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…