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water, or a few palm-trees, there are to be | Suaheli coast, in the Arab sultanate of found the uncouth followers of the Proph- Zanzibar. The followers of the Prophet et. In the larger oases of Aderer and are settled in considerable numbers in Agades, Tafilet and Tidikelt, Wargla and northern Madagascar and in Mozambique; Ghadames, Bilma and Tibesti, they are to and far inland-chiefly, it is sad to say, be found in numbers, and the great cara- as slave-traders - around all the great vans which pass and repass the desert, lakes, and along all the upper reaches of twice in each year, from Morocco to Tim- the Congo; and southward of this again, buctoo, or from Tripoli to Lake Tchad, they are to be found scattered here and exchanging the hardware and cotton stuffs there, always anxious to propagate their of England with the ground-nuts, or gold creed, even among the "unbelieving' dust, or ostrich feathers, or slaves of the Kaffirs and, still further afield, in Cape Soudan, are managed by Muslims only, Colony. It is hardly too much to say that and pass, from none but Muslim, to none one-half of the whole of Africa is already but Muslim countries. dominated by Islam, while, of the remaining half, one-quarter is leavened and another threatened by it. Such is the amazing, the portentous problem which Christianity and civilization have to face in Africa, and to which neither of them seems, as yet, half awake.

South of the Sahara, Islam holds almost exclusive possession of the most fertile and the most populous region of Africa, the enormous stretch of country called Negroland, or the Soudan, extending from the Niger to the Nile, or, to speak more accurately, from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, and including the powerful, and organized, or at least semicivilized, governments of Futa Jallon, of Bambarra, of Massena, of Gando, of Sokoto, of Bornu, of Baghirmi, of Wadai, of Darfur, of Khordofan, and of Sennaar. Beyond this region, towards the Gulf of Guinea, some of the most widely extended and vigorous and intelligent negro tribes - tribes whose prowess we have experienced, whether fighting on our side or fighting against us, in the Ashantee or other wars -the Mandingoes and the Foulahs, the Jollofs and the Haussas, are, to a man almost, Mohammedan. And, even along the coast-line, where various European powers, the French, the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Danes, the English, the Spaniards, or the Germans, have, at various times, planted their commercial settlements, and where they can boast of a narrow and superficial fringe of Christianity and civilization as the result, the trader missionaries, or missionary traders of Islam - for, in Africa, they are, generally, both in one-are pushing their encroachments, and manage to make many converts, alike from the pagan and the semi-Christianized natives. Sierra Leone and Lagos, the two chief English settlements, where Islam had been, till within a few years ago, quite unknown, now possess large and flourishing and self-supporting Muslim communities.

Nor is this all. The great eastern horn of Africa has been, for centuries, peopled by Mohammedan races, ferocious and fanatical, such as the Somalis and the Gallas. Far to the south, Mohammedanism is dominant along the whole extent of the

And now, what is the character of the religion which is thus extending itself by leaps and bounds over the most backward and unfortunate and ill-treated of ali the continents of the earth, and what is the nature of the change which, speaking with the necessary breadth of view, it produces in the inhabitants? So persistent and so gross are the misconceptions which cling, like serpents' eggs together, about the creed and the founder of Islam, that, not even in the century which has witnessed the birth and growth of the science of comparative religion, and not even among the readers of this review, which has done so much to help that study forward, is it quite safe to assume a knowledge of even the simpler and more salient facts.

And, first, I would remark that the name which we commonly give to the religion is a misnomer. To call a follower of the Prophet a Mohammedan is to offer him the same kind of insult that it is to call a devout Catholic, a Papist. "Is it Mohammed,” cried Abu Bakr, the most faithful of the Prophet's followers, to the fierce Omar, who, in the agony of his grief, swore that he would strike off the head of the first man who dared to say that the Prophet was dead the Prophet could not be dead-"is it Mohammed or the God of Mohammed that he taught you to worship?" The creed is not Mohammedanism, but Islam a verbal noun, derived from a root which means submission to and faith in God; and the believer who so submits himself, calls himself not a Mohammedan, but a Muslim

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a word derived from the same root, and also connected with salim, peace, and salym, healthy.

"Allahu Akbar," "God is most great, and there is nothing else great," this is the Mussulman creed; Islam, that is, man must submit to God and find his greatest happiness in so doing, this is the Mussulman life. Mohammed claimed to be a divinely inspired prophet, who came to deliver these two messages to those who believed in neither the one nor the other; nothing less, but nothing more. These are the two doctrines which are propagated everywhere by the missionaries of the faith, and these are they which an African tribe, sunk in polytheism or fetishism of the most degraded kind, with all its attendant superstitions and abominations, accepts, or professes to accept, when it embraces Mohammedanism. Of the other leading doctrines of the Muslim faith, the written revelation of the Koran, the existence of angels, the succession of prophets, the responsibility of man, the future life, the resurrection and the final judgment, or of its four chief practical duties, almsgiving, fasting, prayer, and pilgrimage, I have no space to give any account here, nor is it necessary for my purpose. But two passages from a single chapter of the Koran, one of the last delivered by the Prophet, and therefore, probably, containing his deepest and his final convictions, I must quote, one of them as giving the noblest summary of its theology, the other of its morality:

Such is the theology of the Koran; and here is its morality : —

It may be observed that the primary message delivered by Mohammed to the Arabs had been given in almost the same words, in almost the same country, to a people in almost the same stage of civilization, by the great Hebrew law-giver, some two thousand years earlier. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God." Mohammed never professed to be giving what was new, only to be restoring what was old. But there was this all-important difference between the two. The message of the Hebrew prophet was confined, with rare exceptions, to his own people; the message of the Arabian prophet was to be conveyed by his hearers, in whatever way they best could, to the world at large — in other words, the Israelites might seem to be forfeiting their birthright, if they communicated the message to any other people; the Arabs forfeited theirs, if they did not do so.

Now what is the effect politically, socially, morally, and religiously, upon a negro tribe, when it receives and embraces the message I have described? Is it for evil or for good? No one will be so foolish as to suppose that a tribe throws off at once all traces of its old beliefs, all its primeval superstitions, all the sanguinary rites which the new religion, in its authoritative documents, condemns. Such a revolution, even if it were possible — which it is not would not be real or lasting. Did the barbarian races who overran the fairest portions of Europe, the Ostro-Goths, the Visi-Goths, the Vandals, the Burgundians, the Franks, the Magyars, the Northmen, at once throw off their barbarism when they accepted Chris

God, there is no God but He, the Living, the Eternal. Slumber doth not overtake Him, neither sleep; to Him belongeth all that is in heaven and earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His own permission? He knoweth that which is past and that which is to come unto men, and they tianity, and rise to an altogether higher shall not comprehend anything of His knowl-life? Take two illustrations only. When edge but so far as He pleaseth. His throne the fierce warrior Clovis first heard the is extended over heaven and earth and the story of the sufferings of the Saviour on upholding of both is no burden unto Him; the cross, it was the burning desire to He is the Lofty and the Great. avenge his injuries, not to follow his exhave been more or less than human if it ample, that filled his heart; and he would had not been so. When the body of Rolf the Ganger, who had accepted Neustria and Christianity together, for himself and for his roving Norse followers, was being buried, the gifts to the monasteries for the repose of his soul were accompanied by a sacrifice of one hundred human victims ! But I am persuaded, from a vast con. sensus of testimony which has come to me in ever-increasing volume, from native Christian missionaries, whose testimony is not likely to be biassed on the side of Islam, no less than from European travellers and officials, that the moral elevation

There is no piety in turning your faces to the East and the West; but he is pious who believeth in God, and the Last Day, and the Angels and the Scriptures, and the Prophets; who, for the love of God, disburseth his wealth to his kindred, and to the orphans, and to the needy, and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask aid for ransoming, who observeth prayer and payeth the legal alms, and

who is of those who are faithful to their engagements, when they have engaged in them, and is patient under ills and hardships, and in time of trouble; these are they who are just

and who fear the Lord.

in an African tribe which accepts Islam is | raw products which we know from Hea most marked one.

rodotus to have existed from the earliest The worst evils which, there is reason times in Africa, nor the cowrie shells, or to believe, prevailed at one time over the gunpowder, or tobacco, or rum, which still whole of Africa, and which are still to serve as a chief medium of exchange all be found in many parts of it, and those, along the coast, but manufactures involv too, not far from the west coast and from ing considerable skill, and a commerce our own settlements - cannibalism and which is elaborately organized; and under human sacrifice and the burial of living their influence, and that of the more setinfants disappear at once and forever. tled government which Islam brings in Natives who have hitherto lived in a state its train, there have arisen those great of nakedness, or nearly so, begin to dress, cities of Negroland, whose very existence, and that neatly; natives who have never when first they were described by Eurowashed before begin to wash, and that pean travellers, could not but be half disfrequently; for ablutions are commanded credited. Such are Sego, the capital of in the sacred law, and it is an ordinance Bambarra, a walled town of thirty thouwhich does not involve too severe a strain sand inhabitants, with its square houses on their natural instincts. The tribal or- and Moorish mosques, its richly cultivated ganization tends to give place to some- fields, and its fleets of canoes plying for thing which has a wider basis. In other hire on the majestic river Niger, which words, tribes coalesce into nations, and, stirred into a burst of admiration and surwith the increase of energy and intelli- prise the heart of Mungo Park, the first gence, nations into empires. Many such great traveller in Negroland a century instances could be adduced from the his- ago. Such is Kuka, the capital of Bornu, tory of the Soudan and the adjoining on Lake Tchad, a town first visited and countries during the last hundred years. described by Denham and Clapperton, If the warlike spirit is thus stimulated, and subsequently by Barth, and Rohlfs, the centres from which war springs are and Nachtigal, and containing a populafewer in number and further apart. War tion of sixty thousand souls, with its huge is better organized, and is under some market well stocked, every day, with cattle form of restraint; quarrels are not picked and horses, sheep and camels, butter and for nothing; there is less indiscriminate eggs, wheat and leather, ivory and indigo plundering and greater security for prop-everything, in fact, which indicates a erty and life. Elementary schools, like life of, at least, semi-civilization and sethose described by Mungo Park a century ago, spring up, and, even if they only teach their scholars to recite the Koran, they are worth something in themselves, and may be a step to much more. The well-built and neatly kept mosque, with its call to prayer repeated five times a day, its Mecca-pointing niche, its imam and its weekly service, becomes the centre of the village, instead of the ghastly fetish or Juju house. The worship of one God, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and compassionate, is an immeasurable advance upon anything which the native has been taught to worship before. The Arabic language, in which the Mussulman scriptures are always written, is a language of extraordinary copiousness and beauty; once learned, it becomes a lingua franca to the tribes of half the continent, and serves as an introduction to literature, or rather, it is a literature in itself. It substitutes, moreover, a written code of law for the arbitrary caprice of a chieftain a change which is, in itself, an immense advance in civilization. Manufactures and commerce spring up, not the dumb trading or the elementary bartering of

curity; such is Kano, the Manchester, as it has been called, of Negroland, with its manufacture of blue cotton cloth, fifteen hundred camel-loads of which are transported annually, on the backs of camels, across the Sahara to the towns of Barbary; and such, once more amongst many others, is Ilorin, in the Yoruba country, recently visited by Rohlfs in his venturesome journey across Africa, with its sixty thousand inhabitants, its wide streets, its little market squares, and its many mosques.

I am far from saying that the religion is the sole cause of all this comparative prosperity. I only say it is consistent with it, and it encourages it. Climatic conditions and various other influences co-operate towards the result; but what has pagan Africa, even where the conditions are very similar, to compare with it?

As regards the individual, it is admitted on all hands that Islam gives to its new negro converts an energy, a dignity, a self-reliance, and a self-respect which is all too rarely found in their pagan or their Christian fellow-countrymen.

These are no slight benefits, but there

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It may be observed that the primary message delivered by Mohammed to the Arabs had been given in almost the same words, in almost the same country, to a people in almost the same stage of civilization, by the great Hebrew law-giver, some two thousand years earlier. 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God." Mohammed never professed to be giving what was new, only to be restoring what was old. But there was this all-important difference between the two. The message of the Hebrew prophet was confined, with rare exceptions, to his own people; the message of the Arabian prophet was to be conveyed by his hearers, in whatever way they best could, to the world at large — in other words, the Israelites might seem to be forfeiting their birthright, if they communicated the message to any other people; the Arabs forfeited theirs, if they did not do so.

"Allahu Akbar," "God is most great, and there is nothing else great," this is the Mussulman creed; Islam, that is, man must submit to God and find his greatest happiness in so doing, this is the Mussulman life. Mohammed claimed to be a divinely inspired prophet, who came to deliver these two messages to those who believed in neither the one nor the other; nothing less, but nothing more. These are the two doctrines which are propagated everywhere by the missionaries of the faith, and these are they which an African tribe, sunk in polytheism or fetishism of the most degraded kind, with all its attendant superstitions and abominations, accepts, or professes to accept, when it embraces Mohammedanism. Of the other leading doctrines of the Muslim faith, the written revelation of the Koran, the existence of angels, the succession of prophets, the responsibility of man, the future life, the resurrection and the final Now what is the effect politically, sojudgment, or of its four chief practical cially, morally, and religiously, upon a duties, almsgiving, fasting, prayer, and negro tribe, when it receives and empilgrimage, I have no space to give any braces the message I have described? Is account here, nor is it necessary for my it for evil or for good? No one will be purpose. But two passages from a single so foolish as to suppose that a tribe throws chapter of the Koran, one of the last de-off at once all traces of its old beliefs, all livered by the Prophet, and therefore, probably, containing his deepest and his final convictions, I must quote, one of them as giving the noblest summary of its theology, the other of its morality:

its primeval superstitions, all the sanguinary rites which the new religion, in its authoritative documents, condemns. Such a revolution, even if it were possible which it is not would not be real or lasting. Did the barbarian races who overGod, there is no God but He, the Living, ran the fairest portions of Europe, the the Eternal. Slumber doth not overtake Ostro-Goths, the Visi-Goths, the Vandals, Him, neither sleep; to Him belongeth all that the Burgundians, the Franks, the Magis in heaven and earth. Who is he that can yars, the Northmen, at once throw off intercede with Him but by His own permis- their barbarism when they accepted Chrission? He knoweth that which is past and that which is to come unto men, and they tianity, and rise to an altogether higher shall not comprehend anything of His knowl-life? Take two illustrations only. When edge but so far as He pleaseth. His throne is extended over heaven and earth and the upholding of both is no burden unto Him; He is the Lofty and the Great.

Such is the theology of the Koran; and here is its morality : —

There is no piety in turning your faces to the East and the West; but he is pious who believeth in God, and the Last Day, and the Angels and the Scriptures, and the Prophets; who, for the love of God, disburseth his wealth to his kindred, and to the orphans, and to the needy, and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask aid for ransoming, who observeth prayer and payeth the legal alms, and

who is of those who are faithful to their en

gagements, when they have engaged in them, and is patient under ills and hardships, and in time of trouble; these are they who are just and who fear the Lord.

the fierce warrior Clovis first heard the story of the sufferings of the Saviour on the cross, it was the burning desire to avenge his injuries, not to follow his exhave been more or less than human if it ample, that filled his heart; and he would had not been so. When the body of Rolf the Ganger, who had accepted Neustria and Christianity together, for himself and for his roving Norse followers, was being buried, the gifts to the monasteries for the repose of his soul were accompanied by a sacrifice of one hundred human victims ! But I am persuaded, from a vast consensus of testimony which has come to me in ever-increasing volume, from native Christian missionaries, whose testimony is not likely to be biassed on the side of Islam, no less than from European travellers and officials, that the moral elevation

in an African tribe which accepts Islam is | raw products which we know from Hea most marked one.

rodotus to have existed from the earliest times in Africa, nor the cowrie shells, or gunpowder, or tobacco, or rum, which still serve as a chief medium of exchange all along the coast, but manufactures involving considerable skill, and a commerce which is elaborately organized; and under their influence, and that of the more settled government which Islam brings in its train, there have arisen those great cities of Negroland, whose very existence, when first they were described by European travellers, could not but be half discredited. Such are Sego, the capital of Bambarra, a walled town of thirty thousand inhabitants, with its square houses and Moorish mosques, its richly cultivated fields, and its fleets of canoes plying for hire on the majestic river Niger, which stirred into a burst of admiration and surprise the heart of Mungo Park, the first great traveller in Negroland a century ago. Such is Kuka, the capital of Bornu, on Lake Tchad, a town first visited and described by Denham and Clapperton, and subsequently by Barth, and Rohlfs, and Nachtigal, and containing a population of sixty thousand souls, with its huge market well stocked, every day, with cattle and horses, sheep and camels, butter and eggs, wheat and leather, ivory and indigo

The worst evils which, there is reason to believe, prevailed at one time over the whole of Africa, and which are still to be found in many parts of it, and those, too, not far from the west coast and from our own settlements - cannibalism and human sacrifice and the burial of living infants disappear at once and forever. Natives who have hitherto lived in a state of nakedness, or nearly so, begin to dress, and that neatly; natives who have never washed before begin to wash, and that frequently; for ablutions are commanded in the sacred law, and it is an ordinance which does not involve too severe a strain on their natural instincts. The tribal organization tends to give place to something which has a wider basis. In other words, tribes coalesce into nations, and, with the increase of energy and intelligence, nations into empires. Many such instances could be adduced from the history of the Soudan and the adjoining countries during the last hundred years. If the warlike spirit is thus stimulated, the centres from which war springs are fewer in number and further apart. War is better organized, and is under some form of restraint; quarrels are not picked for nothing; there is less indiscriminate plundering and greater security for property and life. Elementary schools, like those described by Mungo Park a century ago, spring up, and, even if they only teach their scholars to recite the Koran, they are worth something in themselves, and may be a step to much more. The well-built and neatly kept mosque, with its call to prayer repeated five times a day, its Mecca-pointing niche, its imam and its weekly service, becomes the centre of the village, instead of the ghastly fetish or Juju house. The worship of one God, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and compassionate, is an immeasurable advance upon anything which the native I am far from saying that the religion is has been taught to worship before. The the sole cause of all this comparative Arabic language, in which the Mussulman prosperity. I only say it is consistent scriptures are always written, is a language of extraordinary copiousness and beauty; once learned, it becomes a lingua franca to the tribes of half the continent, and serves as an introduction to literature, or rather, it is a literature in itself. It sub- As regards the individual, it is admitted stitutes, moreover, a written code of law on all hands that Islam gives to its new for the arbitrary caprice of a chieftain-negro converts an energy, a dignity, a a change which is, in itself, an immense advance in civilization. Manufactures and commerce spring up, not the dumb trading or the elementary bartering of

everything, in fact, which indicates a life of, at least, semi-civilization and security; such is Kano, the Manchester, as it has been called, of Negroland, with its manufacture of blue cotton cloth, fifteen hundred camel-loads of which are transported annually, on the backs of camels, across the Sahara to the towns of Barbary; and such, once more amongst many others, is Ilorin, in the Yoruba country, recently visited by Rohlfs in his venturesome journey across Africa, with its sixty thousand inhabitants, its wide streets, its little market squares, and its many mosques.

with it, and it encourages it. Climatic conditions and various other influences co-operate towards the result; but what has pagan Africa, even where the condi tions are very similar, to compare with it?

self-reliance, and a self-respect which is all too rarely found in their pagan or their Christian fellow-countrymen.

These are no slight benefits, but there

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