7th November 2022
Raheel Ahmad, History Department, UK
The compilation of the history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK initially began under the directive of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, in preparation for the commemoration of the Ahmadiyya Centenary Jubilee to be held in 1989. A letter was sent to various countries from Wakil-ut-Tabshir (Director of Foreign Missions) in February 1986 instructing them to form a history committee to collate their historical records. A draft of a brief history of the UK Community was compiled and sent to Wakalat-e-Tabshir Rabwah (Ahmadiyya Muslim Foreign Mission Office Rabwah) for their records.
This work has continued in various capacities for the last three to four years. However, it accelerated with new vigour when it was decided that detailed research on the Promised Messiah’s efforts in conveying the message of Islam to the Western world was a paramount need in understanding the purpose of the establishment of the first external mission outside India.
The first volume on the history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK focuses on the propagation of Islam to the West during the time of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas. Among the topics covered in the first volume are the Promised Messiah’s efforts in reaching Western lands through letters and tracts, his debates,and interactions with the Christian clergy in India and his challenge to Dowie and Pigott. References made to the Promised Messiahas in the UK press and the visits made by many Westerners to Qadian are also discussed.
In accordance with the need of the time, it was decided the research would be published in form of articles on a website. It is hoped this will excite the curiosity of the youth to learn about the efforts made by the founder of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya and more importantly the role they need to play in the West for the propagation of Islam.
The concept of the website was presented to beloved Huzooraa in a meeting by Rafiq Hayat Sahib, Amir UK and it was requested that Huzooraa officially launches the website. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa graciously accepted this request and arrangements were made for the launch following Friday prayers on 4 November 2022.
At the conclusion of his Friday Sermon on 4 November 2022, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa announced the official launch of the new website.
“The UK Jamaat has prepared a new website which is about the history of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in the UK. Work on researching and collating the history was being done for many years and now a website has been prepared which includes research articles in relation to the efforts of the Promised Messiahas in propagating the message of Islam to the West. The history of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in the UK is generally considered to have started in 1913 when Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Siyal Sahib came here. However, the message of the Promised Messiahas had already reached the UK and other European countries from the moment he announced he was the Mujaddid.
“The Promised Messiahas published 8,000 copies of an announcement in English in order to inform people of his claim. These were distributed amongst the well-known and highly respected priests in India and England.
“They were also sent to various societies and religious leaders and this message was sent to as many places as it was possible to send in those days. For example, a politician in the UK, Charles Bradlaugh, who was an atheist, received the message of the Promised Messiahas in 1885.
“This has been mentioned in the newspaper, Cork Constitution of 8 June 1885. Similarly, one of the founding members of The Theosophist Society, Henry Steel Olcott received this message in 1886, which he mentioned in the September issue of his journal, The Theosophist in 1886.
“A timeline of the blessed era of the Promised Messiahas has also been published on the website, which includes various facts about the propagation of Islam in the West. Also, another timeline has been prepared under the title of pioneer missionaries which includes the early missionaries of the community among whom were also companions of the Promised Messiahas and it includes their introduction and information about their missionary efforts in the UK. There is also detailed research, along with references, on the prophecy of the Promised Messiahas regarding Pigott. There are some further research articles based on the history (of the UK Jamaat) through which the youth will be able to clearly learn about the true objective of why they and their forefathers had come to the UK. The address of this website is history.ahmadiyya.uk. Although the website has started but they want to formally inaugurate it today.
“May Allah the Almighty enable this to be a source of benefit for our members and also the non-Ahmadis.”