by Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, Secretary, Tabshir, Jama’at-i-Ahmadiyya
Invitation to Ahmadiyyat is an English translation of Dawat al-Amir, en epistle written in Urdu and presented in Persian to a Ruler of Afghanistan, Amanullah Khan. The epistle was in the best tradition of evangelism, which at all times in history has used this medium of exposition for the benefit of earthly rulers and their subjects.
The present epistle acquired special significance from the fact that about two years before its presentation three Afghan Ahmadis were stoned to death by the orders of Amanullah Khan. The tragic events made it necessary that the message, aims, and rationale of the Ahmadiyya Movement should be expounded for the special attention of the then King. The events and the epistle now belong to history, but their significance not only survives but keeps increasing in its impact and influence. No wonder Dawat al-Amir has seen several editions since it was first published. The present edition is the first in English. In this the varying forms of address used in the original for the then Ruler of Afghanistan have been dropped; instead, the simple address ‘dear reader’ has been inserted in appropriate places.
The epistle has become associated with the name of Khan Faqir Muhammad Khan, well known in Peshawar and the districts around, whose conversion to Ahmadiyyat he himself attributed to it. Virtually against his instructions a copy of the Dawat had been included in his baggage for a holiday in Europe. In Europe the Khan was overwhelmed by the material prosperity and progress of the West and the dominance over Muslims and the rest of the world which Christian nations had come to have in our time. Will there be a change? the Khan asked himself. Were Muslims to remain down and out, never to rise again as the spiritual leaders of the world? Bewildered, the Khan searched for something in his baggage and found this book. He began to read. In it he found a description for the prosperity and power and other signs of the Christian West, prophesied by the Holy Prophet. If these signs had come true, he thought, the promise relating to the rebirth of Islam could also be true. The promise of Islamic rebirth, according to prophecies, centred round the Muslim Messiah. He read on and on, and before he had finished, he had become convinced that Ahmadiyyat was the answer to the challenge posed to Islam by the Christian West.