Mystical Elements in Mohammed

Mystical Elements in Mohammed

Mystical Elements in Mohammed

Mystical Elements in Mohammed

Excerpt

Islam endures. It grows. It changes. Islam is a potent force in the world of to-day. We of the West may be appreciably aware of these facts without suspecting the moving causes which underlie them. We desire, however, to know these causes. We ought to know them.

After all, Islam is essentially the lengthened shadow of one man. Mohammed founded it and his spirit dominates it still. He is the fountain head of all the main Islamic currents which have grooved and moistened the soil of many lands. His word and his life are a court of perpetual appeal on the part of his followers throughout the earth.

We have not chosen to examine herein either the Faith or the record of its development. Mohammed alone engages us. Nor is the whole of his life our present concern, but only an aspect and portion which seems not yet to be understood in full measure. Mohammed the mystic is a greater figure than we had dreamed. It is the mystical in Mohammed which is herein exhibited. If it be a convincing exposition we find in it not only new light on the Prophet himself but hitherto unsuspected cause for the endurance and adaptation of both the Founder and the Faith.

In any proper historical survey of Islam the mystical current is seen to loom large. Its source, however, has not plainly appeared in the view. Greek and Persian and Buddhist waters have joined the stream and swelled it, but it arose first of all out of the deserts of Arabia, -- not mirage, but a bubbling spring, a Mohammedan origin, the experience of the Prophet himself. We must, therefore, revise in this significant detail the geography of Moslem religion and ethics. This essay attempts to furnish ground and evidence for the revision. It may not be too much to say that progressive Moslems themselves, as they . . .

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