Ali on how he was influenced by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
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 aright 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 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 Khwaja 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, but that Mujaddid also 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? …
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 language.”
— From Jama‘at-i Qadian aur har ayk musalmaan kay li’ay lamha fikariyya, pp. 8–10.