100 years of Ahmadiyya in Nigeria: A brief appraisal

Source: http://www.championnews.com.ng/100-years-of-ahmadiyya-in-nigeria-a-brief-appraisal/


TAOHEED OLA SHOBOYEDE

“…….and if He(Allah) intends good for thee, there is none who can repel His grace…….”(Q. 10 : 108)

The history of the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in Nigeria in 1916 (formally), for there are some evidences of its having been heard of in the country as early as between 1913 and 1914), was more of circumstantial (borne out of the condition of the Muslims at the time) rather than as a result of yearning for true religion (Islam) by most of the pioneering converts.This explains why some of the pioneer members broke away from the Jama’at between 1920 to 1924, on various flimsy excuses, to form their own groups/societies, even without having really had any fair understanding of what Ahmadiyyat was really about; having had just a little taste of the Jama’at Administrative standard from the first expatriate Missionary to Nigeria, Malana Abdur Raheem Nayyar.

It needs be recalled that the first five years of the establishment of the Jama’at in Nigeria (1916 -1921) was a period when it was the pioneer members, who were not yet trained in the principles and values (Nizam) of the Jama’at, who were the sole determiners and decision makers on how the Jama’at was then to be run and at what pace, with little or no input from the Jama’at headquarters, then ONLY based in Qadian, India, which was also the Seat of the Khalifa.

Their main and major contacts with the headquarters during this early period was through some books and pamphlets being sent to them from Markaz for their guidance, and occasional letters or Tele/Cablegrams on some minor is-sues. In other words, though they signed the baiat of the Jama’at, but they continued to administer the Jama’at along the same line in which they were administering their erstwhile Muslim Literary Society, which later metamorphosed into the foundation of the Jama’at; as there was no well-groomed Ahmadi Missionary to train them.

This situation also, perhaps, explains why there was no record/evidence of the Jama’at ever spreading beyond the Lagos Island during this period.

However, the establishment of the time it took place in Nigeria (1916 to be specific), twenty-seven years after its inauguration by Allah through the hands of the Promised Messiah (a.s.) in 1889, whatever form or colouration it might assume then, was a clear fulfillment of Allah’s assurance to the Promised Messiah (a.s.) in 1886 that: “I Shall convey thy message to all the corners of the earth.” It was also a vindication of the divine ordination of Hazrat Mirza Ghu-lam Ahmad as the Promised Messiah/Imam Mahdi (a.s.). Afterall, Allah Himself vows that:

“If he had forged (and attributed) any saying to Us, We would Surely, have seized him by the right hand, And then, surely, We would have cut his life vein; And not one of you could have Held (Our Punishment) off him.” (Q. 69 : 45 – 48)

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