arrival in England, 1912
and best wishes of the Ahmadiyya Movement and its
Head Maulana Nur-ud-Din
of the leaders of the general Muslim community
In this section we have compiled the available
historical information covering Khwaja Kamal-ud-Dins
departure from India for England in September 1912, and his
arrival and early days in England till the beginning of 1913.
This first visit ended when he left England towards the close
of August 1914. After performing the hajj on his return
journey, he arrived back in India in November 1914.
Khwaja Nazir Ahmads account
The following is a brief account of the background
to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Dins arrival in England in 1912,
written by his son Khwaja Nazir Ahmad who himself was associated
with the Woking Muslim Mission from close to its earliest
days. It appeared within a short article by him in the Lahore
Ahmadiyya Urdu organ Paigham Sulh, 12th September 1956.
Hazrat Khwaja sahib started
touring all over India from 1908 onwards, delivering lectures
on Islam in various cities. In this connection he was in
Bombay in 1912, giving lectures. At one meeting there was
a nawab from Hyderabad Deccan, now deceased. The
nawab went to see the Khwaja at his place of stay
and, during the conversation, asked him to go to England
in pursuance of a legal case. He paid the Khwaja a reasonable
fee, apart from the fare for the passage, and also gave
him sufficient funds for a two year stay in England. Upon
Khwaja sahibs request he gave him permission to do
the work of the propagation of Islam while in England. After
purchasing the sea ticket, the Khwaja sahib informed Hazrat
Maulana Nur-ud-Din by telegram and went to Qadian to see
Upon meeting Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, Hazrat
Khwaja sahib related everything to him and requested him
for prayer and guidance. Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din then
went to give his dars [religious instruction] and
announced there that Allah had provided the means for the
Khwaja sahib to go to London for the propagation of Islam.
He added: Thanks be to Allah that the vision of Hazrat Mirza
Ghulam Ahmad will be fulfilled and the order which Hazrat
Mirza gave to the Khwaja sahib many years ago will be acted
Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din then prayed for him
and told the Khwaja sahib: You are going to the followers
of the Trinity. First teach them la ilaha ill-allah
[There is no God but Allah], this is the starting-point
of Islam. When someone agrees with you in this, then teach
them Muhammad-ur rasul-ullah [Muhammad is the Messenger
of Allah]. This is the culmination of Islam and your work
Someone among those present asked: Is it
prohibited to preach Ahmadiyyat? Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din
replied sharply: After the culmination of Islam, nothing
more is necessary. This was the way of Hazrat Mirza. He
used to present nothing more than Islam.
These are the events of September 1912. In December
1912 the Khwaja sahib won the case of the nawab,
and in February 1913 he started The Islamic Review.
Coverage in Badr
The events of his departure and early stay in England
were covered in the Ahmadiyya community Urdu newspaper Badr
published from Qadian. This was in the days before the
March 1914 Split in the Ahmadiyya Movement, after which Khwaja
Kamal-ud-Din was associated with the Lahore Ahmadiyya group.
Below we give all these reports from Badr in chronological
order of publication. Brief explanatory insertions are added
in square brackets, thus [ ].
The first mention of the departure for England
is as follows:
Hazrat Khwaja sahib must be in the Mediterranean
at this time. May Allah be His Guardian and Helper. It has
been wrongly publicised that he has been sent by a non-Ahmadi
millionaire, who paid his expenses, to pursue a court case.
Whatever may be the source of his expenses, the fact is
that it is his zeal to propagate Islam, and his passion
to take the religion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad to all
corners of the world, which has found for him out of the
grace of God the means of taking him to distant shores.
May Allah grant him more! The letter which the Khwaja sahib
has sent to Hazrat [Maulana Nur-ud-Din] reads as follows:
Today at 12 noon, after medical examination,
I am boarding the ship. In the name of Allah be its
sailing and its anchoring. Surely my Lord is Forgiving,
Merciful [the Quran, 11:41]. I need your prayers, sir.
I will write a second letter from Aden. Humble servant,
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Saturday, 7th September 1912.
Badr, 19 September 1912 (See
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din has written elsewhere that
he stepped ashore in England on 24th September 1912.
2. A prayer
In the next issue of Badr a correspondent
writes as follows:
May Allah the Most High make Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din
successful in his journey to England and be pleased with
this journey and grant him to return in health and peace
and keep his dependants in His own care and safety.
Badr, 26 September 1912 (See
3. Parting advice by Maulana
In the next issue of Badr some parting advice
to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din given by Maulana Nur-ud-Din is reported
After the zuhr dars Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih
addressed Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and said: Let me mention some
things to you as well. You are going to England. Dont
show pride at any of your qualities.
Very great works are achieved in England.
There are very great trials and tribulations there and also
conveniences and facilities. There are some terribly evil
people there, but there are also some very upright people.
I believe that it is a place where there are some very good
and righteous people. If it did not contain some good people,
it would cease to exist.
Safeguard yourself from alcohol, swine flesh
and bad company. I have many claims over you, so take heed
of my advice. Definitely serve your religion there according
to your capacity. Make progress in your profession there
A letter takes one week to reach here. So write
to me one letter a week, and if that is not possible then
After praying for him, the Khwaja sahib was bid
Badr, 3 October 1912 (See
This occasion appears to be the one referred to
in the article by Khwaja Nazir Ahmad quoted above.
brief news items
The first thing that Hazrat Khwaja
sahib has done is that, after seeing that Muslim students
in London are neglectful of performing Friday prayers, he
has rented some premises at his own expense where he will
lead them in prayer. May Allah reward him well, and may
Allah grant him more progress.
Badr, 24 October 1912, p. 2 (See
The Khwaja sahib is well in London. He
intends to enrol in a college to further his education.
He writes in his letter: There is much scope here for propagation
of Islam and a great need for it. At present he is staying
with Dr. Ibadullah of Amritsar.
Badr, 31 October 1912, p. 2 (See
5. A letter by Maulana
Respected! assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
Listen Khwaja, if you have too many expectations,
always remember the holy words let their false hopes
beguile them [15:3], and it clearly says in the Holy
Quran: No soul knows what it will earn on the morrow
Then, adhere firmly to seeking Divine protection
and dua [supplicatory prayer]. Today dua
is ridiculed, but my dear you should engage in it very much.
The best prayer is Sura al-hamd. It contains Thee
do we serve and Thee do we ask for help, both referring
to progress. I had heard that there is a mosque in London
[meaning England] and it is in Woking. Dr. Leitner had collected
donations for the mosque.
London is undoubtedly a testing place. But there
is a saying in Arabic: After a test, man either rises in
dignity or falls in degradation. Do get admission in a college,
this is important.
22 October 1912
Badr, 31 October 1912, p. 3 (See
In the first Quranic verse quoted in this letter
(15:3), the words let their false hopes beguile them
refer to unbelievers whose false hopes prevented them from
6. A poem
In the same issue of Badr as above, there
is a poem by a correspondent, whose first section of eight
verses is in praise of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. Its two opening
verses can be translated as follows:
My Khwaja! so far it was India which was
devoted to you, but now the whole world is your admirer
The Mahdi, the guide, knew your rank from the
day, when he received revelation from God about you husn-i
bayan [eloquence of expression].
This shows that it was well-known in the pre-Split
Ahmadiyya Movement that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had said
that he received the revelation husn-i bayan about
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, indicating that his style and skill of
public speaking would attract people.
In the last two verses of this poem, the poet addresses
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad about Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. These
may be translated as follows:
Becoming an armed soldier through the prayer
of the Nur of the Din [the light of the religion]
of the Holy Prophet, into the arena has marched your gladiator,
May the help of God pour down upon him like rain,
as your ladla [dearest one] is like a graceful cypress
tree in a foreign land.
(1) The words the Nur of the Din
of the Holy Prophet, i.e., the light of the religion
of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, refer to Maulana Nur-ud-Dins
(2) Ladla: During Hazrat Mirzas lifetime
people referred to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din as his ladla murid,
meaning his dearest, most beloved, favourite disciple. This
was on account of the great love that the Promised Messiah
had for Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. Interestingly, the editor of
Badr has added a footnote to this poem on the word
ladla which says:
Why shouldnt it be so? He is the
ladla murid of our leader.
This shows that this appellation for Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din,
as the Promised Messiahs most beloved disciple, was
widely known in the pre-Split Ahmadiyya Movement.
Badr, 31 October 1912, p. 6 (See
7. Another poem
In the next issue of Badr the following
brief letter to the editor appears, containing a poem:
It is obvious that the departure of Hazrat
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, B.A., Ll.B., Pleader, Lahore, to
London for the propagation of Islam, is a matter of the
greatest pleasure not only for the Ahmadiyya Movement but
for every Muslim. As a natural result, every Muslims
heart should be full of prayers for his success and victory.
This humble servant has given expression to his feelings
about this blessed work in the following section of poetry
entitled Message of a servant:
O Kamal-ud-Din you are so far away in London,
what courage, what devotion on your part
In one motion the wind went from east to west,
making the seas blush because of your departure
All you did was for the religion of God, so He
will Himself provide encouragement for you
The angel will be coming to say Fear not,
nor grieve, you will be valued in the upper realm
Not only mine, but the prayer of every Muslim
will be with you, your story is a paradise for the ear
I pray the Lord that your mission be successful,
may your life be a source of life for Islam
Put into every sea your ship of trust in God,
the eternal grace of God will itself make it sail.
Humble writer, Dr. Shaikh Muhammad Husain, Amritsar
Badr, 7 November 1912, p. 2, col.
1 (See original report)
3 of the same issue of Badr the following brief news
In London the Khwaja sahib is receiving
teaching in English public speaking. Friends are requested
to continue praying for him. (See
A brief report of an Id prayer in
London is next contained in Badr as follows:
Hazrat Khwaja sahib writes from
Id here was celebrated at Caxton
Hall. There was a gathering of fifty to sixty people.
We distributed a poster there. All were pleased. However,
today for Friday prayers no one came in time for the prayer.
A room has been rented for 45 Rupees per month where prayers
will be conducted, and it has been announced that those
wishing to enquire about Islam can come.
Also, the Khwaja sahib has started writing a
booklet on the truth of Islam. All friends should continue
prayers that Allah the Most High be his Helper and Supporter.
Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih has written to the Khwaja sahib
advising him to continue praying with deep feeling.
Badr, 19 December 1912, p. 1 (See
The Id-ul-Adha mentioned here was
held in India on 20th November 1912.
and prayers from Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, his reaction to the
poems in his praise
A letter from Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din to the editor
of Badr (Mufti Muhammad Sadiq), published under the
title Heart-felt Plea from Khwaja sahib, is as follows:
May Allah the Most High reward you
well. You remembered one who is so far away. I receive your
newspaper every week, and it contains enough material to
cover me with embarrassment. My friends are writing poems
in my praise and you are kind enough to be giving them space
in the paper. Please pray for me. Reading these poems makes
me burst into tears: O God, the high expectations that my
community has of me, I am not able to fulfil them. I did
not promise anyone that I am going as a preacher of Islam.
It is an overwhelming passion which carries me here and
there. O my Master, have mercy on me. O Lord, I am overcome,
so help me. I am in a place of trial, where all around there
are means of profligate living, indulgence and sport. Wherever
you look, people are busy in a strange way. The thought
of God long left the minds of people here. Now even women
are becoming disenchanted with Christianity. No doubt, custom
and tradition compel them to go to church, but they have
no faith in the Bible. There is no talk of religion, nor
any interest in it. What can I do? I am wondering about
this. Certainly, I am bowing before God the Most High and
crying with a painful heart: O God, my own community and
my other Muslim brethren are looking towards me with expectant
eyes; with Your grace let these hopes be fulfilled; I possess
no ability, no pretension to anything, I am unworthy, incapable
and useless in the extreme. But my heart is eaten up by
grief that Islam, which gives life to the intellect and
revives the soul, is today in a forlorn state. That Muhammad,
may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, who is
the king of spirituality, civilisation and knowledge, is
not valued by the unjust world of today. O Master, show
a miracle of Your power, extend Your helping hand and once
again make the resplendence of Islam illumine the world.
O Master, Your promises are right and true. Today people
are determined to destroy us, so come to our aid. Your Islam
will definitely spread in this land. Those spreading it
will, after all, only be human. But if You, O Lord, by Your
grace, can make a sinful and incapable man worthy of doing
every kind of work, then listen to the prayer of this distantly-located
one. You, O Lord, know well that today I have no worldly
business in England. No mundane purpose is making me stay
here. Only You know my heart, may You fulfil the desire
that is in it.
Today I have found my heart full of pain, so
I have written whatever came into it. Please pray for me
and ask friends to do the same.
Badr, 9 January 1913, p. 2 (See
10. Three letters of Maulana Nur-ud-Din to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din
In Badr, 20 March 1913, there is an item headed: Three letters of the Khalifat-ul-Masih to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. The third of these is the only one dated, carrying the date of 5 November 1912. These are as follows:
Letter no. 1
“Dear Khwaja. If women in London hold power then tell me one thing. What is the law in London regarding husbands who neither give their wives an abode, nor give them any income, nor treat them well? Does their law think of the following:
‘That you may find quiet of mind in them and He put between you love and compassion’ [the Quran, 30:21], ‘and treat them kindly’ [the Quran, 4:19], ‘and women have rights similar to those against them’ [the Quran, 2:228].
Here, thousands of women are without homes. The law neither allows them to obtain divorce nor does it settle them [in their homes]. What can be done? If the law of the Quran was enforced they would get separation. I am sending Masnawi and its commentary, and Futuh-ul-Ghain the excellent book on tasawwuf. Derive benefit from them. Anyhow, I prefer the Quran.
Khwaja! There is no religion or ideology there which can defeat Islam or destroy the Quran. Of course, there are allurements and drinks which are dangerously attacking young men. May Allah the Most High keep you safe. How can those people be admirers of tasawwuf, when day and night there are addicted to conquering lands, and nothing more? I was addicted to books. You have asked me for books, so what should I ask of you? Just that you should study the Holy Quran, try to understand it well, and explain it to others. Act upon it yourself. At least, read Surah al-Baqarah again and again. Wassalam
Letter no. 2
“assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
I received your rather surpirsing letter. … Khwaja, people of London are modernist by nature. They love modern matters. You are a lawyer, and now I wish that Allah may let it be that you return here as a barrister or having obtained an even higher degree — ameen, O Lord of the worlds! It would be wrong for me to debate with you. I wrote in my book entitled Nur-ud-Din that Dharm Pal will not remain in the Arya Samaj for long because he is of a modernist nature. Eventually he discarded the Vedas and is a bitter foe of [Pandit] Dayanand [founder of the Arya Samaj]. It is their modernism that has made those people conquerors of countries. Now only China, Constantinople and Syria remain. The president of China is a Christian, Syria is full of Christians, and Constantinople is like a slaughtered animal. ‘The end of all affairs is with Allah. He inherits the earth and all that is upon it, and He gives it as inheritance to whom he pleases.’
Do get admission in a college. You should give people the teaching La ilaha ill-Allah (There is no God but Allah) and Muhammad-ur Rasulullah (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) and the teaching contained in the words of adhan (Call to Prayer). Hazrat Mirza sahib did not know English, yet many English-knowing persons became his disciples.To have mastery over a language is a blessing and a grace, but for it to have influence over people and to be beneficial is only the work of Allah the Most High. Wassalam.
Did Omar Khayyam or Hafiz create a following? This fervour of a few days is of no value. The whole world cannot follow the same teaching, and will never do. There are different natures. They do something in the fervour of the moment, and then their minds get absorbed into something else. You should follow the footsteps of the prophets. There will be blessing in it. Tasawwuf does not amount to words and talk but is a matter of action. I am sending a commentary of Masnawi. There is a chapter in Masnawi with that heading. Think over it, and think deeply. It will become clear to you. Masnawi is not a book of tasawwuf but of theology. The debate is with the opponents of the Quran and the Holy Prophet’s teachings. The Divinity of Jesus and Atonement are the only two issues on which we have a debate with Christians, that is all.”
Letter no. 3
“My dear, may Allah protect you and keep you safe. assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
Your delightful letter was received. May Allah reward you with the best reward. London is not a city the religion of which can compare with Islam. Of course, the presence of alcohol and young women there can make a strong attack upon young men. ‘There is no protection except for one whom Allah protects.’ Just as they attack a man’s faith and physical powers, they also attack his money, May Allah grant you to attain your object and bring you back having achieved success. May the Friday prayers be blessed for you. Wassalam.
— Praying for you, Nur-ud-Din, 5 November 1912.”
Badr, 9 January 1913, p. 2 (See