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AM

IN

AFRICA

ATTERBURY

<4)\

PRINCETON,

N.

J.

Purchased by the Hamill Missionary Fund.

Division

EPM"..
yhMA.L AAASL

Section

ISLAM IN AFRICA
ITS

EFFECTS-RELIGIOUS, ETHICAL, AND SOCIAL-UPON THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY

BY

ANSON

P.

ATTERBURY
New York

Pastor of the Park Presbyterian Church,

WITH INTRODUCTION BY
F. F.

ELLINWOOD
New York
University

Professor of Comparative Religion,

G.

P. PUTNAM'S SONS NEW YORK AND LONDON

Gbe "Knickerbocker press


1899

Copyright, 1899
BY

G. P.

PUTNAM'S SONS
London

Entered

at Stationers' Hall.

Ube

"fcnfcfeerbocfcer ipreso,

IRew

Jgorfe

INTRODUCTION

THE true character


the present time.
of the very first

of the Oriental religions

has never been so widely discussed as at

There have been two eximportance that well con-

tremes in the treatment of these systems, and


it is

sidered and candidly presented truth respecting

them should be
idea that Islam
is

laid before the

public.

The
all

wholly an imposture, destitute

of all true ethics, wholly


its

opposed through

history to enlightenment, and breathing only


it is

cruelty and destruction, and that

therefore

unworthy

of serious study, should be laid aside

as not only unjust,

but as productive of harm

so far as

it is

untrue and misleading. Partly by

way of reaction from this intolerant position, many apologists of the system have gone to an
opposite extreme of laudation and this has been
;

carried to such an extent that

it

may now

be

iv

Introduction
and to

said to be the fashion to exalt Islam

claim that

it is

a sort of preparatory school


for

by

which such countries as Africa,

example,

may most successfully be brought to an ultimate


civilisation.

The work prepared by Rev. Anson P. Atterbury, D.D., Ph.D., on African Mohammedanism,
is

therefore most timely


I

and

after a careful
its

perusal
lication.

have not hesitated to request


It strikes

pub-

me

as

eminently

fair in its

treatment.
terised

It is also

thorough, being characof facts

by a conscientious examination

and

the authorities

by which they

are given.

The works

of Mr. R.

Bosworth Smith, Canon

Taylor, and Dr.

Edward Blyden, on the one

hand, and the writings of Livingstone, Stanley,


the late Bishop Crowther, Cardinal Lavigerie,

and many others on the other, have presented


so

many

contradictions in regard to the influ-

ence of Islam upon the northern and central


portions of Africa that the public
or less involved in doubt.
Is
it

mind

is

more

the part of wis-

dom

to leave Africa for a time at least to the


of

aggressive influence

Mohammedanism,
to trust to

as
its

Canon Taylor has advised, and

Introduction
known
hostility to

intemperance as the best

and most
so-called
liquors
?

effective barrier against the trade of

Christian

nations

in

intoxicating

Shall

we

allow

Mohammedan

propa-

gandism along the whole southern border of


Eastern and Western Soudan to take the place
of

Bantu superstitions among the races lying


in

south of them,

the belief that Islam

is

better
in-

than fetichism and the wholesale murder

duced by witchcraft

Or

shall the Christian

world put forth strenuous efforts for those superstitious


tribes
its

ere

Mohammedanism
it

shall

have fixed

stamp

of fanaticism

and bigotry

upon them, rendering


ficult to

thereafter far

more

dif-

reach

them with

civilising agencies?

It is

such considerations as these that render

the work of Dr. Atterbury timely and important.


In his earlier chapters he has given such general

attention to the rise and character of Islam and


its

author as seems necessary

in

opening the

way
of

to the particular questions which he has

treated farther on.

His estimate and judgment

Mohammed
it is

himself will not be considered


If

severe by any candid man.


respect

he

errs in

any

on the side of charity.

His survey

vi

Introduction
its

of the African field, the race divisions of

population, the aggressive tendencies of the

Mohammedan
invading,
is

peoples, and

the more or less

helpless condition of the tribes


full

which they are

of

instruction.

The

theatre

of the great conflict

which seems to

lie in

the

immediate future
sented.

is

well and graphically pre-

The

real vital questions,

which are ably

dis:

cussed in the later chapters, are such as these

What

is

the character of
in

Mohammedan

propa-

gandism

Africa?

Is

it

a peaceful missionary

work, actuated by a sincere desire of devoted

men

to raise

up superstitious

tribes to a

know-

ledge of the one only true God, with corresponding efforts to bring
thrift

them

to a high degree of
all

and a participation
?

in

the blessings of

civilisation

Or

is

it

for the

most part a
West,

re-

morseless and bloody conquest, either by ambitious adventurers like

Samadu

in the

act-

ing under the cloak of religious propagandism,


or

by the

still

worse impulse of unscrupulous


like

and cruel slave raiders

Tippu Tip and others

on the Congo and throughout Eastern Africa? It seems to me that the facts presented by Dr.

Introduction
Atterbury are conclusive on
sustained, not only
this point.

vii

He

is

by the testimony

of nu-

merous

travellers, as well as of missionaries,

but by the current records of the newspaper


press as they have

come

to us from time to

time

in

the last decade.


confessed that the arraignment of West-

It is

ern nations for the great evils connected with

the wholesale

traffic

in

ardent spirits on the

Congo and
and

in the ports of

West

Africa

is

just,

difficult to

answer,

if

regard be had to na-

tions and governments as such.


difference between the

But the great


inflicted

wrongs

by a

certain element in this country

and

in

Europe

on the one hand, and the high philanthropic

and benevolent interest and


ian
is

effort of the Christ-

Church

of every denomination
it

on the other,
difficult to
in the

one which

seems exceedingly

impress either upon


or

Mohammedans

East
is

upon

their apologists in the

West.

There
traffic

a vast difference between the liquor the

on

West Coast and

the slave

traffic in

the East,

in the fact that the

whole weight of Christian


traffic,
is

influence lies against the liquor influence of

while the

Mohammedanism

on the side of

VI 11

Introduction

the slave trade between Africa and that sacred

land of Islam, Arabia.

The Koran
in

itself en-

courages the capture of female slaves, at least

by those who are engaged


ard of Islam
in
;

war

for the stand-

and the present status of slavery

Arabia and other

Mohammedan

countries

is

in a line

with the whole history of Islam and


It justifies itself

the example of the prophet.

by

the teaching of his alleged inspirations,

and

the policy pursued through the long history of


the system in
centuries.

many
in

lands and through


is

many

Slavery

the great industry of

Mohammedans
gaged
in

Eastern Africa, and even the

Muftis and sacred teachers of Islam are enthe


traffic.
is

Slavery

is

a part of Islam
of

the liquor trade

no

part

Christianity.

There are apologists among us who, emboldened by a sort of popular encouragement which
has not been wanting of
that
late,

venture to claim
is

Mohammedanism
for civilisation

has done and

doing
It
is

more

than Christianity.

useless to enter into elaborate

argument on

this

point. The desolations of Northern Africa, once populous, now scarcely accessible to travellers

without military escort, the long caravan routes

Introduction

ix

strewn with bleaching bones of slaves, the desolation

and depopulation of whole

districts east

of the African lakes as well as

on the borders of
to the

the Great Desert

these

must respond
in

allegation that Islam


civilisation,

moves

the forefront of

and sows broadcast the seeds of

prosperity and peace

among men.
F. F.

Ellinwood.

PREFACE

PERHAPS
in India,

the writer was the better pre-

pared to undertake this investigation from

some personal observation


the work here attempted

of

Mohammedanism
But
such as no

Egypt, and the Turkish Empire.


is

man
or-

could qualify himself to perform merely


dinary travelling
sible,
;

by

it

would be hard, or imposin

for

one to reach so widely

personal

experience as to be prepared thereby to speak

concerning the varied


African continent.

Mohammedanism
make

of the

Limited personal experione's presenta-

ence would, necessarily,

tion of the subject partial and prejudiced.

To

take the statements

of

many men,

to

weigh

testimony and reconcile or reject contradiction,


to estimate

and allow

for personal prejudice

to view the field as a whole

is

work

to be

done

only at a distance, and calmly

in one's study.

xii

Preface

It is surprising to find

how
lives

largely an inves-

tigation

of this subject,

and similar subjects, and labours of

must depend upon the

Christian missionaries for reliable information.


It is

only another proof of the valuable collatbenefits

eral

rendered by foreign missionary

effort.

The manuscript
terian

of this

work was sent

to Rev.

F. F. Ellinwood, D.D., Secretary of the Presby-

Board

of Foreign Missions

and Professor

of Comparative Religions in
sity.

New York UniverMohammedanism


some an unduly

In a private letter Dr. Ellinwood makes

some
which

remarks
it

concerning

is

important to present, as possibly

balancing what

may seem

to

favourable estimate of the prophet and his


religion in the first chapter of this book.

He

writes

" In one or two points I am compelled to differ from your favourable estimate of Mohammed as

contained in the
the

first

chapter.

Since

returned

MS. I have read over the Koran anew. I am more and more impressed with its pettifogging
character.
for

Every sura seems to have been written some personal object, and not from any divine

constraint.

What

a contrast to the old prophets,

'

Preface
who were
but there

xiii

driven to the disinterested utterance of


!

unwelcome messages

There

is

no

'

Woe

is

me

is a lust to be justified, or a defeat (as at be palliated, or a victory (as at Bedr) to be made capital of, or there is a dig to be given to the people of Mecca, or a curse to be administered

Ohad)

to

to the Koreish; or a

weak point

in the faith
is

is

to

be

patched, or a robbery of caravans


lated
'

to
is

be

justified,

or the blind bravery of his soldiers

to be stimu-

by some new promise of heavenly houris who shall always remain virgins.' I find that the threats of hell are repeated some hundreds of times, and generally against those who do not pin their faith to me And they are placed in such settings and expressed in such a questionable spirit as to seem not the solemn utterances of a real prophet, but the mere hard swearing of an un'

'.

scrupulous adventurer,

who

has an object to gain.


used, not as
for their

The Old Testament


sake, but always as

scriptures are

utterances of the voice of

God and

means
to the

to an end.

own Where are

there any psalms of devotion or prayers of spiritual aspiration


?

As

New

Testament, the

Apocryphal Gospels are preferred, a fact which shows more of sharp practice than of sincerity. I cannot regard Mohammed as a real prophet. Though he was a man of power, he was corrupted by his own revelations."

A. P. A.

New

York,

Jamiary, 1899.

CONTENTS
Introduction
.

in
ix

Preface

CHAPTER

PAGE

Mohammed
Appearance
being
of

Mohammed

as a prophet

Idea of the

Description of Story of his vision and His physical condition Nervous temperament of His claimed inspiration His environment The Hanifs Judaism The political condition of Arabia The prophet in Medina The sincerity of Mohammed R. Bosworth Smith's estimate of Mohammed Thomas Carlyle's estimate E. A. Freeman's estimate Mohammed's belief in himself His moral weakness Mohammed a moral
call

One God a sublime thought Age of Mohammed

that possessed his whole

contradiction.

CHAPTER
Islam

II

'5

Meanings of the word "Islam" The Koran Claimed inspiration of Revelations of Mohammed

xv

xvi

Contents

Letter from Sheik-ul-Islam to a German convert


Relative importance of certain doctrines and duties

PAGE

Prayer Practical duties The hope of Paradise Fatalism Points of contact between Islam and sanctioned by the Koran Christianity Essential Vital power of the truth in doctrine of the One
evils
its

God
evils.

sufficient to sustain the

system in spite of

its

CHAPTER
The Continent and
its

III

Exploration

30

Victor Hugo's prediction

in

terial

Area of the continent Physical features Ethiopia Beginning of modern exploration Stanley's journey to the Albert Nyanza 1876 His journey Stanley Falls in 1888 Matwo decades Railimprovements in the
to
last

roads.

CHAPTER
The Native Races
The ethnography
of Africa

IV
38

Racial

distinctions not

generally recognised by Europeans

A proper under-

standing of racial distinctions necessary to compre-

hend the whole problem of the continent The Hamitic races Egyptian, including the Copts

Home of the Berber race Barbary The Touarik family Mr. James Richardson's 1845-6 Fezzan Semitic element Arabs journey The Arabs largely the merchants and slave-traders of Central and Northern Africa Dr. Pruen's
Berber
civilisa-

tion

in

illus-

tration of their character

and business methods and


robbers, desolators of

capability

The Arabs slavers,

a continent

The

Nuba-Fulah group

The

Nyam-

Contents
nyam tribe The Hausa
eral idea of

xvii
PAGE

tribe

The negro The gen-

African population largely derived from

the negro

Slaves principally taken from this race Home of the race Description of the negro BamBantu or Zulu or Kafir race Fifty basi The
millions of this race in Africa race

Uganda Social

order in

Description of the Livingstone's, Co-

lenso's,

Faithfulness

and Wilberforce's estimate of the Bantu race Grand possibilities for of the Bantu

future civilisation of the race

The wild and impossible African -largely a feature


of the imagination

The Hottentot family

Fetichism Witchcraft The ne-

gro different from but not inferior to the Caucasian

The African a man.


CHAPTER V
The Mohammedan Conquest of Africa
Advance
of
.

55

Mohammedanism

over Persia,

Syria,

Egypt, Africa, and Spain within one hundred years Africa a fruitful home for Islam after the Hejira

The

condition of North Africa in the time preceding

North Africa and Augustine Islam's progress over Northern in North Africa Africa Desperate struggle of Christianity Abdallah Zobeir Akbah, the " Conqueror of Africa"
the advent of Islam
in

Christianity

Work

of Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian,

Soni Heli Ischia, the patriot negro


of the various tribes by

Gradual control

Mohammedanism

cess in conversion but not in civilisation


rule of the

Steady pro The awful

Mahdi and

his successor the Khalifa, the

climax

Poverty and

degradation following the ad-

vance through North Africa

Mohammedan agents
and commercial

Arab merchants Mixture

of religious

xviii

Contents

character in

Slaves

PAGE
their chief business concern

Methods of Mohammedan advance through their means Raiding of villages reported as conversions The story of Tippu Tib Difficulty of distinguishing between raiding of slave-dealers and the establishment of Mohammedanism as a religion in Central

Africa

control and advance in Africa

Much exaggeration concerning Mohammedan South of the line of


states the control largely a mercantile

Mohammedan
the

supremacy, established by fire-arms

Suppression

of

Arab

slave-trade will overthrow

Mohammedan

control

Defeat of the Khalifa by General Kitchener


CHAPTER
VI
.

a death-blow.

Its Missionary

Character

.74
re-

Mohammedanism one
ligions of the world
festly

of the great missionary


this
it

Because of
Africa

has so mani-

conquered

In

Mohammedanism has

presented one of the greatest outbreaks of mission-

Fundamental history presents which necessitate this missionary Mohammed's claims emphatic His followers effort under obligation to force them on the world The infidel under obligation to recognise and believe
ary zeal that
principles of Islam

human

The

forced choice, " Believe, pay tribute, or die"


of equal

'The recognition

manhood

in all believers

The principle of the


Islam in Africa
at

essential equality of believers

of especial avail in connection with the advance of

Combination
:

of mighty influences

work

to facilitate

the conversion of Africa to

intolerant zeal

Mohammedanism native agents, simple methods, The University of Cairo Moham-

medanism

furiously fanatic in

North Africa

Less

Contents
intolerant
in

xix
PAGE

Central

Africa

renegades

This

Death

penalty

for

intolerance an essential element in

Mohammedanism

Missionary

prayer offered every

evening in the University at Cairo.

CHAPTER
Its Political

VII
.

Character

.92

No

separation between Church and State in

Moham-

medanism

Mohammed's

teaching and example a

stimulus to his followers to rule as well as preach, to

conquer as well as to convert


ancy

" Believe, pay tribute,

or die," involves political as well as religious ascend-

The

divine right of kings

emphatically as-

serted by one of the Mahdist generals in a letter to

Emin Pasha

Attempt
and

to proselytise

King Mtesa

King Msidi and the Arabs


trade advantage

Close connection between

religious advance

twinings of the slave-traffic and of


proselytism close and intricate
the

The interMohammedan
Mohammedan

In

Central Africa

Arab

is first

a slave-dealer, then a
efforts to control the

Mohammedan

king and king-

dom of Uganda Elasticity in Mohammedanism Islam seeks


change of heart and
life,

the African type of


control rather than

conversion, and political power rather than individual


in Africa Militancy an Paradise the reward of the Mohammedan soldier dying in battle The ferocity of the dervishes largely fanned by idea The
this

essential part of Islam

Mohammedans and supporting Mohammedanism The "Jihad," or holy war, a conspicuous feature of Mohammedanism throughout The prowess of the Zulus The ferocity of the Masais The courage and endurance of the Eastern Soudanese The story of Samudu The
Turkish army composed of

xx

Contents
atrocities of his

Mahdist uprising
zeal

"holy wars" The Mahdi

The history Difficulty of

of the
distin-

guishing in these outbreaks of apparently religious

what

is

purely for the advance of


is

Mohammedan-

ism and what

principally for the support of slavery

Attempt
the
spiration of

to preserve the slave-trade the basis of


in the

Arab outbreak

Lake Nyassa region


of truth, has sent

The

combination of religion with self-interest and the in-

some element

Moham-

med's followers conquering throughout Central Africa

Political and military ascendancy of Mohammedanism in Africa must be destroyed,


conquer.
if

civilisation is to

CHAPTER
Its

VIII

Moral and Religious Character


Divorce between ethics and religion
the population of North Africa under
control

no

Decrease

of

Mohammedan

Mohammedan

control so characterised by

injustice, incapacity,

moral degradation, and neglect

of the proper functions of

government that

life

has

languished

Mohammedanism accompanied by moral degradation in many respects throughout many of the tribes Lack of financial inThe " Marabout " Slatin Pasha's picture of tegrity Islam as illustrated by Mahdism Hypocrisy of the religious leaders of Mohammedanism Hypocrisy of the
profession of

Formal

Mahdi

Of

the

Khalifa Untruthfulness one

of the

moral characteristics of Mohammedanism throughout The fast of Ramadan A degree of moral restraint

exerted by
desert

it

Moral

conditions prevailing in the

Mohammedan civilisation south of the desert


that the moral character

The licentiousness of Mahdism in the Eastern Soudan

Unanimous testimony

Contents
Soudan as throughout North Africa is unspeakably bad The moral status of Islam in Africa indicated by intemof

xxi
PAGE

Mohammedanism

throughout

the

perance, sensuality in the strict sense of that term,

and slavery

The confession

of Sheik

his indulgence in alcholic drinks

The

Hassan as to Arabs them-

selves the chief importers of intoxicating spirits into

Mohammedan restraint on matters compar Licence in lines along which nature runs Islam essentially sensual
Africa
atively unimportant
irresistibly

evil

The

African slave-trade

"the open

sore of

the

world"

Cataclysmic
The
a
difficult

Mohammedanism
one

sanctions the slave-trade

desolation wrought by the slavers

question of the forced stoppage of the slave-traffic

Solution seems

to lie in easy access

by railways, or good roadways, from the north to the south and from east to west, and the development of a legitimate commerce among
for foreign influence

the natives

The power
must
this

of the

Mohammedan Arab

in Central Africa

first

be completely broken

The

introduction of foreign influence will gradually

accomplish
ligion

Little

to

be said concerning the


as a re-

higher characteristics of

Mohammedanism

Islam

in Africa of the earth, earthy

Utter

lack of spiritual elevation throughout the sixty millions of

Mohammedans

in Africa.

CHAPTER

IX
. .
.

The Change from Paganism

137

In general the change from paganism so small as to amount to nothing Even the Bedeyat are merely nominal Moslems The negro tribes that have been

won to allegiance are Moslem in little more than name The Bournous, Fulahs, Mandingoes, and their

xxii

Contents

profession of Islam

Nominal
to
little

PAGE

conversion of

King

Mtesa
one

and

kingdom

Mohammedanism
more than

The
to the

change in Central Africa

a superficial

Indifference of

nominal

Mohammedans

demands

of their religion in Africa

Semi-civilisation

of

Mo-

hammedans

due as much

to the superior

whom it has reached as to any inherent elevating power of Islam itself The doctrine of one God hardly grasped by the Central
capacity of the natives

African
lahs, or

Mohammedan Fetichism Charms MolMohammedan teachers, and the making of

fetiches

vances southward

Increasing neglect of prayer as one ad The Arab the means of introducin

ing the Swahili language throughout Central Africa

Education Little idea of general education in Islam Earnest Mohammedans learn Arabic order read the Koran Business enterprise Interchange
to

of

sympathy between Mohammedan

communities

stimulates interchange of goods

One point in which


its

Mohammedanism makes marked change from paganism


essential ideas really possess

Develops self-respect in the native, so far as him Theoretically, and

Mohammedanism everywhere further advance cut off The

to some extent in fact, Islam makes a man of the pagan Costume an indication Tendency towards

fixedness characterises

The
tom
ing."

possibility of

religious order of the Sanusiyah

" Islam

at the botis

of the weight of

ills

under which Africa

suffer-

CHAPTER X
The African Type
African

of Mohammedanism
aggressiveness

160

Mohammedanism

a markedly distinct type

Is

characterised by

By

superfic-


Contents
iality

xxiii
PAGE

By a lessened zeal in proselytism By a decided materialism By cruel selfishness Modern


Mohammedanism
Morocco
not impregnable to the

African

attack of civilisation or of Christianity


Christianity into

The
XI

Entrance of form of Islam in

Africa nearest to the primitive type.

CHAPTER

The Great Solution A vast problem The civilisation

177
of a

continent

European and Western civilisation must take the matter in hand Mohammedanism held up by some
Africa definitely opposed to civilisation

Mohammedanism in Polygamy, easy divorce, and slavery sanctioned by Islam Freeas preparatory to Christianity

dom

of thought

and private judgment

in

religion

annihilated with the sword


real civilisation

The

Islam

a hindrance to

retrogression of

Mohammed-

anism in Africa
of
of Africa

Liberia and the negro colonisation Africa a factor in the great solution Civilisation

must be accomplished by Christianity and commerce hand in hand Close and vital conjunction of the two Conquest by railroads " Means more for Africa than for any other part of

'

'

our globe

The

railroad in Africa the preliminary

solution of the problem

Two great material ques-

how

how to create wants, and open channels of trade Livingstone's idea: Open Africa for commerce, then Christianity will go in The answer to the problem, so far as the immediate future is concerned, lies largely in the sway of such nations as England and Germany The Brussels Conference of 1876 is for Africa a point from which all succeeding history must date The Berlin Confertions concerning Africa are
to

xxiv

Contents

ence of 1S84

The

TAGE
birth of the

Congo Free

State-

Evil effects of Portuguese control in Africa


efforts

at

African colonial control not ideal

German Bad
fire-

effects of

European influence in

Africa, particularly

in connection with the introduction of

rum and

arms

The

new Congo

railway

The

"Cape

to

Cairo "

railway

Something

more than commerce


connected with
is

needed

The twin factor in the great solution religion Christianity emphatically the need of Africa Christianity must antagonise and supplant Moof Christhammedanism Africa Inevitable
religion
in
conflict

Civilisation of avail only as

ianity with Islam in Africa not so desperate as

some

may

think

Islam

in Africa comparatively easy for

The slave-trade already doomed A wide-spread and complex commerce begun and must enlarge Christianity already has laid The great solution deits grasp upon the continent
Christianity to overcome

pends on the heroism of

men and women

yet to offer

themselves, living sacrifices.

ISLAM IN AFRICA

ISLAM IN AFRICA
CHAPTER
MOHAMMED

ABOUT
tury

the beginning of the seventh cen-

Mohammed
He was

appeared, claiming for

himself the dignity of a prophet of the only

and true God.

a true prophet
truth.

rather,

he was a prophet of some


forth with a message.

God

sent
;

him

He

delivered

it

but he

added

to

it

human elements. He was a prophet


meaning
"
!

but not

in that full

of the

term under
cried,

which the prophets of the Old Testament


"

Thus

saith the

Lord

We may

not believe

that he was a prophet

in that

sense in which

Mohammed
"

claimed for himself the honour

There

is

one God and


i

Mohammed

is

His

Islam in Africa
But he grasped the great truth of the one eternal ruler of angels and men,

prophet."

God

as

and he uttered that truth from God to man. He who in an age and country of idolatry saw-

God as the One Supreme, and told his fellow men thereof, was truly called of God. The idea of the ONE GOD the vision of
Him, whether merely by mental grasp
true ecstasy
or in

is

the greatest and most essential

mind of man can receive. With it, mount upon the summits of heaven, can hold communion with the All in All. Without it, man wanders in mist and mire, searching
that the

man

can

vainly for the satisfaction of his soul's innate

need.

This was the sublime thought, or vision,

that possessed the whole being of

Mohammed.
the

Partly from tradition, but largely from hints

given

in

the Koran

itself,

we may gather

story of his vision and


forty years
of
age.

call.

He

was about

For some time mental

gloom, absolute melancholy, had been pressing

upon him
lines in

terribly.

We

are not told as to the


;

which

his

morbid thoughts ran


crisis

but
his

from the marked result of that


life

in

we may

readily infer that with which his

Mohammed
thoughts, his soul, wrestled.

As

with

many

another

less strong, less fortunate,

groper after
those vast

truth, the

man was pondering deeply

problems which centre around the idea and being of God.


tions of truth

He was

grappling with sugges-

and duty that he could hardly


custom, as with some
in

understand and from which deeply he shrank.


It

seems to have been

his

of his

countrymen, to spend a certain month

retirement and meditation.

At an

hour's walk

from Mecca, there


ren rock," wherein

is

a mountain, " a a cave in which

huge

bar-

is

Moham-

med

spent the days

of that fateful time of

seclusion about the year 610 A.D.

In the bald,

ghostly solitude of that


fasting

desolate rock, with


his

and prayer, under the pressure of


in

deep melancholy,

circumstances most favour-

able to a recurrence of his physical malady,

there

came the

vision

and the

call.

It

was

in

the middle of the night that the angel Gabriel

appeared to him, so he claimed


sent

1
:

" Verily
al

we
ex-

down

the Koran
shall

in the night of

Kadr.

And what
1

make thee understand how

Sale's

tion of the

Koran, chapter xcvii. We assume that the revelaKoran and the call to service are identical.

Islam

in Africa

cellcnt the night of al


al

Kadr

is?

The

night of

Kadr

is

better than

a thousand months.
spirit

Therein do the angels descend and the

Gabriel also, by the permission of their Lord,

with His decrees concerning every matter.


is

It

peace until the rising of the morn."

Mohammed
fore

claimed that Gabriel held be1

him a

silken scroll,

and

said, "

Read."

He
that
said,

could not
read.
scroll

probably
in

he had never learned to

But
2

some way the words from

were graven on his heart.

The voice
;

"Cry."

Twice the

call

came

and twice Mocall.

hammed

struggled against the


if

He was

pressed sorely, " as


laid upon him."

a fearful weight had been

For the third time the voice

called,

"Cry."

And

he

said,

"What
Cry

shall
in

There came ? name of thy Lord." The prophet had


cry
blingly he
tress

"

the answer, "

the

received

his

call

tremas she

went forth to
his wife

fulfil it.

In deep dis-

he came to

Khadija and told her

of

what had occurred.


Koran,
ch. xcvi.

True woman

Essay on Islam by Emanuel Deutsch, in Mohammed and Mohammedanism, R. Bosworth Smith, page 306.
2

Mohammed
was, she yielded to

him

as

prophet of God.
his

Even yet he could not


mission.
It is

force himself to

He

was on the point of seeking death.


this state of

supposed that

anguish lasted
of

from two to three years.

Again came one

his strange attacks, in which, as

he claimed, the
Henceforth
;

voice of

God

said,

"

thou covered, arise and

preach, and magnify thy Lord."

there was no interruption and no doubt

he

knew and obeyed

his call.
a

Dr. Sprenger claims

that the answer to the

medical question as to
condition would

Mohammed's

physical

give the key to the whole

problem

of Islam.

We

can hardly agree with

so material a conception of a great truth and a But it is to be clearly recoggreat prophet.

nised that this physical element occupies a large

place in any proper explanation of the phenomenon. Mohammed was of an excessively

nervous temperament.
"

The excitement under which he composed

the

more poetical suras of the Koran was so great his whilst lips were quivering and his hands shaking
1

Koran, chapter lxxiv. Encyclopedia Britannica, xvi., 547, Note

2.

Islam

in Africa

he received the inspirations.


ill

When
in

he was taken

he sobbed like a

woman

hysterics.

During

the battle of Bedr his nervous excitement seemed

have bordered on frenzy. He suffered from his fits were preceded by great his face was clouded depression of spirits they were ushered in by coldness of the extremities and shivering. He shook as if he suffered from ague and called out for covering his mind was in a most excited state. If the attack proceeded beto

hallucinations

yond this stage his eyes became fixed and staring, and the motions of his head convulsive and automatic. At length perspiration broke out, which covered his face in large drops and with this ended the attack."
; x

Whether these
lepsy, or

attacks were epilepsy, or cataof hysteria,


lies

some severe form


;

we
in

can-

not

now know

the answer

hidden

the
Psy-

mysteries of the nervous system of man.


chic investigation of later years opens

wonders
All
close

which we cannot define or understand.


that

we can
it

say

is

that there was

some

connection between this ecstasy, or epilepsy, or

whatever

may have

been, and the claimed

inspiration of the great prophet.

He saw

vis-

ions
1

he heard voices

these experiences were


Notes

Dr. William Smith's edition of Gibbon's Rome.


l.-lii.

quoted from Dr. Sprenger, chapters

Mohammed

the assurance for him, and for his followers,

which with mighty enthusiasm carried them


over the world.

The

circumstances into which he was born

were such as to favour greatly his mission.

There seems to have been a reaction


about that time, from idolatry.
sect of

in

Arabia,

The

Hanifs, a

Arabs

to

which

Mohammed

belonged,
Also, Ju;

were vaguely rejecting polytheism.

daism was pressing upon that region


corrupt form of Christianity presented

and a

itself to

Mohammed

in his

youth.

The

political condi;

tion of Arabia favoured his mission

the un-

conquered, but divided, families and tribes of

Arabia presented

possibilities of

combination
race.

and subjection by one of


pecially fortunate

their
for

own

Es-

was

it

Mohammed

that

Medina seems
for him.

to have been peculiarly prepared

When

the prophet was forced to leave


in

Mecca, he found

Medina not simply a place

of refuge, but a readiness to support him.

He

soon raised an army with which to make counter-attack

upon Mecca.

He

was forced into

warfare.

mighty enthusiasm enabled him to

triumph

at the first

and

critical battle.

Hence-

8
forth his

Islam

in Africa
clearly

pathway was

marked out and,


the " con-

usually, triumphant.

One
trast

thing more

we must

notice

between

his reverent

and meditative youth,

and

his fierce

and libidinous old-age."


claim that
start
;

There
an
it

are those

who

Mohammed was
but we have

impostor from the


plain that

made

are

we are not those who assert

of that

number.

There

that the man, sincere at

the start, became determinedly false and vicious

when he took the sword

into his

hands and

entered upon his career of conquest

a sudden
crit-

and complete moral change.


it

We

would make

clear that

we

are not of this class of his


of

ics

though

most

his later biographers in-

cline to the opinion that

he was, more or

less,

a conscious impostor at the end.


are those

Again, there

who

believe

that

he was a hero

throughout, morally.

They

assert that he

was

sincere in his belief in himself


his

and throughout

command

over his followers.

They
Carlyle,

belittle
life.

the evidences of evil in his character and

R.

Bosworth Smith, Thomas


less closely

E. A.
this, in

Freeman, more or

approach

their statements of the

moral problem presented

Mohammed
in the life of

9
separate

Mohammed.

We would
critics, for

ourselves from this class of

reasons

now

to be given.

It is

hard to see

story of

how one can now read the Mohammed's entrance upon his mishim trembling and hesitating on

sion, can see

the brink of what was for him an awful chasm,

can go with him historically through the early


years of
forced
forceful
his

prophetic work, without being


conclusion
for

to

the

that this wild and

spokesman

God

believed in himself

and

his

message and mission with that deep


which alone can carry a man through

sincerity

such experiences as he was forced to enter.

Whatever may be one's opinion


vine authority of
at the start,

as to the dihis mission

Mohammed and

no one can successfully deny that

the

man

then thought himself the prophet of


that the teachings that he presented

God and

were the truth of God.


his mission with a
"

Mohammed

started on

deep and intense sincerity

Though the sun at my right hand and the moon at my left were to command me to give
up
1

this matter, I

would not give


P.

it

up."

Quoted by Dr. Henry

Smith in The Bible and Islam,

io

Islam in Africa
would claim that
this sincerity con-

Now we

tinued throughout.

And
in

yet startling decline,

moral contradiction

an ordinary

man

abso-

lutely incomprehensible, characterised the later

years of his

life.

In him

is

presented the awful

profanity of a
to justify his

man who would call upon God sensuality, who would bring down

God
tuted.
in

in

writing to establish unrighteousness.

Surely never has high mission been so prosti-

Of the one hundred and fourteen suras


personal ambition, unrighteousof
his

the Koran, more were written to justify

Mohammed's
ness,
lust,

and sensuality than some

biographers would care to allow.


thority as

Using

his au-

spokesman

for

God, he dared impi-

ously to justify and establish deeds of the devil.

Yet throughout the worst

of his moral degra-

dation he seems to have appealed freely to the

Supreme Being, and


upon
his

to

have rested confidently


"

own

integrity.

We

are only two,"

said his trembling


at a
p.

companion

to

Mohammed,
Mohammed's

time when his pursuers were seeking eagerly


Scribners, 1897.

15,

See his estimate of

character:

"In
15.

this persistence in his calling

Mohammed

is

not unworthy of being compared with the Old-Testament


prophets," p

Mohammed
for

n
"

him

as

he was hid

in

the cave.
"
;

There

is

a third," said
self."

Mohammed

it

is

God Him-

That, though before the period of his

moral inconsistency, was the characteristic of


his
life

throughout.

" I

seek refuge in
alone
"

the

light of

Thy countenance
Even

that seemed
overwhelming
whatever they

ever his thought.

in the

pressure of the death hour,

when men most

clearly reveal their true selves,

may have seemed


which he began.
spoken to him spoken
for
;

to others in previous years,

he evidenced the same majestic assurance with

He
is

believes that

God has
he be-

he
is

assured that what he has


;

God

divinely authorised
is

lieves that " there


is

one God and

Mohammed

His prophet."

We
of the

would not
man.

belittle the

moral weakness

Dr. Ellinwood, in this connection,

well presents the truth that "the test of character


lies

in

its

trend."

The

trend of that
last

man's character was, during the


of his
life,

ten years

definitely,

toward the bad.


that

Nothing

can be more clear than

the

man

de-

scended into

sin so gross
if

and unrighteousness

so terrible that,

these isolated acts certainly

12
in dicatea

Islam in Africa
permanent condition
of will,

he be-

came bad indeed.


with
assurance in any

Yet we cannot reconcile


continued
self-

this the evidences of his

way

other than by supposing

that this strange man, unaccountably catching

gleams of divine glory


frenzy,
is

in

moments

of epileptic

not to be judged fully as other men.


possibilities of

There seem to have been


contradiction in

moral
for

him that we cannot allow

an ordinary man.

We
:

must simply accept the

moral contradiction

he was good, yet bad

he was

sincere, yet sensual.

He must
God

have

thought, in the wild fancies of his imagined

communion with
Egyptian Mary.

the divine, that

author-

ised the foul adultery of his marriage with the

In his mental and physical

constitution were possibilities of moral inconsistency such as

do

not, in ordinary

men,

exist

to like degree.

Most men can persuade themdoubtful wrong


the
is

selves, at times, that

really

right

he was a

man

extravagances of

whose nature were such


tation of lust

that,

under the temp-

and

in the

moral enervation of

power and

success,

he could really believe that


for

God rebuked him

undue continence.

Mohammed
In

13

Mohammed we

have the picture of a

man
it

grasping a great truth, giving himself up to


completely, heroically.
in

We behold
;

a character
in a

which enthusiasm controls

working

bodily frame in which

some form

of nervous

excitation produced trance-like experiences in

which visions and voices were perceived.

Tak-

ing the great truth as evidence that these epileptic intimations

were divine, struggling

for a

something that he knew to be


circumstances into a
cal
life

right, forced

by

of warfare

and

politi-

management,

in increasing

age and power

yielding evermore

to the lower passions


in a strangely

and

ambitions within him,


soul identifying his

disordered

own

desires

and ambitions

with the divine

will,

throughout he produced
real revel-

what he forced others to think were

ations from God, even to the justification of


his

own

evil.

He

lay in that border land of

psychical and spiritual experience wherein a


strong, yet disordered, intellect seeks to

obey

God and

yet gratify

self

at

bottom sincere

throughout, yet terribly under the control of


the evil within himself.

In

it

all

we have

startling illustration of the possibilities of the

Islam

in Africa

co-existence of the devilish and the divine in a

man.

He was

so strangely great that a moral

contradiction, impossible to the

same degree

in

an ordinary man, lay hid within his soul.

CHAPTER
ISLAM

II

THE word
Mohammed.
meanings.

" Islam " has

two meanings
of

one

Mohamrefers to the religious system med, the other to the Mohammedan world.
Islam means the doctrine, or the disciples, of

Let us look

at

each of these

The Koran
ans
;

is

the Bible of the


rule of
faith

Mohammedand practice
1

an

infallible

from which there can be no appeal.


the only rule of
is
2

It is

not

life

Mohammedan
prophet

tradition

of great authority,' and the successors to the

leadership

of

the great

have done

something towards determining doctrine and


1

Encyclopedia of Missions,

ii.,

117.

The Missionary Review of the World, v., 137. 3 In general, on the Koran and Mohammedan See Faith of Islam, by E. Sell, ch. i. and ii.
2

tradition.

15

Islam in Africa
But
in

duty.
ticular

general the

Koran

is

the par-

and permanent message from God to

man, through the greatest and most favoured


of

His servants,
letter,

Mohammed.
:

Each word,
an extreme

each

was

directly inspired

theory of verbal inspiration obtains acceptance

throughout the

Mohammedan
its

world.

The book
its

is

a wonderful one, not so

much
and

in
its

contents as in

origin, its history

influence.

The

faithful believe that the orig-

inal text existed in


it

heaven.

An

angel brought
;

down

piece

by piece
it

to the prophet

he
is

in

turn proclaimed
large

to

the world.

It

not

somewhat
;

smaller than the Christian's

Bible

but

it

will

seem long

to

most non-Moit

hammedans who attempt


Chapter by chapter
it

to read

through.

was revealed, so they

claim, often in direct connection with one of

the startling

fits

of nervous frenzy to which

the prophet was subject.


of his life these revelations

Towards the end


seemed to come
he would

suspiciously in connection with the prophet's


political

needs or personal desires

find

himself so placed that the authority of


to

God was needed

sustain

his

position, so

Islam

17

most opportunely a revelation would be made


to
fit

the occasion.

While some
in

of the suras
fierce
fire

are evidently wrought


frenzy,
it

the

of

is

quite as evident that the greater

part of the

book
;

" is

undoubtedly the

result

of deliberation "

many

passages are based on


1

purely intellectual reflection.

But however

it

may have

originated,
it

Mohammedans
claimed
that

the world

over praise

as

book beyond compare.


the

Mohammed

himself

only

miracle in connection with his assertions, the

only miraculous proof needed for his mission,

was the Koran.


language
to
it

Some

Arabic scholars, not

Mohammedans, have
it

said that in the original

is

indeed poetical and impressive

most
will

of those

who

read

it

in a translation

seem

exceedingly uninteresting

and

uninspiring.

We

are told that

Mohammed
scribe
;

dictated these
it

" revelations " to

for

is

at least

doubtful as to whether or not the great prophet

was able to read and

write.

death the chapters of the


in scattered fragments,
1

At the time of his Koran " existed only


bits of stone, leather,

on

Encyclopedia Britannica^ xvi., 598.

18

Islam
"
'
;

in Africa
that

and bones

but

we may assume

the

memories

of his adoring disciples were, chiefly,

the immaterial parchment on

which were

as-

cribed his assertions as to the words of God.


is

It

said that soon after the prophet's death there


recite the
it,

were some who could


as

whole Koran,
error.
1

they then understood


final

without an

But the

establishment of the canon was


the caliphate of Omar, and
is

made during
posed, with

sup-

great probability, to contain the

very words that were delivered by the prophet.

This

is

the book that has, largely,

made Moas the

hammedanism.
ple,

Two hundred
reverence

millions of peo-

more

or

less,

very word of God.

it even now They pore over its

pages,
at-

over each letter therein, with a worshipful


tention that

may be indeed sometimes

a rever-

ent heart's holy and acceptable offering unto

the

Supreme Being above.


is

There

a translation of a letter written

by

the Sheik-ul-Islam to a
contains a statement of

German
in

convert, which

Mohammedan

doctrine

from the highest authority

the world, and

may be

taken by us as an authentic
1

summary

Encyclopedia of Missions

ii.,

117.

Islam
of the faith of
is

19

modern
its

Islam.

The
1 :

following

a condensation of
"

statements

Conversion to Islamism demands no religious

formality,
tion of

and hope depends upon the authorisano one. It is sufficient to believe and pro" Islamism has for
its

claim one's belief."


faith in the unity of

basis,

dearest servant
there is only " prophet.' "
'

Mohammed" "to avow it in words, one God, and Mohammed is His He who makes this profession of
" Be-

God, and

in the

mission of His

faith

becomes a Mussulman, without having need

of the consent or approbation of anyone."


lievers are all brothers."

"

Man was
"

created out of nothing to adore his

Creator."

God in

according to certain
in so

human

beings the

gift of

prophecy, and

revealing the

true religion, has overwhelmed His servants with " The book of God which descended blessings."
last

from heaven

is

the sacred Koran, the unchangeto.

able teachings of which will last even


of the last judgment."
;

the day

The first of the prophets was Adam and the last, Mohammed." " Between these two, many others have lived their number is known only to God. The greatest of all is Mohammed After him come Jesus, Moses (and
; .

"

others)."
"
rise
1

The day
again

of the last judgment.


to

The dead
;

will

render their accounts


Independent,
xl.,

the elect
1.

The New York

2045, p.

See also

Sell's

Faith of Islam.

20
will

Islam

in Africa
those condemned, to

be sent to Paradise
Also
is

Hell."
"
it

necessary, as an article of faith, to


all evil to

attribute

all

good and

the providence of

God." " But to be a perfect believer, it is necessary to perform certain duties to pray God and to avoid
;

falling into such sins as

murder, robbery,
faitli

etc.

Be-

sides the profession of

good Mussulman

ought to pray

five

times a day, distribute to the

poor a fortieth part of his goods every year, fast during the month of Ramazan, and make once in
his life a pilgrimage to

Mecca."

He who is converted to Islamism becomes as innocent as when first born, and he is responsible only for the sins committed
" Faith annuls all sin.
after his conversion."

"

sinner

who

repents and

asks

God's

for-

giveness, obtains pardon.

Only the

rights of his
;

neighbour are an exception to this rule for the servant of God who cannot obtain justice in this world reclaims his right at the day of judgment, and God, who is just, will then compel the oppressor to

make

restitution to the oppressed.


is

To

avoid this responsibility, the only means


acquittance from your neighbour

to get

whom

you have

wronged."

Mussulman's religion there is no clergy. is no mediator between God and His servants. Only the accomplishment of certain religious ceremonies, such as the
In
all

" In the

religious acts there

Islam
prayers on Friday at Beiram,
the
will
is

21
subordinated to

of

the Caliph, of the prophet, and the

Sultan of Mussulmans.

Since the arrangement of


is

ceremonies for Islamism

one of
is

his sacred attri-

butes, obedience to his orders

one of the most

important religious duties."


"

One
to

of the things to

which every Mussulman


is

ought
acter.

be very attentive

righteousness in char-

Vices such as pride, presumption, egotism,

and obstinacy do not become a Mussulman. To revere the great, and to compassionate the insignificant, are precepts of

Islamism."
ful-

We
mary

have thus given, with considerable

ness, the essential points in a

remarkable sumFullest reading of

of a world-wide faith.
literature will,

Mohammedan
favourable

we

are persuaded

from personal experience, give nothing more


;

though there

will

probably be some

change of proportion and emphasis of doctrine


as the result.

The

letter of the Sheik-ul-Islam

was written

to a convert

from Christianity, and

was

" evidently intended to

make
in

as favorable

an impression on Christians as possible."

We
as

should

notice

that

thought the idea of the


overwhelming.

Mohammedan one God stands out


the second sura of

Read

the Koran

22
"

Islam
God
!

in

Africa
but

there

is
;

no

God

He

the living,

the

self-subsisting

neither

Him. To Him heaven and on earth. cede with Him, but through His good pleasure ? He knoweth that which is past, and that which is to come unto them, and they shall not comprehend anything of His knowledge, but so far as He His throne is extended over heaven and pleaseth. earth, and the preservation of both is no burden unto Him. He is the high and the mighty."
seizeth

slumber nor sleep belongeth whatsoever is in Who is he that can inter-

Throughout that celebrated

sura, undignified
is

by

the title "

The

Cow," there

a presenta-

tion of the majesty and authority of


is

God which

indeed impressive.

To

obtain a correct idea of the emphasis and

relative

importance of certain doctrines and du-

ties in Islam,

we should

also notice the stress


is

laid

upon prayer.

" Prayer

better

than
slave

sleep "
Billal

were the words that

Mohammed's
call

was accustomed to use to


prayer at the stated times.

the faith-

ful to
is

repeated every day throughout the


world.
1

The phrase Moham-

medan

The

call to

prayer five times a

day, wherever the good


1

Mohammedan may

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 372.


Islam
chance to be, and
ness,
is

23
conspicuous-

in spite of all

like a seal

upon soul and body

fasten-

ing the believer to Islam and evidencing the


divine ownership before man.
It

has been well observed that " the radical

fact

about a religion

is

the

way
'

in

which

it

grap-

ples with the

human
will

will."

Absolute submisthe fundamental

sion of the

idea of

God Mohammedanism.
to

is

Indeed, the word

"Islam

" originally

meant submission.
;

Notice another feature greatly emphasised

easy requirement of doctrine, united with strict


assertion
of

practical

religious

duties.

It

is

easy to say "

There

is

only one
"
;

God and Moobservances


pil-

hammed
now has
creed

is

His prophet

all

that the believer

to

do

is

to

keep the

five

recital, prayer,

fasting, almsgiving,

grimage.
tellectual

With
and

little

stress laid

upon the

in-

spiritual

elements, and

large

emphasis and proportion given to the


the system
is

practical,

admirably adapted to prevail

among men.
Further, the

summary

of doctrine
little

which we

have presented gives but


1

idea of the

empha-

Shall Islam Rule Africa? Rev. L. C. Barnes, 23.

24
sis

Islam in Africa
with which the hope of Paradise
is

pressed

upon

believers as an anticipation and a motive.

" All the acts of soldiers in

holy war, even their


"

sleep, are considered as prayer."

The

gate
In

to

Paradise

lies

between drawn swords."

this, largely, lies

the secret of the marvellous


of

military querors.

success

the
is

Mohammedan
represented in

condeit

But Paradise

scriptions so material, even coarse, that

is

hard to see

how disembodied
in

spirits

can find

much

satisfaction therein.

It will

be seen that
is

the

summary presented

above there
fatalism

little
is

or no suggestion of that

which

usually supposed to be the


It

" central tenet of Islam."

seems to be true
is

that the practical result of Islamic doctrine

a fatalistic

tendency throughout
is

Mohammed-

anism.

All that happens

ordered by God.

On
to

the other hand, the very fact that the act


is

of prayer

so largely emphasised

would seem

modify or contradict such

fatalism.

We
;

may
that

assert " the absolute fallacy of the notion

fatalism

is

a doctrine of the
'

Koran
"

it

teaches a very contrary doctrine."


1

Moham-

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 289.

Islam
med
.
. .

25
call
is

was not what we should

fatalist."

'

"

Mohammed's whole system


on hope and
fear."
;

one

of faith, built

Theoretically,
in

Islam

may

not be

fatalistic

but practically,

large measure,

it is.

" As the system became more complex and dogmatic,

men

lost the

sense of the nearness of God.

He became
Ruler.

an unapproachable being.

harsh,

unfeeling Fate took the place of the Omnipotent


It is this

dark fatalism which, whatever


is
3

the quran

may
all

teach on the subject,

the ruling

principle in

Muslim communities."

It is

a misconception on the part of


is

many

that Islam
ianity.

in

complete opposition to Christ-

On

the contrary, as can readily be seen

from what has been here presented, there are

many
far as

hopeful points of contact.


doctrine
is

Indeed, so

concerned, the one central


is

point of opposition
of

in a definition of

the unity

God which

excludes the Christian doctrine


Closely connected
F.

of the Trinity.
1

with this

The Bible and Islam, Dr. Henry

Smith (Scribners,

1897), 140, 155.


2

Deutsch, quoted by Blyden, Christianity, Islam,


289.

and

the

Negro Race,
3

Sell,

Faith of Islam, 240.

26
" heresy "

Islam in Africa
are the doctrines of the authority

of

Mohammed

and
it

the

inspiration

of

the

Koran.

But, had

not been that


of

Mohammed
the

evidently got a

wrong idea

the Christian

doctrine concerning Christ, derived from

gross doctrinal statements of a corrupt form of


Christianity,
it is

hard to say what there might


of
identification

not have been

between the

reform which he headed and the religion which


Jesus Christ had established before him.
Dr.

Dollinger says, " Islam must be considered at

bottom a Christian heresy."


But
in

thus presenting certain essential facts

and features of the doctrines of Mohammedanism,


11

we would not be understood


"

as taking that

rose-coloured " view of Islam that

some

recent
in

writers have presented.


little

Canon Taylor,

volume entitled Leaves from an EgypNote Book, has drawn a picture of Islam which Omar and Othman would hardly have
tian

recognised."

Mr.

R.

Bosworth Smith has

written a volume with the evident intent of


1

Encyclopedia of Missions, ii., 113. Oriental Religions and Christianity,

F.

F.

Ellinwood,

D.D., 212.

Islam
showing that Mohammedanism
as
it

27
is

not so black
it is

has been painted


Fairness to

indeed, that

almost
re-

white.

Mr. Smith, however,

quires us to state that,

when he found what


Taylor of the

misuse was made by Canon

favourable presentation of Islam in MoJiammed and Mohammedanism, he saw and acted upon
the need of giving due emphasis to the other
side
of

the

question,

thus to some degree


of
1

counteracting
sentation

the

effect

the

partial

preis,

made

in his

book.

Dr. Blyden

at

times, strongly inclined to eulogy in describing

Islam.

But however one may think concerning

the authoritative doctrinal statements


the Sheik-ul-Islam,
it is

made by
in

certainly true that there

are essential evils, sanctioned

by the Koran,

Mohammedan

law

polygamy, easy divorce,


2

concubinage, slavery, the death penalty to the

renegade from the


glorify Islam

faith.

Whoever would
for certain social
like

must apologise
system

evils inherent in the

slow poison,

paralysing the whole body.


1

Oriental Religions

and

Christianity,

F.

F.

Ellinwood,

D.D., 217. 2 The Missionary Review of the World,

i.,

7S4, 785.

28

Islam in Africa
to say con-

Thus much we have been obliged


to understand

cerning Islam as a system of doctrine

in

order

what

it is

that has made, and

now

characterises, Islam as the

body

of disciples,

particularly as existing in that part of the world

on which our attention must be concentrated.

For

this

form of

religion, originating at

Mecca,

has extended westwardly across Africa to the


Atlantic,

and easterly to Northwestern China,


all

embracing men of

the

known

races

and
com-

embracing them not as individuals but


munities,

as "

whole
and
It is
'

nations and tribes,


life

weaving

itself into their

national

and giving colour to

their political

social as well as ecclesiastical

existence."

estimated that there are over

two hundred million adherents. 2


temporary and

Throughout

the twelve hundred years since the Hejira, in


spite of
local relapses,

Mohamcentury

medanism has been making, on the whole, constant

and

startling advance.

The

first

and a quarter

after the death of

Mohammed
Natu-

was a period of unexampled conquest.


rally there
1

came

divisions, sects, retrogression

Blyden, Christianity, Islam,


Encyclopedia of Missions,

and the A Tegro Race,


12 1.

283.

ii.,

Islam
at points.

29

But again and again has Mohammedan enthusiasm broken forth, for a while irresistibly. The great truth contained in its doctrine of God has had vital power sufficient
to sustain the

whole system,
;

in spite of its evils,

throughout the centuries

and

this

has sent

it

triumphantly, even in our

own
in

century, over

broad reaches of territory and

new
is

conquest.

So

startling has

been

this career of progress

that

some have

asserted that Islam

a messen-

ger of God, sent to prepare the


face.

way
;

before His

We

do not dare to say that


it.

but

we do

not dare wholly to deny

^M&^ r^:
;

M&*
:'

'Jjjgvw*

^Wm

CHAPTER
THE CONTINENT AND

III

ITS

EXPLORATION

VICTOR HUGO
eyes "
;

says,

"In the twentieth


all

century Africa will be the cynosure of

it

is

well worth our attention before

that time.

The
of the

continent

is

nearly four times the size


;

United States
its

its

length

is

over four

thousand miles,
sand miles,
its

extreme width four thou1

area 11,864,600 square miles.

Its general configuration

has been compared


a

to

an

"inverted

dish";

rim of lowland
in

around the edge, an elevated plateau


centre.

the

slight depression in this tableland

makes possible the four great


tral region.

lakes of the cen-

Also, four great rivers force their


centre to the rim

way from the


1

the Nile, the


The
nar-

Niger, the Congo, and the Zambesi.


The Independent,
30
L, 568.

The Continent Explored


row edge
fatal to

of coast-line

is,

except possibly along


malarial
belt, terribly

the northern

shore,

human

beings whose constitutions can-

not stand the attack.

But

in

general the

in-

terior regions are healthful.

Africa has been


this
is

called

"the White Man's Grave"; but

not so

much

the fault of Africa as the white

man's ignorance.

Enlarging experience seems

to prove that with proper care the

European

may

live

almost anywhere

in Africa as health-

fully as in

any region

of similar latitude. "

The
fair

climate of the
"

Congo

has been unduly vilified."

Traders

on the
"

coast
is

have generally

health."

There

no reason

why Congo

should be

considered

more unhealthy than

India generally."

missionary, writing from


1

the region of Victoria,


"

ject to fevers

found the natives themselves to be quite as suband other ills as white men in the same locality. Most severe illnesses in the case of white men in Africa arise from their own imprudence or want of knowledge. Where white men exercise care and prudence, they have been able to live in fair health for a long period of years, even

where there has been a high mortality among the


1

Church at

Home and

Abroad,

vii.

536.

32

Islam in Africa
Our knowledge
and malaria,
. . .

blacks in the same region.


constantly increasing

of the
is

conditions injurious to health in tropical Africa

chill,

is

the

The Anglomain cause of African fever. Saxon will outlive his black companions even in
the heart of Africa."
'

Evidently

life

for the

white

man

in

Africa

is

not so unhealthy as has been supposed.


Africa
is

a continent of desert and forest.


in

Vast regions

the northern part,

some

large

districts farther

south and

in

the eastern part

of the continent, are desolate.


is all

But

irrigation

that

is

needed to make the desert blossom

as a rose.
of

The numerous
canal,

oases in the desert

Sahara seem to prove

this.

The

proposition

to

open a

through which the waters of


Mediterranean
shall

the Atlantic or the

be

brought into the Saharan Desert, opens fancies


fascinating as a fairy tale,

and as

unreal.

In startling contrast with the desert regions


of Africa are the vast expanses of forest, seem-

ingly tractless and impenetrable, which cover

a large part of Central Africa.


ceedingly,
rich
1

The

flora is ex-

we may

say in places excessively,

and varied

so

much

so as to render the

Confirmed strikingly by A. R. Wallace and W. F. Black-

mail in The Independent, LI., 667.

The Continent Explored


a sealed letter from

33

larger part of the continent, until of late years,

God

in nature.
is

The

land of Ethiopia

frequently referred

to in the Bible

though

the designation

may

be used somewhat vaguely.

Evidently the

region south and perhaps southwest of


is

Egypt

meant.

It

has been claimed that the old

Egyptians were closely related to the Nigri-

cans

and indeed much of the sculpturing and

picturing of old Egyptian civilisation would

seem
large

to indicate this.

If this

be

true,

it

brings

numbers

of Central Africans,

now despised

and down-trodden,
prominence.
current

into a grandeur of historical

Vague ideas seem to have been among the Greeks and Romans con-

cerning Central Africa


of

rumours of great lakes,


the

the

Mountains of

Moon,
in

of

dwarfs.

These hints have been proved


strangely accurate
;

our later days

but mixed with them were

wild fancies of the imagination, poets' dreams.


It
is

evident

that early
of

Greek and
centre
of

Roman
Africa

writers

knew more

the

than did European scholars of comparatively few years ago.

Modern exploration may be


3

said to

have be-


34

Islam

in Africa
in

gun with Mr. James Bruce, who

1768 departed
in

from Cairo on a journey to Abyssinia,


to discover the source of the Nile.

order

After him

venturesome men

in

a glorious succession have

kept up the quest down to our own times. But


the real opening of the centre of the continent

has been only within the


thirty years.
" All this aims to build

last

twenty-five or

up a great
it

civilisation

which, white

if

it

is

successful, while

will

make

the

man

the leader of the black

man

for the next

one hundred years, will do that other and grand thing spoken of by Victor Hugo when he said
1

that in the nineteenth century the white

man

has

made
tieth

man
"

out of the black,

and
a

in the

twen-

century Europe will

make

world out of

Africa.'

The
than

cost of such exploration, in

life

rather

in treasure,

has been incalculable.

Take

for illustration " that


ley's

awful itinerary " of Stan-

journey to the Albert Nyanza


a

"through

through the

than France, and forest larger matted undergrowths of which the starved and dwindling column crept at the rate of That awful itinerary, filled three miles a day.
with fever, fightings, and hideous sufferings, con-

The Continent Explored


tinued for more than

35

five months before the one hundred and more thin skeletons emerged into the plain regions, and with food and plenty about them began to take heart and hope."
1

But the large advance that has been made


well indicated
his

is

by the simple statement that


1876,

in

journey of
in first

days

Mr. Stanley took 991 crossing Africa but in 1888 he


;

could go from Glasgow to Stanley Falls, nearly


half

across Africa and


in

all

the

distance from
days.
2

Glasgow
Railroad

addition,

in

forty-three

facilities

are

being already started

a telegraph line through the heart of Africa

is

planned and begun, and we have, now and


then, in the columns of our daily papers, hints
of commercial advantage in Africa,

and sugges-

tions of white colonisation therein,

which

evi-

dence clearly the


is

fact that the centre of Africa

becoming

of absorbing interest to the over,


in

crowded masses
America.

the centres of Europe and of

English, German, and French states-

men and

engineers are busily engaged in trying


of influence,
125.

boundary lines and defining spheres


1

The Missionary Review of the World,


Ibid.,
i.,

iii.,

469.

36

Islam
are being

in Africa
that

Maps

made

show

clearly even

the miniitice of geographical features.

The material improvements which have been made in the last two decades have been exceedingly rapid.
attention
is

Facts to which

particular

called are

The completion
with the sea.

of the

great

and

difficult

railroad enterprise connecting the

upper Congo

Railroad

traffic

is

now

in full

operation there, while above Stanley Pool there


are

no

less

than forty-five steamers, mostly


fifty

small,

though one of two hundred and

tons

is

now

in

process of transportation.
is

French railroad
designed
to

in

progress
its

from the
navigable

Senegal,

connect

waters with

those of the upper Niger, also

with Timbuctu and Western Soudan.

A
in

railroad

under Portuguese auspices from


is

Loango

to

what

known

as the

Hinterland

Angola.

An

East-Coast line under English auspices


is

from Mombasa to the lakes

in

progress

one

hundred and
covered
;

fifty

miles

have already been

five

hundred more are on the way to

completion.

The Continent Explored

37

A
with

South African

railroad

from the Cape to

Kimberley and on

to Buluvvayo,

now completed

many

branches, and destined to connect

with Lake Nyassa and thence by the east line


of the

Congo Free State with the


which
will

railroad sys-

tem

of the Nile,

soon reach Khar-

toum.
Railroads

extending southward

in

Algiers

and Tunis.

A
graph
but

road

in

German East Africa extending


Tele-

toward Tanganyika from Dhar-es-Salam.


lines not

only accompany these railroads,


1

in

many

cases precede them.

Evidently, as this year (1899) opens, Africa

has already become unsealed.


1

See Assembly Herald, January, 1899.

iL/c

CHAPTER

IV

THE NATIVE RACES

THE

ethnography

of

Africa

is

difficult.

There are many


tween man and

different

races

to

be

taken into consideration.

The

differences be-

man

in

Africa

are
in

almost,

or quite, as great as between

man

America

and man

in

China.

One
Africa

reason for the great

confusion in the European mind

concerning

men

and matters

in

lies in

the fact that


recognised.
article in

these racial distinctions


Dr. Blyden in

are

not

commenting upon an
]

the Westminster Review


writer on this ground
"
:

severely criticises the

the very lowest tribes

The Westminster Reviewer chooses to select upon which to make his un. .

favourable comments, and from which to infer the Such is the character of the whole race.
.

Westminster Review, April, 1877.


33

The Native Races


teur philanthropist

39

indictment against a whole race drawn by an amapeople


his

who only saw portions of the one corner of the continent where, by own account, they are so harassed by the slavein
is

traders that progress

impossible.

...

So the

Reviewer, continuing, makes a disparaging inference as to the character and capacity of all Africans from the want of success that has attended
the efforts of the so-called negro communities in

who under the government of the Europeans show no marked ability or who, as in the case of Hayti and Liberia, have set up for
Christian lands,
;

themselves,

as

alleged, ill-contrived, unstable, or


. . .

These negroes, do not represent even the average intellectual or moral qualities of the African at home."
unsuitable governments.
as far as they are purely Africans,
1

A
to

proper understanding of at least the fact


is

of such racial distinctions

necessary

in

order

comprehend, not simply the question con-

cerning

Mohammedanism
Muller
2

in Africa,

but as well
Prof.

the whole problem of the continent.


F.

Max

presents Waitz's classification,


in

which seems to be

general the division of the

races accepted now.


tion,
1

One important
made,
,

modifica-

however,

is

to be

in that

the Nubian

Blyden, Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race, 308, 312. The Origin and Growth of Religion, 66,


4o

Islam

in Africa

and the Fulah

races, separated

by Waitz, are

united into one group by later ethnologists.

This general division seems to have been elaborated

by

Messrs.

Cust

and

Ravenstein

founded upon linguistic indications

and

has
of
:

been indicated
Africa.
I.
1

in a

language and
this

racial

map

According to

scheme we have
in three

The Hamitic
Ethiopic.

races

groups:
(b)

(a)

Egyptian
(c)

including

the

Copts,

Berber,

Of these three
the ones with

subdivisions, the Berbers are

whom we

have chiefly to deal


in Africa
is
;

in

studying

Mohammedanism Mohammedanism of Egypt

for the

distinctly

Turk-

ish or

Arabian, rather than African.

Although
di-

the Berbers have been largely tinctured by


rect contact with

modern Turkish Mohammed-

anism, yet they are as a race so distinctly and


so sufficiently African as to help us to under-

stand what

Mohammedanism in Africa The present home of the Berber


The
race
is

is.

race

is

chiefly in the

Barbary States, along the north-

ern coast of Africa.


Reproduced London, 1887.
1

now

largely
i.,

in the

Church Missionary Atlas,

Africa.

The Native Races


mixed with Arab and negro and Turkish
ments.

41
ele-

The

civilisation
is

of

Morocco, Algiers,

Tunis, and Tripoli

now

diversified

by French

and Turkish and English


to be unrecognisable in

interests so largely as

the interior, through so

many places but in much of the great


;

northern desert as
this family of

is

still

under the control of


life

the native population,


as

and

religion are

still

they have been for a long


will

time past, and as they


to come.

be for some time

The Barbary towns were long ago


ments
"

described.

Later information simply confirms earlier

state-

the
is

darkness

has

been
all

deepening.

Such

the delusion of
:

these seacoast

Barbary towns

at

a
;

distance

and without,

beauty and brilliancy


filth

but near and within,

and wretchedness."

Even the country


faithful
in

of

Morocco, looked upon by the

Mohamreverent
its

medans

as to

be held next to Arabia


so

estimation,

is

abominably governed by

Sultan and

in

many ways comes

into question
it

with the great European Powers which


1

ap-

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,

London, 1848.

42

Islam in Africa
in position, that a partition

proaches so closely
is

called for, in order that

European
civilisation

control,
of

superseding

the

so-called

the

Mohammedan, may
well as foreign.

protect interests native as

Most
is

of

the coast-line of northern Africa

in

the hands of the


;

Arab element
Berber

of the
civilisa-

population
tion,

to

find

the real

one must pass to the

interior,

into the

Desert of Sahara, and study the tribes of the


great Touarik family.

Few

travellers

have had

much
pany

to

do with

this large

and important com-

of tribes.

Yet they

rule over

many

thouis

sands of miles in that desert region which


their

home.

Mr. James Richardson, a correin

spondent of one of the London newspapers,


the years 1845, 1846,

made

a venturesome jouror quite,

ney into their country


the only one
to

being almost,

who up

to that time

had been able

penetrate that region and to return with

his story.

He
the

describes a civilisation simple,


respects
desert,

but
sons

in

many
of

admirable.

Untamed
hold
far

they

still

themas

selves in admirable

restraint,

so

the

great and

common

laws of morality are con-

The Native Races


cerned.

43

He

travelled a long time


little

among them,
of

and met with

indication
it

savagery

and sensuality, though

must be confessed

that their religious fanaticism rendered his position at times difficult.

He

points out, however,

indications of a decided retrogression in

the

material
"

prosperity of

that

region.

Thus
rich

Formerly Fezzan was exceedingly

and

populous, but

now

it

has become impoverished


its

to the last degree,


trict

and many of

largest dis-

populations are reduced to the starvation

point."

Throughout, many hints are given of

oases being encroached


of the

upon by the

desert,

inhabitants being

under the greatest


in

stress for support, of

apparent decrease
"

both

population and prosperity.


has reduced so

The process which many once populous cities and


and
left

villages to deserts,

large portions of

the Barbary States with only the mouldering


ruins
of their
'

former greatness, has been a


It

gradual one."

may be

that the recent ad-

vance of European interests throughout North


Africa has of late stimulated
1

somewhat the
F.

civ-

Oriental Religions

and

Christianity, F.

Ellinwood,

D.D., 201.

44

Islam in Africa
But we have gained
Berber

ilisation of this region.

this fact of importance, viz., that in the

element of the
Africa

Mohammedan

population of

we have

a race strong, capable, compar-

atively elevated, tenacious,


II.
is

and important.
This

Turn now

to the Semitic element.

composed

largely of the

Arabs

called Moors
continent.

along

the northern edge of the

Apart from the Berbers, and excepting a large


protuberance of the purely negro
population

north of Lake Tchad, the whole of


Africa from fifteen degrees latitude
to be populated

North

may be said
Throughout

by the Arab

race.

the desert region, particularly the western part


of Sahara

and the region immediately west

of

the river Nile, they are supreme. In the interior


of Equatorial Africa, from fifteen degrees
lati-

tude south to

fifteen

degrees north, there are

Arab

stations and settlements,

" sparsely scattheir

tered, inhabited
retainers,

by but few Arabs with

powerful only by comparison with

the utter feebleness of native powers around,


useful as bases of operation and cities of refuge
for the slave-hunters

during their expeditions

into the interior."

The Native Races


"
tral

45

A considerable portion of
Africa their

those

who make Cen-

home

are the riff-raff of the Arabic

and largely responsible for the ill-odour in which the Arab is held in the interior. Yet whenever you come across him, whether at the coast or in the remotest deserts, you usually find in him the same courteous manner, and the same readiness to entertain strangers with his always polite, somewhat superficial, but none the less agreeable hospitality. The Englishman, who is himself troubled little by manners in his own country, will find himnation,
self

much

at a

disadvantage
Arab,

in dealing with the in

polished,

dignified

even

the

wilds of

Central Africa."

The Arabs
the
Africa.

are, largely, the

merchants and

slave-traders

of

Central

and

Northern

Thus

"

The only

trade of any imis

portance carried on with Uganda,

entirely in

the hands of the Arabs and half-breed

mer-

chants from Zanzibar."


interesting illustration

Dr. Pruen gives an


their

of

character, as

well as business

methods and

capability, in the

statement which he makes, that he had, far in


the interior, paid these Arabs for goods " with
1

The Arab and the African, S. T. Pruen, 254. Uganda and the Egyptian Soudan, Messrs. Wilson and
i.,

Felkin,

189.

46

Islam in Africa

an English cheque which they at once accepted


at the value

which

told

them

it

represented "

'

seems to have studied accurately these men, as he thus describes them a


:

He

" Perhaps, to a popularly opposite view of the case, I must protest against the right of the Arabs
as such to
tion.

be

in

any way entitled a religious na-

Had

the

Mohammedan scheme been


;

en-

had not Persian, Mongol, Turkish, nay, at times European influences and races come to its aid, few would have been ere this the readers of the Koran, and the fasters of Ramadan. A strong love and a high appreciation of national and personal liberty, a hatred of minute interference and special regula-

trusted to

Arab keeping alone

...

long as it is decently well exercised, joined with a remarkable freedom from anything like caste-feeling in what

tions, a great respect for authority so

concerns
practical

ruling

families
sense,

and

dynasties,

much

good

much

love of commercial

enterprise, a great readiness to undertake long journeys and voluntary expatriation by land and sea in search of gain and power, patience to endure,
in the employment of means to ends, courage in war, vigour in peace, and, lastly, the marked predominance of a superior race over

and perseverance

whomever they came


1

in contact

with

among

their

The Arab and


Ibid., 261, 262.

the African, S. T. Pruen, 256.

The Native Races


by these
last as a
.

47

Asiatic or African neighbours, a superiority admitted

matter of course and an acknow.

leged right.

The Arab completely

released

from the curse of Islam, which does more harm by standing in the way of his development than by actually corrupting him, would be a really fine character and he is so thoroughly fitted, physi;

cally, intellectually,

and
if

socially,

for

work

in the

interior of Africa, that


to

he could but be brought


Christ, the
difficult

the saving

knowledge of

question of the evangelisation of the Dark Continent would practically be solved."

But

let

us not idealise too largely the Arabs

of Africa

the slavers, the robbers, the desolathave next the Nuba-Fulah group
race, aboriginal in the
1

ors of a continent.
III.

We

evidently an ancient
lower basin of the Nile.

Light brown in
;

col-

our

a powerful, superior race

quite distinct

from the Egyptian on the one side and the negro on the other. Some of their tribes, as
the Massai, are considered of the most savage

peoples

in

East Africa.

The Nyamnyam The


ii.,

tribe

belongs to this family


furth in his
1

as described by Schweingreat
186.

Heart of Africa.

Hausa

Encyclopedia of Missions,


48
tribe
is
:

Islam

in Africa
its

of this class, with

advanced

civilisa-

tion

" fast-walled cities of fifty, eighty, and even one hundred thousand inhabitants caravans are always streaming out to the south to raid for slaves, and to the North African states across the Sahara to sell. Weavers, dyers, and shoemakers work hard in the streets of these great cities, manufacturing ample clothing that the people wear, and exhibit this remarkable spectacle of African

civilisation."

'

They

are largely or entirely

at least in

name

Mohammedans " they dominate as Moham;

medan foreign conquerors they cultivate Mohammedan learning with much enthusiasm they
;

are
this

numerous and powerful."


a race

We

have

in

markedly superior and capable,

particularly in

Western and Central Soudan.


is

IV.

The Negro. This

the race from which,

largely, the general idea of African population

has been derived.

For from

this race

have the

slaves principally been taken.

Their

home

is

along the West Coast for fifteen degrees north


of the equator.
1

This

is

the race that bears the


vii.,

The Church at Home and Abroad,


Encyclopedia ofMissions,
ii.,

507.

186.

The Native Races


characteristics, physical, mental,

49

and moral, that


It

distinguish so emphatically the black man.

has been supposed that

all

Africa

is

inhabited

by

this race

hence the Africans throughout


in

were judged

accordance with the former

slave population of America,

the
heel,

projecting

jaw, small brain cavity,


lips,

flat

nose, protruding

thick skull,
skin,

projecting

black and

odorous

short and woolly hair.

Some-

what

inferior in

mental development
;

naturally
;

gentle, sunny,

and childlike

easily influenced

indolent,

improvident,

contented.
in

There

is

some

little

development

the arts of

life

Mungo Park
city of thirty

describes the capital, Bambasi, a

thousand people with two-story


this

houses

though

may have been


negro
is

partly

Mohammedan

rather than

civilisation.

Evidently the country

thickly settled, dotted

over with numerous towns inhabited by varying numbers up to 150,000 souls.


1

We
if

have

enough to indicate an interesting


vanced
race.

not ad-

V. The Bantu or Zulu or Kafir


is

race.

This

the family of tribes concerning which most


1

The Independent,

xlv., 504.


50

Islam
in

in Africa

has been written


travellers.

the works of the later African


as
is

Originally,

supposed,

they

came from Western Asia. more than


fifty

There are probably


This race

millions of this race in Africa

a quarter of the whole population.

has developed

a wonderful

language, giving
in

thereby indication of large possibility


of civilisation.

the line

In person they are finer-looking

than the negro, and are separated from the


latter
in

that

they speak a totally different


descriptions given of

language.

The

them by

travellers are full of surprise

and

interest.

Thus
of the

the social order shown

in

Uganda, one
is

northernmost of the Bantu kingdoms,


startling; evidently the

almost

Bantus are capable of a


Colenso, and

high civilisation.

Livingstone,

Wilberforce thought them

" the counterpart of


in

our civilisation."

'

Mr. Mackay, missionary


fact that

Uganda, bore witness to the


his scholars

some

of

seemed quite

to

comprehend the

argument
chapters

in

the seventh, eighth, and ninth

intellectual ability

Romans which would indicate above that of many of our own fellow countrymen. The race is decidedly
of
1

The Church

at

Home and Abroad,

xii.,

404.

The Native Races


musical.
1

The beautiful

faithfulness with

which

the Bantu servants of Livingstone carried and


cared for the dead body of their master until

they had brought

it

to the sea

is

one of the

most touching
ture.

stories of the kind in all litera-

The good
of grace

qualities of the

Congo
;

tribes
is

are testified to
vitality

by many

travellers

there

and power about the Bantu


his place
2

that will

make him take

some day
Mr. Arnot
"

among

the nations of the earth.

travelled through the

Bantu country

without

bodyguard or arms, without companions white


or black."
their joy
"

Repeatedly the natives expressed


satisfaction at

way I had treated them by coming amongst them with To Henry M. Stanley, the 'open hands.'"
and
the
3

Wahuma
banquet

race brought

up thoughts

of " those

blameless people with

whom

the gods deign to


of

once a
4

year

upon the heights

Ethiopia."

Professor

Drummond's

repetition

of the usual traveller's estimate of the


1

depraved

Story of Uganda, by S. G. Stock,

i.,

149

The Arab and


132.

the African, S. T. Pruen, 99-105.


2

3 4

The Missionary Review of the World, ii., The Church at Home and Abroad, vi., 65. The Missionary Review of the World, iv.

294.

52
Zanzibaris
is

Islam

in Africa

contradicted by Dr. Pruen

who

says that they

are " as a rule surprisingly honest,


'

kind-hearted, and faithful."


surprising in
that, of all

This

is

the more

African tribes, the

Bantus

of Zanzibar

have been perhaps under the

worst influences.

Testimony almost without


state-

end might be adduced to support the

ment

that in this great

Bantu family we have a

magnificent race of men, with grand possibilities


for future civilisation.

VI. The sixth

class of

inhabitants

is

the

Hottentot family

the
It
little

lowest in the scale of


includes as well the

humanity

in Africa.

pygmy

tribes lately discovered.

As Moham-

medanism has had


family of

or no contact with this

men

it

is

not necessary, for our pur-

pose now, to describe them.


of the island of

The

inhabitants

Madagascar are of

still

another

and

distinct race

being

allied to

the Malay
line

family.

They

also

do not come into our

of thought at this time.

In general, and concerning


races thus suggested,
it is

all

the different

evident that

Moham-

medanism
1

in

Africa has to deal with races of


the African, S. T. Pruen, 98.

The Arab and

The Native Races


men
tion.
felt

53

capable of much.
is

The

wild and impossi-

ble African

largely a creature of the imagina-

The contempt

that the white races have


is

toward the black races

hardly justified,

so far at least as
are concerned.
of the negro
is

many of Some one

these African tribes

has said,

"The

fate
it

the romance of our age";


far.

has been, rather, a tragedy thus

Before
progress

European

civilisation

can

make much

with the African this fundamental fact must be


realised

that

we have men,
to deal.
this fact

capable races of
is

men, with

whom

It

because the
largely than
ef-

Arab has recognised


fective, for

more

the European, that he has

made

himself so

bad or good, throughout the


man.

conti-

nent.

The white man must


of the black
;

recognise the manIntellectually he


is is

hood

capable

there

is
1

no truth which the negro

unable to grasp.

Livingstone's profound ob-

servation concerning

them was
There
is

that " goodness

impresses them."

not a tribe on the

continent of Africa that does not stretch out


its

hands to the great Creator, that does not


The Missionary Review of
Garenganze, Arnot, 266.
the World,
i.,

93.

54
recognise the

Islam in Africa
Supreme Being."
'

Fetichism,
lifelong

witchcraft, reign
fear
;

supreme and drag into


all
is

but behind and above

a vague

theism.

The negro
;

is

far different
is

from the
in-

Caucasian
ferior
is

but that he

not essentially
to learn.

a thought that

we need
all

In-

tertribal

war has destroyed

possibility of
;

accumulation and consequent civilisation


innate instability of character has, to
gree,
2
;

an
de-

some

been developed

stupidity, according to
3
;

Western
an

many of the tribes extraordinary indifference to the future may


ideas, characterises
4
;

be noted

fear of

hunger and

fear of punish-

ment
1

are the

two great motives that


is

control.

But the African


2 3
A

man.

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 132. The Arab and the African, S. T. Pruen, 309.
Ibid., 276.
Ibid., 265

Blyden, Christianity, Is/am, and the


the African, S. T. Pruen, 242.

A Tegro

Rare, 308.
5

The Arab and

CHAPTER V
THE MOHAMMEDAN CONQUEST OF AFRICA

WITHIN one hundred years after the


of

flight

Mohammed

from Mecca, the Hejira,

the empire of his successors extended from India to the Atlantic Ocean, over " the various and
distant provinces

which may be known under

the names of Persia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, and


Spain.
1

Startling advance

taking everything

into consideration, incomparable in the history


of the race.

Of these magnificent conquests but

one comes into our consideration now


with peculiar interest and affection.
time,
in

Africa.
At one
Africa

We are told that Mohammed regarded Africa


when
his followers

were sorely persecuted


an asylum
in

Arabia, he devised
lieth a

"

Yonder

country wherein no
of

man

is

wronged

a
1

land

righteousness.
vi.,

Depart

Gibbon,

Roman Empire,
55

28*


56

Islam
and remain

in Africa
pleaseth the
'

thither,

until

it

Lord

to

open your way before you."

Events took

such a turn that the prophet was enabled to

make for his followers a home and throne in his own land but into the region of the " Ethi;

opians " his followers later


conquerors.

made

entrance as

Far beyond the imagination of


itself

the prophet, Africa has proved

a fruitful

home
the

for Islam.

It is

necessary for us to remind ourselves of the times

condition of North Africa in

immediately preceding the advent of Islam.


Christianity ruled in the land, but " wofully

weakened
schisms."
2

and

rent

by

wild

heresies

and

Mighty

fathers of the

Church had

found a home, had done work, throughout that


region

Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Augustine,


It
is

and many others.


four or
five

said that there

were

hundred bishops

which

means,

of course,
in

thousands of churches and priests


at that time.
3

North Africa
1

But the early

purity of the Christian faith had been, during


Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 266.
Oriental Religions
,

and

Christianity,

F.

F.

Ellinwood,

D.D
3

201.
i.,

Report of Missionary Conference, London, 18S8,

29.


Conquest of Africa
those six centuries, largely lost through

57
strife

and

division.

Heresy and ambition had greatly

weakened the Church.

The decadence
civil

of

Ro-

man

ecclesiastical
;

and

authority was sadly


or no solidarity in

evident

there was

little

the communities of North Africa.


structure there

The

social

was

like the card

houses which

children build,

when
fell.

Islam touched Egypt,


It is

the whole edifice

claimed by a some-

what enthusiastic admirer


planted in North Africa
inferior to

of

Mohammedanism
it

"that the form of Christianity which


. . .

sup-

was
'

infinitely

Mohammedanism

itself."

But unhard to

less Islam has terribly degenerated,

it is

see

how any

mediaeval form of Christianity,


" inferior "

however debased, could have been

to the unspeakable degradation of things social,

commercial, and religious in those lands

now
enthu-

except so far as European influence of late has


modified matters.
siasm of
against,

With the
faith,

irresistible

new-born

Islam

advanced

and

over, a divided

and helpless comleft

munity,

largely

Christian

and
,

behind

something worse, not better.


1

Mohammed and Mohammedanism

Bosworth Smith, 228.

58

Islam

in Africa

The
was

progress of Islam over Northern Africa

like that of a blazing prairie fire

rapid,

scorching,

desolating.

And

yet

Christianity

struggled desperately.
teen

We

are told that four-

times

it

was driven by the sword into


it

apostasy, and fourteen times

returned to

its

ancient faith.

In spite of the banishment to

the deserts of Arabia of multitudes of men of


all

ranks, in spite of solicitations, seductions


>

caresses, the Catholic


fast at its post at

Church remained steadin

Carthage and

Tunis proper

for

more than

six centuries after the Mussul1

man's conquest.

For sixty years North Africa

wrestled with the


Christians and opposition.

Mohammedan
pagan

warriors.

The
in

the

Moors

united

But,

though they could hinder,

they could not stop the victorious advance of

Abdallah and Zobeir, but particularly of Akbah,


justly called the "

Conqueror of Africa." Under

these leaders, especially the last, the deserts of

North Africa were traversed almost


on every

as

if civil-

isation and abundance welcomed the conquer-

ors
1

side.

They penetrated

to

the

in Christianity, Islam,

Quoted by Dr. Blyden, from a Bull of Tope Leo XIII., and the Negro Race, 353.

Conquest of Africa
Atlantic coast.

59

Akbah spurred

his horse into

the waves and, raising his eyes to heaven, ex-

claimed with the cry of a true fanatic

" Great
this sea,

God
I

if

my course were not stopped


still

by

would

go on to the unknown kingdom of

the West,

preaching the unity of

Thy

holy

name, and putting to the sword the rebellious


nations

who worship any


'

other gods

than

Thee."

Gradually the Christian population


;

was overwhelmed
bers,

slowly the Moors, or Ber-

were converted to the

Mohammedan
that had

faith

and

allegiance.

The Arabs

come from

Asia through Egypt into the northern desert

were gradually merged with the Berber race


that

was closely akin

the remnants of other


;

races there present were slowly absorbed


all

until

coalesced under the banner of Islam, unit-

edly turning their faces towards Mecca. In the early days of that
there
arose
a
fierce

struggle

negro statesman and warrior,

Soni

Heli
;

Ischia,

who

created a vast negro

empire

in opposition to the

Moors,

who sought
from
into

to extend the political

supremacy

of Islam

the north, even in those early days,


1

down

Gibbon,

Roman Empire,

vi.,

348.

60

Islam in Africa
This

the region south of the Saharan desert.

negro patriot

is

said to

have obtained control

from Timbuctoo westward to the Atlantic and


eastward to Abyssinia, a line of about three

thousand miles
historic,
it

in length.

If

what

is

stated be

gives us an instructive hint of the

Central African in those days, and of possibilities in


It

the future.
possible,

would be needless, whether or not


Gradually

to follow the progress of that early conquest,

step by step.

tained control of the

Mohammedanism various tribes. On


in conversion,

ob-

the

whole a steady progress


in civilisation,

but not
the

has been
its

made throughout

centuries, reaching
of the
"

climax

in the awful rule

Mahdi, and

his successor the Khalifa.

into an almost indescribable state


religious decadence.

This vast expanse of country has now fallen of moral and

In the Sudan, we have beexample of a nascent and somewhat crude civilisation suddenly shattered by wild, ignorant, and almost savage tribes who have built over the scattered remnants a form of government based, to some extent, on the lines they found existing, but from which they have eradicated almost
fore us a terrible
1

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 141.


Conquest of Africa
61

every symbol of right, justice and morality, and

which they have substituted a rule of injustice, barbarity, and immorality. Nor can I recall any other instance in modern times of a country in which a semblance of civilisation has existed for upwards of half a century, falling back into a state so little removed from absolute barfor

ruthless

barism."

'

With continued

fanaticism there has been a

gradual advance through the north of Africa of


that process of desolation which has brought

a once flourishing region into desert-like isolation, into

poverty and degradation.


in

Mohamby

medanism
in his

North Africa

is

well indicated

the desert mosques which Mr. Richardson found


travels

through the Saharan desert


in small stones, of

simply an outline,
plan
of

the ground-

Mohammedan
2

temples.

Here the
stopped and

devout passers-by
prayed."

" occasionally

Unbuilt, uncovered, unsurrounded

by habitation

the

spirit

of

prayer

therein

offered, the heat of fanaticism therein


is

shown,

only equalled by the utter desolation of the

prayer-place under the heat of the Saharan sun.


1

Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 622.


Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,
ii.,

London, 1848,

269.

62

Islam

in Africa

For centuries the countries along the northern shore of Africa have been under the control
of

Mohammedanism, and we have hinted

at

the desolating effects.

Gradually progress has

been made southward through the desert and


into

North-Central Africa.

But only

lately

has

Mohammedanism been
its

carried with con-

quering power into Central Africa.

In our

own days
slavers,

merchant missionaries, largely

have been pacing pathways throughout

Central and even into South-Central Africa as


far

south as fifteen degrees below the equator.


story of this recent

The
is

Mohammedan advance
little

wonderful, the conquest of a


this

world

within

century

Few

realise

what the

progress has been.


It is in

comparatively recent times that the

Arabs took possession of the eastern coast around Zanzibar, and of the interior from there.

They

sailed from Arabia and threw themselves upon the eastern African coast, dispossessing

the inert Portuguese

who had

held these regions

with more or

less of control since


in

the time of

Vasco Da

Gama

the early part of the six-

teenth century.

Persistently, rapidly,

Moham-

Conquest of Africa
medan agents made
lyting

63

progress throughout the


prose-

interior, establishing small settlements,

among
and

the

natives,

obtaining political

control,

terrorising

throughout.

Their

scorching presence has been manifested as far

south as Mozambique and throughout the Lake

Nyassa region.

Through the

past few decades


little

they have been wandering, with but


rance,

hind-

from the extreme north thus

far

through

the south
west.
ligion

and

from the east through to the


business and
re-

With them, markedly,


have been
identified.

Mr. Richardson

in

his travels

through

the Great Desert, found

that

the merchants of
in

Ghadames
ten,

" often refifteen

main

Soudan

five,

even

and

twenty years, leaving their families here whilst


they accumulate a fortune
lations.
in

commercial specuin
2

Sometimes they marry other wives


form
another
a something characteristic of
in

Soudan and
There
is

establishment."

medanism

the desire

for
;

wife

Mohamand home

which these Arabs develop

marrying the one,

and creating the


1

other,

wherever they go for a

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,


i.,

London, 1848,

98.

64
while.

Islam
Again he

in Africa
1

testifies,

"

see in

them the

mixture of a religious and commercial character blended


gree."
in a

most extraordinary manner and de-

Slaves are their chief business concern,


the unspeakable horrors of the
traffic.

with

all

Arab

traders are

among

the chief importers of

the intoxicating spirits


Africa.
3

which are degrading


;

Ivory and the slave-trade go together

the slaves are purchased or captured to carry the


ivory from the inland to the coast
;

and both
Shrewd,

are sold on arriving at the destination.


selfish,

successful traders are these Arabs, blight-

ing a continent to gratify their greed.

But what
is

interests us particularly at this time

the

way

in

which Mohammedanism has been,

by these means, advanced throughout the northern and central regions of the continent.
Its

progress

is

in general

due either to force or


is

fraud, or both.

This

the method.

Let us
;

suppose a region of one hundred large villages


forty of
lested
1 ;

them become Moslem, and

are

unmo-

sixty are raided, captured, or destroyed.

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,


the World,

London, 1S48, i., 383. 2 The Missionary Review of


3

i.,

99.

Ibid., i.,865.

Conquest of Africa
That region
is

65
converted.

now

reported

as

Long

after,

because of the memories of the

natives that survive, the

Arab master
will
is

will
in

be

obeyed, and the Arab religion


observed
thereby.
" friend,"

be

form

so
if

far

as

immunity

promised

The story

of

Tippu Tib, Mr. Stanley's

such he can be called, well illustrates

the conquest of Central Africa by anism.

He had
raid
of ivory

been a coast

Mohammedslaver. By a
Successful

fortunate

he got possession of a large and many


slaves.

amount
guns

disposal of this booty enabled him to obtain

and

war

slaves.

He

continued a

tri-

umphant, unchecked course from the south

of

Tanganyika northwards towards what

is

now

known
slaves

as the
side,

Congo Free State

he ravaged

on every

gathering ivory and

making

by hundreds.

He learned
many

from a captive

that the king of a district not far off

had disap-

peared mysteriously

years before, and

that the people were waiting for

him

to return,

or for

some legitimate successor


Tippu Tib

to claim au-

thority.

artfully conceived the plan

of representing himself as the son

and
all

heir,

and

accordingly schooled himself in


5

the local

66

Islam

in Africa
for the deception

knowledge necessary
tended to practise.

he

in-

By

the time he reached

that region he could rehearse the long lines of

the king's ancestry, the


relatives

names

of

his living
;

and the elders of the land

and was

familiar with the events, traditions,

and customs

of

the country.

He

despatched messengers
his arrival,

into the country to


to tell the

announce

and
his

wondering people the news of


and of
his intention to

father's fate,

assume

his

father's rights.

The people accepted

the story

without

difficulty, and offered to escort

him
as

with honour to his father's land

which,

Mr.

Stanley humorously relates, Tippu Tib

courteously accepted.

On

arrival,

he told the

chiefs the story of his father's disappearance,

with a wealth of

fictitious details.

They were

thoroughly persuaded that he was no other


than their lost king's son
installed as their king.
;

and he was formally

Before

passed, the people of the

many days had region were made to


it

understand that ivory was very acceptable to


their king;

and heaps of
Finally,
of ivory,

w ere
r

daily laid

before him.
the region

when he had depleted


he sought occasion to

Conquest of Africa
embroil
tribes,

67

kingdom with the neighbouring which gave him opportunity to despatch


this

his native force for the

purpose of despoiling

the surrounding regions. Within fifteen months

he had gathered nine hundred tusks

and he

now proposed

to

his

admiring subjects that


treas-

they should muster carriers to convey his

ures to another country which he said he owned.

Thus he brought
and recognised
infinite

his ivory to the

market

and

the Arabs of the region " hailed him as genius


his superiority."

The almost
can be,
that
It is said

cruelty of the whole process

however, but faintly imagined.

he realised one hundred and


dollars

fifty

thousand
1

by the

sale of this accumulation.

In

1890 he commanded on the Upper Congo,


authority unchallenged, with an

army

of

two
2

thousand men provided with Winchester


with them as they go, and represent
native tribes.
It is

rifles.

He, and such as he, carry Mohammedanism


it

to the

hard to draw a dividing

line

between
and

the raiding of
1

Mohammedan

slave-dealers

Slavery
2

2 9 - 34-

and the Slave Trade in Africa, H. M. Stanley, The Missionary Review of the World, iii., 470.

68

Islam in Africa
Mohammedanism as a reThe former is legitioff of the latter. We may
and time have weakenthusiasm, the outreach-

the establishment of

ligion in Central Africa.

mately a shading

presume that
ened

as distance

Mohammedan
in

ing towards the south from the

Mohammedan

kingdoms
which

North-Central Africa has been


largely that purely selfish inter-

more and more


est
is

involved in the trade element of


;

their religion

and perhaps the conquest of

Zanzibar by the Arabs, and their approach into


the interior from that coast, has been almost
entirely for the purpose of trade

and with

little

thought of proselytism.

And

yet the story of

Uganda

indicates clearly that even the slave-

traders seek to advance their religion politically,

whether or not

for purely selfish purposes.

We

must, however, see clearly that there has been,


particularly in North-Central Africa, an advance
of

Mohammedanism

that

is

akin in enthusiasm

and

startling success to the early conquest of

the northern border of the continent.

Thus

" a

cordon of

Mohammedan

states "

has been cre-

ated along the southern edge of the desert.

The Mohammedan kingdom

of

Sokoto contains

Conquest of Africa

69

"vast walled cities of fifty and eighty and even one hundred thousand inhabitants, out of which
caravans are always streaming
raid
for
slaves,

to the south to
'

to

the

North-African states

across the Sahara to sell them."


district

South

of this

dwell largely the Hausas, a splendid

race of

men
them
3

of

whom we

have already made

mention.
lions of

It is said
;

that there are fifteen mil-

they have recently adopted the


rites.
2

Mohammedan
Richardson
cess

Fifty

years

ago

Mr.

described the fanaticism and suc-

with which the Fulah races, under the

influence of

Mohammedanism, had during the


less,

preceding forty years, more or

arisen to

fame and power.

From mere Arab wanderers


and

they had become, by intermixing with the negroes in a career of enlarging conquest

settlement, the leading people along the south-

western edge of the Great

Desert.

"

Their

progress has been the main cause of the great

spread of Islam in
century."
1

West Africa

in

the present
of the
2

The Mohammedanism
at

Hau505.

The Church

Home and Abroad,

vii.,

505.

Ibid.,

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richard-

son,
4

London, 1848, i., 303. Church Missionary Atlas,

i.,

38.

70
sas

Islam

in Africa

and the Fulahs now holds that whole vast

region in allegiance to the great prophet.


their fanaticism does not seem, as yet, to

And
have

exhausted

itself.

It is

largely throughout the

regions immediately south of these two peoples,

apparently, that

Mohammedanism
conquest

has lately

been making

real

religious accession
Dr.

as distinguished

from mere slave-raiding.

Blyden

asserts that a quiet, non-militant pro;

gress has been going on throughout that region

and he

is

corroborated by the assertion of Prof.


that "

Crummell

Mohammedanism
all
'

is

rapidly

and peaceably spreading


of

through the tribes

Western Africa."

Also, the Rev. James

Johnson, possibly a better authority on the

matter than either of the preceding two, has


asserted that " three-fourths of the additions to

Mohammedanism
Leone
increase

in

the region about Sierra

are from conviction

and not by natural


3

by

birthright "

2
;

though Bishop Crow-

ther would modify this statement.

We

seem
been

warranted
1

in

asserting

that

there has

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 199, 202.

2 3

The Missionary Review of the World, The Church at Home and Abroad, iii.,

i.,

381.

594.

Conquest of Africa
actual

and successful proselytism


in

by Islam
towards
as-

throughout large regions

the western part of


far

North-Central Africa, extending


the east in the great Soudan.
serts that

Dr. Blyden

Mohammedanism

has gained control


tribes in

of the

most energetic and enterprising


and occupies the
;

Africa.
" It has built
largest cities
in

the heart of the continent

its

laws regulate the

verts

most powerful kingdoms, it is daily gaining confrom the ranks of paganism, and it commands respect among all Africans wherever it is known, even where the people have not submitted to the

sway of the Koran."

But such statements may


false inferences
;

easily give

rise to

they must be interpreted and

limited by what

we have

said before.
is

Indeed we cannot help thinking that there

much

exaggeration concerning

Mohammedan
Thus
Dr. Bly-

control and advance in Africa.

den asserts
is

3
:

"

One-half of the whole continent


;

dominated by Islam
one-quarter
is is

while of the remaining


it

half,

leavened by

and the other

one-quarter
1

threatened

by

it."

Again

3
:

and the Negro Race, 6, 7. The Church at Ho?ne and Abroad, vii., 409. Blyden, Christianity\ Islam, and the Negro Race, preface x.
Blyden, Christianity, Is/am,

72
"

Islam in Africa
its

Mohammedanism, by
by
its
its

simple, rigid forms

of worship,

literature, its politics, its or-

ganised society,
activities, is

industry and

commercial

rapidly superseding a hoary and

pernicious paganism."

general impression

has been created by these and similar state-

ments to the

effect that, as
in the

Islam conquered

North Africa
is

seventh century, so

now

it

conquering Central and Southern Africa

in

the nineteenth century.

But no statement

could well be farther from the truth.


the assumption that slave-raiding
is

Even
religious

conquest
fact

will

not verify such an assertion.

The

seems to be that south of the


states,

line of the

Mohammedan

from the twentieth to the

tenth parallels of latitude north of the equator,

Mohammedan

control

is

largely a mercantile

supremacy, established by fire-arms, involving


considerable political

management
as
its
it
is,

of

native

heathen

tribes.

Such

Mohammedanexpansion
in

ism has nearly reached


Africa.
1

limit of
it

Its control,

if

such

can be called,

will readily

be overthrown with the crushing of

the Arab slave power


1

a process

rapidly being
i.
,

The Missionary Review of the World,

97.

Conquest of Africa
accomplished.
checked,
if

73

Already the Arabs have been


checkmated,
in

not

the

Congo
they

Free State.

The desperate

efforts that

have made to establish control

in the

Nyassa
In

region seem to have been fully overcome.

the revolutions and counter-revolutions in the

important

kingdom

of

Uganda, apparently,

Mohammedanism

as represented

by the Arab
dein

traders has been defeated.


feat of the Khalifa

The crushing

by General Kitchener

September,

1898,

seems a death-blow.

The

recent advance of

Mohammedanism
;

in Africa

has reached
of the

its

limit

with the

full

destruction

Arab

slave-trader, the

advance of Islam

will cease.

CHAPTER
ITS

VI

MISSIONARY CHARACTER
is

MOHAMMEDANISM
its

one of the great

missionary religions of the world, though

motives and methods are largely low.

Its

career throughout has been one of proselytism

through conquest.

In this
;"

it

contrasts mark-

edly with Christianity


Christ has

for the religion of Jesus

made

a career rather of conquest

through

proselytism.

But

Christianity

and

Mohammedanism

are the

two great missionary


for a while
;

religions of the world.

Buddhism

went forth conquering and to conquer


missionary
spirit

but

its
is

has exhausted

itself

and

not an essential characteristic of the rehVion.


It

has been well remarked


it

"

When

a religion

loses its missionary spirit

dies."

It is

because

Mohammedanism
religion

is

so essentially a missionary so
74

that

it

has

magnificently

con-

Its

Missionary Character
it is

75
spirit

quered

and

because that missionary

has been

revived,

and

is

fervent,

in

Africa

during this century that we have to meet the


great problems contained in our subject.

Here

has been one of the greatest outbreaks of missionary zeal that

on the part of
Christianity.

human history presents but Mohammedanism rather than


of

There are certain fundamental principles


Islam which necessitate this missionary

effort,

and make success comparatively easy.


it

Thus,

is

ingrained in the very constitution of the


is

true believer that he

to go out to the infidel

he

is

not to wait for the infidel to


claims of

come

to him.
;

The

Mohammed

were emphatic
force
infidel

his

follower was under obligation to

them
was
If

upon the world around, and the

under obligation to recognise and believe.

the unbeliever should refuse, then came the


forced choice

" Believe,

pay

tribute, or die."

As with
walketh
wasteth

resistless

enthusiasm the early followers

of the prophet swept like " the pestilence that


in

darkness and the destruction that

at

noon-day

"

over the world, as they

held the drawn scimitar over the necks of pro-

76
strate nations,

Islam
we

in Africa

can hardly wonder that large


first

masses of
bilities,

men

accepted the

of these possi-

and consented to

believe.

There was

business shrewdness, amounting almost to genius, in

the proposal of the second of these choices


tribute
;

pay
are

for, after all

that

may be

said
that,
life

to the contrary,

we must acknowledge

with many, religious principle and love of

more precious than gold

and many there

were of those times who would pay tribute


rather than believe or die.

Thus the Mohammedan went


he presented for
but one
belief.

forth

but we

must notice what an astonishingly simple creed


Simply
is

say, "

There

is

God and Mohammed

His prophet,"
acts,

simply perform a few necessary


are a

and you

Mohammedan,
this

safe here
is

and hereafter.
exaggerated,
is

That

statement

not
side.

amply proved on every


in his travels

Mr. Richardson

through the most fanatical Moslem

tribes of the desert

was constantly enjoined to


Islam

confess

himself as of

simply
if

by the

recognition of

Mohammed

as the prophet of

God.

Security was assured to him

he would

do

this.

Some

few other travellers, notably

Its
Caille,

Missionary Character

77

purchased security at the price of this


It is

profanation.
that

easy to confess with the


the prophet of God,
it

lips
it

Mohammed

is

is

hard to pay tribute,

is

bitterness extreme,

even for a negro, to die


choice often

can

we wonder

at the

made?

One
in
all

other consideration explains the ease

with which Islam has proselytised, especially


Africa
:

the recognition of equal

manhood

in

believers which

Mohammed

earnestly im-

pressed upon his followers.


is

Apparently there

no

religion, Christianity

not excepted, which

gives such practical illustration of the essential

equality of
or black,

all

fellow believers, whether white


or free.

bond

Theoretically, Christ-

ianity presents even a higher basis of equality,


in that all true believers are

as things are at present,

God but undoubtedly Mohamsons of


;

medanism, wherever

its

early enthusiasm

still

has sway, more completely obliterates false


tinctions

dis-

between man and man and uncovers


This prinavail in connection with

the essential equality of believers.


ciple
is

of

especial

the advance of Islam in Africa.

For most

of

the nations of

the Dark Continent seem pecu-

7%

Islam

in Africa
the impression

liarly susceptible to

made by

a stronger

man, or nation, upon themselves.


is

The white man


ior, at least

readily recognised as super;

throughout a large part of Africa


his
rifle,

and the Arab with


his

his fighting slaves,

cruelty,

is

feared

by the natives

as

one

above themselves.

Now when

the superior
like

being receives the native into something


equality, simply
belief,
it

on the basis of

Mohammedan
in

makes the pagan more strongly

favour of that religion.


to break

Mohammedanism tends
distinctions.
It

down

tribal

and caste

imbues the negro believer with a sense of


nity.
It

dig-

has been remarked that " the negro

who

accepts

a sense of the dignity of

Mohammedanism acquires at once human nature."


1

Once

a believer, there

is

nothing

in his

colour or

race to debar

him from the highest


Said

privileges,

social or political, to

which any other Moslem


to his followers,

can attain.
"
I

Mohammed
fear

admonish you to

God and
Mahdi

yield obedi-

ence to

my

successor, although he
3

may be
all

black slave."

And

the

said to his slave


alike."

Slatin, " In the place of


1

worship we are
3

Quoted by Dr. Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and


2

the

Negro

Race, ii.

Ibid., 18.

Ibid., 2S1.

Its

Missionary Character
mighty influences

79
at

Here

is

a combination of

work to

facilitate
:

the conversion of Africa to

Mohammedanism
infidel

The impelling

need,

felt

by

the true believer, to force his religion upon the


;

the simple nature of the creed presented

the preference of
to

many

to believe rather than

pay tribute or

to die, especially
;

when

belief
this

raises

one into assured equality

and with

potent fact in addition, that the tribe accepting

Islam
this

is

no longer subject to

slave-raids.

But

opens before us a question on which there

has been

been

said,
is

medan

much misapprehension. Thus it has " The slave who becomes a Mohamfree." On the contrary, the testimony
1

throughout

Africa

is

that

surely

there are

slaves that are

Mohammedans, whether or not converted in slavery and apparently Mohammedans do make actual Mohammedans slaves.
;

Mr.

Richardson

in his
in

travels in the desert

speaks of the slaves


" mostly

the town of

Ghadames
is

as

devout

if

not fanatic Mussulmans."


at

We
1

are warranted in assertine that there

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the

ATeg7-o Race,

18.

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richard-

son,

London, 1848,

i.,

195.


8o

'

Islam in Africa
throughout Islam that
in Africa.

least a spirit of fraternity

gives

it

tremendous advantage
"

Moit

hammedanism does not does take away its sting "

abolish slavery, but

so

far as

dans are concerned. " Equality

Mohammeof all men before


everyit

God was
all

a principle which
;

Mohammed
away
far

where maintained

and which, taking as

did

caste feeling from slavery, took


'

also its

chief sin."

Certainly Islam rises

above

that narrow prejudice against the negro which


characterises too largely the white Christians
as illustrated
"

by Dr. E. A. Freeman's statement,


declare

The law may


his equal."

the negro to be the


it

equal of the white

man, but
in

cannot make
Carlyle's
in

him
hand

Or

Mr.

Thomas

assertion

that "

God

has put a whip

the

of every white

On

the contrary,

man to flog the negro." Mohammedan history abounds


Billal,

with examples of distinguished negroes.


a slave, a black man, a favourite of

Mohammed,
was once

the

first

muezzin or

caller to prayer,

addressed by the great prophet somewhat in


1

Mohanimed and Mohammedanism, R. Bosworth Smith, 203. Quoted by Dr. Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro

Race, 333, 337.

Its
this
last

Missionary Character

81

way
night

"
?

What

shoes were those you wore


I

Verily, as

journeyed into Paradise


stairs of

and was mounting the

God,
I

heard

your footsteps before me, though


see."

could not

Into

three

phrases

we may condense the

description and explanation of

Mohammedan
agents,

missionary advance in Africa

native

simple methods, intolerant


It
is

zeal.

largely

through

native

agency that

Islam has been propagated in Africa.

For the
for

Arabs that penetrate the

interior,

whether

good or
country.
in
it,

ill,

may now be called natives of the They are recognised by the negro as
it.

if

not fully of

In the wide inclusiveness

of the races to which

we have

already referred

concerning Africa, the Arabs are


of the native population.

now

certainly

Even the invaders

of Zanzibar, a century ago, have


their

made
native

Africa

home and have


difference
in

identified

themselves,
races.

though disastrously, with

the

The
the

between the white man and the

Arab,

native estimation, shows clearly that


is

Arab
6

to be counted an as indigenous

agent.

82

Islam

in Africa

But Mohammedanism
agents,

makes use

of other
in

more
its

closely

allied

to the negro,

securing

advance.

Let us

refer again to the

Hausas and the Fulahs


conspicuous agents
in

as perhaps the

most
and one

the great advance of

Mohammedanism
Central Soudan.

throughout

Western
tribes,

These magnificent
have carried

purely negro and the other mixed but


essentially native,

now Mohammedanin

ism through the ocean


other.
in

forests,

from the desert to the


the

one direction, and to the lakes

Much

has been said of late concerning the

great University of Cairo as a training-school


for native agents of

Mohammedanism

in Africa.

Dr. Blyden quotes the following


of this great institution at Cairo
tional pride
" This

description

the

educa-

and glory
is

of Islam.

university

nine hundred
still

years

old

(older than Oxford), and

flourishes with as

much
dents.

vigour as

conquest.

in the palmy days of the Arabian There I saw collected ten thousand stuAs one expressed it there were two acres
'
'

of turbans
floor

assembled

in a vast enclosure,

with no
it

but a pavement, and with a roof over

sup-

ported by four hundred columns, and at the foot

Its
of every

Missionary Character

03
pupils.
. . .

column a teacher surrounded by his These students are from all parts of Africa.
their studies are ended, those

When

who

are to be

missionaries
'

mount

their camels,

and, joining a

caravan across the desert, are


of Africa."

lost in the far interior

On

the other hand, take the report of Gen-

eral Haig, sent

out by the Church Missionary


2

Society about the year 1887.

He makes

an

intelligent statement to the effect that

he had

never heard of missionaries being sent out from


the college to spread the faith anywhere, and
did not believe that there was any organisation
for Central Africa.

According to

his statement,

the

number

of students in the

Ashar

varies ac-

cording to political events.


conscription, the

Just before a great


is

number

enlarged with a

view of avoiding the enlistment.


the

Sometimes

number reaches

eight thousand.

Weighing

testimony, taking into consideration the state-

ments of various

travellers

and

writers,

we

are

forced to the conclusion that Dr. Blyden's assertions concerning this


in
1

monumental
and the Negro
ii.,

institution

Cairo are greatly exaggerated particularly


Blyden, Christianity, Islam,
Race, 191.

The Church at Home and Abroad,

4S6.

84

Islam

in Africa
its

with regard to the missionary work of


uates in Africa.
facts will,

grad-

careful study of available

we

are persuaded, lead to the conis

clusion that

Mohammedan advance
propaganda such
as

not due
are ac-

to a missionary

we

customed to think
ian work,

of in connection with Christas has

and such

been attributed on a

large scale to the Cairo University.

Undoubteduca-

edly

many

native Africans attend that school

of the faith. tional effort, as


in Africa.

Certainly

Mohammedan
is

we

shall see,

made elsewhere
clear

There seems to be

testimony

to the effect that

Mohammedan

teachers, of a
;

certain sort,
less

roam through the land

and doubt1

they have some

influence as missionaries.

But the indigenous agency on which Moham-

medanism
the native
ily to

principally

depends

is

the power of

Mohammedan

state,

exerted might-

conquer and thereby convert.

Accepting, however, the assertions that some


individuals go forth throughout

many

of the

pagan

tribes

and

regions of Africa teaching

Mohammedanism,
of personal gain,
1

though largely for purposes


it is

interesting to notice the

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 431.

Its

Missionary Character

85

simple methods which are pursued in making


this advance.

Dr. Blyden's description of these


missionaries
is

Mohammedan

almost pathetic.

" In going from


lage, they

town

to town,

and

village to vil-

go simply as the bearers of God's truth. They take their mats or their skins, and their manu-

scripts,

and are followed by

their pupils,

who

in

every

new pagan town form

the nucleus of a school


re!

and congregation.
"

These preachers are the

ceivers, not the dispensers, of charity."

The Arab

missionaries

whom we
*

the interior go about without

purse or scrip

have met in and


'

disseminate their religion by quietly teaching the

Koran. Fulahs

The

native missionaries

unite

Mandingoes and

with the propagation of their faith

active trading.

Wherever they go they produce


the other hand, that they are

the impression that they are not preachers only,

but traders

but, on

not traders merely, but preachers.

And

in

this

way, silently and almost unobtrusively, they are causing princes to become obedient disciples and
zealous propagators of Islam.
general thing
conviction, and bring

Their converts as a

become Muslims from choice and

all the manliness of their former condition to the maintenance and support

of their
"
1

new

creed."

Local institutions were not destroyed when

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 194.


Ibid., 13.

86

Islam in Africa

Arab influences were introduced. They only assumed new forms and adapted themselves to the new teachings. In all thriving Mohammedan communities in West and Central Africa, it may be noticed that the Arab superstructure has been superimposed on a permanent indigenous substructure so that what really took place, when the Arab met the negro in his own home, was a healthy amalgamation, and not an absorption or an undue
;

repression."

'

"After the first conquests of the Muslims in North Africa, their religion advanced southwards into the continent, not by armies but by schools and books and mosques by trade and inter;

marriage."

And

Mr. Bosworth Smith asserts concerningin

Mohammedanism
minded Arab

Africa that "

it

has spread,

not by the sword, but by earnest and simplemissionaries."

We
some

have already ventured to dissent from


of these statements, so positively
its

made
In

concerning Islam and

advance

in Africa.

connection with the political character of Mo-

hammedanism
see this
1

in Africa,

we

shall

attempt to

more

clearly.

Bishop Crowther says, 3


and the Negro
Race, 356.

Blyden, Christianity, Islam,


Ibid., 14.

3 Quoted in Oriental Religions and Christianity, F. F. Ellinwood, D.D., 210.

Its
"

Missionary Character

%7

The
in

real vocation of these so-called quiet apos-

tles of

the Koran

is

that of fetish peddlers "

and

view of exaggerations of statement that

we

are compelled to

acknowledge as made by

Dr. Blyden, Canon Taylor, and those


assert their conclusions,

who
is

re-

we can only
It

say that
to

the authority of Bishop Crowther


trusted in any contradiction.
that the picture of
just

be

seems evident
missionaries,

Mohammedan
some

quoted,

is,

to

extent,

poetic

im-

agination.

After making

all

due allowance, we are

left

with these simple facts: that indigenous agents

have been

at

work,

particularly

throughout
in
;

Western and Central Soudan, hardly


beautiful
as

the

and self-denying way described

rather

men

seeking self-support by means more or

less

honourable, but carrying with them as they

go, teachings of
ran.

Mohammedanism and
pagan

the Ko-

They

familiarise the

tribes with

Islam.

Doubtless

they win some converts.

When
events,

compulsion

comes

through

political

is prewhen the dreadful sented, " Mohammedanism or slavery," the choice is made the more easy. Another tribe

alternative

88
ranges
itself

Islam

in Africa

nominally, and perhaps actually,

under the name of the prophet of God.


In this missionary advance, the sword and
preaching, the soldier and the missionary, the
state

and the individual, supplement each other.


is

An
it

intolerant zeal

shown.
is

To some

extent

is

true that " in Africa

the most fanatical

and proselytising portion of the Mussulman


world, in
its

negro converts."

Mr. Richardson, throughout the Sahara Desert,

not only saw but

felt

the fierce fanaticism

of the

Mohammedanism of that region. Touarik to him " You are a Christian


:

Said
;

the

people of Timbuctoo will


confess
"

kill

you unless you


a

Mohammed

to be the prophet of God."

To have said

a word, or even to have breathed

a syllable, of disrespect about

Mohammedanism
3

would have exposed me to have been torn to


pieces

by the Mohammedans."

" It is

next

to impossible to induce the Sahara

Moham4

medans
1

to think favourably of Christianity."

Eastern Church, Dean Stanley, 259. Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,
i.,

London, 1848,
3

118.

Ibid.,

ii.,

25.

*Md.,

ii.,83.

Its

Missionary Character

89

Mr. Anderson, a negro of Liberia, made a


journey to Musardu, the capital city of the
western

Mandingoes.

In

his

description

of

this fine race of negroes,

speaking of their mis:

sionary activity, he says

'

"

Their zeal for Islam


to be proit

has caused the

name

of

Mohammed

nounced

in this part of Africa,

where

other-

wise would never have been mentioned." Slatin


Pasha, in order to retain the obedience of his
soldiers against the
rising

Mahdism, thought
2

that he
It is

had to become a convert to Islam.

made

evident by a consensus of

testiis

mony
of
all

that in North Africa


;

Mohammedanism

furiously fanatic

extending to violent hatred

who

are not

ing Central

Mohammedans. In approachAfrica, we find this zeal gradually

less intolerant

though burning
Mohammedan
Even
in

fiercely

enough
rulers

to

make

the

tribes

and

desirous of impressing their religion

upon neigh-

bouring

tribes.

Central Africa, the

Mohammedan

law threatens with death both

the proselytised
1

and proselytiser
6.

3
;

but this

Journey

to

Musardu,

3
8

Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 217. Church at Home and Abroad, vii., 507.

Islam in Africa

seems to be directed simply against renegades.

The
is

zeal

which animates the " earnest and sim-

ple-minded missionaries of
sufficiently

mixed with

Mohammedanism " selfishness to make


of

them more

tolerant

than the furies of early

Mohammedan
it

history,

and than the fanatics

the desert of the present day.

But, wherever

goes, there are the elements, whether or not


is

there

the exhibition, of that terrible intolerzeal,

ance of

which,

when

logically developed,

points the sword at the throat of everyone,

everywhere,

who

ventures to

deny that Mo-

hammed
For

is

the great prophet of God.


is

this intolerance
l
:

an essential element
is

in

Mohammedanism
ing
is

" there

no precept

in

the

Koran enjoining love


sionary prayer which
in

to enemies."

The

follow-

said to be a literal translation of a misis

offered every evening

the great university at Cairo


"

O
the

infidels

Lord and

of all creatures,
polytheists,

O
!

Allah

destroy the

Thine enemies, the enemies

of

religion.

Allah

make
;

their children

orphans and
1

defile their

abodes

cause their feet


II.

The Mohammedan Missionary Problem,

II.

Jesup,

30-32.

Its
to slip

Missionary Character
them and

91

give

their families, their house-

holds and their women, their children and their

by marriage, their brothers and their possessions and their race, their wealth and their lands, as booty to the Moslems.
relations
friends,

their

O
it

Lord

of

all

creatures

fight

Thou

against them,

till

be at an end, and the religion be all of Fight Thou against them until they pay God's.
strife

tribute

by right of subjection, and they be reduced

low."

Intolerance

elemental in

anism, potential in the

all MohammedMohammedanism of

Africa, considerably modified

as exhibited in
find.

Central Africa

this
all

is

what we

Such

is

the zeal, such are the methods, such

are the agents

of

which indicate the misin Africa.

sionary character of

Mohammedanism

CHAPTER
ITS POLITICAL

VII

CHARACTER
is

IN

Mohammedanism

there

no divorce be-

tween Church and State.

The modern,
and
in

Western

idea, that the spheres of religion

politics are separable,

has no place

Moham-

medan thought. The teaching and


of

the example

Mohammed

stimulated his followers to rule

as well as to preach, to

conquer as well as to
the world
is
it.

convert.

The government of
pay

given

to the faithful, so far as they can seize

The The
chief.

formula, " Believe,

tribute, or die," involves

political as well as religious

ascendency.

Sultan

is

temporally as well as spiritually


leaders of

The
as

great

Mohammedanism have
gen-

evidenced themselves such by warfare as well

by piety

" half-military, half-religious


92

iuses,

which Islam always seems capable of pro-


Its Political
ducing."
1

Character

93

The

divine right of kings was never

more emphatically asserted, whether by the


Stuarts of England or the Bourbons of France,
than, for example,
erals in a letter to

by one

of the
2
:

Mahdist gen-

Emin Pasha
.

"So now we have come


his Mightiness the great

sent to you from


all

Chief of

the Muslims,

the ever victorious in his religion,

who
.

relies

on

God as the Lord of the world, Khalifa, the Mahdi, may God be gracious unto him with his sacred orders, which are orders of God and his
!

prophet."

In Africa, as elsewhere, Islam seeks to seize political

control quite as eagerly as to


it,

make

actual

converts. Practically, for

the twoare identical.

Take

for illustration the

attempt to proselytise

King Mtesa,
principle of

of the great

Uganda kingdom, and


This seems to be a
in

to control his successor.

Mohammedan advance

Africa
in-

to convert tribes
dividuals.
spirit "
1

and kingdoms, rather than


3

In this is revealed the " aggressive


asserts as

which Dr. Jesup

one of the

the
2

R. Bosworth Smith. Quoted in Christianity, Islam, and Negro Race, Blyden, n. Shall Islam Rule Africa? Rev. L. C. Barnes, 15. The Mohammedan Missionary Problem, H. H. Jesup, 53,

94

Islam

in Africa
is

elements of Mohammedanism, and which

evident throughout the whole history of Islam.

But the traditional method

of conquest

and

proselytism combined cannot be applied invariably in Africa.

Mohammedanism
in

is

not
or
is

now
not

strong enough
zealous
native

the

Dark Continent,

enough, to conquer throughout the


of the interior as, in the early
it

kingdoms

days of the

religion,

conquered throughout
in

Asia and North Africa and

Europe.

To
of

some extent
native
rulers

a crafty political
is

management
Mr. Arnot
'

attempted.

de-

scribes the efforts of the

Arabs

" to poison the

mind

" of

King Msidi,
in

of that region, against

the English
ticular.

general and Mr. Arnot in parin

"

For the Arabs have been long


over Eastern Africa for

communication with the Garenganze country

famous
and

all

its

copper

salt."

King Msidi was wise

after listen-

ing to a long harangue from them, he quickly


replied
:

"
I

am

sure

cannot answer

your

words.
I

do not know these English people.


do not know
;

certainly

coming [Arnot]
1

but

man who is now one thing I know


this

Garenganze, Arnot, 174.

Its Political

Character
be borne
in

95

know you Arabs."

It is to

mind

that this attempt on the part of the Arabs was,

apparently, rather for trade advantage than for


religious

advance

but throughout

all

consider-

ation of the

Mohammedan problem
two

in
is

Central
so close

Africa, the identification of these

that the one can hardly be separated from the


other.

Particularly

is

this true concerning the

horrible slave-traffic.

The
and

intertwinings of this

infamous business and of


lytism
are

Mohammedan
intricate

prose-

so

close

that

sup-

pression

has

thus far been

impossible,

and

advance of Mohammedanism and extension of


the slave-trade are almost or quite
identical.

The

rise of

Mahdism

in

the
1

Soudan gave great


It

impulse to the slave-trade.

seems to be

evi-

dent that the Arab


slave-trader, then a

in

Central Africa
It

is first

Mohammedan.

is

neces-

sary to understand this combination of business

and religious interests on the part of the Moham-

medan

agents, in order to

comprehend the adin Africa.

vance and influence of Islam

Of

this

attempted

political control

by Mohammedanism,
is

another and more striking illustration


1

to be

Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 554.


96

Islam in Africa
Mohammedans
of

seen in the restless efforts of the


to control the king

and kingdom

Uganda

perhaps the most important


It is said
1

in Central Africa.

" that when Mr. Stanley's letter from Uganda was published, indicating a willingness on the part of King Mtesa to abandon Islamism and accept Christianity, the Turkish journals took up the subject with great fervour.

A Moslem Missionary Soci-

was formed in Constantinople, and subscriptions raised, to send Arab missionaries to confirm King Mtesa in the faith."
ety

The

plan

proves the

may have been dropped, but the fact Mohammedan method in Africa, to
They wanted
to gain that

control politically.

kingdom by

controlling that king.


in cases

This has

been their course

innumerable throughinterference with

out Central Africa

a crafty
way

native politics, in such


tion, trade,

that personal ambi-

and religious zeal

may

be

satisfied.

In the African type of


there
is

Mohammedanism,
it

an elasticity that enables


native ideas.
for

to adapt

itself to

This has been one o great


political

reason
"

Mohammedan
retain his

advance.

King Mtesa can


1

one hundred wives


54.

The Mohammedan Missionary Problem, H. H. Jesup,

Its Political

Character
1

97
the
re-

and be a good Moslem


strictions of the

still,"

in spite of

Koran

as to such an unneces-

sary

number

of

helpmates.

And

it is

not sim-

ply in matters like this, of royal prerogative and


dignity according to native African ideas, that

the elasticity of
in the

Mohammedanism

reveals itself

more important concerns of


it

superstitious

belief

shrewdly avoids contradiction of native

habits and desires, and thus wins political su-

premacy.

"

The Mussulman

missionaries ex-

hibit a forbearance, a
for native

sympathy, and a respect


for

customs and prejudices and even


beliefs

their

more harmless

which

is

no doubt

one reason of their success, and which our own


missionaries and schoolmasters
2

would do well

to imitate." Such euphemistic statements concerning the " harmless beliefs " of the native

African

as

allowed by

somewhat surprising
able phrase.
feature of
It

Mohammedanism are when we consider what


however, an interesting
in

ideas and practices are included in that remarkis,

Mohammedanism

Central Africa,

that the native can be largely


1

what he was

be-

The Mohammedan Missionary Problem, H. H, Mohammed and Mohammedanism, R. Bosworth

Jesup, 57.

Smith, 58.

9$

Islam in Africa
and what he
is

fore conversion,
if

still

desires to be,

only he will say, " There


is

one God and Moif

hammed
religion. cal

His prophet," and

political ascend-

ency be allowed to the representatives of that


Control rather than conversion,
politi-

power rather than individual change


life, is

of

heart and

what Islam seeks


all this

in Africa.

But throughout
dealing of

somewhat diplomatic
with the pagan
reliance
is

Mohammedanism

kingdoms of Africa, the main

ever
mili-

on the sword, or rather on the spear.

For

tancy has always been an essential feature of


Islam.

A believer must impress the truth upon


by
force
if

the

the attempt, so much the better for him " The

infidel,

necessary.

If

he dies

in

gate to Paradise

lies

between drawn swords."


dying
in battle,

The Mohammedan
the

soldier

and

Mohammedan

missionary trader dying of


infidel,

fever,

both seeking the conquest of the


It is

go straight to Paradise.
the surest claim.
field of battle as

the direct route,

This thought of death on the


a leap into Paradise was the

inspiration of the early conquests.


it

Doubtless

has operated largely in fanning the ferocity

of the dervishes of

our

own

day,

who have

re-

Its Political

Character

99
first

produced
century of

in

the Soudan the history of the

spoke, concerning

Mohammedanism. some messengers


'

Thus the Mahdi


of his

who

had been executed


"

messengers have obtained what they most when they took the letters from me they desired sought the death of martyrs, and their wish was The merciful God has granted them fulfilled.
;

My

their hearts' desire,

and now they are

in the enjoy-

ment of

all

the pleasures of Paradise.

May God
"
!

grant that

we may

follow in their footsteps


all

In the Turkish Empire now, in

true

Mo-

hammedanism, the army


It is

is

a religious body.

composed

of

Mohammedans, and supports


"

Mohammedanism.
from Islam from the
[in

convert to Christianity
arrested as a renegade

Turkey]

is

conscription.

Apostasy from the


2

Mohammedan religion is thus, in Turkey, treaEven Mr. son to the Mohammedan state."
Bosworth Smith recognises that the sword
"
is

an

essential part " of

Mohammedanism.
it

The
like

famous ninth sura of the Koran, flashing


the scimitar of Saladin as he whirled
1

under

2 z

Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 177. The Mohammedan Missionary Problem, H. H. Jesup, 27.

Mohammed and Mohammedanism,

R. Bosworth Smith, 169.

ico

Islam in Africa

the Syrian sun against the Crusaders, has been

the inspiration of the faithful of Africa as well


as elsewhere.

For

in spite of the

quotations

from the Koran which Dr. Blyden adduces to


prove the tolerance of
" belief of the

Mohammed
'

towards the

book,"

and

in spite of his at-

tempt to explain the application of the ninth


sura as referring " to the treatment to be ac-

corded by them to those Arabs who join the


worship of idols with that of the true God,"

both the plain meaning of the sura

itself

and

the development of that meaning in the history


of
is

Mohammedanism prove

that war, conquest,


infidel.

enjoined upon the faithful against the


" Jihad," the holy war,
is

The

a conspicuous

feature of

Mohammedanism
in

throughout, and

has had

its

place markedly in the history of


:

Islam in Africa

this idea largely lay the


2

strength of Mahdism.

The
cilious

native African

is

by no means the con-

temptible opponent in warfare that the super-

European has sometimes

asserted.

The

'Blyden, Christianity\ Islam, and the Negro Race, 291. For some interesting suggestions concerning the " Law of

Jihad," incidentally confirming this statement, see Faith of Islam, Sell, 359.

Its Political

Character
'

101

Waganda army

is

described

as

showing a high
of the Zulus

state of efficiency.

The prowess
is

has been attested by Europeans at great cost.

The
ese

ferocity of

the Masais

terrible.

The

courage and endurance of the Eastern Soudan-

won

the fear as well as respect of the Eng-

lish soldiers

who were

repulsed by them.

under the inspiration of


these African soldiers
terrible.

When Mohammedan zeal, may become absolutely


2
:

Sir

Garnet Wolseley has said

"lam

certain our

men would much

prefer to fight the

best

European troops rather than the same

number
ism."

under the influence of

Mohammedan warriors who were Mohammedan fanaticWhat an illustration of this heroic


of
in

bravery was given by the dervishes


of

the battle

Omdurman

Such are the warriors that Mohammedanism


sends forth to holy conquest.
"

a heathen tribe or nation is aimed at, a proposed to the chief the Koran or the sword. On his choosing the Koran, the whole tribe is counted as Mohammedan and the chiefs are pro-

When
is

choice

Uganda and

the

336.

Egyptian Soudan, Wilson and Felkin, 2 Public Opinion, vii., 210.

i.,

'

io2
moted.

Islam
But
if

in Africa
is

a refusal
;

given,

war

is

declared

against the tribe


is

the destruction of their country-

the consequence,

and horrible bloodshedding.


females are massacred, whilst

The aged males and


the
salable

are

led

away

as

prisoners

of

(slaves).

As the

religion sanctions slave-wars

war and

slavery, its professors

do not sympathise with the

miseries produced by them.

They

shut their eyes

and tender feelings to these atrocities, and the gains and profits they reap therefrom are considered their reward as faithful followers of the
prophet
"

These Jihads, military expeditions


pagans to the
a

to bring

faith,

have been

" carried

on with
last

wonderful activity and success during the


fifty

years."

The
anism
fifty

story of

Samudu

is

a startling illustration

of this politico-religious
in

advance of

Mohammedborn about
east

Central Africa.

He was

years ago in the

Mandingo country,

of Liberia.

This

is

a translation of the open-

ing paragraphs of a narrative of his proceedings

by a native chronicler
" This
1

3
:

is

an account of the Jihad of the


in

Imam

Bishop Crowther, quoted


594-

Church at

Home and Abroad,

iii.,
2

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 357.


Ibid.

Its Political

Character

103

Ahmadu Samudu,
Koniah country.

Mandingo, an inhabitant of
conferred upon

the town of Sanankodu, in the extreme part of the

God

Him

his

help continually after he began the work of visiting


the idolatrous pagans

who dwell between the sea and the country of Wasulu, with a view of inviting them to follow the religion of God, which is Islam.
the

Know all ye who read this that the first Imam Samudu was at a town named

effort of

Fulindi-

jah.

Following the book and the law, and the


he sent messengers to the king
at that

tradition,

town, Sindidu by name, inviting him to submit to


his

government, abandon the worship of


is

idols,

and and

worship one God, the Exalted, the True, whose


service
in the

profitable to his people in this world


;

next

but they refused to submit.


as the

imposed a tribute upon them,

Then he Koran comcollected

mands on

this subject

but they persisted in their

blindness and defence.

The Imam then

a small force of about five hundred men, brave and


valiant, for the Jihad,

and he fought against the

town, and the Lord helped him against them, and

he pursued them with his horses until they submitted.

Nor

will

they return to their idolatry, for

now

all

their children are in schools, being taught

the Koran, and a knowledge of religion and civilisation.

Alimami Samudu then went to another Wurukud, surrounded by a strong wall, and skilfully defended," etc.
idolatrous town called

The

career of this West-African illustrator of

io4

Islam in Africa

Mohammedanism continued unchecked, until he became notorious, not simply in Africa, but
throughout.

The

atrocities of his " holy

wars

"

are indescribable.
"

Thus an

official

report runs

The people of the states to the south of Futa Djallon are pagans, and Samudu makes their re-

He is desirous of converting them to the true faith and his modes of persuasion are murder and slavery. Miles of road strewn with human bones blackened ruins
ligion a pretext for his outrages.
'
'

where were peaceful hamlets desolation and emptiness where were smiling plantations. What has
;

become
ren
?

of the tens of thousands of peaceful agri-

culturists, their

gone

wives and their innocent childconverted after Samudu's manner to


1

the 'true

faith.' "

These holy wars, with

their horrible confus-

ion of selfishness and religious zeal, have been

conducted widely by such tribes as the Fulahs


-fiercely

Mohammedan.
is

But

perhaps

the

completest illustration

to be found in the histin

ory of the Mahdist uprising

Eastern Soudan,

with which the

name

of General

Gordon

is

hero-

ically identified as

martyr and General KitchIt


is

ener as conqueror.
1

perhaps the most


and
Christianity,

Quoted

in

Oriental Religions

F.

F.

Ellinwood, D.D., 205.

Its Political

Character

105

conspicuous of

all

the later eruptions of

Mo-

hammedan
born

zeal.

A certain Mohammed Ahmed,


Dongola, claimed to be a true

in 1843

descendant of
Fatima.
years he
heart.

Mohammed

through his daughter


the age of twelve

It is said that at

knew

a large part of the

Koran by
" saint,"

He

studied under a
as a priest.
life
;

famous

and was ordained

For

fifteen years

he lived an austere

fasting, praying,

and

meditating on the mission to which he would


eventually give himself.

He was

aware of the

"shadowy expectations" of the Shiite Mohammedans, who were looking for the speedy
coming
of the long-expected

Mahdi.
;

He

es-

tablished

a school of dervishes

he obtained

wide repute.

There was simply needed a good


lo
!

opportunity and

the

Mahdi had come.

It

was

in

May,

1881, that

he thus proclaimed
dervishes gathered
at the

himself as from God.

The

around him
of an

he soon found himself


of fifty

head
of

army

thousand men.

Bands

Egyptian forces were sent against him.

The

story of the annihilation of Hicks Pasha and


his

army

of English
is

and Egyptians, about ten

thousand men,

recent history

"

not a

man

106
left

Islam in Africa
to carry the fatal tidings to
in

Khartoum."
captslain.

It

was

January, 1885, that the

ured

Khartoum.

Mahdi General Gordon was

The

victorious leader of the holy


;

war died of

small-pox soon after

but his lieutenant, the

Khalifa, succeeded him.

The
3,

English, on the
18S9,

eve of the battle of August


of the

demanded
"I

leader surrender; and

he

replied,

have been sent to conquer the world."

The

fanaticism and ferocity of the dervishes were


well illustrated on that field of battle, although

they were completely routed.


that battle

The

fury of

was but a

little

breath of the fiery

zeal of these later African imitators of the early

conquerors of Islam.

The

rule

and fanaticism

of the Mahdists remained irresistible until this

very year (1898).


ety, "

It is said of a
2

Moslem
its

soci-

called Sid-es-Senoussi,

that

Calif,

or

Divine Lieutenant," had recently under him

" a

complete hierarchy of subordinate

officers,"

with a probable following of 1,500,000 fierce


fanatics,

governed by the same

spirit,

and com-

The Missionary Review of the World, iii., 754. For this sect, see Church Missionary Intelligencer, page C, article by Rev. E. Sell.
1

1.,

597,

Its Political

Character

107

mitted to the same end as the Mahdists of the

Soudan,

all

alike

aiming at a " speedy, complete,


of

and universal triumph


probably the
ory
is

Islam."

later,

last,

chapter of this Mahdist histwritten, in the conquest of

now being

the upper Nile province by the English, with a


fervour of zeal and fury on the one side, and

a perfection of planning on the other, hardly


rivalled in history.

Yet again we must observe that throughout such outbreak of apparently religious zeal
it is

hard to distinguish between what

is

purely

for the
is

advance of

Mohammedanism and what


Con-

principally for the support of slavery.

cerning the attacks by these very Mahdists

upon Abyssinia, from 1885


defeat of the Abyssinian

to 1890, a

German

missionary expresses his fear that the recent

army by Mohammewill result in the

dan Mahdists, or dervishes,


" early addition of Christian
list

Abyssinia to the
slave-

of countries desolated

by the African
is

trade, unless such a result

speedily averted
of the Powers."
iii.,
a

by the proposed conference


1

The Missionary Review of the World,


/did.,
ii.
,

757.

761.

io8

Islam in Africa
story of the

The whole

Arab outbreak
as
its

in

the

Lake Nyassa region has


by the presence
out
all

basis an attempt

to preserve the slave-trade, endangered there of the Europeans.

Through-

this

Mohammedan
is

warfare in Africa

there

seem to be
It

differences of degree, but not

of kind.

all selfishness

slave-trade and

principally

the

religious

enthusiasm

com-

bined.

In the Egyptian

Soudan the
In

religious

element predominates.
slave-trade desire
is

Lake Nyassa the


Throughout,

conspicuous.

the proportions vary, but the elements are the

same.
In general, to this political character of

Mo-

hammedanism
been absorbed
Africa.

in

Africa

is

largely

due the

surprising fact that the religion itself has not

by the paganism of Central


is

The phenomenon
zeal.

not to be explained
is

simply by religious

It

the aggressive
itself,

way
as

in

which

this zeal has

manifested

the

combination of religion with


well

self-interest,

and
of

the inspiration

of

some element

truth, that

have sent the followers of the great

prophet conquering and to conquer throughout


Central Africa.

Under

this

Mohammedan

in-

Its Political
fluence,

Character
it,

109

whether or not due to

there has
civilisa-

arisen in places a
tion.

somewhat developed

Large

cities,

some public

order, military

power, some advance in general condition


this
is

all

true of the

Mohammedan
of large

states of the
is

Soudan.

But, on the other hand, there

the

indescribable desolation

regions im-

mediately south of the


of the

Mohammedan kingdoms

Soudan, and west of the great lakes

desolation so terrible that the heart shrinks

from the consideration of the human misery


involved and the blight upon African humanity.
It

may be
1

that

Arab
as

influence in Central Africa

must be

met,

Lieutenant

Wissman has
Fight
fire

claimed, only by systematic war measures on

the part of Europe against them.

with
of

The political and military ascendency Mohammedanism in Africa must be defire.


if

stroyed,
1

civilisation

is

to conquer.
ii.,

The Missionary Review of the World,

293.

6:

v.

CHAPTER
ITS

VIII

MORAL AND RELIGIOUS CHARACTER

IN

passing judgment upon a religion, the best


criterion
is

the effect which


in

it

produces

upon the actual life, both


which
it

the general morality


in

accomplishes and
it

the inspiration
V

from the unseen which


three-fourths
crystallises

brings.

Conduct

is

of

life."

system of religion
external
life

itself

in

the

of

its

votaries.

It is

one of the strange and essential


alone
is

features of
rica,

Mohammedanism, not
religion.

in

Af-

but throughout, that there

a divorce

between ethics and


" Islam
is

an intensely formal and ritual system, a


life.

religion of works, not affecting the heart or requir-

ing transformation of

Fasting, the pilgrim-

age to Mecca, praying


1

five times a day, testifying

There

is

one God, and

Mohammed

is

His procir-

phet,'

almsgivings,

ablutions,

genuflections,

cumcision, and repeating the one hundred names

no

Moral and Religious Character


of

1 1

God, are some of the

rites

and

acts

by which the

believer purchases Paradise.

The minutest change

of posture in prayer, the displacement of a single


genuflection,

would

call for

much

heavier censure
'

than outward profligacy or absolute neglect."

Confining our attention to African

Mohamin

medanism, we have excellent opportunity

North Africa
and

for estimating the


;

moral character

effects of the religion

for in this region

Mohammedanism
velopment.

has had control for a thoufullest

sand years, with the

opportunity for de-

Throughout the Soudan and into


is

Equatorial Africa, also, there


as

much

evidence

to the moral character and

results of the

religion,

though

of later origin.

Incidentally

we may observe

that under

Mo-

hammedan

control

the population of

North

Africa has largely decreased during the mil-

lennium now

closing.

It

was

Slatin Pasha's

observation in Eastern Soudan that " at least


seventy-five per cent, of the total population of

Eastern Soudan has succumbed to war, famine,

and
1

disease, while of the

remainder the maIT.

Mohammedan Missionary
London, 188S,
i.,

Problems, H.

Tesup, 28, 29.

Speech of Mr. E. H. Glenney, Report of Missionary Con29, 30.

ference,

ii2

Islam

in Africa
'

jority are little better than slaves."

Through-

out his journeys in the desert, Mr. Richardson


reports evidences on every

hand

of declining

prosperity and decreasing population.


reveals a flourishing civilisation in

History

North Africa,

where now
lation.

is,

largely, the
it

abomination of desoin

But

is

remarkable fact that

Algeria, where for fifty years the French have

had

rule,

" the population

is

increasing pretty
8

nearly one hundred

thousand every year."

From many

considerations the inference seems

well founded that

Mohammedan

control has

been so characterised by

injustice, incapacity,

moral degradation, and neglect of the proper


functions
of

government that
that, largely, this
is

life

has lan-

guished

and

chargeable to

Mohammedanism
walder says
"

as a religion.

Father Ohr-

of

the

Soudan

that

Mahdism
3

dragged

it

back into an almost indescribable

condition of religious and moral decadence."

This

will

be further, and
still

we

think clearly,

evidenced by what we
1

have to say.

Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 623. Speech of Mr. E. H. Glenney, Report of Missionary Con-

ference,
3

London, 1888,

i.,

29, 30.

Preface to " Fire

and Sword in

the Sudan, Slatin Pasha.

Moral and Religious Character


What

113

Dr. Jesup has said concerning divorce


in

between morality and religion as essential

Mohammedanism in general is proved true concerning Mohammedanism in Africa. Mr. Richardson, from personal observation in the desert
tribes,

witnessed

that

" the

sum
is

of

religion

amongst many of the wild


of

tribes

the formula

Mohammed being the prophet of God, fasting,


1
;

and circumcision"
of

and Slatin Pasha's summary


:

Mahdism

is

even simpler

"

The

repetition of

the five prayers, and the reading of the Kuran,

on which no commentaries are permitted to be

made, make up the sum


spersed

total of religion, inter-

now and then with


a

the reading of the

Mahdi's instructions and the repetition, twice


a day, of the Rateb."
sion
is

But

this formal profesin

accompanied by moral degradation,


throughout these
3

many
there

respects,
is

tribes.

Thus
"All
of

a sad lack of financial integrity.

Tunisian Arabs are robbers."


Tripoli
1

The Pasha

opposed

Mr. Richardson's proposed

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,


i.,

London, 1S48,
2

149.

Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 548. Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,
i.,

London, 1848,

21.

ii4

Islam in Africa
it

journey into the desert, fearing that


interfere with his

would

system of extorting money


1

from the inhabitants of that country.


proportion
of

large

government taxes and


a

assess" gets "

ments, throughout this whole region,


into the pockets of the officials."

The

Mar-

about,"

Mohammedan

saint, teacher,

and writer

of the village, Mr. Richardson's camel-driver,

was

" dishonest
3

when he could be
driver, the

so

with

safety."

Speaking of these Marabouts, and

alluding to

my

Sheik
*

said, "

These

fellows pray

God and

rob man."

Slatin Pasha

gives us this picture of Islam, as illustrated

by

Mahdism
The attempted regeneration of the faith by the Mahdi, who disregarded the former religious teaching and customs, has resulted in a deterioriation of morals, which, even at the best of times, were very lax in the Sudan. Partly from fear of the Khalifa, and partly for their own personal interests and advantage, the people have made religion a mere profession and this has now become their second nature, and has brought with it a condition of immorality which is almost indescribable. The majority of the inhabitants, unhappy and discon;

"

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,


i.,

London, 1S48,

13.

Ibid., 50.

Ibid., 52.

Ibid., 54.

Moral and Religious Character


tented with the existing state of
that their personal
restricted than
it

115

affairs, and fearing freedom may become even more is, seem to have determined to

enjoy their

life as

much

as their
it.

and
cally

to lose

no time about

means will allow, As there is practi-

seem

no social life or spiritual intercourse, they to have resolved to make up for this want by

indulging their passion for


extent."
'

women

to

an abnormal

Such hints might be multiplied


All

indefinitely.

know

the corruptibility of

Mohammedan
piracy of the

government throughout.
Barbary States
in

The

the early part of our present

century was encouraged by the

Mohammedan

government as a means of supplying the public


exchequer.
2

worse development

is

to be found in the

startling hypocrisy of the religious leaders of

Mohammedanism, not simply


religion

in

North Africa

but apparently wherever on the continent the


goes.

Mr.

Richardson, early

in

his

journey into the desert, was ushered into the


presence of the

Mohammedan

ruler of a district

an exemplar for that


1

region of

MohammedEllinwood,

Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 560.


Oriental Religions

and

Christianity

F. F.

D.D., 201.

n6

Islam in Africa

anism pure and undefiled.


to the

He

said privately

Englishman

"

Now

these people you

are travelling with are barbarians,

you

must
;

humour
if

their

whims and

respect their religion

they were not

now

present,
1

we would have
in-

a bottle of wine together."

Again, at the

teresting city of Ghat, in the very centre of the

Mohammedan
Marabouts

desert, the

prince said,

"

Our
9

[religious leaders] are all rogues."

What

can be more startling than the picture

which Slatin Pasha presents of the hypocrisy of


the Mahdi, and of his successor, the Khalifa?
" Openly,

he showed himself a most

strict

ob-

server

of

his

own

teachings

but,

within

their

houses, he, his Khalifas, and their relatives entered


into the wildest excesses, drunkenness, riotous living, fied

and debauchery of every


to

sort,

and they

satis-

their

fullest

extent

the vicious passions


. . .

which are so prevalent amongst the Sudanese.

The
five

Khalifa,
daily

if

his health permits

it,
;

attends the

heart,
all

prayers most regularly and yet, at no man could be more irreligious. During the years in which I have been in the closest

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richard-

son,
*

London, 1848,

i.,

43.

Ibid., 134.

Moral and Religious Character


communication with him,
I

117

have never once seen

or heard him say a prayer in his

own house."

'

Dr. Schweinfurth described the


missionaries
" polluted

Mohammedan
Khartoum
2

whom

he found

at

as

with every abominable vice which

the imagination of

man can conceive."

Bishop

Crowther, the venerable negro ecclesiastic of


the Niger region, declares that " the real vocation of the quiet apostles of the of fetish peddlers "
;

Koran
These

is

that

and

this

testimony
3

is

con-

firmed by the explorer Lander.

latter

statements
ily,

may

not prove hypocrisy, necessar-

but they clearly indicate the low degree of

moral elevation belonging to the


missionaries throughout

Mohammedan Central Africa. And

the Arabs,
atives

who

are emphatically the representof that religion, unblushingly

and agents

substitute selfishness for self-sacrifice, and slave-

hunting for devotion.


It is

hardly necessary to specify untruthful-

ness as one of the moral characteristics of


1

MoF.

Fire and

Sword in

the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 375, 547.

'

Quoted

in

Oriental Religions

and

Christianity,

F.

Ellinwood, D.D., 211.


3

Ibid., 211.

u8

Islam in Africa
This
vice
is

hammedanism throughout.

prevalent one throughout the East, and


;

among

non-Mohammedan peoples but the fact that Mohammedanism has not corrected it, and does
not
in

general produce truthfulness,

is

an

indic-

ation of the character of the religion.

"

Are

you so
a

foolish,

Yakob,
tells

as to believe everything

Mohammedan
1

you
Mr.

"

was the question


in

which they
desert.

asked

Richardson

the

Hints of something like order, morality, and


self-control are
is

found here and there.

"

There
a

no crime worth

naming
3

in

the oases."

"

Ghat

is

a country of peace."
4

"

The Touariks

never

steal."

ures of

One of the Mohammedanism is


is

characteristic feat-

the self-control de-

manded through the


fast

feast of

Ramadan.

This

for thirty days

said to

be conscien-

tiously observed

by

all

the faithful

even

in

Africa

involving abstinence

from food and

drink throughout the daytime.


1

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richard-

son,

London, 1848,
ii.,

i.,

427.

''Ibid.,
3
4

36.

Ibid.

74.

Ibid., 149.

Moral and Religious Character


" If there

119
to
it

were a railway from West Africa


to avail yourself of

the
in a

Red Sea and you wished

journey to Egypt during the fast month, (you might perhaps accomplish the journey in seven
days,) you would during those seven days pass through a route where you would find every man,

woman, and
fast.

child in

good health observing the


fires

On

the entire route, four thousand miles,

you would notice that the


time.
sight

were out
at

in the

day-

No
l

sixty

other part of the globe presents such a


million

people fasting

the

same

time."

This
us

statement

by Dr. Blyden

seems to

somewhat exaggerated.
it

Investigation will

make

evident that
task so
it

it

would be an exceedto

ingly difficult

plan a railroad in

Central Africa that

shall lead

through four
so strict

thousand miles of a
as here specified.
in

Mohammedanism
is

But there

sufficient truth

the assertion to indicate a degree of moral

restraint, beneficial or otherwise, as

exerted by

the religion and characterising


In general
it

it.

must be

said that

throughout

Mohammedan North

Africa "the most terrible

unrighteousness, the grossest degradation, cou1

The Church at Home and Abroad,

vii.,

412.

120

Islam in Africa
1

pled with the vilest immorality" exist.


reference
is

The
testi-

to the

Mohammedan
is

states north

of the desert.

This

confirmed by the

mony

of

Morocco

" one of

one who lived eighteen years


the most intensely
in

in

Mohamsays,

medan
"

countries

the

world."

He

There does not

exist a

more degraded and


It

corrupt country on the face of the earth."


is

hard, or impossible, to find an eulogist of the

moral condition created by


trol
in

Mohammedan
last

con-

North Africa

through the

one

thousand years.

We

have already referred to the

fact that
cir-

throughout the desert, largely by force of

cumstances, a better moral condition prevails.


It is

not

this superiority,

Mohammedanism but human


life

that has produced


isolation

and need.

The
it

stern

of the desert necessitates

some
;

confidence and faithfulness man with man


gives chance for
of the great
in
all

and

possible inspiration from

what

common

stock of truth

is

presented
1

Mohammedanism.

But

it

is

not

ference,
2

Speech of Mr. E. H. Glenney, Report of Missionary ConLondon, 1888, i., 29.

New York

Tribune, April

7,

1893.

Moral and Religious Character


Islam as a system that
this moral betterment.
is

121

to be credited with

The

desert has always

been man's walking ground with God.


Passing

now

to

Mohammedan
we have Mr.

civilisation

south of the desert,

Stanley's testof

imony concerning the general condition


affairs in

the Egyptian Soudan.

In the revul-

sion following the complete overthrow of


eral

Gen-

Gordon's control, there was an awful lapse

" Venality, oppression,

and demoralisation

re-

placed justice and equity and righteousness."

But

this

was largely

a return

to

the

old

order that had

become

established under

Mo-

hammedan dominancy. In Kordofan, a Mohammedan state in Eastern Soudan, " the


moral character of the people
as
it

is

about as bad

can well be."

'

In Darfur, lying immedi-

ately east of Kordofan, the morals of the people

are very lax.

Throughout that part


of

of

West-

ern

Soudan
sinful

which Bishop Crowther had


is,

knowledge there
of all
1

as

he

testifies,

" full licence


licen-

enjoyments."
the

The awful

Uganda and
ii.,

Egyptian Soudan, Messrs. Wilson and

Felkin,
8 3

310.
276.

Ibid.,

ii.,

Life of Samuel Crowther, 103.

122
tiousness of
is

Islam
Mahdism

in Africa
in

the Eastern Soudan


Slatin
in the

written

on

almost every page of


tale,

Pasha's wonderful

Fire and
is

Sword

Sudan.

The testimony

well-nigh, or quite,

unanimous, that the moral character of Moham-

medanism throughout the Soudan,


unspeakably bad.
favourably, with

as through-

out North Africa, perhaps excepting the desert,


is
it,

The attempts
some bad
civilisation,

to

compare

features of Euro-

pean and American


the charge

do not parry

for

the evil

excrescences of the
essential

latter are not to

be compared with the

character of the former.

As
ing
of
is

the matter upon which

we

are

now

dwell-

all-important for a correct understanding


in Africa,
it

Mohammedanism

is

necessary

to specify two or three points that have been

thus far only suggested

in

general

intemper-

ance, sensuality in the strict use of that term,

and slavery.

These three

classes of evil indic-

ate clearly the moral status of Islam in Africa.

Dr. Blyden claims that " throughout Central


Africa there has been established a vast
'

Total

Abstinence Society.'"
1

He

asserts that such

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the

ATegro

Race, 201.

Moral and Religious Character


is

123

the influence of this society, that " where

there are

Moslem
is

inhabitants, even in pagan

towns,

it

a very rare

thing to see a per-

son intoxicated."

But Mr. Richardson, even


desert

throughout the

regions

of

enforced

abstinence and self-control, testifies concerning


the Moslems that "

many

of

them do not
.

fail
. .

to intoxicate themselves with everything

which comes

in their

way."

'

As

to the de-

moralisation of the natives

by rum, many non-

Moslem
of

"were not more given to the use intoxicating liquors than were the Moslems
tribes

about Musardu and even among those like the

Kabyles
is

of

North Africa."
insobriety

In Tunis " alcohol

the chief foe of

the missionary's work."


is

"

Mohammedan

notorious."
3

Hear

the confession of the Sheik Hassan.


" Once, travelling with
ill,

Gordon," he remarked, and Gordon came to see me in my tent. In the course of our conversation I told him that I was addicted to alcoholic drinks, and that I put
" I fell
1

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richard-

son,
2

London, 1848,

i.,

315.
i.,

Dr. Gracey in The Missionary Review of the World, Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Fasha, 35.

382.
3

124
down my
really

Islam in Africa
present indisposition to being obliged to
last

do without them for the

few days.

This was
to give

my

indirect
;

way
I

of asking

Gordon

me something

was mightily disappointed, You, and, instead, received a very severe rebuke. a Moslem,' said he, 'and forbidden by your religion to drink wines and spirits I am indeed surprised. You should give up this habit altogether everyone should follow the precepts of his religion.' I replied, Having been accustomed to them all my life, if I now gave them up my health must suffer but I will try and be more moderate in
but
'
!

'

future.'

"

Further,

we have

the somewhat significant fact

that Turkey, the banner-bearer of Islam, voted


at the Berlin

Conference for free rum


1

in

the

Congo Free

State.

We

cannot avoid the con-

clusion that Dr.

Blyden romances somewhat

concerning his great total abstinence society of


Central Africa.

Mohammedanism,

asserting

temperance
force
its

if

not total abstinence,

fails

to entold,

command in Africa as, we are elsewhere. The Arabs themselves are the

chief
2

importers of intoxicating spirits into Africa.

In attempting to illustrate the moral character


1

The Church at Home and Abroad, iv., The Missionary Review of the World,

27.
i.,

gg.

Moral and Religious Character


Mohammedanism in sensuality, we approach
of
is

125

Africa by reference to
a matter
It

upon which

it

unpleasant to write.

must be borne
in
its

in

mind that Mohammedanism


stitution

very con-

makes a

distinct appeal to the ruling

passion of

human

nature.

It allows,

to the

faithful, four

wives and

limitless concubinage.

Mohammed, by
unto himself

special dispensation, granted

fifteen or

more wives and

pro-

claimed a message from heaven rebuking himself

for

undue continence.

The

marvellous

growth of Mohammedanism throughout the


world has been ascribed by some to the sensual
indulgence which this religion authorises.

But

that cannot wholly account for such a majestic

triumph over mankind

" It

is

a calumny on

men

to say that they are aroused to heroic

action

by sugar-plums
!

in this

world or the next.


lies

In the meanest mortal there


nobler."
It

something

must be borne

in

mind that while

the

religion of

Mohammed
it

allows licence in

certain respects,

teaches such restrictions in


is

other respects that licence

to

some degree
restraint

counterbalanced by restraint.
1

But the

Heroes,

Thomas

Carlyle, 64.

126
is

Islam in Africa
;

on matters comparatively unimportant


is

and
evil

the licence

in certain lines along which

nature runs almost irresistibly.


fast

Because the
for

of

days a year
excused
ity
in
it

Ramadan is insisted upon Mohammedanism is


allows.

thirty

not to be

the practically unlimited sensual-

which

Islam

is

essentially sensual.

Concerning the Moors of the towns of North


Africa
it

has been said, "


1

sensual and impure."

No people are more And Mr. Glenney in his


2
:

address at a conference said

"

dare not in a

company
I

like this tell

you

of the condition of

these countries, morally

or

rather immorally.

could not

tell

you

of the vile practices that are

done

in these lands."

Slatin

Pasha

in investi-

gating the country between the Blue and White


Niles,

found a trade-centre
collection of

in

which was " an


pro-

immense
perty of

young women, the

the wealthiest and

most respected
sold

merchants,

who had procured them and


immoral purposes,
at

them
1

for

high prices.
9

This was evidently a most lucrative trade."


Travels
i?i

the Great Desert


i.,

of Sahara, James Richardi.,

son,
2

London, 1S4S,

174.
29.

Report of Missionary Conference, London, 1888, Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 5.

Moral and Religious Character

127

Perhaps no more significant hint could be given


than that presented by Mr. Richardson
'

when
or

he

said, "

The Mohammedans

claim that a saint

or Marabout cannot have too

many women

wives, which they say assist their devotion

sentiment which they pretend to have received

from

Mohammed

himself by tradition."

Ap-

parently this utter lack of sensual control characterises the


in Africa.

whole of

Mohammedan

civilisation

We

find the

rotten fruitage of a

religious

system that contrives, essentially, the

destruction of the family relation throughout,

and the consequent degradation

of

women. 2

The third feature of the moral character of Mohammedanism in Africa upon which we
would dwell
slave-trade.
is

seen in connection
is

with

the

There

opened before us the


the connection of

whole question

as to

Mo-

hammedanism with
ern
civilisation,

slavery.

dark story,

absolutely unwritable and incredible to West-

presents
it

itself

to

us.

We

cannot enter upon


1

at length.

It lies in direct

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richard-

son,
2

London, 1848, i., 57. The Mohammedan Missionary Trod/em, H. H. Jesup,

34-37-


128

Islam in Africa

connection with what has just been said concerning

Mohommedan

sensuality.

"

One

of

the greatest obstacles to the suppression of the slave-trade was the facility which
it

afforded
in

Moorish and Arab merchants to indulge


sensual amours.
1

Sir William

Muir
3

attributes
in

to this the persistence of the

Mohammedans

the slave-trade.
as

He
to

claims that,
this

"so long

free

sanction

great evil stands

recorded on the pages of the Koran,

Mohamcease to

medans

will

never of their

own accord

prosecute the slave trade."


In the African slave-trade

we have what
sore
of

Livingstone called
world."

" the
is

open

the

Not only

religion of the slave-driver

Mohammedanism the Mohammedanism


;

sanctions the slave-trade, and

is

responsible, in

the last analysis, for the wide-spread

demand

that has prolonged the export slave-trade of


late.

We

recognise the fact that

Mohammedsomewhat
While

anism

restricts

the

slave-trade

so far as
1

Mohammedans
ii.,

are concerned.

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,


348.

London, 1848,
2

Oriental Religions

and

Christianity,

F.

F.

Ellinvvood,

D.D., 192.

Moral and Religious Character 129


Mohammedans that are slaves, and while the common assertion that Mohammedans
there are
are

exempted from slavery


slave-traders

is

an error,

it

is

certainly true that throughout Africa the

hammedan
upon

tribes that are

Momake their raids rather not Mohammedans. But

" to attack slavery in


is

Mohammedan
2

countries

to interfere with institutions to

which Islam

gives a religious sanction."


It is

not necessary here to enter into a de-

scription of the awful

inhumanity and
-

evil of

the

Mohammedan
3

slave

trade.

shaded

map

indicates that the region of slave-hunt-

ing extends from about five degrees north of

the equator to twenty-five degrees south of


it
;

indeed,

almost

throughout
district

the

contin-

ent,

excepting a narrow

along both

eastern and western coasts.

Also, that " slave

caravans have been embarked as late as 1889"

along both eastern and western coasts of this

whole

stretch,

throughout the

districts that are

supposed to be under the control of the great


1

2 3

The Arab and the African, S. T. Pruen, 210. The Church Missionary Atlas, i., 33. The Arab and the African, S. T. Pruen, 226.

130
Powers
least an

Islam in Africa
of

Europe.

A
'

slight

apology, or at
is

attempt

at fair statement,
;

made by

a missionary, Dr. Pruen

he says that most of

the slaves are purchased by the Arabs from the


native chiefs of the interior, and that " these
slaves are stated to be either the

scum

of the

native villages of

whom

the chiefs are glad to

be rid, or else the prisoners taken


country chiefs
in their
is

by the upAlso,

frequent fights."
fraud.

" a smaller trade

done by

Small parties

of natives or single individuals are enticed into a or else caravan to sell food, and are then seized
;

in time of scarcity the people of a half-starved village are encouraged to join themselves to a

caravan on the assurance that there is plenty of food a few miles ahead. But after the few miles' march the plenty does not make its appearance,

and the unfortunate people sadly recognise the fact that they have said farewell to their freedom."
Also, parents
sell

their children

for food

to

passing caravans.

Dr. Pruen evidently makes

the most favourable statement possible


of a spirit of fairness.
" the

out

He

asserts that

Arab does not


The Arab and

as a rule ill-treat his slaves.


is

When
1

an unfortunate slave

seized with illness,

the African, S. T. Pruen, 212, 250.

Moral and Religious Character


and unable
rule,
if

131
as

to

continue
is

the journey, he

is,

the caravan

near the hunting ground,


If this

killed

by the Arab

in charge.

custom were

not the rule, the whole caravan would get ill at the next station. If it is necessary to transfer the

body of
the only

slaves

from the interior


to kill those too

to the coast,
ill

then

way

is

to travel."

But these statements give


and
the

faint idea of the

shocking barbarities that are really committed,


of

cataclysmic
slavers.
fire

desolation

that

is

wrought by the
the Arabs set

Surrounding a
;

village,

to the huts

as the frightkilled

ened people emerge, the men are


the

and
inde-

women and

children are seized.

The

scribable savagery at the


is

moment

of the attack

but a hint of the long-drawn horrors of the


All possible devilishness in

march.
ture
is

human

na-

exhibited throughout.
life,

practical ex-

termination of tribal
of the prosperity

at least a destruction
civilisation of

and primitive
is

vast
"

and populous regions,

accomplished.

The Arab wreaks

a ruin even greater than the


;

annihilation of tribes outright

he keeps the region

in a perpetual ferment, sets chief against chief to

prevent combination, and either makes tools of


the tribes likely to

become dominant,

or shatters

132
them by
pendents."

Islam in Africa
instigating
'

rebellion

among

their

de-

Dr. Livingstone bore witness to the vast desolation

accomplished

in a short

time
2

in

the
also

regions through which he travelled.

So

does Mr. Stanley


ellers

and so do

all

the later travCardinal

throughout Equatorial Africa.

Lavigerie estimated that two million lives are

massacred

in

obtaining the four hundred thou9


;

sand slaves annually brought to the coast


4

but this statement seems to be considerably


within actual
facts.

The

social

disturbance

throughout the vast continent, arising from


these
"
slave-raids,

can

readily

be

imagined.

Whenever Livingstone
5

crossed the slave-path

he found the natives suspicious and inclined to be unfriendly."


slave-dealer, the
at

" Until

the advent of the

native tribes lived generally

peace

among
is

themselves, but since then a


6

great change has taken place."

Slavery
1

an indigenous institution
iv.,

in Africa,

The Missionary Review of the World,

428.

Life of Livingstone, Montefiore, 101, 116, 153-156.

*Itid.) 155.
4
6

The Missionary Review of the World,


,

iv.,

428.

Life of Livingstone Montefiore, 51. Uganda and the Egyptian Soudan, Wilson and Felkin, 209.

Moral and Religious Character


The Arabs did not introduce who have made the export
it
;

133
they

but

it is

trade in slaves

from Central Africa, and who have developed


the unutterable horrors of the business. Be-

cause Islam expressly sanctions slavery and does

not operate to check

its

abominations, though
religion

Mohammedans have power to do so, the


of
for

Mohammed must

be held largely responsible

what has been here merely suggested.

The

moral character of

Mohammedanism
extol,

in Africa,

the inevitable result of that religious system

which some have attempted to


in letters of

is

written

blood and

fire in

the history of the


last
fifty

African slave-trade throughout the


years of this century.

The

question concerning
traffic is

the forced stoppage of this horrible

indeed a

difficult

one.

England has entered

heartily into the work, as also have

some other
of

European

nations.

But the

lust

and greed

the traders, the difficulty of access into the slaveraided regions, the power of the Turkish Pashas

and army and wealthy classes, the ready market


1

for slaves
1

throughout the
the

Mohammedan

lands
ii.,

Uganda and

Egyptian Soudan, Wilson and Felkin,

217.

134
of

Islam

in Africa
all

North Africa and Asia, above

the sanc-

tion of Islam,

make

success most difficult.


in

The

shrewdness of the Arab traders


stacles
is

avoiding obthe ques-

almost phenomenal.

And

tion

is

further complicated by the assertion

that with increasing difficulties in the


selling prisoners of

way

of

war

as slaves to the

Arab

traders,

intertribal
fatal

warfare in Central Africa


if

becomes more
tempts thus
but feebly

not more cruel.

All

at-

far to abolish

the trade have been


true solution lies in

effective.

The

easy access for foreign influence by railway, or


at least

by good roadway, from north to south


the development of a legitimate comnatives.
in

and from east to west throughout the continent,

and

in

merce among the

But the power of


Central Africa must

the Mohammedan Arab


first

and completely be broken.

The

introduc-

tion of foreign influence throughout the

Dark

Continent

will gradually

accomplish

this.

But

little is

to be said concerning the higher

characteristics of

Mohammedanism as
is

a religion.

Islam in Africa

of the

earth, earthy.

In

passing from the realm of mere morality into


that of higher religious conception,

we make

Moral and Religious Character


transition that
is

135

not at

all

a familiar one to the

Mohammedan. He makes but little of what thought of God and of the future life and
African
of final accountability his religion brings to him.

Doubtless, to the

Mohammedan
were

of the seventh

century higher

truths

real

and vivid

but his successors of the nineteenth century


in

Africa are
see

degenerate.
lack
of

It

is

indeed sad
elevation
less, of
is

to

the

utter

spiritual

throughout the sixty millions, more or

Mohammedans
in

in Africa.

Here and there

observable an outburst of the old enthusiasm,

which the thought of God and the outlook


life

into the spirit

are real

and dynamic.

In a

vague way, even now, the essential doctrines of

Mohammedanism,

the person of God, Divine


of

providence, the anticipation

Paradise, are
exist-

supposed to be held

in

mind.

The very

ence of the mosque, supposed to be zealously


established

wherever Mohammedanism goes,

even

if

only an ordinary

bamboo and thatched

hut dignified by that exalted name, serves to


prevent the native from forgetting entirely that
there
is

one God, and that his communication

with that

God

in

prayer

is

not only a possibility


6
but a duty.
in

Islam in Africa
It is

probable that there are places

Central Africa where Islam as a religion,


life, is

dealing with things beyond this


reality.
1

still

Such

revivals as that of the

Wahah-

bees and of the Mahdists serve to show that

Mohammedanism
make

at

times and

in

places can

real the unseen.

But, in general, these

higher thoughts and this inspiration from above

have but

little

part

in

an African

MohamArab
as

medan's

life.

Dr. Pruen quotes Palgrave as ac-

curate in his characterisation of the

evincing a settled resolution to prefer the certain to the uncertain, the present to the future.
If

true of the Arab, far

more

of the

Moham-

medanised pagan.
" Shall I

abandon the pleasures of the pure winethey


?

goblet

For

all

tell

me

about milk and honey here-

after Life,

Stuff

and death, and resurrection to follow, 2 and nonsense, my dear Madam."


are the lines of a popular

Such
and

Arab poet
in Africa.
378.

they indicate sadly the utter earthliness,

even sensuality, of Islam as a religion


1

Blyden, Christianity, Islam,

and the Negro Race,


S.

The Arab and the African,

T. Pruen, 259.

CHAPTER

IX

THE CHANGE FROM PAGANISM

WE
is
is

have already seen that Mohammedanism has obtained complete control throughout the north and the desert

in Africa

practically

supreme throughout the


of

line of
;

kingdoms immediately south

the desert

predominant throughout the Soudan.


there
are

Also,
settle-

that

many Mohammedan
Equatorial
Africa,

ments

throughout
;

small
far

and sparse

and that Arab traders reach

south, even to the line of

Mozambique.

There

are said to be about sixty millions of

Mohamhas been

medans now
effected

in Africa.

What change
religion
?

by the conquering

The

early overthrow of Christianity in the

north of Africa was complete, so far as the


1

Encyclopedia of Missions,
137

ii.

[21.

i3 8
destruction
cerned.
of

Islam in Africa
of

Christian

institutions

is

con-

By

division, sectarian strife, bitterness

so-called

Christian

spirit,

neglect

of true

spirituality, the

Church
"

of Christ in those re-

gions had

left its first love.


:

been unheeded

The warning had Remember therefore from


and repent, and do the
will
I

whence thou
first

art fallen,

works

or

else

come unto thee


of
'

quickly, and will


his place, except

remove thy candlestick out


thou repent."

Mohammedand cruel

anism, fleet as an

Arab

steed, keen

as a scimitar's edge,

overwhelmed an unworthy

and unspiritual Christianity

and so completely
left.

that absolutely nothing was


at that

The change
as

time
;

in
it

that region

was complete

possible
least,

and

may have

been, for a while at

improvement.

We are not prepared to say


Mohammedan
But

that the enthusiasm of the early

conquerors was not higher and better than the


corrupt Christianity which they overcame.
in its far-reaching results,

through the ten centinherent evil


itself

uries
of

that have intervened, the

Mohammedanism

has manifested

in

that region.

No

possible corruption of Christ1

Rev.

ii.,

5.

The Change from Paganism


ianity could have brought such a blight

139

upon

fair

portion of the earth's surface as Islam has


in

accomplished

North Africa.

There are many evidences that Mohammedanism did not so completely penetrate the desert
tribes of Africa as in

Arabia and the surround-

ing

Mohammedan
first

regions.

At
it

the time of

the

conquest of the desert

may be

that

Mohammedanism was somewhat


the paganism which
ally this religion
it

modified by
;

supplanted

but practicitself

has so developed

under

desert influences that


hara,

we have now
to the

in

the Sa-

perhaps,

the

purest

and most typical

Mohammedanism.
has had
free
glorification.

Down

Soudan Islam
to
its

course

though

hardly

Whatever may have been the


a complete change

paganism of that region,

was wrought long ago. But the question


as

to

the

change

from

paganism becomes more interesting, and more


difficult, as

we approach

the races south of the

desert

the more recent


Much

conquests of Islam

in

Africa.

has been claimed that proves on

investigation to be startling exaggeration.

The Mohammedan

states of

Northern Sou-

Ho
dan
civilisation

Islam
doubtless

in Africa
favourably
in

contrast

their

with the savagery of some

Central-

African tribes.

But the question


real

arises as to

whether
to

this

is

change from paganism, due


is
it

Mohammedan

influence? or

due to a
?

natural superiority in the natives involved

The

Hausas, the Fulahs, the Mandingoes,


did races of

are splen-

men

their native civilisation

would
due to
sacri-

be
It

far

higher than that of

many

African tribes.
is

may

be that to

some extent

credit

Islam for abolishing " cannibalism,

human

fices, the burying of living infants, the horrors

of fetishism, belief in witchcraft, intemperance,"

as
far as

Mr. Bosworth Smith claims

'
;

though, so

our present investigation has been able to


is

reach, this

largely unsubstantiated assertion


It

by Mr. Smith.
to

may

possibly be provable
line of

some extent concerning the narrow

Mohammedan states of which we On the other hand, there is an overwhelming


have spoken.

mass of testimony to the

effect that in general

the change from paganism effected by Moham-

medanism
thing.
1

is

so small as to be practically noin

Even

the hotbed of

Mahdism the
iii.,

The Church at Home and Abroad,

595.

The Change from Paganism


Bedeyat are merely nominal Moslems.
their chiefs are asked

" If
re-

by Mohammedans to
'

peat the creed, they can say,

There

is

no God

but God, and

Mohammed
they

is

His prophet.'
;

But
ut-

beyond

this

know nothing
!

they are

terly ignorant of the precepts of

the Kuran,
"

and never pray as Moslems."


tribes that

The negro
little

have been won to allegiance by the


in

prophet of Mecca are Moslem


than name."
a

more

"

dingoes, and Jaloofs,

The Bournous, Fulahs, Manwho profess Islam, have


of

done

little

more than abandon some


3

the

rites of

paganism."

We

have the authority

of Bishop Crowther,

whose testimony our con-

tinued study into these matters inclines us to

take without question, to the effect that " even


in

those districts where


it

Mohammedanism

has

got the firmest hold,


rather

has not superseded but

grafted

itself

upon the
"

superstitious

demon-worship of the natives everywhere." 4

The
1

explorer

Lander

asserts,

Those who
the negroes

profess

Mohammedan

faith

among

Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 114.


i.,

^Encyclopedia of Missions,
3

9.

The Missionary Review of the World, i., 4 Life of Samuel Crowther. Preface, ix.

382.

142

Islam in Africa

are as ignorant and superstitious as their idola-

trous brethren

nor does

it

appear that their

having adopted a new creed has either improved


their
life."
'

manners or bettered
for illustration the

their

condition in

Take

kingdom

of

Uganda

under Mtesa, and the conversion of king and kingdom to Mohammedanism. Uganda " is by
far

the most powerfully organised and


civilised state
2

(in its

way)

which has been found

in

Central Africa."

King Mtesa was a young


little later

man

in 1861.

he came under the

influence of
fession

Arab

traders,
;

and became by probut apparently his

Mohammedan

conversion consisted largely in a change of

costume

simply
his people

putting

on Arab clothing.
little

Mohammedanism took but


mass of
8
;

hold on the

though the course of King


in a

Mtesa was followed


chiefs.

nominal way by

his

Later, Christian missionaries were re;

ceived into his court

Mtesa himself now

be-

came an accepter
1

of Christianity, about
F. F.

the

Oriental Religions and Christianity,

Ellinwood,

D.D., 211. 2 Church Missionary Atlas, 5S. 3 The Story of Uganda, S. G. Stock,

34.

The Change from Paganism


year 1877.

143

But

in

1879 Mtesa and his chiefs

publicly prohibited both Christianity and

Mo-

hammedanism, and returned


superstitions.
1

to their heathen

Again a change of sentiment

it

could hardly be called conviction


religious
agility

in 1881.

Such

on the part of King


clearly that

Mtesa enables us to see

Moham-

for him little more than a name, and that while nominally

medanism, as Christianity, was

converted to Islam, at least for a while, his

people remained practically unaffected.


story of this native African

The

kingdom would
not for the close

have been

lost for us

were

it

connection of these changes with recent exploration throughout that region.

But

it

leads us

to question the reality of


quest,

and the degree of

Mohammedan conMohammedan influwhose


so
to

ence, in other kingdoms, the story of

conversion
clearly.

we do not chance

know

All reliable testimony leads

irresisti-

bly to the conclusion that Islam in


Africa has accomplished
superficial
little

Central

more than a

change

and
I

largely not even that.

Dr. Pruen writes, "


1

have never seen a SwaS.

The Story of Uganda,

G. Stock, 77.

144
hili

Islam in Africa
[Mohammedan] perform any
'

other

relig-

ious duty than to turn a sheep or goat towards

Again " I Mecca before he cut its throat." do not know any single instance in Eastern
:

who has become a true and earnest Mohammedan. There are many nominal ones. The nominal Mohammedan cares practically nothing for reliEquatorial Africa of a pure native
gious
rites,

and never performs them when alone,


3

nor when in company unless in the presence of


an Arab."

This indifference of the nominal


of

Mohammedans
to

Eastern Equatorial Africa

the demands

of their religion

seems to be

largely a characteristic throughout.


lifa

The Kha9

himself never prayed

in

private.

There

are earnest are largely

and true Mohammedans, but they


of

Arab or half-Arab parentage.


merely
a
thin

So

far

as

the original tribes are concerned,


is

Mohammedanism
where
it

veneer,
is

exists at

all.

Its semi-civilisation

due as much to the superior capacity of the natives whom it has reached as to any inherent
1

The Arab and


Ibid., 297.

the African, S. T. Truen, 264.

*
3

Fire and Sword in the Sudan, Slatin Pasha, 547.


The Change from Paganism
elevating
of one

145

power
is
;

of Islam

itself.

The

doctrine

God

doubtless a great leap upward

from paganism
this

but

it

will

be found that even


is

central

and essential thought

hardly

grasped by the Central-African


Instead,
a

Mohammedan.
is

modified

fetichism

all

that the

followers of the great prophet have been able


to effect.

This

is

somewhat

startling assertion,

when

we remember that the doctrine of the unity of God is the great and essential cry of Islam from
east to west.
It
is

its
it

boast and glory that

idols are shattered

by

wherever

it

goes

that
it

the clouds of polytheism are dissipated by


as the mist

by the
did in

sun.

But, strangely,

what
such

Mohammed
idols,

Mecca when he broke the


followers did
in

what

his zealous

lands as India where they met with a devel-

oped polytheism, Mohammedanism has been


incapable of accomplishing in Central Africa.

The

native form of religion eludes the attack


it

for the simple reason that

presents no idols

to break.

To understand

this failure of

Mohammedanchange
in

ism to produce marked

religious

146

Islam in Africa
it is

Central Africa,

necessary to look briefly at


if

the native religion

it

may be

called such.

Throughout the

larger part of the

Dark Contin-

ent a terribly superstitious and debasing form


of fetichism prevails
:

it

is

one of the lowest

manifestations of the natural religious instinct


of

man.
a

There

is

throughout, apparently, a beof

lief in

Supreme Power

as to be utterly

God but so vague indefinable. The thoughts, or


life.

rather fears, of the natives are centred in the


race of

demons which mixes with human


all.

An

oppressive fear possesses

These

de-

mons

are largely, or entirely, evil agents.


all
is

A
its

universal faith in witchcraft arises, with


terrors.

The

ordeal by

fire

and water

ap-

plied on slightest cause or occasion.


stitious faith in

A superThere
intellect-

charms

arises naturally.

has not been sufficient advance, either


ually or socially, to develop the

more

definite

conceptions of polytheism.

Hence

MohamIt

medanism

is

brought face to face simply with

a vague imagination and a terrible fear.


lifts

the mallet to break the image


air.

and strikes
play so

nothing but

The

fetiches

that

large a part as objects of African reverence are

The Change from Paganism


not
idols,

147
gods;

gods, or

representations
in

of

they are simply objects

which supernatural

power

is

supposed to
it

reside.

Thus
finds
it

will

be seen that
its

Mohammedanism
as

easy to assert

doctrine of the one

true

God.

The

idea of

Mohammed
issue

the

Great Prophet,

also, is easily

acceptable by the

natives. The real point at hammedanism and African

between Mois

fetichism
native,

in

the

superstitious
itself in

fear

of

the
in

manifesting

charms and

the abominations con-

nected with witchcraft.

Now

the peculiarity

of Islam in Central Africa lies in the fact that


it

has absorbed and assimilated this superstiIt

tious fear.

may be

that

it

substitutes

its

own

fetiches for the original native objects of superstition


:

but

it

does not essentially change that


"

superstition.

As

the

ruder tribes [in

the

Mandingo] region do not addict themselves to


the intellectual habits of the Mandingoes,
it

has been found necessary to adjust that faith


to the necessities of the case
;

and to temper

some

of the

mummeries
'

of the fetiches with

the teachings of Islam."


1

The Koran

is

made

Journey

to

Afusardu, 39.


48

Islam
more than

in Africa

little

a fetich.

Charms, largely passslips of

ages from the Koran written on

paper
beef-

and enclosed

in

cases, or

bound around

bones, worn on the person or buried in the earth,


are

most

efficacious in peace or in war, in


1

any

extremity.
assertion

" the real vocation of

Again we quote Bishop Crowther's


the (so-called)
that of fetish

quiet apostles of the Koran,


peddlers."

is

And Mr. Lander says of these Mohammedan teachers, " These Mollahs procharms on
off

cure an easy subsistence by making fetiches


writing
bits

of

wood which
2

are

washed

carefully in a basin of water

and
Mr.

drunk with avidity by the multitude."


Felkin found this fetich-like superstition

in

the

Egyptian Soudan

he writes, "

Some

of the

Mohammedan
proof."
3

priests profess to write

charms
bullet-

which render their possessors perfectly


It

extends even into the purer Moof the desert


;

hammedanism
1

for

Mohammed,

yourney to Musardu, 33 Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 203. Oriental Religions and Christianity, F. F. Ellinwood,
; ,J

D.D., 211.
3

Uganda and

the

Egyptian Soudan, Wilson and Felkin,

ii.,

59-

The Change from Paganism


the Islamic Marabout

H9

who undertook

the guid-

ance of Mr. Richardson's camel


journey, applied verses of

in his desert

the Koran

to

the

eyes of his wife's


efficacious than
all

sister,

"which were more

my physic."
in

bits of paper with the name of

Some of these God written on

them were steeped


the patient.
bits of

water and swallowed by

This superstition of swallowing

paper with the name of

God and
is

verses

of the Koran written on them, as well as the

water

in

which the paper

is

steeped,

preval-

ent as an infallible
Africa.
1

remedy

in all

Mohammedan
some
more than

Islam
in

in

Central Africa, and to


is

degree

Northern Africa,

little

a slightly modified fetichism.

That but

slight

change from paganism


in

is
is

wrought by Mohammedanism
evident in other matters as well.

Africa

The

act of

prayer, so conspicuous and important

in typical

Mohammedan

regions,

becomes increasingly

neglected as one penetrates southward into the

continent of Africa.

Mr. Wilson observed that

during the whole time in which some


1

Uganda

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,


i.,

London, 1848,

58.

150

Islam in Africa
with him

Mohammedans were
occasion

save
1

on one

when

his boat

was

in

extreme danger

he
ral

never knew them to pray, though they

professed to be strict Moslems.

Throughout

the whole range of literature concerning CentAfrica, so


far

observe, so

little

we have been reference is made to


as

able to

the

Moin

hammedan
we

act of

prayer

so

conspicuous

Arabian and Turkish Mohammedanism


are forced to the conclusion that

that
prac-

it is

tically lost in

Central Africa.
practically left

Also,

Moham-

medanism has
So

pagan polygamy
2

intact, " in principle

and

in practice."
is

far as religious manifestation

concerned,

the change from paganism wrought by

MohamYet

medanism

in

Central Africa
sort

is

but

slight.

civilisation of a certain

has certainly ad-

vanced into Central Africa with Mohammedanism.

Islam

is

a step, even

if

only one step,


is

in

advance of paganism.

The

cry " There


is

no
"

" an
1

God but God and Mohammed


eternal truth

His apostle
lie

and an eternal

"

at
i.,

Uganda and the Egyptian Soudan, Wilson and Felkin,


The Missionary Review of the World,
i.,

119.
2

382.

The Change from Paganism


least contains a

151

more advanced
cry,

assertion of the

great truth than anything that paganism presents.

Behind that
less

and uttering
of

it,

is

more or

zealous

band

warriors and

teachers, to enforce the acceptance of this short

and simple

of another, a higher, civilisation.

ations of

They bring with them ideas The modificpure Mohammedanism which African
creed.
sufficient
en-

paganism accomplishes are not


tirely to cut off this

connection with an outer

and higher world. As an indication that Islam,


in its

advance through Africa, has accomplished


of social condition,

some improvements
though
but
little

even

modification

of

religious

thought, take the fact that the

Arab has been

the means of introducing the Swahili language

throughout Central Africa

thus making a medfor

ium
the
ary.
1

of general

communication, not simply

Arab

trader, but for the Christian mission-

The language
utilised as the

of

the slave-trader has

been

language of the

Word

of

God.
In the matter of education
dication of
1

is

the clearest inin

what Islam has accomplished


xii.,

The Church at Home and Abroad,

462.

152

Islam

in Africa

African paganism.

Undoubtedly there

is,

in

the religion of the great prophet, some incentive to learning of a certain kind.
for the

Reverence
its

Koran

incites to

study of

language.

But, in general, the inspiration leads no farther

than into the sacred book and


traditions.

its

accompanying

There

is

but

little

idea of general

education.

The

devotee learns the

Koran by
"
it is

heart and copies the characters

though

believed

by many

persons that the Arabic

learning of

our Mandingoes, in reading and


is

writing from the Koran,


or a

merely mechanical,
'

mere matter

of

memory."

But, without

question, the earnest

strongly to learn

Mohammedan is prompted Arabic that he may read the


;

Koran means

for

himself

he

acquires thereby a
ideas which, to

of receiving

new

some

extent, are uplifting.

Teachers of Arabic go
Schools are established.

through the country.


Dr. Blyden
in
2

gives a glowing picture of the

way
3

which African youth rush into


literature

Arabic
1

Mohammedan He says and culture.


40.

Journey

to

Musardu,

Blyden, Christianity, Islam,


Ibid., 360.

and

the

Negro Race, 205-211.

The Change from Paganism


"Throughout Mohammedan
is

153

Africa, education
travel

compulsory.

man might now


and
in

across the continent, sleeping in a village every

night except in the Sahara


lage he will find a school."

every

vil-

But we do not

find

such statements verified

on the contrary there

much that we
is

to render

them doubtful.
is

can assert

that

The most Mohammedanism


intel-

provides an incentive to a certain amount of


intellectual culture,

and that considerable


it,

lectual activity

accompanies
its

where the proper


is

development of

influence

allowed.

The

mere

fact that

Mohammedanism

inculcates a

pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during the


lifetime,

and that
in

for various reasons

Moham1

medans
serve
to

Africa are great travellers,

will

indicate and explain

much

of

this

educational stimulus.

Mohammedanism
Africa,

has done
in

something

to-

wards developing agriculture

some

parts of

and business

enterprise

throughout,

save as the slave-trade has wrought desolation


rather than prosperity.

But there
"

is

in Africa,

particularly in the north, trade


1

untainted by

Blyden, Christianity, Isla?n, and the Negro Race, 215.

154
slavery."
2

Islam

in Africa

Interchange of sympathy between

the

Mohammedan communities undoubtedly


Mohammedanism makes
certainly
its

stimulates interchange of goods.

In one great point,

marked change.

It

develops

self-

respect in the native, so far as


really possess him.
"

essential ideas

The negro who


3

accepts

Mohammedanism acquires at once a sense of human nature." The true Mohammedan believer knows God, believes himthe dignity of
self to

be favoured by God,

is

taught to assert

himself as an equal
slave.
fact,
is

among

believers

even

if

a
in

Theoretically, and to

some extent
signalised

Islam makes a
;

man

of the pagan.

Costume
his

an indication

King Mtesa

acceptance of
the

Mohammedanism by
little

putting on

Arab costume.
elevation
in

Comparatively

of

religious
civilis-

ideas, a single step in

advance

general

ation,

velopment of
as
1

some dewe recognise accomplished by Mohammedanism in Africa.


stimulus,
all this

some educational
self-respect,

Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, James Richardson,

London, 1848, preface, xxv. 2 Mr. R. Bosworth Smith and the Negro Race, Blyden,

quoted
11.

in Christianity, Islam,

The Change from Paganism


Yet
it is

155

not possible for us to go to the extreme

to which such writers as

Bosworth Smith, Canon

Taylor, and
assert, for

Winwood Reade go when they example, that Mohammedanism " is

better
ianity "

adapted to the country than Christ'


;

that the progress of any large part


is

of the negro race

in proportion to its

Mohamre-

medanism
the

2
;

or that

"

Mohammed redeemed
cannot fully agree

Eastern World and his followers are


s

deeming Africa."

We

even with Dr. H. P. Smith as he says, "


cannot doubt that even

We

now

it

[Islam] carries

into the heart of Africa a civilisation

and a
etc.
4

morality that are an immense advance,"

For a correct understanding of the problem


is

it

most important to see


exaggeration
so frequently
of

clearly that

unwar-

ranted

statement has been


as largely to
will

made

and publicly
investigation
of

mislead.

careful

surely

show that the imagination


unaccountably run
in Africa.
1

some men has

riot in

dealing with Islam

2 3

The Church at Home and Abroad, iii., 68. Mohammed and Mohatnmedanism, R. Bosworth
Encyclopedia of Missions, The Bible and Islam, Dr.
i.,

Smith, 56.

9.

II. P.

Smith, 318.

15 6

Islam
it

in Africa

In this connection
is

must be noted that there

a tendency towards fixedness, a stereotyp-

ing process, that characterises

Mohammedanism
upon an
in-

everywhere.
ferior

As

it it

fastens itself

community
its level

tends to raise that people


fix

up to
off

but to

them

there.

It cuts

the possibility of further advance, save so

far as its essential influences

may be

counter-

acted from without.


trated
in

This
:

is

startlingly illus-

North Africa

the

Barbary States
This tendency

were stereotyped centuries ago.


is

essential in the system.

The Mohammedan
the
last

believes that the

Koran
and

is

and unalter-

able revelation from

God it
it

holds the

Moham-

medan world
that
it

fast;

is

only too evident

has not within

itself

any supernatural
advance.
Also,

adaptation to
in

human needs and

the repressive effects of that fatalism which,

though

perhaps

not a doctrine,

is

yet the

practical result of

Mohammedan
for this

teaching,

we
a

have additional reason

tendency of
at

Mohammedanism
certain point.
"

to

stop

immovably

Nothing

in the

world
its

is

so energetic as a

Mois

hammedan

nation in

youth and nothing

so

The Change from Paganism


truly feeble as a
.
.

157

Mohammedan

nation in old age.

A Mohammedan
many

nation accepts a certain

amount
But
all

of truth, receives a certain

ilisation,

practices a certain

amount of civamount of toleration.

these are so

obstacles to the accept-

ance of

truth, civilisation,

perfect shape.

which
his

to rest

and toleration in their has just enough on and pride himself and no longer feels

The Moslem
'

own

deficiencies."

Mr. Sell says of the great


ligious order of the
"

Mohammedan
a
:

re-

Sanusiyah

The

great object of the founder

'

was

to erect

an impassable barrier to the progress of Western


civilisation
in

and the influence of Christian powers


lands.'

Muslim

In these ardent propagators of

a great Pan-Islamic

movement
will

it

is

possible that

Great Britain and France


vishes."

find deadly foes

harder to conquer than the Khalifa and his der-

In estimating the change wrought in African

paganism by Mohammedanism, while recognising

some advance, we must consider

this

drawlittle

back,

that essentially
We
is

it lifts

the natives a

way, only to fasten them


obstinately.

at that point the

more

have seen that the point of

elevation
1

indeed low.

History and Conquest of the Saracens, E. A. Freeman, 57, Church Missionary Intelligencer, January, 1899.

158

Islam in Africa
well question as to whether Islam

We may
The
it

has been, on the whole, of advantage to Africa.


enthusiastic claims of those

who have
it

held

as the

highest

possibility for Africa,

and

even of those

who have

claimed

as the best

preparation for the introduction of Christianity,

must be

largely discounted.

ber the responsibilities of

the slave-trade,
desolation

When we rememMohammedanism for when we consider the vast


cruelty wrought

and

under

the

sanction

of

Mohammed, when we remember


polygamy and divorce and
as the
',

that such evils as


slavery "

must continue to flow so long


the standard of the people
"

Koran

is

when

we
is

consider that an almost insuperable barrier

raised

by Mohammedanism against anything

higher and better,

we may

well feel inclined to


3

assert with a recent writer

that
ills

"Islam

is

at

the bottom of the weight of


Africa
in
is

under which

suffering."

Is real

advance wrought
?

African paganism by Islam

Little or none.

Indeed, so superficial, from this point of view,


1

Sir

William Muir

quoted

in the

Missionary Atlas,

i.,

7o.
2

Quoted

in the Encyclopedia

of Missions,

i.,

9,

The Change from Paganism


is

159

the

Mohammedanism

of large parts of Africa

that " the conversion of a


ity to

whole pagan communeffort,

Islam need not imply more

more
1

sincerity, or

more

vital

change than the conver-

sion of a single individual to Christianity."


1

R. Bosworth Smith
,

quoted

in

Oriental Religions

and

Christianity

F. F. Ellinwood, D.D., 220.

m*i

CHAPTER X
THE AFRICAN TYPE OF MOHAMMEDANISM

ISLAM
notice.

is

Islam the world over.

But there

are distinctions

and differences important to


is

In Africa there

a markedly distinct

type of Mohammedanism.
of this religion in the

In the development

Dark Continent, under


from the old

the peculiar conditions involved, there has been


a

somewhat

startling divergence

type.

The

natural development of Islam in

other countries has produced a something in

many
yet

respects different from the ideal of the


;

great prophet and of his immediate successors

we behold in Turkey, Arabia, and Egypt what may be called the orthodox type in contrast

with what

is

to be found largely in Central

Africa,

and

in

varying

degrees

throughout

North

Africa.

At

least to

our imagination,

old Islam presented almost the ideal of heroism,


160

African

Mohammedanism
if

161
Or.

of zeal, of a faith true even

incomplete.

thodox Islam

in

these evil days presents a de-

terioration into weakness, sensuality, sterility

youthful
bad.

Islam grown old and decrepit and

In African Islam

we have

a renewal of

youth

characterised
all

by an

enlargement, a

superficiality, a selfish

and materialistic greed, a

combination of
with but
little

that has been proved bad,

of

what has been proved good,

both

in

the youth and the age of Islam.

" All the bad, salient features of

are asserted

intolerance,

Mohammedanism

polygamy, slavery, un-

natural crime, contempt of human life, an overweening pride while the better things to be found in the Koran, and the learning and the refinement

of the polished

Mohammedan

of India,
'

and

Persia,

and Turkey, are

totally absent."

Let us notice some


first

particulars.

See

in

the
is

place

that

African

Mohammedanism
Mohammedanism
as

characterised

by aggressiveness.

This was the


it

marked

characteristic of

sprang from the brain of the great prophet,

and was asserted by


It

his

immediate successors.

was with a mighty aggressiveness that they


1

The Missionary Review of

the

World,

iii.,

204.

62

Islam in Africa

began, and continued, their wonderful career


of conquest.

Aggressiveness was inherent in


In
its

the system.

decrepitude,

Mohammedan-

ism has

now
by

largely

ceased the attempt to

assert itself

force against the infidel nations


is

around

indeed there

a great question as to

whether or not
has of late really
Africa.

Mohammedanism in general made any advance outside of


has, through-

But

in the

Dark Continent Islam

out this century, been markedly aggressive-

making

large advance.

There are many

indic-

ations which lead one to believe that


gress,

its
;

pro-

even

in

Africa, has

now

ceased

and

that, perforce, its aggressiveness there, too, is

curbed.

ence into Africa,

With the entrance of European influArab and Mohammedan es;

tablishment must cease advance


recede.

rather,

must

But

it

is

in

Africa that later


itself

Mohamas

medanism has shown


ergy.

on a large scale
its

nearest the original type in

aggressive en-

That mighty impulse,

crystallised in the

Koran, which forces the believer to swing his

sword over

his

infidel

neighbour, demanding
itself for

confession or

life,

has manifested

African

Mohammedanism
Mohammedan
in

163
tribes

while irrepressibly in the


of Africa.

And

it

is

the region of Eastern


revival

Soudan that we have seen the mightiest


of the old Islamic spirit

in the furious aggres-

siveness of the dervishes, sweeping the soldiery


of

England and Egypt from the

field,

annihilat-

ing armies, seeking to obtain a country in the

name of God and for His prophet the Mahdi. The conquests in Central and Western Soudan
indicate this
It
is

same aggressiveness.
throughout a large part of
in

said that

Mohammedanism

the world there are


It

in-

dications of a general unrest.

may be
stir;

that

the extraordinary activity of Islam, lately, in


Africa,
fact
is

but a part of a general

but the

remains that here

we have

this restless-

ness turned into aggressive progress, exhibited


to

a degree nowhere else

shown throughout
It distinguishes

the

Mohammedan

world.

the

African type.

Again, we notice that African

MohammedanEarly
it

ism

is

characterised
its

by

superficiality.

Islam, in

progress, left behind

only true
the dead
Its

believers, or slaves of

believers, or
infidel.

bodies of the unconvertible

work

164 was thorough

Islam

in Africa
that
of

as

is

the

forest

fire.

This same completeness of conversion, or extinction, characterises the

orthodox
it

Mohammein

danism
a

of to-day, in so far as of
it

has power. But


Africa

marked feature

Mohammedanism
burns only

lies in this,

that

in patches,

and

merely the underbrush.


border upon pagan tribes
;

Mohammedan states Mohammedan indi;

viduals are surrounded by unbelievers

Moham-

medan
quest
social

aggressiveness seeks to reach


;

them

but
con-

not to exterminate them


is

Mohammedan
seen.

only on the surface of individual or

life

as

we have

The

African

Mohammedan is still a pagan. To some extent this superficiality

of religion

in

marked contrast

to the old Islamic intensin-

ity of religious zeal

and to modern Turkish

tolerance
It is

is

to be seen even in

North

Africa.

more

clearly

shown
itself

in the elasticity

with

which Islam adapts


ral

to the habits of CentIt is also indic-

African
in

life

and thought.

ated

the fact that African

Mohammedanism,
than
as with the Pharivii.
,

markedly, pays
to the text of
1

less attention to tradition

the Koran
at

'
;

The Church

Home and Abroad,

411.

African

Mohammedanism

165

sees of old Judea, intense devotion to

Moham-

medanism should be marked by the


a lapse from the old orthodoxy.
it

careful ob-

servance of tradition, and neglect therein proves

can be shown that African


superficial, as

many ways Mohammedanism


In
life

is

compared with the penetration


the heart and
of
its

of Islam into

early

adherents,
professors.

and

even

of

its

later

orthodox

This leads us to a third suggestion.

African

Mohammedanism

is

characterised

by a lessened
the early
proselytism
of the

zeal in proselytism.

A
a

fiery fury led

Mohammedans
that
race of

into

career

of

seemed limited only by the reach

man

they would win souls for


if

God

and His prophet, even


die

in so

doing they must

and

enter Paradise.

Perhaps
least

nowhere

throughout human history, at


a scale, can
in

on so large

we

find a similar exhibition of zeal

proselytism.

But the Arab charger has

been tamed into a draught-horse


spirit is

gone.

And

yet in the

much of his Mohammedan;

ism of Turkey, and perhaps India, there

is still
;

a longing for the conversion of the infidel

and

we hear

of

more or

less

attempt

at

propaganda

66

Islam

in Africa

in

America
is

as elsewhere.

The

zeal for pros-

elytism

not dead, even in Africa.


find

But

it is

surprising to

with

what tolerance the

average African
infidel or
is

Mohammedan will view the pagan and how comparatively easy


;

access to

him on the part


In those days

of the Christian

missionary.

when the

believer

could not look with the least degree of allow-

ance upon dissent from his doctrine,

it

would

be hardly possible to imagine such tolerance


as
is

exhibited in

many

places

by the African
the old zeal

Mohammedan

of to-day.

Were

burning within him, he would seek to make


converts by the old

and orthodox methods

but that

is

not the characteristic of the African


in

Mohammedan
great

general.
this

With many and

exceptions,

lessening zeal in pros-

elytism

may be

said to distinguish the present


in

type of Islam

Africa.

The
" the

fiery

zeal of

Omar, the fury

of

Khaled

sword of God,"

have worn themselves out


ferred to Paradise.

or have been transis

Again,

African

Mohammedanism

characterised

by a decided materialism.
life

now The

things of this

are considered rather than

African

Mohammedanism
life.

167

the things of the spirit

It is

the material,

rather than the spiritual, that occupies thought

and

fills

ambition.

This

is

in clear contrast to

the old

Mohammedanism
So

which dwelt largely


was the unseen to

on the thought of God and imagination concerning Paradise.


the
real

Mohammedan

warrior of the older days

that he

entered battle, rushed upon death,

with the joy of a bridegroom.

So

clear

was

his

assurance of the favour of the Divine Being


that he
natural.

went forth

in

a strength almost superit

Throughout human history

has

always been this realisation of the unseen that


has most completely armed and inspired the
children of men.

But we cannot help


the

seeing, particularly in

Mohammedanism

of Central Africa

but

some degree throughout the Mohammedanism of the whole continent, that the
as well to

unseen has largely

lost its

power.

We

have

already referred to the fact that the higher,

the immaterial, elements of religion seem to


find but comparatively little place in African

Mohammedanism. Prayer is neglected, the mosque is inconspicuous, the Koran is largely

168

Islam

in Africa
evil,

a charm to protect from earthly


is

Paradise

far off
is

and vague.

The African Mohamand drink,


if

medan
as to

occupied too largely with thoughts


shall eat

what he

not as to

the wherewithal he shall be clothed.


It

may be

that this characteristic, materialis

ism
of

in his religion,

due partly to the

qualities

the negro mind and the circumstances of


life.

negro

We
is

would

repeatedly

urge the

truth that the negro, though not inferior to

the white man,

different.

We

gladly recog-

nise possibilities in the character

and constituin

tion

of

the negro which will render him

some
Yet
ment,

respects superior to his paler brethren,


in

counterbalancing inferiority
it

other respects.
that,

must be acknowledged
racial

partly

because of his
it

tendencies and his environfor

seems impossible

him

to emphasise

the immaterial features of


as they

Mohammedanism,

have become the mighty inspiration of

the believer in other places and times.


fact

The
is

remains that the negro

Mohammedan
spiritual, in

decidedly earthly in his religion.

This evident neglect of the


of the material,
is

view

also

due largely to Moham-

African
medan methods
Central Africa.

Mohammedanism
of

169
in

advance

particularly
is

When

a tribe

placed in the

unpleasant dilemma of choosing conversion or


slavery,

and

as, naturally, it

prefers nominal con-

version and

Mohammedan dominancy
have but
little

to the
self-

horrors of a slave-raid, the religion thus


ishly established can

chance to

develop

in its

converts those spiritualities toit

wards which
ruthlessly.
relief

is

supposed to lead, though


proselyte has obtained
;

The negro

and security
content.

for himself

he goes his way


of his religion

and

is

The demands

are not such as to open the skyward vision of


his soul.

But no amount

of

explanation concerning

this characteristic of
in general will

African

Mohammedanism
fact that
it is

do away with the


real

an evidence of

decline.

His religion

is

largely in material satisfaction,


gain.

and

for earthly

Even

in

North Africa and the desert


indications of such materialism
;

there are

many

and, in spite of the furious religious revivals of

the Mahdis of both Eastern and Western Soudan, the average

Mohammedanism

of the conti-

nent

is

too largely limited by an earthly horizon.

i/o

Islam in Africa

Notice another characteristic: African Mo-

hammedanism
place, has

is

cruelly selfish.

It

can hardly

be claimed that Islam, at any time or in any

been unduly gentle or considerate.


cruelty

selfish

was breathed forth by the


and has
characterised

prophet himself,

the

religion throughout.

But

in Africa its

developParticu-

ment
larly
in

in this respect
is

has been awful.

this revealed in the slave-trade, which,

some parts

identical with

become almost Mohammedanism. " Slavery, as


of Africa, has

the Arabs themselves declared, was their very


life."
'

In those regions wherein the Arab

is

the

Mohammedan

representative and mission-

ary the cruelties of the slave-trade are, verily,


a part of his religion
;

and as African Moham-

medanism sanctions and succours the African


slave-trade, this selfish cruelty
eral characteristic.

becomes a gena very essential

" Slavery

is

part of their system,

civil, social,
is

and

religious."

And

the startling fact


is,

that this cruelty of

slavery
1

apparently, in contradiction to the

Dr.

The Missionary Review of the World v., 717. Hamlin in The Missionary Review of the World,
y

i.,

864.

African
teaching of

Mohammedanism
at least as

171

Mohammed,

proclaimed

by the Turkish Minister


at Brussels a
tive of

at a conference held

few years ago.

This representa-

Mohammedanism, on hearing an address


" African Slave-

by Cardinal Lavigerie on the


the teaching of

Trade," took occasion to protest, saying that

Mohammed
men
:

is

contained in the
sells

words,

" the

worst of

is

he who

men."

The
" I

Cardinal replied

do not know

in

Africa a single

Mohammedan

state, great or small,

the sovereign of which does

not permit, and more often himself practises upon


his subjects,
atrocity, the
all

and
is

in

ways the most barbarous

in

hunting and sale of slaves throughout


only

Africa

it

Mohammedans who
it

organise

and conduct the bands who ravage and by the sale of slaves.

...

by slave-raids I do not know


does not adto

a single

Mohammedan who
Never
of the

vocate slavery on principle.


ledge has any teacher
protested against this
as authorised

my know. . .

...

Koran

infamous

traffic.

On
it

the
all

contrary, in their conversation they recognise

by the Koran
'

for true believers as

regards infidels."

And

the

demands

of

Turkish

harems

for

mutilated male attendants, under the implied


1

The Church

at

Home and Abroad,

v., 109.

17 2
if

Islam in Africa

not explicit sanction of their religion, are


It

such as involve cruelty beyond expression.


is

estimated that

in

Africa thousands of boys

are killed every year in accomplishing this pur-

pose.

"

But

it

is

good and pious

as well

as a profitable

work and pleasing

to Allah

and

the prophet."

The
1

subject presents a fearful


;

amount

of sanctified cruelty

it is

an essential
said to in-

part of Islam.

Enough has been

dicate a revolting characteristic of African

Moout

hammedanism.
conspicuously.

Its cruel selfishness stands

In this

it

differs,

not essentially

but

in degree,

from the modern

Mohamme:

danism of some other countries.

One

further characteristic

must be observed

modern African Mohammedanism is not impregnable to the attack of civilisation or of Christianity.

Even

in

Morocco, the religious centre


in Africa, Christianity

and hotbed of Islam


effected entrance.
in
2

has

Mr. E. F. Baldwin reported


concerning a successful work
;

the year 1889

in

Mogador, Morocco

there was severe perse-

cution, but " accessions


1

have been constant, and


the World,
i.

The Missionary Review of


Ibid.,
ii.,

865.

525.

African

Mohammedanism

173

everyone baptised has renounced


anism."

Mohammed;

He

reported great opposition

but
is

the mere fact of his presence in Morocco


significant.

" It seems strange, as

it is,

that in

Mohammedan Morocco

the Moslems are free


'

to change their religion."

We may
made

be

in-

clined to doubt the full accuracy of this state-

ment

but that

it

has been

indicates
re3

something.
vival of

Later information suggests a

Mohammedan

intolerance in Morocco.

But we have the


in the

fact that in

North Africa, even


ac-

most violently Mohammedan region,

cess to Islam has been had,

and attack has been


could

made, which, under

like circumstances,
in

hardly have become possible

some other
in

Mohammedan
Whether
is

countries.

or not

we

shall

be sustained

our

assertion that North-African

Mohammedanism

more

accessible to the " infidel " than the

intolerant orthodoxy of the past and even of


to-day,
this,

though
will

there are

many

indications of
in

it

be readily acknowledged that

those large regions of Central Africa wherein


1

The Missionary Review of the World,


Ibid., v., 608.

iv.

604.

174

Islam in Africa

" Islam has nominal supremacy, the " infidel

trader and missionary have easy entrance so


far as intolerance against

non-Mohammedan
Islam
in

re-

ligious belief

is

concerned.

Central

Africa seems to be far removed from the old


ideal.

The
fear,

Christian missionary
;

may

find dif-

ficulty in

approach

but

it is

largely caused

by

pagan

and not by Mohammedan prejudice.


is

tribe that

only nominally

Mohammedan
example,
is

will,

of course, feel but little of that intense

hostility to another faith which, for

constantly
in the

shown by

Islam against Christians

towns

of Asia Minor.

As

a result, the

as

Mohammedanism of Africa is not to be judged we estimate the Mohammedanism of Asia.


not a solid mass, intolerant, prejudiced,

It is

resistant, impregnable.
possibilities for

He who

estimates the
Christ-

European influence and

ian conquest in
criteria

used in judging of

key

will
is

be led

far

Mohammedan Africa by the Mohammedan Turastray. African Mohammed-

anism

not thus impregnable to attack.


certain characteristics conspicuous

Such are
in

African

Mohammedanism.

It will

be seen

that

we have

here a distinct development of

African

Mohammedanism
we have
in

175

the religion of the prophet and of the Koran.


It is

made

clear that

Africa a form

of Islam in
itive type,

some
in

respects nearest to the prim-

but

other respects far behind the


of other lands.
" It will

Mohammedanism

be

another thousand years before Islam can bring


the African to the cultured and lettered prejudices of

Moslem

civilisation,

such as bind
'

its

subjects at Cairo, Ispahan, Delhi."

But

in

view of the presentation that has been made, particularly in this chapter

but throughout as well,

we cannot

refrain
it

from an expression of aston-

ishment that

should ever have been seriously

imagined, as apparently by Canon Taylor and


others, that
ient step

Mohammedanism

can be a

suffic-

upward

for the African

pagan and

a sufficient substitute for Christian civilisation.

Such
rocco,

assertion

partakes too largely of


in

the

thought of a

Mohammedan shoemaker
as

Mo-

who spoke
a
in

follows to

an

English

traveller,

Christian

missionary,

who was

clothed
'

Moorish costume
clothes, as they are given

to us

You must not wear our by God to set forth


1

the character of our rei.,

The Missionary Review of the World,

501.

176
ligion

Islam
;

in Africa

and

He

gave you Europeans your clothes

to set forth the character of

see these garments of ours,

they are

our sleeves are

your religion. You how wide and flowing loose, and we have easy
is

fitting slippers.

As our

clothes are wide, so

our

religion,

we can
;

steal, tell lies,

deceive each other,

just as

commit adultery, and do all manner of iniquity we wish and at the last day our prophet Mohammed will make it all right for us. But you you have tight-fitting trousers, poor Europeans tight-fitting waistcoats, and tight-fitting jackets. Your clothes are just like your religion narrow. If you steal, cheat, deceive, or tell lies, you stand in constant fear of the condemnation of God."
!

The Church at Home and Abroad,

xii.,

544.

CHAPTER

XI

THE GREAT SOLUTION

AVAST
We

problem has been opened before

the world

the civilisation of a continent.


such
the erection of such social
in

mean by

that, the establishment of


life,

conditions of

institutions, that

mankind
life,

Africa

may have
of

opportunity for "


happiness
ter
"
;

liberty,

and the pursuit

that the African

may have

a bet-

chance to develop his possibilities for time


eternity.

and

those

who

are

The responsibility falls upon now engaged in making the map


civilisation
in

of Africa.

European and Western hand


;

must take this matter


not

the duty canof

be evaded.
is

The

far

future

African

humanity

being determined in this present.

What

that future shall be,

what

it

should be,
constitute

the means of attaining the ideal,


a great problem.
12

all

To

accomplish the solution


177

178
will

Islam

in Africa
wisest thought of
self-sacrifice

demand not only the


Let us look
for

statesmen but the sublimest


Christians.
at

of

some

solutions

suggested

the great problem

of African

redemption.

Some
ity.

hold up

Mohammedanism

as

an end

in itself, or, better, as

preparatory to Christian-

The mighty hold which Islam now has


Africa,

upon
lately

the great

advance that

it

has

made,

all

projected into future and ima-

gined enlargement, have seemed to some to be


clear

indication
this

of a providential purpose to as

establish

religion
its

supreme

in

Africa.

Theoretically,

acceptance throughout would


;

be a great advance upon paganism

though we
thus
it

have

seen

that

practically
little,

it

has

far

accomplished
blocks the

but

and that

simply

way

to real advance.

It is said that

many

enlightened Africans are


is,

inclined to think that Islam

at least for the

present, the great factor in the solution of the

question.

Mr. Bosworth Smith lays himself

open to the charge of believing that Moham1

Blyden, Christianity,

Islam,

and

the

Negro Race, pre-

face, xiii.

The Great Solution


medanism
is

179

destined to control the larger part

of Africa and to become, in

and through

itself,

the great solution

'That Mohammedanism may, when mutual misunderstandings are removed, be elevated, chastened,
influences and Christian do not doubt and I can therefore look forward, if with something of anxiety, with still more of hope, to what seems the destiny of Africa that the main part of the continent, if it cannot become Christian, will become what is next best to it Mohammedan."
uplifted
spirit

by

Christian
I

...
.

'

It

may be

that Mr. Smith modifies his expres-

sions,

perhaps opinions, by later statements.


is

But he has suggested an idea that

certainly

held by some, and positively asserted.

A more plausible,
of

if

not probable, presentation


as a factor in the great

Mohammedanism solution is made by


Islam
is

those

who

assert

that

simply preparatory to Christianity.


of Christian civilisation
is

Some development
institutions
1

recognised as the end to be striven for

social

such as characterise Christianity


Christianity,

Quoted

in

Islam,

and

the

Negro Race,

Blyden, 25.

i8o

Islam

in Africa
its

and are pervaded with


thinkers claim that

spirit.

But such
is

Mohammedanism

a real

and necessary step towards the

ideal.

They

think that African paganism cannot, or will not,


receive Christianity directly.

They

assert that

the dilution of truth and elasticity of religious

demand presented

in

Mohammedanism
the African
fuller

will

serve as a ladder up which

may
and

climb into the heights


social
possibility.
its

of

truth

Through Mohammedanism
to

and

civilisation,
is

Christianity
It
is

and

its

civilisation,

their cry.

said that General

Gordon cherished the idea " of utilising the Moslem power, with Khartoum as a centre, for
carrying on the work of civilising the millions
of Equatorial Africa."
!

He seemed

to think

that

Mohammedanism
in

possessed enough truth

for this regenerating work.

This seems to be

included

the basal ideas of the proposed


in

Gordon Memorial University

the Soudan.

And much

that Dr. Blyden says leads one to

think that he, himself a negro and a remarkably


intelligent thinker

upon the great problem

of

African
1

civilisation,

though

we have been
.

Blyden, Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race, 379


The Great Solution
obliged to dissent from
is

181

inclined to consider

many of his assertions, Mohammedanism as an


final

efficient factor in
full

accomplishing the

and

redemption of the continent.


this

Our opinion on
evident.
in Africa

matter has been made

We
is

believe that

Mohammedanism
civilisation.

definitely

opposed to

While

it

contains truths that are indeed higher


it

than the vague terrors of paganism,


tains such errors
all

also con-

and

evils as

must

neutralise

the real good that might be accomplished


its

by

supremacy.
;

These

evils are essential in in the

the system

as they

develop themselves

lines directed

by African human nature they

produce results that are disastrous.


proach towards anything
tion

No

ap-

like Christian civilisa-

has thus

far, in

general,

been made by

made.

Mohammedanism in Africa nor can it be The so-called Mohammedan kingdoms


civilisation

and

of

Northern Soudan
in

prove

themselves hindrances, not helps,

progress
strive.

towards the ideal for which we would


Islam sanctions such social evils as
easy divorce, and slavery
the sword
all
;

polygamy,

it

annihilates with

freedom of thought and private

82

Islam
in religion
;

in Africa
it

judgment
can,
all

shuts out, so far as

it

possibility

of

improvement

it

can

never be otherwise than a hindrance to real


civilisation.
It
flict

has been wisely observed that

in

the con-

between

civilisation
1

and barbarism, Islam


great tides of

must be the

loser.

The

human

tendency, like the tides of the ocean, beat


against arbitrary

human
"

obstruction, only to

overcome
officers

in

the end.

The Sultan and


what
is

his

are constantly obliged to obtain

new
il-

legal decisions, legalising legal

religiously

and contrary to the convictions and


2

belief

of the readers of the Koran."


in

In Africa, as
will

the Turkish Empire,

Mohammedanism

find itself

unadaptable to necessary changes,


resist.

and yet unable to

Already indications
Since

of this are to be seen in Central Africa.

the advent of European power and the pressure


of

European
is
3

civilisation

and

ideas, the

Arab

power

decidedly checked, and apparently on

the decrease.
1

We

think

it

evident that

Mo94.

The Mohammedan Missionary Problem, H. H. Jesup,


Ibid., 95.

*
3

Public Opinion,

vii.

330.

The Great Solution


hammedanism
progress.
in Africa, while
is
it

183
late date
in its

up to

making rapid advance,


Apparently

now checked

has, at least through-

out a large region, degenerated into a slaveraiding organisation.

With

the opening of the

continent, this feature of Islam will be largely


restricted, at least so far as concerns the horrors

of traffic in the exportation of slaves

though
as
it

so long as Islam

is

what

it

is,

and so long

has any control whatsoever, the institution of

domestic slavery
the check to

will

hardly be uprooted.

But

Mohammedan

advance

in Africa,

now evident, is but the sign


for the

of a final dissolution,
itself

system cannot accommodate


civilisation.

to

modern

This opinion concerning

the retrogression of
is

confirmed

in

Mohammedanism in Africa many ways. Indeed, one writer


1

goes so
fall

far as to assert that "

the political down-

of

the system [Mohammedanism through'

out the world]

is

thus an accomplished fact."

The ground of his assertion is that Mohammedanism is nothing without political power
1

The Church at Home and Abroad,


xi.,

ii.,

486.

Dr. Schreiber, of Barmen, quoted in The Church at Home


523.

and Abroad,

184

Islam in Africa
it

and that the lands wherein


are rapidly
tions.

has held sway


na-

becoming subject to Christian


is

This, and more,


in

emphatically true of
It

Islam
it is

Africa at present.

cannot survive

a hindrance

and not a help to the higher


is

civilisation.

Mohammedanism
in

not to be

considered a factor in the great solution.


It

has been thought that

Liberia

we have
to

the key that shall eventually open the lock.

The negro

colonisation of Africa
It

seemed

promise great things.

was indeed a holy

enthusiasm that led the founders of the Colonisation

Society to project their scheme.

It

may

be that they were largely influenced by

the thought that this plan would solve great

questions for America as well as for Africa, in


finally
in the

settling

the burning issues of slavery

Western Republic.

But

their

scheme

in-

volved a definite attempt to solve the problem


of

the redemption of Africa.

They

believed

that
ica

by sending Christian negroes from Amer-

and the West India Islands to Africa, there


of

would be made possible an establishment


end permeate the continent.

Christian civilisation there that should in the

little

nation


The Great Solution
185

has been started on the western coast of the


great continent, and, in pursuance of this plan,
it

has been recognised by the great Powers.


has been granted to
it,

Autonomy
possibilities

and vast
that
;

opened

for

it.

It is said
if

it

has been growing steadily,


including the tribes under
ation
is

not rapidly
control,
its

that,

its

popul-

already a million

in

number, governed
It

largely by Africans from America.

may be

that there are large possibilities in that country


;

but we cannot help thinking that the early


of

anticipations

the

Liberian

colonists

can

never be realised.

The

black population of the

United States and

of the

West India

Islands

prefer to remain where, originally, the cruelty


of

man

placed them.

Liberia has

made but
be that
in

little

impress upon the


lit-

continent
tle.

and for long can accomplish but


the far future
it

It

may

will

stand as a type for a great African nation


Africa governed
partition of Africa

by Africans

though

in

the
it is

among the

great Powers,

more

than probable that this nation will seek


Ger-

a protectorate, and perhaps absorption.

many

has already proposed

this, but to

Eng-

86

Islam

in Africa
1

land or America Liberia looks with preference.

But the central thought

of the plan

foreign
civil-

negroes imported into Africa, to rule and


ise

does not contain


success.

the promise and potency

of

Liberia and

negro

colonisation
in

cannot be considered as a factor


solution.

the great

The
plished

civilisation of

Africa must

be accom-

by Christianity and commerce

hand

in

hand.
strange
is

The conjunction
;

of these

two may seem

their

Nowhere mutual interdependence more clearly


really,
it

is

close

and

vital.

seen than in the consideration of the problem

concerning the redemption of the Dark Continent.


"

Conquest by railroads
in these days.

"

is

a phrase that
it

means much
for Africa

But

means more

than for any other part of our globe.


is

The
that
shall
ent.

railroad in Africa

the preliminary soluit

tion of our

problem

for over
that

alone can pass

commerce and

Christianity

which

accomplish the civilisation of the contin-

The two
1

great

material

questions con-

cerning Africa are

how

to create wants,
1.,

and

See The Independent\

579.

The Great Solution


how
ives
will

187

to open channels of trade.

Until the nat-

want

articles

manufactured elsewhere, they


to
;

not be impelled

develop what their


until safe

own country can produce


pathways
for trade

and easy

can be opened, such desire


if

for interchange,

even

it

should exist, cannot

be

gratified.

And

until

commerce opens the


civilisation,

way, Christianity, and consequent


will

make but

little

progress.

Livingstone's

idea was correct

open

Africa for commerce,


in.

then Christianity will go


life

He

planned his

with far-seeing sagacity, and he devoted

himself to the preliminary work of exploring

the continent, in order to find possibilities for

European entrance
But to make
is

into the vast

unknown.
it

possible this great solution,

absolutely

necessary that

European

influ-

ence, or control, should predominate through-

out the continent.

The answer

to the problem,
is

at least so far as the

immediate future

con-

cerned,
as

lies largely in

the sway of such nations

England and Germany throughout the Dark

Continent.

The Conference
12, 1876, is for

held at Brussels,

September
jira is for

Africa what the He-

the

Mohammedan,

that point from

88
all

Islam in Africa
succeeding history must date.
Di-

which

rectly resulting
lin

from that meeting was the Ber-

Conference of 1884, which gave birth to the


State
;

Congo Free

and throughout these years

gradually and greedily the great Powers have

been clutching
priating vast

coast-line

and

interior, appro-

regions in
of

absolute control, or
influence "
until

establishing " spheres

wherein
of the

they

may be predominant,
remains

now

11,864,600 square miles of Africa but a small


part

unappropriated.

This

mighty

appropriation of territory has been severely


criticised, in

some

respects justly

perhaps the

partition should have been with

more regard
But adverse

to

native
are

and
too

natural

rights.

critics

apt to forget that the whole

problem

of African civilisation, with its worldrests absolutely

wide complications,

on the

es-

tablishment of such European influence.


control
erted
;

This

may be most

selfishly

and unjustly ex-

for illustration, see the absolute selfish-

ness of the Portuguese claim to control over

Nyassaland,

abetting

the slave-trade therein,

threatening
years ago.

war against England but a few

Negotiations are said to be opened,


The Great Solution
or closed,

189

by which Portugal's possessions in South-eastern Africa will be transferred to Eng;

land

but the matter

is,

as yet, kept secret.

Portuguese control

in Africa

has been largely

to effect an extension of the rum-traffic and a

maintenance of the slave-trade.

And

the Ger-

man
been

efforts at African colonial control


in
all

have not

respects

ideal.

Also,
in

some bad

effects of

European influence
;

Africa stand

out markedly

particularly in connection with

the introduction of years ago


it

rum and

firearms.

Some

was said that from eighty thousand


rifles,

to one hundred thousand disused arms of European

mainly the
3

standing armies,

were imported annually into Zanzibar alone,


largely

to

arm the Arabs that they might


;

desolate the interior

and

it is

said that intoxmill-

icating liquors to the value of over five

ions of dollars were recorded in one week, at

the island of Madeira, as bound for Africa


incredible as
it

may

seem.

Much may
1

rightly be said against the

way

The Church at Home and Abroad, vii., The Missionary Review of the World,
Public Opinion,
xiii.,

206.
iii.,

862.

361.

190
in

Islam in Africa
far

which European influence has thus


in Africa.

been

exercised
for the

Entrance has been made


for the
It is

bad perhaps more largely than

good.
possible

But the door has been opened.

now

to civilise Africa.

Something has
line.

already been accomplished in that

Comslav-

merce has already succeeded


ery on the Congo.
1

in

checking

And

in this

year (1898) the


"

new Congo

railway has been opened from Ma-

tadi to Stanley Pool.

The

"

Cape

to Cairo

railway has been accomplished as far as Bule-

wayo towards the north and Khartoum towards


the south
will
;

the two thousand miles intervening


in
2

be covered

some way before


that

long.

Mr.

Stanley

testifies

the Arabs have been


in

crushed within the sphere of influence


Africa,

East
slave-

and that the suppression of the


is

trade therein
"

assured,

if

not accomplished.
the European

The

partition of Africa
. .
.

among

Powers

was the

first

effective

blow dealt to
final

the slave-trade in inner Africa.

The

blow

has been given by the act of the Brussels Anti1

Slavery

The Missionary Review of the World, iii., 43. and the Slave- Trade in Africa, H. M. Stanley,

63-75.

The Great Solution


Slavery Conference."
arisen for

191

Troubles have recently

of colonial power.

Germany from an unskilful exercise The British East African


has been hampered in
its

Company

most im-

portant operations in connection with

Uganda
general

and the Egyptian

Soudan.

But

in

much

has been already accomplished, and the


fuller

pathway has been opened to future and


achievement.

When more

railroads are built,

as they surely will be, there will

come

rapid

growth from the seed-sowing already accomplished.


*It
is

said that plans are

now being

prepared to

utilise

the Nile cataracts for the

production of electric power on a scale larger

even than
tion

at

Niagara

Falls, for the

illumina-

and stimulation of the Dark Continent.


is

Africa

assured for civilisation, and

civilisa-

tion for Africa.

But

something

more

than

commerce

is

needed, as
is

we have

seen, to accomplish

what

desired.
is

All civilisation, everywhere, exists,

and
It is

of avail, only as connected with religion.

only through a linking of the

human

with

the divine, of the seen with the unseen, that

man

can secure that self-development and en-

i9 2

Islam in Africa
call

joyment which are the objects of what we


civilisation.

The

influence of trade alone can

never sufficiently curb the passions and develop


the possibilities of what
is

now African

savagery.
religion.

The twin factor in the great solution Mohammedanism has been tried,
have seen,
is

is

and, as

we

found wanting.
is

Christianity, the

world-need,

emphatically the need of the

Dark Continent.
mere
submission.
1

As compared

with Islam,
instead of
offers

Christianity offers to Africa faith

And
of

Christianity
in

God

as present in

humanity

the person of

Jesus Christ, instead

God

as a stern disfar-off

penser of

fate,

who from His

habitation

has merely sent a prophet to speak His word.


Christianity presents a code of morals difficult
of attainment, but rendering possible the de-

velopment of purity
life
;

in

individual and social

while Islam forces and fastens the shackles


its

of

immorality upon

followers.

There

is

an

inspiration to infinite possibilities in Christianity,

there
;

is

an indwelling
Islam
is

life,

pushing onward

divinely

in

the rigour and fixedness


life

of death.
1

Compare the

of Jesus with that

Shall Islam Rule Africa? Rev. L. C. Barnes, 24.

The Great Solution


of

193

Mohammed, and

therein

we

shall find a true

comparison between Christianity and

Moham-

medanism
civilisation

as applied

to the problem of the

of

Africa.

We

readily recognise

that Christianity has as yet

made but

little

entrance, comparatively, into Africa.


fact that

But the

Islam has

made such
little,

large entrance,

and has accomplished so


plish

and can accom-

nothing more, leads us the more confidreligious

ently to assert that the

element

in

the great solution can be found in Christianity


alone.

To

accomplish

this, Christianity

must
in

antagonise and supplant


Africa.
sue.

Mohammedanism
is

Conflict, not comity,

what must

en-

Those who claim Mohammedanism

as an

assistant in the civilisation of Africa,


ticipate

and an-

an harmonious co-operation between


in

Islam and Christianity

the development of

the African races, are living in a land of dreams.

The

hardest part of the struggle for the

full

conquest of the African continent by the powers


of life

and liberty

will

be found

in this

need of
struggle

overthrowing Mohammedanism.
against paganism
that against Islam.
is

The

easy in comparison with

194

Islam in Africa
conflict

Yet the inevitable


with Islam
in

of Christianity

Africa

is

not so desperate as some

may

think.

The unconquerable tenacity with


itself in

which Islam has sustained

the Turkish

Empire has been


Africa
;

in

imagination transferred to

thus making, by inference, the contest

almost a hopeless one.

But we have endeav-

oured to show that the peculiar type of

Moin

hammedanism which we

find in Africa presents

a great modification in this respect.

Islam

Africa will be comparatively easy for Christianity to

overcome.
its

Its superficiality, its

comparatin
1

ive languor,

emphasis of doctrines held

common by

Christian

and

Mohammedan,

render the work of the Christian missionary

more easy and hopeful than elsewhere in Mohammedan lands. The influence of the Christian
nations, limiting to an ever-increasing degree

the political power of


rica,

Mohammedanism
of Islam.

in

Af-

saps the very


will,

life

Christianity
in

must, and
Africa

supplant

Mohammedanism

as a condition of the civilisation of the

continent.

We

speak as

if

the civilisation of Africa were

The Church at

Home and Abroad,

viii.,

504.

The Great
something
in the future

Solution
;

195
forget

we must not

what a

start

has already been accomplished by

Christianity and

commerce

promising

com-

pletion in a future

nearer than

perhaps

we

imagine.

Practically the continent has been


little

opened but a
century,
if it

more than a quarter


opened
"

of a

can be called "

even now.

Yet

it is

already almost entirely explored, and

even partitioned.

Half the work of civilisation

has been accomplished, in a knowledge of the


interior

and

in

an assurance of Christian control.


are not dealing with a conservatlike that

In Africa
ive

we

and well-nigh impregnable power,

which closes China to Christian


Africa, far behind even

civilisation.

China a quarter of a

century ago, has

in

these past few years

made

great leap forward towards Christian civilisa-

already doomed. A has begun commerce wide-spread and complex


tion.

The

slave-trade

is

and must enlarge.


Africa to

"

The opening
They

of Central

commerce

is

working great changes


are rapidly laying

among
aside

the people.

their

native clothing, arms, and implein

ments,

and adopting those brought

from

civilised lands.

People that a few years ago

196

Islam

in Africa

asked the traders for beads, trinkets, and brass


rods,

now

ask for guns and cloth and


political

rum."

Together with commerce and


Christianity has already laid

control,

its

beneficent grasp

upon the continent.


tion

Hints of the future solu-

are

given in the magnificent

manhood

that has already been shown by some of the

native converts.

Once

in

the heart of Dark

Africa a native was dragged before Mr. Stanley

by some

of his followers,

for stealing a gun.

Stanley looked at the gun, saw clearly that


it

belonged to his expedition.


it

The poor
that

fel-

low that had


could hardly

was so frightened

he

find voice,

but stammered,
1

"/

am

a son of God ; I would not steal.'" He had found the gun and was attempting to
return
it.

The

great solution of the problem, the true

civilisation of Africa, will

be accomplished by

commerce and
mission,
its

Christianity.
its

Commerce
;

has

its

dangers,
of

heroism

but the need

and the greed


it

man may be

trusted to drive

forward
1

irresistibly.

Christianity has already


i.,

The Missionary Review of the World,


Ibid., iv., 638.

374.

The Great Solution


called
is

197
its

and crowned

its

heroes

but

mission
It

also

more

largely ahead than behind.


of

must depend on the heroism

men and women

yet to offer themselves, living sacrifices.

INDEX
Abdallah, 58
Abyssinia, attacks by the Mahdists upon, 107 Victor Hugo's forecast as to, Africa, the continent of, 30-37 beginning of modern exploration of, 34 material 30, 34 improvements of, 36, 37 problem of the civilisation of,
;

civilisation of, must be accomplished by 177, 178, 184 Christianity and commerce, 186, 187 racial distinctions native races of, 39-45 railroads and telegraph in, 38, 39
;
; ;
;

lines in, 36,

37
;

the wild, a creature of the African, in warfare, the, 100, 101 imagination, 53 African, races, general division of, by Cust and Ravenstein, 40 tribes, indifference to the future displayed by, 54 recogfear and hunger the controlling motive of the, 54 nition of the Supreme Being by the, 53 characterised African type of Mohammedanism, 160, 161 by superficiality, 164, 165 by aggressiveness, 161-163 by a lessened zeal in proselytism, 165, 166 ;] by a decided by cruel selfishness, 170, 171 is materialism, 166-169 not impregnable to the attacks of civilisation or of Chris;
;

tianity, 172, 173 Agriculture somewhat developed by Mohammedans in some parts of Africa, 153, 154 Akbah, the " Conqueror of Africa," 58, 59 Algeria, increase of the population of, under French rule, 112 Almsgiving enjoined on believers, 23 Apostasy from Mohammedan religion a treason to the Moham-

medan state, 99 Arab, character, illustration of the, 45-47 race, the, 44-46 slave-trader, destruction of the, the check to Islam's adtraders, character of the, 64 vance, 73
; ;

199

soo

Index

Arabia, political condition of, 7 Arabs, supremacy of the, in region west of the Nile, 44 as merchants and slave-traders in Central and Northern Africa, 45 Army, the Mohammedan, a religious body, 99 Arnot, Mr., in the Bantu country, 52 Augustine in North Africa, work of, 56
;

Bambasi, 49
Bantu, Zulu, or Kafir race, the, 49-52 Barbary towns, wretchedness of the, 41 Bedeyat, the, merely nominal Moslems, 141 " Believe, pay tribute, or die," 75, 76 Berber race, the, 40-43
Berbers, conversion to
the, 59 Billal, 80, 81

Mohammedan

faith

and allegiance of

Blyden, Dr., view of Islam by, 27 Bournous, the, 141 Bruce, Mr. James, 34
Business and religion identified in the interior, 63

Mohammedan advance

in

Call of Mohammed, the, 2-4 Carlyle, Thomas, estimate of Mohammed's character, 8 Central Africa, fetichism in, 146-149 Mohammedan advance into, 62, 63 neglect of prayer among Moslems in, 149,
;
;

150
Christianity,

and Mohammedanism, points of contact, 25 in North Africa before the advent of Islam, 56, 57 desperate struggle of, with Islam in North Africa, 58 emphatically the need of the Dark Continent, early 192 overthrow of, in North Africa, 137, 138 entrance of, into Morocco, 172, 173 and commerce must accomplish
;
; ;
;

the civilisation of Africa, 186, 187, 192-196 Civilisation, progress of European, dependent on recognition of the fact of capability of African races, 53

Commerce

already begun, a wide-spread and complex, 195 Concubinage sanctioned by the Koran, 27 Conflict between Christianity and Mohammedanism in Africa
is

inevitable, 193, 194


;

Congo, Free State, checking of Arab advance in, 73 good qualities of the, 51 railroad traffic, 36 Conquest of Africa, the Mohammedan, 55
;

tribes,

Index

201

Control in Africa rather than conversion sought by Islam, 98 Corruptibility of Mohammedan government, 113-115 Creed recital a religious duty of Mohammedanism, 23 Cruel selfishness a feature of African Mohammedanism, 170,
171

Cust and Ravenstein, general division of African races by, 40

Death, in battle a leap into Paradise for the believer, 98, 99 penalty for renegades, 90 penalty to the renegade sanctioned by the Koran, 27 Decadence (religious and moral) of the country under the rule
;

of the Mahdi and the Khalifa, 60, 61 Dervishes, aggressiveness of the, 163 Desert mosques, desolation of, 61 Division of African races, general, by Cust and Ravenstein,

40
Doctrine, statement of

Mohammedan, 18-21

Eastern Soudan, Mahdist uprising in the, 104-107 Easy divorce sanctioned by the Koran, 27 Ecstacy of Mohammed, connection between his claimed inspiration and the, 6 Education, general, little idea of, in Islam, 151, 152 mainly confined to a reading of the Koran, 152 Egyptian Soudan, general condition of affairs in the, 121 England and Germany's influence in the civilisation of Africa, 187-189 Equality of believers, recognised by Mohammedanism, 77, 78 of special avail in Islam's advance in Africa, the principle
;

of the, 77, 78 Ethics and religion widely separated in

Mohammedanism,

1 10,

111

European,

civilisation, progress of,

depends on recognising the


;

capability of the African races, 53 bad effects of, 189, 190

influence in Africa,

Family relation, destruction of medanism, 127


;
;

the,

a feature of

Moham-

Fanaticism of Mohammedans, throughout the Sahara Desert, 88 in North Africa, 89 less furious in Central Africa, 89 Fast of Ramadan, the, 118, 119 Fasting enjoined on believers, 23

202
Fatalism,
24, 25
;

Ind ex
the practical result of
;

Mohammedanism,
;

Fetichism, 146-149 supremacy of, among African tribes, 54 the superstitious fear of, absorbed and assimilated by Islam in Central Africa, 147 Islam in Central Africa and to some degree in Northern Africa, a modified, 149
;

Fezzan, 43 Financial integrity, lack of, 113, 114 Force to be used by believer to impress truth upon Fraternity throughout Islam, spirit of, 80

infidel,

98

Fraud and force the method of Mohammedan advance in Northern and Central Africa, 64 Freedom of thought and private judgment in religion annihilated with the sword, 181

Freeman, E. A., estimate of Mohammed's character, Fulah races, the 69, 70


Gordon, General, 104, 106 Government, neglect of the proper functions

of, a feature of

Mohammedan

control, 112

Haig, General, report of, 83 Hamitic races, three groups


Hanifs, the, 7

of,

40

Hausa

tribe, the, 47, 48, 69, 70 Hindrance to real civilisation, Islam a, 182

Holy wars, 100-103


Hugo,

atrocities of the, 104

Hottentot family, the, 52


Victor, forecast as to Africa, 30, 34

Hypocrisy of religious leaders of Mohammedanism, 115-117


Incapacity a feature of Mohammedan control, 112 Infidel to be converted by force, 98 Influence on natives, stereotyping nature of Mohammedanism, 156 Influences at work to facilitate the conversion of Africa to Islam, 79 Injustice a feature of Mohammedan control, 112 Inspiration, of Mohammed, the claimed, 6 of the Koran, 16
;

Intemperance of Mohammedans, 122-124 Dr. Blyden's view of, Islam, two meanings of the word, 15 essential evils of, Canon Taylor's view of, 26 27 extension of, 28 number sanctioned by the Koran, 27
; ; ;

of adherents of, 28

Index
;

203

"Islam," original meaning of the word, 23 R. Bosworth summary of the faith of modern, Smith's view of, 26, 27
;

19-21
Islam's advance over Christian communities in

North

Africa,

57,58
Jaloofs, the, 141

" Jihad,"

the,
;

a conspicuous feature of
;

Mohammedanism,
;

100, 102

medanism Ahmadu Samudu, 103 Judaism and the youth of Mohammed,


Kafir, Zulu, or

the strength of Mohamatrocities of the, 104 largely due to the idea of the, 100 of the Imam
7

Bantu

race, the,

49~5 2

Khadija,

4, 5

Khalifa, the, 106; defeat of the,

by General Kitchener a death-blow to Mohammedan advance, 73 hypocrisy of 116, 117; religious and moral decadence of the the, country under the rule of the, 60, 61 Koran, the, 15-20
;

Leaders, hypocrisy of Mohammedan religious, 11 5-1 17 Liberia and the civilisation of Africa, 184, 185 Licentiousness of Mahdism, the, 121, 122

Madagascar, inhabitants of the island of, 52 Mahdi, the 105-107; hypocrisy of the, 116, 117; religious and moral decadence of the country under the rule of the,
60, 61

Mahdism,
107

and the slave-trade, 95 licentiousness of, 121, 122 Mahdist uprising in Eastern Soudan, history of the, 104;

Mandingoes, description of

the,

89
recognised by white

Manhood

of the black

man must be

man, 53
Marabouts, character of the, 113, 114
Masais, the ferocity of the, 101

Massai tribe, the, 47 Materialism a characteristic feature of Mohammedanism, 166-169 Mecca, pilgrimage to, at least once during lifetime inculcated

by Mohammedanism, 153 Medina, Mohammed in, 7

204

Index
Mohammedan

Methods, simple, one of the chief means of advance in Africa, 81, 84, 85

Military success of Mohammedan conquerors, secret of the, 24 Missionaries, description of Mohammedan, 85, 86 Dr. Blyden's picture of, to some extent poetic imagination, 87 review of the work and motive of the, 87, 88 Missionary character, spirit, and zeal of Mohammedanism, 74, prayer offered each evening in the University of 75 Cairo, 90, 91 Mohammed, as a prophet, appearance of, 1 compared with Old Testament prophets, 1 character of, 13, 14 emphatic claims of, 75 in Medina, 7 environment of, 7 sincerity of, 9, 10; the moral weakness of, 11, 12 the nervous temperament of, 5, 6 Mohammed's, belief in himself, 9 call and vision, 2-4 interest in Africa, 55 followers under obligation to force his claims upon the world, 75 Mohammedan, advance in Northern and Central Africa due to fraud or force, 64 control and advance in Africa, much exaggeration concerning, 71, 72 control characterised by injustice and moral degradation, 112, 113; conquest in individual and social life, superficial nature of, 164, 165 doctrine, statement of, 18-21 slaves, existence of, 79 warfare in Africa, selfishness and religious enthusiasm combined, the motive of, 108 warriors, 101, 102 Mohammedanism, a missionary religion, 74 asserted by some to be a preparation for Christianity in Africa, 178-180 moral and religious character of, political character of, 92 adaptability of, to native ideas, 97 aggressive spirit of, 93, the change from paganism to, 137, 138 elasticity of, 94 failure of, to produce marked religious change in 96, 97 Central Africa, 146; in Africa definitely opposed to civilisation, 1 Si in Africa unable to resist necessary changes, 182; in Africa, retrogression of, 182; African type of, 160 characterised by aggressiveness, 161-163 superficiality, 164, 165 a lessened zeal in proselytism, 165, 166
;
;

no

a decided materialism 166-169 cruel selfishness, 170, is not impregnable to the attack of civilisation or 171 Christianity, 172, 173; not to be considered a factor in the civilisation of Africa, 184 untruthfulness one of the
; I

characteristics of, 117, 118 Mohammedans in Africa, sixty millions of, 137 Moors, the, 44 ; of North Africa, the sensuality
of,

and impurity

126

Index
sensuality, 125-127
;

205
>

Moral status of Islam indicated by intemperance, 122-124


slavery,

127-134
of,

Morocco, the degradation and corruptness


of Christianity into, 172, 173

120

entrance

Moslem Missionary
Msidi, King, 94
;

Society formed, 96

Mtesa, King, 93 story of the conversion of, to Mohammedanism, 142, 143 Mtiller, Prof. F. Max, presentation of Waitz's classification of African races by, 39, 40 Musardu, 89 Mussulman missionaries, 97

Native agents one of the chief means of Mohammedan advance in Africa, 81-83 Negro, the, 48, 49 characteristics of the, 49, 54 general idea of African population largely derived from the, 48
;
;

intellectual capability of the, 53 Nile, conquest of the upper, by the English, a termination of

Mahdism, 107 North Africa, before the advent of Islam, 56 Christianity in, decline of prosperity of, under Mohammedan 56 control, 112 decrease of the population of, under Mo;

in desolating effects of Moham62 social structure of the communities in, before the advent of Islam, 57 work of Augustine, Cyprian, and Origen in, 56 Nuba-Fulah group, the, 47, 48 Nyamnyam tribe, the, 47
hammedan
control,
;

medanism

in, 61,

Nyassa region, Arab control overcome

in,

73

Observances of Mohammedanism, emphasis on the practical,


23

One

true

God, idea

of,

hardly grasped by the Central


145
of,

African

Mohammedan,

Origen in North Africa, work Origin of the Koran, 16

56

to Mohammedanism, change from, 137-140 in Central Africa a superficial one, 143, 144 Paradise, the hope of, pressed upon believers, 24 material

Paganism

description of, 24

Pilgrimage enjoined on believers, 23

2o6
Political, character of

Index
Mohammedanism, 92
;

control obtained agents in the interior, 63 power in Africa rather than individual change of life sought by Islam, 98 Polygamy sanctioned by the Koran, 27 Population in North Africa under Mohammedan control, de-

by

Mohammedan

crease of the,

in

Portuguese dispossessed of the eastern coast round Zanzibar by the Arabs, the, 62 Prayer, enjoined on believers, 23 in Islam, importance of, 22 missionary evening, 90, 91 in Central Africa, neglect of, M9-. T 50 Private judgment and freedom of thought in religion annihilated with the sword, 181
;

Proselyting among the natives by Mohammedan agents throughout the interior, 63 Proselytism, through conquest a feature of the career of Mohammedanism, 74 lessened zeal in, a feature of African
;

Mohammedanism, 165, 166 Pruen, Dr. S. T., illustrations of the Arab character by, 4547
Races, general division by Cust and Ravenstein of African, 40 Racial distinctions of the African, Dr. Blyden's views on the, 39 a proper understanding of, necessary to comprehend the problem of the continent, 39 Railroads in Africa, 36, 37, 190, 191 Ramadan, the fast of, 118, 119 Religion, and ethics widely separated in Mohammedanism, 1 to, hi and politics inseparable in Mohammedanism, 92-94 the twin factor in the great solution, 192 Religious leaders of Mohammedanism, hypocrisy of, 115-117 Retrogression of Mohammedanism in Africa, 183 Revelation of the Koran, 16, 17 Revelations of Mohammed, close connection between the political needs and personal desires and the, 16 Richardson, Mr. James, description of the Touarik tribes, 42, 43
; ; ;

Samudu, 102

Mohammedanism

an illustration of politico-religious advance of in Central Africa, 102-104

Sanusiyah, religious order of the, 157 Self-respect developed to some degree by the African native, 154 Semitic element, the, 44

Mohammedanism in

Index

207

Sensuality of Mohammedanism, the, 125-127 Settlements established by Mohammedan natives throughout the interior, 63 Sheik Hassan as to indulgence in wine and spirits, confession
of, 123, 124 Sheik-ul-Islam to a

German

convert, letter of, 19-21

Sid-es-Senoussi, the, 106 Sincerity of Mohammed, the, 9, 10 picture of Slatin Pasha's, summary of Mohammedanism, 113 Islam as illustrated by Mahdism, 114 Slavery sanctioned by the Koran, 27 Slave-dealers', raids followed by the establishment of Mohammedanism, 68 barbarities of the, 131 Slave-raids, desolation caused by, 132 Slave-trade, the, 127-134 in the Lake Nyassa region, attempts and Mohammedan proselytism to preserve the, 108
;

closely allied, 95

and Mahdism, 95

Smith, R. Bosworth, estimate of view of Islam by, 26, 27

Mohammed's

character by, 8

Social structure of the communities in North Africa before the advent of Islam, 57 Sokoto, Mohammedan kingdom of, 68, 69

Soni Heli Ischia, 59, 60 Soudan, general condition of affairs in the Egyptian, 121 hisretory of the Mahdist uprising in the Eastern, 104-107 ligious and commercial character of the Arab merchants
; ;

religious and moral decadence under the rule in the, 64 of the Mahdi and the Khalifa, 60, 61 Stanley, Mr. II. M., in Africa in 1876, 34, 35 Stanley Pool, 36 Superficiality a feature of African Mohammedanism, 164,
;

165

Supreme Being recognised by

all

African

tribes, the existence

of a, 53 Sura of the Koran, the second, 22 Swahili language introduced by the


the, 151

Arab

into Central Africa,

Taylor, view of Islam by Canon, 26 Telegraph lines in Africa, 37 Tertullian in North Africa, work of, 56 Tippu Tib, the story of, 65-67

Touarik

tribes, the, 42,

43
doctrine of the, 25

Trinity excluded by

Mohammedanism,

208
Uganda, the Arabs

Index

as slave-traders in, 45 University of Cairo, description of the, 82, 83 Untruthfulness one of the characteristics of Mohammedanism, 117, 118

Vision of

Mohammed,

the,

2-4

Waganda army,

efficiency of the, 101

Wahuma
.51

race, opinion of

Mr. H. M. Stanley concerning

the,

White
53

races'

contempt for many African

tribes not justified,

Will to God, fundamental idea of Mohammedanism, submission of the, 23 Witchcraft among African tribes, supremacy of, 54 Woman, degradation of, a feature of Mohammedanism, 127

Zeal, intolerance of, an essential element in Mohammedanism, intolerant, one of the chief means of Mohammedan 90, 91 advance in Africa, 81 Zobeir, 58 Zulu, Bantu, or Kafir race, the, 49-52 Zulus, the prowess of the, 101
;

Date Due
5
,

crl^fr JUN|^J

I Y6
OC T 2
8

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