Although this book is written on orientalist lines, it gives an interesting perspective from orientalists at the turn of the 20th Century. The first part of the present volume, ” The Church of Islam,” devotes two chapters to an account of the building up of this inflexible theocracy ; the last two chapters give an account of the efforts made by a few of the Faithful to escape from the prison-house in which they had been walled up, and the results of the attempts. The Orientalist will perhaps object that the chapter entitled ” The Men of the Path,” is a very insufficient account of Moslem mysticism. I am aware that this is so. But my purpose, in the present volume, is merely to exhibit the general tendency of the movement ; its more detailed exposition I reserve for ” Islam in India.” The fourth chapter, entitled “The Free-thinkers,” and the whole of the second part, “The Supremacy of the Persians,” tells the story of the curious struggle in the bosom of Islam, between the Rationalizing spirit and the spirit of Orthodoxy, terminating in the complete triumph of the latter.
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