Woking Muslim Mission, England, 1913–1968

End of Ramadan and ‘Id-ul-Fitr, September 1913
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Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s report on end of Ramadan and ‘Id-ul-Fitr, September 1913

The following is a translation of a report by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din which was published in Paigham Sulh, 25 September 1913. The original is not divided into paragraphs, which we have done in the translation for convenience of reading.

Note: The Jumu‘at-ul-wida‘ or last Friday of Ramadan mentioned below would be 29th August 1913. ‘Id-ul-Fitr would most probably have been on 2nd September.

Brethren, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu

This week has been a blessed one. The August issue of Muslim India [and the Islamic Review] was well-liked here. Letters of congratulations came from all sides. I do not know what was special about it. Anyhow, everything happens due to the grace of God.

Jumu‘at-ul-wida‘ [last Friday of Ramadan] was well-attended. Many students came here [to Woking] from London, most of whom were fasting. At the Congress in Paris, a senior gentleman, Dr Carpenter, who is Principal of Manchester College, Oxford, and among the five or seven leading persons here, had requested me to translate Surah Fatihah with some explanation and send this to him. I had promised him to do it. So on the occasion of this Jumu‘at-ul-wida‘ I explained Surah Fatihah in the khutba. God made me understand particular meanings of tauhid [doctrine of oneness of God]. You will be pleased to know that this can be read as a lecture in Lahore. Young students are in particular need of this explanation.

The ‘Id prayer was also, by the grace of God, very successful and lively. In terms of its usefulness it can be considered as the first such one at Caxton Hall. I led approximately one hundred students and prominent Muslims of London in prayer. In the khutba I dealt with the verse ‘Is, then, he who goes along falling upon his face better guided or he who walks uprights on a straight path?’ [67:22], and drew the attention of the students towards its intent. I am pleased that it had an effect like electricity on them.

Previously, there had never been donations of more than a few shillings at ‘Id prayers under the Anjuman Islam, but at my appeal almost eight Pounds were collected. Some students firmly promised to attend some Fridays at Woking. Munshi Mehboob Alam, editor of Paisa Akhbar, was also in the congregation. He urged me to present some fine point in the khutba, and was pleased with it.

The Nawab of Bahawalpur was also in the prayer and as usual he presented the imam with ten Pounds, which I accepted for the needs of the Woking Mosque. As you know, the mosque needs some furnishings. Since I moved to the mosque, visitors are always coming. There was not even a mat there, only a bare floor. Yesterday I had a carpet fitted. Now I am anxious to have electric light fitted, the estimated cost of which is thirty Pounds, and we now have ten Pounds.

Sometimes our friends misunderstand the events that take place here. It is perfectly true that my first trip to Folkestone was at the invitation of a noble soul who wanted me to have a discussion with a clergyman about Christianity and Islam, and I went but the clergyman did not turn up. However, he was not Mr Holden, but someone else who is even nearer to Islam than Mr Holden. However, until he declares it openly, it is not right to make it known. What Mr Holden feels can be seen from his lecture, and that is all. Allah the Most High is the Guide. I believe that my duty is now finished in the case of Mr Holden. Guidance is in the hands of God, and this is what is the teaching of the Quran.

Du‘a [supplication before God] is the means by which all problems can be resolved. The difficulty is that Islam is looked upon here as hated and alien. If someone becomes convinced of the truth of Islam, the thought of people’s hatred and ridicule stops him from openly declaring it. There is a young man in Southport who is now a Muslim entirely. I have not met him, but he writes letters regularly. He is also apprehensive about public ridicule. The only solution is to spread effective Islamic literature everywhere, so that Islam begins to be a respected religion. Then its acceptance will come soon. In any case, our task is only to deliver the message and nothing more.

I have expressed my difficulties in the form of a few poetic verses which you should read and pray for me.

— Your servant: Kamal-ud-Din, Woking Mosque, 5th September, Friday.”

(Translator’s Note: We have not included a translation of his poetic verses mentioned above.)

Related links:

History of 1913: Chronological index

Previous ‘Id‘Id-ul-Adha November 1912

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the successor of the Woking Muslim Mission.