Woking Muslim Mission, England, 1913–1968

The year 1914

May 1914
Photographic archive
Film newsreel archive
Contact us
Search the website

May 1914

On this page we have compiled reports and news published in Paigham Sulh during May 1914.

Maulana Sadr-ud-Din to be sent to assist Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din

Due to the increasing pressure of work at Woking, it was decided to send Maulana Sadr-ud-Din to help Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. This came just at the time when the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam was being created in Lahore under the headship of Maulana Muhammad Ali. It was reported:

“According to the instructions of Khwaja sahib, Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., B.T., Headmaster of Talim-ul-Islam High School, Qadian, is leaving for England, God willing, by ship on 16 May [1914]. He is one of the ablest graduates of Punjab University. First he was District Inspector of schools. Then he was appointed professor of English at the [Teacher] Training College, Lahore. After some time, he left government employment to render services to Islam and became Headmaster of Talim-ul-Islam High School, Qadian, where he worked excellently for four to five years, and by his hard work he made this school distinguished throughout the Punjab. Now we hope he will join Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din in England in doing superb work of service to Islam. Besides being a scholar of the English language, he is an expert in Arabic and greatly learned in the Quran and Hadith.”

Paigham Sulh, 3 May 1914, p. 1.

Audience interest

In a report dated 13th April 1914, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din writes that when there is another speaker at the Sunday lecture “the audience here have such an interest in me that they still look forward to when I would rise to say something”:

“Yesterday was the twelfth lecture, which means three months have passed. One-third of the audience are those people who attend always. Many young women come regularly, and I am surprised that their parents do not prevent them. They listen to our talks happily with full attention. They show surprise sometimes,  and sometimes they show delight. No one leaves till the end, even though  a 45 minute lecture here is considered very long. …

Like Hazrat Junaid, my prayer to God is: My Lord, I have brought these people to Your door and created interest in Islam in their hearts; the next act is not mine but Yours. …

The opposition that started in Woking seems to have quietened down. The opponents are somewhat disheartened. Allah knows best. Prayer is a wonderful tool which the God of Islam has taught us. In this state of destitution and helplessness, prayer is the only means which can bring solace to the heart, and bestow its fruits. This week brother Zafar Ali Khan was here, and he said a few words at the end. The opening prayer was also by him.”

Paigham Sulh,5 May 1914, p. 1.

Calls for Muslim unity

Opponents of the Ahmadiyya Movement, who had little interest in the progress of Islam in the world, started raising the objection that Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was a member of this Movement and calling upon Muslims not to assist his work. In reference to this, He begins his next report as follows:

“If one the one hand the doors of the help of God are opening, on the other hand Muslims are trapped in their historical misfortune, that is, they cannot set aside the differences between them. What misfortune is it that we Muslims cannot be united even on one point! It seems as if some of us have the appointed duty that in any matter where Muslims can be united we create conflict, if not on any real basis then on an imaginary basis, so that there can be no form of national unity among Muslims of India. God has created in my nature a certain attitude that, despite having my own particular views, I feel myself able to work with others on matter of common concern in which we agree. For many years I have been firmly holding to the principle that there are no sects in Islam. All Muslim groups agree on the fundamentals of Islam, and that in order to carry out the work of proving the truth of Islam we can very easily keep on one side the issues in which there is difference of opinion between us. This was my position in India and it is the same here. It is this very principle which has brought before me a small beginning of that great success whose end will be the making of Islam as the last religion of the world.”

He then goes on to mention in detail that the American organisers of the Paris Religious Congress, which he attended in July 1913,  are planning to travel through various countries of Europe and Asia holding a series of conferences on common principles, acceptable to all, on which the future religion of the world can be based, and seeking supporters in various countries for this cause. He says that they have requested him to join their trip, as he will be of help to them in Turkey, Egypt and India. Listing those principles, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din writes:

“The conference will bring those who agree with these principles on one platform and ask the representative of each religion to shed light on the following beliefs which are found in every religion. … The principles mentioned above include some which the founders of the conference accepted on my suggestion. Now, Muslims should ponder, which is the religion which answers all these questions in the best and clearest way? And if I impose the condition, as I will do, that every speaker supporting these principles must show them by referring to his sacred scripture and quoting from it, then it will be seen that there is no other book except the Holy Quran which can meet this condition.”

Towards the end of this report he writes:

“The President of this conference has defined the religion, which will be the future religion of the world, to be obedience to God and love and affection for His creation. Is this not the definition of Islam given by the Holy Prophet? Now Muslim brothers, is this the time to be in slumber, the time for neglect and indifference? These are the ‘days of Allah’, which are harbingers of the session of spring. Arise and give up negligence. Be united and be righteous. Will you listen to those newspaper writers whose task it is to prevent Muslims from uniting on one purpose?”

Paigham Sulh, 7 May 1914, p. 1.

The same report, due to its length, is continued in the next issue of Paigham Sulh. We quote a short excerpt from it below:

“O Muslims, get ready for God’s sake! Don’t take my words lightly. It is a fact and the truth that the result of this propagation of Islam was decreed by God thirteen centuries ago. The sun is about to rise from the West. Here is another piece of good news. Today the son of a count in Naples has accepted Islam. The letter of his acceptance of Islam arrived in today’s post. An even greater matter of pleasure is who brought him towards Islam by acting as missionary. It is my dear convert to Islam Mawahib-ur-Rahman Salah-ud-Din, that is, Viscount de Potier of Belgium. What a blessed religion is Islam! This aristocrat becomes a Muslim and he forthwith becomes a missionary.”

Paigham Sulh, 10 May 1914, p. 1.

The series of conferences mentioned above appear not to have taken place. It is likely that this programme was cancelled due to the start of the First World War in August 1914.

Two more people attracted

In a report received in Lahore on 10th May 1914, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din writes:

“Two events of this week deserve special mention. A man from Sweden met me in London. In his letters he had expressed love for Islam and his current position in relation to Islam. He was wavering about Christianity, he came to Lindsey Hall for Friday prayer and today a letter has come from him asking for the Islamic Review. Secondly, there is the priest of a church to whom the magazine was sent. He has sent his photo and details about him. He writes in a letter that the religion which I have seen presented in this magazine is what religion ought to be. …

Qari Sarfraz Husain has reached London. He came to see me yesterday and asked me permission to join the work. I said to him: Where does permission come into it? It is the work of God. God can create true sincerity in the heart of whomsoever He pleases and grant him real passion for the propagation of Islam. I am with such a person and I pray that Allah may prove him to be useful and blessed for this mission. Who knows what hidden talents in someone? His previous life, good or bad, is no definite indicator of the future. … What counts with God is sincerity of intention. No one’s sincerity is ever wasted.”

Paigham Sulh, 14 May 1914, p. 1.

Muslim public meeting on departure of Maulana Sadr-ud-Din for Woking

“In our issue of 3rd May [1914] we informed readers of the news that Maulana Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., B.T., will shortly leave for England to assist Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. Last Sunday, 10th May, there was a huge meeting of Muslims of Lahore  at Ahmadiyya Buildings, Lahore, to bid him farewell and pray for him. The entire mosque and the ground around it was full of the people attending. First of all, Maulana Muhammad Ali President of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore, in his brief presidential address, set out the aims of the meeting and explained the importance of the propagation of Islam and its benefits. Referring to the writing of the Promised Messiah that the man who goes to Western lands for the propagation of Islam will be counted among the saints, and if he dies there he will be counted as a martyr (shaheed), the Maulana proved that the late Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad possessed the greatest inner urge for the propagation of Islam. And this was the reason why a large number of people were attracted to him. He then mentioned in detail the noble efforts of the Khwaja sahib and explained the need which was felt for sending Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din to England. Due to the increase in the size of the Khwaja sahib’s magazine, a joint editor was badly required, and Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din sahib was most suitable for it. Islam is also a kingdom which needs expansion, as do kingdoms of the world. The purpose of the coming of Jesus was nothing other than to give good news of this heavenly kingdom. … In the Gospels, Islam is what is meant by the kingdom of God. …

After all the speakers, to fulfil the desire of the audience, Maulana Sadr-ud-Din arose and recited the Sura Fatiha and the verse ‘There should be a community among you who invite to good’, and thereby acknowledged the importance of this work. … He said that for our progress and success God has suggested for us this method, that we should become inviters to good. … After teaching us the method for success, God has cautioned us that ‘do not become like those who were divided after clear signs had come to them’. … When prayers [of all Muslims] are the same, the Quran is the same, pilgrimage is the same, charity is the same, how can one attribute kufr to another? You should be prepared and alert that whenever a maulvi calls someone a kafir, you must be ready to render him speechless.”

— Paigham Sulh, 17 May 1914, p. 2.

Article in Comrade

Comrade was the name of an English newspaper established by  Muhammad Ali Jauhar. It too reported on Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s activities favourably. In May 1914 it carried an item entitled Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and his Supporters. It begins:

“Some years ago Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din left off a lucrative practice at the Chief Court Bar of Lahore, fell out of the ranks of those who were making a name for themselves as leaders of Moslem thought in India, and, unassisted by public funds, went to England to spread Islam in Europe or at least refute the baseless charges brought against Islam by the Christians and cultured pagans of Europe alike. To all intents and purposed he was given up as lost by Indian Musalmans, and beyond receiving his little monthly magazine from London and glancing through it with a half critical, half approving eye they took no interest in him and his work. There was nothing sensational in his work… How could the Khwaja, then, expect any assistance or even interest in the work that he was so resolutely and so quietly doing? He was only fighting the battle of Islam against unheard of odds, and what was Islam to Indian Mussalmans that they should watch the struggle with interest?

But luck did not altogether desert the Khwaja. The first convert whose last remnant of doubt about Islam he helped to remove turned out to be a Peer, and although we feel sure Lord Farooq Headley is too good a Moslem to base any claim of superiority on anything but the basis of Islam’s aristocracy, taqwa, … Indian Mussalmans had left the theory of Islamic aristocracy sufficiently far behind and acclaimed the conversion of a Peer … The requisite sensation having been provided, Moslem Indian instantly turned towards the Muslim missionary in England… Nothing that Indian Mussalmans could do for him was too much. Subscriptions were being opened on all sides for him. … But despite much talk of Moslem solidarity we found to our great regret that sectarian doubts began to assail some Mussalmans in this country…

The net result is that hardly any assistance has been rendered to the Khwaja Saheb and even the ambitions of those who wished to profit by the Khwaja Saheb’s success have not been satisfied. That’s what the men have done … But the response of Moslem women has not been equally slow or selfish. None of them has, of course, tried to ride on the crest of the wave that the conversion of Lord Headley created in our languid sea. … Mrs Khedive Jung (Tyeba Begam), the gifted daughter of Nawab Imad-ul-Mulk Bahadur, has followed in the footsteps of her father and has equally liberally assisted the Khwaja Saheb with her own contributions. Mrs Humayun Mirza, the Secretary of the Anjuman-i-Khawateen-i-Islam (Moslem Women’s Association) of Hyderabad, has sent Rs. 500, and now Tyeba Begam has sent another Rs. 500… This last is a contribution of Mrs. Hakim-ud-Daulah Bahadur, the Vice-President of the Hyderabad ladies’ Association.…

This is what a few women who love God and fear Him have done. In a way it was easier for them to do this, for men have taught them only too well the lessons of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty. But have the teachers themselves nothing to learn in this direction? Let them answer the question — if they dare. Khwaja Saheb is not alone now at Woking. Another enthusiast who has worked in America and Japan before this has joined Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, and let us assure those who suffer from sectarian suspicions that the assistant whom Khwaja sahib has received with open arms is a Sunni and non-Ahmadi. We shall be glad to give further information to any one who asks for it and assist him in sending the funds to the Khwaja sahib and to his assistant.”

— Comrade, 9 May 1914, p. 377. View original page of Comrade at this link. The original English article has been quoted above. Its Urdu translation appeared in Paigham Sulh, 19 May and 21 May 1914, front pages.

Further work at Woking

In his report received in Lahore on 24th May 1914, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din writes:

“Miss Rashida Ross is that fortunate woman who met me in London three months ago. Since then she has been reading the lslamic Review. For the past one and a half weeks she has been my guest. She stays somewhere else and comes to eat with us. Last Monday was a blessed day when she expressed her acceptance of Islam. … She joins us for prayers in the mosque. Today she has expressed the desire to memorise Surah Fatiha and other parts of prayer, which I am teaching her.

Some time ago a newspaper critic commented that although the azan is given in the Woking Mosque five times a day, but the congregation is only these three people. Let him come here and look today. God has increased the number from three so soon. By His grace it is very lively here for prayers on Sunday. Lord Headley, his children, Khalid Sheldrake, Mr Fisher and many others come from London, and a considerable congregation of people of the East and the West gathers together before God. On other days, for the past two weeks some eight to ten people have been forming the congregation, among them three English people: Mr Fisher (Usman-el-Mehdi), Mrs Sait, and since two days Miss Ross.

Some thirty to forty people now attend the Sunday lectures regularly. A man and his wife among them are ready to accept Islam. …

A letter from Mawahib-ur-Rahman Salah-ud-Din Viscount de Potier came last week. I had written earlier that during his travels he performs the role of a missionary of Islam. This letter shows that we also teaches the Quran. [Here he quotes the letter written from Corfu, near Greece, in which the Viscount mentions that he is teaching the Quran to a fellow passenger from an Italian translation.]

The Viscount has asked me to send him a translation of the Quran. I was compelled to send him Rodwell’s translation. … it is better than the other translations in use. Muslims must learn a lesson from this, and realise how desperately it is required to publish our own translation. Every new Muslim and enquirer has asked me for a translation of the Quran. What can I do except give them Rodwell? It is a matter of pleasure that Maulvi Muhammad Ali has now completed his translation and the introduction will be finished in a few days. Of course, much funds are required to print it.

In the past two months, March and April [1914] the expenses here and the expenses of the Islamic Review have increased substantially. … The expenses of Woking, including postage, the magazine, and correspondence, for March and April are 62 Pounds, which includes 9 Pounds for furniture. There are six of us living here. Then there are Muslim converts who come as guests. They are not poor; in fact, they are quite affluent, but they come to stay here for a week or ten days merely to learn about Islam. Then there is the extra expenditure on Sundays. There are some twenty guests at a time, and even more at afternoon tea. This Muslim tradition of hospitality has proved very useful, because here all matters are settled on the dining table. Another reason why I want these English Muslim converts to stay as guests is to counter the efforts against us in Woking. They know how to combat their own people. It is proposed that Mr Khalid Sheldrake should come here every Sunday, until he can stay here permanently. His fare will be paid. This has been of much benefit. The man and his wife I mentioned above talked at length to Khalid Sheldrake and he removed their remaining doubts about Islam. Due to their unfamiliarity with us, these people don’t talk to us freely, but they mix very quickly with their fellow countrymen. Just think about the huge amount of money that is spent in India on converting a street cleaner to Christianity , and compare it with my expenditure, which is nothing in comparison. And the results are so excellent and great!”

Paigham Sulh, 26 May 1914, p. 1.

This website is created and published by the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore (U.K.), Wembley, London,
the successor of the Woking Muslim Mission.