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True men of God are ultimately always triumphant. One of the major signs of the truthfulness of a prophet is the support he is given by Allah. He is granted superiority over all his opponents and Allah the Almighty establishes his truth in many ways.

The Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) offered countless powerful prayers that were
answered and proved his truthfulness. In this special issue of the “Muslim Sunrise” we present a detailed account of
the historical events that began with the founding of Alexander Dowie’s Christian Catholic Church in 1896 and culminated in the 2022 inauguration of an Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosque, all in the city of Zion, IL. There is no better way to preview the content of this special issue than in the words of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad (as) himself:

“There was a person named [John Alexander] Dowie, living in America. He claimed to be a Prophet. He was a
bitter enemy of Islam and aspired that he would exterminate Islam. He believed Hazrat ‘Isa to be God. I wrote to
him, challenging him to a mubahalah [prayer duel]with me. With it, I also wrote that even if he did not accept the
challenge, God would still destroy him. This prophecy was published in a number of American newspapers and also
in our own English magazine. The end result of this prophecy was that he was dispossessed of property worth
hundreds of thousands of rupees. He was utterly disgraced, and he was stricken with paralysis to the extent
that now he cannot move a single step on his own. People carry him everywhere. According to the American doctors,
he is beyond treatment and will probably die within a few months” (1).

The Promised Messiah (as) had tried diligently to reason with Dowie for a considerable time and only when the
self-proclaimed “Elijah the Restorer” had surpassed all limits of decency in his attacks on Islam and on the Proph-
et of Islam (sa), did Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) issue a prayer challenge. As stated, countless powerful prayers
offered by the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) were answered in his lifetime and
proved his undeniable truthfulness. Where Dowie pooled up his strategy and strength to talk only of a war between
Muslims and Christians, the true man of God’s most effective weapon was peaceful prayer.

The enduring outcome of the Promised Messiah’s (as) prayer can be seen in the fact that the first post-pandemic
overseas trip undertaken by his fifth successor, his Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), was to the
city of Zion, IL., to inaugurate the mosque (named Fath-e-Azeem, i.e., the Great Victory). Zion is the same city
where Dowie established his church and embarked on his vehement anti-Islam crusade.

The following excerpts are taken from the diary of Abid Khan, a staff member of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad
(aba) who regularly documents his own observations. He accompanied his Holiness during his recent trip to the U.S.
He writes: “On 27 September 2022, Huzoor was interviewed at the Fath-e-Azeem Mosque. by journalist Emily
Miller from the Religion News Service (RNS). The journalist first asked Huzoor why he deemed it ‘important’ to person-
ally travel to Zion to inaugurate the Mosque. In response, Huzoor said: ‘Wherever we open Mosques, the local com-
munities (Jamaats) in that country ask me if it is possible for me to come and open the Mosque. In Germany, UK,
and elsewhere, before Covid, I used to travel to open Mosques. However, here there is one special reason, as you
will have seen from the exhibition that surrounds us.”

Huzoor continued:

“When I open Mosques, I am able to meet the members of our community. It encourages them
and enables me to advise them about the true purpose of Mosques. I advise them that we should not just celebrate
the opening, rather we should remember that the purpose of our life, according to our belief and religion, is to
worship Allah and our Mosques are built to fulfill this purpose. I remind them that they should not just be happy that the construction of the Mosque is complete, rather they should realize and recognize the real purpose of their lives. In this way, they are encouraged, motivated and charged to change themselves and to recognize what their religious duties are.”

The journalist asked Huzoor about the name of the Mosque “Fath-e-Azeem” and what it meant. In reply,
Huzoor said:

“You see, Fath-e-Azeem means ‘the Great Victory’. If you look around this exhibition [displayed at the
Mosque digitally and through artefacts to explain the history of the duel between the Promised Messiah and
Alexander Dowie]you would learn how the prayer duel of the Messiah of Muhammad (sa) and the so-called Messiah
(Dowie) started… It was not the victory of any (one) religion, it is the victory of telling the people who is the
true man of God and that we should not use any abusive language against each other. We should respect all
religions. This is the teaching of the Quran and this is what the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said.
The main purpose of a human being is to worship Allah and so whatever your religion, you should practice accord-
ing to that. However, you must not use filthy or abusive language against other people.”

The journalist asked Huzoor what he hoped people would learn from the story of Alexander Dowie. In reply, Huzoor

“You see, our work is to convey the true message of Islam and the Holy Quran says that there is no compulsion
in religion and that you cannot force anybody to change their religion – but that you should keep doing your work
(Tabligh). Those who do not accept Islam, at least, they will realise what Islam’s teachings are – that it asks people to
live together amicably and to discharge the duties they owe to one another.”

Huzoor continued:

“The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community stated the purpose of his coming is to bring the people of the world before Allah. He came to teach mankind why and how they should worship Allah. Secondly, he came to make people realise the duties they owe to each other – that people should respect one another and each other’s beliefs. This is what the Quran teaches, and this is what we firmly believe. This is what we practice and what we preach. So, these are things that we hope
people will learn from the story.”

A few hours later, on 30 September 2022, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) delivered an historic Friday Sermon to
officially inaugurate the Fath-e-Azeem Mosque in Zion, Illinois.

As he spoke about the victory of the Promised Messiah (as) over Alexander Dowie, Huzoor said that the opening of
the Mosque was not just a day of happiness and joy but ought to be a day of immense gratitude of Ahmadi Mus-
lims to Allah the Almighty that He enabled such a great sign of the truth of the Promised Messiah (as) to be
observed by the whole world. Most compellingly and emotionally, Huzoor said that the greatest ‘Fath-e-Azeem’
was of the Holy Prophet (sa) at the time of the Victory of Makkah. Huzoor said that after that victory, the Muslims
did not rest or consider their duties fulfilled, rather their passion and efforts to practice and to spread the true
teachings of Islam continued to increase. Huzoor reminded the members of the Jamaat that the Promised Messiah
(as) did not come to convey his message to any single town or city, rather he was sent by Allah to spread Islam’s
teachings to every nation and every corner of the world:

“Indeed, this was a victory and a testament to the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (as).”

This was also an authentication of the fact that God’s true servants are not annihilated through hateful opposition; in
the end, He delivers His retribution as He wills. This constantly reminds followers of all faiths of the impor-
tance of the universal duty to God, to their fellow men, and of the unfailing importance of mutual respect, also
encompassed within the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s motto of “Love for All, Hatred for None.”


  1. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Haqiqatul Wahi, Page 274

Last modified: January 2023

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