Moslem Women is built around six main chapters; half are devoted to the place and experiences of Moslem women, and half consider the Christian mission to these women. The Zwemers acknowledge some of the great women of Islamic history, such as Rabia, the famous early mystic, and Nurah Mahal, wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. They speak in glowing terms about advances in the women’s situation in post-Ottoman Turkey. Their work is dedicated to serving Muslims and to seeing them as people rather than as faceless numbers; it is an excellent model for today’s Christians who feel called to engagement with Islam.
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Amy and Samuel Zwemer’s
Moslem Women is built around six main chapters. The first three examine the Islamic context with reference to the place and experience of Islamic women. The last three consider Christian mission to Islamic women and associated themes.
The Zwemers apply a critical eye in this work. Their reservations are more concerned with the religious system of Islam than the people of Islam. Not all is negative, however. The authors’ treatment of Qur’anic and Hadith teaching on women is comprehensive and generally sympathetic.
The Zwemers had a good understanding of Islamic theology and Muslim culture, and a wealth of experience in interacting with Muslims. They acknowledge some of the great women of Islamic history, such as Rabia, the famous early mystic, and Nurah Mahal, wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The authors were writing around the time of the secular revolution in Turkey, and they speak in glowing terms about advances in the women’s situation in post-Ottoman Turkey.
This work presents much useful information on the history of Christian missionary activity to the world of Islam in the 19th century. The considerable number of testimonies by Muslim converts presented in this book is of great interest.
Samuel and Amy Zwemer’s dedication to serving Muslims, both men and women, and to seeing them as people rather than as faceless numbers in an abstract system, provides an excellent model for Christians of today who feel called to engagement with Islam and its people.