Chapter VI-The Ahmadiya Community
In the first chapter, in giving an account of the life of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the general line of development of the sect was traced up to the death of the founder in 1908. We saw that the real beginning of the movement, as a distinct sect within Islam, came in 1891 with the Mirza Sahib's announcement that he combined and fulfilled in his own person the prophecies regarding the promised Messiah and the Mahdi. However, we may say that the Ahmadiya community, as such, owed its inception to the earlier declaration of Ahmad, in March, 1889, that he was entitled to receive bai'at (homage) from his fellow Muslims. The first of the disciples attracted by this announcement was Hakim Nur-ud-Din, who was destined to become the "first Khalifa." In the beginning the Mirza Sahib's followers were called Qadianis, or Mirzais, partly in derision and partly to distinguish them from other Muslims in whose worship in the mosques they refused to participate. In 1900 the members of the community were, at their own request, entered under the name "Ahmadiya" in the official census list of the Government of India, as a distinct Muhammadan sect, and it is by that name that they prefer to be known. In 1891, as has been written above, the storm of opposition broke upon Ahmad from orthodox Islam, the Arya Samaj, and Christianity — the forces of the opposition being led, respectively, by Maulvi Muhammad Husain, Pandit Lekh Ram and Mr. Abdulla Atham. This period of acute controversy, which included nearly all of his prophecies, ended with the order of the Government of the Panjab, dated February 24th, 1899,
to which reference has been made above,1 although it must be said that the Mirza Sahib did not altogether adhere to his enforced promise, as illustrated, for example, by his later prophecy regarding John Alexander Dowie.2 In the year 1896 the community numbered 313 members. In the Census of India Report for 1901, 1,113
male Ahmadis were returned for the Panjab, 931 for the United Provinces and 11,087 for the Bombay Presidency. It is certain that the number returned for the Bombay Presidency was inaccurate, since throughout its history a majority of the members of the community have been found in the Panjab. The total strength of the movement in the Panjab at that time was given as 3,450. Ahmad himself in that year claimed 12,000 followers (Review of Religions, XV, p. 457). Three years later, in 1904, his claim
had grown to " more than two hundred thousand followers," and the editor of Review of Religions has recently seen this number doubled in his imagination, and writes that "in 1904 the number of Ahmadis rose to 400,000 persons" (Review of Religions, XV, p. 47). Shortly before his death, in 1908, Ahmad stated that the full strength of the movement throughout the world was then no less than 500,000. No evidence whatever is given to substantiate these reckless statements, and we must set over against them the returns of the Government of India Census of 1911 where, in the section on the Panjab (Vol. XIV, Part 2), the statistics of the movement are given as follows: Males, 10,116; Females, 8,579; total, 18,695. No returns were made for the whole of India in the Census, but the Panjab returns give us a clue to the total strength of the movement. In 1912 Dr. H. D. Griswold stated3 that in his opinion 50,000 would be a liberal estimate of the numerical strength of the Ahmadiya movement at that time. Allowing for a considerable increase in the six years that have since elapsed, it is safe to say that at the very most there are not more than 70,000 followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad at the present time.
After the death of the founder, in 1908, the direction of the movement passed into the hands of Hakim Nur-ud-Din, the first disciple, who appears to have been a studious, clever and industrious man. In accordance with the last will of the founder, the affairs of the community were placed under the control of a committee, called Sadr-Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya (Chief Ahmadiya Society4), which (it was assumed by all, though not clearly stated in the will) was to be under the direction of the elected head of the
movement, now known as the "Khalifat'-ul-Masih'' (Successor of the Messiah). Nur-ud-Din, as the first Khalifa, abstained from assuming undue authority, and considered himself merely a servant of the Anjuman to do its bidding. Under this policy the community made some progress, in spite of the loss of the magnetic personality of its original head. There were, however, signs of division that became more evident and ominous with each passing month. These first became manifest in 1913, at the time of the Muhammadan riots following the Government's action in attempting to remove an abutting portion of a mosque in Cawnpore in order to realign a road. The entire Muhammadan community in India was aroused, and among those who expressed themselves very earnestly at this time was Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, already referred to5 as a leading member of the Ahmadiya community, who had just begun the publication of a Muhammadan magazine6 in England. As this was a notable departure from the counsel of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, that his followers should avoid all political controversy and concentrate their energies on distinctly religious effort, it was to be expected that some of the members of the community would view Kamal-ud-Din's action with alarm. The resultant protest was most strongly voiced in an Ahmadiya vernacular paper, Alfazl, by its editor, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, the eldest son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad by his second wife. Before this controversy within the community had proceeded far the cause of the original trouble in Muhammadan India was removed by the action of the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge, through which the entire difficulty was adjusted to the satisfaction of the Muslims concerned. A number of the most prominent members of the Ahmadiya community, however, continued to cherish resentment against the son of the Mirza Sahib, who, they felt, was inclined to assume undue authority for his opinions because of his relationship to the founder of the movement. On the other hand, many conservative Ahmadis felt that Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din and his party had been disloyal to the memory of the founder in making common cause with Muhammadans throughout India in political controversy, as well as in having joined the All-India Moslem League, which had been denounced as pernicious by Mirza, Ghulam Ahmad.7 During the last illness of Nur-ud-Din both parties were active, the party of the Mirza's son in preparing for his immediate election to the office of Khalifa, and the opposing party in issuing and distributing a booklet giving it as their interpretation of the Mirza's last will that there should be no Khalifa at all, but rather that the Sadr-Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya should have entire control of the affairs of the community. Immediately following Nur-ud-Din's death, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad was elected Khalifa by a gathering of Ahmadis in Qadian, despite the protests of members of the other party who were present and who thereupon seceded, and, with all who shared their opinions, formed a new Anjuman, with headquarters at Lahore, called Anjuman-Isha'at-i-Islam (Society for the Spread of Islam). In the absence of Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din in England, the leadership of this party fell to Maulvi Muhammad 'All, M.A., LL.B., who has already been referred to8 as the able editor of The Review of Religions since its inception, and who had prepared the pamphlet regarding the Khalafat preceding Nur-ud-Din's death. The chief immediate point of dispute between the two parties was whether or not the original Anjuman should have full control of the affairs of the community. The question had not become acute in the time of Nur-ud-Din, because of his tactful handling of the situation, but with the election of a son of the founder, who had already tended to presume upon his family relationship and who was likely to arrogate to himself an increasing degree of authority, further compromise was impossible and a permanent split inevitable. The difference was really a fundamental one, involving the essential nature of the claims the founder had put forward. The Qadian party, as we may now call it, held that he must be considered one of the prophets (nabi), in spite of the fact that orthodox Islam believes that Muhammad was "the last of the prophets and the seal of the prophets."9 Further, they declared that since only those are true Muslims who believe in the prophets of God, those who do not so accept Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are "kafirs" (unbelievers), with whom no true believer may worship, no matter how many other points of belief they may share with Muslims.10 On the other hand, the seceding party held that the " Promised Messiah " made no such outstanding claim for himself, and they are unwilling to call non-Ahmadi Muslims kafirs. In general, the latter minimize the difference between the Ahrnadiya community and orthodox Islam, whereas the Qadian party regard the points of difference as of fundamental importance. This is evident in many ways. The Qadian party still insist on the importance of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's prohibition of true Ahmadis from following non-Ahmadi imams in their prayers, attending non-Ahmadi funeral services, and giving the hands of their daughters to non-Ahmadi men, although their sons are permitted to marry non-Ahmadi girls. The Lahore party believe that these prohibitions were only necessary in the early days of the movement and had but a temporary significance. In their writings and missionary work the person and claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are almost invisible. At most they consider him to be only the latest of the Mujaddids,11 and his influence survives only in their belief in the death of Jesus and his burial in Kashmir, and in the hostile attitude toward other religions which is found among them to an extent that does not exist among educated Muslims generally in India to-day.
In dealing with the recent history of the movement, we shall have to consider the two divisions separately. With regard to the members of the Qadian Anjuman, the controversy with the alleged disloyal party has had the effect of fusing their loyalty and intensifying their zeal, as being now the orthodox, faithful people. The present Khalifa does not seem to be a man of his father's force, although, as he is still a young man, it is too early finally to appraise his character. He is described as follows by a friendly writer in the issue of Review of Religions for June, 1915 (XIV, p. 217) :
"He is a young man, below thirty years of age, fair of complexion, of medium height, slender of build, with a clean broad forehead, thin lips, thick short beard, eyes which through their half-open lids always look to the ground, modest and retiring habits; such is the appearance of the man who now guides the destiny of this community. . . . His life is simple and retiring, and his manners sincere and affable."
This fairly well describes my own impression of the man on the occasion of my two conversations with him at Qadian, in January, 1916. He strikingly resembles his father in appearance, in his sedentary habits and in his readiness and cleverness in controversy. He is also, like his father, a semi-invalid. He has recently married a second wife without divorcing the previous one, who is still living.
There seem to be no such outstanding personalities in this segment as there are in the Lahore Anjuman; but in this group of loyal supporters of the Khalifa there is present an earnest spirit of enterprise and industry. The original Sadr-Anjuman is vigorously pushing forward education in the community. The keystone is the English high school at Qadian, which contains about four hundred students in all the grades from primary through the fifth high standard, and which is affiliated to the Panjab University. About half of these students come from outside Qadian and one hundred of them are non-Ahmadis. The former headmaster, Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., B.T., went out with the secessionists and will be mentioned later.12 His successor, Maulvi Muhammad Din, B.A., is ably prosecuting the work in the new building just completed. Of the twenty-five students who went up for the matriculation examination of the Panjab University in 1916, twenty-one passed, a very high average. There is, likewise, a madrassah13 for the study of Arabic and the Qur'an, in which more than seventy-five students are enrolled, of whom thirty are expected to go out as missionaries when the seven-year course is completed. Primary schools have been opened in different districts and many more are projected. A beginning has been made in the education of women, and the status of women, on the whole, seems to be above the standard obtaining in Islam generally. On three days a week the Khalifa addresses all of the members of the community, after the evening prayer in the mosque.
On the literary side, in addition to the English monthly paper, Review of Religions, less vigorously and ably edited than in the long period of M. Muhammad 'Ali's editorship, the following vernacular paper14 are published at Qadian : tri-weekly, Alfazal; weekly, Alfaruq, Alhakam, Nur; monthly, Tashiz-ul-Azhan, Sadiq, Review of Religions in Urdu ; quarterly, Tafsir-ul-Qur'an. A former paper, Badr, whose stormy career was interrupted by Government in 1914, 3 has not since re-appeared, but its editor, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, now edits the paper called Sadiq.
The new Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Islam (Society for the Advancement of Islam), founded by the present Khalifa, to supplement on the religious side the work of the Sadr-Anjuman, has been active in missionary efforts. It claims to be supporting twelve paid missionaries in different parts of India, Ceylon and Mauritius, as well as in London, where there is one, with a paid assistant, whose work is entirely distinct from that of the Kamal-ud-Din party. Ambitious plans are afoot to send further missionaries to "England, Ceylon, Java, Japan, China, the Philippines, etc. " In addition to these regular workers, " All the Ahmadis are regarded as honorary workers, and school teachers as well as editors are also sent on preaching tours whenever occasions arise." The converts have mostly come from the ranks of orthodox Islam, and are most numerous, outside the Panjab, in parts of Bengal, the Deccan and Malabar.
The following quotation from the Government Census Report for Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, covering the period from 1901 to 1911, gives an illuminating summary of Ahmadiya missionary activities in that part of India where, as in the Panjab, Muslims represent an important element of the population :
"The Ahmadiya doctrines appear to have been first introduced in Bihar in 1893, when a Musalman missionary of Bhagalpur became a convert. The movement has already gained a considerable number of adherents from among the educated and well-to-do classes. They are most numerous in Bhagalpur and Monghyr, which form one section with a committee affiliated to the Sadr-i-Anjuman-Ahmadlya, that is, the central committee at Qadian. Funds are raised for the propagation of the Ahmadiya doctrines and for the publication of its monthly magazine, the Review of Religions. . . . In Monghyr the Ahmadiyas have met with considerable opposition from the orthodox Musalmans. At a large meeting held at Monghyr, in June, 1911, the claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad were debated, and after long controversy he was denounced as a heretic and renegade. The sect has even made its way into Orissa. Some educated Musalmans of Cuttack embraced its doctrines during a visit to Gurdaspur, and in their turn succeeded in winning over some of their co-religionists in Puri ; their total number is however small."
Two years later a missionary at Brahmanbaria, in East Bengal,15 thus described the growth of the sect in his village, which had its beginning in the secret interest of a high school maulvi teacher :
"During the Puja vacation he went the long trip to Qadian on purpose to find out on the spot whether the Mahdi and his sect were true or not. He and the four men who went with him came back, initiated followers and now about fifty ignorant Muhammadans in the town have gone over to his side, much to the angry disgust of the orthodex section. On the first Friday after the return of the maulvi a religious riot was averted only by the prompt action of the magistrate. The renegade maulvi had all along led the Friday prayers, but after his return the orthodox Muhammadans were determined that he should not enter the mosque, so they locked the door on him. He and his party went to the mosque bent on breaking it open, but the magistrate appeared on the scene and prevented him. Feeling is running high here just now, and subscriptions have been raised for the purpose of bringing some learned maulvls to argue out the matter with the pervert."
Another missionary in the same station (Rev. W. F. White) writes : " They do not carry on any open propaganda, but work quietly in the villages trying to propagate their tenets. Occasionally some lecturers come from other places, but they are not allowed to lecture in public gatherings."
We have already seen16 how the Ahmad! who introduced the movement into Timapur, in the Deccan, where there is now a large community of the Mirza Sahib's followers, in time formed his own sect and attracted to his party several hundred former Ahmadis.
The following account of Ahmadiya activities in Malabar is given in the Bombay Advocate of 31st August, 1915:
"The Ahmadiya movement among the Musalmans, which had its origin in Gurdaspur, in the Panjab, has secured about three thousand followers in the Moplah17 centre of Cannanore in North Malabar.
'"For some time past the orthodox and this new party, which believes in the advent of another prophet like Christ in place of Esanabi,18 and whose creed is a sort of Protestant Muhammadanism, have been in open hostility, the latter being subjected to a number of annoyances and ill-treatment. The tension has now become very severe, and pamphlets of an inflammatory nature, calculated to create disturbance, are circulated broadcast.
"A Musaliar19 of the orthodox party is reported to have been recently arrested by the police in connection with it. The Neo-Musalmans, who are in a minority, are petitioning district authorities to afford them protection from the orthodox party, who are hostile towards them and who have excluded them to a certain extent from the mosques."
The following quotation from the Ceylon Independent, quoted in Review of Religions for June, 1916 (IV, p. 224), indicates that the movement is active in and about Ceylon :
" The Ceylon Ahmadiya Association. ... A meeting of this Association at 10, Wekanda, Slave Island, on the 19th instant, Mr. T. K. Lye presided. Mr. C. H. Mantara read letters from the Ahmadiya headquarters at Qadian and the Islamic Mission in London. He announced the formal initiation into the Ahmadiya Movement of Professor Abdiil Latif, lecturer at Chittagong College, Dr. Syed Usmani, of Panipat, and the Imam and others of the Rose Hill Mosque at Mauritius. Resolved that a revised scheme for a mission to Java and the Far East be submitted to headquarters. Resolved that the printing press be established at Slave Island, and a journal in English and Tamil be started, to be called Islam, and also that the names and addresses of all would-be subscribers be ascertained by the secretaries. After a study of the Holy Qur'an the meeting terminated with the usual vote of thanks and with prayers to Allah."
To this is appended, in Review of Religions, a note from the honorary secretary of the Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya on Slave Island :
"The Tamil paper, Islam Mittrian, is attacking us most severely, we are being grossly misrepresented, and if our voice is not raised against these calumnies, the cause of the Ahmadiya in Ceylon may be prejudiced."
The annual gathering of Ahmadis from all parts of India at Qadian each December tends, as does the pilgrimage to Mecca in the case of the orthodox, to inspire in the pilgrims fresh zeal for the cause, as opportunity is furnished to hear the leaders of the movement and to meet with other Ahmadis from distant places. On my visit to Qadian, in 1916, at the time when the annual assembly was just closing, I was generously entertained in European style in a house that had been built by an Ahmadi police inspector of Bengal for his use when he came to Qadian on the pilgrimage.
A recent undertaking of the Anjuman-Taraqqi-i-Islam has been the translation of the Qur'an into English, with notes and cross-references . . . the entire work to be published in thirty parts, of which one has appeared at this writing (1918).20 A reason given in the preliminary advertisement for this translation is, that " the English translations so far published have been done either by those who have been swayed by nothing but religious prejudice, and whose object was certainly not the manifestation of truth, but the presentation of a ghastly picture of the Holy Qur'an before the world ; or by those who had no acquaintance worth the name with the Holy Qur'an and the Arabic language, the result being that those translations are too poor reading to afford anything like a real insight into the excellencies of Islam."
We will let that sweeping arraignment of the labours of Sale, Palmer and Rodwell, as well as of several Muslim translators,21 speak for itself. The commentary on the Qur'anic verses is written, as we should expect, wholly from the Ahmadiya viewpoint, and combines the presentation of Ahmadiya teaching with continual tilting at Western critics of the Qur'an, especially Sale and Wherry. Typographically the work is excellent.
With regard to the present beliefs of the members of the Qadian party, one of them who speaks with authority has given me, in writing, the following three chief tenets:
"1. The Qur'an is the word of Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, whose own words are preserved in the tradition. It is from A to Z, with the arrangements of chapters and even vowels, from Allah. It is the perfect and final code of law, and the words of the Prophet, as embodied in the traditions, are its commentary.
"2. Revelation did not stop with Muhammad; it is nowadays also sent to the righteous servants of God. The living example of a recipient of Revelation has been, in our time, the person of Ahmad, the promised Messiah. This continued revelation is only for the support of the Qur'an and of the truth of Muhammad's mission.22
"3. Muhammad is, according to Ahmad's teaching, the perfect man and model for human guidance. He is free from sin. He is a servant of Allah. It is he through whom one can have access to the gates of heaven. To say that Christ, Son of Mary, will come for the reforms of Muhammad's people is to us a blasphemy and derogatory to the high dignity of the prophet of Arabia."
Regarding the respective positions occupied by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and Mirza, Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, the same informant writes:
"Mirza. Ghulam Ahmad came in the spirit of Christ and was the second manifestation of the Prophet of Arabia. His advent was promised by all the prophets of yore. Sahibzada23 (Bashir Ahmad) is the second successor of the promised Messiah, and it is believed that promises for the spiritual revival and progress of Islam are to be fulfilled in his time. He is the promised son of the promised Messiah; for the Messiah was to marry and beget a son."
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself is reported to have said : " My second manifestation shall appear in the form of my successors, as it appeared after the Holy Prophet in the person of Abu Bakr, Omar, etc. A man from God from among my own children will arise, and shall be named the Promised Reformer. His shall be the time of conquests for Islam."
In this we can trace a possible beginning of a "doctrine of the person of the second Khalifa," who clearly occupies already a position superior to that of Hakim Nur-ud-Din, in whose veins no blood of the promised Messiah flowed, and in whose day no prophecy of a spiritual revival was destined to be fulfilled.
A belief in the intercession of Muhammad on the last day, and in the miracles of the prophets, are other articles of faith that are being emphasized to-day. The May, 1915, issue of the Review of Religions explains in detail how it was possible (in the view of the Qadian party) for Ahmad to be a prophet, in spite of the universal Muslim belief that Muhammad was the seal (i.e., the last) of the prophets.
" .... A man can even gain prophethood by the help of our Lord Muhammad's spiritual powers. But no prophet with a new book or having been appointed direct will ever come ; for in this case it would be an insult to the perfect prophethood of our Lord. . . . According to this we believe that a man — the Promised Messiah — has gained prophethood in spite of his being a follower of our Lord," i.e., of Muhammad " (Review of Religions, XIV, p. 196).
Ahmad himself said the same thing in a slightly different way :
"All the doors of prophethood are closed save one, i.e., that of completely losing one's individuality in that of the prophet. One that approaches the Almighty through this door begins to reflect the same old prophethood of Muhammad. He becomes a prophet, but we cannot call him a new prophet for he is one with his master " (Review of Religions, XV, p. 475).
When asked about his doctrine of future salvation,24 following the Judgment, the present Khalifa informed the writer that orthodox Muslims, since they are kafirs, who do not believe in the prophetship of Ahmad, cannot hereafter be admitted to the Garden. When pressed, however, he declared that there was hope that they and, in fact, kafirs of every variety, might reach Paradise ultimately. He then dwelt at length on his interesting personal belief in ultimate universal salvation. At first, he said, only those who are perfect in faith and works (perfection in works consisting in conformity with the fundamental requirements of Islam, getting a 51 per cent, pass-mark, as he expressed it) would be admitted ; while outside would be ranged all the various grades of unbelievers, reaching down to the lowest hell. These would then begin to ascend toward Paradise and, as they became true Muslims, would be admitted, until at last Allah's mercy shall have comprehended all. He was willing to concede that the seceders belonging to the Lahore party would, through Muhammad's intercession, secure early admittance to Paradise, by reason of their faith in the promised Messiah, although they will find themselves sadly deficient on the score of works.
Darwishes, Sufis, saint worship and asceticism of all kinds are under the ban as emphatically at the present time as in Ahmad's lifetime, yet it seems that already the tomb of Ahmad has become to some extent an object of superstitious regard in the eyes of his followers, whose desire and duty it is to visit Qadian at one of the annual gatherings in December, there to behold the scenes of the promised Messiah's life and ministry, to hear his teachings expounded by his son, and to offer prayer before his tomb.25
In the Appendix further facts are given regarding the present beliefs and constituency of the Ahmadiya community.
The work of the two Qadian Anjumans is supported by contributions of the faithful throughout India,26 and, in addition, every true believer is expected to leave behind him a will which bequeathes at least one-tenth of his property to the cause. The Qadian community makes no appeal to orthodox Muslims for funds and claims to be wholly supported by Ahmadis.
Turning now to the Anjuman-Isha'at-i-Islam, with headquarters in Lahore, there is little, if any, propaganda carried on by its members on behalf of the Ahmadiya movement as such. The appeal which is made by the leaders and missionaries of this party is to Muslims generally, urging them to forget their differences and unite in order to further the interest and spread of Islam throughout the world. Their pristine educational venture, in 1915, took the form of a so-called " college " in Lahore, where a number of young men were trained to become missionaries of Islam. According to a statement written for me at that time by a member of this Anjuman, " the admission qualifications for the college are the matriculation examination of the Panjab University, or other equivalent examination, or Munshi Fazil, or Maulvi Fazil, that is, high proficiency in Persian or Arabic with English equivalent." Maulvi Muhammd 'Ali, M.A., LL.B., was the chief member of the staff, which contained a " Professor of Hadis,"27 " Professor of Bible, Hebrew and Arabic grammar," and a " Professor of Islamic and other history." It might be of interest, as casting light on the relationship between the two parties, to quote a paragraph from a letter of a member of the staff of Review of Religions, from whom information about the Lahore "college" was requested — given with no understanding that it be considered confidential :
"There exists no college worth the name, for a class of hired students (about half a dozen), taking instruction from an ordinary maulvi and an incompetent Christian convert, cannot rightly be termed a college. I do not think that such an irregular institution can do useful work. There are already a lot of classes of the kind opened and maintained by Muslims, but they all lack the life-giving spirit, so marvellously manifest in the institutions of Qadian. You may guess the reason, for the living and the dead cannot be on the same par ; and the nominal followers of Ahmad of Qadian cannot reap a good harvest after their vain attempts at putting a scythe to the green fields of Qadian. They will, along with their mimic institution, disappear from the scene in the near future, and be merged in the vast, but dead, Muslim community. This being the case, what sort of work can this so-called college do, and what good can we expect from it ?"
The "college" has been discontinued, but in 1916 the Anjuman opened a "Muslim High School and Senior Cambridge Local College" in Lahore, with Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din's former associate in the Woking Mission, at its head. I am informed that there are upwards of one hundred students, of whom a few are in residence, who are being prepared for the Cambridge Local Examination. The English Bible is taught (1917-18) by a Christian chaplain, Rev. F. F. Shearwood.
In the autumn of 1918, a hostel " for the benefit of Muslim collegiate students" was opened by the Anjuman in Lahore.
In addition to this educational work, other activities of the Lahore Anjuman consist of the publication of the tri-weekly Paigham-i-Sulah in Urdu, and also of some literature, including another translation of the Qur'an into English, completed in December, 1917, by Maulvi Muhammad 'Ali, the president of the Anjuman. The Anjuman claims to have several missionaries in different parts of India, whose purpose is "to advance the cause of Islam." It has also inherited fr.om Ahmad his penchant for holding public debates on religious themes.28 A growing interest in politics, on the part of this Anjuman, was evidenced by the sending of a deputation, headed by Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, to Mr. Montagu, Secretary of State for India, on behalf of the so-called Congress-Moslem League Scheme of Home Rule, in December, 1917. The Islamic Review and Muslim India is published in English at Woking, and, in addition, an Urdu edition is published in Lahore and a Malay edition in Singapore.
A species of social service has been undertaken by the Anjuman on behalf of the criminal tribes of Kot Mokhal in Sialkot district of the Panjab. In 1917 the total income of the Anjuman amounted to Rs. 36,923-0-9, and the expenditure totalled Rs. 34,479-10-9. An anniversary meeting of the Anjuman takes place in the Ahmadiya buildings, Lahore, each December.
The chief missionary interest of this branch of the Ahmadiya community centres in the mission in England, to which reference has already been made.29 Its founder, Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din, a graduate of Forman Christian College, Lahore, received his B.A. in 1893, became a pleader in Peshawar and then in Lahore, and early in 1912 proceeded to England as a missionary of Islam. He first established his headquarters at Richmond, but in August, 1914, moved with his helpers to Woking, in Surrey, where there already existed a mosque, built by the late Professor Leitner, a former principal of the Oriental College, Lahore, and given by his heirs after his death to the Muslim community. Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din believed that his first duty was the removal of the misrepresentation of Muhammadanism which he held was current in Christian circles in the West. To further this end he commenced the publication of the paper, first named Muslim India and the Islamic Review. He also seized every opportunity of delivering lectures on various subjects connected with Islam. For instance, in January, 1913, a debate was arranged at Cambridge on the subject of "Polygamy," in which it was stated, in favour of polygamy (as reported in the Islamic Review), that "even God was pleased to take birth in the house of a polygamist, as the blessed Virgin was the second wife of Joseph, father of the Lord." On another occasion the subject of the position of women in Judaism, Christianity and Islam was discussed and compared, and it was argued that Islam had done more than all other religions to raise the status of womankind. At the International Congress on Religious Progress, held in Paris in July, 1913, Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din delivered an address on the subject of Islam and received a cordial reception. All such meetings are reported at length in the Islamic Review, which, in addition to Muhammadan apologetics, contains a great variety of attacks on the Christian faith and its founder, similar to those quoted in Chapter IV above. At first some space was given in the paper to political affairs in connection with Islam in India, but of late the articles have been almost wholly religious in character
In addition to the mosque at Woking, the Mission has rooms at 111, Camden Hill Road, Notting Hill Gate, London, W.,30 where Sunday religious lectures, Friday prayers, with sermon, and literary and scientific lectures, on alternate Thursdays, are held. The last-named are promoted by the London Muslim Literary Society, which, like the Central Islamic Society, the Society of London Muslims, and the British Muslim Association, is a British development of Ahmadiya Islam.
A number of English ladies and gentlemen have professed conversion to Islam, the most prominent being Lord Headley, an Irish peer, engineer and sportsman, who is now the president of the British Muslim Association.31 Other English Muslims who are constant contributors to the Islamic Review are Professor Henri M. Leon, M.A., Ph.D., LL.D., F.S.P., A. Neville J. Whymant, Ph.D., Litt.D., F.S.P., and Mr. J. Parkinson. Altogether perhaps two hundred had announced their conversion by the end of 1917. A quotation from The Islamic Review for January, 1916, will indicate what is involved in the acceptance of Islam in England to-day.
"The Brotherhood, being universal, is open to all, and anybody who would like to join it can either attend the Friday prayers at one p.m., at 39, Upper Bedford Place, London, W.C., on any Friday ; or Sunday services, held at 3.15 p.m. at the Woking Mosque. Send the accompanying declaration to the Imam of the Mosque, Woking, Surrey, who will always be glad to answer any inquiries. Islam claims to be a rational faith, and undertakes to satisfy the reason and conscience both, so criticism is encouraged and every effort made to answer questions satisfactorily.
I____________________________son/daughter/wife of_________________________________of (address)____________________________________do hereby faithfullly and solemnly declare of my own free will that I adopt Islam as my religion; that I worship One and only Allah (God) alone ; that I believe Muhammad to be his messenger and servant ; that I respect equally all prophets — Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. — that I will live a Muslim life by the help of Allah.
La ilaha ill-Allah,
Muhammad al rasul-Allah.32
N.B. — Please address all inquiries to the Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., B.T., Head of the Mosque, Woking, Surrey.33
Another quotation, from the issue of September, 1915, will illustrate the aspirations and dreams of the group at Woking :
"The time is approaching fast when God will no more remain an absurd mathematical problem, even in Christian lands. The time will come when Europe will be freed of its four curses of selfish materialism, drunkenness, gambling and licentiousness. The time will come when the Christian belief that woman was the cause of that sin with which, according to Christian nations, all mankind is permeated from birth, will die out. The time will come when innocent and angelic children, if they die unbaptized, will not be sent to perdition because of the crimes committed by their remotest possible ancestors, and if they live they will not be allowed to grow up with the demoralizing conviction in their minds that they were born sinners, and that their sins can only be cleansed by the blood of Christ. The time, in short, will come, and that, Insha Allah,34 soon, when Islam will be accepted by the European nations as the religion which satisfies man's reason and conscience both. The time will come when in European countries Eid-ul-Fitr35 and other Muslim festivals will no more remain novelties, and when the cry of La ilaha illallah Muhammad Rasulallah will be heard from high minarets five times every day from European cities."
This periodical is sent free to several thousand non-Muslims with the idea of interesting them in Islam, and the editors make it their boast that because of their work the Western mind has already been disabused of " such misrepresentation and misunderstanding which has been enveloping Islam and tarnishing its beauty for centuries." The same claim is made for a book by Lord Headley, entitled A Western Awakening to Islam,36 which is really a modified restatement (for the most part published previously in the Islamic Review) of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's glorification of Islam at the expense of Christianity.
At this writing an effort is being made to compass the erection of a mosque in the city of London itself, and Khwajah Kamal-ud-Din has spent considerable time in India arousing interest and securing funds throughout the entire Indian Muhammadan world (not simply from Ahmadis, be it noted), on behalf of this project as well as of all the work of the Muhammadan Mission in England, in which there are now several paid and many voluntary workers.
For the purpose of giving a resume of the beliefs of the members of the Woking Mission there is included in Appendix IV, p. 147, a part of an editorial on "What is Islam?" which is taken from the Islamic Review. The following subjects of articles that have appeared recently in that periodical, selected at random, will give an idea of the range and nature of its contents:
"A Muslim's Obligations to His Kinsmen," "Universal Brotherhood," "God and Science," "Haeckel and Islam," Relative Position of Man and Woman in Islam," "The Age of the New Testament," "Christendom and Islam," "Islam," "Islam and Idolatry," "Misrepresentations of Missionaries," "Jesus Christ as Man and 'God'," "The Solidarity of Islam," 'Islam and Civilization," "Who was the Founder of 'Church Religion' in the West ?"
Regarding the financial condition of the Woking Mission, the receipts from Muslims in all parts of the world during the year 1917 totalled Rs. 26,765-8-3, and the expenditure was Rs. 31,963-6-0. These figures include the expenses involved in the publication of the Islamic Review, a considerable enlargement of which is proposed in the near future.
1 P. 43.
2 Cf. p. 45.
3 Moslem World, II, p. 373.
4 It thus became a Samaj, analogous to the Arya Samaj and Brahma Samaj in Hinduism.
5 P. 17. Cf. Muslim India and Islamic Review, I, p. 366ff.
6 Then known as Muslim India and the Islamic Review. The name has since been changed to The Islamic Review and Muslim India .
7 Cf. page 67.
8 P. 17.
9 Cf. p. 109.
10 Cf. Appendix VI for a ruling of the High Court of Patna, Bengal, by which Ahmadis were declared to be Muslims, at liberty to worship behind any recognized imam, but not entitled to form a separate congregation in the mosque.
11 Cf. p. 131, Note 1.
12 P. 125.
13 A Muslim school or college for the study of religious subjects solely.
14 Cf. p. 104.
15 Rev. John Takle, of the New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society, author of The Faith of the Crescent (Association Press, Calcutta, 1913).
16 P. 46, Note 1.
17 The Moplahs (Mapillas), comprising nearly the whole of the Muslim population of Malabar (about 800,000), are descendants of Arab immigrants of the eight and ninth centuries, with a considerable admixture of Hindu blood. They have in the past shown fanatical hatred of the Hindus, but are to-day, for the most part, peaceful traders.
18 I.e., 'Isa nabi, the Prophet Jesus.
19 The Musaliars are the Moplah maulvis, travelling preachers and teachers of the Qur'an and the commentaries.
20 Cf. article, "The Koran According to Ahmad," by R. F McNeile, Moslem World, VI, p. 170 (April, 1916).
21 For an account of the translations of the Qur'an into English, see Zwemer, Moslem World, V, p. 244.
22 Cf. p. 55.
23 Sahibzada is equivalent to "Young Master," and is often used of the heir-apparent to a throne as well as in the general sense of an honoured son.
24 Orthodox Muslims believe that a Muslim who has committed greater sins (kabira) must pass a purgatorial period in the Fire, from which he can only be saved by the intercession of Muhammad. The heretical Mu'tazilite (cf. p. 65, Note 3) denied that Muhammad's intercession could accomplish this. Lesser sins (saghira) can be removed in many ways. See also p. 36, Note 3.
25 Cf. p. 24.
26 The regular zakat (alms) must all be sent to Qadian, as the Bait-ul-Mal (treasury).
27 Cf. p. 56, Note 3
28 Cf. Appendix VIII for a typical Ahmadiya challenge to a public debate.
29 Cf. p. 118.
30 Cf. Appendix V for a newspaper report of a meeting in the former London headquarters of the Mission at Caxton Hall.
31 On December 9, 1916, Lord Headley was fined ten shillings, or seven days' imprisonment, at Tower Bridge Police Court, London, for being drunk and disorderly in Waterloo Road. The case was appealed, and at the County of London Sessions, on January 19, 1917, the appeal was dismissed with costs. See The Glasgow Weekly Herald for December 16, 1916, and January 20, 1917. See also Lord Headley's explanation in Islamic Review, October 1917, Vol. V, p. 421.
32 I.e., Kalima. Cf. p. 104, Note 1.
33 Compare with the Form for Initiation into the Ahmadiya Movement, in Appendix II.
34 I.e., "Please God."
35 The 'Id-ul-Fitr is the feast which celebrates the end of the fast of Ramadan.
36 Right Hon. Lord Headley, B.A., etc., A Western Awakening to Islam; Being the Result of Over Forty Years' Contemplation, London 1915.