Samuel M. Zwemer’s, The Moslem World

Samuel M. Zwemer [1867-1952], The Moslem World.Samuel M. Zwemer wrote this volume as a textbook for mission classes in colleges and universities. His purpose was “…to present Islam as a challenge to the faith and enterprise of the Church…. Each chapter was intended as a study by itself on the Mohammedan religion in its different aspects, and the needs and opportunities of the Mohammedan world from the standpoint of Christian missions.” [p.xii]. As such, it remains to great value to this day.

My thanks to the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

Samuel M. Zwemer [1867-1952], The Moslem World. New York: Young People’s Missionary Movement, 1908. Hbk. pp.239. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Preface
  1. The Great Arabian Prophet
  2. Spread of His Religion
  3. What the Moslems Believe and Practise
  4. A General View of the Moslem World
  5. Social and Moral Evils of Islam
  6. The Story of Missions to Moslems
  7. The Present Problem and Peril
  8. The Day of Opportunity
  • Appendixes
  • A. Chronological Table of Important Events in the History of Islam and of Missions to Moslems
  • B. List of Missionary Societies
  • C. Selected List of Books on the Moslem World
  • Index

Chapter 1. The Great Arabian Prophet

About the year 570 A. D., Abdullah, the son of Abdul Muttalib, a Mecca merchant, went on a trading trip from Mecca to Medina, and died there. A few months after his death his wife, Amina, gave birth to a boy, who was named Mohammed. One hundred years later the name of this Arab, joined to that of the Almighty, was called out in ten thousand minarets five times daily from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic, and his new religion was sweeping everything before it in three continents. Who was this hero-prophet, what was his environment, and what the secret of his genius? What is the explanation of this marvel of history? Many theories have been given, and the true explanation of the spread of Islam is probably the sum of all these theories: the weakness of the Oriental Churches; their corrupt state; the condition of the Roman and Persian empires.…

Samuel Zwemer on Islam: A Challenge to Faith

Samuel M. Zwemer [1867-1952], Islam. A Challenge to FaithSamuel Marinus Zwemer [1867-1952], known as the Apostle to Islam, was “one of the most celebrated Protestant missionaries of the twentieth century”. [Biographical Dictionary of Christian Mission, p.763]

His book on Islam, reproduced here, remains as relevant today as when it was written. This title is in the public domain.

Samuel M. Zwemer [1867-1952], Islam. A Challenge to Faith. Studies on the Mohammedan Religion and the Needs and Opportunities of the Mohammedan World from the Standpoint of Christian Missions. New York: Student Volunteer Movement For Foreign Missions, 1907. Hbk. pp.295. [Click to visit the main download page]


  • Preface
  1. The Origin and Sources of Islam
  2. Mohammad, The Prophet is Islam
  3. The Spread of Islam
  4. The Faith of Islam
  5. The Practice of Islam
  6. The Ethics of Islam
  7. Division, Disintegration, and Reform
  8. The Present Condition of the Moslem World
  9. Missions to Moslems
  10. Methods and Results
  11. The Problem and the Peril
  12. A Challenge to Faith
  • Appendices
  • Index


The churches of Christendom are at last awaking to the fact that one of the great unsolved missionary problems of the Twentieth Century is the evangelization of the Mohammedan world. The Cairo Conference reports, the Haystack Centennial volume, the organization of new missionary societies for work among Moslems, and the recent statements concerning the Moslem peril in West Africa and the Soudan, all carry this message to the churches and the student-world of Christendom. The Cairo Conference appeal, voicing the opinion of many leading missionaries from every Moslem land, was primarily a call for trained men from the universities and professional schools. And this appeal, in the words of Mr. John R. Mott, “has laid upon students as never before the responsibility of reaching the Mohammedan world.”

But if we are to reach that world with the gospel of Christ we must first know of it and know it…

History of the Arabian Mission

Alfred DeWitt Mason & Frederick J. Barny, History of the Arabian MissionThe History of Arabian Missions is one of the most unusual books among the collection passed on to me for digitisation by Redcliffe College. It summarises first the evangelisation the Arabian Peninsular from the the First Century until 1889. From then on it covers in great detail the foundation and developing work the Arabian Mission by James Cantine [1861-1940] and Samuel Marinus Zwemer [1867-1952]. My thanks to Doug Leonard, the Director of RCA Global Mission, for his kind permission to place this book on-line.

Alfred DeWitt Mason & Frederick J. Barny, History of the Arabian Mission. New York: The Board of Foreign Missions Reformed Church in America, 1926. Hbk. pp.256. [Click to download the complete book in PDF]


  1. The Land and its People
  2. History and Civilisation
  3. Religion and Education
  4. Early Contact with Christianity
  5. The Pioneers
  6. Possessing the Land
  7. Strengthening the Stakes
  8. Lengthening the Cords
  9. Years of the Right Hand of the Most High
  10. Women’s Work for Women
  11. Sister Missions
  12. Conclusion
  • Appendices

This section caught my wife’s eye as she was scanning through the book.

Extract from pp.87-88.

On his return to Arabia in the fall of 1896, he found one new missionary whose accession was the most significant of any that had yet occurred, Mrs. Amy Wilkes Zwemer, who had married Rev. Samuel M. Zwemer at Baghdad, May 18, 1896. Miss Wilkes had been a member of the Church Missionary Society with headquarters in the city of Baghdad. On her marriage to Mr. Zwemer she was released from her contract with the English Society, but the cost of her outfitting and travel to the field had been advanced by the Church Missionary Society and very properly had to be in part at least refunded to them. It, therefore, became a pleasantry among the missionaries to say that “Mr. Zwemer had obtained a wife in true Oriental fashion by buying her from her former people. “And a fellow missionary used to facetiously remark, “Yes, I had to go about at home and raise money to pay for Mr. Zwemer’s wife.” [Continue reading]