Historical Reprints Religion Islam: Her Moral and Spiritual Value

Islam: Her Moral and Spiritual Value

Islam: Her Moral and Spiritual Value
Catalog # SKU4114
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Major Arthur Glyn Leonard, Syed Ameer Ali
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Her Moral and Spiritual Value

A Rational and Psychological Study

Major Arthur Glyn Leonard

Moslems, laymen and scholars, will probably not agree with some of Major Leonard's remarks in his outline of the Prophet's character and temperament; but they must all acknowledge his sincerity. He describes Mohammed as a great and true man-great not only as a teacher, but as a patriot and statesman; a material as well as a spiritual builder, who constructed a nation and an enduring Faith, which holds, to a greater degree than most others, the hearts of millions of human beings; a man true to himself and his people, but above all to his God.

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For some time past, but more especially during the last year or two, it has become quite the fashion in Europe to rail at and to suspect the good faith and motives of the Moslem world. If we are to believe the European Press, Europe is in deadly danger. The "Yellow Peril" of a few years ago has, by means of the juggling of modern journalism, cleverly transformed itself into the "Moslem Menace." According to this trenchant successor of the ancient oracle, there is unrest and seething turmoil everywhere. In Egypt, a national confederation; in Morocco, a crisis; in the heart of Africa, the Senussi movement; in Turkey and Arabia, secret associations and agitation; in Persia even, disaffection but co-operation. In one word, Europe-Christian, civilized and unoffending Europe-is confronted with a Pan-Islamic confederation, that is co-operating to achieve the unity and the nationalization of all Islam, with the express object of ultimately turning upon Christendom, and rending her into a thousand tattered fragments.

That there has been no revival of "the chronic conspiracy" within our Indian Empire, is, however, easily explained. This, which purposed to be a religious agitation among Indian Moslems, was an expression more familiar twenty-five years ago and was attributed to the influence of Wahabite oratory. It is, of course, possible that the present agitation and unrest among the Hindus generally, but the Bengalis in particular, has for the time being at all events diverted the attention of the outside world in other directions. But it is also more or less generally taken for granted that the Moslem population of India has sunk into a state of political lethargy, which if it does not betoken loyalty, obviously demonstrates a dumb and passive revolutionary torpor that is tantamount to it.

That agitation and unrest exist throughout the Moslem world would be nothing either new or unusual. In a human sense, Islam is identical with Christendom. She too has her social functions, her political parties, associations, confederations and societies. She has her religious sects and denominations. As with us, so with Islam, there are affinities, and antipathies, emulations and jealousies, competitions and rivalries, likes and dislikes, envy, malice, hatred and all uncharitableness. The interest of self predominates before all else. In kind there is certainly no difference, in degree it is possible that Europe may be a step or two higher. But this is not the point that I would here emphasize. To fall back on the time-honoured maxim, immortalized by Shakespeare, comparisons of this kind are incompatible if not odious. Besides, recrimination is as futile as it is injudicious and undignified.

It is not of moral discrepancies on either side that I would speak. Nor have I any wish to rake up the low-lying sediment, or to disturb the still waters which are running deep in the great ocean of Moslem life. Under the conditions that prevail, it is assuredly best to let sleeping dogs lie. Left alone they are much less troublesome. There is always the possibility that they may oversleep themselves and fall into a dormant and inactive state. In this way the still waters of sedition and agitation soon find their own level-the embers of revolt may at times flare up, but they soon flicker out.

It is of the moral and spiritual utility, with the soul of Islam, that I am now about to deal. For Islam, believe me, has a soul-a sincere and earnest soul, a great and profound soul-that is worth knowing. It is in this soul that the whole kernel and essence of Islam lies. A thorough knowledge and a clear comprehension of this great spirit will alone enable the statesmen and thinkers of Europe to understand the complex problems of so-called Pan-Islamism. To obtain this grasp, however, certain qualifications are absolutely essential. It is necessary-e.g., to approach the subject from a rational and reasonable standpoint-to detach the mind from all preconceived dogmas and opinions; to lay aside all prejudices, racial, religious, social and otherwise, and all bigotries and intolerance; to be confined to no one creed, sect or denomination of any kind, sort or description, but the one great world of Humanity that, in the eyes of Nature, is of one soul and body. This may be a large, or as cousin Jonathan would call it, a tall, order. It bulks big and sounds ponderous. In face of what human nature is, it appears impracticable. But even in human nature there are exceptions and possibilities.

An aspect such as this, then, though improbable, is certainly possible, if exceptional. Let us presume at least that in this instance it is so. It is, at all events, on these broad lines that the following pages have been written. It is the true spirit of human sympathy and fellowship that has moved me-the sympathy and fellowship that would draw together, or at least nearer to each other, the worlds of Christendom and Islam.

The better to achieve my object, I have consulted no works on either Mohammed or Islam, but have gone straight to the source or fountain head-to Mohammed himself, the Koran, and to Moslems of various nationalities with whom I have been brought into close and personal touch during a wide and a varied experience. It is here in the man and his work that the true soul of Islam is to be found. Just as in its founders and foundations lies the heart and essence of Christianity, it is in and out of the merits as well as demerits of Mohammed's work, that we shall form the true estimate of Islamic utility. By their fruits ye shall know them. Men do not gather figs of thorns, or grapes of thistles. Mohammed most certainly did not. As he sowed, so he has reaped! So he is still reaping. The Koran was the immediate consequence of his concentration and communion with Nature and Nature's God: Islam the natural result. In other words, Islam is the devotion of Moslems to Mohammed and the Koran-his work, plus their patient resignation and entire submission to God, His will and His service!

136 pages - 5½ x 8½ softcover

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