with emphasis. All the results given here have been reached or verified from the Arabic
sources. These sources are seldom stated either in the text or in the bibliography, as the
book is intended to be useful to non-Arabists, but, throughout, they lie behind it and are
its basis. By this it is not meant that the results of this book are claimed as original.
Every Arabist will recognize at once from whose wells I have drawn and who have been my
masters. Among these I would do homage in the first instance to Goldziher; what Arabist is
not deep in his debt? With Goldziher's influence through books I would join the kindred
influence of the living voice of my teacher Sachau. To him I render thanks and reverence
now for his kindly sympathy and guidance. Others in whose debt I am are Nöldeke, Snouck
Hurgronje, von Kremer, Lanemany more. Those who are left of these will know their own
in my pages and will be merciful to my attempts to tread in their steps and to develop
their results. What is my own, too, they will know; into questions of priority I have no
desire to enter. Foot-notes which might have given to each scholar his due have been left
unwritten. For the readers of this book such references in so vast a subject would be
useless. Such references, too, would have in the end to be made to Arabic sources.
More direct help I have to acknowledge on several sides. To the atmosphere and
scholarly ideals of Hartford Seminary I am indebted for the possibility of writing such a
book as this, so far from the ordinary theological ruts. Among my colleagues Professor
Gillett has especially aided me with criticism and suggestions on the terminology
of scholastic theology. Dr. Talcott Williams, of Philadelphia, illumined for me the
Idrisid movement in North Africa. One complete sentence on p. 85 I have conveyed from a
kindly notice in The Nation of my inaugural lecture on the development of Muslim
Jurisprudence. Finally, and above all, I am indebted to my wife for much patient labor in
copying and for keen and luminous criticism in planning and correcting. With thanks to her
this preface may fitly close.
DUNCAN B. MACDONALD.
HARTFORD, December, 1902.
*** As it has proved impracticable to give in the body of the book a full
transliteration of names and technical terms, the learner is referred for such exact forms
to the chronological table and the index. In these hamza and ayn, the long
vowels and the emphatic consonants are uniformly represented, the last by italic.