Brief History of Ahmadiyya Muslim Tuvalu
Ahmadiyya Muslim Tuvalu is located in Funafuti, capital of Tuvalu Islands. Islam had been introduced to the people of Tuvalu Islands for the first time by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. People of Tuvalu Islands, majority of them are Christians. In 1980’s there was no Muslim at all in Tuvalu Islands.
(Dr. Iftikhar Ayyaz)
The history was begun when Dr. Iftikhar Ayyaz was appointed by British Government to help Tuvalu in a matter of education. He is also the respective member of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in London. It was about in 1985 when he came to Tuvalu for his work. However he did not come to Tuvalu only to do his work, but he also started promoting the teachings of Islam to the people of Tuvalu. Through his tireless efforts to get people understood well about the teachings of Islam, some people were very interested in Islam. By Allah’s grace, some of them had converted being Muslims. The first lady who converted being Muslim in South Pacific was also from Tuvalu Islands. Her name is Mrs. Sunema Rusia. She was working with Tuvalu Red Cross on that time. In addition, a mosque has started to be constructed in 1987 so called Tuvalu Mosque.The construction has been fully completed in 1991. It was the first mosque ever in Tuvalu Islands. The Holy Quran was translated into Tuvaluan in 1990. Dr. Iftikhar Ayyaz has supervised the project to be completed as well. Those who helped the translation to be completed were Mr. Pulekai Sogivalu (Chairman of Tuvalu Language Board) and Mr. Waleed Katalake (Member of Tuvalu Language Board).
(Mln. Hafiz Ahmad Jibreel Saeed with Prime Minister of Tuvalu Islands)
The progress of Ahmadiyya Muslim Tuvalu was quite good on that time. Thus for the purpose of educating all the members, Dr. Iftikhar Ayyar had proposed that the Headquarters might send a Muslim Missionary. The Headquarters of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had accepted his proposal by sending a first Muslim Missionary for Tuvalu Islands, and first in Sounth Pacific also. Maulana Hafiz Jibreel Ahmad Saeed was the first Muslim Missionary to be sent to South Pacific in 1989. He was based in Tuvalu Islands. He had served Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Ghana before he had been transferred to Tuvalu Islands. He is also a ghanaian. Through his hard efforts, he had extended Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in South Pacific islands. Some missions were established during his assignment as well such as in Kiribati Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and also Marshall Islands.
(Mln. Abdul Ghaffar, wearing white cap)
Mln. Hafiz Ahmad Jibreel Saeed was transferred to Kiribati Islands in 1991, then his replacement was also his countryman. Mln. Abdul Ghafar was the second missionary in Tuvalu Islands. He was posted in Ghana before being transferred to Tuvalu Islands. He served Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Tuvalu Islands for 5 years.
(Mr. Abdul Hakeem Boateng, from Ghana)
For several years, Tuvalu Islands was no missionary. A local missionary who has been trained in Fiji used to look after Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Tuvalu Islands. The late Muhammad Makatui was a local missonary during the absence of missionary appointed by the Headquarters. Thus the Headquarters has sent a missionary again in 2003. Mr. Abdul Hakeem Boateng was transferred from Ghana to Tuvalu Islands. He was also a ghanaian. He served Ahmadiyya Muslim Tuvalu since 2003-2009.
(Mr. Muhammad Idris)
In 2009, Mr. Abdul Hakeem Boateng was transferred again back to Ghana. The Headquarters has sent his replacement on October 2009. Thus Mr. Muhammad Idris was officially posted in Tuvalu Islands to replace his predecessor on October 2009. He is from Indonesia. He served Ahmadiyya Muslim in Jakarta, a capital city of Indonesia for 6 years before being transferred to Tuvalu Islands. Mr. Muhammad Idris is also the first missionary from Indonesia who is serving Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in South Pacific right now. Even the previous missionaries who served in Tuvalu Islands all from Ghana.
It was a historical moment for Ahmadiyya Muslim Tuvalu when Maulana Hafiz Ahmad Jibreel has visited Tuvalu on December 2010 during his tour of duty to South Pacific islands. He has given all directions needed to achieve more progress for Ahmadiyya Muslim missions in South Pacific. He has visited Fiji Islands, Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu Islands. He said that Tuvalu Islands was the last destination according to his schedule. He has been in Tuvalu only for 4 days. Even though only for 4 days in Tuvalu, but his schedule was so tight. He was so busy with several programs from visiting all the members, some of the elders of Funafuti, priest of Funafuti, his old friends during his assignment in Tuvalu and Prime Minister of Tuvalu as well. He said that a lot of things have changed in Tuvalu right now compared to when he was posted before in 1989. So many cars, motorcycles, and even new buildings and houses in Tuvalu, said Mln. Hafiz Jibreel.