BLTC Press Titles


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Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller


Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh


The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely


Islamic Africa

by Roscoe Burton Sheppard

Excerpt:

The life of Mohammed is one of the enigmas of religious history. He was possessed of a deeply emotional nature, together with a keen sense of the existence of a divine being with some relation to man; in his early experiences he was puzzled over what that exact relation might be. His unremitting religious thought, affected by his intense emotionalism, resulted in an ecstatic condition of the soul which carried him into semiconscious states. During such times he gave expression to thoughts and messages which he claimed were divinely inspired. These conditions have by some been described as epileptic attacks. Whatever may have induced them, they left in the mind of Mohammed an indelible belief that he was the vicegerent of God on earth, God's latest and last prophet. This was the impelling force in his early religious experiences. His sincerity in that period cannot well be denied. Nor is it impossible that he was sincere throughout his life. The oftentimes inexplicable conduct of the human mind brings it within the realm of possibility that Mohammed might have so gradually advanced step by step in the advocacy of his claims as a prophet of God, with a direct message for men, as to make himself believe that his each and every act was according to the will of God. While this may be possible, however, Moslem writers quite generally agree in thinking it hardly probable in view of the extreme acts of the Prophet's life. The following quotation from Schlegel, the German scholar, doubtless sums up the reasons for suspicion of the motives of Mohammed. Schlegel describes the Prophet and his religion as "a prophet without miracles, a religion without mysteries, and a morality without love, which has encouraged a thirst for blood, and which began and ended in unbounded sensuality."

The Prevalence Op Islam

The following figures indicate a real "Moslem World." In 1909 a monthly magazine began publication in Paris for the purpose of surveying this "World"—the Revue du Monde Mussulman. The difference in the estimates of the world population of Moslems is largely due to the impossibility of correctly estimating those in China and the Sudan. In the former the figures are between five and ten millions. India has nearly sixty-two and one half million Moslems, the greatest number of any country, and Java follows with more than twenty-four millions. England has five million more Moslems than Christians under her rule. More than two thirds of the Moslem population of the world live under Christian rulers.

The Wobld Figures

Statesman's Year Book, 1890 203,600,000

Brockhaus, "Convers.-Lexikon," 1894 175,000,000

Hubert Jansen, "Verbreitung dea Islams,"

1897 259,680,672

S. M. Zwemer (Missionary Review), 1898... 196,491,842

Allgemeine Missions Zeitschrift, 1902 175,290,000

H. Wichmann, in Justus Perthes's "Atlas,"

1903 240,000,000

Encyclopedia of Missions, 1904 193,550,000

The Mohammedan World of To-day (Cairo

Conference, 1906) 232,966,170

Martin Hartmann (1910) 223,985,780

In the New World the figures for 1911, the most recent obtainable, are as follows:

Central America and West Indies 20,600

United States 8,000

British Guiana 22,200

Dutch Guiana 6,800

Total 66,600

Africa's Moslem population is more than 59,000,000.

THE BLOODY ENTRANCE OF ISLAM
INTO THE WORLD FAMILY
OF RELIGIONS

Islam is . . . the only anti-Christian religion. Islam is not a state church but a church state. Christianity is the religion of love and Islam that of force. —Moslem World.

Paradise is under the shadow of swords.—Mohammed.


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