Click to View


of life or death. However frivolous he may at first be, he will generally feel with you very readily, if you are in earnest. If you are not, you are no true missionary.

6. Never be beguiled into answering (in a discussion) such a question as, "What do you think of Muhammad?" or into making a direct attack upon him. To do so would be to offend your hearers and do immense harm. It is needless to tell them your opinion of Muhammad, for they will not accept it on your authority. By and by, if they read the Bible, they will form a very decided opinion themselves. It is better to reply somewhat in this manner: "What does it matter what my opinion of Muhammad is? I have nothing to say to you about him: I come to tell you about Christ." The meaning of this will be quite clear to the audience: they will appreciate your courtesy, and will probably ask you to tell them your message about Jesus.1

1 In this Manual I have on certain occasions pointed out certain facts with reference to Muhammad, e.g. that he is not in the Qur'an regarded as sinless. This has been done for the information of the Christian student, and is necessary in a book of this description. But it is very delicate ground indeed on which to tread in speaking to a Muslim. It must be borne in mind that I am not suggesting the actual words that should be used when dealing with the subject. In conversation it would be well to ask the meaning of the passages in the Qur'an which imply that Muhammad (and the Prophets) were not devoid of sin, and merely imply by one's manner that the answers given were not satisfactory. This will make the Muhammadan
[Footnote continued onto next page]

7. The missionary should be careful to give some title of courtesy to Muhammad (or, in case of need, to 'Ali or Fatimah or other person honoured by Muslims) in countries where to do otherwise would be esteemed disrespectful. In India it is best to say "Muhammad Sahib," in Persia "Hazrat-i Muhammad."1 Higher titles we as Christians cannot give him, and Muslims are content if we give him these. In Egypt and Palestine they do not seem to resent him being spoken of simply as "Muhammad," but in India and Persia to speak thus would be insulting to your interlocutor 2.

8. Be careful of the theological terms you use. See that you thoroughly understand them yourself in the first place, not merely the English terms but the words used in the native language—Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, or whatever it may be. Do not fancy that the words, e.g. for holiness, atonement, sin, kingdom of heaven, peace, &c., which are used in the vernacular version of the Bible,

[Footnote continued from previous page]
interlocutor think about them afterwards himself. In open-air controversy in public the subject should be avoided, and the disputant invited to a private discussion.
1 Of course in this book this is needless, but it should be borne in mind in case a translation is undertaken.
2 Missionaries in Eastern Arabia sometimes use the expression Nabikum ("your Prophet") out of courtesy. Is not this, however, liable to misconstruction? The Rev. P. M. Zenker wisely points out the necessity of our always adding to the name of our Saviour the title "Lord." Muslims themselves always give Him some title of respect, and they are offended if we omit to do so.

Click to View