One 29 October, he called on Lord Crew, the British Minister in Paris and discussed the political conditions of India. His point of view was appreciated by Lord Crew.3
During his short stay in Egypt, the Egyptian Muslims staged violent demonstrations and disrupted the reception being arranged for Mirza Mahmud by some Ahmadis and pro-British elements. Mirza Mahmud says:
‘When I was coming back from England in 1924, the Ahmadies of Egypt convened a meeting at Alexandaria in order to decide about making arrangements for my reception, whereupon people accusing them of being agents of the British, attacked them unaware and killed some innocent members of the party, causing great damage to the property of certain others."4
In the light of "achievements of tour" and in accordance with the advice he received from the senior British Officials in London, Mirza Mahmud chalked out his future political program. He paid a good deal of attention to the affairs of Middle East where Qadianism had no roots and tried to involve his community to serve Imperialist aims. He launched his vicious plan by setting up Ahmadiyya Missions in the Arab lands. For that purpose, he sent Waliullah Shah and Jalalud Din Shams to Middle East in June 1925.5 Both these Imperialist agents reached Syria, which was then under the French control. Shams stayed in Syria and Waliullah proceeded to Iraq to deliver some important letters to certain British functionaries. He called on Sir Percy Cox, the British High Commissioner of Iraq to persuade King Faisal to remove the ban imposed by the Government on the activities of Qadiani Jama'at in Iraq. Through the efforts of Sir Henry Dobbs, the new British High Commissioner, and with the active support of Rustam Bay Haider, Minister of Finance, Iraq, who was an old friend of Waliullah,6 King Faisal agreed to relax restrictions on Qadiani Jama'at. Mirza Mahmud, in one of his addresses to his community explained its political significance and implications for Qadiani Jamat:
In his Mission Report to Qadian, Shams stated the difficulties being faced in ‘tabligh.’ He hinted at the political unrest prevailing in Syria and paid great tribute to the British for the protection and help extended to the Ahmadiyya missionaries by their diplomatic mission abroad.10
In December 1927 some Syrian nationalists, provoked by his activities, made an attempt on his life. He, however, narrowly escaped.11 Mirza Mahmud took strong exception to this attack. He sent protest letters to the British and French officials, specially to Henry Ponsot, the French High Commissioner in Syria. On the other hand, Syrian Muslims continued to press for his expulsion and closure of Qadiani Mission in Syria both for religious and political reasons.12
In 1928, Marital Law was lifted and Tajuddin Al-Hasni was invited to form a cabinet. Elections were announced to be held on 10 March 1928 and a day before that the French Government served a 24 hour expulsion notice on Jalalud Din Shams. He, on the instructions of Mirza Mahmud, left for Palestine, Munirul Hasni, a Syrian Qadiani convert was appointed an Amir in his place.
Shams reached Palestine in March, 1928. In the words of Allah Ditta, a notorious Qadiani controversialist, he set up an Ahmadiyya mission at Mount Carmel in accordance with the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures.13 Palestine was under the British mandate and Qadian mission had their full support. Ahmadi agents were active in Palestine since the time of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. They maintained links with secret Jewish societies, Imperialist-backed nationalist organizations and Freemasonry. According to Dost Mohammad Shahid, the compiler of Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Muhammad Al Maghrabi of Tripoli had secretly been propagating Ahmadiyya creed for the last 23 years (since 1905).14 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself had employed certain Arabs to distribute anti-Jehad and pro-British literature in the Arab World. At Acca near Haifa (now a centre of Bahaism), Sheikh Ibrahim, a member of Shadhilya Sufi order, was a Qadiani plant. By 1930, Saleh Abdul Qadir Oudeh of Kababir converted to Qadianism. On his arrival at Palestine, Shams found an already existing community of Ahmadis flourishing there.
Shams called on Sir Herbert Plumber, the High Commissioner of Palestine and held informal meetings with other British officials. Mirza Mahmud made contacts with the India Office, Lord Irwin, the Viceroy of India and Colonial Office, London, to seek instructions on the future political role of Qadiani mission in Palestine. Jewish circles looked favourably to the formal establishment of an Ahmadiyya Mission in Palestine. The Mission was immediately turned into a headquarter for the whole of Middle East.15 Qadiani missionaries of Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Gulf received guidelines from Palestine Mission to carry out their politico-religious activities. The head of the Palestine Mission frequently toured the Middle East and sent his secret reports to Qadian.
Palestine Mission played a leading role in fulfilling the political aims of Zionism. It is ridiculous to believe Jewish conversion to Ahmadiyyat, which is a plantation of their own. Jews had not spared Jesus Christ, the real Messiah, how could they believe in a false Messiah of Qadian. One who knows the Jewish mind can easily understand that Jews could never allow a mission to be established in Palestine if it went against the basic ideology of Zionist state. They never let anti-Jewish religious organizations flourish in the ‘Promised Land’. Qadiani and Bahai missions were exceptions. The Qadiani Mission proved highly harmful to the political struggle of the Palestine Muslims. It aimed to sabotage their liberation movements and let to create reactionary pressure groups among Muslims by turning them into Ahmadiyya heretics. It also served as a base to launch and support pro-Imperialist political movements in Arab lands and to maintain the flow of spies to Middle East countries. Jewish Agency subsidized the Mission for furtherance of its political ends. Jews could possibly have no objection to preaching of neo-Judaism under the cover of Ahmadiyyat.
Shams gradually intensified his ‘missionary’ activities. He distributed anti Jehad literature to pacify Arab resistance movement and complied a pamphlet entitled Al Jehad-ul-Islami to prove that Jehad had been forbidden after the advent of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah. It was a prototype copy of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s booklet: The British Government and Jehad. Jewish organizations took keen interest in its dissemination on a massive scale during the days when Palestine was in the grip of severe riots. The disturbances started over a dispute concerning religious practices at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, took a sharp turn and culminated in a strong anti-Jewish movement. Mufti Amin-AlHussaini played a leading role in organizing the Jehad movement against Zionist terrorists. To counteract malicious Qadiani propaganda campaign, Al-Majlis-e-Islami Ala and Jamiat-ul-Shuban-ul-Muslimin rendered significant services.16
Once Shams was attacked by Arab Mujahidin but succeeded in escaping to nearby Jewish settlements. There remained a constant strife between Palestinians and Jewish-backed Qadiani elements in around mid-twenties in British mandated territory of Palestine. During his tenure, Shams was able to set up a ‘Mosque’ in Kababir (April, 1931) with the Zionist aid and extended the sphere of his activities to the Gulf States.
The Congress was held in Roozatul Muarif Hall, Jerusalem. Indian Muslims were represented by Allama Iqbal, Maulana Ghulam Rasul Mehr and Maulana Shaukat Ali. Allama Iqbal and Mehr, on their return from the Round Table Conference, London reached Cairo on 1st December 1931. They were received by the representatives of Shuban-ul-Muslimin, Jamiat-ul-Rabita Al-Hindia, (a predominantly Qadiani organization), Dr.Abdul Hameed, Saeed Bey (Member Parliament), Allama Rashid Raza (Editor, AlMinar), Master Imam Din Sialkoti, M. Khurshid Alam, Shiekh Muhammad Hussain and Shiekh Mahmood Ahmad Irfani (Qadiani).17 Irfani edited a paper Al Alamul Islami, in Arabic to propagate Imperialist point of view on political matters. He sowed the seeds of mistrust and created dissensions among Arab world. He was an active member of the Rabita Hindiya.
On 2nd December, Shams reached Cairo. He met some Muslim leaders and exchanged ideas on Palestine affairs with them. Next day, the Muslim delegates left for Damascus and reached Jerusalem on 25th December to participate in the Congress. They were received at the Jerusalem Railway Station by Mufti Amin-ul-Hussaini and other leading members of the World Muslim Congress.
Qadianis and Jews lobbied to attend the Congress. Sir Wauchope, the British H.C. of Palestine persuaded some Muslim representative to secure an entry for Qadianis but neither Jews nor Qadianis were allowed to attend any of its sessions. Journalists were admitted, except the first day, but no Jew or Qadiani could enter the hall in the garb of a journalist. A Christian magazine sent a Jew as its reporter, who was not admitted. The editor was asked to send any Christian or Muslim in his place.18
Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat claims that Mirza Mahmud was invited to attend the Conference but he instructed Shams to represent.19 It is a totally baseless and even ridiculous claim. Rather Muslim delegates kept a close watch on Jews and Qadianis. Shams was not allowed to attend the Conference. Tarikh-i-Ahmadiyyat admits that 'although he was refused admission, it established the international position of Ahmadiyya community’.20
The World Muslim Congress was very successful. It was attended by leading political and religious personalities of the Muslim world. Abdul Aziz (Tunisia), Musa Jarulla (China), Raza Towfiq (Turkey), Saeed Al-Jezairi (Algier), Rashid Raza (Egypt), Ziauddin Taba Tabai (Former Premier of Iran), Sheikh Saeed Shamil (grandson of Imam Shamil of Russia) and representatives from Balkan, Yugoslavia, Africa, Java, Ceylone etc. were present at the opening meeting which took place at Aqsa Mosque. Besides 133 delegates a large number of freedom fighters from Jerusalem and other parts of Palestine participated in the Congress.21
Qadiani agents launched a malicious campaign against Mufti-e-Azam in collaboration with Jews and certain dissidents of Nashashabis who did not submit to the Mufti’s taking the lead of the whole affairs and so adding to his influence.22 They gave to the outside world the gravest misgivings upon the bonafides of the Congress. Rumours were spread that Mufti-e-Azam would proclaim himself caliph in a few days.
The Zionists were alarmed at the united Muslim front while Muslims of the world came to know of the injustice being done to their Palestinian brethren. The Grand Mufti convinced the delegates that the Zionists had intended to conquer the Buraq Sharif (the Wailing Wall) for Judaism and their aims had also been extended to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The resolutions of the Congress included the establishment of a Young Men Muslim Association, a Muslim University in Jerusalem and provisions of help to Arab peasants in Palestine.
In the last week of December, Sham left Palestine for India. Allah Ditta, the new missionary arranged a farewell party in his honour, which was attended, among others, by some Christians and Jews. They spoke high of him and paid him glowing tribute.23
In 1933, Allah Ditta visited Egypt. He held meetings with Saeed Bakht Wali, a notorious agent of Cairo Intelligence, who played an active part to sabotage the movement launched against Christian missionaries in Egypt by the ulema. He desired to acquire his services for Palestine Mission. On his return, he requested the British Government to allow him entry into Palestine. The Government, at first, declined but afterwards conceded. Bakht Wali settled down in Palestine under the cover of a teacher in an Ahmadiyya school.
Allah Ditta Says:
Sir Zafarullah, in his autobiography discloses that he held a meeting with Sir Samuel Hoare, the Secretary of State for India, in London, over Palestine issue in 1934 and gave certain proposals to him. The Secretary of State conveyed these proposals to Sir P.K.Lister, the Colonial Secretary. Sir Arthur Wachaupe, the British High Commissioner of Palestine, was in London at that time. He explained them the implication of sale of land by Arabs to Jews. Although, on the request of Sir Samuel Hoare, Sir Philip Lister agreed to see him (Zafarullah) but showed little sympathy for Arabs. 31
Between 1931 and 1935, there was a great surge of Jewish immigration into Palestine. Initially it was encouraged by Zionist funds and the optimistic economic prospects in Palestine at a time when the rest of the world was suffering from a slump.
Qadiani agents organized armed bands in the name of Tabligh (Preaching) Days and anti-British literature was widely distributed in all parts of Palestine. From a report, which Allah Ditta sent to Qadian, it appears that Qadiani elements were very active during Arab-Jewish riots. They supported British policy in Palestine and checked the Arab uprisings. In this report Allah Ditta admits that he sent 36 missionaries comprising 10 delegates to distant parts of Palestine on bikes to distribute specially prepared literature for the Tabligh Day. 32
In last quarter of 1935, Arab political groups in Palestine were sufficiently united to launch a movement against Zionist, Mirza Mahmud contacted the Colonial Office, London and instructed Moulvi Yar Muhammad, a Qadian missionary based in London to proceed to Haifa to prepare a detailed report on Palestine affairs. Yar Muhammad arrived in Palestine and met members of Jewish Agency and Sir Wachaupe, High Commissioner of Palestine to prepare his report.
In 1936, the new Qadiani missionary was sent to Palestine. During his 5 year tenure in Palestine, Allah Ditta organized resistance against Arab freedom fighters. Anti-Islamic literature was widely circulated and maximum support was extended at political level to Anglo-Zionist policies. The Qadiani journal, Al Bushra, provoked all sections of Muslims in Middle East. The Rector of AlAzhar University protested to demand a total ban on it.33
Palestine Mission contributed thousands of rupees to Qadiani exchequer. The total number of Qadianis living in Palestine were said to be 500 only but their contributions ran into thousand of rupees. Allah Ditta’s own admission is stated below:
In Iraq, after the death of Faisal in 1933, Ghazi came into power. The rival political factions encouraged tribalism and series of cabinets succeeded each other in office. In 1936, General Bakr Siddiqi seized power. Qadiani agents were involved in Iraqi politics at the instance of Sir Francis Humphrey, H.C. of Iraq. Haji Abdullah, Miraj Din, former CID Superintendent of India and Sheikh Ahmad Furqani watched the British oil interests in Iraq. In January 1935, Sheikh Ahmad Furqani was assassinated by freedom fighters. He faced 10 years of boycott from Iraqi Muslims. He stayed with Mirza Mahmud at Baghdad when he was on his way to London in 1924. 35
In February 1936, Allah Ditta left for Qadian. He was given a warm welcome by Mirza Mahmud. His ‘services’ in Palestine were lauded. Mohammad Salim became the new head of the Mission. After this arrival in Palestine, the new Qadiani missionary held a series of meetings with Zionist members of Jewish Agency to chalk out a future plan of action. In April 1936, over 2 months after his arrival in Palestine, the Arab political groups united sufficiently to form an Arab Higher Committee under Syed Amin-ul-Hussaini. In reaction against the continuing fear of the growth of Jewish number in Palestine and more immediate alarm at the discovery that the Zionists were smuggling in arms, the Higher Committee called for a general strike which developed into mass movement supported by Syrian and Iraqi voluteers.36
Captian Orde Wingate, a professional secret agent, who was responsible for killing the successor of Mahdi of Sudan and had been associated with the Cairo Military Intelligence, was attached to the Command of the Jewish paramilitary units for the purpose of turning them into professional military punitive detachments.37 One of their tasks was the forcible eviction of Arabs from their ancient lands.
Israel Bir, Ben-Gurion’s adviser, wrote the following about the functions of Zionist punitive detachments, after being trained by Wingate (Bir was describing the suppresion of the 1936-38 Arab uprising):
The Acting Assistant Commissioner was explained Ahmadiyya point of view concerning the political turmoil in Palestine. It was clarified that only the religion of Islam upheld peace and taught us to do justice under all circumstances even to a bitter enemy. The meeting lasted for an hour. At last he promised to study the Ahmadiyya literature.
Ansarullah (an organization of Qadiani elders) toured various villages and distributed literature in Taira, Haifa, Manshia, Acca and in some open places. The message of Ahmadiyyat was given to Palestine Arabs living in tents. (Italics added). Among others, Syed Muhammad Saleh, Syed Abdul Malik, Sh. Hussain Ali and Abdul Rahman Barjavi deserved special appreciation. They distributed more or less 250 tracts or handbills. As a result of these efforts some people visited our centre to get further information. They were apprised of the Ahmadiyya movement and given literature for study. 39
The Arab and Indian press sharply criticized Royal Commission’s plan. Adjournment motions were tabled in the Punjab and U.P. assemblies, which were opposed by the Government. On 27 July 1937, Allama Iqbal issued a statement in condemnation of the partition of Palestine. It was read out at a public meeting held under the auspices of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League.
It was in 1932 when Mufti Amin AlHussaini visited the subcontinent and conveyed to Muslim leaders the plight of Palestinian Muslims. Indian Muslims organizations, specially the League, had been condemning the British policy to turn Palestine into a Jewish State. In the first meeting of the Council of Muslims League held in April 1934 under the presidentship of the Quaid (Mohammed Ali Jinnah), the Council endorsed the proposal of a strong and influential deputation to wait on the viceroy to lay before him the facts of how the Balfour Declaration had supported the Jews of the world to buy land and settle down in Palestine, which had deprived their original Arab inhabitants, Muslims and Christians, of their rights, and had received the place of the sacred land (Italics added). 41
The Quaid-e-Azam criticized the Royal Commission recommendations in his Presidential address at Lukhnow session of the Muslim League held in 1937. 42 Under the directions of the Quaid-e-Azam, Palestine Day was observed on 26 August, 1938 and meeting were held to condemn the unjust, repressive and inhuman policy pursued by the British Imperialists in Palestine. Special prayers were offered for the complete success of Arab brethren in their honourable and just struggle.
AlFzal Qadian expressed its views on the Palestine issue. Discussing the Royal Commission Report, it posed a question:
On 8 September, a Conference was held at Bloudan (Syria). It was attended by 400 delegates, representing all Arab states including Palestine. The Conference was presided over by Tewfik-el-Suadi, a Premier of Iraq. The resolutions passed in the Conference were unanimous and gave Pan-Arab expressions to Arab Higher Committees. The annulment of Balfour Declaration, abrogation of the British Mandate, and Declaration of Palestine as an integral part of Arabian homeland were some of the major demands.
Moulvi Salim and his Qadiani associates carefully watched the proceedings the congress. Munirul Hasni, the Qadiani missionary in Syria made contracts with Arab delegates and lobbied for the Jews. He had the backing of the French High Commissioner Damien de Martel, as France did not like holding of such congresses in it mandated territory.46
On 1st October 1937 members of the Arab High Committee were arrested in Palestine. A strict censorship was imposed on the press. Most of the Arab leaders were either arrested or deported to Seychelles. Mufti-e-Azam escaped to Lebanon and continued to guide the Arab guerilla leaders during his exile. Meantime Sir Wauchope resigned and was replaced by Sir Harold MacMichael as now H.C. Palestine
In June 1938, Mirza Mahmud sent his son Mirza Mubarak Ahmad to Egypt presumably to study Arabic and gather information on Egyptian cotton. Before his departure for Egypt, Mirza Mahmud instructed him to meet Ahmadis living in Egypt, Palestine and Syria for the Ahmadiyya movement was not strong in those regions. He advised him to work for strengthening of their organization by bringing new members into their fold. 48
Mirza Nasir Ahmad, who afterwards became the third head of the community, had just finished his studies in Oxford. He was instructed to join Mubarak in Egypt. Nasir was seen off by Sir Zafarullah at the London airport.
Mirza Mahmud dispatched Choudhry Muhammad Sharif (September 1938) as a new missionary in Palestine. Although the British Government had imposed severe restrictions on the entry of foreigners in Aden and Palestine yet Sharif received permission. Mirza Mahmud instructed him to study the character of Arab nation. 49
Qadiani brothers were interested in the forthcoming conference going to be held in Egypt on Palestine issue. Muhammad Ali Alooba Pasha of Egypt had invited Indian Muslim representatives to the Palestine Conference, proposed to be held in October 1938. The Muslim League and the Khilafat Committee decided to send four delegates – Rahman Siddiqi, Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Maulana Irfan and Ch. Khaliquzaman to the Conference. The Conference decided to send a delegation to London to explain the Palestine Muslims' stand point before British Government alongside the Arab representatives from different countries. Rahman and Ch.Khalique were nominated to represent the Indian Muslims in London. 50
The other area of concern for Mirza brothers was mounting anti-Ahmadiyya campaign going on in Egypt since early 30s. Mirza Nasir Ahmad sought the British support in setting up a pro-Ahmadiyya lobby in Cairo but failed. He also called on Sheikh AlAzhar to explain him Ahmadiyya creed but could not convince him. After three months stay in Egypt, Mirza brothers returned home high and dry. They could not visit Palestine due to political reasons.
There is no evidence to prove that Mirza brothers learnt Arabic or acquired knowledge on Egyptian cotton. The Ahmadiyya missionaries could never gain any support from public. Allama Taqi-ud-Din AlHilali, Prof. Bonn University, Germany, wrote convincing articles in AlFatah, Cairo, to prove that Ahmadiyyat was a heretical movement sponsored by the enemies of Islam to perpetuate their hold on Muslim world. The Anti-Qadiani movement received a fresh spur in 1939 when two Albanian students of Lahore Section of Ahmadis got admission in Al-Azhar University. They wrote two pamphlets on Ahmadiyya creed and discussed some controversial issues like death of Jesus with Muhammad Mustafa Al-Maraghi, the Sheikh AlAzhar. The matter also came to the notice of Allama Ilyas Burni, Prof Usmania University, Hyderabad Deccan (compiler of Qadiani Mazhab). He sent a good deal of Ahmadiyya literature to the Sheikh and other members of the Faculty. 51 The Sheikh set up a Committee and as a result of its recommendations the Albanian students were expelled from the University. Syed Muhib-ud-Din Khatib, editor, AlFatah did excellent job in exposing the religo-political character of Qadianism. 52 Ahmadi Hamdi Ismail, the missionary of Lahore Jamat in Egypt repented. The Egyptian press published anti-Ahmadiyya articles and reviews to acquaint the Muslims with Qadiani heresy.
In Palestine Chaudhry Muhammad Sharif faced tough resistance from Palestinian freedom fighters and the ulema in carrying out his pro-Imperialist plans. Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat says:
Jalalud Din Shams, the Qadiani missionary in London, worked for the Jewish lobby. On 31 January 1939, the day of Eid-ul Azha, he organized a meeting in the premises of London ‘Mosque’ under the presidentship of Sir Francis Younghusband. Brig General Sir Percy Sykes addressed the meeting. He called the Palestine problem a complicated one, as the Jews expelled from Germany and Italy were going there, even place of the size of the Wales could not accommodate them. He expressed the hope that the participants of the Conference could find out some solution. The participants of the London ‘Mosque’ meeting included British Knights, members of the Church of England, Military Officers, Members of Parliament, Sir Abdul Qadir, Member Council for India and Sir Arthur Wauchope, former H.C. Palestine. J.D. Shams, in his concluding remarks, revealed that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad had sent a telegram to the British Prime Minister, congratulating him on his bold efforts for the cause of peace and expressed the hope that the efforts would also be made for establishment of that kind of peace in India and Palestine as had been done for Europe. He wished success to the Congress.55
The Conference failed to reach any agreement. Lord Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, under some pressures from other Governments raised the time limit of transfer of power from 5 to 10 years, which was not acceptable to the Arabs. Initially, he announced the immediate transfer of power to be developed into full-fledged Government.
The British Government issued a White Paper in May 1939. It envisaged the creation of an independent bi-national state of Palestine in ten years and the limitation of Zionist immigration to 74,000 over the next five years. The Zionist called it an attempt to conciliate the Arabs during the expected war with Germany and strongly protested against it.56 The Arabs rejected it on the advice of Mufti-e-Azam Palestine.
Palestinian Arabs continued to clash with Qadiani secret agents at several occasions. A fatwa was issued by the ulema for the excommunication of Qadiani apostate operating as agents at Imperialism and Jewish militant organizations. Qadianis where held responsible for killing some Muslim leaders with the Zionist assistance. The hatred mounted when a Muslim leader was assassinated. 57