Hazrat Qadhi Muhammad Abdullah Sahibra, born on 9th November 1886 in the Gujranwala district to Hazrat Qadhi Zia Uddin Sahibra, emerged as a notable figure in the Ahmadiyya community. He held the esteemed position of being the second missionary dispatched for the propagation of Islam Ahmadiyyat in the UK. During the late part of the year 1889, when Hazrat Qadhi Sahib’s father embraced Bai’at, he was merely 2 years old. Consequently, his own Bai’at was conjoined with that of his father. Hazrat Qadhi Muhammad Abdullah Sahibra, alongside his father and brother, had the honor of being among the esteemed group of 313 devoted companions of the Promised Messiahas.
(Zamima Anjam-e-Atham, volume 11, page 328.)
Hazrat Qadhi Sahib’s life in the UK
In 1915, prior to the dispatch of Hazrat Qadhi Sahibra to Great Britain by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra for the purpose of Tabligh, Huzoorra provided him with insightful guidance regarding the approach to be adopted in his mission. The essence of this guidance can be summarized as follows:
“Europe is now steeped in materialism. She is the mine of all sciences. She is proud of her knowledge. She is puffed up with the thought that what she thinks to be civilization is the real civilization and that all else is barbarism. People, finding her so far advanced in science, are overawed by her extravagant claims while as a matter of fact, the sciences of Europe can not be put in the balance against the knowledge contained in the Quran. Her theories are subject to constant change while the Quranic truths are eternal and unchangeable. Hence a Muslim who believes in the Holy Quran cannot for a second be cowed down before her. If he studies her civilization in the light of the Holy Quran, it will appear to him anything but civilization and its bright pearls will appear no more than mere oyster shells. Therefore never be dismayed by the theories of Europe. If they ever begin to vitiate your mind, take to the study of the Holy Quran and the works of the Promised Messiah and you will find such knowledge therein as will counteract their unhealthy influence. Bear in mind that you are going to conquer Europe and not to be conquered by it. Do not be afraid of her pretensions for they are utterly baseless. Do not yield to the irreligious influences of Europe. But try to bring Europe around to the Islamic civilization“
(The Review of Religions October 1915)
Journey to the UK
On the 6th of September 1915, Hazrat Qadhi Sahibra embarked on his journey to Great Britain. As the successor to Hazrat Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Siyal Sahibra, Qadhi Sahib assumed the responsibility of furthering the mission of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the United Kingdom. Recognizing the importance of having a permanent location for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission UK, Qadhi Sahib harbored the conviction that instead of relying on rented premises, the Jama’at should acquire a property of its own. Consequently, the Jama’at purchased a property on Star Street, London, which served as the new headquarters. From this base, Qadhi Sahib diligently carried out various activities including delivering lectures, disseminating literature, and maintaining correspondence. (Further details regarding his endeavors will be provided subsequently.)
(Al Fazal, 20 September 2013, Pg 3)
During his tenure in Great Britain, Qadhi Sahib relentlessly championed the cause of truth, extending invitations to individuals from diverse backgrounds to embrace Ahmadiyyat. Through the message of the Promised Messiahas, he succeeded in influencing notable figures and individuals of high social standing. Following his return, Qadhi Sahib shared his experiences of serving in the UK mission. An account of his narrative was documented in AlFazl, dated 4th December 1919.
While detailed records documenting the Ahmadiyya London Mission have been disseminated through Jamaat newspapers and various periodicals, oral narrations possess a distinct allure. It is desired that associates returning to Dar-ul-Aman [Qadian] from their foreign expeditions, having fulfilled their tabligh responsibilities, share their experiences and incidents with the audience. This practice carries several significant advantages, including the instillation of passion and enthusiasm among participants to further serve the cause of religion through the absorption of these accounts.
With this objective in mind, the esteemed Qazi Sahib was requested to recount his experiences before the members of the Jamaat. Consequently, a written announcement was issued by Nazir Talif-o-Ishaat [Central Publications and Propagations Directorate] on 30th November, notifying the community that the esteemed Qazi Sahib would deliver a presentation at 3 pm in Masjid Aqsa, wherein he would share his experiences and anecdotes from the Ahmadiyya London Mission.
Upon the designated time, as the members of the Jamaat assembled, Qazi Sahib proceeded to express the following:
“My friends, know that I used to live a quiet life here and I did not have any opportunity to deliver a lecture, but it is an act of God that the thought of sending me to a foreign country was produced in the heart of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II [may Allah be pleased with him]. The moment he informed me about my appointment for this task, I was astonished and fear overtook me, that what would an unskilled and incompetent person like me do over there? Thereafter, I began to pray before God, “O Lord, You know that I am unqualified and do not possess any capability within me, so please, help me.” When I prayed like this repeatedly, I received a divine inspiration:
اِنْ یَنْصُرْکُمُ اللہُ فَلَا غَالِبَ لَکُمْ
“‘Nothing shall overcome you if you stand to serve the religion of Allah.’ Hence, I witnessed the outcome of this glad tiding when I reached that country and had discussions with prominent persons of Christianity, and their bishops were also invited to demonstrate the truth of their religious doctrines, but by the grace of God, no one was able to face me.
“It shows that once God Almighty desires for someone to perform any work, then no matter how incompetent that person may be, He grants enough ability to them that the expertise of the world becomes insignificant before them. So, whatever I have done, only God is worthy of praise for it, the One Who takes work from the unskilled.
“Brothers, you must be aware of the fact that I suffered from a severe illness in London, which still has an impact on me. Apart from that, I experienced travel fatigue, which I experienced for a whole 30 days. Moreover, I am suffering from influenza and a sore throat. Therefore, I will not be able to speak for too long and I will briefly narrate some incidents before the audience.
“I left here at the end of 1915, during the war. There were difficulties in boarding from Bombay [now Mumbai]. So, I went through the route of Colombo. Although the Germans had not announced that the ship that we would embark upon would be drowned by them, nevertheless their submarines were scattered in the area. Therefore, the ship moved along the way in a zig-zag pattern. All the lights were turned off at night so that the enemy may not launch a surprise attack. Every person had a lifebelt that remained with them during sleeping hours as well. After around two weeks of travel, the ship reached Marseilles and there, we were informed about the rule of war.
“During those days, Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sahib was residing 12 miles from London as his eyes used to hurt, so I had to live there as well. We were staying at a house. At that time, our tabligh was of private nature. Four months after reaching there, I delivered a lecture in Brane, which proved to be very successful, by the grace of God. Some days later, Chaudhry Sahib returned and I was left all alone. I shifted to another house, but the landlady of that house turned out to be full of prejudice. The loss which I suffered while living there was that whoever would come to meet me, she would say to them, ‘He is an antichrist.’ I explained to her, ‘We are not the antichrist. The antichrists are those who possess the attributes of the antichrist.’
“Thereafter, I considered it appropriate to make my headquarters in London. Hence, I moved to a house on Russel Street, near the British Museum. Mr Koreo also lived there and became a Muslim through the efforts of Chaudhry Sahib. He is an intellectual person. His work is to provide the translation of English newspapers to Italy and to translate the periodicals of Italy for English newspapers. I started working with him. In this way, I established a markaz over there. I fixed [a board] on the house having “Ahmadiyya Movement” written on it in bold letters. Seeing it, a lot of people used to visit us.
“Representatives of various newspapers used to come as well. Some of them used to publish the same details as informed by us. Certain others stooped to mockery, but their mockery was also beneficial for us. My duty was to perform tabligh through correspondence and educate and carry out the tarbiyat of those people who had already become Muslims.
“A great way for a missionary to be noticed over there is to keep away from their traditional clothing. In fact, he should wear a unique dress because if he wears the same clothes as theirs, then they have no reason to notice them. I used to wear a turban over there. During lectures and meetings, I used to wear it. However, when I would visit a shop to purchase something, I used to wear a cap because if someone visits a shop wearing a turban, they think that the person is a Raja or Maharaja who is strongly following his tradition and has not been influenced by their way of dressing etc. in any way.
“It was a constant concern that owing to this misconception, they may charge more for less expensive things. Hence, it was my practice to wear a cap while shopping and a turban on other occasions. I used to send regular reports to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih comprising all the works that were performed there. However, the conditions changed when Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib arrived in 1917. The work began on a large scale. Through the blessings of God, we started achieving success by the day and our reports began to publish in the newspapers of Hindustan on a regular basis.
“Presently, we happen to have a house of our own there. Outside the house, ‘Al-Masjid’ is written in bold letters which are followed by the words:
اِنَّ الدِّیْنَ عِنْدَ اللہِ الْاِسْلَام
and written beneath is:
أَشْھَدُ أَنْ لَّا إِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ وَأَشْھَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُہٗ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ
“This also is a means of attracting people’s attention. A lot of people come to meet us. Some of them are reformed and some come closer, while certain others return in the same vein as they had come. When I was here, I used to think how it would be possible that, when we have the truth and we present it with strong evidence, the people will be able to deny it! However, when I reached there, I realized that Allah reforms those whom He pleases.
“Currently, Master Abdul Rahim [Nayyar] Sahib and Chaudhry [Fateh Muhammad Siyal] Sahib have reached there and work is being carried out, which is a blessing of God. Now, there is a need for enormously strong funds. The Markaz has been established and there is a pressing priority of expanding the work. It is the objective of Hazrat Khaliftul Masih that a large number of people go there who can afford to live on their own and they should stay in contact with the Markaz. We are hopeful that God Almighty will produce great results.”
(Translated by AlHakam Weekly, 6th December 2019)
Demise and funeral
Hazrat Qadhi Muhammad Abdullah Sahibra passed away on 27 September 1972. The next day, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIra lead the funeral prayer of Hazrat Qadhi Sahib in Bahishti Maqbara.
(Tarikh Ahmadiyyat, Volume 28, Page 229-230)