Africa Ahmadiyyat

Islam Ahmadiyyat in Africa – Fulfillment of a Grand Prophecy

Jazib Mehmood – Ghana

In March 1889, the Promised Messiah (as) founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Allah the Almighty gave him glad tidings that his message would reach the corners of the earth. Allah promised him that his community would flourish, that he would be blessed, so much so that kings would seek blessings from his garments. This was at a time when he was virtually unknown. [1]

During his lifetime, his message spread to other countries. And since his demise in 1908, the community has gone on to reach the corners of the earth, as the Promised Messiah (as) had prophesied. In Africa, the community has progressed rapidly under the guidance of the Khulafa. In the blessed era of the fifth Khalifa of the Promised Messiah (as), Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), Ahmadiyyat has greatly progressed in Africa.

Early Ahmadiyyat in Africa

The earliest mention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Sub-Saharan Africa goes back to 1916. Interestingly, the message of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community first reached here through the Review of Religions in Nigeria. A Nigerian trader in Islamic literature from Cairo and other places including Britain had brought the magazine to Lagos, which intrigued many young Muslims, who were ready to accept Ahmadiyyat at the time. [2]

In Ghana, then the Gold Coast, a nascent group of Sunni Muslims and ex-Christians among the Fante people in the southern region also heard of Ahmadiyyat community through a Nigerian Ahmadi, who was living in the south of Ghana, when Yusuf Nyarko, a Fante, dreamt that “white” men were leading his community of Muslims in prayer. Upon discovering the existence of a community in South Asia, the Ghanaian Muslims took the unique initiative to contact Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) in Qadian through the Review of Religions and request that a missionary be sent to teach them Islam. In 1921, Huzoor (ra) therefore sent Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyar sahib (ra) to Ghana, thereby sowing the seed of Ahmadiyyat for the first time in Africa. It is indeed a sign of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (as) that Ahmadiyyat reached Africa through a dream. [3]

At this time, when the seed of Ahmadiyyat was just being sown in Sub-Saharan Africa, the message had already reached Mauritius. It was during the time of the Promised Messiah (as) that the ‘Ikhwanul Muslimun’ [Muslim Brotherhood], an organization in Port Louis started the island’s first Muslim newspaper, ‘De Islamisme’. Noor Muhammad Nooraya Sahib, a school teacher who later became the first Ahmadi, was the president of this organization, and the editor-in-chief of the newspaper. [4]

In a magazine received from England, Mr. Nooraya found an advertisement for The Review of Religions; the editor of The Review of Religions had sent him some articles from the magazine, having seen it in another newspaper called ‘De Crescent’. In this way, news of Ahmadiyyat first reached the island in 1907. [5]

In early 1907, Mr. Nooraya began to receive actual copies of The Review of Religions from the editor, and he began publishing excerpts from them in ‘De Islamisme’. In 1913, he sent a letter to the First Caliph, Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nooruddin (ra), pledging allegiance to Ahmadiyyat. In the beginning of 1914, several more embraced Ahmadiyyat. A new member also wrote the First Caliph (ra) a letter, requesting for an English-speaking missionary. [6] Despite the lack of resources, the First Caliph (ra) accepted his request. Hazrat Sufi Ghulam Mohammad (ra) was the first missionary to be sent in the early era of the Second Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) and the first missionary to be sent to Africa. [7]

Mauritius sits at the edge of the African continent. In this way, the Promised Messiah’s (as) prophecy was fulfilled in his lifetime, and for the first time, in Africa. Again, it will be of great interest to readers that the very first pioneer converts to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Mauritius, the second oldest foreign mission established after the U.K., also learned of Ahmadiyyat through The Review of Religions. [8]

In East Africa, the first mission was opened in 1934. Since then several missions have been established in other places such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Local communities have sprung up in many places, and quite a few mosques have been built. [9]

The message of Ahmadiyyat soon spread around Ghana, and the first Ahmadiyya mission was established in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire in the early 1960s. New national communities have been established in the 1970s in Burkina Faso, proselytized from Ghana, and Benin, Cameroon, and Niger, proselytized from Nigeria. Senegal added a mission, proselytized initially from the Gambia. [10]

In North Africa, the Jama’at had already been introduced to the people of Egypt during the lifetime of the Promised Messiah (as), whose book Ijaz al-Masih (Miracle of the Messiah) was published in Egypt and reviewed in several Egyptian periodicals. [11] In Algeria & Morocco, although the Jama’at dates to the 1970s and 1990s respectively, members have often faced persecution at the hands of the government. [12]

Ahmadiyyat in Africa Today

It is no doubt that Ahmadiyyat has come far in Africa. In the last decade, the Nigerian Jama’at celebrated its centenary, and nearly 30,000 people from surrounding countries attended this Jalsa. [13] Sierra Leone likewise held their centenary celebrations, and they too attracted large numbers of Ahmadis from around the country and foreign guests. [14] Ghana’s annual gathering regularly attracts over 30,000 people. [15]

Africa also holds the distinct honour of being the first place where the prophecy of the Promised Messiah (as), that ‘kings would seek blessings from your garments’ was fulfilled. It was during the time of the Third Caliph, Hazrat Hafiz Mirza Nasir Ahmad (rh) that Sir Singhate, who was elected Governor General of Gambia, requested that he wanted to obtain blessings from the garments of the Promised Messiah (as). Accordingly, a piece of the clothing was sent to him from Rabwah that was a source of immense joy to him. Since then, many African kings and chiefs have visited the Khalifa, and some have even accepted the Jama’at. [16]

In some countries, the Jama’at has been directly involved in efforts to gain independence, and by truly recognizing that love for one’s nation is part of faith, Ahmadi Muslims in Africa have always tried to play an active role in their country. Mentioning some examples of this, the Fifth Caliph and Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) states:

“When Sierra Leone’s independence was achieved, its Government officially recognised the role of our Jama’at and the humanitarian services it had rendered, to both the country and to its people.

“The Government did this by specially inviting a central representative of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at from Pakistan, to attend the main function marking the country’s independence… Since the independence of Sierra Leone was achieved, there have been a number of Ahmadi Muslims who have had the honour of becoming Members of Parliament, Ministers of Government and Ambassadors of State.

“Similarly, upon the independence of Tanzania, the Ahmadiyya Community was also able to play a significant role. One of our local Tanzanian Missionaries, Sheikh Amri Abedi, who received two years missionary training in our centre in Rabwah, Pakistan, was also personally able to play a valuable role towards the independence of Tanzania. The leaders of the country used to consult with him regularly and seek his wise counsel. Later on, he was appointed the first African Mayor of Dar es Salaam. He was also elected unanimously to the Legislative Council of Tanganyika, and then in 1963 he was appointed Minister of Justice and proved to be greatly loved and popular in this role. Therefore, throughout his life he rendered great services to his nation. “Another example of the services rendered by the Ahmadiyya Community is that the name ‘Tanzania’ was actually chosen upon the recommendation of an Asian Ahmadi Muslim, to the Government of the time. This too was an historic service to the nation.” [17]

Jamia Ahmadiyya (Missionary Training Centers)

Jamia Ahmadiyya International in Mankessim, Central Region of Ghana

The Jama’at has been successful in opening missionary training centres in many countries in Africa. Currently, Jamia Mubashireen is operating in countries like Ghana, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso.

The current progress and expansion of the Jama’at throughout Africa has been simultaneously drawing the attention of the Jamaat to the ever-increasing need of missionaries. During the blessed era of the fifth Caliph, Allah the Almighty has blessed the Jamaat with the establishment of a Jamia Ahmadiyya International in Africa, which offers a seven-year course on religious education, and is open for students from all African countries. [18]

MTA Africa, MTA 3 & MTA Ghana

MTA’s Wahab Adam Studio in Accra, Ghana

MTA Africa was launched in August 2016, when the need for a channel specifically for viewers in Africa was sorely needed. On 27 May 2020, MTA International rearranged its channels and introduced two channels specifically for Africa. [19]

MTA Africa 1 is a satellite-based television channel of MTA International. The main languages of this channel are English, French, and Swahili. MTA Africa 2 is for viewers in Western Africa. The main Languages of this channel are English, while programmes are also broadcasted in Creole, Hausa, Twi and Yoruba. MTA 3 Al-Arabiya is also broadcasted in North Africa. It was launched on 23 March 2007. All these channels are also available for live streaming via the Internet.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) officially launched MTA Ghana on 15 January 2021 – a new digital terrestrial television channel established specifically to meet the needs of the people in Ghana. [20] Highlighting one of the unique aspects of the channel, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:

“The channel will be utilized to convey the true and beautiful teachings of Islam to the people, God willing. MTA Ghana is the only channel on a digital platform in the country that is solely dedicated to broadcasting Islamic teachings.” [21]

Today, MTA studios in Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, and many other African countries are producing multiple programmes specifically designed to educate African viewers in their language.

Services to the Holy Qur’an in Africa

Under the blessed guidance of the Khulafa, the Jama’at has also been able to publish translations of the Holy Quran in many African languages – some of which have never been translated. Countries across Africa have been provided copies of the Holy Quran in their language. Major languages like French and Swahili aside, the Jama’at has successfully translated the Quran in other, less mainstream languages like, Mossi, Twi, Fula, Mandinka, Wolof, Kriol, and Yao to make sure the message of the Holy Quran reaches to every tribe and people of Africa. [22]

The Jama’at has also been able to open many schools, or madrassas, dedicated to helping young boys and girls to memorize the Holy Quran. Such schools are operating in many countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Benin, and Sierra Leone. [23]

Humanitarian Efforts in Africa

The Jamaat has built hundreds of mission houses, thousands of mosques, over 500 schools, and over 30 hospitals and clinics across Africa, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Raqeem Press is also established in eight African Countries. Speaking of the Jama’at’s humanitarian efforts in Africa, Huzoor (aba) stated:

“The majority of our humanitarian projects are based in Africa. With the Grace of Allah, over the past eighty or ninety years, we have strived not only to bring the African people closer to Allah, but also to discharge the rights owed to the people of this great continent. It is in this spirit that our Jama’at has opened many schools in Africa. It is with this spirit that many of our Ahmadi engineers, who have been trained and brought up in the West, travel to the remotest parts of Africa to try and provide a supply of drinking water to the poor and deprived local villagers…

In the same way our Ahmadi teams have provided electricity to people living in the remotest parts of Africa, by installing solar panels. Also, now in certain countries we have started a new project of creating model villages, in which facilities such as tap water, electricity, street lights, community centres and paved streets will be provided Insha’Allah.” [24]

The Nusrat Jahan Scheme

On 4 April 1970, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III (rh) launched the Nusrat Jehan Scheme. This initiative increased educational and health services in Africa through development projects funded by donations from Ahmadi Muslims worldwide and led by Ahmadi Muslim volunteers who committed to terms of service in Africa. [25]

Working in partnership with West African states, the Ahmadiyya founded new schools, hospitals and health clinics throughout the region, serving rural areas and admitting students and patients from any religious tradition. This scheme has expanded over the decades and remains a major aspect of the work the community does in Africa. One noteworthy example is the foundation of the Masroor Eye Institute, which has been helping people in Burkina Faso since its foundation. [26]

Humanity First in Africa

Humanity First Team in Ghana making a donation

When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) launched Humanity First in 1995, his aim was simple – help humanity. This was especially needed in third-world countries in Africa. Since then, Humanity First has played an active role in helping people across Africa. [27]

In 2014, when the Ebola virus epidemic hit West Africa, Humanity First treated over 200,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Guinea, and Mali by offering medical services, clean water, orphan care, and shelter. Their initiatives like “Feed a Family” and “Water for Life” have also been helping many people across Africa for years. [28]

IAAAE in Africa

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III (rh) initially launched The International Association of Ahmadi Architects & Engineers (IAAAE) to use modern technology to provide humanitarian relief to regions in need. From humble beginnings where it was involved in simple projects like making and distributing small dry cell lamps, today, IAAAE is providing clean potable drinking water to remote parts of Africa. [29] At the recent annual symposium of IAAAE in the UK, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) remarked:

“During the past two years, people in nine countries have benefited from your Water for Life projects. In this time, the IAAAE was able to rehabilitate more than 100 water pumps to a functioning level, and so thousands of the most impoverished people in Africa were able to gain access to clean water. The biggest struggle for people living in remote parts of Africa is the lack of clean drinking water, and so, by installing water systems, the IAAAE has had a genuinely life-changing impact upon those people who are the hardest hit by poverty and deprivation.” [30]

A Prophecy Fulfilled

The Promised Messiah (as) had prophesied that the Jama’at would spread from Qadian to the rest of the world. Despite extreme circumstances, in the last 133 years, the Jama’at has done just that under the banner of Khilafat. At the time, no one outside the Jama’at believed a small band of brothers would gain followers in their town, let alone the world. But today, the progress of the Jama’at, and the faith and passion of its followers all over the world, is a testament to the fulfilment of this promise.


1.Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) (2016). Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya — Part Four. Tilford, Surrey, UK: Islam International Publications Ltd. 400

2. Jegede, A. O. (1989, December 18). History of Ahmadiyyat in Nigeria. Review of Religions, 84(12), pp. 19–26. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from; The Ahmadiyya Movement in Nigeria. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from Religion and Public Life at Harvard Divinity School:,of%20the%20Nigerian%20Youth%20Movement.

3. Hanson, J. H. (2017). The Ahmadiyya in the Gold Coast. Indiana: Indiana University Press. 163–180; Adam, A. W. (1990, September 18). Ahmadiyyat in Ghana. The Review of Religions, 85(9). Retrieved March 17, 2022, from

4. Shahid, D. M. (2007). History of Ahmadiyyat [Urdu] (Vol. 4). Qadian, Gurdaspur, India: Nazarat Nashro Ishaat. 169–172; Munir, M. A. (2022, March 23). Ahmadiyyat in Mauritius [Urdu]. Daily Alfazl Online, 4(71), pp. 6–9. Retrieved April 15, 2022, from

5. Ibid.

6. Call to good: The faithful of Mauritius [Urdu]. (1915, April 11). The Alfazl Daily, 2(125), pp. 7–8. Retrieved April 15, 2022, from

7. Shahid, D. M. (2007). History of Ahmadiyyat [Urdu] (Vol. 4). Qadian, Gurdaspur, India: Nazarat Nashro Ishaat. 169–172

8. Safir, S. A. (2018, October 27). His Holiness Launches New Spanish Edition of The Review of Religions. The Review of Religions. Retrieved April 15, 2022, from; Shahid, D. M. (2007). History of Ahmadiyyat [Urdu] (Vol. 4). Qadian, Gurdaspur, India: Nazarat Nashro Ishaat. 169–172

9. Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK. (2008). Khilafat Centenary Special Edition. Tariq. 167

10. Hanson, J. H. West Africa, Ahmadiyya in. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from Oxford Islamic Studies:

11. Dard, A. R. (2008). Life of Ahmad. Tilford, Surrey, England: Islam International Publications Ltd.; Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) (2019). Majmoo’ah Ishtiharat (Vol. 3). Qadian, Gurdaspur, India: Nazarat Nashro Ishaat Qadian. 223–227

12. Algeria: Wave of arrests and prosecutions of hundreds of Ahmadis. (2017, June). Retrieved March 18, 2022, from Amnesty International:; Sakina Benzin. (30 December, 2016). مغاربة يعتنقون الأحمدية. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from Maghress:; Human Rights Watch. (2017, September 4). Algeria: Stop Persecuting a Religious Minority. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from Human Rights Watch:

13. Ahmadiyya holds 63rd annual conference. (2014, December 19). Retrieved March 18, 2022, from Vanguard News:

14. Quraishi, A. H. (2021, March 12). 100 years of Ahmadiyyat in Sierra Leone: Three days of centenary celebrations. Al Hakam(56), pp. 6-7. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from

15. Wilson, A. B. (24th, January 2020). Ghana Holds 88th Jalsa Salana. Al Hakam(97), p. 7. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from

16. See Khurshid, M. A. (2017). Cherished Memories Of Africa. (D. M. Ahmad, Trans.) Munawar Ahmad Khurshid. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from

17. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) (2012, January 28). Pan African Address. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from Review of Religions:

18. For more information, please see About – Jamia Ahmadiyya International Ghana:

19. Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International (MTA). Retrieved March 18, 2022, from Ahmadipedia:

20. GNA. (2021, January 17). Ghanaian Ahmadis to benefit from new terrestrial TV Channel. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from News Ghana:

21. Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Launches MTA Ghana TV Channel. (2021, January 16). Retrieved March 18, 2022, from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Press & Media Office:

22. Published Translations of the Holy Quran. (2017, September 30). Retrieved March 18, 2022, from Al Islam:

23. Qurashi, A. H. (2021, July 2). First Madrasatul-Hifz for Sierra Leone Jamaat. Al Hakam(172), p. 21. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from; Salau, S. (2015, December 11). Ahmadiyya’s Qur’an memorisation school graduates 48 Hufaadz. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from The Guardian Nigeria News:

24. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) (2012, January 28). Pan African Address. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from Review of Religions:

25. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III (rh) – Significant Appeals. (2008, March 1). Retrieved March 18, 2022, from The Review of Religions:

26. Majlis Ansarullah UK (2021, November 30). Masroor Eye Institute – Granting the Gift of Sight in Africa. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from The Review of Religions:

27. About Us. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from Humanity First:

28. Humanity First. (2014). Annual Report 2014. Surrey: Humanity First. Retrieved February 4, 2022, from

29. IAAAE. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from IAAAE:

30. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Khalifatul Masih V (aba) (2022, March 10). IAAAE – A Long Term Vision to Help Developing Nations. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from Review of Religions:

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