Mohammedanism

Mohammedanism

by C. Snouck Hurgronje
     
 

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CONTENTS


SOME POINTS CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF ISLÂM.

THE RELIGIOUS DEVELOPMENT OF ISLÂM.

THE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF ISLÂM.

ISLÂM AND MODERN THOUGHT.

INDEX.





Mohammedanism


I

SOME POINTS CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF ISLÂM


There… See more details below

Overview

CONTENTS


SOME POINTS CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF ISLÂM.

THE RELIGIOUS DEVELOPMENT OF ISLÂM.

THE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF ISLÂM.

ISLÂM AND MODERN THOUGHT.

INDEX.





Mohammedanism


I

SOME POINTS CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF ISLÂM


There are more than two hundred million people who call themselves after
the name of Mohammed, would not relinquish that name at any price, and
cannot imagine a greater blessing for the remainder of humanity than to be
incorporated into their communion. Their ideal is no less than that the
whole earth should join in the faith that there is no god but Allah and
that Mohammed is Allah's last and most perfect messenger, who brought the
latest and final revelation of Allah to humanity in Allah's own words. This
alone is enough to claim our special interest for the Prophet, who in the
seventh century stirred all Arabia into agitation and whose followers soon
after his death founded an empire extending from Morocco to China.

Even those who--to my mind, not without gross exaggeration--would seek the
explanation of the mighty stream of humanity poured out by the Arabian
peninsula since 630 over Western and Middle Asia, Northern Africa, and
Southern Europe principally in geographic and economic causes, do not
ignore the fact that it was Mohammed who opened the sluice gates. It would
indeed be difficult to maintain that without his preaching the Arabs of the
seventh century would have been induced by circumstances to swallow up
the empire of the Sasanids and to rob the Byzantine Empire of some of its
richest provinces. However great a weight one may give to political and
economic factors, it was religion, Islâm, which in a certain sense united
the hitherto hopelessly divided Arabs, Islâm which enabled them to found
an enormous international community; it was Islâm which bound the speedily
converted nations together even after the shattering of its political
power, and which still binds them today when only a miserable remnant of
that power remains.

The aggressive manner in which young Islâm immediately put itself in
opposition to the rest of the world had the natural consequence of
awakening an interest which was far from being of a friendly nature.
Moreover men were still very far from such a striving towards universal
peace as would have induced a patient study of the means of bringing the
different peoples into close spiritual relationship, and therefore from an
endeavour to understand the spiritual life of races different to their own.
The Christianity of that time was itself by no means averse to the
forcible extension of its faith, and in the community of Mohammedans which
systematically attempted to reduce the world to its authority by force of
arms, it saw only an enemy whose annihilation was, to its regret, beyond
its power. Such an enemy it could no more observe impartially than one
modern nation can another upon which it considers it necessary to make war.
Everything maintained or invented to the disadvantage of Islâm was greedily
absorbed by Europe; the picture which our forefathers in the Middle Ages
formed of Mohammed's religion appears to us a malignant caricature. The
rare theologians[1] who, before attacking the false faith, tried to form a
clear notion of it, were not listened to, and their merits have only become
appreciated in our own time. A vigorous combating of the prevalent fictions
concerning Islâm would have exposed a scholar to a similar treatment to
that which, fifteen years ago, fell to the lot of any Englishman who
maintained the cause of the Boers; he would have been as much of an outcast
as a modern inhabitant of Mecca who tried to convince his compatriots of
the virtues of European policy and social order.

[Footnote 1: See for instance the reference to the exposition of the
Paderborn bishop Olivers (1227) in the Paderborn review _Theologie und
Glaube_, Jahrg. iv., p. 535, etc. (_Islâm_, iv., p. 186); also some of the
accounts mentioned in Güterbock, _Der Islâm im Lichte der byzantinischen
Polemik_, etc.]

Two and a half centuries ago, a prominent Orientalist,[2] who wrote
an exposition of Mohammed's teaching, felt himself obliged to give an
elaborate justification of his undertaking in his "Dedicatio." He appeals
to one or two celebrated predecessors and to learned colleagues, who have
expressly instigated him to this work.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940015630572
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
09/23/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
0 MB

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