The Rising of the Sun from the West: Spiritual Conquest of India and Western Interactions with the Promised Messiah (as)


By Raheel Ahmad, UK

A Brief Overview

The Holy Prophet (sa) prophesied that one of the signs of the last hour is that the sun will rise from the west. One interpretation mentioned by the Promised Messiah (as) is that the spiritual sun of Islam will rise from the west, which means western nations will accept the religion of Islam. The eastern nations which had inherited this religion showed negligence towards it over the passage of time and did not fully appreciate this blessing, yet the western nations are thirsty for such guidance.

The Holy Qur’an refers to the Holy Prophet (sa) as light-giving sun [1]. Since the sun of spiritual guidance had descended in the east, revealing deep religious truths for the whole of mankind, it was destined that his message shall also reach the west and be accepted. Western materialistic philosophy and science by means of its human exertions and endeavour cannot quench the spiritual thirst of the western nations. Thus, God has destined the spiritual enlightenment of the west would occur when the revelation of God would reach the west and the words ‘that He may cause it to prevail over all religions’ [2] would be fulfilled through the advent of the Promised Messiah (as). 

Portrait of the Promised Messiah (as) & Imam Mahdi (Guided One), Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as)

The Promised Messiah & Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as)

The Promised Messiah (as) interpreting the prophecy of the Holy Prophet (sa) writes:

‘Similarly, the rising of the sun from the west which will take place, we believe in it. However, what was disclosed to this humble one through a vision is that the sun rising from West means that the Western countries which had been engulfed by the darkness of infidelity and ignorance, will be illuminated by the sun of truth, and they will have a share of Islam. I saw myself standing on a rostrum in London revealing the truth of Islam through well-reasoned arguments in the English language. Afterwards, I caught many birds sitting on small trees. Their colour was white, and their bodies were like those of partridges. Therefore, I interpreted this to mean that even though not me, yet my writings would spread amongst those people and many righteous Englishmen would become the prey of truth. In fact, the connection of the Western countries with religious honesty had hitherto been very rare. It is as if Allah gave knowledge of religion to the whole of Asia and secular knowledge to Europe and America. The chain of Prophethood also remained with Asia, as did the benefits of consummate sainthood. Now God Almighty wants to encompass these people with His divine mercy.’ [3]

When speaking of the history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the West, or the UK in particular, one may perhaps begin with the arrival of the first missionary, when in fact it was the Promised Messiah (as), who having conveyed the living message of Islam to the West, established the foundation of Islam Ahmadiyyat in the West. Therefore, in order to understand our history in the West, it is imperative to study the life of the Promised Messiah (as) in light of the time and circumstances in which he appeared. His interactions with the West in form of sending tracts, books and further correspondence with the indigenous population, is key in understanding the purpose of the arrival of our later missionaries. 

Spread of Christianity in India

The interest of the British Government in India is not hidden to anyone. Although the British initially went for the purpose of trade, it was apparent from the lectures and meetings that the conversion of entire India to Christianity became a major goal over time, in order to confirm the loyalty of its citizens and give further strength to the empire. For Instance, Sir Charles Wood, the minister of State for India declared that the acceptance of the Christian faith was a ‘bond of union with England and an additional source of strength to the empire’. Similarly, Sir John Lawrence, the Viceroy and Governor-General of India attributed the mutiny of 1857 to their own ‘timidity as a Christian nation, in matter of religion’. He added ‘Nothing more easily will conduce to the strength of our power in India than the spread of Christianity’. Sir Herbert Edwards, Major General and later vice president of the Christian Missionary Society, added that the mutiny was ‘caused not by attempts to disseminate Christianity, but by our keeping back Christianity from the people.’ [4]

Thus, the great support accorded by the government officials aided the development of missionary work and subsequently the Christian conversion in India. [5]

Charles Henry Robinson writes:

‘This development of missionary work was greatly aided by the whole-hearted support accorded by some of the officials who were responsible for the government of the north-west. Amongst these were Sir John Lawrence (Viceroy, 1864-69), Sir Robert Montgomery and Sir Donald M’Leod, Lieutenant-Governors of the Punjab; Sir Herbert Edwardes, General Reynell Taylor, and Sir Bartle Frere, Governor of Bombay…. they made no secret of their personal faith, and contributed largely out of their private incomes towards the establishment of new mission stations, especially those which were supported and controlled by the C.M.S.’ [6]

The first attempt to list the number of Christians associated with Anglican and Protestant missionary communities in India was made in 1851. In 1851, there were 91,092 Christians in 267 congregations. [7]

After the mutiny of 1857, a great expansion of missionary effort was witnessed, which was greatly aided and wholeheartedly funded by government officials. According to the subsequent Indian Census reports, in the year 1881, the Christian population increased to 1,862,517 [8] and the following census of 1891 to 2,036,590 [9]. During the decade 1901-11, Christians in India increased from 2,664,313 to 3,574,770 – that is a 34.2 per cent increase, or five times more when compared to a 7.1 percent increase in the entire Indian population. [10]

Dr Imad-ud-din
©Wikimedia Commons
Dr Imad-ud-din
©Wikimedia Commons

Dr Imad-ud-din, a Christian preacher (formerly a Muslim) in the course of a paper sent to be read at the religious conference held at Chicago, wrote: ‘There was a time when the conversion of a Mohammedan to Christianity was looked on as a wonder. Now they have come and are coming in their thousands.’ At the end of his paper, he appended a list of 117 converts from Islam to Christianity who at that time were occupying influential positions in the State or in the Church in India. [11]

The Promised Messiah (as), referring to the increase in Christian conversion, wrote:

‘Take the Christians, for instance, whose principles appear absurd even at a cursory glance, and yet the consistent efforts of their missionaries have resulted in the growing popularity of their faith, so much so that each year they proudly publish reports of four to eight thousand people joining their ranks. The latest estimates of Christian conversions given by Father Hacker of Calcutta are worrying, to say the least. He writes that whereas there were only 27,000 Christians in India fifty years ago, the number has now risen to 500,000 – [To Allah we belong and to Him shall we return]. Elders of Islam! Do you wait for a time of greater spread of misguidance? There was a time when Islam was the living illustration of the Qur’anic verse: [Men] entering the religion of Allah in troops [110:3]. And look at what is happening today! Do your hearts not bleed at this calamity and are you not overwhelmed by anguish?’ [12]

This was a time when Christian missionaries were boasting about the supremacy of their faith and predicting the conversion of the entire world to Christianity.

John Henry Barrows ©Wikimedia Commons
John Henry Barrows ©Wikimedia Commons

John Henry Barrows, an American clergyman known as the architect of the Parliament of Religions also moderated the event in 1893. During his tour to India, he delivered many lectures, in one of the lectures he stated:

‘I might sketch the movement in Mussulman lands, which has touched with the radiance of the Cross the Lebanon and Persian mountains, as well as the waters of the Bosporus, and which is the sure harbinger of the day when Cairo and Damascus and Teheran shall be the servants of Jesus, and when even the solitudes of Arabia shall be pierced, and Christ, in the person of His disciples, shall enter the Kaaba of Mecca, and the whole truth shall at last be there spoken, ‘This is eternal life that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent.’’ [13]

Similarly, Charles Henry Robinson in his History of Christian Missions, after quoting the latest Indian Census Report stated:

‘Should the increase which has been taking place during the last 30 years be maintained, in 50 years’ time the Christians will number 1 in 21 ·of the population, in 100 years they will number 1 in 5, and in 160 years the whole population of India will be Christian.’ [14]

Interestingly, the substantial amount of these conversions came from the Punjab. Robinson writes:

‘The most striking increase has been in the Punjab, where the rate has been 333 per cent… which have resulted from the work of the American Presbyterian and C.M.S. missions.’ [15]

There are numerous other references that could be quoted on the subject, yet the above-given references should suffice in understanding the zealous effort from the Christian mission and the dire and vulnerable state of the Muslim population in India. Their hopelessness only depicted moral and spiritual decline as prophesized by the Holy Prophet (sa). An Urdu poet and writer of the 19th century Altaf Hussain Hali described the prophecy in one of his couplets:

Neither religion nor Islam was left,

Only the name of Islam was left. [16]

Defence of Islam

In these difficult times, the Promised Messiah (as) began the defence of Islam. The Promised Messiah’s (as) interaction with the western missionaries began in British India as early as 1860 when he took up an appointment under the instructions of his father at Sialkot. The members of the Christian Mission Societies realized at the outset that if they were to be successful evangelists, they would need trained Punjabi workers and helpers and so great effort was made to turn each and every convert into a successful Missionary. The plan was greatly aided by the establishment of Christian schools and colleges. Among many other Indian converts turned missionaries who interacted with the Promised Messiah (as), Reverend Elisha is one of the earliest mentioned in Ahmadiyya history. 

The Promised Messiah (as), discussing the covert plans of the Christians, wrote: 

‘Never has there been a greater period of such a dangerous trial for Islam, in fact since the inception of Prophethood, there has never been so. Apart from philosophical and scientific arguments, anyone with expertise in any field employs it as a means to try and attack Islam. Both men and women are preaching and through various schemes are trying to detach people from Islam and want them to incline towards Christianity. If one goes into clinics, one would see how alongside giving medicines to patients, the Christian faith is being proselytized, and at times women and children, who are admitted into the hospital, are refused care until they became Christians. Christians were also preaching disguised as religious mendicants. In short, they adopted every possible means for this purpose.’ [17]

The Promised Messiah (as) became well acquainted with the arguments and allegations of the Christian and Hindu missionaries. The interactions with Sehaj Ram, Reverend Elisha (stated above) and Reverend Taylor [18] are well documented in Ahmadiyya history. Thus, the time spent in Sialkot did not go in vain rather it later proved to be essential in understanding the methodology and approach of Christian societies.

From 1872 onwards, the Promised Messiah (as) emerged as a champion of Islam, defending it against the attacks of Christians, Arya Samajists and Bramho Samajists and setting forth the excellence of its teachings in every sphere. He did this by writing articles for publication in newspapers and journals. His earliest article was published in Manshur Muhammadi, which used to be published every ten days from Bangalore, Mysore, South India. The collection of these articles from 1878 to 1880 are published in Ruhani Khazain, Volume 2 as ‘Purani Tahrirein’ (Early Writings). 

Publication of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya

It was the publication of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part I and II that truly displayed the treasure of knowledge which God had bestowed the Promised Messiah (as) with. The Promised Messiah (as) put forward a challenge to the follower of any religion that if on behalf of their faith they could present one-half, or one-fourth or even one-fifth of the excellences that he himself proposed to produce as the basis of Islam, then he would give the ‘one who duly responds to this challenge the possession and the right to make use of my property worth ten thousand rupees’. [19]

Many Muslim scholars and intellectuals wrote reviews of the book and considered it a great service to Islam. The author was described as one who has taken it upon himself to help the cause of Islam with their property, person, pen and tongue, successfully challenging, with courage, the opponents of Islam and deniers of revelation and that ‘If they doubt divine revelation to visit him and experience, observe and taste it.’ [20] A book described it as ‘the like of which has not been written up to this time in Islam’ [21] by Muhammad Hussain Batalvi, who wrote a 200-page detailed review published in Issues 6 to 11 of Ishat-u-Sunnah. 

In the third volume of the Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, the Promised Messiah (as) presented himself as a criterion to judge the truthfulness of a living religion (Islam) by asking the seekers to come to Qadian to witness a sign for the truthfulness of Islam. It was the first time that someone had put forward an alternative criterion to judge the truthfulness of a religion. Until then, the focus of all faiths had been on rational and narrative reasoning. 

‘The Christian priests, as well as the Pundits, Brahmus, Aryas and other opponents of our time need not feel bewildered and ask where are the blessings and the heavenly light of which the blessed followers of Hadrat Khatamul-Anbiya’, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, share with Musa and ‘Isa and where is the heritage of the light from which all other people and followers of other nations and religions are deprived and debarred. To set this doubt at rest, I have stated several times in this very foot-note that I am responsible for providing such a religious proof to any seeker after truth who is prepared to readily enter the fold of Islam after having witnessed the excellences peculiar to Islam.’ [22]

This proposal was often repeated in the life of the Promised Messiah (as), for instance, in 1885, when the Promised Messiah (as) announced that he was the Promised Reformer for the 14th century. This announcement was published in Urdu and translated into English. Eight thousand copies were sent as registered letters to religious leaders, rulers, scholars, judges and theorists in Asia, Europe and America and wherever it was possible to be sent by post. The announcement invited representatives of religions and other prominent members of society to come and witness the truthfulness of Islam at Qadian. If a sign was not witnessed within a year, a sum of two hundred rupees per month would be paid as compensation to such an individual. [23]

By the year 1891, 20,000 such leaflets on Islamic truths in English and Urdu had been published and were sent to Europe and America. The Promised Messiah (as) wrote in Fateh Islam. 

‘Similarly, 20,000 leaflets in English and Urdu were printed, add to these more than 12,000 leaders of hostile groups were sent these by registered post and there was not a single priest in India to whom this announcement was not sent by registered mail. Moreover, people in Europe and America were also sent these announcements through registered mail to complete the effort/argument. Is it not a wonder that with only very meagre means this huge work goes on?’ [24]

Opposition of Christian Missionaries

Eastern and Western Christian missionaries belonging to the Christian Mission Society or the American Presbyterian Mission were all aware of the efforts of the Promised Messiah (as) and avoided discussion at all cost. The reports submitted to the CMS society by the Christian missionaries in form of letters depict great desperation and frustration.  

An example of such evasion is of the Bishop of Lahore; George Alfred Lefroy was invited to a discussion by the Promised Messiah (as) after the Bishop’s lecture in Lahore on the topic of ‘The Innocent Prophet’ in May 1900, depicting all other prophets except Jesus (as) as sinful. When scholars, such as Maulvi Sanaullah, asked the Muslims to boycott the lecture, [25] two separate announcements entitled ‘A Plea to the Bishop of Lahore for an Honest Decision,’ [26] And ‘An Important Account on the Lecture ‘The Living Prophet’ of Respected Bishop’ were published from the Promised Messiah (as). The first announcements with its rebuttal included an invitation in the words: 

If the Bishop is, in fact, desirous of investigating the truth, then he should publish an announcement to the effect: We want to carry on a discussion with Muslims as to which of the two prophets is the more distinguished and superior from the point of view of the excellence of their beliefs, morals, and blessings, their efficacy, their sayings and actions, their faith and mysticism, their knowledge and their holiness, and their way of living. If he (the Bishop) does so, appoints a date, and informs us accordingly, then we promise that someone from among us will be present on the appointed date before the gathering.’ [27]

The latter announcement in form of a lecture was written in a matter of two hours by the Promised Messiah (as). It was read by Hazart Mufti Muhammad Sadiq (ra) in the presence of 3000 persons which was also reported by the Homeward Mail on July 2, 1900. Following this event, began the direct correspondence with the Bishop to convince him to hold a debate. Yet, despite many signatures and the widespread interest, the Bishop declined to a debate. A part of the letter sent by the Promised Messiah (as) was published in the Homeward Mail on 9th July 1900.

Leading Christian missionaries of the time, like Reverend Herbert Udny Weitbrecht Stanton Padre Thakurdas, Padre S. P. Jacob, Reverend Dr Griswold, Fateh Masih, Waris Masih, Imad-ud-din, Siraj-ud-din, Abdullah Atham, and Henry Martyn Clark, worked their utmost to oppose the Promised Messiah (as). Except for a few penniless Muslims gathered around him, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was alone. He had no worldly power or political backing, the funds were meagre but He Who is the Lord and Master of all was his helper. It was He Who commissioned him to proclaim to the world that the days of the revival of Islam were at hand and that the day was not far when Islam would triumph over all other faiths through its spiritual power.

Just as the Christian missionaries descended in the East, in the words of the Holy Qur’an, ‘And they planned, and Allah also planned; and Allah is the Best of planners’ [29], Allah the Almighty had willed that the message of His Messiah should be propagated in the West. 

The opposition of these missionaries also served the purpose. Griswold’s two papers ‘Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the Mahdi Messiah of Qadian’ and ‘The Messiah of Qadian’ which he had written after his audience with the Promised Messiah (as) at Qadian, although polemic in nature, introduced the claims of the Promised Messiah (as) in the Victoria Institute of Philosophy of Great Britain in 1905. 

Visitors in Qadian

Qadian was a remote and unknown village in the Indian province of Punjab. At the time of the Promised Messiah (as), access to Qadian was difficult and only possible by means of mules and horses. In fact, people preferred to walk to Qadian because of the uneven paths. It was at this time that Allah the Almighty had informed the Promised Messiah (as) through a revelation that:

 فکاد ان یعرف بین الناس  

‘Therefore, he will soon be made well-known among people’.

The Promised Messiah (as) was also informed that:

 یاتون منکلفج عمیق

Many people will  come to you that the track on which they travel will become deep‘. [30]

Many travelled from within India to Qadian and accepted the Promised Messiah (as).

There were others who travelled from or belonged to distant lands of Europe and America who also came to Qadian and met the Promised Messiah (as). Some came seeking the truth and were blessed and went on to accept the Imam of the age. Others came out of curiosity and for research purposes. Like Mr Griswold, another English protestant missionary by the name of Dr Theodore Leighton Pennell paid an unannounced visit to Qadian in 1904. Due to the ill health of the Promised Messiah (as), an immediate audience could not be arranged, and so Dr Pennell was asked to stay a little longer. He however could not and left without meeting the Promised Messiah (as). Although the meeting could not take place with the Promised Messiah (as), the account of Dr Pennell’s visit to Qadian and the hospitality he received is mentioned in the book ‘Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier’. Pennell wrote: ‘We had been kindly and hospitably received, and there was something inspiriting in seeing a number of educated men thoroughly zealous and keen in the active pursuit of religion, though the strong spirit of antagonism to Christianity was saddening.’ [31]

Another visitor to Qadian was Mr Dixon, who visited in November 1901 and had the opportunity to meet the Promised Messiah (as). One aspect of this audience that truly depicts the Promised Messiah’s (as) zeal for the propagation is when the Promised Messiah (as) insisted that he should stay for a few days. The Promised Messiah (as) on the 18th November 1901, when leaving for a morning walk, addressed Mr Dixon and said: ‘It is our heartfelt desire that you stay a few days more with us. So that I may explain to you the true Islamic Philosophy Which God has bestowed upon me and is hidden in this age.‘ [32]

In April 1908, an American couple, Mr George Turner and Lady Bardon met the Promised Messiah (as) in Qadian. Among the various questions asked they inquired ‘What evidence do you have for the truthfulness of your claim?’

The Promised Messiah (as) said, ‘Your arrival here is also a sign for us for if you knew it you may have apprehended coming here. For you to come after a distant travel to this small town is also under a prophecy and is a sign and proof for truthfulness.’ [33]

Among the religious leaders, rulers, scholars, judges and theorists of Asia, Europe and America who received the announcement of the Promised Messiah’s (as) claim and invitation for its investigation was Henry Steel Olcott. He was one of the founding members of the Theosophical Society and its first president until his death in 1907. He received two circulars from the Promised Messiah (as) which he printed in the September issue of his journal The Theosophist in 1886.

Henry Steel Olcott
©Wikimedia Commons
Henry Steel Olcott
©Wikimedia Commons

Olcott, however, indicated he could not go to Qadian. Firstly, as a theosophist, he could not accept that only one religion and one religious text contained a true path to God. Secondly, he was unwilling to adhere to the condition that a sincere seeker after the truth, who having observed heavenly sign would need to either embrace Islam or at least proclaim the existence of supernatural powers.

Alexander Russell Webb, who converted to Islam in 1888, came across this invitation at the time he was studying theosophy. He initiated the correspondence with the Promised Messiah (as) after discovering the invitation of the Promised Messiah (as) in Olcott’s journal The Theosophist or in a newspaper The Scotsman. This is mentioned in the Urdu synopsis of Webb’s first letter found in the writings of the Promised Messiah (as) [Shahna-e Haqq], (Scourge of the Truth). Webb had stated that he had seen the letter of the Promised Messiah (as) in an American Newspaper, in which the Promised Messiah (as) had invited readers to a demonstration of the truth. This had inspired Webb to write to him. Webb also stated that he had made extensive study of Buddhism and Hinduism and had attempted to make a study of the teachings of Zoroaster and Confucius. He had, however, only been able to learn very little about Muhammad (sa). Webb concluded that ‘He is sincerely in search of the truth.’ [34]

Patrick D. Bowen in his book ‘A History of Conversion to Islam in the United States, Volume 1 White American Muslims before 1975’ mentions that Webb, a keen reader on Theosophy, related writings while studying at the St Louis’s Theosophical Lodge which was highly influenced by Thomas M. Johnson, must have come across these Islam related writings yet the invitation of the Promised Messiah (as) that Webb had come across was undoubtedly a major event in Webb’s religious life.’ [35]

Brent D. Singleton, talking about the second circular of the Promised Messiah (as) which was printed by Olcott, writes:

‘In 1886, he came across an advertisement by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, challenging anyone to find fault with even a single one of his 300 arguments in favor of the authenticity of the Qur’an and Muhammad’s prophetic mission. Until this time Webb had given little attention to Islam, but now he was intrigued and wanted to learn more and thus started a correspondence with Ahmad.’ [36]

Webb having visited India in October 1892 and having come as close as Lahore, was dissuaded from visiting the Promised Messiah (as) due to the Promised Messiah’s (as) recent claim of Messiahship. Maulvi Hassan Ali, who accompanied Webb throughout his journey in India, and Abdullah Arab, who funded his journey to India, both advised Webb that it would not be prudent to visit the Promised Messiah (as) at Qadian when Muslim donations are required for the missionary work in America. [37]  

This was a missed opportunity of a lifetime, which Webb later deeply regretted when the American Islamic Mission failed. He continued to correspond with the Promised Messiah (as) and the companions, such as Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq (ra), and asked for prayers. He also forwarded contacts of other Muslims interested in Islam to Mufti Muhammad Sadiq (ra). The two individuals who deterred Webb from visiting the Promised Messiah (as) themselves became his companions. 

On the other hand, Mr Charles Francis Sievwright (Muhammad Abdul Haq (ra)) was also warned against visiting the Promised Messiah (as) but came to visit him in October 1903. He later wrote of this visit in the fourth issue of Moslem Sunrise 1922:

‘I met the Ahmadees and conferred with the Promised Messiah Ahmad (the peace and blessings of God be upon Him for all he suffered for Islam’s sake; as every Christ must also suffer who lays down his life for his Friends)…What my feelings were towards the Good Man beforehand when I was warned against him during my journey through the Far East (either to Doubters or Suspicioners) were removed entirely at Qadian.’

Mr Charles Francis Sievwright (Muhammad Abdul Haq)
©Wikimedia Commons
Mr Charles Francis Sievwright (Muhammad Abdul Haq)
©Wikimedia Commons

He added:

‘Nothing astonished me more among all the extraordinary incidents during my Missionary travels than the finding of myself in that sacred place and face to face with its Messiah. Eventually when I was presented to him and eyes looked into eyes. He knew me to be Abdul Haq (The Slave of Truth) and I knew him to be Divinely appointed one to call the true believers (The Faithful) together again to make the world safer of Islam. The Muslem confidences that followed betokened the Love of God between us. Soul spoke to soul through spirit, after Allah has joined them by the means of the miraculous meeting.’ [38]

The Review of Religions Role in Propagating Islam Ahmadiyya

The Review of Religions magazine, initiated by the Promised Messiah (as), played a huge role in propagating the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat to the West. Many letters and reviews were received at Qadian about its content from across the world. One lady wrote to the Promised Messiah (as) from Manchester, England on 25th May 1905 [39]:

Dear Mirza Ghulam Ahmad,

At first when I read about you, I desired to write to you. But I couldn’t think of anything and what may I write to a man like the Promised Messiah (as). I have read some of your teachings in the papers of Review of Religions which are regularly sent to me from Qadian. I am happy that the truth of God is being established. The pure faith which was preached by Jesus (as) and Muhammad (as) is forgotten by the world. But the time has come about which God said he would vigorously shake up the world. Now everything seems as if it is changing the religious world as well as the secular world. I was pleased to know that you preach of peace and coherence. I always used to doubt how true religion can be spread by the sword. There is not a doubt that it is permitted only for self-defence. I am pleased to know that you live under a British rule where you have the right to freedom of thought and expression….I have also read about a prophecy which you made 25 years ago. I am delighted to read the virtuous teachings mentioned in the Review of Religions and I hope that you will be successful in your work of spreading the truth.’

Your Servent in the work of God

S.N Rigway

These are but a few examples of the efforts of the Promised Messiah (as) in defence of Islam and related to the propagation of Islam Ahmadiyyat in the West. It was him who challenged the Christian Missionaries when other scholars were devoid of spiritual insight. These exertions paved the way for the coming of later missionaries to the West in order to propagate the message of the Promised Messiah (as). 

About the Author: Raheel Ahmad is an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and is currently serving in its history department. He is also a regular presenter on the Voice of Islam radio station and also does outreach work for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.


[1] Holy Qur’an 33:47

[2] Holy Qur’an 61:10

[3] Izalah Auham, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p.376 377

[4] The Missions of the Church Missionary Society in the Punjab and Sindh by Rev. Robert Clark, M.A. p.233-235

[5] Charles Henry Robinson. History of Christian missions. T & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1915. p.93

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid p.90

[8] Statistical abstract relating to British India from 1876/7 to 1885/6 London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office 1887 p.30

[9] The Church Missionary Intelligencer March 1894 reported the figure to be 2,284,380, 21.85 increase from the last census of 1881. (All in all, it puts into perspective the effort for the evangelization of India.)

[10] Ibid p.119

[11] Ibid p.470/ The Conversion of India By George Smith P.

[12] Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part I & II, p.81-82

[13] Christianity, the World-Religion: Lectures Delivered in India and Japan by John Henry Barrows. p.102

[14] Charles Henry Robinson. History of Christian missions. T & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1915. p.119

[15] Ibid p.120

[16] Hali’s Musaddas The Flow and Ebb of Islam translated by Christopher Shackle and Javed Majeed p.142-143

[17] Malfoozat, Vol. 2 p.247-248, 2006 Edition

[18] For further read Muwazna Mazahib Urdu Magazine January 2013 p.27-70

[19] Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part 1 p.49

[20] Isha‘atus-Sunnah (Vol. 7, No. 6-11).

[21] Ibid 

[22] Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya — Part 3 P.175-176

[23] Majmua Ishtiharat Vol 1 p.20-22/Ruhani Khazain Vol. 6 Shahada-tul-Quran P.

[24] Ruhani-Khazain Vol. 03 Fath-e-Islam p.29 

[25] Al-Hakam 31 May 1900

[26] Majmu‘ah Ishtiharat Vol. 3, p.253, Announcement 218

[27] Majmu‘ah Ishtiharat Vol. 3, p.260, Announcement 218

[28] The entire correspondence and newspaper reactions were published in the September Issue of the Review of Religions 1902. 

[29] Holy Qur’an 3:55

[30] Tadhkirah p.63

[31] Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier p.248-250 By T. L. Pennell

[32] Malfuzat Vol. 2 p.347 18 Nov 1901 (Edition 2016)

[33] Al-Hakam 10 April 1908/ Malfuzat 7 April 1908 p.513-521

[34] Shahna-e Haqq, Ruhanai Khazain Vol. 2, p.373

[35] Ibid p.98-99

[36] Minarets in Dixie: Proposals to Introduce Islam in the American South by BRENT D. SINGLETON P.1


[38] The Moslim Sunrise, Issue 4 1922, p.143-145

[39] Al-Hakam 25/05/1905