Religion of Islam
The purpose of the book is to give to English readers a concise and fair history of the Prophet Mohammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be Upon him) and to present an accurate account of the religion of Islam wrongly called (Mohammedanism) which he taught a religion which has became the faith of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. I have been moved to undertake this work because I frequently met Englishmen brought to Egypt connection with the Great War (1914 – 1919) who evinced a real desire to acquire a certain knowledge of the principles of Islam, the dominant religion of the country.The general interest aroused by the first edition of this book and its rapid exhaustion, have called for the printing of second.
I tried to satisfy their curiosity just as much as my limited intercourse with them permitted. Finally it was suggested to me that I should write a treatise on the subject for the use of English speaking inquirers to familiarize millions of British subjects. I considered it a duty to comply with the suggestion – first in regard to the religion of Islam, as I have as yet hardly found a single treatise which properly explains the essence of that creed and is at the same time free from defects or misrepresentations; and secondly in regard to the members of the Anglo- Saxon race, through whose language I was able to pursue my studies successfully.
Apparently English writers, or rather writers of the Christian persuasion who dealt with Islam, seem either to have obtained their knowledge of that religion haphazardly from untrustworthy sources, or to have allowed their judgment to have been biased by their own Christian outlook; and this partiality has, consciously or otherwise changed them from honest historians to critics – and at times malignant critics. In compiling this book, I have set before me a high ideal; to be a true historian and a conscientious writer, to obtain not only from eulogy and partisanship, but also from scoffing and misplaced criticism. My sole endevour is to give the reader a true account of the life of the Prophet Mohammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be Upon him) and a fair exposition of the religion of Islam.
As the history of the Arabs has a very close connection with the life of the Arabian Prophet and the rise and development of Islam, I have dedicated part 1 of the Book to a summary of that history and the exposition of the social moral, political and religious conditions of the Arabs prior to the advent of Islam. With regard to the present work, the author who is an Egyptian Muslim lays no claim to the art of elegant composition in English. But further he is of opinion that if this ability were within his reach, it would have been misplaced in a work of this nature, the principal merit of which is simple fidelity. I desire above all things, that in a humble way, this book may be the ambassador of good will and understanding between Muslims and those of other faiths. The two supplements present my theses offered for the degrees of Ph., and Litt. D, at the University of Brussels and Helsinki respectively
Ahmed A. Galwash
Cairo, April 1940