Tag Archives: Arabian missions

Author Guide: Samuel Zwemer

This is a bibliography of works by Samuel Zwemer, adapted from Apostle to Islam by J. Christy Wilson, Sr.

Zwemer may have been the most famous missions mobilizer of the 20th century. He pioneered in Bahrain, Iraq, and Egypt, in addition to missions tours and conferences virtually everywhere that Islam is found. He preached in English, Arabic, and Dutch. His sermons and books called the Church to acknowledge the challenge of Islam head-on.

While some of his works are left for specialists in religion, many of his devotional works are just as compelling today.

***Asterisks mark those that are highly recommended.

 

Works by Samuel Zwemer

  1. Arabia: The Cradle of Islam. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1900. 434 pages.
  2. Raymond Lull: First Missionary to the Muslims. Funk and Wagnalls, New York. 1902. 172 pages. (Spanish edition.)
  3. The Muslim Doctrine of God. American Tract Society, New York. 1905. 120 pages.
  4. Islam, A Challenge to Faith. Student Volunteer Movement, New York. 1907. 295 pages.
  5. The Muslim World. Young People’s Missionary Movement of the United States and Canada. Eaton, New York, 1908. 239 pages. (Revised edition of Islam, A Challenge to Faith.)
  6. The Unoccupied Mission Fields of Africa and Asia. Student Volunteer Movement, New York. 1911. 260 pages.
  7. The Muslim Christ. Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier, London. 1912. 198 pages. American Tract Society, New York.
  8. Mohammed or Christ. Seeley Service and Company, London. 1915. 292 pages.
  9. Childhood in the Muslim World. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1915. 274 pages.
  10. The Disintegration of Islam. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1916. 227 pages.
  11. The Influence of Animism on Islam. Macmillan, New York. 1920. 246 pages.
  12. Christianity the Final Religion. Eerdmans Sevensma Co., The Pilgrim Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1920. 108 pages.
  13. A Muslim Seeker After God: Life of Al-Ghazali. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1921. 302 pages.
  14. The Law of Apostasy in Islam. Marshall Brothers, London. 1923. 164 pages.
  15. The Call to Prayer. Marshall Brothers, London. 1923. 79 pages.
  16. The Glory of the Cross. Marshall Brothers, London. 1928. 128 pages. (Arabic edition.)***
  17. Across the World of Islam. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1929. 382 pages.
  18. Thinking Missions with Christ. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1934.
  19. The Origin of Religion. Cokesbury Press, Nashville, Tenn. 1935.
  20. Taking Hold of God. Marshall, Morgan and Scott, London 1936. 188 pages.
  21. It is Hard to be a Christian. Marshall, Morgan and Scott, London, 1937. 159 pages.
  22. The Solitary Throne. Pickering and Inglis, London. 1937. 112 pages.***
  23. Studies in Popular Islam. Macmillan, New York. 1939. 148 pages.
  24. Dynamic Christianity and the World Today. Intervarsity Fellowship, London. 1939. 173 pages.
  25. The Glory of the Manger. American Tract Society, New York. 1940. 232 pages.
  26. The Art of Listening to God. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1940. 217 pages.
  27. The Cross Above the Crescent. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1941. 292 pages.
  28. Into All the World. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1943. 222 pages.
  29. Evangelism Today. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1944. 125 pages.
  30. Heirs of the Prophets. Moody Press, Chicago. 1946. 137 pages.
  31. The Glory of the Empty Tomb. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1947. 170 pages.
  32. How Rich the Harvest: Studies in Bible Themes and Missions. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1948. 120 pages.
  33. Sons of Adam. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1951. 164 pages.

 

Works of Joint Authorship

  1. Topsy Turvy Land, with Amy E. Zwemer. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1902. 124 pages.
  2. Methods of Mission Work among Muslims, with E. M. Wherry. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1906. 232 pages.
  3. The Mohammedan World of Today, with E. M. Wherry. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1906. 302 pages.
  4. Our Muslim Sisters, with Annie Van Sommer. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1907. 299 pages.
  5. The Nearer and Farther East, with Arthur J. Brown. Macmillan, New York. 1908. 325 pages.
  6. Lucknow, 1911, with E. M. Wherry. Madras, 1912. 298 pages.
  7. Zig-Zag Journeys in the Camel Country, with Amy E. Zwemer. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1911.
  8. Daylight in the Harem: A New Era for Muslim Women, with Annie Van Sommer. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1912. 224 pages.
  9. Islam and Missions, report of the Lucknow conference with E. M. Wherry. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1912. 300 pages.
  10. Christian Literature in Muslim Lands, with a committee. Doran, New York. 1923.
  11. Muslim Women, with Amy E. Zwemer. United Study Committee, New York. 1926. 306 pages.The Golden Milestone: Reminiscences of Pioneer Days Fifty Years Ago in Arabia, with James Cantine. Fleming H. Revell, New York. 1939. 157 pages.

 

Short Works and Contributions

“Report of a Mission Tour Down the Euphrates from Hillah to Busrah.” The Christian Intelligencer, Jan. 4 & 11, 1893.

“Report of a Journey into Yemen and Work among the Jews for the Mildmay Mission.” The Christian Intelligencer. c. 1894.

“Mohammedan World of Today.” 1898.

“Epilogue: A Sketch of the Arabian Mission.” Kamil Abdulmasih. [Formerly Kamil Abdul Messiah.] 1898.

“Advice to Volunteers.” Advice for Student Volunteers. [Formerly The Call, Qualifications and Preparation of Candidates for Foreign Missionary Service Ed. Robert Speer. 1901.

“Thinking Gray in Missions.” n.d.

“The Impending Struggle in Western Asia.” An address delivered January 2, 1910.

“Islam, the War, and Missions.” c. 1914.

“Introduction.” The Vital Forces of Christianity and Islam, with W. H. T. Gairdner, et al. Oxford, London. 1915.

“A Primer on Islam.” Continuation Committee, Shanghai. 1919. 24 pages.

“Report of a Visit to Mesopotamia, the Persian Gulf and India.” Summer of 1924.  American Christian Literature Society for Muslims, New York. 1924. 31 pages.

“Report of a Visit to India and Ceylon.” September 23, 1927, to February 28, 1928. A.C.L.S.M., New York. 1928. 33 pages.

“A Factual Survey of the Muslim World.” Fleming H. Revell, New York, 1946. 34 pages.

“The Glory of the Impossible.” 1950.

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Echoes of Eternity: How Death Affected Great Men

Thoughts after the death of Nabeel Qureshi

On September 16, Nabeel Qureshi tragically passed at the age 34, and went confidently into eternity. He had been diagnosed with aggressive Stage IV stomach cancer just a few short months ago, in the middle of a busy career of academic study, preaching, writing, and evangelism.

In many ways, his death is a challenge to Western believers. Lest we miss the lesson his death would teach us, I want to look at some historical precedent for how many believers have been challenged by the immediacy of death.

I could give a long list of faithful believers who re-examined their lives after the death of someone near them. J. J. Doke went to the mission field dreaming of carrying on the impact of his older brother who had died doing mission work in the Congo. On the other side of Africa, in 1846, Ludwig Krapf buried wife and child in the remote deserts along the Eritrea-Ethiopian border, and there he famously wrote that the church ever advances over the graves of its members.

For the church of the resurrected Christ, death has always been transmuted by the deathless optimism of the one who saw the travail of his soul and was satisfied. Let’s take a look at three ways that untimely death has caused many to hear the echo of eternity.

1. Eternity calls us to consider if we living for things that will last.

Adoniram Judson is one of the most famous missionaries in Protestant history. With a small cadre of friends, he spearheaded the founding of America’s first missionary society, and, in 1812, he was on the first ship to leave America to bring the gospel to the world’s unreached people.

But few know that in college, Judson was a hardened skeptic. The atmosphere at Providence College was in the grip of Enlightenment thinking. He had one friend in particularly—he is called E— in the story—who was an outspoken, revelling, scoffing skeptic, mocking the church and all that pertains to it.

In between college terms, Judson was travelling on horseback, touring the northern states. He stopped into an inn. We have one vacancy, the innkeeper told him, but the tenant in the room next door is horribly ill—he may not pass the night. No matter, Judson told him. Death was less than nothing to him, although he would feel sympathy for the dying.

As he lay in that inn, he heard the racking coughs and groans of a dying man. The walls seemed paper thin. Whoever he was, he must be dying comfortless, with no family member to attend him. Judson lay awake thinking of the nearness of death, struggling to use his young age as a shield against the spectre of eternity. After all, what would his skeptic friends back at college think? What would his friend E think?

The rest of the story is in F. W. Boreham’s words:

“He rises at dawn; seeks the innkeeper; and inquires about his neighbor.

“‘He’s dead!’ is the blunt reply.

“‘Dead!’ replies Judson. ‘And who was he?’

“‘Oh,’ explains the innkeeper languidly, ‘he was a student from Providence College; a very fine fellow; his name was E!’”

Judson was shaken to the core. Eternity stared him in the face, and it wasn’t long before he turned to Christ. He cut short his vacation, went home, and discussed the state of his soul with his parents. He was soon a member of their church.

2. Eternity calls us to remember that there are no little people and no little places.

Although his name is no longer well known, Ion Keith-Falconer was a serious intellectual with both evangelistic and medical experience, willing to use whatever means to reach his Muslim neighbors.

Keith-Falconer seemed to have everything going for him. He was from a noble family; he was a champion athlete; he was at the top of his class at Cambridge; he was newly married; and he was ordained under the Free Church of Scotland to an important and difficult mission field.

After studying Arabic at schools in Germany and Egypt, he went to Aden—in present-day Yemen, then a British colony—to see if it would be feasible to bring his family there. After receiving a very flexible appointment as an Arabic lecturer at Cambridge, he took his wife and a young child to live in the neighborhood of Sheikh Othman.

He only preached and practiced medicine for five months before he died of a fever, now believed to be malaria. News of his death reached Scotland the night before the opening of the Free Church’s annual General Assembly, the same meeting at which Keith-Falconer had been ordained just one year before. The moderator, Dr. Somerville, spoke about his death:

“What may be the beneficent result which God may educe from this calamity, we know not. This, however, we may venture to hope for—that the death of this noble young man may prove the means of awakening attention, greater than has ever been directed, to all Arabia’s provinces, and tend to give a lasting wound to that fatal system of Islam which so long blighted the souls of millions. What Christian Scotchman, with qualities in any way resembling those of him who has passed away, will stand forth to raise the banner of the Gospel in the place of the gallant warrior who has fallen?”

The custom in that day was not to withdraw when a missionary was lost; the usual response was to send two more to take his place! After his death, his mother and widow offered a stipend that would fund two more missionaries for Arabia. In the months that followed, a total of thirteen students of Edinburgh’s New College offered themselves for foreign mission work. Eleven of those were from the 1888 graduating class, which only included forty students. Needless to say, the appeal of Keith-Falconer’s death is attributed to be an important factor.

3. Eternity calls us to remember that even short lives can have an lasting echo if they are lived for Christ.

There is another story in Arabian missions of a young Lebanese preacher. Like Nabeel Qureshi, Kamil Abdulmasih ‘Itany turned to Christ out of a Muslim background, and it wasn’t long before he was doing everything he could to persuade other Muslims, Catholics, Jews, and Hindus, that Jesus was the only way.

Kamil learned the basics of the Bible from Henry H. Jessup for a few months in Beirut. Later, he joined Samuel M. Zwemer and James Cantine in the Arabian Mission of the Dutch Reformed Church. In the few years that he lived as a Christian, Kamil did preaching and Bible distribution tours in Syria, Yemen, Djibouti, and Iraq.

He showed in his letters that he knew both the Bible and the Quran well. He was persuasive and tactful in evangelism. While selling Bibles in the remote coasts of eastern Yemen, a group of men went around forbidding people to accept his books. Kamil found the troublemakers and quoted to them several scriptures in which the Quran praises both the Old and New Testaments which they were selling. He recorded the conversation in his journal, which Henry Jessup later translated:

“Then I said, ‘Does this Quran speak truth or falsehood?’

“They said, ‘Allah forbid that it should speak falsehood.’

“I said, ‘Are my words true?’

“They replied, ‘Yes; there is no doubt of it.’

‘Then,” said I, ‘Why did you forbid the boys buying the books?’

“They said, ‘We did not,’ and denied it absolutely.

“I then said, ‘You should buy the books if my words are true.’

“They said, ‘We certainly will after hearing the proofs you have given us.’”

Kamil’s life was cut short in a season of intense preaching and visiting in Basra, in present-day Iraq. His journals written in 1892 show that he had visitors of every variety, some hostile, and some very keen to find copies of the New Testament.

When he died, Zwemer found him surrounded by soldiers and religious authorities. They believed he was poisoned, but the authorities prohibited an autopsy. They protested that he was a Christian, but the authorities buried him as a Muslim. They had proof that he was a Christian, but the soldiers had seized his papers. There was no recourse.

Henry Jessup wrote that Kamil’s life was “a rebuke to our unbelief” in God’s power to change the Muslim heart. His tragic murder must have brought home to supporters of the Arabian Mission the reality of people who turn to faith in Islam’s heartland. Grace may be free, but that doesn’t mean faith doesn’t cost us.

After Kamil’s death, Zwemer eventually became the most widely known name connected with Christian missions to Muslims. He left behind a stream of literature long enough to fill a bookshelf. God only knows how the loss of this budding native preacher must have hardened Zwemer’s resolve in his early career.

Final thoughts

Death, then, doesn’t have to be a white flag; in Christian missions, it is a call for advance, not retreat. When a soldier on the front lines is lost, someone must rush forward to hold the line.

When I woke up to the news of Nabeel’s passing, I thought of how the disciples felt when Jesus ascended and left them. Leaderless, they thought—but they wouldn’t be left comfortless. There was a greater work that they would have to begin.

The task of missions is the task of the whole church. With Nabeel’s passing, we mourn the loss of a leader who had a monumental impact in his short time—but when we dry our eyes, we remember, we have a lot of work to do.


References:

F. W. Boreham, “Adoniram Judson’s Text.” A Temple of Topaz.

Henry H. Jessup, Kamil Abdulmasih: A Syrian Preacher of the Gospel.

Robert Sinker, Candle in the Dark: The Story of Ion Keith-Falconer.