Muhammad, it is true, advocates and enjoins meditation and prayer, and promises help and direction which are the result of the working of God's grace in the human heart, to those who seek Him. 'Your Lord saith, Call upon me, and I will hear you.' 1 ' . . . And [God] will guide to Himself him who repenteth, and those who believe, and whose hearts rest securely in the meditation of God; shall not (men's) hearts repose in the meditation of God?' 2 'Rehearse that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Book (of the Qur'an): and be constant at prayer: for prayer restraineth from the filthy and blameable; and the remembering of God is surely a most important (duty). ' 3

From such passages as those quoted above, as well as from what we know of the practice of the prophet from other sources, it is clear that the exercises of the Dervish Orders, though not founded on the direct injunctions of the Qur'an, and though dependent largely on non-Muhammadan influences for their development, are yet not antagonistic to its teachings and spirit.

Indeed it is chiefly through these observances and devotional exercises that the Muslim seeks to have intercourse with God, and partake of His grace, and so feed his spiritual life.

So great is the place of Mysticism in Islam that Professor Macdonald is able to say with truth, 'With us (Christians) what is called the Inner Light has appeared here and there, in one form or another, at one time or another; but it has never for the general body of Christendom,

1 Suratu'l-Mu'min (xl) 62.
2 Suratu'r-Ra'd (xiii) 28.
3 Suratu'l-'Ankabut (xxix) 44; see also Suras vii. 203; iii. 36; xxxix. 24.

been the dominant element in the basis of the faith. In Islam that position has been reached.' 1

While Sufiism (mysticism) holds such a central place in the life of Muslims, yet it is a fact that it is not merely not an essential part of Islam as taught in the Qur'an, but is really outside the sphere of orthodox Muhammadanism.

The Dervish Orders 2 have so little essential connexion with Muhammadanism, that, as Professor Macdonald states, 3 some of them are not merely ready to accept Christians as members of their fraternity, but have nothing in their ritual which would prevent a Christian from retaining his faith and yet becoming a member of the Order. This is enough to show that while these orders are now formally a part of the Muslim Church, there is little, if anything, in the life of the Fraternities which is based on the distinctive teachings of the Qur'an. Sufiism, indeed, can hardly be called a growth or development of Muhammad's teaching. It is rather an addition made to fill a want, which all sincere Muslim seekers after truth appear to have found in the system of doctrine and practice taught in the Qur'an.

And thus we come back to the statement already made, that while the Qur'an teaches that man requires and may find the grace of God, it never explains how that grace is to be appropriated by the individual; and so, while telling man that God is not afar off and is to be found, it, nevertheless, leaves him to seek after Him, if haply he may find Him.

1 Aspects of Islam, p. 149.
2 For an account of these see Sell, The Religious Orders of Islam (S.P.C.K. and C.L.S.).
3 Aspects of Islam, p. 155.