at length. Guidance on these and other points the student will seek in the
bibliography. It, too, makes no pretence to completeness and consists of selected titles
only. But it will sere at least as an introduction and clew to an exceedingly wide field.
And it may be well to state here, in so many words, that no work can be done in this field
without a reading knowledge of French and German, and no satisfactory work without some
knowledge of Arabic.
And, again, this sketch is incomplete because the development of Islam is not yet over.
If, as some say, the faith of Muhammad is a cul-de-sac, it is certainly a very long one;
off it many courts and doors open; down it many peoples are still wandering. It is a
faith, too, which brings us into touching distance with the great controversies of our own
day. We see in it, as in a somewhat distorted mirror, the history of our own past. But we
do not yet see its end, even as the end of Christianity is not yet in sight. It is for the
student, then, to remember that Islam is a present reality and the Muslim faith a living
organism, a knowledge of whose laws may be of life or death for us who are in another
camp. For there can be little doubt that the three antagonistic and militant civilizations
of the world are those of Christendom, Islam, .and China. When these are unified, or come
to a mutual understanding, then, and only then, will the cause of civilization be secure.
To aid some little to the understanding of Islam. among us is the object of this book.