And when you go to court, remember that the judge who will interpret the Promised Messiah’s Will which created the Anjuman will most likely not be an Ahmadi but he will almost certainly be a non\- Ahmadi Muslim or a non-Muslim. To interpret a document is a legal matter, which will in the end reach the Chief Court or the High Court. \\

Go to a legal expert and put before him all the writings of Hazrat Mirza sahib about the Will, tell him how the Anjuman operated till his death, and mention also the written note he gave, at my instance, following the breaking of rules by Mir Nasir Nawab. This is the note the publication of whose photo you ridiculed in your newspapers…. \\

Remember it well, that in interpreting the Promised Messiah’s Will, a court will only consider the points I have mentioned above. It will not care at all for how the Anjuman, according to you, is supposed to have been run during the time of Hazrat Hakim sahib. It will not consider what anyone else, including Hazrat Hakim sahib, said about the Anjuman. … The fact that the leaders of the Qadian section are avoiding the Will shows the weakness of their position. It is interesting to see that the Lahore group says, “let us look at what Mirza sahib said”, and the Qadian group says: “Ignore that, but look at what Nur-ud-Din and Kamal-ud-Din did”.

You should place the following points before an attorney and seek his opinion. First show him the following text from the Will:

bq. “For this purpose, there should be an Anjuman entrusted to spend, as it deter-mines fit, the funds thus collected from time to time, on proclaiming the teachings of Islam and spreading the message of the oneness of God.” After the Will, the Hazrat \[Mirza Ghulam Ahmad\] published an Appendix relating to the Will which was legally valid. Throughout this Appendix it is the Anjuman only which has been empowered to deal with every matter. Almost all the clauses in the Appendix contain the word ‘Anjuman’. It is true that the name of the Anjuman given in it by the great Hazrat is “the Anjuman in charge of the affairs of the graveyard”, but Mian sahib himself does not deny that this Anjuman was named _Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya_ by the order of the great Hazrat in his lifetime, and the Sadr Anjuman took the place of “the Anjuman in charge of the affairs of the graveyard”. {footnote} In the Will published by the Qadiani Jama’at in the collec-tion _Ruhani Khaza’in,_ the minutes of the first meeting of the Council of Trustees of the Anjuman, on 29 January 1906, have been appended. The heading of the minutes shows the name as _Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya._ See v. 20, p. 330. {footnote}

The following clauses of the Appendix to the Will are worthy of note:

bq. 5. In case of any deceased who did not die within the limits of Qadian, it shall not be allowed to bring the body to Qadian without being carried in a coffin; and it shall also be imperative to give prior notice of at least one month, in order that the Anjuman may be able to resolve any temporary problems regarding the graveyard it may be facing, and grant permission.

bq. 9. The Anjuman, which is to hold these funds, shall not be authorised to spend the monies for any purpose except the objectives of the Ahmadiyya Movement, and among these objectives the propa-gation of Islam shall have the highest priority. It shall be allowed that the Anjuman, by consensus of opinion, expand these funds through commercial investment.

bq. 10. All members of the Anjuman must belong to the Ahmadiyya Movement, and must be virtuous and honest. And if, in future, it is felt that someone is not virtuous, or that he is not honest, or that he is cunning and tainted with worldly motives, it shall be the duty of the Anjuman to expel him from its ranks forthwith and to appoint another in his place.

bq. 13. As the Anjuman is the successor to the _Khalifa_ appointed by God, this Anjuman must remain absolutely free of any taint of worldliness. All its affairs must be completely above board, and based on fairness.

bq. 14. It is allowed that, for the help and support of this Anjuman, there should be other Anjumans in distant countries, subordinate to its directions.

After this, the rules and regulations of the Sadr Anjuman were formulated, which were published with the knowledge and permission of the Promised Messiah under his signature, {footnote} These were published under the title _Regulations of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Qadian Approved by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah,_ in _Badr,_ 16 Febru-ary 1906, page 5, and 23 February 1906, page 8.{footnote} and the Anjuman was officially registered on the basis of those rules. Then when the construction of the Mubarik mosque was taking place under the supervision of Mir \[Nasir Nawab\] sahib, and certain problems arose, I myself submitted to the great Hazrat that he should decide to what extent the orders and decisions of the Sadr Anjuman are subject to the views of one individual, whether the affairs in the charge of the Anjuman are subject to some individual’s decisions or the Anjuamn’s decisions regarding them are final. I have not given details here, but if the Mian sahib allows me I can go into details.

Upon my submission, that Messiah sent by God wrote the following words:

bq. “*{_}My view is that when the Anjuman reaches a decision in any matter, doing so by majority of opinion, that must be considered as right, and as absolute and binding. I would, however, like to add that in certain religious matters, which are connected with the particular objects of my advent, I should be kept informed. I am sure that this Anjuman would never act against my wishes, but this is written only by way of precaution, in case there is a matter in which God Almighty has some special purpose. This proviso applies only during my life. After that, the decision of the Anjuman in any matter shall be final._* *{_}Was-salaam._* *{_}Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, 27 October 1907.”_* O you people who take the name of Ahmad\! Was there not a time when you treated as sacred any handwritten note of the Promised Messiah, you would wear it in your necklaces as a token for bless-ing, and you would pay a high price to purchase it? Today, this is his writing whose original is in the possession of the “pious members of Lahore”, and I present it before you to give you light and blessing. Yet some unworthy people from among you mock and ridicule the publication of its photograph and say of us with scorn: “They carry around a photo”. For your factional interests, you tolerate this insult to his writing.

I am pained to say that I foresee two grave dangers and can see signs of them already. Never forget what happened in the case of the Israelite Jesus. He was elevated to the position of God, merely due to the exaggerations of his followers. I pray God does not allow that kind of misguidance to take root in the Ahmadiyya Movement. At this time people in Lahore are being told two things. Each and every Ahmadi is being visited at home and told, firstly, that Mirza sahib was an independent prophet in his own right. The second point they are informed of is that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad himself is a prophet of a high rank. The time is near when the doctrine will be coined that Hazrat Mirza sahib possessed such qualities that from him was going to be produced another man who would be a great prophet. I have heard these doctrines from the lips of a maulvi.

The same misrepresentations of the Promised Messiah’s writings which his opponents used to make, alleging that he claimed to be an independent prophet, which the holy Hazrat used to condemn as fabrications and slander, are now being substan-tiated by your own actions and beliefs. If the holy Hazrat is a real prophet in his own right, and is not merely one who possesses some qualities of pro-phets partially by being a reflection of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, if Ghulam Ahmad is not Ghulam of Ahmad but is himself Ahmad, and if the verse of the Quran about the coming Ahmad applies to him not merely in a secondary sense but in the real sense, and does not apply at all to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, then it implies that the _Kalima,_ ‘There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’, has become altered. These beliefs are a dangerous attack on the holy _Kalima._ Alas, today you proved those allegations true which the opponents used to make against us. An allega-tion made against us is that we, the Ahmadis, have coined a separate _Kalima._ Remember that all these false charges and fabrications have been answered by your guide himself in the following words:

“After the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the _Khatam-ul-mursalin_, I consider anyone who claims prophethood and messengership to be a liar and _kafir._” {footnote} Statement issued in Delhi, 2 October 1891. _Majmu’a Ishtiharat,_ 1986 edition, vol. 1, pages 230-231.{footnote}

Now what is the verdict of your own Imam about yourselves? This is the punishment for your declaring the other followers of the _Qibla_ and reciters of the _Kalima_ as being _kafir._ As a result of this wrong belief of yours, the heresy which you impute to others falls on you by the real verdict of your own guide. As far as I can guess, Hazrat Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib is not responsible for this erroneous doctrine. If his private letter is true, which he wrote to Muhammad Usman and which was printed in _Paigham Sulh,_ then he does not consider Hazrat Mirza sahib to be a prophet in his own right. But so far he has assumed silence about it. In that letter, while he calls it merely an exigency of the time that in order to show the real status of Hazrat Mirza sahib the word prophet must be used, yet on the other hand he expresses the fear that, because of this, people might come to believe in him as an independent prophet in his own right.

I inform Hazrat Mian sahib that his fear has proved true. May God save us from the exaggerations that are being told in parts of Lahore. A delegation is going from house to house with the message that Hazrat Mirza sahib was an in-dependent prophet on par with the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This is why I have requested Mian sahib to clarify his own position. He must issue a clear statement about this doctrine and expel those people from his _Jama’at_ who spread such beliefs. He must dissociate himself from these ideas and, along with that, he must amend his principle that his followers can disagree with him in matters of faith. I think it is that principle which is responsible for the exaggerations and erroneous beliefs about pro-phethood that are being spread.

I quoted above extracts from the Will and the Appendix to the Will, and then I presented that handwritten note of the great Hazrat which is con-clusive and decisive in fully explaining the purport of the Will. From these, the following conclusions emerge most clearly and plainly: # The Anjuman is the successor to the _Khalifa_ appointed by God \[i.e. the Promised Messiah\]. # The funds of the community are to be en-trusted only to the Anjuman, not to any individual. Only the Anjuman is entitled to spend or make use of those funds. # All kinds of powers and responsibilities are given to the Anjuman, not to any indivi-dual. # The power to expel any member lies in the hands of the Anjuman, not in the hands of any individual. # All branches of the Anjuman are sub-ordinate to the Anjuman, not to any individual who is _khalifa._ # After the lifetime of Hazrat Mirza sahib, the decisions of the Anjuman in all matters shall be final.

For God’s sake, consider how explicit are these instructions\! In the dialogue published in \_Paigham Sulh\_ between Hazrat Mian sahib and Sardar Ajab Khan, one reason given by Mian sahib for the need of an all-powerful _khalifa_ is that he can expel unfit members from the Anjuman. Is this view not in plain contradiction to the instruction of the holy Hazrat about expulsion of members which he expressed in plain words \[“…it shall be the duty of the Anjuman to expel him…”\].

If the conclusions I have drawn above are correct, then to place all the funds of the Anjuman under the authority of one individual is contrary to the intent of Hazrat Mirza sahib. We are not discussing whether someone is trustworthy or not. I accept that Hazrat Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib is honest in financial matters. However, it is a question of principle. The Promised Messiah gave the right to take donations from the members of the community to the Anjuman, and only to the Anju-man, but under the new beliefs this right is given to one individual. The Mian sahib announced that all donations must be sent to him by name and not to the Anjuman, and he kept this in force for about two weeks. Although afterwards, due to the needs of the time, he corrected this announcement, but he set a dangerous precedent by taking these powers.

It will be argued that the Anjuman itself gave these powers over to one individual, and this answers the objection raised by the Lahore Ahmadis. They say that as the members of the Anjuman gave these powers to the Mian sahib, this cannot be in violation of the Promised Messiah’s intent. Dear ones, this argument is wholly wrong\! If, God forbid, the Anjuman were to take a decision clearly against the teachings of Islam, would that be right? A decision of the Anjuman cannot be legally correct if it is opposed to a clear instruction of the Will. Not only legally, but also according to Islamic law as well, if an executor is given full authority in a will, that authority can only be used to carry out the intentions of the deceased. If the deceased has clearly expressed his intent in some matter, and the executor acting under that will does something opposed to it, this would be invalid in the law of the land and in Islamic law. For the Anjuman to give supreme authority over its affairs to an individual and not retain this power for itself is contrary to the plainly expressed Will of the holy Hazrat. Therefore, the decision of the present Sadr Anjuman of Qadian to give Mian sahib the same authority as that held by the Promised Messiah is invalid, even assuming that this Anjuman is legally still in existence and that its composition does not suffer from defects which invalidate its existence.

For the Anjuman to give supreme authority over its affairs to an individual and not retain this power for itself is contrary to the plainly expressed Will of the holy Hazrat. Therefore, the decision of the present Sadr Anjuman of Qadian to give the Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib the same authority as that held by the Promised Messiah is invalid, even assuming that this Anjuman is legally still in exist-ence and that its composition does not suffer from defects which invalidate its existence. Consult any legal advisor and ask whether my opinion is correct or not, that the Anjuman cannot exercise any autho-rity which is contrary to the clear words of the Will of Hazrat Mirza sahib, and it is the right of every member of the Ahmadiyya Movement to challenge this in court.

O you Ahmadis, it is a serious sin to violate the Will. Whomsoever we have accepted as leader, or will accept as leader, we will accept him through the holy Hazrat \[Mirza Ghulam Ahmad\]. If you know that the Mian sahib has acted against the Will, having confirmed this from some legal advisor, then remember that you would not be Ahmadis, nor would you be followers of the Quran, nor would I consider you to be Ahmadis, unless you try to rectify this error. May God not let it be that you go to courts, but you should request Hazrat Mian sahib to satisfy you from the legal point of view.

As I said above, we did not accept Hazrat Hakim \[Maulana Nur-ud-Din\] as _khalifa_ with the powers that are today being given to Hazrat Mian sahib.

It is clear that during the lifetime of the holy Hazrat he had appointed two of his followers to take the _bai’at_ from people in his name. When he wrote the Will, he stipulated in it and in its Appendix two points relating to the situation after his lifetime. One is that, after him, certain persons in the _Jama’at_ would take people into the _bai’at_ in his name. As to who these persons are, he writes as follows: \\

bq. “*{_}Such persons shall be chosen by mutual agreement among the faithful. So any person in respect of whom forty faithful agree that he is fit to take from people the{_}* *{_}bai’at{_}* *{_}in my name, he shall be entitled to take the{_}* *{_}bai’at{_}{*}{*}_.”_* \\

This was his instruction about administering the _bai’at._ As to managing the affairs of the Movement, the holy Hazrat himself declared the Anjuman as sovereign in all matters after him, and made it “the successor (_ja-nashin_) to the Vicegerent appointed by God”. O you who quibble over words, for God’s sake tell us if the words _khalifa_ and ‘successor’ are not synonymous. Isn’t the disciple, who admits new persons into a movement by taking the _bai’at_ from them in the name of his spiritual leader, commonly called _khalifa?_ Isn’t the man who is charged with transacting someone’s affairs on his behalf called his _khalifa?_ These are the literal, legal and well-known meanings of this word. Will you call the man who is chosen by agreement of forty faithful to be entitled to take the _bai’at_ from people in the name of the Promised Messiah, as anything other than _khalifa_ of the Messiah?

Dear ones, what has happened to you, why have you stopped using your sense? If the words _khalifa_ and ‘successor’ are synonymous, then who has been made as his _khalifa_ by the Promised Messiah him-self? Look, your Anjuman has been called by the Promised Messiah himself as “the successor (_ja-nashin_) to the Vicegerent appointed by God”. Any _khalifa_ besides that is elected by you, but the Anjuman has been called _khalifa_ of the Messiah by the Promised Messiah himself. Is this merely my interpretation? Let me read to you the words of Hazrat _Khalifat-ul-Masih_ Maulana Hakim Nur-ud-Din himself:

bq. “*{_}In the writing of Hazrat sahib \[i.e. the Promised Messiah’s{_}* *{_}Al-Wasiyyat{_}{*}{*}_\] there is a point of deep knowledge which I will ex-plain to you fully. He left it up to God as to who was going to be the{_}* *{_}khalifa{_}{*}{*}_. On the other hand, he said to fourteen men: You are collectively the{_}* *{_}Khalifat-ul-Masih,_* *{_}your decisions are final and binding, and the government authorities too consider them as absolute. Then all those fourteen men became united in taking the{_}* *{_}bai’at{_}* *{_}at the hand of one man, accepting him as their{_}* *{_}khalifa,_* *{_}and thus you were united. And then not only fourteen, but the whole community agreed upon my{_}* *{_}khilafat._{*}{*}_”_* *{_}1{_}* ( _Badr,_ Qadian, 21 October 1909, p. 11, col. 1. ) Now let me read to you the words of Hazrat Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan. In the matter of the Muhammadan University his opinion was that the Sadr Anjuman should not donate any funds for this university. He wrote a letter to Shaikh Muhammad Latif which still exists and can be seen by anyone who so wishes. Quoted below is its last part:

bq. “*{_}My submission should be placed before the Secretary and the President of the{_}* *{_}Majlis._* *{_}I believe the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya to be the deputy (_{*}{*}{_}na’ib{_}{*}{*}_) of the Promised Messiah under Hazrat{_}* *{_}Khalifat-ul-Masih._* *{_}However, Hazrat Abu Bakr, the deputy of the Holy Prophet, said in his sermon: ‘O people … If I do right, then help me, and if I do wrong then set me right’. On account of this, I submit to the Sadr Anjuman that in the matter of donating to Aligarh \[University\] this verse should be kept in mind: ‘And incline not to those who do wrong, lest the fire touch you, and you have no protectors besides Allah’ \[11:113\]”_* Are these not the _ulama_ whom the holy Hazrat included in the Sadr Anjuman in their capacity as scholars? Ponder over this, that one of them has called the Anjuman as _Khalifat-ul-Masih,_ and the other has called the deputy (_na’ib_) of the Promised Messiah. You may perhaps understand that the words _khalifa_ and _na’ib_ mean the same thing. Today much emphasis is being laid on the command of the Quran to “ask the men of authoritative knowledge and opinion” (the _ahl az-zikr_). Now as regards this opinion of those whom you accept as “men of authoritative knowledge and opinion”, what has Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan written? In the poster issued by him, which I mentioned earlier, he writes that in the programme of the _Jalsa_ \[of the Lahore Ahmadis\] that has been published the names of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and Maulvi Ghulam Hasan Khan have appeared with the title _Khalifat-ul-Masih._ This, he says, has hurt the feelings of the followers of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad and is meant to mock at them. If a man, who has been chosen by forty of the faithful and is thus entitled to take the _bai’at_ from people in the name of the Promised Messiah, has the right to be known as _Khalifat-ul-Masih_ according to common usage, and if the Anjuman being the successor to the Promised Messiah is _Khalifat-ul-Masih_ in the words of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din and of the Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan sahib, then the hurting of feelings and the mockery has been done by the Promised Messiah himself and after him by Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din and the Sayyid sahib. \\

At this juncture it is necessary to mention the conversation that took place between myself and the Promised Messiah in Qadian immediately after the Will was written. This happened in the presence of Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ali and Maulvi Ghulam Hasan Khan, and I am sure Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan was present as well, and I recall that it was after speaking to him that I submitted to the holy Hazrat that his Will might lead to there being a _khalifa_ in each and every village. The Promised Messiah replied: “What harm do you perceive in that? These men would only be admitting outsiders into the Ahmadiyya Movement, and enlarging the _Jama’at._ They have no power over the funds of the Movement, because that has been entrusted to the Anjuman.”

I am amazed as to what has happened to our friends. Reading the poster mentioned above, one cannot find any sound argument in it from begin-ning to end. It merely appeals to the emotions of the readers, wrongly describes events and attempts to exacerbate hatred between the two sections. It contains matter which would incite the ordinary man to depart from rationality and sound thinking. Moreover, this poster contains the threat to publish certain letters which are said to have been written by various friends to Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din. Let Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan remember that others are in possession of even more valuable letters which are written in the hand of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din himself, whose publication could cause pain to some responsible elder. The recipient of those letters showed them to someone and via that intermediary he sent a message to cer-tain elders to say that it is repugnant to descend to personal attacks, and that if someone still resorts to personal attacks then these letters can be published, which would cause considerable pain. If the Nawab sahib so wishes, for his satisfaction those letters can be shown to some former confidant of his.

Our Movement is based on reason. So you should refrain from presenting the kind of argu-ments with which Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan has filled his poster. These are not arguments but sar-castic allegations not worthy of the Nawab sahib. If you wish to understand the issues then discuss in a rational way the differences in belief which have split the _Jama’at_ into two sections. It is possible that those others may be deserving of the inappro-priate labels that the Nawab sahib has applied to them from the height of his dignity, but they can confront him on their own behalf. Irresponsible persons are not worth addressing. However, the Nawab sahib is regarded as a responsible man. \\

We were discussing that according to the writing of the Promised Messiah, and its interpre-tation as expounded by Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, any person who is entitled to take the _bai’at_ from people in the name of the Promised Messiah, and similarly the Sadr Anjuman itself, is _Khalifat-ul-Masih._ Bearing in mind these points, at a time when there was no difference in beliefs, we elected Hazrat Hakim sahib as _Khalifat-ul-Masih._ It was the special favour of God upon him that, not merely forty members, but the entire _Jama’at_ chose him as _khalifa_ and head for itself. As to the allegation that we regarded him, due to being _khalifa,_ as supreme over all affairs of the Anjuman, this is a fabrication and slander against us. I am not saying this just today. I stated the same before Hazrat Hakim sahib in February 1909 and put it in detail in a writing which was signed by myself and some of the people from Lahore. It also contained the following explanation which has been published in _Paigham Sulh:_ \\

bq. “I stated at the beginning that the holy Hazrat has handed various affairs such as propagation to the Anjuman. He did not hand over to the Anjuman the task of admitting people into the Movement by accepting _bai’at_ in his name. He has given that duty to those righteous elders who are chosen by at least forty faithful. This implies that the man upon whom more than forty agree is even more worthy of this burden. There-fore, we preferred that instead of having different persons in every village and town to administer the _bai’at,_ as we are fortunate to have one man whom not forty but four hundred thousand would agree is a worthy person to take the _bai’at,_ we should accept him as _khalifa._ This is the meaning we understand of_khalifa,\_ and his scope of work is what is assigned to him in the Will. However, if some _khalifa_ of the time, due to his righteousness, piety, selflessness and vast knowledge, possesses moral authority so that his view on its own is superior to the views of the members of the Anjuman, as is the present _khalifa,_ then he will hold this position by virtue of his personal qualities, not by virtue of being _khalifa._ Hazrat Mirza sahib had appointed three _khalifas_ of his during his life: Sayyid Abdul Latif _shaheed,_ Maulvi Hasan Ali of Bhagalpur, and a third who lived in Khushab. These three were allowed to take people into the_bai’at\_ in his name. Were they not _khalifat-ul-masih_? They were _khalifat-ul-masih_ during the life of Hazrat Mirza sahib \[but they could not interfere in the affairs of the Anjuman\]. The Anjuman also existed, but during the life of Hazrat Mirza sahib the Anjuman was above any such _khalifas._ ” This was not only my opinion, but it was also the opinion held by Maulvi Sher Ali. Read it here. If we are insincere in holding this opinion, Maulvi Sher Ali should answer how far his intention was pure at that time when he wrote: \\

bq. “A study of the Will shows that the Promised Messiah, in all the matters which he handed to the Anjuman during his life, appointed it as his successor. As far as I can understand, the holy Hazrat wrote nothing about a _khalifa_ in the Will. Where he has written “After me, the righteous ones in the _Jama’at,_ possessing pure souls, should take the _bai’at_ from people in my name”, as far as I understand the holy Hazrat has not here mentioned that there should be one _khalifa_ for the whole community, upon whose hand the entire _Jama’at_ must take _bai’at,_ but he has mentioned such men who can take the _bai’at_ from people to admit them into the Ahmadiyya Movement, and according to this writing there can be numerous such men. As far as I understand, a _khalifa_ is not meant here upon whose hand the entire _Jama’at_ must take _bai’at,_ but such persons of pure character at whose hands non\- Ahmadis take the _bai’at_ to enter the Ahmadiyya Movement.” \\

For God’s sake, you wise people, consider what a false allegation it is that, out of fear of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, we had concealed those beliefs of ours which we express today. Are these not the same things which we wrote at a time when a dangerous commotion was raised \[during his time\]? And that commotion was created by the very people who accuse us today. I myself sent my beliefs in writing to Hazrat Hakim sahib. Then I remained firm on these beliefs openly, and hold them up to now. The gist of my writing is that whoever we elect to be _khalifa,_ it is done on the basis of the rule that forty members can elect him. That is the meaning of _Khalifat-ul-Masih_ as we understand it, and that is his work. However, if a _khalifa_ of the time, due to his righteousness, his selflessness, his scholarly knowledge, etc., has such moral authority that his individual view is superior to the views of the members of the Anjuman, as was the case with Hakim sahib, then this would be due to his personal accomplishments, nor due to his holding the office of _khalifa._ \\

It is a fact that I adhered to this standpoint openly, as was known to Hazrat Hakim sahib and everyone else. The Nawab \[Muhammad Ali Khan\] sahib and Hazrat Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib are themselves witness to this. It is what I believe today. If Mian sahib is _khalifa,_ then in his capacity as _khalifa_ he cannot have authority over the Anjuman. However, Allah can bestow upon him personal qualities, on account of which he can rule over us all. The argument is over matters of principle.

To replace the name of the Promised Messiah by that of Hazrat Mian sahib \[in the regulations of the Anjuman\] nullifies this principle of ours. Hazrat Mian sahib can only rule over us by dint of his personal moral qualities, and not as a matter of principle. \\

In the affairs and administrative matters of the Anjuman, sometimes there was a difference of opinion between Hazrat Hakim sahib and the members of the Anjuman. Such differences were inevitable. After all, the Anjuman was not an animal whose reins were in someone’s hands. It was a body to be consulted. The fact that in some matters some members differed with Hazrat Hakim sahib, and brought the matters to a conclusion after a vigorous discussion, shows that they were true to the trust reposed in them by the Promised Messiah, not that they were opposed to Hazrat Hakim sahib.

What I am saying can perhaps be illustrated by an incident involving Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan sahib, to which I referred earlier. In the matter of the university,1 Hazrat Hakim sahib openly favoured providing assistance, but the Nawab sahib differed with him. I have given above the summary of Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan sahib’s statement. Then when Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din ordered the giving of financial assistance to the university, did the Nawab sahib obey the _khalifa_ of the time or go against him? \\

I believe that it was commendable what Hazrat Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan sahib did. He made clear to the _Khalifat-ul-Masih_ what he believed to be right. If we had believed Hazrat Hakim sahib to be the kind of _khalifa_ who had absolute power over us in his capacity as _khalifa,_ then how could the man who today upholds this most of all, namely the Sayyid sahib, dare oppose the view of the first _Khalifa?_ We were, after all, dealing with the affairs of the community. We were in charge of income amounting to some 150,000 Rupees annually. Therefore it is no surprise that difference should arise with the _Khalifat-ul-Masih_ Hakim sahib in some matters, and the other members freely express their views. But those people who have certain aims put their own gloss on those events and present them to the world today as if we were opposed to Hazrat Hakim sahib. This is the gist of those events which they are misrepresenting as our opposition to him. If we were opposed to him, then what kind of a man was he, that he placed us in charge of all the works which required great trust. One group always tried to make him displeased with us, but God granted us the favour that before Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din departed from this world he declared that he was happy with us.

\[_Translator’s note:_ The reference here would be to the Friday _khutbas_ of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din on 17 October and 7 November 1913. In these he said:

bq. “You think ill of others. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din does not work out of hypocrisy. He works only for Allah. This is my belief about him. Of course, he can make mistakes. I am happy with his works. There is blessing in them. Those who spread mistrust about him are the hypocrites.” — _Khutba_ of 17 October 1913. \\

bq. “Kamal-ud-Din has not gone to England for personal ends. He has not cared even for his family. Someone wrote that Kamal-ud-Din has shaved his beard (in England). The other day I saw his photo. The beard is there. I think that even if he had shaved his beard, I would still say about the work for which he has gone there that it is good. If there is some fault in it, I myself overlook it. There is no one who is free from faults.” — _Khutba_ of 7 November 1913. \\

It is recorded that at this point in the above _khutba_ of 7 November 1913 Maulana Nur-ud-Din was overcome by weakness and had to sit down. He then rose and said: “Can any of you do the work which Kamal-ud-Din is doing? If he commits a fault, what does it matter? He is a man who used to earn thousands.”\] \\

I have advised friends to publish all the letters which Hazrat Hakim sahib wrote to them. If he has expressed any unhappiness in them, it is due to love. Ah\! What a wonderful man he was\! Once I arrived late for a _Jalsa_ in December and did not meet him for one day. The next day, when I met him, he said: “Remember, love means a thousand misgivings. If I am grieved by your delay, it is because I have love for you.” It was this love which made the Hakim sahib feel sad as if about a dear child. Otherwise, he clearly and plainly declared his affection and trust in us. I am reading with much pain the writings that are being published alleging that the people from Lahore were strongly opposed to the Hakim sahib. To reply to this allegation fully, many matters need to be disclosed, whose disclosure will be a source of distress for certain people. If I consider it necessary in future, I will speak openly about them at some time. \\

Here I only pose the following questions for Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan sahib and Mian Mahmud Ahmad sahib:

  1. Is it not true that the whole commotion raised in February 1909 had but one aim: that those powers be given to the _khalifa_ which today the Mian sahib has taken for himself?
  2. From 1909 till the death of Hazrat _Khalifat-ul\- Masih,_ were not efforts constantly made to give absolute authority to the _khalifa,_ and to have this inserted into the regulations of the Anjuman? And did not the members from Lahore vigorously oppose such a dangerous principle till the death of Hazrat Hakim sahib?
  3. Did not the Nawab sahib himself propose various resolutions and regulations from time to time, which are on record, underlying which there was only one point: that the _khalifa_ should rule over the Anjuman? Those resolutions were always rejected, and at last the Nawab sahib, seeing that his aim was not fulfilled, resigned.
  4. Is not the following incident true? On one occasion I said to the Nawab sahib, with much pain: For God’s sake, let us have pity on the community. Why are we opposing each other on every matter, be it support for the Muslim university, or method of propagation, or the issue of calling others as _kafir,_ matters on which the community is being split into two? On this point, the Nawab sahib and I talked privately in the grounds of his house at about 9 or 10 p.m. He replied: Just decide one matter. Give all authority to the _khalifa,_ and the other differences will disappear. In reply to this, I said to the Nawab sahib that a _khalifa_ who would be like Nur-ud-Din would rule over us by virtue of his personal qualities, not by virtue of being _khalifa._ The following day, the Nawab sahib and the Mian sahib walked out of the meeting of the Anjuman. I swear by God the Most High that this incident is true and correct as I have described it.
  5. Is it not true that when the Hakim sahib heard all this from me, he said: Who are these people to bring my powers under discussion, etc.
  6. Was not the controversy between us fully known to Hazrat Hakim sahib? If all these are true — and God is Witness that all these are true — then all matters are resolved thereby. Had the Hakim sahib believed in absolute rule by the _khalifa,_ then as he knew that we obeyed him, why did he not end this dispute by ordering that same addition in the rules of the Anjuman which today the Mian sahib has done? If this dispute was new, and had not arisen during the life of Hazrat Hakim sahib, only then could the following objection be raised against us: ‘You obeyed him in his lifetime and now you are against obedience \[to the _khalifa_\]’. Both parties concur that my mentor and guide, Hazrat Hakim sahib, was neither a hypocrite nor a coward. So, since this issue was raised before him, then if he believed in autocratic rule by the _khalifa_ why did he not give the decision in favour of the Nawab sahib and his supporters.

I say on oath that this was the only difference between ourselves and the Nawab sahib and Mian Mahmud Ahmad sahib \[whether the _khalifa_ has absolute power or the Anjuman is the supreme body\]. There was no personal grudge or friction. The Hakim \[Maulana Nur-ud-Din\] sahib knew this. If there was any other difference, let the Nawab sahib name it. We have the letter written by the Mian sahib to Hazrat Hakim sahib asking him to settle the issue of the position of the _khilafat._ Then why did he not settle it? If it is said that during the time of Hazrat Hakim sahib this was a settled matter, why was this uproar raised in 1909, and why did the Mian sahib write to him to settle it? And why were ever newer ways being tried for this pur-pose? Can the honourable Nawab sahib testify that after 1909 there was no controversy about the issue of the powers of the _khalifa?_ If there was, then why is it said that the Hakim sahib’s view was against us? Why did he not give a decision? The fact that he did not give a decision, and did not go against our view, is sufficient evidence that we were right.

It is said that Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din made me take the _bai’at_ again. This is perfectly true. But what was the _bai’at_ about? It was the _bai’at_ of obedience (_bai’at-i irshad_) to him. Can you honest-ly say that he made me retake the _bai’at_ of repent-ance? Now go and read the histories of the Sufis and see from which disciple they take the _bai’at_ of obedience. When they admit a disciple into the movement, they take from him the _bai’at_ of repentance (_bai’at-i tauba_). Then when they find in him the capacity of obedience they take from him the _bai’at_ of obedience. And when they have full confidence in him, they take from him the _bai’at-i dam._ Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din was very happy with me and I fulfilled my _bai’at._ In God’s name, give the testimony yourself, tell us for God’s sake what did he say about me in his sermons and lectures? \\

It is the height of injustice and fabrication that it has been spread about that we were opposed to him and he made us renew our _bai’at._ Alas, today obstinate opposition misrepresents an accolade as a failure. It was this very _bai’at_ of obedience that Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din took from Hazrat Mian sahib and the Nawab sahib verbally in my presence at that time. This was in February 1909.

In 1908 the Promised Messiah left this world. Immediately after the close of 1908, some questions are raised about the Anjuman and the _khalifa,_ with the aim of giving absolute power to the _khalifa._ These are sent to certain people. I write my reply to them and send it to Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din. I state plainly that I give preference to your decision over my opinion and the opinion of the Anjuman only because, due to your personal qualities, I believe that I should follow your instructions, other-wise I do not consider the _khalifa_ to be a ruler over the Anjuman. I said this to him verbally as well. At that time there were two groups which differed over the issues raised in these questions. On the one side was Hazrat Mian sahib and the Nawab sahib, and on the other side was Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ali and other friends. As both sides regarded the instructions of Hazrat Hakim sahib as above all, and I too said to him that I accept his orders, so he took from me the _bai’at_ of obedience in the manner of the righteous ones of the past. Before doing this, he asked the Mian sahib if he would obey him. The Mian sahib replied that he would, and that he would also obey _khalifas_ after him. As far as I remember, he took the same promise from the Nawab sahib. This is the _bai’at_ which has been unjustly called as the renewal of my _bai’at._

This was in 1909. Can you name any instance before February 1909 when I opposed Hazrat Hakim sahib and he compelled me to retake the _bai’at?_ What reply will these people give to God, for having knowingly distorted the facts so much? Let Hazrat Mian sahib himself tell us: Did not Hazrat Hakim sahib take from him the pledge that he would obey him? Does it mean his obedience was in doubt? Do not indulge in such useless talk. However, it is true that when someone has no sound arguments and evidence, he descends to the level of such mediocre talk. Anyhow, this was the question faced in 1909 and Hazrat Hakim sahib was well aware that we did not believe in a _khalifa_ having autocratic power. Then he took from us the _bai’at_ of obedience. So why did he not then enter this into the rules of the Anjuman when that was what the Nawab sahib and his friends were trying to have done, which the Hakim sahib well knew? Was he, God forbid, a coward? If not, why did he not sup-port a viewpoint while knowing it to be right, and put an end to the controversy during his life? But in fact he did put an end to it in his speech of 1909.

\[_Translator’s note:_ The reference here would be to the _Eid khutba_ by Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din on 16th October 1909, published in _Badr,_ 21 October 1909, in which he said: \\

bq. “In the writing of Hazrat sahib \[i.e. the Promised Messiah\] there is a point of deep knowledge which I will explain to you fully. He left it up to God as to who was going to be the _khalifa_. On the other hand, he said to fourteen men: You are collectively the _Khalifat-ul-Masih_ , your decisions are final and binding, and the government authorities too consider them as absolute. Then all those fourteen men became united in taking the _bai’at_ at the hand of one man, accepting him as their _khalifa,_ and thus you were united. And then not only fourteen, but the whole community agreed upon my _khilafat_.

bq. “…I have read _Al-Wasiyya_ very thoroughly. It is indeed true that he has made fourteen men the _Khalifat-ul-Masih,_ and written that their decision arrived at by majority opinion is final and binding. Now observe that these God-fearing men, whom Hazrat sahib chose for his _khilafat,_ have by their righteous opinion, by their unanimous opinion, appointed one man as their _Khalifa_ and _Amir_. And then not only themselves, but they made thousands upon thousands of people to embark in the same boat in which they had themselves embarked.” \]

From that day till 1911, the Nawab sahib and his friends kept on raising the same point indirectly, and it kept on being rejected. When I informed Hazrat Hakim sahib as to what was the real issue behind this, he perhaps mentioned his views to the Nawab sahib and the Nawab sahib resigned. Thus, this question came to an end till his death.

Anyhow, the disagreements within the Movement up to this time are on principle, but people want to settle these by appeal to emotion. I have discussed the real points at issue from various aspects. I consider the most important question to be that of the position of the Anjuman. \\

Secondly, there is the question of the powers of the _khalifa._ Even if we did not have the Promised Messiah’s Will before us, we still could not possibly give absolute power to one individual unless we held the doctrine of the infallibility of the _khalifa._ My knowledge is that a man appointed by God is not allowed by God to remain adhering to an error till the end, because of the dignity of his position. There is no such promise for any other _khalifa_ not appointed by God. How then can we let the opinion of one individual, which could be in error and remain in error, override the joint opinion of several people? There is no need to be involved in an intellectual discussion here. A _khalifa_ has passed away before our eyes. Several events of his life and many of his beliefs are in complete conflict with the views of Hazrat Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib. So which _khalifa_ must we take as being right and which one as wrong? In particular, if Hazrat Hakim sahib was wrong, then as he stuck to his error to the end of his life, it disproves the notion that a _khalifa_ is not kept adhering to an error by God. For example, he considered it wrong to regard non-Ahmadis as _kafir._ In the last days of his life he remarked that the Mian sahib had not understood the issue of _kufr._ As opposed to this, the Main sahib believes in regarding non-Ahmadis as_kafir.\_

Secondly, the principles for the propagation of Islam which Hazrat Hakim sahib taught me, he himself remained firm on those principles till his last breath. The Mian sahib considers those principles to be wrong and damaging. The recent announcement by the Nawab sahib, which I just mentioned, is a testimony that he does not consider our propagation of Islam to be propagation of Islam.

Then the Hakim sahib used to give permission to say prayers behind non-Ahmadi imams outside India. He told me in person, and then conveyed his permission by letter and telegram, that in Englnd I can pray behind non-Ahmadis. The Mian sahib does not allow this. These are both _khalifas._ Which one is right and which one is wrong? However, if the concept put forward is valid, that a _khalifa_ does not persist in error till the end of his life, then because the Hakim sahib has died holding these views till the end, it means he was right in that non-Ahmadis are not _kafir_ and that my method of propagation is correct and that, outside India, prayers behind non-Ahmadis are allowed; and therefore the Mian sahib is wrong in these matters. After all, the principle which has been coined, on which rests the doctrine of autocratic rule by the _khalifa,_ means that if Hazrat Hakim sahib had been wrong he would not have persisted in his error till the end of his life. Thus according to this, the practice of Hazrat Hakim sahib has set the seal of truth on our beliefs and actions. \\

I have now discussed almost all the points of controversy. I will now add something about myself. I entered into the _bai’at_ on 22nd November 1893 and pledged at the hand of the holy Hazrat \[Mirza Ghulam Ahmad\] to hold religion above the world. I made the utmost efforts to fulfil this promise. The holy Hazrat bestowed special favours upon me. He was affec-tionate to me as one is to a dear child. He prayed for me, and said quite unique prayers. Purely through the grace of God and the kindness of Hazrat Mirza sahib towards me, I was able to be of service to him in diffi-cult times, as few in the Movement had the chance to do. Accursed is the man who makes a show of his services. I was his adviser in the most delicate matters, which no one knows about but me. He sought my advice regarding the future of the members of his family and what would happen after him, and he acted on my recommendations. On my insistence, he prayed to God in certain matters, and informed me of God’s decision. I conclude this by asking you: Leaving aside those few persons whose ambitions have been thwarted by me, what was the opinion of thousands of you about me? Say honestly, in what regard did you hold me, and how you saw with your own eyes the special favours bestowed upon me by the holy Hazrat, that Imam accepted by God?

I have now discussed almost all the points of controversy. I will add here something about myself. I entered into the _bai’at_ on 22nd November 1893 and pledged at the hand of the holy Hazrat \[Mirza Ghulam Ahmad\] to hold religion above the world. I made the utmost efforts to fulfil this promise. The holy Hazrat bestowed special favours upon me. He was affectionate to me as one is to a dear child. He prayed for me, and said quite unique prayers. Purely through the grace of God and the kindness of Hazrat Mirza sahib towards me, I was able to be of service to him in difficult times, as few in the Movement had the chance to do. Accursed is the man who makes a show of his services. I was his adviser in the most delicate matters, which no one knows about but me. He sought my advice regarding the future of the members of his family and what would happen after him, and he acted on my recommendations. On my insistence, he prayed to God in certain matters, and informed me of God’s decision. I conclude this by asking you: Leaving aside those few persons whose ambitions have been thwarted by me, what was the opinion of thousands of you about me? Say honestly, in what regard did you hold me, and how you saw with your own eyes the special favours bestowed upon me by the holy Hazrat, that Imam accepted by God. \\

Then came the time of the Hakim \[Nur-ud-Din\] sahib. I had a very special relationship with him. What he said about me in his lectures and sermons, you have yourself heard and read. And then came the time when I went to England \[in September 1912\]. \\

I am embarrassed to mention these matters but when one is facing cowardly attacks then it is unjust to remain silent. I went to England and I obeyed Hazrat Hakim sahib till the end of his life. I followed the manner of preaching Islam that he suggested. I sought his guidance on the smallest of matters and adhered to it till he passed away and left his testimonial of being happy with me. \\

Then I ask you: what was your opinion about me before his death? Let the district of Sialkot in particular ponder. Many of your elders received revelation that I was on the right path in the matters of controversy. The recipients of revelation among you supplicated before God as to whether I was in the wrong or the Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib in matters of propagation. One of them, whose revelations were valued by both Hazrat Mirza sahib and Hazrat Hakim sahib, received about me the revelation: _’ala-sirat-ilmustaqim_ (‘he is on the right path’). _Al-Fazl_ itself \[magazine started by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad\] declared that my going to England was in fulfilment of the prophecy of the holy Hazrat Mirza sahib. \\

Then came the time when Allah made my efforts bear fruit. Lord Headley accepted Islam and its news reached India. I called it the fulfilment of the prophecy and vision of Hazrat Mirza sahib when he saw himself catching birds in London, and at that time I wrote a poem about it. This was not only my judgment, but many leading men of the Movement stated the same. Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi also wrote a poem to the same effect which was published in _Badr_ or _Al-Fazl._ \\

In _Al-Fazl_ itself, dated 17th December 1913, an article was published entitled _Lord Headley,_ in which it was written: \\

bq. “*{_}Thirteen centuries ago Allah the Most High gave the news about Islam that He would make it grow and spread, and broadcast it all over the world. Great rulers would follow it and it would prevail over all other religions. As this promise was given by the Powerful, Omnipotent One, Whose every word is true and firm, it could not be averted. The world then saw how God brought Islam out of obscurity into fame, how He spread it in the East and the West and brought millions of people into its fold. Then, in accordance with the law of God, it went into decline and decay. Muslims ceased to act on that holy scripture which God had revealed for their guidance. Their fall began, and their degradation became worse and worse everyday. This tribulation came upon them that they might realize their weaknesses, be warned of their errors, regret their sins and repent of their faults. But when they did not turn away from the wrong course, nor did they turn towards God, other nations were made dominant over them. Islam’s position was taken by Christianity, and Muslims became the subjects of other nations._* \\

bq. *{_}Even then they did not reform themselves, their wicked ways increased beyond all limits, and they were not motivated by their decline to strive for self-improvement. Then, just at the time when their spiritual crops dried up and those who were thirsty for the truth were left unable to swallow and had parched lips, God opened the doors of the heavens for their guidance and scattered the wind of good news all around telling the world of the coming of the victories of truth. He sent the pleasant rain of His mercy so that the worthy ones should manifest their righteousness. God sent His appointed one \[Hazrat Mirza sahib\] who descended upon the minaret of Damsacus with the support of not two but thousands of angels. The world saw his wonders. The dead were raised to life, the sick were healed, the lepers were cured, the blind{_}* *{_}began to see, the deaf began to hear, and the crippled began to walk._* \\

bq. *{_}His messianic spirit changed the world. Before, in the world of Islam no one was willing to go out to serve the religion. The situation was as described in the poetic verse \[by Hazrat Mirza sahib\]: “Everyone is preoccupied with his own business, no one is concerned about the religion of Ahmad”, and in the saying: “What concern have you for others, take care of your own problems”. Now, due to the efforts and hard work of the second Messiah, hundreds of thousands of champions rose up for the service of Islam with their lives. They pledged at his hand to hold religion above the world in every matter. They donated money beyond their capacity for the propagation of the faith. They spent day and night in concern and worry as to how to spread Islam._* \\

bq. *{_}God made many great promises through His Messiah for the success of these people. Hence He foretold that the same Europe which, so hope the opponents of Islam, will destroy and ruin Islam, shall one day repent of its sins at the hands of this Messiah and join the servants of Islam, and it shall work not for the destruction but for the establishment of Islam. By the grace of God this promise was fulfilled, and by the hands of the servants of this Messiah Europe has begun to turn towards Islam. Thus God has enabled the honourable, respected Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din sahib, who has gone to England for the propagation of Islam at the cost of making many sacrifices, to bring many British people into the fold of Islam. The best indication of his success is that his achievement is quite unlike that of the Christian missionaries whose{_}*

bq. *{_}call has only been answered by the ignorant sections of the population of India, apart from rare exceptions, by those who hope to gain worldly benefits by becoming Christians, and therefore a large section of the converts to Christianity are from the lowest classes. But those in England responding to the call of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din are educated people, and an aristocrat belonging to an exalted family, Lord{_}*

bq. *{_}Headley, has declared his acceptance of Islam. He has thus fulfilled the word of God which He sent to us a long time ago through His appointed one, giving the news of the spread of Islam in Europe._* \\

bq. *{_}Congratulations then, O you Ahmadiyya community, that the truth of your Imam has also been proved in Europe, going beyond Asia. Congratulations, O you Ahmadiyya community, that the trees of your efforts are bearing the finest fruits. Congratulations, O you Ahmadiyya community, that your opponents have suffered another defeat. Congratulations, O you Ahmadiyya community, that God the Most High has yet again set His own seal of confirmation upon your truth\!_* \\

bq. *{_}Where are the opponents of the Ahmadiyya Movement, those who declared the Promised Messiah to be a{_}* *{_}kafir{_}{*}{*}_? Let them observe this invisible hand of help, as to how God the Most High places blessings in the works of this community. …_{*}{*}_”_* \\

This was in the editorial columns and the Mian sahib himself was the editor. I myself sent a speech for the December 1913 annual gathering from England, in which it was clearly stated that the prophecy of Hazrat Mirza sahib had been fulfilled. That article was read out in the presence of the Mian sahib and Hazrat Hakim sahib during the _jalsa_ and was printed in the newspapers. At that time, no one wrote to me or informed me to say that my conclusion was wrong. In short, the entire Ahmadiyya Movement declared the new mission in England to be a fulfillment of the prophetic vision of Hazrat Mirza sahib. \\

Then there is my approach to propagation, which was set out to me in writing by Hazrat Hakim sahib, that I should teach only that “there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger”. His letter, which I quoted earlier, is dated December 1913, showing that even up to three months before his death this was his instruction. In short, Allah the Most High, purely out of His grace and favour, made my efforts fruitful, and the whole of the Movement was at one with me. \\

Then another phase came upon the Movement. Mian \[Mahmud Ahmad\] sahib became the head of one section of the _Jama’at_. There was a wait to see what stand I would take in the matters of difference. During that time the columns of _Al-Fazl_ remained largely silent. Then when my article on the _khilafat_ was published, or perhaps Ch. Fateh Muhammad \[from England\] informed the Mian sahib of the situation in private letters, immediately the whole of my mission was declared worthless. It was announced that no one should provide me with assistance. O you unwise ones\! This work is not dependent on anyone’s assistance. It is God Who takes care of all. Attempts were made to boycott the _Islamic Review._ The door of allegations opened. I was called a rebel, and those newspapers were given financial help which accused me of rebellion. Alas\! By having a different opinion, have we become such enemies of yours that you are ready to cause us every harm? Plans were made to attack my character. Ch. Fateh Muhammad wrote private letters and asked Mian sahib not to publish them. But they were published. It was stated in them that some English ladies have doubts about my character. These vague words were used to commit an injustice against my character. The letters did not contain any truths which were necessary to be published. Today a newspaper writer says that, in obedience to instructions from the Mian sahib, he withholds his pen from making allegations against the Lahore group. Why was he not stopped earlier? It is clear that those newspaper writers received money from Qadian who constantly filled their columns with vile words against us. If they have been stopped now, this could have been done earlier, but then new responsibilities have other requirements. \\

O wise people of this Movement, think for God’s sake. Can having a difference with the Mian sahib and refusal to enter into his _bai’at_ make me a sinner and hypocrite, as Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan has written? First he called me a sinner. Now, because of his position of responsibility, he has considered it appropriate to replace this by the word hypocrite. Although the Mian sahib in a private letter sent to Peshawar has watered down the meaning of the word sinner (_f{_}{_}ā{_}{_}siq_) so much that it has become meaningless, it is perhaps not possible to give the word hypocrite a toned-down meaning. O wise ones, I ask you: Was my connection with the Ahmadiyya Movement for the past twenty years, which I outlined above, going to lead to me becoming a sinner, hypocrite and deceiver? And could God the Most High find only a sinner, hypocrite and deceiver at whose hands to fulfil a prophecy of His Messiah? If what you are doing today is right, it casts doubt on the promises made in the Quran. Hazrat Mian sahib should either declare that he was wrong to say in _Al-Fazl_ that Lord Headley’s acceptance of Islam was in fulfilment of the prophecy made by the Promised Messiah, or that he did it out of fear of Hazrat Hakim sahib while not believing it. But if this opinion was right then why was my work opposed? \\

I am, after all, the same person that I was at the death of Hazrat Hakim sahib. My way of working and preaching now is the same as it was during the time of Hazrat Hakim sahib. So, should I consider you as seekers of the right path or as followers of factionalism? As long as Hazrat Hakim sahib was alive, you people regarded my work as right and correct, and you even had revelations to that effect. You wrote poems in my praise. You regarded it as a blessing to serve me by cleaning my shoes and cooking food for me. Then Hazrat Hakim sahib died, and I had a difference of opinion with your leader, which is an entirely sincere difference. So today you call me a hypocrite and declare all my work as wrong. If you had recourse to honesty, then as long as I was working along the same lines in England, you could not change your opinion about me. Now your heads are ringing aloud with the religious concept that a person’s earlier deeds can become null. But remember that it is only opposition to a man appointed by God that makes someone’s earlier good deeds go to waste. Opposition to a man who is not appointed by God does not make anyone subject to such punishment. But I am not even opposing but having merely a difference of opinion. \\

Then I ask Mian sahib himself: On what grounds did he stop Maulvi Sher Ali from going to England to assist me? Did he not make an affirmation to Hazrat Hakim sahib, in February 1909, when I also took the _bai’at_ of obedience, that he would obey him, and did he not say: I will obey your orders and those of future _khalifas?_ Was there not an order in regard to Maulvi Sher Ali, and did he not come to Lahore to buy his ticket in obedience to that order? Why was he stopped? It is perfectly true that I always called for Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din sahib, not only now but since I went to England. Due to certain circumstances and qualities I preferred to have him in England rather than Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, and events have proved my view to be right. But the answer to the question is not whom I wanted to have in England.

The question is, since Maulvi Sher Ali had been ordered to go to England, under what principle did the Mian sahib stop him? For his guidance he had before him the example of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Abu Ubaidah. If the Mian sahib declined to obey the _khalifa_ on the basis of his own judgment, why does he compel others to obey the _khalifa,_ when he himself could not do it? \\

Then I was further surprised that he separated Ch. Fateh Muhammad from my mission without reason. He is working on the same principles as myself, and not only him, but sometimes the Mian sahib himself and his disciples, according to need, follow the same path of propagation as myself. What was the need to place another burden upon the community by separating Ch. Fateh Muhammad from me? I had never asked the Sadr Anjuman to provide me with his help. The fact is that the advisers of the Mian sahib are very short-sighted. They want to raise some issue within the community and feel that their success lies in keeping some controversy going. \\

Dear ones\! All these are wrong paths. You will soon find that the path you have opened by separating Ch. Fateh Muhammad from me and the Woking Mission is not only wrong but will create many problems. Anyhow, all these events show that at this time obstinacy is prevailing over right thinking. We read in the Quran that wherever you see good work being done, you must not oppose it merely because it is being done by those who have a difference of opinion with you. Then I am surprised by the unrighteous actions being employed in connection with the translation of the Quran. You declare in your newspapers that the translation being done by Maulvi Muhammad Ali is wrong, yet you try to take it from him. If you want to print it then I put to you a proposal. I am prepared to be responsible for a half of the printing costs, and you pay the other half. Let us then print the Quran and distribute it free. Other conditions we can settle among ourselves. \\

In short, if the new activities from Qadian were based on truth and right, then can someone explain to me why this obstinacy is being shown? I am also extremely concerned that in our Movement difference of opinion is being taken as meaning animosity. There is dangerous mutual hatred and desire to destroy each other, instead of brotherhood, love and politeness. Allegations are being made against one another. All those ways of civility and friendliness which, according to Islam, we must show towards every human being, are absent. Think for God’s sake, if this is the condition of the _Jama’at_ created by the man who was purified by God, the group which represented the latter day appearance of the companions of the Holy Prophet, and to which applied the description “He made you brethren by His favour”, then why do we need enemies in the world? This condition itself runs counter to the truth of this Movement. \\

Come, have mercy on the Movement and leave such things. Resolve differences of opinion among yourselves harmoniously. This problem would be finished tomorrow if Mian sahib laid claim to be appointed by God; otherwise he cannot be considered as free of error nor can the refusal by someone to enter into his _bai’at_ make that person a sinner. Some people said to Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din that they had not entered into his _bai’at._ He replied: Now you are my brothers in spiritual leadership, if you enter into my _bai’at_ then you will be my disciples. One of them was my brother Khwaja Jamal-ud-Din and another Malik Sher Muhammad B.A. Despite not having entered into the _bai’at_ of the _khalifa,_ did these people not play a full part in all the projects of the Ahmadiyya Movement? Did not Hazrat Hakim sahib look upon them with favour? Did not the Mian sahib go to Kashmir and give them the same entitlements as are due from one brother to another, and they reciprocated in the same way? So what has happened now, that not entering into the _bai’at_ of a _khalifa_ is treated with the cutting off of social relations, friendship, and conversation? You say that if an Ahmadi does not enter into the _bai’at_ of Mian sahib, believes his actions to be wrong, has a difference of opinion with him, and tries to convince others of his viewpoint, then he becomes unworthy that the followers of the Mian sahib should meet or communicate with him or have any dealings with him. If this is correct, then how would you deal with anyone else in the world because non-Ahmadi Muslims would be worse, and non-Muslims worse still? It would mean that followers of the Mian sahib would not be able to meet with, speak to, or eat with anyone except those of their own community. \\

Now I make a last request to Hazrat Mian Mahmud Ahmad sahib:

  1. If he has been appointed by God through revelation then he must announce by a sworn statement, in the style of the oath proposed in the Quran, which Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib himself also used, that he has been raised through revelation, and that he is the one whose coming has been prophesied by Hazrat Mirza sahib in his Will (_Al-Wasiyya_), and that he has been informed by revelation that he is the manifestation of the second power (_Qudrat Sani_). Who does not want that time to come soon? I want to make a decision at least about myself. If he makes such a sworn declaration, it would then be unlawful for me to write anything against his beliefs. I will then either accept him or I will have recourse to prayer. In any case, I would become silent.
  2. If he is the Promised Reformer (_Muslih Mau’ud_), then he must declare on oath that he has received revelation that he is the promised son mentioned in the ‘green notice’ \[by Hazrat Mirza sahib\]. If he has not been informed through revelation then he must stop his disciples from saying that he is the Promised Reformer or promised son. Why is he silent on this? This silence is highly damaging. One of his followers has written a booklet to show that the Mian sahib is the Promised Reformer. The other side has published a refutation of this. Why does he not clarify his position? Why is he afraid? Irresponsible persons are speaking on his behalf. Of course, if it is merely his own human judgment that he is the promised son mentioned in the ‘green notice’, then he must declare this also. I have heard that in reply to a question from Ch. Abdullah Khan of Bahlulpur he has denied being the Divinely-appointed one mentioned in _Al-Wasiyya_ but considered himself the son prophesied in the ‘green notice’.

The Mian sahib must also clarify the following points in the declaration. Upon his birth, Hazrat Mirza sahib wrote: \\

bq. “A son has been born in the house of this humble servant, who has been given the names Bashir and Mahmud by way of omen. After I receive full disclosure by revelation I will let it be known, but as yet it has not been disclosed to me whether this boy is the _Muslih Mau’ud,_ who shall have long life, or if it is someone else”. \\

The question is, Did Hazrat Mirza sahib ever receive any such disclosure, and did he ever write anywhere that he had received disclosure by revelation? He has written something in his book _Siraj Munir,_ but not that he received disclosure by revelation. This view is proved correct because, long after _Siraj_ _Munir,_ when the book _Tiryaq-ul-Qulub_ was written, Hazrat Mirza sahib expressed his view that the younger brother Bashir might be the promised son. Then there was his view about the youngest son, Mubarak Ahmad, that he would be the promised son, which I need not repeat here. \\

I say to Mian Mahmud Ahmad sahib: These are the works of God, by which the Almighty wishes to establish in this world the true knowledge of His Uniqueness, that the words of revelation are God’s words, and the words of the one who receives revelation are the words of a human being. This is why sometimes the one who receives revelation can make an error in interpreting the revelation. In any case, if you have been informed by Divine revelation that you are the promised son then declare it. But if you have not been so informed, then instruct your followers to refrain from calling you as ‘Promised Son’, ‘Promised Reformer’, ‘a great prophet of God’, and ‘the pride of messengers’, which is what they are doing, and causing a dangerous mischief thereby in the world. Whatever they say should be according to your instructions. \\

Along with this, I also add here that you should declare, in a few words, your belief about the prophethood of Hazrat Mirza sahib, and also let people know in what sense you regard non-Ahmadis as unbelievers. \\

I take this opportunity to submit respectfully that I am your servant. I feel no hesitation in working under your leadership. You are the flesh of my master. Of course, if your belief is that Hazrat Mirza sahib was a real and full-fledged prophet in his own right then I say with great regret that in terms of this belief I part company with you forever. However, if your belief is the same as mine, that my master the Promised Messiah was a servant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and Ahmad and his follower, and that only because of perfectly following the Holy Prophet, the _Khatam-un-Nabiyyin,_ he became the reflection of a prophet with partial prophetic qualities, and that it was in this sense that the Holy Prophet spoke of the coming Messiah as prophet of God, then I hope for the day when the mutual differences will come to an end, and a way might be found of working under your command. \\

_Wassalam._

— Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, 24 December 1914. \\

_Postscript Note:_

A distinguished follower of Hazrat Mian sahib has just told me that the Mian sahib does not accept the doctrine that the _khalifa_ is infallible, even though the ordinary followers do believe this. If this is true, then why is his opinion regarded as supreme over the collective view of the Anjuman? If he really believes that his opinion is fallible, and that there is no Divine promise that he shall not remain adhering to an erroneous opinion, then it is most dangerous to give the _khalifa_ those powers which belonged to the Promised Messiah who could be protected from error by his true revelation. Anyhow, the Mian sahib himself should declare his belief in this matter. \\

_Editor’s Note:_ This concludes the serialisation of the translation of the Urdu booklet _Ikhtil{_}{_}ā{_}{_}f{_}{_}ā{_}{_}t SilsilaAhmadiyya Kay Asb{_}{_}ā{_}{_}b_ (‘Causes of the Internal Dissensions in the Ahmadiyya Movement’) by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, which he wrote after his return to India, in late 1914, from his first visit to England where he established _The Islamic Review_ and the Woking Muslim Mission in 1913.

A Brief History of The Lahori-Ahmadi Mission (Germany) (1922-2017)

Intro
We found this data online.  This is the history of the Lahori-Ahmadi mission in Germany since 1922.

Compiled by Nasir Ahmad B.A., LL.B.


01. Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din, Founder and Imam (1922)
02. Maulana Abdul Majid, Asstt. Imam (1921)
03. Maulana Fazal Karim Durrani, Imam (1925)
04. Dr. S. Muhammad Abdullah, Imam (1928)
05. Dr. Mirza Aziz-ur-Rahman, Asstt. Imam (1933)
06. Dr. Nazir-ul-Islam, Asstt. Imam (1938)
07. Mrs. Amina Mosler, Caretaker (1937)
08. Bro. Muhammad Aman Hobohm, Imam (1949)
09. Mr. Abdul Aziz Khan, Acting Imam (February 1959)
10. Maulana Muhammad Yahya Butt, Imam (Nov.1959)
11. Ch. Saeed Ahmad, Imam (1989)
12. Ch. Riaz Ahmad, Imam (2004)
13. Mr. Amir Aziz, Imam (2016)

Before I proceed to give a brief history about how the Berlin Muslim Mission and the Mosque came into existence, it is necessary to give a brief historical background of the need to propagate Islam in Germany. This will enable the reader to assess the prospects available for the propagation of Islam on the eve of the birth of the Berlin Mission. It will also give a review of the individual efforts which were going on in the country and how the Ahmadiyya Movement, Lahore, organised the propagation of Islam in Germany through the Berlin Muslim Mission.

It was in May 1922, that a well-known English daily of India, the Mohammadan, published an article captioned “The Need for the Propagation of Islam in Germany”. Here we quote some of the ideas of the writer of this article:

“Among all the countries of Europe, there does not appear to be as much scope for the propagation of Islam as there is in Germany. She suffered defeat in the War (that is, the First World War), and now she is seriously thinking of re-building her future course in order to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity. Everyone here is convinced that rebirth is not possible without following true religion. Christianity has met with complete failure. Germany is in a much better position to reach to the core of the veritable reality underlying false and baseless propaganda…. Germany is the centre of Europe and to achieve success here will have very healthy influence on the neighbouring countries…

Many people cast a disdainful eye and mock at me because of my assessment of the situation. Many more would consider the present times ill-suited to embark on such a venture….

The writer has pondered over all the pros and cons of this Mission. He is not oblivious of the state of affairs prevalent in the motherland. In spite of sitting so far away from India, he is very well aware of what is going on there. But, he is confident that this venture will not adversely affect the Indian struggle for independence. Instead, it will have a wholesome effect. It will serve as a great impetus to the Caliphate Movement in achieving its real objective and would definitely tend to remove the heinous accusations of bloodshed and destruction levelled against Islam … I am writing my observations after studying current events in Germany. And thus I feel that I would be disloyal to Islam if I did not inform the Indian Muslims of this great opportunity for propagating Islam in this country.”

These ideas very explicitly plead that:

1. Germany was the most appropriate country in Europe for the propagation of Islam.

2. Through the propagation of Islam in Europe, the effect of the propaganda perpetrated against Islam could be neutralised and this could have a direct influence on the struggle for independence of the Muslims in India.

3. The preaching and propagation of Islam was the dire need of the hour in Europe, and especially in Germany.

Here I must give a brief introduction of the writer of the article, Professor Abdus Sattar Kheri, and his brother, Professor Abdul Jabbar. The Kheri brothers will be mentioned frequently in this report; firstly, for the initial interest they showed in the setting up of the Berlin Muslim Mission, and secondly, for the hostility they later developed towards it.

Professor Abdul Jabbar, in his individual capacity, cherished hopes for the propagation of Islam even before the Berlin Muslim Mission was set up. It was in February 1920 that he happened to meet a German Muslim, Dr. Khalid Banning, and seriously pondered on the prospects of setting up a mission in Berlin. Meanwhile, he got some letters written to Woking by a German lady, strongly suggesting for the opening of a mission in Berlin on the pattern of the Woking Muslim Mission in England. At that time Maulana Mustafa Khan was the Imam of the Mosque at Woking. Then Professor Abdul Jabbar worked out a plan to set up a mission in Berlin with the assistance of the German lady. He sent this plan to Woking and from there it reached Lahore. The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-i Islam, Lahore carefully considered the scope and feasibility of the plan and accepted it. Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali, the then Head of the Lahore Section, made a special appeal for donations during the Annual Conference in December 1921 for the opening of missions both in America and Germany.

In March 1922, the Anjuman decided to send Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din and Maulvi Abdul Majid M.A. (of Hyderabad Deccan), a teacher in the Muslim High School, Lahore, to Germany. Later on Maulvi Abdul Majid was appointed Imam of the Mosque at Woking (England).

Maulvi Abdul Majid left for Germany with Mian Ghulam Abbas on June 7, 1922. The latter stayed on in England for higher Studies in Audit and Accounts. Later he rose to the status of first Auditor General of Pakistan. After retirement he was given an assignment at the UNO. For initial eight or nine months, Maulvi Abdul Majid worked in Germany single-handedly. During this period, Hazrat Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din (Founder of the Woking Muslim Mission, England) visited Berlin in July/August 1922 in order to assess the situation for the setting up of the Mission. He sent to the Central Anjuman in Lahore his detailed report which also contained a proposal for the construction of a mosque. The following is an extract from his report:

“As compared to England, there is far greater educational taste and liking over here…. Educational institutions of this country are well-known throughout the world for their high standard of knowledge and research. Keeping in view the advanced knowledge in the fields of economics, philosophy of ethics, philosophy of civilisation and culture and various other fields, we have to establish that teachings of Islam not only provide basic guidance about these fields of knowledge, but it is much more sublime.”

According to Hazrat Khwaja, the effective way to approach the students in this country was through lectures and discussions. Meanwhile, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din arrived in Berlin and the search for a suitable site for constructing the Mission House and the Mosque was started. From October 1922 onward, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali started his fund-raising campaign for the Berlin Mosque through lectures and appeals published in the weekly Paigham-i Sulh, LahoreMeanwhile Maulana Sadr-ud-Din and Maulvi Abdul Majid carried on their Islamic activities from Gotesbacht Street, 5/111 Garbortenberg, Berlin.

On the other hand, the Kheri brothers, who had so far been persuading the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-i Islam, Lahore to set up a mission in Berlin on the pattern of that in Woking for the preaching of Islam in Germany, took up cudgels from December 1922 to oppose the project tooth and nail. Their third brother, Abdul Ghaffar Kheri, through the daily Khilafat, Bombay and Ahl-i Hadith, Amritsar and Delhi, expressed resentment and accused the Ahmadiyya Anjuman in Lahore of foiling the efforts of their brother, Professor Abdul Jabbar Kheri by setting up of a mission themselves. So, he tried to mislead the Muslims by writing:

“Any assistance given to this Ahmadiyya sect which has made an appeal for a mosque, would result in discord and division among the Muslims because this sect would present Islam according to its own faith and ideology.”

Likewise, Mr. Abdul Ghaffar Kheri published articles against the Mission in the daily Zamindar of Lahore. Not content with this, Mr. Rashid-ul-Kheri even went to the extent of labelling the proposed mosque as Masjid-i Zarrar, which meant that this mosque was being built to cause disruption among the Muslims. With scant regard for this opposition, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din and Maulvi Abdul Majid continued their search for a suitable site. They also met the Muslim ambassadors and delegates in Berlin in this connection. The Ambassador of Turkey highly encouraged the Maulana and assured him of all possible help for the construction and continued to support him up to the stage of the completion of the Mosque.

In January 1923, the Maulana also met the Ambassador of Turkey in Rome in this connection. The meeting proved to be fruitful in many respects. At the time of the meeting, the English translation of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali was lying on the table. In the course of conversation, the Ambassador spoke highly of the English translation and also lauded the work being done in England through the Woking Muslim Mission.

During this period, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din and Maulvi Abdul Majid started learning the German language from a new German Muslim , Mr. Muhammad Brokash. The missionary work continued from the temporary office in Garborstenberg. In May 1923, tarawih prayers were offered at this place during the month of Ramadan.

The Eid al-Fitr prayer was offered at the mosque in Winsterdof, which was ninety minutes journey from Berlin by rail. This mosque was built by the German Government for prisoners of war. It could accommodate as many as 3000 people The Imam of this mosque, Hafiz Shukari Amandi, strongly favoured the construction of the proposed mosque in Berlin. The Imam delivered the sermon in Turkish. Most of the people who offered prayers were from Bokhara and Turkey.

In July 1923, a two-acre parcel of land belonging to the local Municipal Committee was purchased. The land was situated in a posh area. Its importance can be judged from the fact that the construction of a church was first proposed on this land, but as God Almighty would have it, the proposal could not materialise and the same land was purchased for the construction of the Mosque. It was Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din’s earnest desire to construct the Mosque on this particular piece of land and he strove hard for it so that the Mosque and the Mission could benefit from the importance of the site. The site was surrounded on three sides by roads, while there were lush green gardens on its fourth side. The land was, in all respects, best-suited and ideal for the Mosque.

Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din now started to think about the construction plan for the Mission House and the Mosque. Keeping in view the Mogul architecture exhibited by the Taj Mahal at Agra and the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, work on the plan made steady progress. At this juncture, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din met a Russian scholar, Mr. Lutfe Bey.

The building plan of the mosque was completed in September 1923 and was sent to Lahore so that Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali could bless it with his formal approval.

Earlier, in October of the same year, the Maulana had delivered a comprehensive and thought-provoking lecture on “Philosophy of Islam” at a convention held at Darum Straat presided over by a renowned German philosopher, Count Newling.

In November 1924, preparations for the stone-laying ceremony of the Mosque were in progress. The Ambassador of Turkey was to be the chief guest. An unknown Egyptian student, on the instigation of the Kheri Brothers, created mischief by accusing Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din, through a handbill, of being a spy of the British Government. The Ambassador of Turkey therefore expressed his inability to preside over the ceremony. It had to be postponed, but the construction work on the Mosque continued without interruption.

In order to counteract this malicious insinuation, a meeting was held at the temporary Mission House in which it was resolved to send a delegation to His Excellency Sami Pasha, the Turkish Ambassador. But afterwards, Dr. Abdul Hassan Mansur, who was a scholar in the Turkish, Russian and English languages, was deputed to wait upon the said Ambassador. He apprised His Excellency of the true facts underlying the false propaganda regarding the Berlin Mosque and dispelled the latter’s reservations. Dr. Nasirbuk of the Turkish Club, too, played an important role in clearing the baseless doubts lurking in the mind of the Turkish Ambassador.

The efforts for the propagation of Islam through the Woking Muslim Mission and then by the Berlin Muslim Mission, coupled with the construction of a grand mosque in Berlin, went a long way in highlighting the services rendered to Islam by the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-i Islam, Lahore. The Muslim Outlook, of Lahore in its issue of February 4, 1925, published a lengthy editorial note in appreciation of the services rendered by the Anjuman. Some excerpts from it are reproduced below:

“Besides this, another Anjuman which is working fervently on a higher scale is the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-i Islam, Lahore which is associated with the Ahmadiyya Sect…. But there is not a single instance to our knowledge that a resolution passed by Jami‘at-i ‘Ulama Hind brought a non-Muslim into the fold of Islam, whereas, on the other side, the marvellous English rendering of the Holy Quran done and published by the President of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-i Islam has gone so far as to open the doors of Islam to many of the non-Muslim critics and atheists.

Muslims firmly believe that Islam was never spread by the sword nor will it ever be done so. Hence if Islam is to be propagated throughout the world, it would be better if it is propagated with potential reasoning and publishing of veritable truths which should be free from sectarianism …. We can say with courage that Islam should have a strong appeal for the English people who are practical men…. The mental outlook and the character of the English people, as also of their maternal brothers, the Germans, are such that they are disposed to accept Islam… and the Islamic Centres at Woking (London) and Berlin (we dislike the word “Mission” because its meanings are synonymous with hypocrisy), vindicate the truth in this respect. Both these centres have been set up by the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-i Islam by dint of all those workers of the Anjuman who are working in the West selflessly and with Islamic zeal. They do not propagate sectarianism but present the very Islam which the Holy Quran has epitomised. In all reality, therefore, this Anjuman is doing a great service for the religion in this age which many other associations and institutions would not have even thought of so far.”

The construction work of the Mosque was in progress. Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din received invitations to deliver lectures on various aspects of Islam from different organisations. In February and March 1925, two very remarkable lectures were delivered near Berlin in the village of Postram on the subjects, “Islam and Christianity” and “Equality and Democracy in Islam”. The new German Muslim, Dr. Griffelt, and Dr. Zakir Hussain of Jami‘ah Milliyyah, Aligarh took active part in the discussions of these meetings. Detailed reports of these lectures, with photographs of the Berlin Mosque, were published in the local newspapers.

In April 1925, a reception was arranged in honour of a well-known Muslim preacher, Professor Barkat Ullah so that the effects of the vicious propaganda launched by the Kheri brothers and other opponents against the Mission and the Mosque could be dispelled. The said Professor was well-versed in the Arabic, Persian, Turkish and German languages. He had toured China, Japan and America a number of times. Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din had been introduced to him in Switzerland during the Lausanne Conference. This conference was attended by many German Muslims such as Dr. Khalid Banning, Dr. Hamid Marcus, Dr. Griffelt, Dr. Muhammad Brackish and also by Dr. Mumtaz Ali Khan Bhatti. The latter used to publish a magazine in Persian and German. Because of this conference, the construction of the Mosque and the activities of the Mission were amply highlighted in the Press.

The cost of the construction of the Mosque rose higher than the original estimate and it was becoming hard to meet the excess through donations. Hence urgent payments were made by disposing off a portion of the land.

Before the construction of the Mosque was completed, a top-ranking Geman scholar, Dr. Hamid Marcus had embraced Islam. He had a good command over the English language. The well-known poet and philosopher of Indo-Pakistan fame Dr. Muhammad Iqbal had also spoken highly of this German scholar.

In April 1925 main work of the Mosque was nearing completion. By now the vile propaganda of the opponents had completely failed. False and malicious reports sent to the Government were thoroughly examined through its embassy in Calcutta and were found to be baseless and malicious. Finally suspicion created in the minds of the Government authorities was dispelled. The German Government consequently issued orders for the deportation of the Egyptian student. A German citizen was issued stern warning and action was taken against other miscreants. All this on the part of the Government went a long way in removing many of the hurdles and created a wholesome atmosphere in favour of the Mission.

By the grace of Allah, the auspicious moment arrived. The opening ceremony of the Berlin Mosque was held on April 26, 1925. The event started with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Khwaja Abdul Hamid, a student of the Berlin University. Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din delivered a brief speech in German. The Russian Muslim scholar, Luferbe Qasmi, threw light on the Ahmadiyya Movement in Turkish. He had already witnessed the activities of the Woking Muslim Mission in London and was convinced that the name of Islam was being raised high in England through the Mission. Dr. Idris Bokhari then stressed upon the importance of “Islamic Brotherhood” in Turkish. Another learned brother from Iran Hassan Bey, speaking in Persian, condemned sectarianism as a curse and laid stress on the necessity of strengthening bonds of mutual tolerance and brotherhood. Professor Abdul Hakim of Hyderabad Deccan read out a beautiful poem. An Iranian Prince explained Islamic teachings in German. At the end, Hazrat Maulana paid tribute to the honesty and integrity of the German architects and contractors. Thus the historic event came to an end with prayers. The Turkish Ambassador and his staff took a keen interest and actively participated in organising the opening ceremony.

It was Eid al-Fitr on the following Friday, but it was feared that Mr. Abdul Jabbar Kheri would try to forcibly lead the prayer which would result in disorder and disturb the atmosphere of cohesion created among the Muslims with the setting up of the Mission and the construction of the Mosque. Hence, the Turkish Ambassador and other well-wishers mutually agreed that the Eid congregation should be held at the Turkish Embassy. The Police appreciated the wise step and Mr. Abdul Jabbar’s entry into the Mosque was forbidden. Thus by the Grace of Allah and with the co-operation of the Turkish Embassy and other right-thinking Muslims, an untoward event was averted and the sanctity of the mosque was preserved. After this, detailed information and photographs relating to the Mosque started appearing in the local press and cinemas.

An outstanding personality of Turkey, the Hon’ble Amir Shakieb Arsalan, on returning home made a vigorous public speech introducing the Berlin Muslim Mission and lauded its efforts directed towards the propagation of Islam. On the front page of the daily Tawhid-i Afkar of Istanbul, Turkey appeared details of the activities of the Mission along with photographs of the Mosque and an introduction of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-i Islam, Lahore. The achievements made by Maulana Sadr-ud-Din in the field of preaching Islam in England were also greatly appreciated. A copy of this newspaper was left by a Turkish brother in the Mission House in the absence of the Imam. On this paper he wrote the following three lines in his own hand:

1. Sadaqa al-laahul ‘Azim (Allah, the Great, spoke the truth).
2. Innamal mu’minuna ikhwatun (The believers are brothers).
3. Ma‘bad Islamia wa jami’ul akhwand nazar (I greet the Islamic house of worship and all the brothers). 

Ahmadiyya Berlin dar Hindustan nazar (I greet all the brother Ahmadis in Berlin and India). 1343 Hijrah (The words of the couplet probably represent alphabetical calculation of the year of the completion of the Mosque).

Towards the end of May 1925, the Maulana left Berlin for his homeland. On the eve of his departure, the German Muslim Society gave a farewell party in his honour. On his way back, he met Hakim Muhammad Ajmal Khan in Paris and apprised him of the activities of the Mission and the Mosque and sought his help in raising funds for them. Maulana Sadr-ud-Din was accorded a rousing welcome on his arrival at the Lahore railway station. A reception was also arranged at the Ahmadiyya Buildings. Maulana Muhammad Ali, Sheikh Niaz Ahmad (Barrister-at-Law) and Syed Sardar Shah (Ex-Professor, Veterinary College, Lahore) addressed the gathering. The excitement of the German Muslim converts on the construction of the Mosque was inspiring. An old lady, named Gardowas, who had embraced Islam, saw in a dream that the Mosque had been completed and light was being diffused from it in all directions. She particularly appealed to the womenfolk to fervently take part in this sacred task. Maulana Muhammad Ali, in his appeal in Lahore, made a special mention of the letter written by this German lady.

The daily Shafaq-i Surkh of Tehran carried an editorial note on the efforts made by the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-i Islam, Lahore, for the preaching of Islam. The translation of some of its excerpts is given below:

“The centre of the “Anjuman Isha’at-i Islam” is in Lahore (India) and for the propagation of Islam its branches are spread over India, Burma and other Eastern countries. The Anjuman is making strides day by day…. The Anjuman has appointed many of its preachers in Europe and America for the propagation of Islam. All those who are associated with the Anjuman and its supporters are mostly religious people of the Ahmadiyya ideology. It is the result of their high spirit and enthusiasm that a mosque at Woking (near London) has become vibrant centre for the preaching of Islam whose photographs and activities are published in the English papers. Now under the auspices of the same Anjuman, a mosque has been built in the city of Berlin, which is so grand that it is considered among the best worship places in Berlin. Five million liras have been spent on its construction so far.

The first and foremost task of this Anjuman is to set up mosques and places of worship in the capital cities of America and Europe for the propagation of Islam.”

Quarterly Magazine in German, Muslimisch Revue:

In January 1924, Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din started the publication of a quarterly magazine in German called Muslimisch Revue in the style of The Islamic Review, the monthly magazine of the Woking Muslim Mission, England. Most of the articles were contributed by newly converted German Muslim scholars such as Dr. Hamid Marcus, Dr. Khalid Banning and Dr. Arif Griffelt. The magazine also featured translations of articles written by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali and Maulvi Abdul Majid. The periodical soon became popular not only in Germany but also in Yugoslavia, Hungary, Albania and other neighbouring countries. Its articles, translated into Croatian and other local languages, carried the message of Islam to a wider section of people in the region. More than half of the German Muslim converts entered the fold of Islam after reading its articles. Due to certain financial difficulties its publication remained suspended for two years, but by the efforts of Dr. S. Muhammad Abdullah it was re-started in 1929 and it continued its publication till 1939, when the Second World War began and it had to be stopped.

Structural Details about the Mosque:

Length 46.5 feet
Breadth 46.5 feet
Height of main gate 30 feet
Dome 75 feet
2 minarets 90 feet
Two minarets flanked on both sides of the Mosque 25 feet
Four feet wide gallery all around the main floor of the Mosque

The main structure of the Mosque was nearing completion, but still some work remained to be done on the minarets, the dome and other ornamental works to enhance the beauty of the Mosque. At this stage, Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din sent the following telegraphic message to the Jama‘at:

“Our Community should be proud of this remarkable achievement. I congratulate you all – the old and the young, the rich and the poor – for it is due to your concerted efforts, sacrifices and fervent prayers, that such a milestone has been accomplished about which some had doubts and at times, insurmountable difficulties created dismay and hopelessness. But by the grace of Almighty Allah, the major task of the plan has been accomplished today. All of us should be grateful to Allah for blessing our humble efforts in His cause.”

In this connection, the following letter of the Maulana from Berlin was read out on December 27, 1924, on the occasion of the Annual Conference in Lahore:

“The purpose of this Mosque is not only to serve Muslims as a house of worship but also to invite non-Muslims of Berlin to attend its lectures and sermons. Thus, it was essential to plan quite a spacious mosque. All praise be to Allah that the plan has been accomplished and a very suitable and beautiful Mosque has been built in Berlin. It is ideal as far as its size, structural beauty and location is concerned.”

As has already been mentioned, the initial estimate of the construction of the Berlin Mosque was fifty to sixty thousand Rupees, but afterwards, due to unforeseen circumstances, the cost rose to one hundred thousand Rupees. So, in early 1924, when the minarets of the Mosque had not yet been completed, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali sent a message to Maulana Sadr-ud-Din to postpone the work on the minarets for the time being. Meanwhile, vigorous efforts were made to raise funds for the Berlin Mosque. Special appeals by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali were sent to the members of the Jama‘at throughout India.

At the Annual Conference held in Lahore in December 1924, special efforts were made to collect funds for the Mosque. In his speech on the first day of the Conference – which was for ladies – Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali mentioned with much concern that the work on the minarets of the Berlin Mosque had to be suspended due to shortage of funds. In his passionate speech he addressed the ladies in these words:

“Many of our sisters in the Jama‘at may think that the fact that their husbands or elders take part in religious service also suffices for them. But this is not correct. Just as the good deeds of the husband will not be of any use to the wife, similarly his voluntary contributions will not be of any good to the wife. In the Holy Quran where there is a mention of the alms-giving men, the women who give alms are also mentioned …. Allah has imposed the duty of religious service on women as well as on men. The women of our Jama‘at should bear in mind that no matter how much their husbands serve the religion, if they do not take any part in it themselves they are as unfortunate as any other woman who does not help.”

As a result of this appeal, all the women present took off their jewellery and presented them for the propagation of Islam and their men-folk contributed the rest of the required sum of money. And thus completion of the remaining work of the Berlin Mosque became possible.

The names of the ladies and gentlemen who made generous contributions towards the construction of the Berlin Mosque on this occasion are mentioned below as a matter of record for future generations to know how zealous their elders were in serving the cause of Islam.

Contribution by Ladies:

Major contribution in the form of ornaments and cash came from the following ladies of Lahore and they also made special efforts in collecting funds for this noble cause:

Mrs. Maulana Muhammad Ali, Mother and wife of Dr. Mirza Yakub Beg, Mrs. Dr. Syed Muhammad Hussain Shah, Mrs. Dr. Ghulam Muhammad, Mrs. Dr. Syed Tufail Hussain Shah, Mrs. K. S. Babu Manzoor Ilahi, Mrs. Ch. Zahoor Ahmad and Mrs. Khwaja Jalal-ud-Din. The total value of the collection made on this occasion was Rs. 7300.00, of which Rs. 2500 was received in cash while Rs. 4800 was in the form of jewellery

In this regard the following ladies from other parts of the country also made significant contributions: Mrs. Ch. Muhammad Ismail (Revenue Officer), his daughter and sister-in-law (Montgomery), Mrs. Dr. Jalal-ud-Din (Gojra), Mrs. Sh. Maula Bakhsh (Sialkot), Master Muhammad Ismail (Sialkot), Mrs. Qazi Samiullah (Sargodha), Mrs. Sh. Abdul Wahid (Police Officer) (Abuhr), Daughter of Munshi Muhammad Bakhsh (Chak No. 355, Sargodha), Mrs. Sh. Maqbul Ilahi (Sheikhupura), Mrs. Syed Ahmad Hussain Shah (Hoshiarpur), Mrs. Babu Dilawar Khan (Peshawar) and Mrs. Mistri Yakub Ali (Jammu).

The ladies of the following Jama‘ats contributed collectively towards the fund: Lyallpur, Chak No. 81 (Sargodha), Qasur, Lahore Cantt., Gujrat, Chak 2 and 4 L (Okara), Mardan, Kunjah, Wazirabad and Charsaddah. A non-Ahmadi lady sister of Muhammad Umar Barumi from Atman Zai contributed Rs. 400.00.

Contribution by Men:

Collections made through the sale of one-rupee coupons and other means was Rs. 8600.00. In this connection the services of the following members deserve appreciation: Mian Muhammad Zaman (Charsaddah), Ch. Muhammad Ismail, (Revenue Officer, Associate member, Montgomery), Mian Muhammad Siddiq, Police Officer (Indore), Dr. Ismat Ullah (Darband), Maulvi Aziz Bakhsh and Sh. Fazal Ilahi (Jhang), Ch. Allah Ditta (Srinagar), Mr. Fazal Haq (Peshawar Cantt.), Master Inamullah Khan (Fort Sandeman), Sh. Maula Bakhsh, shoe merchant (Sialkot), Maulvi Alam Din, Advocate (Sheikhupura), Dr. Jalal-ud-Din (Gojra), Ch. Muhammad Hussain Numberdar (Chak 81 S., Sargodha), Sheikh Mian Maula Bakhsh, mill-owner (Lyallpur), Dr. Hassan Ali (Kunjah), Sh. Niaz Ahmad (Wazirabad) and Headmaster Muslim High School, Lahore.

Collections made by delegates sent to various parts of the country: Qazi Sami Ullah (Rs.5501), Mehr Khan Muhammad Khan, Inspector police (Rs. 100), Sh. Abdul Wahid, Sub-Inspector police (Rs.2400), Malik Ghulam Muhammad, Central Flour Mills, Qasur (Rs.500).

Contributions made by non-Ahmadi supporters: Nawab Ahmad Yar, Rais Luddon (Rs.1000), Ch. Shahab-ud-Din, Rais Lahore (Rs. 1000), Sardar Mir Dost Muhammad Mazari, Jahaniyan, Distt. Dera Ghazi Khan (Rs.800), Hon’ble Sir Muzammil Khan, Rais, Distt. Aligarh (Rs.500).

Maulana Fazal Karim Durrani:

Maulana Fazal Karim Durrani belonged to the district of Hoshiarpur. He did his B.A. at Islamia College, Lahore. He joined the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam, Lahore in 1920 and was sent to Trinidad as a missionary in the same year. On his way he stayed at Woking (England) for two months. He served as a missionary in Trinidad till the end of 1924. Afterwards he spent a few months in New York with the object of setting up a mission, but he did not succeed. He was then sent to Berlin.

In May 1925, he took charge of the Berlin Muslim Mission after Maulana Sadr-ud-Din returned to Lahore, India. Meetings of the German Muslim Society were held regularly, in which Dr. Hamid Marcus and other new German Muslims gave learned discourses on various aspects of Islam and the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Some of the topics were “Materialism and Spirituality”, “The Importance of the Excellent Example of the Holy Prophet in the Present Age” etc.

The Mission House in Berlin was not yet complete when a notice was issued by the City Corporation to complete the construction work. Thus further funds were immediately required for this urgent work. As a result, Maulana Muhammad Ali again made the following fervent appeal in the Paigham-i Sulh of November 1925: 

“Rise for the Berlin Mosque
An Appeal for Forty Thousand Rupees at the Annual Conference:

The problems of the Berlin Mosque are not yet over. A further sum of around twenty thousand German Marks is needed, partly because the work has been extended and partly because costs have increased . . . The bare fact is that a sum of twenty to twenty-one thousand Marks is required. It was felt that the snowfall and heavy rains of the winter would damage the Mosque so the work has already been started. Maulana Sadr-ud-Din returned from Germany in a very weak state and it would have been advisable for him to remain at work in one place for some time so that he could benefit from the comforts of his home. But I have been forced to send him on a tour for the collection of funds. He was able to collect a sum of around Rs.2500-3000 in a few days time but he fell ill again. I was most concerned when I saw his condition but there was no option other than to send him on another tour. So he left again yesterday. My own health is such that it does not permit me to leave the house. I hope and believe that on reading these few lines of my fervent appeal our members will extend a helping hand to Maulana Sadr-ud-Din without any delay. Individuals should also make efforts on their own, and each Jama‘at should distribute this letter among their members when they get together on Fridays.”

For this purpose, a special list of the persons, to whom this letter was to be sent, was prepared, so that the required sum of money could be collected as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din, Dr. Syed Muhammad Hussain Shah and Dr. Mirza Yaqub Beg continued to tour various parts of the country for the collection of funds to cover the cost of the immediate construction work at the Berlin Mosque and other expenses. As a result of their efforts, the Begum of the state of Bhopal donated a sum of five thousand Rupees. Strong appeals by Dr. Syed Muhammad Hussain Shah were also published in the weekly Paigham-i Sulh.

As a result of the activities of the Berlin Muslim Mission, the message of Islam was effectively conveyed to the intellectual circles in Germany and, one by one, people entered the fold of Islam. The Hiedel University of Germany is almost as famous as the University of Cambridge in England. One of its learned directors, Hans Loba, accepted Islam.

Maulana Fazal Karim Durrani kept receiving invitations from different quarters to deliver lectures about the Ahmadiyya Movement which were followed by question-answer discussions. Afterwards, he wrote a series of articles on the Ahmadiyya Movement in the Muslimisch Revue. These were later published in English in the form of a book entitled The Ahmadiyya Movement. Two thousand copies of this book were printed in December 1926.

The services of the Berlin Mission and the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at-i Islam, Lahore, for the cause of Islam were being appreciated in Muslim countries. In one of its editorial notes in December 1928, the daily Iqdam of Tehran, the following tributes were paid to the Berlin Mission:

“The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam, Lahore has constructed a magnificent mosque in the city of Berlin, Germany, which holds an eminent position among the buildings of the city. It was constructed two or three years ago and the work of preaching and propagating the teachings of Islam is done here. More than a hundred people from different walks of life have entered the fold of Islam, of which the most famous is Dr. Hamid Marcus. An Islamic periodical, Muslimisch Revue, is also published in German.”

One million zealous Slav Muslims were living in Yugoslavia. Due to the endeavours of the Mission, they started getting Croatian translation of the articles of the Muslimisch Revue and excerpts from the English translation and commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali.

In June 1927, Maulana Fazal Karim Durrani expressed his thought-provoking views in an article entitled “Islam in Europe” on the method to be employed in propagating Islam in Europe and the need of understanding intellectual inclinations of the European people. Some excerpts from it are given below:

“In political terms, we, in the East, may describe Europe as a continent which is determined to keep the rest of the continents under its control, but when a person becomes acquainted with the various nations of Europe he comes to the conclusion that people of different races and nations live here: united Europe has no existence. So the methods which were successfully employed for the propagation of Islam in England cannot necessarily be successful here.

We must bear in mind that of all the nations of Europe, this nation has the firmest belief in Christianity. Although they believe that the Gospels are not authentic nor are they the Word of God and that the beliefs of the Church are irrational, yet in order to make others accept Christianity, they have presented it in a completely different garb – a garb of fine example and high ideals. The German nation is the leader of these high ideals in this age. Their research work and advancement in knowledge in various fields soon become the property of the whole world. Thus, in order to meet this challenge it is necessary to be familiar with the new thoughts and outlook of the German nation.”

In August 1927, Maulana Durrani, in his reports sent to Lahore, expressed his views on two important aspects of the Ahmadiyya Movement:

1. Why did the Reformer of the Age Appear in India?
2. The Propagation of Islam and the Ahmadiyya Movement.

He highlighted different aspects of the preaching of Islam in Europe with special emphasis on the importance of the following points:

  • The need for moral and intellectual unity in the Islamic world.
  • To prove the excellence of Islam in the religious world.
  • Exposition of the distinguishing features of the world-wide Islamic brotherhood.
  • The fundamental principles of Islam and their comparison with other religions.

During the same period, Maulana Durrani wrote strong and pithy articles in the Muslimisch Revue in reply to the objections raised against Islam by a well-known German scholar and Minister of Education, Prof. Pecker.

Translation of the Holy Quran into German:

In 1926, on the suggestion of Malik Ghulam Muhammad of Qasur, a respected elder of the Jama‘at, the Anjuman agreed to undertake translation of the Holy Quran into German language. Keeping in view the importance of the project and huge expenses to be incurred, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali published the following appeal in the weekly Paigham-i Sulh:

“I am fully conscious of the fact that there are already a great many burdens on this small Jama’at. But I also believe that Divine assistance is only granted when some difficult task is undertaken. So I am happy that through the fervent encouragement of a respected friend of ours, a concerted move to get the Holy Quran translated into German has begun. The establishment of a mission in Germany, the publication of a quarterly magazine and the construction of a mosque at the cost of around a hundred thousand Rupees – all these have been possible due to His special grace and blessings. When our Jama’at started this work, Allah, Most High, opened the doors of His Help in many ways. Obviously all that has been done over there so far is incomplete until we provide those people with the Holy Quran in their own language.”

Hence, efforts were made to find a suitable person for the translation work. Finally Dr. Abul Hassan Mansoor, Ph.D., of the Berlin University was selected. He was editor of a magazine, Deutsch Muslimisch Girschaft, published from Berlin. He arrived in Lahore in March 1928.

Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din used to prepare translation and commentary of the Holy Quran in English. Then Dr. Mansoor would translate them into German. In this manner the translation of the Holy Qur’an in German was completed under the supervision of Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din in February 1934. While the translation work was being done, Syed Mustafa Ahmad, a zealous member of the Jama’at, donated four hundred Rupees every month for the translation work, for a period of two years. In this manner, in all, he donated a sum of ten thousand Rupees. Some financial difficulties were encountered during the last stages of the work. However, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din’s appeal and generous contributions of certain members of the Jama`at enabled him to get it published in Berlin.

Members of the Jama‘at contributed generously towards the German translation of the Holy Qur’an. Several people outside the Jama‘at also gave financial support towards this important religious publication, among which a donation of Rs. 500 by the Princess of Manavar is worthy of mention.

In connection with the printing of the German translation, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din went to Berlin again in April 1937. He completed all the arrangements for the printing in a period of nine months and returned in December 1937. The supervision of proof reading and printing was done very diligently by Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. At the end of 1937, for about six months, during the absence of Dr. Abdullah, Dr. Nazeer-ul-Islam served as Acting Imam of the Mosque and also looked after the proof-reading and printing of the Translation. Finally, in June 1939, by the Grace and Mercy of Allah, this Translation was printed at a cost of Rs. 15,000 and came out of press in August 1939.

The Translation was greatly appreciated in German circles. One German scholar expressed his opinion in the following words:

“This Translation has not only fulfilled a long-felt educational and religious need but it has also ensured that its dissemination will greatly spread and popularise the knowledge of the Quran and the teachings of Islam.”

Unfortunately, only a month after the publication of this Translation, on September 3, 1939, the Second World War broke out and the bombing of Berlin by the planes of the Allied forces not only damaged the dome and minarets of the Mosque but also destroyed the entire stock of the German translation of the Holy Quran, except for a few copies. After almost twenty-five years, in 1965, two thousand copies of its off-set edition were published in Pakistan. A sum of Rs. 20,000 was donated for it by a generous lady of Multan. Mrs. Sheikh Ataullah. The stock of this edition was also soon exhausted. In 1982, a famous German publishing firm, Sea Benztryn, decided to reprint the German Translation of the Quran. For this purpose, it obtained the opinions of several scholars of the Al-Azhar University and also of some German scholars about the authenticity and the standard of the translation and commentary and received their satisfactory opinion on all counts. Then the firm contacted the Central Ahmadiyya Anjuman in Lahore through the Imam of the Berlin Mosque, Maulana Yahya Butt to obtain its formal approval. Unfortunately, for certain reasons, agreement could not be reached.

Sadly, Maulana Fazal Karim Durrani spent fairly large sums of money on the Mosque without the prior consent of the Central Anjuman. When the Anjuman questioned his unilateral decision, he decided to return home and, without awaiting the arrival of funds from the Anjuman, on May 16, 1928, he mortgaged the Mission House and the courtyard of the Mosque for sixteen thousand German Marks with the Theoranx Lands High Perthen Bank. Afterwards, he became annoyed and published several articles in the newspaper, Paisa Akhbar of Lahore, under the title “Letters from Germany” presenting uterly wrong and misleading information about his unwise act and tried to defame the Anjuman. Maulana Dost Muhammad, editor of the weekly paper Paigham-i Sulh, replied to it under the title Kashaf al-Ghita in its issues of the 8th, 12th, 15th and 19th of June, 1928. The dispute was taken to the court and finally, in February 1933, Maulana Durrani admitted his mistake and subitted his written apology.

In October 1928, Maulana Durrani returned to Lahore and joined the editorial staff of the Muslim Outlook. Then he started a monthly by the name of Muslim India. In 1928, he wrote a throught-provoking book, The Future of Islam in India. In 1930, he founded Tablighi Literature Society and published a weekly called The Truth. During the same period Quaid-i ‘Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah came to Lahore. A meeting was arranged to resolve the differences between him and Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal. Maulana Durrani played a pivotal role in removing the misunderstandings which had existed between the two since 1928. (Creation of Pakistan by Justice Shamim Hussain Qadri, published by the Army Book Club,1983, p.90.)

After this, in 1937, Maulana Durrani published a booklet of 16 pages entitled Muslim National Ideal. The well-known writer and research scholar, K.K.Aziz in his book, A History of the Idea of Pakistan, (1987) has devoted six pages to Maulana Durrani’s contribution in expounding the idea of Pakistan. He has even remarked that Maulana Durrani’s book, The Future of Islam in India, influenced the thinking of the Quaid-i Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal. The latter, in his Allahabad Address of 1930, expounded the same ideas which were expressed by Maulana Durrani in his book in 1929. (pp.160-167)

While commending the ideas of Maulana Durrani, the author, K.K. Aziz, paid tribute to him in the following words:

“The Muslim League and the Muslim Conference . . . neither supported Durrani Sahib’s views nor did they adopt them, one possible reason for which was that he belonged to the Ahmadiyya Jama‘at (Lahore). In today’s Pakistan, these views would be considered as the views of a non-Muslim because, constitutionally, the members of the Ahmadiyya Movement have been thrown out of the fold of Islam … But, he (Mr.Durrani) most successfully directed the attention of the people towards the need of saving Muslims from the domination of the Hindus … This was a great service to the Muslims of India. It must be said with deep regret that his service has not been acknowledged at all.”

As has been mentioned earlier, the Mission incurred a debt of twenty thousand German Marks during the tenure of Maulana Durrani. To take his place, Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah set off for Berlin on March 28, 1928. In January 1930, various efforts were undertaken to pay off the mortgage against the Berlin Mosque. In September 1930, Dr. K.A. Khan, a devoted member of the Jama‘at made 88 shares of Rs.125 each, that is, the sum of money for which the Berlin Mosque was mortgaged, and appealed to the people to buy these shares. After hard struggle and great monetary sacrifices of the members and supporters of the Jama`at for nearly two years, and the tireless efforts of Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, the mortgage was finally paid off in November 1932.

Dr. S. Muhammad Abdullah:

Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was born on November 2, 1898 in the town of Rasoolnagar, District Gujranwala. He passed his Matriculation with flying colours from the Government High School, Lyallpur. At this stage, his parents moved to Sialkot. He passed his B.Sc examination at the Forman Christian College, Lahore and came first in the whole of the Punjab. In 1922, he passed his M.Sc examination at the same college. He taught at the Islamia College, Lahore for some time. Then in April 1927 he was appointed as the Joint Secretary of the Central Anjuman. He left for Berlin in March 1928. He completed his doctorate at the Berlin University in 1932. In 1935, his thesis was printed in the periodicals of the Chemical Societies of Berlin and Calcutta. On the outbreak of the Second World War, he returned to Lahore and was appointed as the General Secretary of the Central Anjuman. In October 1946 he was appointed as the Imam of the Shah Jehan Mosque in Woking, where he died in May 1956.

The German Muslim Society was formed on March 22, 1930. Its officers were:

President: Dr. Hamid Marcus
General Secretary: Professor Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (M.Sc., Ph.D)
Assistant Secretary: Mr. Umar Shoebert
Muslim Members: Muhammad Tufail Ahmad (Engineer)
Dr. Abul Hassan Mansur Ph.D.
Non-Muslim Members: Mrs. Rodgez
Mr.George Gotsegh

After arriving in Berlin, Dr. Muhammad Abdullah organised the Islamic activities of the Mission and reactivated the German Muslim Society which played an effective role in making the activities of the Mission known to Berlin’s educated circles. In the meetings arranged by this Society, Dr. Hamid Marcus and other new German Muslims delivered scholarly discourses on various topics. From time to time, Professor Mirza Hassan, a lecturer of Persian in the Berlin University, Dr. Mumtaz Ali Khan Bhatti and Dr. Abul Hassan Mansur also delivered talks and took part in the discussions. Some of the subjects which were discussed at these meetings were: 

  • Islam and War
  • The Treatment of Prisoners and Slaves
  • The Killing of Apostates
  • The Relationship between Man and Woman
  • Fighting in the Way of Allah (Jihad fi sabil al-Allah)
  • The Teachings of the Holy Quran and the Bible

Apart from this, on Fridays and Sundays, there was an arrangement for explaining the meaning of the Holy Quran to the new German Muslims and teaching them how to offer their ritual prayers. In January 1931, a well-known Egyptian periodical, Al-Lataif al-Musawwara published pictures of Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali, the Mosque in Berlin and Babu Manzoor Ilahi, incharge of Foreign Correspondence Department at the Central Anjuman in Lahore along with the following remarks of the well-known scholar, Amir Shakieb Arsalan:

“This is a Mission of the Jama‘at Ahmadiyya, Lahore, which has established a centre for its preaching in Germany. The Lahore Jama‘at is distinct from the Qadian Jama‘at.”

Later on in the year 1931, the German Muslim Society arranged a tea party in honour of Allama Shakieb Arsalan on his visit to the Mosque. Among the distinguished guests who attended the party were the Afghan and Iranian ambassadors and the Minister of Education, Berlin, who appreciated the activities of the Jama‘at for the propagation of Islam. This year, for the first time, an hour-long programme about Eid al-Fitr was broadcast on radio all over Germany. On this occasion, a Ph.D. student at the Munich University accepted Islam; she was given the Islamic name Safia. In June, Dr. Abdullah delivered lectures at the Theosophical Society and the American Church. In July, a meeting was held to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. In September, Dr. Abdullah attended the meeting of the executive committee of World Religions Conference at Geneva. The objective of the Conference was to arrange a special convention in 1932 on the subject, “The Spiritual Power of Religion can produce True Happiness and Peace in the World”. The special feature of the Conference was that participants who could not attend it, would have their papers on the subject read out. Dr. Abdullah proposed the names of Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali and Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal. On his way back, Dr. Abdullah met Allama Shakieb Arsalan.

This year, the Princes of Hyderabad Deccan were the guests of honour on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.

In July 1932, the German Muslim Society held a reception in honour of Dr. Mirza Aziz-ur-Rahman who obtained doctorate from the Berlin University. On this occasion, Dr. Hamid Marcus delivered a very illuminating lecture on “The Message of the Arabian Prophet Muhammad (SAW) for the People of Europe”, in both German and English.

On 15th September, Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah delivered a remarkable lecture on the subject, “Women in Islam”, at the Mission House. Entry was by ticket. Besides a large audience, the lecture was also attended by representatives of the local newspapers. The following report about the lecture was published in the local press:

“The Western woman has always wanted to know more about the Eastern woman. In order to fulfil this need, Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, the Imam of the Berlin Mosque (who was also a professor in Lahore for five years) delivered an enlightened lecture, well-supported by logical arguments, in compliance with the wishes of the Ladies’ Organisation of Berlin. He began with the verses of the chapter, An-Nisa (The Women) of the Qur’an. The learned doctor explained that Islam gives married life precedence over celibacy and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has declared the nikah or marriage to be a Sunnah (Practice of the Holy Prophet Muhammad). Then he emphasised that polygamy is conditional and is allowed only for specific reasons. He also cleared various misconceptions which prevail about pardah (or seclusion of woman), divorce etc. A large audience was present and the lecture was greatly appreciated.”

The greatest success was achieved at the end of the year when the members of an aristocratic house of Austria, the Baron Umar Ehrenfels and his wife entered the fold of Islam. The Baron’s father was a Professor in the Berlin University. He himself was a journalist and lived in Hungary. By this time, a hundred people had accepted Islam and the following booklets had been published in the German language: 

  • The Muslim Prayer with translation by Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din.
  • A Brief Biography of the Holy Prophet Muhammad by Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. (The expenses were borne by Mr. Muhammad Aslam Khan (5000 copies).
  • The Position of Women in Islam by Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (5000 copies).

On the occasion of the Annual Conference of the Central Ahmadiyya Anjuman in Lahore in 1932, the Austrian Muslim, Baron Umar Ehrenfels, who had accepted Islam at the hand of Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in the beginning of the year, came to Lahore. He was accorded a splendid welcome at the Lahore Railway Station on December 24. The following people were present at the Railway Station:

01. Justice Sir Abdul Qadir (Judge of the Lahore High Court)
02. Nawab Shah Nawaz Khan of Mamdot
03. Khan Bahadur Fazal Elahi (Director, Information Bureau)
04. Mian Abdul Aziz (Deputy Director, Agriculture)
05. Dr. Abul Hassan Mansur
06. Chaudhry Fateh Sher Khan (Municipal Commissioner and Honorary Magistrate)
07. Maulana Ghulam Mohy-ud-Din Qasuri (Advocate and Secretary of the Anjuman Hamayat-i Islam, Lahore)
08. Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali
09. Syed Abdul Qadir (Professor, Islamia College, Lahore)
10. Mr. Fazal Haq (Professor, Government College, Lahore)
11. Chaudhry Rahim Bakhsh (Vice Principal, Law College, Lahore)
12. Khan Bahadur Chaudhry Rahim Bakhsh (Retired Session Judge)
13. Representatives of newspapers

The honoured guest, accompanied by Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and Mian Ghulam Rasool Tamim, were taken to the Ahmadiyya Buildings in a motorcade. The honoured guest accompanied by Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and Mian Ghulam Rasool Tamim, arrived in was taken to the Ahmadiyya Buildings in a motor car.,

A short while after the arrival at the Ahmadiyya Buildings, the proceedings of the first session of the Conference were begun under the presidentship of Nawab Shah Nawaz Khan of Mamdot. After recitation from the Holy Quran, the well-known poet Abul ‘Asar Hafeez Jalindhari. recited, in his characteristic lyrical style, his poem entitled “Welcome” (Khair Maqdam). His collection of poems Shahnama-i Islam, is a popular poetry book which highlights the glory of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the golden deeds of the early Muslim stalwarts.

In the prelude, he said that he had composed the poem the night before in great haste while tears were streaming from his eyes.

The Poem “Welcome” (Khair Maqdam):

The English translation of the Urdu poem is as follows:

Congratulations to you for entering the fold of Islam.
Congratulations on getting a new life after imbibing the intoxicating drink of Unity.

You are in intense love with this poor nation,
Love for its brotherhood has driven you to traverse oceans to arrive here.

I admire very much the depth of your sincerity,
But when I look at my own state, I feel ashamed.

You have grown up in the atmosphere of freedom,
Whilst we have been enmeshed in the tribulations of slavery for a long time.

Alas! We have accepted this bitter state of life as our fate,
We have forgotten the sweet memories of our forefathers.

We have forsaken the life of struggle and sacrifice in the way of Allah, and
We have gone against our ancient vows to accept martyrdom and to fight for the cause of Allah.

Our calls to prayer, our congregational prayers and our supplications,
Are just outward rituals and gestures of show.

With our tongues we deliver sermons and forceful speeches,
But in fact our self-esteem has gone into slumber.

There is no trace of love left in our hearts for the Holy Prophet Muhammad,
No zeal of faith, no pious gatherings, no people drunk with the love of Allah.

We have lost the enthusiasm for our faith and are suffering from despondency,
Dear brother! How sad it is to see us in this (abject) condition.

Your visit is a source of great honour for us.
It is also a source of pride and an occasion for celebrations.

But O friend! Please keep away from us,
And do not exhort us about high morals nor seek to instil in us a sense of freedom.

I am afraid your message may re-awaken in us our lost pride,
And your name may fail to remind us of the lofty character of the great ‘Umar.

The name of ‘Umar reminds us of the fearless soldiers of Islam,
It reminds us of those righteous champions who unsheathed their swords (in defence of Islam).

The images of those dauntless people come before our eyes,
Whose very names caused the hearts of lion-hearted (enemies) to quiver.

Events written in the pages of history about victorious soldiers with swords enliven in our hearts memories
Of those who were defenders of noble people and slayers of evil ones.

Those were the people who offered prayers in the mosques
But they were also soldiers who were victorious on the battlefields.

The name of Hazrat ‘Umar may serve as a whip to awaken our self-esteem,
But self-esteem has lost its value in these precarious times.

I am afraid I have spoken the truth openly,
But you are my dear brother and I welcome you with a very warm heart.

When the recitation of the poem started, all those present were mesmerised by it and seemed to be transported into another world. There was complete silence all around, which was occasionally broken unintentionally by voices raised in adulation. Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din, seated on the stage, swayed in appreciation, while tears streamed from Sir Abdul Qadir’s eyes. The enchantment of the poem broke through the barriers of language, so that the Baron Umar also appeared to be impressed. Then Address of Welcome was delivered by the editor of The Light, Maulana Muhammad Yakub Khan.

On December 25, 1932, in the third session of the day, which was presided over by Sir Abdul Qadir, the honoured guest, Baron Umar Ehrenfels gave a brief history of the city of Berlin and described the background of its importance as the birth-place and nucleus of the Protestant faith. During his speech he mentioned that he had learnt about the Berlin Muslim Mission from the Grand Mufti of Yugoslavia, while travelling through the country.

The Young Men’s Ahmadiyya Association, Lahore, arranged a tea-party in honour of the learned Austrian Muslim in the Habibia Hall of Islamia College, Lahore, on the evening of December 26. It was presided by Dr. Allah Bakhsh. The address of welcome was delivered by Dr. Aizad Bakhsh Sheikh M.A. Hakeem Ahmad Shuja, B.A. (Aligarh), Assistant Secretary of the Punjab Council, recited his poem entitled Tariq bin Ziyad” (The Conqueror of Spain).

Baron Umar was extended invitations by all the important organisations and elites of Lahore. After fulfilling his engagements in Lahore, he toured Delhi, Aligarh, Hyderabad and other big cities of India, in the company of Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. He was accorded warm welcome and great honour at many functions. In May 1933, Baron Umar returned to his homeland and established the Vienna Muslim Mission in Vienna – the capital of Austria, of which he remained in charge for some time.

Dr. Mirza Aziz-ur-Rahman:

In the absence of Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Dr. Aziz-ur-Rahman carried on the activities of the Mission. Reports sent by him in Urdu appeared regularly in the weekly organ of the Central Anjuman, Paigham-i Sulh. Dr. Aziz-ur-Rahman was a highly qualified talented young man of our Jama‘at. He was the son of Hazrat Mirza Hakim Khuda Bakhsh, a learned disciple of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. Hazrat Khuda Bakhsh is well-known for his extremely comprehensive research work, Asl-i Musaffah in two volumes, which contain details about the advent of the Promised Messiah and the prophecies and signs foretold about the last age, in the light of the Holy Quran and the Tradition of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, planned to send a delegation to Syria and Palestine to investigate the events which followed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Hakim Khuda Bakhsh was selected as the leader of that delegation.

Dr. Mirza Aziz-ur-Rahman did his B.Sc. in Chemistry at the Islamia College, Lahore and his M.Sc at the Aligarh University. Afterwards, he completed his Ph.D at the Berlin University. Just about that time, the President of the German Sufi Society, Allama Kazim Zada, visited the Berlin Mosque and appreciated the activities of the Mission. The same year, in July, a meeting was organised to celebrate the Birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad under the auspices of the German Muslim Society. For the first time, the Mosque and the Mission House were illuminated with candles in the traditional fashion. Meanwhile, the dars (lessons) of the Holy Qur’an continued on a regular basis.

Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah returned to Berlin in September 1933. In order to promote the bonds of unity love and fraternity among Muslim brothers living in Gernmany, Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations were held jointly under the auspices of Mu`tamar-i Islami. In Jauary 1934, for the first time, the Imam of the Berlin Mosque performed the marriage ceremondy of a German couple, who had already embraced Islam at his hand. They were named Abdullah Dayer and Fatima Adaresh. Justice Abdul Qadir of the Lahore High Court visited the Berlin Mosque along with his wife and stayed there for a few days. During their stay, a German gentleman accepted Islam and he was named Abdul Qadir.

For the first time in July 1934, the Imam of the Berlin Mosque appealed for funds for the repairs of the Mosque. A very generous response to this appeal came from Sheikh Aziz Ahmad, son of Al-Hajj Sheikh Niaz Ahmad, a wealthy leather merchant of Wazirabad and a devoted companion of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement.. Sheikh Aziz Ahmad had come to Germany to get advanced training in leather tanning. He was the owner of the well-known Punjab Tannery of Wazirabad. During his stay he frequently visited the Berlin Mosque.

In the beginning of this report, the opposition of the Kheri Brothers against the Berlin Mission, especially that of Abdul Jabbar Kheri, was mentioned. They had formed an organisation in Berlin by the name of Jama‘at-i Islamia. Its secretary, Mr. Habib-ur-Rahman, started opposing the Berlin Mission by publishing several articles in the newspapers of Punjab such as daily Zamindar and Ihsan of Lahore. However, when Dr. Muhammad Abdullah sent a legal notice of defamation to the writer, he stopped his malicious propaganda.

In August 1934, a press in Lahore printed a beautiful calendar bearing a photograph of the Berlin Mosque with the English caption: “Light out of Darkness”. During the same month, in a meeting organised by the German Muslim Society, Mr. Alan Bosfeld, a German Muslim, delivered a lecture entitled “Islam and National Socialism”. By means of inspiring speeches delivered at the meetings of the German Muslim Society and learned articles published in the periodical Muslimisch Revue, the message of Islam was delivered to wider circle of people and more awareness about it spread in Europe.

In March 1937, Dr. Mirza Aziz-ur-Rahman, who had completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Berlin University, started preparations to return to his homeland. He delivered an extremely scholarly lecture on “The Future of Islam in Europe” in a meeting. On the 23rd March, the German Muslim Society held a farewell party in his honour, at which Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Dr. Devor Stunt, Mr. Abud Ibrahim Iraqi and Professor Tara Chand Roy Dehlavi greatly appreciated his learned contributions and services to the Berlin Mission.

On April 12, 1937, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din left for Berlin in order to finalise arrangement for the publication of the German translation of the Holy Quran.

On May 6, 1937, a reception was hosted by the German Muslim Society in honour of Maulana Sadr-ud-Din, in which Mr.Hikmat Bayar, Dr. Hamid Marcus and Professor Mirza Hassan Mu‘allam praised his services to the religion of Islam. In the same month, the Birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad was celebrated in which Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din explained distinguishing features of the personality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad in a very impressive manner. In the month of July, in a meeting of the German Muslim Society, an excellent lecture on the topic “The Revelations of Prophets” was delivered by Baron Faun Horest, a new German Muslim. He explained how the teachings of the prophets instil a new life into their adherents. In this meeting, Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din read out some sections of the German translation of the Holy Quran. The participants became inspired at the news of the forth-coming German translation of the Qur’an and highly appreciated it. In September, Dr. Muhammad Abdullah went to India for six months. In his absence, the responsibilities of running the Mission were borne by Professor Dr. Nazeer-ul-Islam, Ph.D.

In October 1937, Baron Foltanec delivered a very interesting and informative lecture about the archaeological relics of Islam at the meeting of the German Muslim Society. On October 17, 1937, Sir Aga Khan came to visit the Berlin Mosque and expressed great pleasure when he saw the German translation of the Holy Qur’an. On October 22, the German Muslim Society called a special meeting to laud the great religious services of Maulana Sadr-ud-Din for the cause of Islam in Germany.

On January 17, 1938, a meeting was held under the presidentship of Sir Abdul Qadir at the Y.M.C.A Hall, Lahore, in which Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah delivered a splendid lecture on the subject “The Future of Islam in Europe”. On January 20, Dr. Abdullah left for Makkah to perform the Hajj. After discharging this holy duty, he had two meetings with Syed Jamil Daud, the Foreign Secretary of Saudi Arabia, and informed him of the activities of the Berlin Mission. He also had a meeting with Shah Ibn Saud which was arranged by Maulana Ismail Ghaznavi.

In February 1938, the Eid al-Azha sermon was delivered by Dr. Nazeer-ul-Islam. A meeting of the German Muslim Society under the presidentship of Mr. Khalid Zuyler was held in the same month, in which Mr. R. H. Goltmaz, a secretary in the German Government, delivered a remarkable lecture on “The Influence of the Religions of the World on the Nations of the World”. In April 1938, when Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah returned to Berlin, Dr. Nazeer-ul-Islam returned to his homeland.

On June 22, 1939, by the Grace and Blessings of Allah, the publication of the German translation of the Holy Quran was completed. On this occasion, in a special meeting, new German Muslims and others paid glowing tributes to the religious services rendered by Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din and Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in Germany.

Separate meetings for women were also held at that time under the auspices of the Mission, in which new German Muslim women took an active part. Most of the credit for organising these meetings went to Mrs. Mahmudah Abdullah.

The Second World War:

The German translation of the Holy Quran was published in August 1937. However, in September, unfortunately, the Second World War broke out and Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was forced to leave Berlin. He went first to Copenhagen (Denmark) and then returned to his homeland from there.

As the clouds of the Second World War loomed on the horizon, Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah became anxious about the future of the Mission because, being a British citizen, he would be compelled to leave Germany in case of war. At first, a German doctor and his wife volunteered to look after the Mosque and the Mission House and to bear their expenses, but soon the doctor had to join the armed forces and was killed in action and his wife also left the city. Finally, the responsibility of the Mosque and Mission House was entrusted to an energetic German Muslim lady, Mrs. Amina Mosler . In the past, she, too, had participated in the activities of the Society. She had already founded the Women’s League through which she had done commendable welfare work in various fields of the society. This pious lady faithfully and courageously looked after the Mission during the War and kept the Mosque alive in the most difficult conditions.

The contact between Berlin and the Anjuman at Lahore was severed until the end of the War. At first Germany occupied almost the whole of Europe, but then she was gradually repulsed. The Allied and American aircraft launched vicious air-attacks on Berlin and most of the city was destroyed. The Mission House, the dome and minarets of the Mosque were badly damaged. Mrs. Amina Mosler’s residence was completely destroyed but she and her son stayed in Berlin and obtained help from different quarters in clearing the rubble from the area of the Mosque after the fighting ceased. For a few months Berlin was completely under the control of Russian troops. On Mrs. Amina Mosler’s call for help in cleaning and doing necessary repairs to the Mission House and the Mosque, the Russian representative sent twenty men for the job. But soon this part of Berlin came under the control of the British army. The determination, courage and sincerity with which Mrs. Amina Mosler selflessly worked for the Mosque, throughout this period, are reflected in this report by Reuters which was published on August 12, 1945, in the daily Dawn of Karachi. The Urdu translation of this report was published in the weekly Paigham-i Sulh of August 22, 1945 and is as follows:

Reuters News about the Berlin Mosque:

“Berlin, August 12. Reuters’ correspondent writes from Berlin: The Berlin Mosque, which was built by Indian Muslim missionaries in 1927, has survived the war although it has suffered substantial damage and the dome has also received several blows.

The Mosque is situated in the part of Berlin which is under the occupation of the British Government. The minarets from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer are absolutely safe.

Six sincere and dedicated women have managed to repair the Mosque after five weeks of effort and hard work so that the Mosque is now fit for the offering of prayers. Amina Mosler a middle-aged German Muslim lady who has been looking after the Mosque during this time said:

‘The Mosque suffered little damage from the bombing and until the end of April when the fighting in the market-places and streets of Berlin started it was in a quite satisfactory condition. Then the men of the S.S dug a trench in the garden of the Mosque and the Russian soldiers kept launching attacks from the graveyard of Wilmersdorfen. Many of the bombs hit the Mosque. When the fighting ceased, the corpses of fourteen men of the S.S lay in the Mosque.’

Amina described how she was engaged in the repair of the Mosque for five weeks and said:

‘The greatest constraint we faced was the lack of capital because the Russian officials froze our bank account and we have not succeeded in drawing any money from the bank so far. During the War, there were six thousand members in our Jama‘at. Most of them went away and only a few hundred remain now. We gather in the Mosque on Saturday evenings and on Sundays because Friday is a working day, and also, due to transportation problems, the people cannot get together on Friday. Until the Mosque was repaired we made arrangements for prayers in a room of our house.

When the fighting around the Mosque stopped we put a huge red flag on the Mosque and wrote in bold letters that the Mosque was the property of British India so we did not have to face any trouble. Our printing press, where we used to publish religious literature, was completely destroyed by the bombing.’

Speaking of the German Muslims, Amina Mosler said:

‘We have lost around a dozen of our young people in this War, most of whom were killed on the Russian Front. I would like to especially mention a pious Muslim, Amin Wolf who was killed in Italy. He wrote a pamphlet only a few days before his death.’

In August 1945, when the news that the Berlin Mosque was safe was heard for the first time through Reuters, the President of the Anjuman in Lahore, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali, made an passionate appeal for funds for the repair of the Mosque in Paigham-i Sulh under the title “Congratulations to the Jama‘at“. Every single word of this appeal reflects the depth of Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali’s zeal for the propagation of Islam. The pain and heart-felt anguish with which he pleads the members of the Jama‘at to spend their wealth for the cause of elevating the name of God in the world is worth reading. The English translation of the text of the appeal is given below :

Congratulations to the Jama‘at:

“Berlin has been destroyed – so utterly destroyed that the destruction of London and Warsaw and Stalingrad seem insignificant in comparison. Fire raged from its skies day and night. Hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs were dropped on it in succession for two or three years. At the end of this period, a vengeful nation who had suffered countless losses at the hands of Germany, whose towns and industries and agriculture had been turned into a barren waste by the German forces assailed Berlin and razed its buildings to the ground so that the on-lookers said that London was not ruined; it was Berlin that was destroyed. But today, Reuters’ correspondent reports that in this ravaged city the Berlin Mosque stands alive.

An impoverished Jama‘at erected a House of God in the city of Berlin. This Jama‘at desired no publicity because no body bothered to see what it had constructed? It kept on contributing its wealth for the construction of the House of God and kept praying with humility: ‘O our Lord, accept this humble effort on our behalf.’ I still remember the spectacle. A handful of women was present at the Annual Conference. An appeal came from our missionary in Berlin that there were no funds left for the minarets. When I appealed to that handful of women, Allah opened their hearts and several thousand rupees were collected from the few women of a small Jama‘at. So I congratulate my Jama‘at today that Allah, the Most High, has shown a clear sign that their sacrifice has been accepted and today Reuters’ correspondent has announced to the whole world, something which was beyond our power, that in this devastated city, Allah has saved His House.

And the amazing thing is that the report also tells that although the dome and minarets have suffered some damage, the minaret which the muezzin climbed to call the azaan (the call for prayer) is unscathed. God’s Name was raised from there. God has indeed shown a great sign. Today we are not happy just because of this though it is a very good news that we will not have to spend large sums of money on its reconstruction we are happy because Allah has shown a tremendous sign in saving His House and has given remarkable evidence of His Power and His Existence as He showed the world in the past the sight of Divine protection for Prophet Abraham. The Holy Qur’an says: O fire, be coolness and peace for Abrahma (21:69). He has once again displayed to the world that whom He wants to save, is safeguarded even In a raging fire.

The most surprising part is that when the Russian assault began, the Germans chose this very Mosque to impede the onslaught in that part of the city. Such a spot comes in for the most deadly attack, and so it happened. When the Russian forces captured it, the bodies of fourteen German soldiers lay in the Mosque, but the custodian of the Mosque was safe. This caretaker then revealed that during the War it was the centre for six thousand Muslims. All praise be to Allah. Where are those Muslims, or those who had instigated the Muslims to destroy the Berlin Mosque because it was built by the members of the Ahmadiyya MovementO Muslims! Look at your intentions and look at the will of God. You wanted to destroy it because it was constructed by a Jama‘at which was imbued with the spirit of serving Islam; God showed, by protecting it in the midst of blazing fire, that His Hand is with this Jama‘at, and with the person who entrusted the Jama‘at with this holy mission.

Come, my friends, and prostrate yourselves before God with humility, for having made manifested such a great sign of His Power and His Omnipotence for such sinful and useless people as us. It is His Mercy; we did nothing to deserve it, but there are no bounds to His appreciation. He has awarded so much recognition to such a trifling endeavour. Come, let us, too, thank Him for His mercy in displaying a miraculous sign, by taking a practical step forward. O those, who doubt! Cast out doubts from your hearts on observing this remarkable sign from God, and be assured now that it has become God’s Will that His Name should spread in the world, and if your wealth is spent today in the cause of elevating the Name of God and spreading the Word of God in the world, this defiled wealth will also be purified and gain an eternal life, and nobody can envisage the blessings that God has reserved for those who spend their riches thus. The Qur’an says: No soul knows what refreshment of the eyes is hidden for them (32:17). This sign has been shown to the world in the month of Ramadan so that we are able to appreciate its true significance in this month. The month of Ramadan began on August 10 and on its third day, that is, August 12, an infidel news agency proclaimed this sign to the whole world, and it was for this month that I had asked you to resolve to set up ten more missions in the world and to give between one-tenth to one-third of your accumulated wealth which you are to leave behind in the world to perish for this cause, so that all your riches may gain an eternal and ever-lasting life and that they may be multiplied for you ten times, a thousand times, a hundred thousand times yielding boundless profit in your after-life. God has granted so much appreciation to your first effort; now increase the pace of your steps in the way of God. If you first stood up from a sitting posture, now set your feet into motion. If you had first started walking from a standing position, now break into a run. Bring forth whatever you can so that we can all raise the Name of God in the world, and in the coming year we can establish ten more missions for the propagation of Islam and the spread of the Holy Quran in ten major cities of the world. Your God is with you. You have only to make a resolution, and He will infuse the strength into you.

O affluent people! If you do not bring forth your wealth at my call, remember that you will regret it one day. Give your riches in the way of God; for elevating the Name of God in the world; for conveying the last message of God as a sustenance for the world dying of spiritual hunger; and if all my entreaties do not move your hearts and I am aware of what little power there can be in the voice of a useless and sinful person then my last appeal is that you kneel down before God in this month of Ramadan and pray to Him with tears: ‘O God, make some other arrangements for the ascendancy of your religion!’ He is able to do this, too. And pray for the triumph of the religion of God with so much pain and anguish that your cries may reach the heavens. Only about fifteen days of Ramadan will remain after you get this appeal. These days will also include the last ten blessed days. Do not forget my last request that if you cannot give your wealth, then help me with prayers which reach the heavens.”

Muhammad Ali
7, Ramadan al-Mubarak

For a few years after the end of the Second World War, the Anjuman could not send an Imam from Pakistan. Mrs. Amina Mosler continued to perform the duties of looking after the Mosque and the Mission House. During the War, the duties of the Imam were temporarily performed by Abdul Ghani Usman – a Tartar Muslim. The residence of the Imam was rented out to a German and the income from it was used to meet the expenditures of the Mosque. Meetings of Yugoslavian Muslim volunteers and other gatherings were held at Mrs. Amina Mosler’s house. During this period, around eight thousand Turks, Yugoslavians and Tartars were associated with the Berlin Mosque, of which six thousand were Yugoslavian Muslims. Friday congregational prayers and weekly gatherings on Sundays also took place regularly.

In 1941, the former Mufti of Palestine, Amin al-Hussaini, and the Prime Minister of Iraq fled to Berlin along with their Arab supporters and they, too, attended the Eid congregations.

Muhammad Aman Hobohm:

In May 1949, Muhammad Aman Hobohm ¾ a zealous German Muslim belonging to the northern German city of Leubec, was appointed as the Assistant Imam. Since his youth, he was interested in the comparative study of the teachings, history and culture of other religions. He had just started to form an organisation to promote this object when the Second World War broke out and he could not keep in touch with people. Immediately after the War, he happened to read Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali’s booklet, Islam the Religion of Humanity, and this booklet guided him towards the truth of Islam. Then he studied other books by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali and finally he accepted Islam. In October 1947, he joined the Jama‘at after corresponding with Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali. Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali’s renowned book, The New World Order, was published in October, 1948. When Bro. Muhammad Aman Hobohm read it, he immediately sought permission to translate it into German. In this way, he was engaged in religious service on his own. Then he was selected for the Berlin Mission. For some time he remained under the training of Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in Woking, after which, in May 1949, he started his work as the Assistant Imam of the Berlin Mosque.

On May 14, 1949, a special reception was held in Berlin presided over by Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, who was at that time in charge of the Woking Muslim Mission and was also responsible for the Berlin Mission. At this function, Bro. Muhammad Aman Hobohm’s appointment as the Assistant Imam was officially announced and he was introduced to the local German Muslims and other notables of the city. The reception was attended by more than two hundred Muslims. Details of the reception were broadcast through the world-renowned news agency, Reuters. A report about the function along with a brief history of the Mosque was also published by Pakistani newspapers.

Bro. Muhammad Aman Hobohm was proficient both in German and English. He also knew Arabic, French and Latin. Hence, during his term he started publication of a magazine called The Orient Post in three languages ¾ Arabic, English and German ¾ but due to financial difficulties it could not be continued for long. For the first time in the history of the Berlin Mosque and Mission, a German Muslim was made the Imam, but in spite of being a German he had to face bitter opposition.

In 1948, some Muslims gathered around a Pakistani journalist, Hafiz Manzar-ud-Din Ahmad. The attitude of this journalist was regrettable in many ways. He had cherished hopes that he would be appointed as the Imam of the Mosque, but when Bro.Muhammad Aman Hobohm became the Assistant Imam, his hopes were shattered and he started to oppose him.. He and his associates started incitinging the people against Imam Hobohm, saying that he was not a true Muslim. As a result of their instigation, he was attacked outside the Mosque one day. However, he kept on performing his duties with utmost courage, steadfastness, sincerity and intelligence. As a result Eid congregations and lectures continued to be regularly arranged with success.

In 1953, Imam Hobohm came to Pakistan and visited all the Jama‘ats. He delivered a wonderful lecture at the Peshawar University. He got married to the daughter of Mr. Azimullah, a renowned advocate of Lahore and the General Secretary of the Anjuman Hamayat Islam. On his return he served the Mission for one more year, after which he was forced to leave the Mission due to its financial constraints and his own domestic circumstances. He entered the Government service in 1954. At present, probably, he is working as the Cultural Attaché of the German Embassy in Saudi Arabia. During the four-year term of Imam Hobohm, eighty-two Germans entered the fold of Islam. On his departure, the responsibility of looking after the Mosque and Mission once again fell upon the shoulders of Mrs. Amina Mosler and that courageous and dedicated lady fulfilled this responsibility with utmost sincerity, devotion and faithfulness for five years.

Mr. Abdul Aziz Khan:

In the beginning of 1959, Mr. Abdul Aziz Khan, a well-known personality of the Mardan district and a respected member of the Jama’at, was designated Imam of the Berlin Mosque. Before Partition, he was the DSP of the CID in Bombay and he also worked as the General Secretary of the Central Anjuman, Lahore for a few years. He stayed in Berlin for a short period of barely nine months, during which the financial condition of the Mission did not improve, in spite of his efforts. The hostile propaganda of Muslims from other countries added to his woes. In these critical circumstances, Maulana Muhammad Yahya Butt was immediately sent to Berlin to take charge of the Mission. Maulana Butt had been working as the Assistant Imam of the Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking since August 1956.

Maulana Muhammad Yahya Butt:

Maulana Muhammad Yahya Butt was born into a religious and educated family of Sialkot on February 24, 1924. After completing his High School education, he joined government service. The religious atmosphere of his childhood left an indelible impact upon his personality and this became more pronounced as he grew older. His grandfather, Mian Muhammad Abdullah was reputed in the city for his conscientiousness and piety. The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement was well known in every house of Sialkot. Mian Muhammad Abdullah went to meet him and, impressed by the saintly light on his face and his speech, enquired if he was the Promised Imam whose arrival had been foretold by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Hazrat Mirza replied in the affirmative and was going to give proof of his claim but Mian Muhammad Abdullah said there was no need for that; he only wanted to assure himself that he was the Promised Imam and desired the acceptance of his bai’at.

In 1941, Maulana Butt joined government service in Sialkot. After three years he was transferred to Lahore where he took up his residence at the Delhi Gate. He regularly attended the Fajr prayers at the Ahmadiyya Buildings and Maulana Sadr-ud-Din’s dars of the Holy Quran.

In 1945 when Maulana Muhammad Ali appealed to the young men to dedicate their lives to the propagation of Islam, Maulana Butt left his government job to devote his life to the service of the faith. In1946, he became student of the training class for missionaries. For two years, he acquired knowledge of the Holy Quran, Tradition, Islamic Jurisprudence and the works of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah from Hazrat Maulana Abdul Rahman Misri. After completing the training course, he was appointed as the Assistant Editor of the weekly Paigham-i Sulh for some time. In 1951, Maulana Butt passed the examinations of Arabic and Bachelor of Arts at the University of the Punjab. He also served as Hazrat Ameer Maulana Sadr-ud-Din’s personal assistant for some time, and assisted him in writing and printing two of his renowned books, Ghalba-i Quran (The Triumph of the Holy Quran) and Zuroorat-i Hadith (The Importance of the Tradition). In August 1956, the Central Anjuman sent him to Woking, England as the Assistant Imam of the Shah Jehan Mosque. He also delivered the Friday sermons and led the congregational prayers on behalf of the Mission at the Pakistan High Commission, at the request of His Excellency Muhammad. Ikramullah, Pakistan’s High Commissioner in London. Maulana Butt stayed in England for three years during which he also attended the sessions of the World Congress of Faiths. In 1958, he met the Archbishop of Canterbury on the occasion of the Independence Day of India and had an interesting conversation with him.

Sir Aga Khan, the Third, had a long-standing and close association with the Woking Muslim Mission and the Shah Jehan Mosque. On account of this, he said in his will that his memorial service should be held at the Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking. Thus a dignified and solemn service was held at the Mosque. It was attended by Prince Karim Aga Khan, prominent members of the Ismaili community, the ambassadors of many Muslim states and the representative of Queen Elizabeth II. Maulana Butt led the funeral service.

Prayer House, London:

18 Eccleston Square, London was the Prayer House of the Woking Muslim Mission, from where the monthly The Islamic Review was published. Lectures were held on every Sunday. Maulana Butt also had the opportunity to deliver lectures there on several subjects. Some of these were also published in The Islamic Review.

Some of the important topics were: 

  • The need for co-operation amongst religions.
  • The Prophet Muhammad’s treatment of the Jews.
  • The truth about the Ascension of the Holy Prophet and its importance.

Maulana Butt’s article, “The Holy Prophet’s Kind Treatment of the Jews”, was published by the well-known magazine, The Islamic Culture, published from Hyderabad Deccan. In November 1959, Maulana Butt took charge of the Berlin Mission. Since no proper Imam had been sent to Berlin for a long time after Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, the headlines of the local newspapers heralded the arrival of Maulana Butt.

The annual reports of the Berlin Mission, which were published in Urdu from time to time, show that Maulana Butt carried out the work of propagating Islam in Germany in a very organised manner and adopted the following means of conveying the teachings of Islam: 

  • Talks were given at the Berlin Mosque after Friday prayers.
  • Lectures were held at the Mission House on every Saturday.
  • German Christian families were sent invitations.
  • Discussions were regularly arranged with Christian students at the Berlin University.
  • The Islamic point of view on different issues was presented at the meetings of The All Churches Religious Organisation.
  • Speeches were made on different topics in the Elphen Gelshey Academy of Berlin.
  • Lectures were delivered at different gatherings organised by Muslim circles.
  • A series of talks was broadcast on Radio Reis, Berlin. This afforded an opportunity to present the Islamic significance of these important Islamic occasions like Lailat al-Qadr (Night of Majesty), the Night of Ascension of the Holy Prophet, and other subjects in German to a wider circle of listeners. Some of the speeches aired on the radio and delivered at meetings were afterwards published in the form of booklets which are as follows:
    • The Islamic Concept of Life after Death
    • The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, his life and Mission.
    • Five Speeches about Islam on Radio Berlin
    • The Basic Principles of Islam
    • A Glance at the Birthday Celebration of the Holy Prophet
    • A Call to the Truth
    • The Status of Jesus Christ ¾ in the Light of the Holy Quran and the Bible
    • The Path to Peace
    • The Message of Islam
    • The Concept of the Advent of Reformers in Islam
  •  Discussions were held with the people visiting the Berlin Mosque and they were provided with literature and other essential information about Islam.

Maulana Muhammad Yahya Butt served as the Imam of the Berlin Mosque for twenty-seven years and four months ¾ a considerably long period of time. Through his efforts, one hundred and seventy-five people entered the fold of Islam, among them were a judge of the Berlin Court and several German scholars. .

The German Information Bulletin published by the German Government in 1962 published brief history of the Mosque and some details about the activities of the Mission and its influence under the title The Beautiful Mosque of Berlin. Some excerpts from it are given below:

“Muslim tourists are awed by the spectacle of the beautiful Mosque in Berlin, the metropolis of ancient Germany. It is the pleasure of every citizen to take every newcomer to the city in his first leisure time to visit this large and most magnificent Mosque. Muslims coming from Muslim states experience a spiritual contentment at this place as, standing shoulder to shoulder, they prostrate themselves before the Almighty. Its foundation stone was laid thirty years ago by a pious person, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din, who succeeded in completing it by his tireless efforts. This Mosque contributes to the repute and prestige of the city. It affords a practical example of the majesty and tolerance of Islam. When Germans visit the Mosque and talk about Christianity and ask the Imam’s opinion about their views and ideas, the astonishing result has been that most of those who come to the Mosque with confused and prejudiced concepts about Islam, bid farewell to Christianity after they have had a talk with the Imam and return to their homes after entering the fold of Islam.”

In the same year, the German Muslim Society was revived after a long time by the efforts of Maulana Butt. A princess of the Iranian royal family was chosen as its first president, but later Maulana Butt was made the president. From 1982 to 1987 Maulana Butt’s daughter Mansura Butt remained its secretary and Syed Tanfus of Tunis was its treasurer. Mansura Butt did her M.Sc. in Economics at the Berlin University and her thesis on the topic, “Interest-free Banking in Pakistan”, was accepted by the University.

When Maulana Butt came to Pakistan in the same year, the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Lahore sent a delegation under him to East Pakistan to elucidate the importance of the propagation of Islam in the West.

Burial Ground for Muslims in Berlin:

During the monarchy, William Caesar had given a piece of land in Berlin to the Turkish Government for the purpose of a graveyard for Muslims. It was under the control of the Turkish Consul General in Berlin: permission from him had to be specially sought in order to bury a dead in the graveyard. On several occasions, bodies of Muslims had to be buried in Christian cemeteries since permission was not granted in time. Hence, at the insistence of the people, Maulana Butt started corresponding with the Mayor of Berlin on this issue, as a result of which the Federal Government allocated a separate piece of government land for the burial of non-Turk Muslim inhabitants, and the difficulty faced by the Muslims for many years was thus removed. In the new graveyard, the relatives of the deceased have to pay the cost of the piece of land for the grave, which is usually covered by the insurance of the deceased. In this context, Maulana Butt drew the Mayor’s attention towards another problem if the relatives of the deceased are unable to pay the cost of the land, what is to be done in that case? The solution that the Mayor found to this problem was that if the Imam of the Berlin Mosque testified that the relatives of the deceased were indeed unable to bear the cost, then they would be exempted from paying the cost of land for a grave.

The Birthday of Jesus Christ:

With the object of promoting an atmosphere of religious tolerance and mutual understanding between the Muslims and Christians, the day of the birth of Jesus Christ was celebrated for the first time in the Berlin Mosque on December 26, 1964. It was presided over by the Mayor of Berlin, Mr. William D. Jamseroy . After the recitation of the Holy Quran the following views about Islamic tolerance were expressed by Mr. Kurt Aberhart, the secretary of the All Churches Religious Organisation:

“I have been invited by the Imam of the Mosque to read a passage from the Bible on the occasion of the birth of Christ. I am thankful to him for this and see it as gesture of tolerance towards Christianity. This attitude is made even more admirable by the fact that Islam has a different belief about Jesus Christ than that of Christianity. Muslims believe that Jesus was only a prophet, equal in status to the other prophets, such as Moses and Elias, mentioned in the Bible, and do not believe that he possessed any Divine attributes. In spite of this, the fact that Jesus and Mary have been mentioned in the Holy Quran more than once is noteworthy. But this still does not provide sufficient reason to celebrate the Birthday of Jesus in a Mosque. In this context, some other things are also thought provoking. For instance, Islam counts Christianity among the religions of the world. I think that the Imam of the Mosque has set for us a good example by organising this gathering and it is my wish that Christianity should reciprocate by showing a much greater degree of tolerance for Islam than has been displayed up to the present time. A good beginning was made by the Protestants and Catholics in the near past. This healthy start should be built upon. In Berlin, through different Churches and the organisations of various Christian factions, we have provided an opportunity to the followers of different religions to get together and try to understand one another’s views. I have mentioned these few facts in order to explain in detail the background of this inter-religious gathering which is being held in a mosque in connection with the birth of Jesus Christ.”

In 1965, the present Pope, John Paul, declared that the Muslims are not infidals but they believe in one God. He instructed the priests to improve their relations with Muslims and to exchange views with them upon religious issues. In order to spread this declaration of the Pope, the All Churches Religious Organisation of Berlin held a special meeting. A brief report about it is given below :

“The All Churches Religious Organisation celebrated its twentieth anniversary. On this occasion, the Secretary of the Organisation, Rev. Aberhart , invited Dr. Benz , a Christian Professor at the University of Bonn to speak. In his speech, the Professor mentioned the Papal announcement made in 1965. Commenting upon this announcement, the Professor highlighted in detail the causes which had forced the Pope to change the long-standing attitude of the Church towards the Muslims. He said that a phenomenal change has appeared in the Muslim world in this century. Such religious organisations have emerged among the Muslims which are producing translations of the Holy Quran and its commentary, and literature about the life of the Prophet Muhammad. These are being disseminated on a large scale in Europe. They are also exerting their influence on the minds of the people by opening missions and sending missionaries to Europe. (By mentioning these facts, the Professor has actually admitted in an indirect manner the positive results of the missionary activity of the Ahmadiyya Movement.) The Professor said that now many Muslim states were heading towards political independence after throwing off the rulership of the Western nations; the Gulf states were beginning to grow in oil wealth. These three facts have forced the Vatican to change its old perspective about Islam and hence the Papal appeal for closer relations with the Muslim World.”

In 1973 Maulana Sadr-ud-Din the founder of the German Muslim Mission ¾ visited Berlin during a month-long tour of South America for missionary and organisational purposes.

In June 1977, Maulana Butt met the Muslim prisoners in the prisons of Berlin at the request of the Minister of the Judiciary of the Government. He spoke with them on different issues and presented a few copies of the German translation of the Holy Quran by Maulana Sadr-ud-Din to the Prison library.

Pope John Paul and Islamic Tolerance:

In September 1978, Maulana Butt met the Cardinal Secretary of Pope John Paul in a religious conference in Rome. One of the objects of this conference was to propagate the Pope’s important announcement of 1965 in which he had directed the priests to modify their past attitude towards the Muslims, to cultivate closer relations with them and to exchange views with them on religious issues. In the conference, the Cardinal Secretary of the Pope, first expressed his views on the subject of religious tolerance. Then, Maulana Butt was invited to present the Islamic outlook on tolerance. The summary of Maulana Butt’s speech in English is given below:

“We welcome this announcement of Pope John Paul about religious tolerance and will like to take this opportunity to state with great pleasure that Islam has been practising religious tolerance for the past fourteen hundred years. Islam does not restrict itself to preaching tolerance only in words; it presents a practical example of tolerance which no religion has taught to this day. Tolerance is not just a policy in Islam; it is declared to be a part of faith to believe that all religions and their founders are from God. It even goes a step further than this to state that not only is it essential to believe in all the messengers of God; if even a single messenger is denied, a Muslim becomes an infidel. This concept of Islamic tolerance not only links the followers of all religions in a spiritual relationship; it also provides a firm basis for bringing them closer and promoting better understanding among them.

“There is so much respect and veneration among the Muslims for Jesus Christ and Mary that even in a remote village of the Muslim World, whose people are not even educated, when the names of these two personalities are mentioned, people bow down their heads in respect. But on the contrary, the state of the Christian World is such that once a student of the Free Berlin University came to the Mission House and we began to talk about Islam and when there was a mention of swine being forbidden in Islam, the student said that he knew that we abhorred the flesh of this animal because it had eaten the body of our Prophet.”

Maulana Butt laid great emphasis on this point before the audiance ¾ the respect of an illiterate Muslim in a remote village for Jesus and Mary in contrast with the extreme ignorance and revulsion of an educated student of the Free Berlin University for the Prophet of Islam.

The effect of this speech was that the Cardinal Secretary of the Pope admitted before the audience the greatmess of the Prophet Muhammad and the errors in Christian literature. The Mufti of Cyprus, Dr. Riffat Mustafa Usalene, was also present at the conference. At the end of the session he expressed his intense happiness and the other Muslim participants also embraced Maulana Butt and commended his courage with which he had presented Islam at the centre of a Catholic Church.

The Reports of German Newspapers:

Some German newspapers and periodicals such as The Velt and Der Tagas Peegal publish reports about the Mosque and the activities of the Mission, from time to time. The latter newspaper appreciated the work of the Mission and its ideals in its issue of July 8, 1979, in the following words:

“Imam Muhammad Yahya Butt comes from Lahore, Pakistan. He has been in charge of the Mission for the last twenty years. Officials of the Berlin Government hold his views on Islamic issues in high esteem and believe them to be authentic. His style of exercising his judgement and reasoning has always been appreciated. Some of the Muslims residing in Berlin uphold those views about the rights of women which have been held by Maulana Maudoodi in Pakistan. But the truth is that the views and exposition which the Pakistani Imam of the Berlin Mosque present here in Germany are logical and practical.”

In 1980, the Imam of the Berlin Mosque was invited to Tehran by the Revolutionary Council of Iran to participate in the celebrations of the anniversary of the Revolution.

On January 14, a documentary film entitled Muslims in Germany was prepared, and shown on television on May 7 of the same year. In this film, the Berlin Mosque and the endeavours of the Mission were briefly introduced and a few new German Muslims were also interviewed, some of whom said that they had obtained information about Islam from the Imam of the Berlin Mosque.

During the same year, a renowned German publishing firm, Zie Benztryn compiled articles written by Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, Bahai and Sufi religious leaders and scholars on the subject “What will Happen after Death?” Twenty-four articles were written in all, of which eighteen were by Christian scholars. The Islamic point of view on this subject was presented by the Imam of the Berlin Mosque, Maulana Muhammad Yahya Butt. This was later printed in the form of a book.

And now some excerpts from the reports and comments published in newspapers about the Berlin Mosque and the activities of the Mission, which highlight its work and impact:

“The Imam of the Mosque these days is Muhammad Yahya Butt. He is a Pakistani and is the religious leader of over a thousand Muslims, most of whom are university students from Arab states, Iran, India, Pakistan and Indonesia. The doors of the Berlin Mosque are open to all Muslims, irrespective of the country to which they belong. This Mosque is not just a place of worship for Muslims from foreign lands. Indeed, the Imam of the Mosque makes earnest efforts so that the people of Germany may believe in the message of the Prophet Muhammad and he has been quite successful in this regard. Over seventy new German Muslims are included in his circle…. Every Saturday evening new Muslim brothers and Christian friends meet the Imam at the Mission House and listen to his talk on religious issues. There is a wonderful display of forbearance during the question-answer sessions. It is this very attitude of tolerance of the Imam which is crowning his efforts to preach Islam with an astonishing amount of success. A German is entering the fold of Islam every month.

The citizens of Berlin are well acquainted with this Mosque, located in the 7th and 8th streets of Wilmersdorfen. They must have a strange idea of the Muslim way of worship. However, the reason for this unfamiliarity is not that we, Christians and non-Muslims, do not want to learn about the Muslim way of prayer; it is because in most Muslim countries the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad are not propagated in a broadminded way. In the Arab states, even today, a non-Muslim is not permitted to enter a Mosque. So it is out of question for Christians to come to a mosque to observe how Muslims pray. But Imam Muhammad Yahya Butt has a completely different attitude. He invites Christian friends to visit the Mosque. The Imam is the religious leader of the Muslim community in Berlin. He considers it to be one of his most important duties to remove the misunderstandings and prejudiced ideas about Islam from the minds of Christians.”

The writer ends his long essay by writing:

“This is a good opportunity for the citizens of Berlin to learn and understand the teachings of Islam. Admission to the Mosque is open to all. Christians are allowed to enter the Mosque on Fridays when prayers are being offered, or on Saturday evenings when lectures on different subjects are being delivered from the Holy Quran, or when talks are going on. Great respect is shown towards Christian friends and visitors to the Mosque. One hundred and twenty-five chairs have been laid out in the Mosque for visitors. A person who is anywhere near the Mosque on Friday, the time of the zuhr prayer, and hears the call of the muezzin, he can enter the Mosque without any hesitation passing through its doorway, and will see nothing odd during the prayer in the Mosque. The good that will come out of seeing Muslims pray in the Mosque will be that we will able to deal more tolerantly with those living in our city and our country, whose religion is not Christianity.”

The writer further says:

“Since the last fifteen or sixteen years the Berlin Mosque has become such a centre where not only can the Muslims of different sects gather together and offer prayers, but the Christians can also participate in the meetings held in the Mosque. In this way, this Mosque of Berlin has become a unique model, a living testimony that Islam is the religion of universal principles.

“Muslims have different organisations in Germany today. Some are prejudiced and intolerant, some are extremists and there are some that are imbued with missionary zeal and they attach great importance to themselves at times, but the truth is that in the presence of all these Muslim organisations in Germany, the Berlin Mosque is the only centre in this country which has become the symbol of true loyalty to the spirit of Islam and the only one which demonstrates sincerity and devotion to its cause.”

Visitors to the Mosque:

People keep coming to visit the Mosque. These include tourists, students, teachers, ambassadors of Muslim states, political leaders and heads of states. The names of some of the notable personalities who paid a visit to the Mosque while Maulana Butt was its Imam are listed below: 

  • The President of Somalia, His Excellency, Mr. Adil Abdullah Usman
  • The Foreign Minister of Pakistan. Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
  • The Prime Minister of Malaysia, His Excellency Tunku Abdur Rahman
  • Renowned Muslim scholar of the Soviet Union, Al-Hajj Adil Renalov
  • A delegation of the members of the National Assembly of Bangladesh
  • A group of professors of the Al-Azhar University
  • The President of the International Court of Justice, The Hague, Holland, Chaudhri Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan

Official Aid for the Berlin Mosque:

The dome and minarets of the Berlin Mosque suffered severe damage during the Second World War. Up to 1951, the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Lahore spent nearly 61,000 German Marks from its own resources on the necessary repairs to the Mosque and the Mission House but the Mosque was still not fit to be used during the winter. It could only be used for a few months in the summer. By Maulana Butt’s efforts the following sums of money were received from the Berlin Corporation and other Government departments for the repairs of the Mosque:

April 21, 1975 215,000 Marks
November 14, 1975 50,000 Marks
1976 60,000 Marks

“””Africa’s Muslim Authorities and Ahmadis: Curbed Freedoms, Circumvented Legalities””” by Muhammed Haron professor of Religious Studies at the University of Botswana and an Associate Researcher at the University of Stellenbosch

Intro
Ahmadiyya was used by the British Government to get the Muslims of India, Africa and many other countries.  In fact, MGA told Ahmadi’s to pray for the success of the British Government, who were vicious colonizers.   In this work, he explains how the British government used Ahmadiyya to convert common Muslims.  Christianity wasn’t working to convert Muslims, thus, the British government partnered with Ahmadiyya as a method to subjugate the masses in Africa to support and defend colonialism.  In this academic work, he refers to Lahori-Ahmadi’s as simply “Ahmadi’s”, whereas the Qadiani-Ahmadi’s are called Qadiani’s.  Dr. Balogan is another famous college professor from Africa who wrote academically about Ahmadiyya.

Who is Muhammed Haron?
We have found an essay by Muhammed Haron who is a professor of Religious Studies at the University of Botswana and an Associate Researcher at the University of Stellenbosch. He is editor of University of Cape Town’s Annual Review of Islam in Africa and the Editor-in-Chief of Duke University’s online Research Africa Reviews. He co-edited Muslim Higher Education in Postcolonial Africa (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and co-edited Proceedings of the 2016 Islamic Civilization in Southern Africa Congress (Istanbul: IRCICA, 2018).  Pages 60-74 | Published online: 11 Dec 2018.

The academic essay
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15570274.2018.1535048?af=R&

The Ahmadiyya Community (hereafter Ahmadis) encountered difficulties to freely express their beliefs and creeds in both Muslim majority societies and Muslim minority communities. Since the Ahmadis are among those communities that departed from the traditional Muslim theological position, the traditional Muslim authorities curbed their beliefs and practices through the issuing of fatwas. In response the Ahmadis tried to avoid being harassed and persecuted by seeking ways of circumventing the legalities. This article evaluates the theological clashes that occasionally occurred between the Ahmadis and these Muslim authorities in African settings where religious communities have generally experienced relative religious freedom.

Freedom of religion or belief is not just an optional extra, or nice to have; it is the key human right. It allows everyone to follow their conscience in the way they see fit. Baroness Anelay of St Johns, 16 July 2015

Over the many decades, Muslim communities like other religious communities the world over have encountered external and internal challenges. On the external front, these communities have been challenged by Islamophobic outbursts across Europe and in other Western regions (Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in AmericaWashington, DCCentre for American

Progress.https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/report/2011/08/26/10165/fear-inc/Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America],“ Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir. [Google Scholar]; Bayrakli and Hafez 2016Bayrakli, Enes, and Farid Hafez, eds. 2016European Islamophobia Report 2015Istanbul & Washington, DCSETA. [Google Scholar]),11 This term refers to anti-Muslim rhetoric that has been studies by various individuals and groups over the past few years. Interesting texts that cover this phenomenon is the report by Wajahat Ali et al. Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America (Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in AmericaWashington, DCCentre for American Progress.https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/report/2011/08/26/10165/fear-inc/Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America],“ Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir. [Google Scholar]) and European Islamophobia Report 2015 (Bayrakli and Hafez 2016Bayrakli, Enes, and Farid Hafez, eds. 2016European Islamophobia Report 2015Istanbul & Washington, DCSETA. [Google Scholar]).View all notes and internally they have been confronted by numerous intra-religious differences and theological disagreements. These have, in turn, given rise to public dissensions and discord that caused the majority of adherents under traditionally minded religious leaders to pursue a policy of “ostrakonophobia.”22 This researcher searched the long list of words that describe the various phobias and he was unable to find a word that captures the “fear of being ostracized.” He thus coined this term that he derived from the Greek word: ostrakon (visit: www.fearof.net and www.phobialist.com).View all notes By this, it is meant that they applied an ad hoc policy that, to some extent, struck fear in the hearts and minds of individuals and groups who dreaded being publicly ostracized, shunned, repudiated, banned, and excluded.

Many historical examples come to the fore when reflecting upon intra-religious conflict among Muslim communities residing in (for example, Pakistan [Saeed 2007Saeed, Sadia. 2007. “Pakistani Nationalism and the State Marginalisation of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan.” Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 7 (3): 132152. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9469.2007.tb00166.x[Crossref] [Google Scholar]], Talbot 2007Talbot, Ian. 2007. “Religion and Violence: The Historical Context for Conflict in Pakistan.” In Religion and Violence in South Asia: Theory and Practice, edited by John Hinnels and RichardKing147163LondonRoutledge. [Google Scholar]) and outside (for example, Indonesia [Panggabean 2016Panggabean, Samsu R. 2016. “Policing Sectarian Conflict in Indonesia: The Case of Shi’ism.” In Religion, Law and Intolerance in Indonesia, edited by Tim Lindsey, and HelenPausacker271288LondonRoutledge.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]; Schafer 2018Schafer, Saskia. 2018. “Ahmadis or Indonesians? The Polarization of Post-Reform Public Debates on Islam and Orthodoxy.” Critical Asian Studies 50 (1): 1636. doi: 10.1080/14672715.2017.1404925[Taylor & Francis Online][Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar]]) the Muslim heartlands. More than a century ago, for example, two groups, which emerged within pre-dominantly Muslim states, namely Iran and Pakistan (Jamil 2002Jamil, Uzma. 2002. “Minorities and ‘Islamic States’: Explaining Bahai and Ahmadi Marginalization.” Unpublished MA Thesis., McGill University. [Google Scholar]), were theologically ostracized from the house of Islam. At the end of the 19th century, among the first to be rejected for their philosophy and religious outlook was Baha’ullah (d.1892) and the Baha’i faith adherents (Buck 2003Buck, Christopher. 2003. “Islam and Minorities: The Case of the Bahai’s.” Studies in Contemporary Islam 1 (2): 86103. [Google Scholar]). The second group to be repudiated for their beliefs were the Ahmadis,33 The Ahmadis are also referred to the Lahoris and they have been challenged by their theological siblings, namely the Qadiyanis who consider themselves the authentic followers of Mirza.View all notes whose founder was Mirza Ghulam Ahmed (d.1908 hereafter referred to as “Mirza”).44 Ehsan Rehan reported on November 12, 2017 that Allama Iqbal Bahisti, who was the secretary general of Majlis Wahdat—e-Muslimin and a key Shi’ite theologian, warned about the dangers that both the Bahais and Ahmadis posed; this is rather ironic during the current period knowing that many theologians in the Sunni world have also condemned the Shi’ites to be outside the fold of Islam! Ehsan Rehan, “Pakistani Shia Cleric Warns of Dangers Posed by Baha’is & Ahmadis,” Rabwah Times, 12 November 2017. See Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishàat Islam Lahore Inc. U.S.A. “Ahmadiyya Movement Contrasted with the Bahai Religion.” http://www.muslim.org/intro/bah.htm and Fuad Al-Attar, “The Difference between Ahmadis and Bahais.” Ahmadiyya: Inviting to Islam (blog), 7 January 2012. The latter provides a simplistic comparative view.View all notes The respective religious leaders of these two nascent groups offered divergent understandings of revelation and prophecy (Jamil 2002Jamil, Uzma. 2002. “Minorities and ‘Islamic States’: Explaining Bahai and Ahmadi Marginalization.” Unpublished MA Thesis., McGill University. [Google Scholar]).

The Baha’is and Qadiyanis, according to their respective founders’ claims and their ardent followers’ understandings, held the view that they were indeed recipients of revelation; and they were hence inspired prophets. They were somewhat similar to and on par with the earlier prophets who were sent by God. Related to this Khan (2015Khan, Adil H. 2015From Sufism to Ahmadiyya: A Muslim Minority Movement in South AsiaBloomingtonIndiana University Press. [Google Scholar]) mentioned that Mirza, however, regarded himself as a non-legislative prophet; but despite this self-understanding the Qadiyanis’ theological rivals, the Ahmadis, with whom they engaged in semantic squabbles over the use and interpretation of terminologies in the end split and charted out a theological path of their own (Khan 2015Khan, Adil H. 2015From Sufism to Ahmadiyya: A Muslim Minority Movement in South AsiaBloomingtonIndiana University Press. [Google Scholar]). Nonetheless, the theological assertions by both the Qadiyanis and Ahmadis contradicted the declarations made by religious authorities of the Ahl-As-Sunna wa-al-Jama’at(ASJ) (People Who Follow the Prophetic Path and Unity),55 Though popularly referred to as the ‘Ulama[that is, the learned scholars], in this essay they will be referred as Muslim theologians or alternatively as religious authorities.View all notes who represent the majority interpretation. The ASJ hold onto the uncompromising view that Prophet Muhammad was God’s last messenger who was the recipient of God’s final message, namely the Qur’an. So, from an orthodox Muslim perspective, this belief alongside the declaration that there is no other deity except God, is a non-negotiable principle. The ASJ and its representative theological bodies have thus continuously argued against the sacrilegious and heretical teachings of the Bahais and Qadiyanis/Ahmadis.

This article, which does not reflect on the Qadiyanis, gives its attention to the Ahmadis, who, oddly, see themselves theologically closer to ASJ. The Ahmadis, besides having set themselves apart from ASJ, also assumed the title Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i Isha῾at-i Islam in Lahore (Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam) to distinguish themselves from the Qadiyanis. As a modern reformist movement led by Maulana Muhammad Ali, who led the break-away faction from the Qadiyanis, the Ahmadis took on this identity to illustrate how different they are from others, and they thus strategically employed their resources to undertake mission to all and sundry. Since the Ahmadis considered mission as a central cog in their community’s philosophy and practice they dedicated themselves in this religious venture, and as a consequence they established branches globally and this included the African continent.

Though a section of this article assesses the relationship that developed between the Ahmadis and the orthodox African Muslim communities over much of the twentieth, it also hones in on the conflict that emerged between these two religious communities within environments where both experience degrees of freedom of religion or belief. Since it is beyond the article’s scope to discuss their relationship in all the African countries, it zooms in on specific cases that illustrate the nature of the conflict and the tendentious relationship that emerged in spite of the religious freedom that had been guaranteed by state constitutions. With this in mind, the article opens conceptualizing “Muslim authority” before it charts the Ahmadis’ social history in Africa.

Muslim Authority: Identity and Status

Whenever the collective Muslim leadership describes the communities that each of them represent, they do so by stressing their Sunni identity and by extension that they are Ahl-As-Sunna wa-al-Jama’at (ASJ). Even though it is rather difficult to trace and locate the exact origins of the term, its construction and employment were intended to distinguish themselves as a religious group from others such as the Shi’ites and Ibadis with whom they differed theologically and jurisprudentially. But since other religious minorities, such as the Baha’is and Ahmadis, emerged out of the house of Islam, they stressed its use in order to highlight their deep religious differences. Being in the majority, the ASJ adherents are generally represented by trained theologians and jurists. These individuals, who have been classified as “Muslim authorities” and who regard themselves as the prophet’s intellectual cum spiritual inheritors, appropriated their positions by, among other means, issuing fatwas (legal opinions) that act as guides in both majority Muslim societies (such as in West Africa) and in minority Muslim communities (such as East Africa) (Kramer and Schimdtke 2006Kramer, Gudren, and Sabine Schimdtke, eds. 2006Speaking for Islam: Religious Authorities in Muslim SocietiesLeidenE.J. Brill. Oguntayo, Ibrahim. 2016.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/11/future-ahmadiyya-nigeria-beyond-first-century/[Crossref] [Google Scholar]). Furthermore, these Muslim authorities see themselves as spokespersons on behalf of the Muslims, and as a result of their status they hold theological power and influence.

Since reference is being made to “Muslim authority” (or “religious authority”), it is necessary to briefly unpack the phrase and tie it in with the issues that will be discussed further in this essay. For the purpose of this section, one draws upon Kramer and Schimdtke’s (2006Kramer, Gudren, and Sabine Schimdtke, eds. 2006Speaking for Islam: Religious Authorities in Muslim SocietiesLeidenE.J. Brill. Oguntayo, Ibrahim. 2016.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/11/future-ahmadiyya-nigeria-beyond-first-century/[Crossref] [Google Scholar]) informative introduction. They state, “Religious authority is an elusive concept and notoriously difficult to define.” They explain this indefinable term through the ideas of sociologist Max Weber (d.1920) who described “authority … (as) the ability … to have one’s rules and rulings followed, or obeyed, without recourse to coercive power.” And they asserted that, “It is indeed the very absence of coercion that for Weber distinguishes authority (Autorität) from power (Macht).” Taking into account these theoretical notions associated with the term, they add that,

Religious authority can assume a number of forms and functions: the ability (chance, power, or right) to define correct belief and practice, or orthodoxy and orthopraxy, respectively; to shape and influence the views and conduct of others accordingly; to identify, marginalize, punish or exclude deviance, heresy and apostasy and their agents and advocates.

A careful scrutiny of their thoughts reminds one of the role that Muslim authorities play in Muslim societies: They are “agents of social change.” They are the ones who draw thick lines between belief and unbelief. They are individuals who highlight acts regarded as irregular and unacceptable. They are the theologians who point out aberrant thoughts that might lead to heresy or apostasy, as was the case with the Ahmadis (Kramer and Schimdtke 2006Kramer, Gudren, and Sabine Schimdtke, eds. 2006Speaking for Islam: Religious Authorities in Muslim SocietiesLeidenE.J. Brill. Oguntayo, Ibrahim. 2016.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/11/future-ahmadiyya-nigeria-beyond-first-century/[Crossref] [Google Scholar]).

From this, one can gauge that Muslim authority holds a critical position in Muslim society. Muslim authorities find themselves in that position because of the theological and jurisprudential knowledge that they accumulated in a recognized Muslim institution such as Saudi Arabia’s International Islamic University of Medina or Muslim theological seminary such as India’s Darul-Ulum Deoband. These institutions provide them with the license to pronounce over issues that are acceptable (halal) and non-acceptable (haram). In other words, they have been authorized to act in the interest of the Muslim society as a whole, and their position is viewed religiously legitimate, since they also hold “sacred power” through their interpretation of Islam’s primary sources, namely the Qur’an and hadith. They are, to word it differently, Islam’s gatekeepers or caretakers.

Being its caretakers means that they are indeed the ones who have the “right,” as inheritors of the mantle of the Prophets, to apply their minds to any aspect of Muslim law. They are the ones who may opine whether one may marry an Ahmadi or not, and they have the authority to consider and decide whether Ahmadis or other groups (such as the Baha’is) are Muslim or not Muslim. Since this is what many of them generally do, it is perhaps an opportune moment to turn to Africa, where Muslim authorities have resided for generations and where many fatwas have been issued against unorthodox individuals and groups. To address the theological conflicts that occurred and the juridical opinions that were issued with regards to the Ahmadi teachings on the African continent, the present analysis takes into account freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) policies (Hackett 2011Hackett, Rosalind. 2011. “Regulating Freedom of Religion in Africa.” Emory International Law Review25 (1): 854879. [Google Scholar]; See Simmie 3Simmie, Tsedenya. 2017Religious Freedom and Society in AfricaNew Haven, CTThe Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, 3 May. [Google Scholar] May 2017Simmie, Tsedenya. 2017Religious Freedom and Society in AfricaNew Haven, CTThe Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, 3 May. [Google Scholar]) that have been adopted across the continent. At this juncture and to that end, the essay provides a brief historical and demographic assessment of both Africa’s traditional Muslim communities and the nonconformist Ahmadi communities using a few case studies.

Africa’s Muslim Communities and the Ahmadis

Africa has been the home of Muslim communities for centuries and historical records clearly mentioned that Muslims made contact during the prophetic period in the seventh century. However, Muslims connected with East and West Africa later than that; ties with the former were made during the ninth and tenth centuries and with the latter during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. From then onwards, the nascent Muslim communities developed themselves and made immeasurable contributions to the continent. Apart from having made inputs to the continent’s economy, such as creating lively commercial trading centers along the Swahili-speaking Coastal areas, they also made substantial inputs to the production of literature in thriving intellectual cities such as Mali’s Timbuktu; and they, in addition, contributed towards the transformation of the regional languages such as Ki-Swahili, Fulfulde, Makhuwa, and Afrikaans through the use of the pliable Arabic script.

One may, therefore, argue that the assortment of Muslim communities that resided in different parts of the continent made an indelible input that no social historian or geographer can ignore. So, one may confidently state that between the ninth century and the 19th century Muslims made certain that they made qualitative inputs in all spheres and that they left their footprints in each sector from which subsequent generations could benefit; the plethora of yet unedited manuscripts in Timbuktu is a typical example. So, by the time the Ahmadis consciously extended their ideas beyond South Asia through dedicated mission during the early part of the 20th century, they found Muslim communities that were active, dynamic, and inventive (Fisher 1963Fisher, Humphrey. 1963Ahmadiyyah: A Study in Contemporary Islam on the West African CoastOxfordOxford University Press. [Google Scholar]). However, while one commends these Muslims for having made their mark continentally through their efforts in commerce and education, one also comes across sections of these Muslim communities that were ill-informed about all aspects of their religion; these adopted a syncretic approach that weaved in aspects of Islam into their practicing cultures.

African culture played a pivotal role in the make-up of their identity, and even though they were taught Islam’s basics, such as the performance of the obligatory rituals, they lacked knowledge of notions of God’s oneness and deeper theological cum jurisprudential issues—hence their reliance on the Muslim authorities who were equipped with theological and jurisprudential knowledge. At this point, one should perhaps take a closer look at the Ahmadis’ theology, which they subtly stressed and dexterously disseminated among some of Africa’s theologically defenseless Muslim communities. Long before the Ahmadis began their mission in earnest on the African continent, they had developed their ideas that were based on Mirza’s teachings in South Asia, particularly Pakistan, where “the movement”—as they sometimes described themselves—started. One may too opine that African Muslims were and perhaps still are somewhat ill-informed about the views of Mirza’s theological ideas and interpretation. This argument is based partially on a 2012 Pew Research Center survey that was concurrently undertaken in South Asian and Southeast Asian nations where Muslims were in the majority (e.g. Pakistan) or were were a significant minority (e.g. Thailand). If one looks at the data in the table below, one is intrigued by the statistics (Table 1) .

Table 1. Ahmadis—Muslims or not?

Taking Pakistan and Bangladesh as South Asian examples, one notes that 7 percent of the Pakistanis who were interviewed stated that Ahmadis were Muslims, in contrast with 40 percent of Bangladeshis who opined differently. When turning to Southeast Asia, the statistics revealed that 16 percent Malaysians and 12 percent Indonesians viewed Ahmadis to be Muslims, as opposed to 23 percent Malaysians and 78 percent Indonesians, who considered them not to be Muslims. Interestingly, the statistic showed that 70 percent Thai Muslims and 61 percent Malay Muslims had never heard of the Ahmadis. These are indeed justifiably high percentages compared to Bangladesh’s 28 percent and Pakistan’s 26 percent of Muslims who had never heard of Ahmadis—these being two countries where one might assume the population might know more about Ahmadis as a separate religious group. The statistics underline that even though the Ahmadis have been around for more than a century as a distinct marginal religious community, albeit in a contested relationship with ASJ Muslim authorities, they were basically an unknown entity in three predominantly Muslim states by certain sections of their populations. And this is, of course, very different from the significant Thai Muslim community, who live in a mainly Buddhist society in which they have to deal with a different set of socio-political and religious challenges in trying to keep their identity as Muslims intact.

Nonetheless, when considering these responses and transferring them to Africa’s Muslim communities, one can find similar, if not more startling, responses. The rationale for this is based on two assumptions: the first is that some African Muslim communities do not enjoy comparable exposure to Islam’s teachings as their Bangladeshi and Malaysian counterparts, and the second is that the Muslims form part of a religious plural environment in which they have shown tolerance towards others who adhere to different beliefs and practices. In fact, in West Africa there are small pockets of Muslim communities that have fused their traditional practices with those of Islam, but they have not been ostracized, except in a few places.

Setting aside these assumptions and taking another slight detour prior to turning to the Ahmadis’ African mission, the following pertinent issues should be factored in when assessing the Ahl-As-Sunna wa-al-Jama’at’s(ASJ) theological posture towards them: Firstly, when assessing the approaches of the two groups towards Islam’s primary sources, it is clear that ASJ adherents express an orthodox position; whereas the Ahmadis/Qadiyanis embrace a heterodox one. Secondly, there is another critical difference that is related to the question of prophethood–a non-negotiable principle according to the orthodox view. On this matter the conformist ASJ, who determinedly believe that Prophet Muhammad was God’s final messenger, diametrically oppose both the unorthodox Qadiyanis and Ahmadis. The Qadiyanis, basing themselves on Mirza’s writings and pronouncements, have unwaveringly argued that Mirza was an inspired prophet. Their theologians reasoned that the Quranic word “seal” should be interpreted figuratively and not literally, as was generally understood by the orthodox interpreters. From this, the Qadiyanis derived the notion that Prophet Muhammad was not the last and final prophet. Thirdly, the Qadiyanis opined, as a consequence of this theological reasoning that those who do not accept Mirza as the promised Messiah are kafir. Kays (2006Kays, Abdul. 2006The Disciple of Dajjal: Exposing Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani’s Weird Creed. Revised & Abridged. Crown Mines. JohannesburgAl-Ilmu Noor Publications. [Google Scholar]) quoted Mirza as writing in his Kalimat ul-Fasl that “if one does not accept the revelations of the Promised Messiah … then such a rejector becomes a ‘kaafir’!”

In response to these reflections, the Ahmadis broke away from the Qadiyanis, arguing that Mirza’s pronouncements were misunderstood and that he did not say that he was a prophet. Instead, the Ahmadis averred that Mirza conveyed the notion that he was a reformer, in contrast to the Qadiyanis, who emphatically stated that Mirza was not only God’s promised Mahdi (awaited-one) and Christ’s Messiah, but also a prophet (Khan 2015Khan, Adil H. 2015From Sufism to Ahmadiyya: A Muslim Minority Movement in South AsiaBloomingtonIndiana University Press. [Google Scholar]).66 See “Difference Between Sunni and Ahmadi,” DifferenceBetween.net, c. June 2010; “What are the main difference between Ahmadiyyas and other Muslims?” Quora.com, c. July 2015.View all notes Despite the Ahmadis’ altered theological position, the ASJ vehemently condemned them along with the Qadiyanis. The ASJ Muslim authorities issued the legal view that the Qadiyanis and the Ahmadis were outside Islam’s fold. These authorities opined that their beliefs caused a great deal of consternation among all ASJ adherents. Even the Shi’ites, who expressed their discomfort with the theological views of the Qadiyanis and Ahmadis, were ironically categorized by a few extremist ASJ theologians to be outside Islam’s fold too. Though the ASJ Muslim authorities formulated their legal stance towards these two groups since the 1910s (Kays 2006Kays, Abdul. 2006The Disciple of Dajjal: Exposing Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani’s Weird Creed. Revised & Abridged. Crown Mines. JohannesburgAl-Ilmu Noor Publications. [Google Scholar]), both groups managed to survive the mainstream Muslim authorities’ persistent verbal and physical onslaught in both majority and minority settings. During the second half of the 20th century when international human rights instruments were developed and put in place, some of the bodies that worked in the interest of upholding human rights principles categorized the Ahmadis as “a persecuted religious group,” a group that had not only been marginalized and ostracized, but also been mistreated and victimized by dominant Muslim communities in countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia (Talbot 2007Talbot, Ian. 2007. “Religion and Violence: The Historical Context for Conflict in Pakistan.” In Religion and Violence in South Asia: Theory and Practice, edited by John Hinnels and RichardKing147163LondonRoutledge. [Google Scholar]; Ahmad 2017Ahmad, Usman. 2017Ahmadi Persecution: A Global IssueLondonTony Blair Global Studies Institute, June 21. [Google Scholar]). Hence, their constant appeal for the application of these instruments and their quest for the legal protection against states and communities that continue to discriminate against them on religious grounds.

The Ahmadis’ African Mission: Historical Vignettes of Selected Communities

Amidst the Ahmadis’ appeals and quest for protection in South and Southeast Asian nations of Pakistan and Indonesia, it seems that the Ahmadis have generally not faced such types of discrimination and persecution in Africa, where they began to settle in the early 1900s. In fact, when they landed on African soil and as they gradually began to do mission among Africa’s Muslim and non-Muslim communities, they socialized and interacted with communities that were very much occupied with their socio-political and cultural identities during the latter part of the colonial period. By the time the Ahmadis settled in and adjusted to the African environment, the existing Muslim communities, as well as others, were oblivious to the group’s theological teachings, and they accepted them as members of the Muslim ummah (that is, nation/society) without critically probing their theological ideas.

One may, however, postulate that the African Muslims’ attention was not so much concerned with the internal theological disagreements, and that they were more worried about the colonial rulers’ oppressive system and the Christian missionaries’, who challenged their African Muslim beliefs and practices. Since they found themselves to be defenseless, not being able to counter theologically, they sought assistance from other quarters; it was at this point in time that the Ahmadis met up with vulnerable African communities and used the opportunity to do their intended mission. So, one may state that the Ahmadis came into Africa at an opportune period. It was a time when the local Muslim authorities were helpless, since they did not know how to correctly counter Christian missionary activities. Thus, they relied on the skillful approach of the Ahmadis’ preachers who “rescued” them from Africa’s expansive Christian campaigners in different parts of the continent.

The Christian missionaries, who had set up “mission schools” and who had actively spread the Gospel, found their match in the Ahmadi preachers. During that period Ahl-As-Sunna wa-al-Jama’at authorities were ill-equipped to deal with the Christian missionaries, for they were unfamiliar with the Gospel, nor did they have in-depth knowledge about Christianity as such. Being skilled in and knowledgeable of methods of conversion, the Ahmadi proselytizers who were prepared for these eventualities thus aided these Muslim communities, salvaging them from the Gospel-filled hands of the Christian evangelists, who they saw as an extended part of the colonial powers. In these eyes of these Muslim communities, colonial rulers not only subjugated them through oppressive decrees, but also used their educational institutions as instruments of conversion, hence the African Muslim communities’ aversion to attending modern colonial mission schools.

At this point, it is appropriate to summarily describe the Ahmadis’ presence in certain parts of the African continent. The graph above reveals that the highest number of Ahmadis is to be found in Nigeria, Benin, and Tanzania; in these countries their numbers have reached over two million and together they record close to eight million members. Even though their numbers in Guinea Bissau and Egypt are miniscule, they are numerically larger than those found in Southern Africa where Ahmadis only number about 2,000 adherents (Figure 1) .

Figure 1. Ahmadis’ presence in Africa. Data Sourced: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadiyya_by_country.

West Africa’s Ahmadis

Ibrahim Oguntayo (2016),77 Ibrahim Oguntayo, “Future of Ahmadiyya in Nigeria: Beyond the First Century.” Vanguard, 25 November 2016.View all notes in his capacity as the Publicity Committee for Centenary Celebrations of the Nigerian branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamat (as they are called), mentioned that, “The root of Ahmadiyya Nigeria Muslim Jamaat was planted in 1916 when the spread of the message of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Ghulam Ahmad was brought to the newly amalgamated Northern and Southern protectorates in Nigeria.” In 2016, the Nigerians held their 64th annual convention (Jalsa Salana) to mark their hundred-year anniversary of Ahmadi existence in Nigeria. The event called “for a deep reflection on the contributions of the Jamaat to Nigeria’s development.” In Oguntayo’s informed opinion, the Ahmadis have made substantial contributions to Islam’s spread. For some reason, he did not say much about Nigeria’s rich past, of which Usman don Fodio (d.1817) was and remained a great Muslim leader in West Africa.

Nonetheless, he glowingly stated that, unlike other African states in the region, the Ahmadis succeeded in establishing 493 branches across all states. Over the Ahmadis’ hundred years in Nigeria, they set up elementary and secondary schools, and health care centers. In addition, they had, since 1966, published The Truth as their mouthpiece. In Kays’ (2006Kays, Abdul. 2006The Disciple of Dajjal: Exposing Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani’s Weird Creed. Revised & Abridged. Crown Mines. JohannesburgAl-Ilmu Noor Publications. [Google Scholar], 47) sensationally written text, he had this to say: “Mirzaees discovered that Nigeria … (was) fertile ground for spreading their weird creed. Readers of ‘The Truth’, Mirzaee organ from Lagos, will have observed how Ahmadees attempt to indoctrinate the reader with Mirza as a prophet.” He further stated that,

One of the reasons for deceiving the Nigerian Muslim easily is that his language is not Urdu … and they may also not be aware that Mirza was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde … including as an agent of the imperialists.

During the time when the Ahmadis were settling in and expanding in Nigeria and making headway with their mission, they cast their sights on neighboring states. The second stop in West Africa was the Gold Coast, known today as Ghana,88 “Ahmadiyya in Ghana,” Wikipedia, accessed July 2018.View all notes (Samwini 2006Samwini, Nathan. 2006Muslim Resurgence in Ghana Since 1951: Its Effects upon Muslims and Christian-Muslim RelationsMünsterLIT Verlag. [Google Scholar]; Turkson 2007Turkson, Peter K. 2007Ghana: If Islam becomes an Enigma. Oasis, January 10. MilanFoundation International. [Google Scholar]; Acquah 2011Acquah, Francis. 2011. “The Impact of African Traditional Religious Beliefs and Cultural Values on Christian-Muslim Relations in Ghana from 1920 through the Present: A Case Study of Nkusukum-Ekumfi-Enyan Area of the Central Region.” Unpublished Thesis., University of Exeter. [Google Scholar]; Hanson 2017Hanson, John. 2017The Ahmadiyya in the Gold Coast: Muslim Cosmopolitans in the British EmpireBloomingtonIndiana University Press.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]). The Ahmadis’ foremost missionary at that time was Abdul Rahim Nayyar who was, in fact, invited by a group of Muslims from Saltpond, and this happened during the period when the Ahmadis’ Second Caliphate was in charge. After having laid the foundations in 1921, Nayyar departed, but he was replaced by the Ahmadis’ first permanent missionary by the name of Al Hajj Fadl-ul-Rahman Hakim in 1922. According to Samwini (2006Samwini, Nathan. 2006Muslim Resurgence in Ghana Since 1951: Its Effects upon Muslims and Christian-Muslim RelationsMünsterLIT Verlag. [Google Scholar]), the Ahmadis depended much on Hakim’s skills, and he was ably supported by a Fante interpreter. Hakim, who conducted his lectures along the Gold Coast’s southern coast in the public, made profuse use of the Quran and the Bible. He, for example, spoke about how “The Bible shows Jesus did not die on the cross.” At times, these polemical topics attracted the interest of many Christians, but they also led to intra-Muslim conflict, since the orthodox Muslims did not subscribe to this Ahmadi view regarding Jesus. Besides preaching publicly, the Ahmadis made great efforts to set up a school, but they failed to do so for more than twenty years. It was only by 1950 that the situation changed. By then, the Ahmadis’ numbers had increased substantially, and they opened the doors of their first senior secondary school in Kumasi. Regionally, Ghana became the home of the second largest Ahmadi community, which according to the latest census shows that their numbers have reached 635,000. From the graph above, it seems that the Ahmadis’ demographics changed substantially during the latter part of the 20th century.

East and South Africa’s Ahmadis

Moving to East Africa. where Tanzania99 Ahmaddiya Muslim Jamaat Tanzania, “A Brief History.” http://ahmadiyyatz.org/a-brief-history/.View all notes has a sizeable Ahmadi community numbering more than 2 million, it should be noted that missionaries came to Lake Tanganika’s shores two decades before the Ahmadi community initiated their activities in Nigeria. According to the Tanzanian Ahmadis, two of Mirza’s companions, namely Hadhrat Munshi Muhammad Afzal Sahib and Hadhrat Mirza Abdullah Sahib, landed in East Africa during 1896. Subsequent to their visit, a few more came, among them Dr. Muhammad Ismail Giryanwi who was an Indian military doctor. Since they encountered a few challenges as they tried to expand their activities, they sought assistance from Qadian, the small Indian town from where Mirza established his theological movement. Their request for help coincided with the Tahrik-e-Jadid (history and renewal) scheme, a project that aimed to universalize the Ahmadi message. Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad, Mirza’s son, responded and he sent Shaykh Mubarak Ahmad on October 10, 1910, as the first Amir of the Ahmadis in East Africa.

By 1923, the Ahmadis published Al-Balagh to proclaim the Ahmadi message, and by 1930 they had built their first Nairobi-based mosque. Alongside these developments, the Shaykh circulated in 1936 the first issue of Mapenzi ya Mungu (God’s Love), their newspaper. It was a vehicle used against the Christians, who expressed the view that “we can only be saved by the blood of Jesus” in pamphlets they disseminated. The Shaykh saw it appropriate to use the pages of the new newspaper to refute the ideas of the Christians. He, according to the online report,1010 Ahmaddiya Muslim Jamaat Tanzania, “A brief history.”View all notes responded to these pamphlets by stating that human beings can “only be saved by the love of God.” He saw the newspaper, which was issued in East Africa’s lingua franca, as that critical vehicle.

As a result of the Shaykh’s sterling mission work since he arrived, the community founded the Sheikh Mubarak Ahmad Ahmadi Muslim School in 1937 and it was strategically set up in Tanzania’s Tabora. The reason for choosing this town was because it was a key Christian center that represented all denominations. It was also the home of the best secondary school country-wide, and it was set up in the vicinity of the important Christian Theological College for Priests. At this point one needs to fast-forward and mention that a year after Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV’s official visit, Tanzania’s Ahmadis celebrated their centenary in 1989. The event was celebrated with all sorts of activities, and a special edition of the newspaper was printed. The celebrations were followed by the Dawat ili-Allah (mission to God) campaign that gave way to the formation of mission houses that facilitated the process of Bai’at, the swearing of allegiance to the Ahmadi Khaliph.

Between the time the magazine, Al-Balagh, was circulating and the first mosque was built in East Africa, a delegation with Al-Haj Lord Sir Rowland George Allanson Allanson-Winn, Baron Headley (d.1935) among them went on a visit to South Africa.1111 Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, South Africa. “About: What is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association?,” http://khuddam.org.za/about.View all notes Unlike Tanzania and Nigeria, where contact had been made and official branches established, the Ahmadi connection in South Africa was only made in mid-1920s when Woking’s Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and Lord Headley officially visited South Africa to undertake their mission. This was reported in the short-lived Cape Town based magazine, the Moslem Outlook.1212 The Moslem Outlook, 20 February 1926, http://www.wokingmuslim.org/work/s-africa-is-rev.htm and http://www.wokingmuslim.org/pers/headley.htm.View all notes According to Ebrahim (2015Ebrahim, Zaid. 2015. “History of the Ahmadiyya Jamat South Africa.” Al-Asr 55 (1): 3031. [Google Scholar]), the Ahmadis officially established themselves at the Cape in 1958 under the inspiration of Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad. In 2018, their members celebrated their sixtieth year on South African soil with numbers still not reaching more than 500.

During Dr. Yusuf Sulaiman’s visit to the Ahmadis’ headquarters in Pakistan, the latter gave a sermon in which he identified South Africa as a place where a branch should be set up. Ebrahim quoted the following portion of a sermon delivered on March 8, 1946, which appeared in The Sunrise of March 23, 1946:

South Africa would now be on the Ahmadiyya Tabligh Map in as much as a South African, Dr. Y. Sulaiman who was educated in England and who qualified for medical degree intended now to devote himself to work for Islam in this part of the world.

Between 1946 and 1951, Sulaiman preached to individuals from his Cape Town home, where he also held jumu’ah and ‘Id ritual prayers. Having worked in earnest, Sulaiman eventually succeeded in convincing those with whom he interacted to join the Ahmadi community. Among those who responded to the Ahmadi invitation was Muhammad Hashim Ebrahim (d.1985) and members of his family. It was this family that laid the grounds for the center in 1958. Another family from the Qadiyani school that also joined the ranks was the Hargey family.

Among the significant outcomes of the Ahmadis’ presence in South Africa were two court cases that took place at the beginnings of the 1980s and the 1990s, respectively. These were discussed by Aziz (2008Aziz, Zahid. 2008A Survey of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement: History, Beliefs, Aims and WorkLondonAhmadiyya Anjuman Lahore Publications. [Google Scholar]) and analyzed by Qadir (2016Qadir, Ali. 2016. “How Heresy Makes Orthodoxy: The Sedimentation of Sunnism in the Ahmadi Cases of South Africa.” Sociology of Islam 4 (4): 345367. doi: 10.1163/22131418-00404001[Crossref] [Google Scholar]). These legal challenges took place during the South African apartheid system which paradoxically permitted minority religious traditions such as Islam to be practiced, though the apartheid authorities restricted their practices to the religious rituals only. In this context one may ask: What was the nature of this “religious freedom” or “freedom of religion or belief (FoRB)”?

FoRB Policies in Africa’s Religious Plural Environment

FoRB: Its Conceptualization

The past few years have brought the issuance of a plethora of documents, declarations, instruments, and policies that not only identified but that explained, explored, and examined the nature of FoRB across the Commonwealth. These documents remain essential ingredients of the democratic society that is protected by the international legal system (Cross 2015Cross, Frank B. 2015Constitutions and Religious FreedomCambridgeCambridge University Press. [Google Scholar]). In a revised “Freedom of Religion or Belief Toolkit,” issued by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2016, FCO offered a useful definition of FoRB that is quite fitting for this article’s contents (FCO 2016). The FCO stressed that FoRB has far-reaching and profound implications and that, this being the case, it should be viewed as “the key human right” for Ahmadis around the Commonwealth, as advocated by Baroness Anelay in the opening epigram of this article. The FCO categorically specified that FoRB “encompasses not just the freedom to hold personal thoughts and convictions, but also being able to manifest them individually or with others, publicly or in private.” When considering the FCO’s policy position, then this indeed applies to the Ahmadis who should be permitted to freely subscribe to their theological stance even though ASJ adherents oppose their beliefs and practices.

Islamic law scholar Abdullahi An-Naim (2012An-Naim, Abdullahi. 2012. “Experiences of Religious Freedom in an African Context – Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: The Case of Religious Freedom.” Acta 17: 193211. Rome: Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. [Google Scholar]) offers a considerably different understanding in making the point that, “freedoms of religion is necessary for each human person to pursue what she(/he) holds as the ultimate purpose and meaning of her(/his) life.” He further notes, idealistically, “freedom of religion and other human rights are both a means and end of societal solidarity and cooperation among believers and non-believers.” An-Na’im asserts, perhaps a bit hastily, that this ideal can become a reality if two goals are achieved: the first is to enthusiastically encourage the pursuance of pivotal values such as tolerance and respect for others across all religious traditions and among diverse communities without exception (Donald and Howard 2015Donald, Alice, and Erica Howard2015The Right to Freedom of Religion or Belieft and its Intersection with Other RightsBrusselsILGA-Europe. [Google Scholar]), and the second is to resist and restrain any sort of exclusivist inclinations or hegemonic tendencies that undermine and destabilize the “freedom of religion” policy. This type of ideal scenario, if ever realized, would work in the Ahmadis’ interests. Unfortunately, however, in countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia, hegemonic propensities have erupted that have caused Ahmadis a great deal discomfort as a result of their beliefs and identity. The question that emerges is: To what extent have the Ahmadis faced similar harassments and maltreatments at the hands of ASJ adherents in African countries where they reside? In order to answer this question, it is necessary to return to at least two African countries that were described earlier.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd’s book Beyond Religious Freedom (2015Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman. 2015Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of ReligionPrinceton, NJPrinceton University Press.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]) studied, among other religious minorities, Turkey’s Alevi community. According to Hurd, the Alevis were treated by the Turkish government as a “heterodox” community, some of whom wish to be seen as a strand within non-Sunni Islam. Similarly, the Ahmadis who have been ill-treated by Pakistani’s ASJ Muslim authorities (representing Sunni Islam) would also want to be seen as a theological school within the broader Sunni Islamic tradition, even though they stand apart from it in their interpretation of the primary sources. ASJ Muslim authorities in both majority and minority environments exercised their power and influence, thereby reducing the Ahmadis’ claims for legal recognition as bona fide Muslims. In spite of all the ASJ Muslim authorities’ attempts in so doing, the Ahmadis managed to persist in claiming their religious space alongside Sunni Islam.

In the case of the Alevis, Hurd (2015Hurd, Elizabeth Shakman. 2015Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of ReligionPrinceton, NJPrinceton University Press.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]) makes a further pertinent point that may also be applied to the Ahmadis, when she states, “To refuse identity-based recognition for such already existing groups … is to obstruct democratization and hinder the emergence of tolerant legal regimes for managing religious diversity.” When thinking about the Ahmadis and their respective positions in majority and minority Muslim communities around the world, then one can argue that ASJ Muslim authorities have contributed to undermining FoRB policy by not recognizing the Ahmadis’ rightful place within a democratic society, given that their beliefs differ markedly from other Muslim communities. The ideal of FoRB of which An-Na’im speaks seems to be far-fetched, as a result of the ASJ Muslim authorities’ determinedly exclusivist theological stance towards the Ahmadis. The attitude and approach of these authorities in communities where they have been influential demands further consideration of African countries—in particular, to assess whether the Ahmadis have suffered as their counterparts and in Pakistan and, more importantly, whether FoRB policies have been taken for granted and ignored.

Africa’s Muslim Authorities: Exercising Theological Power, Curbing Ahmadi Beliefs

Mention has already been made of the fact that, when the Ahmadis first made their appearance on African soil, they generally did not encounter any religious hostility. When delegations went to Tanzania and South Africa, the Muslim communities welcomed them without raising questions regarding their theological beliefs and interpretations. By and large, they experienced an environment in which there was relative freedom. Their circumstances changed later when the ASJ Muslim authorities in these countries became aware of their theological outlook. From then onwards, verbal and, at times, physical conflicts occurred. The ASJ Muslim authorities, as already indicated, made ample use of their theological positions by challenging and countering the Ahmadis’ interpretations even though their leaders argued that they, unlike the Qadiyanis, do not consider Mirza to be a prophet and that they do not subscribe to the view that non-Ahmadis are kafir.

Across the world, ASJ Muslim authorities absolutely opposed the Ahmadis and they stripped them jurisprudentially from their “Muslim” identity and other rights such as marriage and inheritance. But despite these outcomes, the Ahmadis persisted as a persecuted group by continuing with their universal mission as instructed by Mirza. By the early 1900s, Ahmadis had planted themselves in East Africa; by the mid-1910s, they had moved to West Africa; and by the end of the 1950s, they had settled in South Africa. In all of these regions, they left their footprints. This was partly to do with the zealous passion that they possessed to spread Mirza’s message, but it was also to do with the relative peaceful situation that they encountered. As a result of the latter conditions, they took full advantage by preaching to all and sundry, especially arguing against the Christian missionaries. Initially, when the Ahmadi preachers settled and preached without any opposition from within the mainstream Muslim environments, they could undertake their task without being disturbed. This, however, dramatically changed when the orthodox ASJ Muslim authorities learned more about Mirza and his disciples.

The ASJ Muslim authorities reached a consensus that, as a group, the Ahmadis had to be countered and ejected from all Muslim sacred spaces, including mosque and burial sites, and from participating in the obligatory rituals. In addition, those who were married to spouses who were Ahmadis, as Anderson (2013Anderson, J. N. J. 2013Islamic Law in Africa. Reprint edition. LondonRoutledge. [Google Scholar]) pointed out, had to divorce them. Relatedly, the local Muslim News in Cape Town on January 25, 1963, contained an article titled “Faith or Love? The Young Muslim Misled by Ahmadis” (Haron 1993Haron, Muhammed. 1993. “Muslim News (1960–1986): An Expression of an Islamic Identity in South Africa.” In Muslim Identities in Sub-Saharan Africa: Contemporary Transformations in Muslim Societies, Edited Louis Brenner210225BloomingtonIndiana University Press. [Google Scholar]). In recent years, when sectarianism became widespread, a question regarding marriage was posed to Mufti Ebrahim Desai, one of the South Africa’s foremost theologians. Desai tersely and unapologetically responded that the Ahmadis were not Muslims.1313 See http://www.irshad.org/exposed/fatwas/edesai.phpand http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/30867This question was posed on 14 October 2014.View all notes On the whole, the ASJ’s theological bodies conveniently used FoRB policies to their advantage, taking theological positions to ostracize the Ahmadis.

South Africa

Nonetheless, in spite of the Cape-based Muslim Judicial Council’s (est.1945) reaction, particularly through fatwas such as the simplistic sample mentioned earlier by Mufti Desai, Ahmadis in South Africa never lost hope, and they largely accepted their fate as a marginalized religious community. While some of them have contested their theological positions and their rightful status as a minority in the South Asian courts as mentioned by Kays (2006Kays, Abdul. 2006The Disciple of Dajjal: Exposing Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani’s Weird Creed. Revised & Abridged. Crown Mines. JohannesburgAl-Ilmu Noor Publications. [Google Scholar]), they also contested the issue further in the South Africa courts (Qadir 2016Qadir, Ali. 2016. “How Heresy Makes Orthodoxy: The Sedimentation of Sunnism in the Ahmadi Cases of South Africa.” Sociology of Islam 4 (4): 345367. doi: 10.1163/22131418-00404001[Crossref] [Google Scholar]). Of interest to note is the fact that the South African Muslims, who were a religious minority and a politically disenfranchized group, marginalized the Ahmadis, forcing them to undergo double discrimination—from a political dimension they were part of the Colored community that was subjugated, and from a religious dimension they were verbally and physically mistreated by the Muslim community from which they emerged. The MJC declared the Ahmadis to be apostates long before the court cases mentioned above. In addition, Abdul Kays, who was part of the collective editorial committee of the Cape Muslim newspaper, the Muslim News (1960–1986), described the founder of the Ahmadis in distasteful terms in his sensationalist booklet1414 It was first published in 1965 and then revised in 2006.View all notes branding them theologically as non-Muslims.

Ghana

While the Ahmadis had to tolerate the maltreatment at the hands of the MJC and its followers, related encounters were also recorded elsewhere on the continent. Samwini (2006Samwini, Nathan. 2006Muslim Resurgence in Ghana Since 1951: Its Effects upon Muslims and Christian-Muslim RelationsMünsterLIT Verlag. [Google Scholar]) narrates that, in Ghana, the Tijaniyya and Ahmadi discord in the 1940s continued unabated. In one case, Ghana’s Muslim authorities in the town of Tamale even went so far as to encourage the children to stone the Ahmadis, since they were viewed as a major theological threat. Although no such abuses were recorded at the Cape, the Ahmadis felt the extent of ostrakonophobia.

Returning to the year 1994, Ghana witnessed an escalation of conflict between the Tijaniyya and Ahmadis. This time, according to Turkson (2007Turkson, Peter K. 2007Ghana: If Islam becomes an Enigma. Oasis, January 10. MilanFoundation International. [Google Scholar]), the conflict took place in the Ghanian town of Wa. Turkson reported that this skirmish resulted in the burning down of an Ahmadi mosque, resulting in a return of old tensions that existed for some time. Besides the Muslim community’s battles with the Ahmadis, other intra-Muslim conflicts were also prevalent, such as the animosities between the Tijanis and Wahhabis and the violence that took place between them in Ghana’s Wenchi Zongo district during 1995. Apart from these intra-Muslim conflicts, hostilities were also chronicled between the Muslims and Pentecostal Christians in Kumasi, Takoradi and Walewale in 1998. Since the Ahmadis and others were drawn into these persistent scuffles, it created a very unpleasant atmosphere that undermined Ghana’s FoRB policy.1515 See United States Department of State, International Freedom of Religion Report, Ghana, 2016.View all notes

When considering the conflictual outcomes of the relationship between the larger Muslim communities and the minority Ahmadis, one wonders on what theological grounds the Muslim authorities give support to violence against the minorities such as the Ahmadis. The question is: What policy of FoRB should be observed and respected within the nation-state? One should bear in mind that most of the African nation-states are multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and, of course, multi-religious. Being multi-religious implies that religious adherents should respect and tolerate one another’s traditions as per An-Naim’s (2012An-Naim, Abdullahi. 2012. “Experiences of Religious Freedom in an African Context – Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: The Case of Religious Freedom.” Acta 17: 193211. Rome: Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. [Google Scholar]) proposal, even though one may not agree with the others’ beliefs or practices. As regards the attitudes of Muslim communities, which are usually guided by their Muslim authorities, it can be argued that they need to adopt a more tolerant position that is in line with the prophetic model that they are expected to uphold–but then again one talks about the ideal and not the realities on the ground.

However, some of the examples mentioned here, along with the persecution that Ahmadis generally experienced at the hands of the ASJ Muslim authorities, demonstrate that the latter group is rather selective when it comes to observing FoRB policies. In fact, they should consider drawing lessons from Shaykh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, who is the National Chief Imam of Ghana and a member of Ghana’s National Peace Council. According to the Rabwah Times report,1616 “Chief Imam of Ghana Speaks Out in Support of Ahmadis.” Rabwah Times, 14 August 2016.View all notes he decided to broker peace with the Ahmadis and forget the past. It seems that, notwithstanding the constitutional guarantees that exist in some countries, the Ahmadis were and are still being challenged by the Muslim communities’ religious authorities, who have remained firm that no Ahmadi should be regarded as a Muslim. The general chauvinistic behavior of the Muslim authorities has affected the Ahmadis on three levels: (1) they caused the Ahmadis to remain a religiously insecure community, (2) they took away their religious rights in religious freedom environments, and (3) they forced them to be theologically ostracized and socially marginalized even though they do, like their counter-parts, have the constitutional rights to freely express their religious identity.

Conclusion

This article has essentially documented the Ahmadi community’s presence, as a religious minority community in Africa, where FoRB policies were and are still in place. It, however, illustrated to what extent this community experienced various types of abuses and persecution. Even though they splintered from the Qadiyanis, who held views that were contrary to the orthodox Sunni Islam views, they were still held responsible for subtly perpetuating these debatable theological beliefs and perspectives. The Ahmadis’ fate was sealed when the ASJ Muslim authorities under the auspices of the Mecca based Muslim World League issued a fatwa1717 Rasheed, “Consensus of the International Muslim Community on the Ahmadiyya Movement,” 15 February 2014. Auckland: At Tawqa Trust. http://www.masjidattaqwa.co.nz/ahmadiyya/Interestingly, the journal which published the fatwa seems to have erases it from its website at www.iifa-aifi.org.View all notes declaring both Ahmadis and Qadiyanis to be non-Muslims.

From then onwards, orthodox Sunni Islam Muslim authorities across the globe felt obliged to observe this decision. What this essentially meant was that, even though the Ahmadis still expressed and identified with a set of the beliefs to which Muslims generally adhere, these authorities jurisprudentially argued that they were not on par with other Muslims in terms of their beliefs. That being the case, they were thus legally viewed as a separate religious group and not as another school of thought within the house of Islam. Also important to observe is that fact that, while the Ahmadis wish to be technically regarded as Muslims, they also consciously preferred to use the term “Ahmadi” to distinguish themselves from everyone else, including the Qadiyanis. Nonetheless, as a consequence of the legal opinion issued by orthodox Sunni Islam Muslim authorities, the Ahmadis—wherever they settled around the globe—were regarded jurisprudentially as separate and apart from those traditionally defined as Muslims in both majority and minority communities (Asad 2010Ahmed, Asad. 2010. “The Paradoxes of Ahmadiyya Identity: Legal Appropriation of Muslim-Ness and the Construction of Ahmadiyya Difference.” In Beyond Crisis: Re-Evaluating Pakistan, edited by Naveeda A. Khan273314LondonRoutledge. [Google Scholar]).1818 Interestingly, apart from Pakistan, where the Ahmaddiya started out, they are now to be found in at least four majority Muslim states–namely Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Indonesia. While Pakistan has banned Ahmadis from using the name Muslim, other states such as Egypt have not.View all notes

ORCID

Muhammed Haron http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6907-8488

Notes

1 This term refers to anti-Muslim rhetoric that has been studies by various individuals and groups over the past few years. Interesting texts that cover this phenomenon is the report by Wajahat Ali et al. Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America (Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Wajahat Ali et al. 2011Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in AmericaWashington, DCCentre for American Progress.https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/report/2011/08/26/10165/fear-inc/Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America],“ Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir. [Google Scholar]) and European Islamophobia Report 2015(Bayrakli and Hafez 2016Bayrakli, Enes, and Farid Hafez, eds. 2016European Islamophobia Report 2015Istanbul & Washington, DCSETA. [Google Scholar]).

2 This researcher searched the long list of words that describe the various phobias and he was unable to find a word that captures the “fear of being ostracized.” He thus coined this term that he derived from the Greek word: ostrakon (visit: www.fearof.net and www.phobialist.com).

3 The Ahmadis are also referred to the Lahoris and they have been challenged by their theological siblings, namely the Qadiyanis who consider themselves the authentic followers of Mirza.

4 Ehsan Rehan reported on November 12, 2017 that Allama Iqbal Bahisti, who was the secretary general of Majlis Wahdat—e-Muslimin and a key Shi’ite theologian, warned about the dangers that both the Bahais and Ahmadis posed; this is rather ironic during the current period knowing that many theologians in the Sunni world have also condemned the Shi’ites to be outside the fold of Islam! Ehsan Rehan, “Pakistani Shia Cleric Warns of Dangers Posed by Baha’is & Ahmadis,” Rabwah Times, 12 November 2017. See Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishàat Islam Lahore Inc. U.S.A. “Ahmadiyya Movement Contrasted with the Bahai Religion.” http://www.muslim.org/intro/bah.htm and Fuad Al-Attar, “The Difference between Ahmadis and Bahais.” Ahmadiyya: Inviting to Islam (blog), 7 January 2012. The latter provides a simplistic comparative view.

5 Though popularly referred to as the ‘Ulama [that is, the learned scholars], in this essay they will be referred as Muslim theologians or alternatively as religious authorities.

6 See “Difference Between Sunni and Ahmadi,” DifferenceBetween.net, c. June 2010; “What are the main difference between Ahmadiyyas and other Muslims?” Quora.com, c. July 2015.

7 Ibrahim Oguntayo, “Future of Ahmadiyya in Nigeria: Beyond the First Century.” Vanguard, 25 November 2016.

8 “Ahmadiyya in Ghana,” Wikipedia, accessed July 2018.

9 Ahmaddiya Muslim Jamaat Tanzania, “A Brief History.” http://ahmadiyyatz.org/a-brief-history/.

10 Ahmaddiya Muslim Jamaat Tanzania, “A brief history.”

11 Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, South Africa. “About: What is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association?,” http://khuddam.org.za/about.

12 The Moslem Outlook, 20 February 1926, http://www.wokingmuslim.org/work/s-africa-is-rev.htm and http://www.wokingmuslim.org/pers/headley.htm.

13 See http://www.irshad.org/exposed/fatwas/edesai.php and http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/30867 This question was posed on 14 October 2014.

14 It was first published in 1965 and then revised in 2006.

15 See United States Department of State, International Freedom of Religion Report, Ghana, 2016.

16 “Chief Imam of Ghana Speaks Out in Support of Ahmadis.” Rabwah Times, 14 August 2016.

17 Rasheed, “Consensus of the International Muslim Community on the Ahmadiyya Movement,” 15 February 2014. Auckland: At Tawqa Trust. http://www.masjidattaqwa.co.nz/ahmadiyya/ Interestingly, the journal which published the fatwa seems to have erases it from its website at www.iifa-aifi.org.

18 Interestingly, apart from Pakistan, where the Ahmaddiya started out, they are now to be found in at least four majority Muslim states–namely Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Indonesia. While Pakistan has banned Ahmadis from using the name Muslim, other states such as Egypt have not.

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Links and Related Essays

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/20/islam-vs-ahmadiyya-in-nigeria-1975-by-dr-ismail-a-b-balogan-b-a-ph-d-london-university-of-ibadan/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15570274.2018.1535048?af=R&

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FISHER, HUMPHREY (1963). AHMADIYYAH: A STUDY IN CONTEMPORARY ISLAM ON THE WEST AFRICAN COAST. OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS. P. 130.CENTENARY KHILAFAT-E-AHMADIYYA. TAHRIK-E-JADID ANJUMAN AHMADIYYA PAKISTAN. 2008. P. 296.

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/05/22/ahmadiyya-in-gambia/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/02/19/dr-balogan-the-famous-african-ahmadi-who-left-ahmadiyya-in-1974/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/01/who-is-farimang-mamadi-singhateh-the-governor-general-of-the-gambia-and-an-ahmadi/

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) Pages 1-25

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) pages 26-61

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) pages 62-99

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) pages 99-141

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) pages 141-183

Islam, A Study in contemporay Islam on the West African Coast by Humphrey J. Fisher (1963) pages 141 to end

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/01/the-ahmadiyya-playbook-in-africa/

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https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/09/20/professor-humphrey-j-fisher-and-j-spencer-trimingham-called-ahmadiyya-a-maritime-implantation-in-west-africa/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=Fisher

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=above+the+law

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=violent+jihad

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bulletin-of-the-school-of-oriental-and-african-studies/article/humphrey-j-fisher-ahmadiyyah-a-study-in-contemporary-islam-on-the-west-african-coast-x-206-pp-london-etc-oxford-university-press-for-the-nigerian-institute-of-social-and-economic-research-1963-35s/4E2803CA59EC8969CDC8FB27BFDC9059

https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Ahmadiyya_Movement_in_Nigeria.html?id=91fKHAAACAAJ

https://books.google.com/books?id=C2DxBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=Humphrey+J+Fisher+and+ahmadiyya&source=bl&ots=-eayPuf3b5&sig=kFuL6U5O65Sh0_d66-Mge0VOmPM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjHwaSon8rdAhWQIDQIHQGcD_AQ6AEwDHoECAIQAQ#v=onepage&q=Humphrey%20J%20Fisher%20and%20ahmadiyya&f=false

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Who is Qazi Muhammad Zahuruddin Akmal? (1881–1967)

Intro
Qazi Muhammad Zahuruddin Akmal was a pawn of Mirza Basheer-ud Din Mahmud before and after his Khilafat, he was never a Qazi (Judge), this was a name that was given to him out of respect.  He was born on March 25, 1881 in Goleki, Pakistan, he was the son of an Maulana Imam ud Din (it is unclear whether he was an Ahmadi or not.  He went to a mission-school in Gujrat, Pakistan for his schooling starting in 1895, by 1897, he matriculated, he then traveled to Qadian and signed the bait form.  He grew up to be a hard-core Qadiani-Ahmadi and was willing to do anything to please the Mirza family.  He was a sickly-man.  He barely matriculated, he never went to college, he was sick all the time!!  In 1906, he moved to Qadian and became an assistant editor of the Al-Badr, he wrote a few books while at Qadian, “Tasdiq ul Maseeh”, “Zahoor Ul Maseeh”, “Zahoor Ul Mahdi”, “Miyar ul Sadiqeen”, “Shahadutal Furqan” and many others.  Shortly thereafter, per Ahmadiyya sources, he was transferred to the editorship of Mirza Basheer ud Din Mahmud Ahmad’s magazine, the Tashhidhul Adhhan.  As soon as the Al-Fazl started, he was then transferred to the editorship of the Al-Fazl.  In fact, Mirza Basheer ud Din Mahmud Ahmad could not have launched this magazine without Qazi Muhammad Zahuruddin Akmal.  He went on to be an editor for the Urdu edition of the Review of Religions.  In 1926, he was the main editor of the Misbah (Ahmadiyya women’s magazine), which lasted 11 years til 1937.  In 1937, Qazi Muhammad Zahuruddin Akmal became the editor of all Ahmadiyya magazines, as management of magazines was centralized.  He seems to have retired in 1948.

TIMELINE

1895 to 1906
It seems that he matriculated and then wrote many essays in support of Ahmadiyya in various newspapers of British India.  He wrote many novels also, he seems to have been a novelist.  Ahmadiyya sources tell us that whatever people wanted him to write about, he would do it.  By 1904, he had written 4 novels in total,

1906

–He is hired as an editor of the Al-Badr by Mufti Muhammad Sadiq (who had just became the editor).  He is paid 15 rupees per month and moves to Qadian.  He was offered the same deal by the editor of the Al-Hakam, Shaikh Yacub Ali Irfani, however, he turned it down, citing a conflict of interest.

–He then writes some poetry wherein he calls MGA as greater than Muhammad (saw)(Naozobillah), it gets published in the Ahmadiyya newspaper Al-Badr (See the 1974 NA proceedings page 785 (pdf page 410) and the Al-Badr of Oct. 25th, 1906.  The poem is as follows:

Urdu: 
“Mohammad phir uttar aaye hain hum main
Aagay say hain barah kar apni shaan main”

English: 
“Muhammad has appeared among us again,
He is in greater glory than before.”

Scan work of Al-Badr

PDF of Al-Badr, Oct. 25, 1906
Albadr 25 Oct 1906[1947]

(See the Al-Badr issue of October 25, 1906 and  ‘Kya Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib Sarasar Ghalt Aur Baybuniyad Ilzam Wapas Lain Gay?’ published in August 13, 1944 issue of Al-Fazl).

This poem was quoted in the Al-Fazl many years later
This poem was originally recited in presence of MGA in 1906 and MGA was very happy to hear it and praised with words ‘Jazak-Allah’. Further Al-fazal wrote that this poem written in calligraphic handwriting was presented to HMGA and he took it with him to his home to show it to his family. In AlFazal article a case was built that (elders of LAM including) Maulana Muhammad Ali, Khawaj Kamal ud Din, Shaikh Rehmatullah, Mirza Yaqub Baig, Syed Muhammad Hussain…..held the same opinion, and it was translated from Persian (original language of poem) into Urdu. And that Maulana Muhammad Ali was present in gathering when poem was recited to HMGA.

1913
According to the Khalifa, Mirza Basheer ud Din Mahmud Ahmad and per his 1922 book Aenas Sadaqat, Qazi Muhammad Zahuruddin Akmal was the de facto editor of the Tashhidhul Adhhan magazine (See “Truth About the Split”, 2007 online english edition).  He also began helping Mirza Basheer ud Din Mahmud Ahmad in editing the Al-Fazl.

1914
March-April time-frame
Qazi Muhammad Zahur-ud-Din published an article in the Tashhidhul Adhhan wherein the Khalifa asserted that MGA was mentioned in the Quran in the famous Chapter 61:6 (Ismuhu Ahmad verse, his name being Ahmad in english)(See “Truth About the Split”, 2007 online english edition).

1915-1916
Mr. Akmal seems to have been a private secretary of the Khalifa, Mirza Basheer ud Din Mahmud Ahmad and corresponded on his behalf with the famous Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi.  Amrohi seemed to be confused about the new beliefs of the Khalifa, he was also very old at this time and most likely vacillating (See “Two sections of the Ahmadiyya Movement” by Muhammad Ali, 1918).  By December of 1916, Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi had totally denounced the Khalifa at Qadian and it is unclear whether he became a Lahori-Ahmadi or a Sunni/Shia.

1924
He seems to have also been an editor of the Review of Religions, it is unclear which version, Urdu or English, it was most likely Urdu (See Hidden Treasures).

1947
He moved to Lahore from Qadian, with the Ahmadiyya entourage.

1956
After living in Lahore for almost 10 years, he finally moved to Rabwah.

1967
He died and is buried at Rabwah in Bahishti Maqbara, his funeral prayers were led by the 3rd Khalifa.

Links and Related Essays
https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/20/tashhiz-al-azhan-was-a-magazine-founded-by-mahmud-ahmad-in-1906/

Pakistan National Assembly Proceedings of 1974 against Ahmadis

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/20/tasheeshazul-adhan-was-a-magazine-founded-by-mahmud-ahmad-in-1913/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/01/20/my-beliefs-about-non-ahmadi-muslims-dated-18-august-1911-by-khwaja-kamal-uddin/

http://alhafeez.org/rashid/abuse/abuse.htm

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/08/01/prophethood-among-the-followers-of-muhammad-by-maulana-sayyid-muhammad-ahsan-of-amroha-oct-1913-in-tashhizul-azhan/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/08/03/some-quotes-from-mirza-basheer-uddin-mahmud-ahmads-magazine-tashhiz-al-ahzan/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/20/tashhiz-al-azhan-was-a-magazine-founded-by-mahmud-ahmad-in-1906/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=Ahsan

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2019/05/19/who-is-shaikh-yacub-ali-irfani/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/08/01/prophethood-among-the-followers-of-muhammad-by-maulana-sayyid-muhammad-ahsan-of-amroha-oct-1913-in-tashhizul-azhan/

https://www.alislam.org/v/2353.html

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#ahmadiyya #ahmadiyyatrueislam #ahmadiapartheid #Ahmadiyyat #rabwah #qadian #meetthekhalifa #muslimsforpeace #ahmadiyyafactcheckblog #nolifewithoutkhalifa #AhmadiMosqueattack #AhmadiyyaPersecution #Mosqueattack #trueislam #atifmian

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