Woking Muslim Mission, England, 1913–1968

First convert: Violet Ebrahim
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First convert: Violet Ebrahim

The first person to accept Islam at the hands of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was a Mrs Violet Ebrahim. He reported this conversion to the Ahmadiyya newspaper Badr as follows:

Brethren, assalamu alaikum. Time is very short. I have not yet even filed the accompanying article which is about Woking. It is to be published in the paper. It must be read out to Hazrat [Maulana Nur-ud-Din] either in summary or in its entirety.

Today God made it a very blessed Friday. Among the Englishwomen in my circle of meeting here is a Mrs Ebrahim, a native of Scotland and daughter of a colonel. I continued preaching to her in a slow process in my own way. Today she was present at the Friday khutba. God had put into my mind a fine topic on the special characteristics of the Quran, which made a deep impression on her. In my letter to Hazrat [Maulana Nur-ud-Din] yesterday, which will be received with this letter, I mentioned a European woman who was getting close to Islam.

After the khutba she joined the prayer of her own will and pleasure. Praying in the manner in which we do, she showed herself as a Muslim. Millions of thanks to God for this. All brethren and the Hazrat sahib should pray that she remains steadfast. This should not be considered as a complete fulfilment of the prophecy. God the Most High will, shortly, fulfil that dream of the late Hazrat [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad]. However, by way of a good omen I mention the following strange thing.

This is the first European woman who said Friday prayers behind me. Her dress today, by a happy coincidence, was a khaki satin. Could this not be the first of those white birds whose wings, that is to say dress, the Hazrat [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] saw as khaki in his vision? The wings of a bird are its dress as they cover its body. Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations!


Badr, 6 March 1913, p. 5 (See original report)

Note by Website Editor: The vision of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, referred to in this letter, was described by him in his book Izala Auham, published 22 years earlier in 1891 as follows:

“This humble servant has been shown in a vision that the rising of the sun from the West signifies that the Western world which has been involved of old in the darkness of disbelief and error shall be illuminated with the sun of Truth, and those people shall have the light of Islam. I saw that I was standing on a pulpit in the city of London and explaining the truth of Islam in a well reasoned address in the English language, and after this, I caught a large number of birds that were sitting on small trees and in colour they were white and their size was probably the size of the partridge. So I interpreted this dream as meaning that, though I may not personally go there, yet my writings would spread among these people and many righteous English men would fall a prey to the truth.” (Izala Auham, pp. 515-516)

The wings being of khaki colour is not in this published version of the vision and must have been a detail known by word of mouth at that time.

Maulana Nur-ud-Din’s reply

In the next issue of Badr, the reply by Maulana Nur-ud-Din is published as follows:

Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih says: I want to give you good news, and it is such a congratulation that, at least in my view, no one would have given you. And it is that when the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, was called to his mission the first person to accept Islam on his hand was a woman. On your hand too, in London, it is a woman who is the first to accept Islam. This is tremendous good news. You must prostrate before Allah the Most High, and I do so too. The second happiness and congratulation I convey to you is that the people of England worship the son of a woman, and it is a woman that you have made a Muslim there first of all.

Badr, 13 March 1913, p. 2 (see original report)

Later report in The Review of Religions

In The Review of Religions of Qadian, the Ahmadiyya monthly edited by Maulana Muhammad Ali till 1914, in the issue for December 1913, there is a report containing a letter by Violet Ebrahim. It is as follows:

Quotation from The Review of Religions begins below:


One of the signs of the latter days which were to see the advent of the Promised Messiah was the rising of the sun from the West. This sun was the sun of Islam and we are glad to say that the dawn has already begun to break from the Western horizon. There has begun an awakening to Islam in the West. The gloom which Christian misrepresentation had spread over the West has begun to disappear and people are becoming more and more alive to the truth of Islam. Christianity is also waning and preparing the way for the spread of the Muslim faith. The signs are very hopeful. Our readers have already learnt of the conversion of Lord Headley. There are others, both ladies and gentlemen, who have privately informed our Missionary, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, of their acceptance of Islam and it is hoped that like Lord Headley they will soon publicly announce their conversion.

A lady that has already announced her conversion to Islam writes to Mrs. Khadev Jung:

“My dear sister Mrs. Khadev Jung. I was greatly pleased at your sending your regards to me in your letter to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and I thank you for the same. He told us how interested you were in his monthly paper called the Islamic Review and in the work he was doing: really he deserves all the encouragement we could give him. Last year when Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had recently arrived in London, my husband met him at some meeting and invited him in company with Mr. Zafar Ali Khan, Editor of Zamindar, at our house. Since that day he was our frequent visitor and he used to talk about Islam: he used to invite us at his house on every Friday when after praying he used to preach.

His logical arguments in favour of Islam and his comparisons of Islam and Christianity were most interesting and convincing. When I was with my parents I used to go to Church with them every Sunday and used to hear the preacher who failed to rouse in me any interest for religion, and I used to take everything for granted — without giving any serious thought. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din has studied Christianity and therefore he is better able to make comparisons as to what is said in the Bible on different subjects and how Al-Koran treats the same subject, thereby proving how superior Islam was to Christianity. My eyes were beginning to open in favour of Islam and gradually I found that I was Moslem at heart. My heart went to Islam all the more by my reading every day in newspapers about the butchery and atrocities committed by the Christians of Balkan on the noble Turks whom now I consider my brothers in faith. I openly declared to be Moslem. The Islamic Review has done wonders. It has been my text-book, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din has a great talent for writing which must be a gift from God. I can never thank him enough for the change he had brought in my soul; we consider him as a member of our family; whenever he comes to London from Woking, he stays with us.

He has made another conquest which will have far-reaching consequences in favour of Islam. Lord Headley, an Irish peer and member of the House of Lords, has accepted Islam, so much so that he has commenced to contribute articles in favour of Islam in the Islamic Review. We have intimate knowledge of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s doings from the time he came to London. He started the Islamic Review at his own expense. He had about nine thousand rupees when he came to London and he spent it all in his work, publishing the Islamic Review and distributing it broadcast. Living in London is also expensive. But now he has no money and he is worried as to how to continue. At present he is circulating only a thousand copies in the Western world whereas at least a hundred thousand copies should be given out. It would be a thousand pities and great shame for us Moslems if his Islamic Review was to stop for lack of financial help. I have been to the Woking mosque with my husband and have prayed there on one Friday. Khwaja sahib lives in the adjoining house belonging to the Mosque, and he is living there very poorly, almost like a hermit. Moslems of India should rise to this occasion and you will please convey my message to my sisters in India for helping him in this great work. This work should grow to gigantic proportions and should spread through the whole world. I shall be pleased to hear from you and I shall also keep on writing to you. With true sisterly love,

I remain,
Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Khadev Jung sends this letter to the Comrade (Delhi) for publication together with a sum of Rs. 250 as her first installment towards the help of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. She has made an appeal to the Mussalmans of India to assist the Khwaja in his noble work and we are glad to learn that her appeal has been answered by others. The Comrade proposes to open a Fund in aid of Islamic Review. We heartily thank those ladies and gentlemen who have given a practical proof of their sympathy for the noble work which our Missionary is doing in Europe and we hope that their example will be followed by others. Ladies and gentlemen desiring to be subscribers to the Islamic Review may send their subscription money to Shaikh Rahmatullah, Proprietor, English Warehouse, The Mall Road, Lahore, or to the Secretary Sadr Anjuman-i-Ahmadiyya, Qadian.

The Review of Religions, December 1913, pp. 519 to 521 (see original report)

Note by Website Editor

In her letter quoted above, Mrs Violet Ebrahim has written:

“Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din has a great talent for writing which must be a gift from God.”

(Click here to go to this line in her letter.)

Some years earlier Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had told Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din that, after praying for him, he had received the following revelation about him: Husn-i Bayan. This means ‘eloquence of expression’ and indicated that God would endow Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din with the gift of eloquent speech and articulation. This is confirmed by Mrs Violet Ebrahim’s own observation.

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the successor of the Woking Muslim Mission.