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Long. Lectureship on Muhammadanism during my furlough. The Lectures contained in the present volume are the result of my attempt to discharge the pleasing duty thus imposed upon me. I trust they may meet with as favourable a reception in this form as when delivered orally during 1891 and 1892 in many parts of England.

I maybe permitted to point out the limits within which I have attempted to confine myself in dealing with the very extensive. subject of Muhammadanism. To do so is necessary in order to anticipate possible misunderstanding. The sub-title of the work shows its scope. I have taken four points and four points only, and endeavoured to deal with them as fully and accurately as space permitted. The four aspects of Islam dealt with in this volume are (1) its Strength, (2) its Weakness, (3) its Origin, and. (4) its Influence. It will be seen therefore that it did not lie within my province to dwell at any length upon the biography of Muhammad, the psychological problems presented by his character, the history of the spread of Islam, the number of Muhammadan sects and their various tenets, the vast subject of Muslim mysticism and its origin, its connexion with Hindu Pantheism and Gnosticism, and many other very interesting subjects connected with the religion. When compelled to deal with


any of these matters, I have done so as briefly as possible consistently with clearness. Though I have more than once referred to Neo-Muhammadanism, if I may so style the new Muslim (so-called) school of thought now coming into prominence in India, yet I have been conscious that my limits forbade any full treatment of that subject, more especially so because those who adhere to it are Muhammadans only in name, and are not recognised as Muslims by orthodox followers of the 'Prophet.'

It may be well to point out that in speaking of the strength of Islam I do not mean its power. The difference between these two words will be clearly seen if in the sentence, "Their strength is to sit still," we substitute one word for the other. Islam was spread almost entirely by the cogent argument of the sword in the past. It is to some degree supported by the same means still, but that this is not even the main reason why Muslims cling to their faith is clear from the fact that in India, where the sword no longer upholds it, the faith still preserves no inconsiderable amount of vitality.

The reader may notice that I have once or twice in different Lectures recurred to divisions of the subject with which I had previously dealt elsewhere. This was rendered necessary by the fact

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