Maulana Muhammad Ali's unique literary services to the cause of Islam
have been acclaimed by eminent Muslim intellectuals all over the world,
some of whom have confessed to finding the light of Islam through his
books. In an Urdu booklet whose title means A Moment's Reflection
for every Muslim and every Qadiani, published in 1949, the Maulana
traces the factors and events which led him to devote his life for the
service of Islam. And he asks the question about Hazrat Mirza: Can
an imposter produce such men?
'All I can say about myself is that
if Almighty God had not guided me towards this work, I would, like
my fellow-students, have become at best a successful lawyer or judge.
But the man who directed me to this work, then set me on this path,
and guided me correctly is the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement,
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. At a time when I had gone into
a worldly path, he not only pulled me out of the mire of this world
but also created within me a light of faith that has stayed with me
throughout this struggle. I declare it openly that
if the Imam and Mujaddid of this age had not guided me, I was
not capable of doing this work. I received a spark of the light which
filled his breast.
'The nineteenth century of the Christian
era had drawn to a close. In exactly the year 1900, when I was on
my way to Gurdaspur to start my law practice, with all arrangements
completed, the premises rented, and my belongings and books moved
there, my Guide took me by the hand and said: You have other work
to do, I want to start an English periodical for the propagation of
Islam to the West, you will edit it. What great fortune that, on hearing
this voice, I did not hesitate for a moment as to whether I should
start this work or the work for which I had prepared myself.
'This periodical was issued on 1 January
1902 under the title The Review of Religions. In 1909 I began
the English translation of the Holy Quran. When I look back today,
after half a century, I fall before God in gratitude that He gave
me such long respite and enabled me to do so much work.
' In reality, this is not my work.
It is the work of the one who took my hand and set me on this road.
And not only myself, but whoever went to him he put a spark of the
fire of the love of God in the heart of that disciple. Just like me,
the late Khawaja Kamal-ud-Din too, by sitting at the feet of the Imam
of the age, was blessed with opening the first Islamic mission to
Europe at Woking, shedding such light on the teachings of Islam and
the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad that the entire attitude of
Europeans towards Islam changed. Not only this, that Mujaddid
produced thousands of people whose hearts ached with the urge to spread
Islam, and who gave their lives and wealth to spread the Divine faith
in the world.
' To those people who harbour ill-feeling
against the honoured Mujaddid, or who fail to give him the
respect and love due to such a servant of the faith, I say: Has
there ever been in the world a liar and imposter who filled the hearts
of his followers with such an urge for the propagation of Islam,
and to whom Almighty Allah gave so much help as to continue fulfilling
his dreams and aspirations long after his death? In the beginning
we did not have the longing that Islam should spread in the world.
It was the yearning of the Imam of the age who set us on this work,
and set us on it so firmly that the longing which was in his heart
was disseminated to thousands of other hearts. . . .
' Whatever work of the propagation
of Islam we have done up to today, whether it is little or much, it
is all the outcome of his inner urge which Allah had strengthened
with the power of His own Will. And Allah caused the foundations of
the propagation of Islam in English-speaking countries to be laid
by the hands of a man who himself was a complete stranger to the English
(Jama'at-i Qadian aur har Musalman kay li'y lahma fikriyya,