It may be noted that the dreadful and bloody First
World War began earlier in the same month, August 1914, and this
cataclysm brought the previous age to a close and gave birth to
a new age in the political and social history of the world. We quote
the press report below from The Islamic Review.
MUSLIM FESTIVAL AT WOKING
VISIT OF AN INDIAN PRINCE
One of the unique features of Woking is the stately Mosque, a
view of which is obtainable from passing trains. There are visitors
to the Muslim house of prayer every day, and there are few who
do not make a special point of seeing the interior while spending
a holiday in the neighbourhood.
Well attended lectures are held every Sunday afternoon, but the
largest gathering known at the Mosque assembled on Sunday for
the Eid-ul-Fitr, or the Festival of the Breaking of
the Fast. From the early morning Muslims began to pour into Woking
by trains, and at eleven oclock the prayer was commenced.
The assembly was a brilliant one, and the spotless whiteness
of the interior of the Mosque threw out in bold relief the multi-coloured
garments of the large gathering, amongst whom was His Highness
the Ruler of Bahawalpur. The Mosque proved to be too small for
all, and carpets were spread on the steps and in the courtyard.
The prayers were said in Arabic language, and formulas magnifying
and glorifying God were recited. The leader of the ceremony was
Moulvie Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., B.T., and his words were repeated for
those outside to follow by Shaikh Noorahmad. The prayers were
said according to Muslim customs — bowing, kneeling, and
After the prayer a sermon was preached by Moulvie Sadr-ud-Din,
and many references were given from the Bible and the Quran. At
its conclusion an appeal was made for the usual collection on
behalf of the poor, which is the custom at all Muslim festivals,
and the money will be distributed among poor in Woking. The congregation
then repeated several times the following words, but in the Arabic
language: “God is great ! God is great ! All praises and
glorification are due to God!” During the ceremony members
of the public of Woking were in the Mosque to witness the proceedings,
at the close of which an English lady made a declaration embracing
The gathering then proceeded to the lawn in front of the Memorial
House, where lunch comprising Indian dishes was partaken of.
To commence the afternoon proceedings the Muslims made a procession
through the streets, evoking considerable interest in the novel
sight. Prior to the commencement of the lecture the Mosque was
becoming quite full, and it was found necessary to adjourn to
the lawn in order to provide ample accommodation.
The speaker, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, leader of the Muslims in England,
being with the processionists, the gathering was entertained
by an address from Shaikh Khalid Sheldrake, who explained misrepresentations
and objections raised against Islam, and appealed for those present
to investigate for themselves.
The procession having returned, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din spoke for
some time. He justified the action of the British Government at
the present crisis, and said that the present material and physical
civilisation, not being constructed upon a pure religious basis,
was responsible for the terrible war.
Many of the public remained for tea which followed. The usual
prayers were offered at the appointed hours, and the last function
of the day was dinner, served in the Memorial House. Many speeches
were made, and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was wished a safe and happy
voyage when he leaves in a week or so to make the pilgrimage to
Mecca and a short visit to India.
The whole day was apparently one of complete happiness, a noticeable
feature being the way in which English people Muslims and
non-Muslims volunteered their aid in the performance of
We are asked to say that the heartiest thanks are due to the
host, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, to whose wide popularity and work for
Islam the large gathering is accounted a tribute.
quoted in The Islamic Review, October 1914, pages
453 455, from the Surrey Herald.
Maulana Sadr-ud-Din (d. 1981) was later to become the second Head
of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement from 1951. He had arrived at Woking
from Lahore in June 1914 to relieve
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, who left to return to India at the end of August
and along the way performed the Pilgrimage to Makka (Hajj)
in October 1914.