About Ourselves

Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-e-Islam Lahore, UK

The Muslim Thinker, October/November/December 1989 Issue (Issue 1, pp. 13–14)

As mentioned in the last article, the Woking Mission was founded in 1913 and a periodical, The Islamic Review, was started which appeared for over fifty years. It was a high-quality magazine which carried articles correcting the wild and deeply held misconceptions about Islam prevalent in the West, and presenting its true picture. It also battled to refute the doctrines of those faiths which were constantly attacking and denouncing Islam. The contents of the journal drew their inspiration heavily from the exposition of Islam given by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. The Woking Mission had the collaboration of many eminent Muslims of the time, from the general Muslim world, and they realised, no doubt, that this exposition of Islam met the needs of the time, while it would be of no avail to present the Mulla’s [Cleric’s] concept of the faith.

For a variety of reasons, that Islamic Review did not touch any distinctive “Ahmadiyya” issue: Islam was only just being introduced to this country [England]; and there was no sectional distinction in the tiny Muslim community here.

From the 1960s, the situation changed as Muslims began to settle here, and shortly following them came the petty religious leaders, bringing with them sectarianism, a medieval picture of Islam, and hostility to the Ahmadiyya Movement and its reform work. Under these circumstances, as elaborated earlier, the Woking Mission with its policy of unity and support for reform could no longer function as a collaborative effort, and closed down.

Soon afterwards, so-called “fundamentalists” (more aptly, literal-ists) came to prominence in the Islamic world, and since then their image of Islam has been widely broadcast all over the world, including this country.

When the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Lahore created its present branch in the mid-1970s to replace the Woking mission, the new circumstances dictated two new, crucial aspects to its work. First, we have to present the true image of Islamic teachings in clear and sharp contrast to the highly-publicised pronouncements of the “fundamentalists”, and prove conclusively that only the former truly represents the actual teachings of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Second, the widely spread false propaganda against Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and our Movement has to be refuted, and the poisonous misconceptions about his work and claims have to be corrected. Some ten years ago, we started a quarterly, The Islamic Guardian, with these objectives in mind. It was published until 1985, when pressure of other work led to its suspension. But demand and need for such a journal have become more than ever. We are, therefore, commencing publication of the quarterly now in your hands, under the title The Muslim Thinker. It will both strive to show the truth of the religion of Islam, and to prove that Islam as presented by Hazrat Mirza and the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement is true to the Quran and the Holy Prophet’s example. It will also show that whatever Hazrat Mirza wrote or did in pursuance of his mission accords with, in fact stems from, the path followed by the righteous of all times, and the fourteen centuries long Muslim spiritual tradition.