to my friends
RT. REV. BISHOP JOHN A. SUBHAN
SHEIKH KAMIL MANSUR
REV. MARCUS ABD-ul-MESSIH,
SUFIS, SHIEKHS AND 'ULEMA
who have found salvation in
Jesus Christ, our Lord.
This brief study introduces the reader to the most important and most influential
class in the world of Islam. There are nearly 300,000,000 Moslems between Morocco
and China and from Warsaw to Capetown. In India alone they number ninety millions,
and in Africa over fifty millions.
On the occasion of the dedication of a new site for a cathedral mosque, the London
Times (Nov. 22, 1944) wrote: "His Majesty indeed has more Moslems than Christians
among his subjects; and his capital, appropriately enough, holds a larger Moslem
community than any other western metropolis. But while there are
already two small mosques in London and a larger institution in Woking, as well
as other mosques in those British cities where Moslems mainly congregate, there
is nowhere in Britain a 'cathedral mosque' worthy of the heart of an Empire within
whose bounds the culture and traditions of Islam flourish so mightily." There
is also a proposal on foot to build a mosque in Washington."
The post-war world will bring America and Europe in closer touch with Islam than
ever before. Men of the consular service, orientalists, merchants, tourists, and
missionaries will find that it is supremely important to understand the soul of
a people and their popular religion and folk-traditions. To achieve this, we must
know their spiritual leaders. My conviction, after forty years of experience in
Arabia and Egypt (including visits
to North Africa, India, China, Iran, and Java) is that the key to understanding
of the masses lies in personal friendship with their clergy, the so-called imams,
mullahs, and sheikhs.
Since the abolition of the caliphate, the political power of Islam has waned.
But the soul of Islam lives on in the village school-teacher, the
clergy, the professors of canon law, and the popular saints of the darwish-orders.
pages, illustrated by photographs, are an introduction to these "clergy"; their
origin, organization, functions, faith, zeal, and present-day influence and power.
If the words of Mohammed himself, "the learned
of my people are as the prophets of Israel," can be taken as prophetic, then
these 'ulema (learned) are the one spiritual factor in Islam which we must
try to understand if we desire to know and help the common people, and this is
supremely important to those who preach the gospel.
New York City.
Samuel M. Zwemer.
'ULEMA are the heirs of the prophets" - thus Mohammed is supposed to have
spoken. To them falls the mission of binding and loosing. . . . They are regarded
as the authorized interpreters of the consensus. It is to them that the Faithful
turn when in doubt, for the solution of cases of conscience or points of doctrine....
The quadi is chosen from among the 'ulema. His Tribunal admits oral testimony
alone; that of a non-Muslim is excluded. The supreme council of 'ulema
is at the University of Al Azhar, Cairo.
-H. Lammens S. J. in Islam, pp.101, 102, 110.
and Mihrab Mosque of Sultan Hassan, Cairo
of Mohammed by a Persian Artist
Mosque-Tower, Sian-fu Facing
Vessels and Rosary Box, China
in Mosque, China
Clergy Leading Funeral Procession, Algeria
of Moslem School, Capetown
Azhar Court in 1920
of Moslem Saint, Yugo-Slavia
a Judge of Iran
Traveling Darwish of Iran
Graves at Bucharest and Sarajevo (2)
Family at Tombs of Caliphs to Bless Their Children
of Kermanshah, 1928
Indian Mullah, N. W. Province
Used by Moslems
to Chapter One
of the Prophets Table of Contents