Webcasting on the world’s first real-time Islamic service at www.virtualmosque.co.uk Editors:
Shahid Aziz Mustaq Ali
The Inspiration for the Propagation of Islam The Woking Muslim Mission The Mission’s Role in the Creation of Pakistan The Mission’s Work in South Africa ‘Id-ul-Adha at Woking, 1932 Khilafat Delegation at Woking Qaid-i-Azam Prays Behind Lahori Ahmadi Imam
1 2 7 11 13 15 16
َّحیْم ِ ن الر ِ بِس ِ ْٰم ہللاِ الرَّحْ م
Editor’s acknowledgement: the material, text and photographs printed in this issue have been reproduced almost entirely from that available at www.wokingmuslim.org. The author of the text is Dr Zahid Aziz, who is also the creator of the said website and is responsible for updating it. However, in some places explanatory notes have been added for clarification or minor corrections implemented.
Hazrat Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, founder of the Woking Muslim Mission and a prominent follower of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, who sat at the feet of his spiritual master to learn Islam
How Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Inspired the Woking Muslim Mission
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was one of the leading followers of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in India (d. 1908), and was inspired to undertake the work of propagation of Islam through his influence. Many other missionaries and scholars of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Anjuman also served in the Woking Muslim Mission as its Imams and
Heads. A Muslim scholar associated with the Woking Mission, Shaikh Mushir Hosain Kidwai of Gadia, wrote in a booklet Islam in England, in 1929: “I am far from being a follower of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, but I cannot but give him credit for having fired English educated Muslims with a missionary zeal for Islam. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din is one of those men who were, so to say, reclaimed to Islam by the Mirza sahib, and that to this extent that he gave up his flourishing practice at the Bar and voluntarily
accepted to be an exile and came to England with the sole object of preaching Islam.” tions long after his death?” Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din himself wrote in 1914: Maulana Muhammad Ali “It was through him [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Maulana Muhammad Ali (d. 1951), the first Ahmad] that in 1892 I became a Muslim anew. Head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, was Not only did I become a Muslim, but through his guidance and prayers I was able to make amends for the sin which had been taking me towards Christianity by showing Christians the right path today. It was the most auspicious and blessed day of my life in 1893 when I took the pledge, at the hand of the Messiah sent by God, to hold religion above the world. I would give anything for those times which I spent in the company and service of this spiritually perfect man, which enHRH Prince Amir Saud at a meeting organised by the Woking abled me to fulfill my pledge as Muslim Mission at the Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking best as I could. How can I forget those favours and that love which a close, life-long friend of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, he bestowed on me, especially on me! Even if I and indeed was introduced to Hazrat Mirza spent my whole life working for the aims and Ghulam Ahmad in 1897 through the influence of objects of the Divine mission of this Muslim the Khwaja. Near the end of his life he wrote a Messiah, it would be little recompense for the booklet in 1949 explaining what prompted him continuous prayers he said for me.” to devote his life to the cause of the propagation of Islam. He wrote: The Woking Muslim Mission “Whoever went to him [Hazrat Mirza Ghu24th September 2012 is the centenary of an lam Ahmad] he put a spark of the fire of the love event which was to place the town of Woking on of God in the heart of that disciple. Just like me, the world map, in particular the map of the the late Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din too, by sitting at Muslim world. It would lead to Woking being the feet of the Imam of the age, was blessed with visited for the next fifty years or more by kings, opening the first Islamic mission to Europe at statesmen, ambassadors, generals, intellectuals, Woking, shedding such light on the teachings of students, business men, and other leading figIslam and the life of the Holy Prophet Muhamures from all over the Muslim world, as well as mad that the entire attitude of Europeans toBritish aristocrats, scholars, linguists, writers wards Islam changed. and soldiers who had embraced Islam. Woking “To those people who harbour ill-feeling came to be described as “a miniature of Mecca” against the honoured Mujaddid [Hazrat Mirza in the West. Ghulam Ahmad], or who fail to give him the reOn that day in 1912, there arrived in Engspect and love due to such a servant of the faith, land from Lahore, a city in British India, a man I say: Has there ever been in the world a liar and called Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din (1870–1932). He imposter who filled the hearts of his followers was by profession a lawyer and by vocation a with such an urge for the propagation of Islam, lecturer and orator on the religion of Islam and and to whom Almighty Allah gave so much help comparative religion. He came to plead a civil as to continue fulfilling his dreams and aspira-
case before the Privy Council in London, the highest court of appeal for Indian cases at the time. However, his plan beyond that was to present Islam in this country on public platforms and correct the very serious misconceptions about Islam and Muslims, under which the people of Britain and its religious and political leaders were labouring. He soon came to know of the existence of the mosque at Woking. It had been built in 1889 by Dr G.W. Leitner, a European scholar and linguist who had helped in India in the establishment of the University of the Punjab. The mosque was part of his proposed Oriental Institute, which never came to fruition. The cost of the construction of the mosque was largely donated by Begum Shah Jehan, the Muslim lady ruler of the state of Bhopal in India, and the cost of the land by the ruler of the Maulana Aftab-ud-Din (l, in turban) and HRH Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia at a meeting as a mosque open for the use of all Muslims. He moved to the mosque as Imam in mid-August 1913 during the month of Ramadan, and opened it for regular use for the first time, with the call to prayer being sounded five times a day. In the house next to the mosque, he established the Woking Muslim Mission. The purpose of opening the mosque was not merely to provide a prayer venue for Muslims in Britain. The Khwaja considered his most important work as being to place an accurate image of Islam before the British people, as the religion which best fulfilled the needs of the modern times. Leading Muslims in the Indian subcontinent considered this as an utterly mad and foolhardy venture, doomed to failure. How could Islam be acceptable in Britain, the country which dominated the world with its most advanced civilization, based on Christianity and science, while Muslims were considered to be mere barbarians following a primitive faith unacceptable by any modern standards? How could the British, with their mighty rule over a large part of the Muslim world, including the country from where the Khwaja came, take spiritual guidance from someone belonging to their subject races who was promoting his inferior religion? Yet the Khwaja was convinced that, if the real and true Islam was presented in Britain, refuting its prevalent, distorted image, people would become sympathetic to it, and many of them would succumb to its appeal and attraction. He derived this conviction, drive and energy from his contact with his spiritual mentor, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (d. 1908). Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din launched the monthly Islamic Review in February 1913, which remained in publication till around 1970. Besides containing articles on religious issues, it published news relating to Muslims in Britain and thus its archives are a unique chronicle of the history of Islam and Muslims in this country during those years. With Woking as his base, Khwaja Kamal-udDin went around Britain giving lectures on Islam. His activities were reported in national newspapers as well as local papers such as the Surrey Advertiser and the Woking News and Mail. The British Pathe news organisation filmed more than a
Muslim state of Hyderabad Deccan. From 1889, past the death of Dr Leitner in 1899, to the year 1913, the mosque was opened only on special occasions and was generally derelict and disused. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, while considering where to base his missionary activities, first visited the mosque in January 1913. In the summer of 1913, with the help of two prominent Indian Muslims who held high official positions (Sir Abbas Ali Baig and the Right Honourable Syed Ameer Ali), the Khwaja had a trust created to take charge of the property and its status declared
dozen occasions at the mosque between 1914 and 1958, which can be viewed on its website. Soon the Khwaja gained many British converts to his faith, among them people of high education and some titled persons. The most famous of them was a peer of the realm and distinguished civil engineer, Lord Headley, who, after accepting Islam in November 1913, worked tirelessly to help the cause of the Woking Mission till his death in 1935. Numerous books on Islam were published from Woking, many of them written by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din himself. In 1917 the monumental and voluminous English translation of the Quran with extensive commentary, by Maulana Muhammad Ali of Lahore, the first such work by a Muslim available in the West, was published from the Woking Mosque. The Woking Mosque and Mission became the national centre of Islamic activity in Britain. Its Imam was regarded by the government as the de facto head of the Muslim community of the UK. The Eid prayers at Woking were, till the mid-1960s, a national event for Muslims of Britain. It became commonplace for visiting dignitaries of international fame from the Muslim world to call at the Woking Mosque. Kings, princes, presidents, sultans, generals, statesmen, political leaders, ambassadors, high govern- ment officials, writers and intellectuals from Muslim countries came to Woking to visit the mosque and attend functions organised by the Mission. A Muslim, observing the Eid-ul-Adha gathering at Woking, a festival which takes place on the occasion of the great Pilgrimage to Mecca, wrote in 1930: “Almost all Muslim nations in the world are represented in the gardens of the Mosque, prostrating themselves before their God and magnifying the Most High, even as they magnify Him at Mecca on this sacred occasion. Woking is the only town in the world which becomes on such days a replica in miniature of the Ancient House of God in Arabia.” Initially working with the barest of help, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din arranged for staffing of the mission from India. The missionary and administrative staff which came from the Indian subcontinent had, like the Khwaja, to make great sacrifices. The journey to England took at least three weeks by sea and rail. Here they were faced with an entirely unfamiliar environment,
suffering hardships and deprived of all the cultural and social facilities for Muslims which only started becoming available here in the 1960s. They left families behind, and the normal means of communication with home was by letter. People today cannot conceive that coming to the UK in those days was not an alluring prospect. It was the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement which made the sacrifices to provide the staff and the finances for the running of the Woking Muslim Mission. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din concluded his first visit to Britain in August 1914, returning again in 1916. He made four or five visits in all. At the end of his third visit, in June 1923, he accompanied Lord Headley to the pilgrimage at Mecca, a journey widely covered in the press here and in the Middle East. On the way, they passed through Egypt, where public meetings were held in Lord Headley’s honour. They paid a call upon Field-Marshall Lord Allenby, the British representative in Egypt, who sent a report about their visit to the Foreign Secretary in London, Lord Curzon, these two men being famous in British history. During the two World Wars, the Woking Muslim Mission extended its support to Britain, in the same way as the British public did. During the First World War, Kitchener’s famous appeal “Your King & Country Need You” was published in The Islamic Review. In 1914, the Imam of the Woking Mosque was invited by the War Office to approve a site for a Muslim cemetery for the burial of soldiers who died here after being wounded in the battlefields of France and Belgium. The Imam suggested that the cemetery should be better located in Woking. The War Office accepted his suggestion, and as a result a cemetery was established within Brookwood, which also came to be used as a general Muslim cemetery. When the Second World War began, the Imam of the Woking Mosque declared in his Eid sermon in November 1939: “Muslims are ordered [in the Quran] to sacrifice their lives not only to save their own mosques but the religious houses of other peoples as well. … [T]he very fact that synagogues have been pulled down in
Lord Headley (r) and Hazrat Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din Germany upon the slightest pretext makes it obligatory upon us Muslims to throw our weight into the cause of the Allies.” A Muslim convert, First World War veteran and Woking resident by the name of Major J.W.B. Farmer (1897–1966), MBE, MC, who was also a trustee of the Woking Mosque, was awarded the MBE after the Second World War “in recognition of Meritorious Service in the Home Guard” in Surrey. The Woking Mission also supported various just Muslim causes around the world and brought them to the notice of the public and press in this country. As early as 1917 it publicised the case for justice in Palestine. The best minds from all over the Muslim world used to meet at the Woking Mosque, where they used to hold discussions on problems facing their countries. The campaign for an independent Muslim homeland on the Indian subcontinent, with the proposed name of Pakistan, started from a meeting of students at the Woking Mosque in 1932.
Various Muslim UK national organisations also either had their birth at the Woking Mission or sought assistance from the Mission in their early days. The first public meeting of the ‘British Muslim Society’ was held at the Woking Mosque on 20th December 1914. The first ever ‘Congress of Muslims living in the UK’ was a gathering called by the Woking Mission, and it was held as a two-day event on 25–26 June 1952 at the Woking Mosque. The Central London Mosque in Regent’s Park owes its origin to the Woking Muslim Mission. The plan to build a mosque in Central Lonlight of knowledge and reason. There are no dogmas, mysteries or rituals imposed upon a believer. The teachings of Islam are broadminded and tolerant. Islam accepts others’ religions as being originally revealed by God, acknowledges good in people of other faiths, grants complete freedom of religion to all, and urges friendship between faiths. In Islam there is no priesthood which controls the way to God. Islam creates a universal brotherhood of people of all countries, races, colours, classes and cultures, disregarding all such distinctions. Islam is not tied to the local culture of any Muslim country. It is a religion of unity, whose followers should be united by its fundamental teachings, but who respect one another’s differences.
Legacy of the Woking Muslim Mission
During the 1960s Muslim migrants, mostly from Pakistan, arrived in the UK and settled in various towns and cities, forming communities of increasing size. Muslim religious centres and mosques began to spring up around the country, catering to the religious and cultural needs of their local Muslim communities. The Woking Mosque too went into the hands of other management who turned it to the use of the local Muslim population. From around 1968 onwards, Woking ceased to be the national centre for Muslims of the UK and to serve its international role for the Muslim world. The Woking Muslim Mission no longer operated. The passage of time since then, however, has proved that the picture of Islam as presented by the Woking Mission is needed more than ever before in order to solve the problems of the Muslims in the UK and to improve their standing in the country and their relationship with the wider community. Islam as preached from the Woking Mission was the very opposite of the religious extremism, isolation and separatism from general society, and wholesale rejection of all modern ideas, which are the attitudes, rightly or wrongly, associated with Muslims living in the UK today. The Woking Mission did not teach that Muslims should become an inward-looking community, living in isolation and regarding the outside society as a threat. Instead of this, Muslims must communicate and interact with
Dr Abdullah (front row, in turban) and Maulana S M Tufail (next to him) with a group of Muslims and non-Muslims don was proposed by Lord Headley during the First World War. This was followed up in the 1930s by the creation of a Trust, collection of funds, purchase of land, and even laying of the foundation stone in West Kensington, near Olympia. This Trust, whose original members were headed by Lord Headley and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, was later incorporated into the Trust that controls the Central London Mosque in Regent’s Park today. In this article, we must also note the general picture of Islam as presented from the Woking Muslim Mission. The distinctive features of Islam as emphasised through this Mission’s work are that: The beliefs and practices of Islam are simple and rational, and to be understood in the
the wider society, explain their faith to others sympathetically, respond to criticism in a dignified manner, present to others the best they can offer from their values, and accept from others the best they have to offer. In responding to offence or grievances, whether real or perceived, Muslims must be temperate and abstain from violence. The Woking Mission also showed how Muslims could be true to Islam and yet fit into British society and life. For this they must correct some of their own religious notions which are not justified by Islam, and they must bring about reform of certain Muslim cultural and social practices which are not part of the religion of Islam but merely local customs in some places in the Muslim world which are now proving harmful. The website www.wokingmuslim.org, managed by the writer of this article, is devoted to compiling all the available information and records, in the form of printed material, photographs, newsreel film clips, about the history and activities of the Woking Muslim Mission.
Maulana Yakub Khan (sitting, first left); Hazrat Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din (sitting, centre); Mr Marmaduke Pickthall, the famous translator of the Holy Quran into English (next to the Khwaja)
inspiration about how to put his idea into practice in the Drawing Room of the Mission House. The following article originally appeared in The Light & Islamic Review, vol. 74, no. 4, July– August 1997, pages 5–8,
on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the birth of Pakistan.) (Introduction: The writer [Khwaja Salahuddin Ahmad] is the son of the late Khwaja Kamal-uddin, Founder of the Woking Muslim Mission, and was a student in England at the time when Ch. Rehmat Ali reached those shores in connection with his studies, brimming over with the idea of an independent homeland of Muslims in Northern India, that was put before the nation by Allama Iqbal in his famous Allahabad address before the All-India Muslim League in 1930. He was, however, just toying with this big idea, which took the first concrete shape accidentally at one of the Sunday meetings of the Muslims at the Woking Mosque, which Ch. Rehmat Ali, like so many other Muslim students in England, came to attend. In the following article Mr Salahuddin Ahmad, a personal participant in how the Pakistan idea took definite shape, throws light on some of the missing links in the story.
Footnote by the Editor of the website (1997): Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, as he himself has acknowledged, received all his inspiration, urge and faith to do this work from Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
The Woking Muslim Mis sion’s Role in the Creation of Pakistan
by Khwaja Salahuddin Ahmad
(Editor’s note: Most people in India and
Pakistan believe that the Muslim League, a political party of the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent was established to win freedom for the Muslims living there. In fact, it was created to make the Muslims of India loyal to their British rulers. It was the Congress, a secular political party, which first demanded independence for India. There were some Muslims who were worried that, once the British left, the Muslims would be overwhelmed by the Hindu majority and wanted a separate homeland to be created for Muslims. Chaudhry Rehmat Ali was one such person. This article shows that he got his spark of
His purpose, as he explains, is to put the record straight while most of those who collaborated with Ch. Rehmat Ali are still alive and would be in a position to endorse his story.) was in his own country?
First meeting at Woking
It was in the summer of 1932, it may have been June or July, that Ch. Rehmat Ali, who was then at Cambridge, came to Woking on a Sunday. Sunday at Woking is a day on which a small gathering of British Muslims come into contact with their brothers in Islam from other parts of the world. There is always a lecture in the afternoon by the Imam in the Mosque and this is followed by prayers and then a sojourn to the Woking Muslim Centre adjoining the Mosque, where discussions on religion continue till late in the evening. Ch. Rehmat Ali had on one such Sunday come earlier to lunch by invitation from the Imam Maulana Abdul Majid so as to spend the day with us.
AN ARTICLE under the caption The Forgotten Hero appeared in the Pakistan Day Supplement of the Pakistan Times last August . The writer Mr M. Anwar, writing about Ch. Rehmat Ali, recorded therein some important facts which will no doubt be most useful for future generations when records of events which led up to the establishment of Pakistan are placed in their proper and true perspective. … Some controversy in the correspondence columns of the Pakistan Times ensued With Ch. Rehmat Ali, even beafter the publication of Mr. fore we sat down to lunch, the Anwar’s article referred to only topic of conversation was above. In one of the letters Allama Iqbal. He certainly had someone even said that the Hazrat Maulana Sadr-ud-Din intimate contact with the Alpeople who originally with a group lama and as a true disciple he worked with Ch. Rehmat Ali had nothing but love and veneration for that great in England were dead long ago. I felt like contrascholar. It was during these all-absorbing talks dicting that at that time but refrained from doabout the great poet that he began to lay great ing so. Since then a number of my friends who stress on the Allama’s one ardent wish that the aralso know the actual facts, but themselves lack eas predominantly populated by Muslims in India the authority of one who was present at those should become the homelands of the Muslims and meetings have insisted that a record of those Ch. Rehmat Ali repeatedly stressed that in this meetings should be made and that it was necesalone lay the solution for the future of the Muslims sary that this should be recorded in the lifetime in India. of those who took part in one or more of those It appeared, however, that no Muslim luminarmeetings. ies had given much thought to the practical impleI, because of my particular connection with mentation of the dream, and therefore so far it was the Woking Muslim Mission, was an active only an idea, a topic for discussion, and the danger participant in all the meetings that finally renow was that having remained an idea for so long it sulted in Ch. Rehmat Ali taking up the difficult might remain just an idea. It seemed to all of us task of fulfilling the Mission that he was desquite tragic that one of the greatest thinkers of the tined for. Fortunately, by the grace of Allah, world had given expression to his feelings and so seven of us are still alive. All of the seven are far it had not gone beyond the stage of being a topic well established in their own fields. Those for a drawing-room discussion, particularly when people fill the gap in the sequence of events and the destiny of a hundred million Muslims in the answer the question why Ch. Rehmat Ali, an subcontinent was at stake. The danger was that it ardent follower of Allama Iqbal, should have might only remain an idea. begun this movement in 1933 after a sojourn in At this stage Maulana Abdul Majid said: “Why Cambridge and not earlier, particularly when he
do our people only talk, why don’t they do revival. There is no doubt the seeds did take root, something? If Allama Iqbal has a message for his people from all parts of the Muslim world wherever people, so far as he is concerned he has done his he went, wanted to hear him personally and reduty and if you are convinced that therein alone ceived him with open hearts. So, why don’t you follies the solution, then why not do something low his example and if there is something vital in about it?” this idea for the Muslims, it would take On Ch. Rehmat Ali’s query as to root, shall we say, in about ten years what could be done, Maulana Majid time?” Ch. Rehmat Ali was visibly impressed and pointed to the photo of my father, silently reflected within his mind. His Khwaja Kamal-ud-din, on one of feelings were stirred. After a while he the walls, adding: spoke out: “Something definite must in“Do what he did. He had an idea deed be done.” But to give it shape, he in which he believed. He had seen added, and for him to take the initiative, with sorrow the 600 million Mushe would need the help of workers. This lims of the world in restless slumpart of the work was not for the Imam ber, seeping with Western influand I therefore volunteered to take this ence, submerging under a defeated on myself. I suggested another meeting outlook and gradually losing sight the following Sunday at Woking, to which of their own past heritage. With his I promised to invite some friends of faith abounding in the supreme mine. teachings of the Holy Quran and the The first issue of Shaikh Mohammad Jamil, Bar-at-Law, son Holy Prophet, he decided to unfurl The Islamic Review of the late K.B. Shaikh Noor Illahi Sahib, the standard of Islam in the heart with Khan Mohammad Aslam Khattak, of Christendom, and challenge Trinity on its son of the late Khan Bahadar Kuli Khan, both of own soil. He was convinced that the supreme them studying for their MA (Hons) at Oxford, were message of Islam had to be revived from the then staying at 4 Hook Road, Surbiton, a town 20 West. He opened this centre and started The miles from Woking. Both were affectionately disIslamic Review which he sent to the Muslim inposed towards me and by their nature could be detelligentsia of the world.” pended upon to stand for anything worthy of a supContinuing the story as to how one man’s port. Before Ch. Rehmat Ali left Woking that day it dream and determined effort led to the unfoldwas settled by phone that both of them would come ing on British soil of the flag of Islam at Woking, the following Sunday at lunch time. Ch. Rehmat Ali the Imam Abdul Majid went on to say: went back from Woking by the evening train, a de“Maulana Mohammad Ali Johar came here to termined and dedicated man, to give the idea a see him on one such Sunday with a number of practical shape. On this particular Sunday there friends. During their talk Maulana Mohammad was also present a professor from Kashmir with his Ali suddenly got up and said: ‘Khwaja, I want to family. I do not recollect his name. It was his first see your library, your Islamic Review is so full of visit to the Mosque. So intense was his interest in Islamic theology that it must be very extensive, I this matter that he came again the following Sunday and then again to the third and final meeting at am interested to see it.’ Khwaja Sahib could only Surbiton. smile and followed him to the next room. But there was no library and the Maulana enquired Second meeting at Woking where was the library? To this Khwaja Sahib replied by removing from the shelf a copy of the The second meeting which took place on the folHoly Quran, saying, ‘This is my library.’ The lowing Sunday again at the Woking Mosque was an Khwaja worked relentlessly, like a reaper, sowimportant one because we were now assembled ing seeds as fast as he could and to let the seednot to consider the feasibility of the idea but to give lings flourish on soils all ready in crying need of it an immediate and practical shape. At this second
meeting, the people present were: Maulana Abdul Majid, Ch. Rehmat Ali, a gentleman who was later also associated with him in his work, whose name I do not remember, Shaikh Mohammad Jamil, Khan Mohammad Aslam Khattak, the professor from Kashmir and myself. There was one other gentleman known to all of us, but whose name need not to be mentioned. Both Shaikh Jamil and Aslam Khattak were very happy that some initiative to propel such a movement was being taken and were prepared to give their full support. They pointed out however that Muslim students in England, although full of fervour and generosity for anything of national interest, being in a foreign country, were not only dispersed all over but also had very limited time and means for anything else but their studies. They felt that the mantle for carrying this movement through to the end must fall on Ch. Rehmat Ali himself. The following decisions were taken at this meeting: (1) That the movement should be begun by Ch. Rehmat Ali from Cambridge. (2) That he should start issuing a monthly pamphlet to give publicity and projection to this movement whenever possible. I had shown the meeting a copy of our Woking Muslim Mission Gazette which had a map of the world on top of the opening page with a minaret at Woking in England and suggested that the pamphlet could similarly have only a map of India in white, while the areas that were to be separated for Muslims were to be green. This illustration on top would speak for itself and convey the message pointedly. (3) That it was agreed that I would give him the addresses of the subscribers of The Islamic Review, who consisting as they did largely of the Muslim intelligentsia throughout India, would be the appropriate people to send this pamphlet to. (4) That large quantities of the pamphlet should be in readiness for distribution at our Eid Festival and Milad-un-Nabi functions arranged at Woking. (5) That it was agreed that I would give the
His Highness Prince Azam Jan Bahadur of Berar laying the foundation stone of the London Nizamiah Mosque at Mornington Avenue, West Kensington, London on Friday, June 4th 1937. The mosque was never built and the project was replaced by the current mosque at Regent’s Park.
addresses of Muslims in England, whose contact is maintained by the Mission for purposes of invitation to religious functions. The meeting continued till late in the evening, the last trains for their journeys back to their homes had to be caught by some of the participants. It was therefore thought that a third meeting was again necessary (1) to evolve a name for the Muslim areas, (2) to give it a formal shape, (3) that since the matter was now a political issue and had already reached the stage of political party we
should hold the next meeting the following Sunday at 4, Hook Road, Surbiton, with Shaikh Mohammad Jamil and K. M. Aslam Khan as hosts.
Third meeting in Surbiton
At this third meeting, the people in the previous meetings with the exception of Maulana Abdul Majid were present but with the addition of Khwaja Abdur Rahim, Bar-at-Law, and Mr Inayaullah.
Khwaja Rahim suggests the name
At this meeting Ch. Rehmat Ali was formally entrusted with the work of the movement. This meeting is important because it was at this meeting that after a great deal of discussion, Khwaja Abdul Rahim suggested the name of Pakistan. This was accepted by all of us spontaneously instead of
alternatives such as Muslimabad, Islamabad, etc. The name was not chosen because it contained the first letters of names of areas that were to be in Pakistan. The name was accepted because pak, meaning pakeesgi or purity, is a first necessity before our approach to God. In Islam, pak is cleanliness in its purest form. It is cleanliness distinct from the ‘Non-pak’ cleanliness understood by the Hindus with their cow worship mania. The name Pakistan had an invitation to be free from all un-Godliness and a place where they could humble themselves before Allah in all humility, should He bless us with such a place, and try their best to contribute a better practice in fulfilment of their faith. The meeting ended. Thereafter the burden, the work and its success were all the achievements of Ch. Rehmat Ali. Wherever it was possible to send that pamphlet, he sent it. Wherever it was possible to distribute it, he was there with his friend and assistant to do it. He little knew that like John the Baptist he was heralding the coming of another, who finally in all his grandeur came, took up the standard and planted it in the soil which he with his clarion call claimed as Pakistan and succeeded where others had failed to give Solidarity, Unity and Faith to a people clamouring for a place which they could call their own Pak homeland.
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and Lord Headley Visit South Africa in 1926: Reports in The Moslem Outlook, Cape Town
The Moslem Outlook, describing itself as “The only Weekly Mouthpiece of the Muslim community in South Africa”, published the following news item about the forthcoming arrival of Khwaja Kamal-udDin and Lord Headley in its issue for February 20th, 1926 (vol. II, No. 55) on the front page.
Muslims of Africa Welcome Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and Lord Headley
A RED-LETTER DAY IN MUSLIM AFRICAN HISTORY GREAT RECEPTION PREPARED FOR MONDAY NEXT
Monday 22nd February, 1926 will ever be remembered by Muslims of South Africa. That day will witness the landing on South African shores of Al-Haj El Farooq (Lord Headley) and Al-Haj the Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, B.A., Ll.B., world renowned Imam of the Woking Mosque, England. Great and sincere will be the welcome extended to our distinguished guests by Muslims of this country. From far and near have we received messages from our brethren expressing their joy that the first Muslim Mission to
The Muslim Society of Great Britain celebrating the Birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad at the Hotel Metropole, London WC2. Sir Muhammad Akbar Hydari was in the Chair.
South Africa has become a reality. From all centres in the Union – and even from far across our South African borders – have we received communications from representative Muslim communities expressing the wish that our distinguished guests pay them a visit, and thus reveal once more the real and loving brotherhood that exists among Muslims. Islam is not a dormant force in Africa, it is pulsating with life in its most intensive form. That spirit will, we are sure, be evidenced on Monday next.
RADIO MESSAGE TO MOSLEM OUTLOOK READERS
Just as we went to press we received from Al-
Hazrat Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din with early converts
coming visit of our distinguished guests. Several of our contemporaries commented on the fact and here we reproduce the opinion of the leading Johannesburg daily The Star: “South Africa is a long way behind America in receiving public lecturers from the rest of the world, but the latest announcement in this respect is very interesting indeed. A telegram from Cape Town published yesterday says that Lord Headley, ‘the well-known British Muslim peer’ (the only one as a matter of fact) is coming out on the Balmoral, accompanied by a Muslim dignitary from Woking Mosque, to speak at various places in the Union. “Lord Headley is a firm believer in immortality. Apart from a claim he makes to have seen his own father after the latter’s death, he reasons from the scientific view that matter is indestructible, going on to say that: ‘This being the case, is it conceivable that the human mind, heart, soul and intelligence – which together form the grandest creation we know anything about, and which control and direct matter – should alone be singled out for total destruction? Is it at all likely that indestructibility should be confined to the grosser forms of creation?’” On page 2 of the same issue of The Moslem Outlook, the text of the welcome addresses to be presented to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and Lord Headley are published as follows.
Haj Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and Lord Headley a radio message to the effect that they heartily desired to thank their co-religionists for the welcome that will be extended to them on their arrival in South Africa on Monday next.
WHAT MUSLIMS IN EAST AFRICA DESIRE
“The Moslem Outlook, the excellent Muslim organ of Africa issued from Cape Town gives us to understand that a Mission consisting of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din of Woking fame and Al-Haj Lord Headley is expected to visit South Africa for religious preaching. Some local enthusiasts insist that they should also visit Tanganyika on their way back just as other Indian missionaries did sometime ago, notably Mr. Chamupati of Gurukul. The Anjuman Islamia of this place is in correspondence with Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s mission.” — The African Comrade.
S.A. PRESS ON THE MUSLIM MISSION
South African Muslims’ Appreciation of Notable Service
ELOQUENT ADDRESSES TO
AL-HAJ KHWAJA KAMAL-UD-DIN & LORD HEADLEY
The following are the draft copies of the addresses, which we are privileged to publish, and which will be presented to Al-Haj El Farooq (Lord Headley) and Al-Haj Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din on Monday next, at 8 p.m., in the City Hall, Cape Town.
To AL-HAJ KHWAJA KAMAL-UD-DIN, B.A., LL.B. DEAR SIR AND RESPECTED BROTHER IN ISLAM
The majority of South African newspapers have informed their readers concerning the forth-
On behalf of the Muslim community in South Africa, we, the undersigned, desire to extend to you a hearty welcome on this your first visit to South
Africa. We are deeply conscious, as indeed is the whole Muslim World, of the untiring energy and zeal with which you have laboured in the cause of Islam particularly as head of the Islamic Mission at Woking, in England. Your erudition and genial disposition, combined with a deep sense of modesty and sincerity of purpose, have contributed in no small measure to the spread of enlightenment concerning the fundamental truth of Islam in the We have learnt to recognise in you a Muslim imbued with the spirit of high ideals. As President of the British Muslim Society you have rendered, at great personal sacrifice, glowing service to Islam in the West. The whole Islamic world appreciates highly your valuable writings that so truly breathe the spirit of toleration. It is our earnest prayer that your life may prove an enduring testimony that Islam, contrary to Western opinion, is an elevating and ennobling force that seeks to manifest the potentiality of brotherhood founded on lasting and triumphant religious ideals. May you long be spared to serve the cause which we know you have at heart. We hope that your sojourn in this country will prove a pleasant one and that you will carry away with you a firmer conviction of the unity that obtains in Islam.
Report of ‘Id-ul-Adha at Woking,
16th April 1932
The children of the L And SW Railway orphanage (Woking) entertained by the Woking Muslim Mission
Published in The Sunday Times Prayers led by English Muslim, William Bashyr-Pickard From The Islamic Review, August 1932
The report of this ‘Id-ul-Adha was published in The Sunday Times, 17th April 1932, and is reproduced below from The Islamic Review, August 1932, pages 248–249.
West. Your lucid writings have indeed borne good fruit, and it is our earnest prayer that Allah may bless you abundantly as you continue your labours in the noble cause. Happy indeed are we to bear testimony to the fact that, as a worthy son of Islam, you have dedicated your life to the propagation of Islam in the West. May your ministrations continue with Allah’s blessing, to be productive of good. In conclusion we express the hope that your sojourn in this land may be a happy one and that you will return to Woking with renewed energy to labour for the noble cause you have at heart.
To THE RT. HON. LORD HEADLEY (AL-HAJ EL FAROOQ)
THE EID-UL-AZHA AT WOKING
It is raining hard, and brightness pierces through heavy leaden skies, and from the sloping top of a large marquee, pegged out on a sodden field, to-day drip rivulets of water. And yet inside are over four hundred of the most happy and contented people I have ever seen. Indians, Malayans, Persians, Arabs, Afghans and Moroccans mingle with French and English, their racial differences forgotten in their common faith of Islam. The marquee is erected near the blue and gold Shah Jehan Mosque, whose whited dome can be seen from the railway line, and has been needed
May it please Your Lordship, as a respected Brother in Islam, to accept this address as a token of esteem and goodwill from the Muslim community of South Africa. We, the undersigned, desire to extend to Your Lordship a hearty welcome on this your first visit to South Africa.
because the Mosque is far too small for the celebration of Eid-ul-Azha. One of the most sacred Muslim festivals, it is held yearly to commemorate God’s restraining of Abraham when he attempted to make a sacrifice of his son Ishmael. Coverings had been spread over the grass stood aside for an English Muslim, Mr. William B. Bashyr-Pickard, B.A. (Cantab), and who is the librarian of Hertford, to conduct the prayers. The portion of the Koran relating to Abraham’s sacrifice was read, and Mr. Bashyr -Pickard told of the brotherhood of man, without antago-
Maulana S M Tufail, Imam of the Woking Mosque, speaking to Her Majesty, Queeen Elizabeth II after the Commonwealth Day service
under the marquee, and stoves were dotted about to bring a little physical warmth to the damp atmosphere, which had no effect on the good spirits and fellowship of the worshippers. Before and after the service they laughed and chatted together, often breaking off to give the double heart embrace of their faith. Young students kept darting about, eager to meet and embrace each other, and older members, to whom they showed a respect that was marked by affection but not awe. The officiating Imam, Aftab-ud-din Ahmad, had issued the invitations, but he smilingly
nism of race or class, which is the basis of the Muslim relig ion. Mr. Bashyr-Pickard (the Arabic prefix means “one who brings good news”) is the first English Moslem to conduct the prayers at the festival of Eid -ul-Azha. Many of the congregations were seated on the ground, and some, feeling that the marquee was a veritable mosque, had removed their shoes. Most of the men wore European clothes, with fezes and turbans. A few Eastern women, wearing saris, sat in chairs at the back, near the many English women. Lord Headley, who is president of the British
Muslim Society, wore a red fez almost as impressive as the white headdress of Sir Umar Hayat Khan, who, in a yellow tunic and white trousers, stood near him. Lunch was served in the marquee after the service, and a number of young students acted as stewards. There was no “top table” and no place-names. Among those present were their Excellencies The Egyptian Minister, The Hedjaz Minister and the Charge d’Affaires of Afghanistan, Colonel Nawab Sir Umar Hayat Khan, Al-Hajj EI-Farooq Lord Headley, Rt. Rev. Bishop James, Prof. Haroun Mustafa Leon, the merchant prince Zainul Ali Raza, Mr. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Mrs. Buchanan Hamilton, Nawabzada F. M. Khan, Sir Bramwell and Miss Thomas, and Mr. Habibullah Lovegrove. The members of the spiritualist community attended the function in a number never witnessed before. (The Sunday Times, 17th April 1932, reproduced from The Islamic Review, August 1932, pages 248–249.)
Indian Khilafat Delegation Attends ‘Id-ul-Fitr at Woking
(Editor’s note: Towards the end of WWI the Turks found themselves in a very difficult position because the Allied Powers gave Greece greater importance. The Turks appealed to other Muslims for help and in India a movement called The Khilafat Movement was started by Muslims. It was joined by many prominent Hindus such as Mahatma Gandhi. The movement also wanted to preserve what remained of the khilafat. Eventually, the Turks themselves abolished the khilafat and established a modern secular state, thereby ending the system under which all Muslim rulers ruled in the name and with the permission of the Khalifa.) A delegation from the Khilafat Movement attended ‘Id-ul-Fitr at the Woking Mosque on Thursday, 17th June 1920. A report of the function in The Islamic Review states: “There were, roughly speaking, about three hundred people of various nationalities, including the press representatives and photographers, who came to take down the proceedings and photos of the festival for the various periodicals. There were Indian Muslims in turbans of different colours,
Sir Abdul Qadir, a leading Sunni Muslim, conducting the ‘Id-ul-Fitr service at the Woking Muslim Mission, which was mostly financed by the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement
there were Muslims from Egypt and Arabia in red turbouches, there were Muslims from the heart of Africa in long-flowing robes, and above all, there were British Muslims in their English dresses. … The most important guests were: the Hon. Sahibzada Aftab Ahmad Khan, member of India Council; Mr. Mohammad Ali, Head of the Indian Khilafat Delegation, with his colleagues; the Paramount Chief of Lagos (Africa), with his devoted son who held the gorgeous umbrella over his father’s head; Nawab Sarwar Ali Khan, Chief of Kurwai, with his nephew Faiz Mohammad Khan, Chief of Maler Kotla; Dr. H. M. Leon, M.A., Ph.D.; Mr. Marmaduke Pickthall; Mr. Habib-Ullah Lovegrove; Mr. Abdul Karim Lofts, Magnetic Healer; Dr. Charles Garnett, M.A., D.D.; and other British Muslim brothers and sisters.” (The Islamic Review, June–July 1920, pp. 224– 225.) After the prayers and the khutba, delivered by the Imam, Maulvi Mustapha Khan, and the conclusion of the religious ceremony, there was a short speech by Mohammad Ali Jauhar: “Mr. Mohammad Ali of the Khilafat Delegation then delivered a short informal address in keeping with the subject of the sermon. The feelings of Muslim brotherhood, he said, were deeply ingrained in our nature. A Muslim cannot but feel for and sympathize with his Muslim brother whether they be coming from the ends of the earth. A message of prayer and devotion was then decided upon to be sent to the Sultan of Turkey as Khalifa of Islam, and a telegram to be sent to the King-Emperor praying His Majesty that in the revised treaty of Turkey no dismemberment of Turkish Empire and Jazirat-ulArab may be allowed. ” (Ibid., p. 226.)
M.A. Jinnah Prays Behind an Ahmadi Imam
Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore (UK) The first Islamic Mission in the UK, established 1913 as the Woking Muslim Mission Dar-us-Salaam, 15 Stanley Avenue, Wembley, UK, HA0 4JQ
Centre: 020 8903 2689 President: 020 8529 0898 Secretary: 01753 575313 E-mail: aaiiLahore@gmail.com Websites: www.aaiil.org/uk | www.ahmadiyya.org | www.virtualmosque.co.uk Donations: www.virtualmosque.co.uk/donations