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The Religion of the Crescent - By Rev. W. St. Tisdall M.A.

The Religion of the Crescent - By Rev. W. St. Tisdall M.A.

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Published by Gilbert Hanz
It is to some degree supported by the same means still, but that this is not even the main reason why Muslims cling to their faith is clear from the fact that in India, where the sword no longer upholds it, the faith still preserves no inconsiderable amount of vitality.
It is to some degree supported by the same means still, but that this is not even the main reason why Muslims cling to their faith is clear from the fact that in India, where the sword no longer upholds it, the faith still preserves no inconsiderable amount of vitality.

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Published by: Gilbert Hanz on Sep 21, 2011
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10/15/2014

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NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS.
 
iii
 
THE RELIGION OF THE CRESCENT,
OR 
 ISLAM: ITS STRENGTH, ITS WEAKNESS, ITS ORIGIN, ITS
 
INFLUENCE.
BEING THE JAMES LONG LECTURES ON MUHAMMADANISM FOR THE YEARS 1891
1892.
 
..….ηό δ εύηοπείκ,
 
ηόδ έκ νμημίξ εόξ ηε αί εμΰ έκ.
 
νμή δ έζμεί Δίαξ
 
ηαπεία ημοξ ιεκ εκ θαε 
 
ηα δ εκ ιεηαπιίς ζόημο
 
ιέκε πνμκίγμκηαξ άπ.
1
 
AESCHYLUS,
Choeph. 6o-64.
 
BY THE
REV. W. ST. CLAIR-TISDALL, M.A.,
Secretary of the C.M.S. Mission, Julfâ, Isfahân, Persia.
 PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE TRACT COMMITTEE
 
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
LONDON: NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, W.C.;43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C.NEW YORK: E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO.1895.
1
Verily I shall fill hell with the jinn and mankind together. 11:119
Pickthal's translation
 
RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED,LONDON & BUNGAY
In Memoriam
PATRIS CARISSIMI,NUPER IN PATRIAM VERAMVOCATI
 
 
vii
 
PREFACE
THE appearance of these Lectures is easily explained. On my return to England onfurlough towards the end of 1890, the Trustees of the James Long Lectureship Fund didme the honour to invite me to deliver a course of Lectures on the subject of the Religionof the Muhammadans. The James Long Lectureship was founded some years ago withthe object of endeavouring to spread among the people of England reliable informationwith reference to the nature and teachings of the main non-Christian religions of theworld, and also regarding the methods adopted by and the measure of successvouchsafed to Christian Missions among the adherents of such faiths. The Trusteesendeavour to secure the delivery of lectures on Hinduism, Buddhism andMuhammadanism by competent Lecturers, whose acquaintance with their respectivesubjects is not only literary and theoretical but practical also. They did me the honour tothink me fitted for the James
viii
 
Long. Lectureship on Muhammadanism during my furlough. The Lectures contained inthe present volume are the result of my attempt to discharge the pleasing duty thusimposed upon me. I trust they may meet with as favourable a reception in this form aswhen delivered orally during 1891 and 1892 in many parts of England.I maybe permitted to point out the limits within which I have attempted to confinemyself in dealing with the very extensive. subject of Muhammadanism. To do so isnecessary in order to anticipate possible misunderstanding. The sub-title of the workshows its scope. I have taken four points and four points only, and endeavoured to dealwith them as fully and accurately as space permitted. The four aspects of Islam dealtwith in this volume are (1) its Strength, (2) its Weakness, (3) its Origin, and. (4) itsInfluence. It will be seen therefore that it did not lie within my province to dwell at anylength upon the biography of Muhammad, the psychological problems presented by hischaracter, the history of the spread of Islam, the number of Muhammadan sects andtheir various tenets, the vast subject of Muslim mysticism and its origin, its connexionwith Hindu Pantheism and Gnosticism, and many other very interesting subjectsconnected with the religion. When compelled to deal with
ix
 
any of these matters, I have done so as briefly as possible consistently with clearness.Though I have more than once referred to Neo-Muhammadanism, if I may so style thenew Muslim (so-called) school of thought now coming into prominence in India, yet Ihave been conscious that my limits forbade any full treatment of that subject, moreespecially so because those who adhere to it are Muhammadans only in name, and are
not recognised as Muslims by orthodox followers of the ‘Prophet.’ 
 It may be well to point out that in speaking of the
strength
of Islam I do not mean its
 power 
. The difference between these two words will be clearly seen if in the sentence,
 
"Their strength is to sit still," we substitute one word for the other. Islam was spreadalmost entirely by the cogent argument of the sword in the past. It is to some degreesupported by the same means still, but that this is not even the main reason whyMuslims cling to their faith is clear from the fact that in India, where the sword no longerupholds it, the faith still preserves no inconsiderable amount of vitality.The reader may notice that I have once or twice in different Lectures recurred todivisions of the subject with which I had previously dealt elsewhere. This was renderednecessary by the fact
x
 
that these are not merely chapters in a book, but real lectures actually delivered. I trustI have not to any extent been guilty of tautology, however.Whatever I have said under any of the heads treated of in these Lectures has beendrawn from Oriental authorities at first hand, and also in part from my own personalknowledge of Muslims of various lands and from conversations held with them during mywork as a Missionary. I have fully acknowledged in every case in the notes myobligations to any English or German writers to whom I am at all indebted.
 
In a few instances it will be noticed that I have ventured in my notes to have recourse toa dead language in order in some degree to veil a few peculiarities of Muhammadanism,which I felt ought not to be treated of in plain English, and to entirely omit or concealwhich (as has generally been done hitherto) would be dishonest, and would beinconsistent with my purpose to give, as far as in me lay, a fair and impartial view of theReligion of the 'Prophet' of Arabia. One of the great difficulties which beset any attemptto represent to English people at all correctly any non-Christian religion is that suchreligions for the most part contain so many things that are unmentionable. To omit allthe worst points and to exaggerate the
xi
 
merits of all the good ones may procure a writer the credit of being "extremely liberal" inhis views, but can hardly be said to be quite a fair way of dealing either with the subjectitself or with one's readers.I trust that these Lectures, in spite of their manifold imperfections and shortcomings,may be found useful to those who are anxious to understand Orthodox Islam, and stillmore that they may be instrumental in impressing upon Christians in general the terribleresponsibility which they will incur if they any longer neglect the duty of preaching to thefollowers of Muhammad the unsearchable riches of Christ.
 
W. S. C. T
.JULFÂ, ISFAHÂN, PERSIA,
March,
1894.
 

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