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The Women of the Arabs   By: (1832-1910)

Book cover

First Page:

THE WOMEN

OF

THE ARABS.

WITH A CHAPTER FOR CHILDREN.

BY

Rev. HENRY HARRIS JESSUP, D.D.,

Seventeen years American Missionary in Syria.

EDITED BY Rev. C.S. ROBINSON, D.D., & Rev. ISAAC RILEY.

"The threshold weeps forty days when a girl is born." Mt. Lebanon Proverb.

NEW YORK: DODD & MEAD, PUBLISHERS.

Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1873, by DODD & MEAD, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.

THIS BOOK

IS DEDICATED TO THE

CHRISTIAN WOMEN OF AMERICA.

Beirût, Syria, July, 1873 .

Owing to the impossibility of my attending personally to the editing of this volume, I requested my old friends , Rev. C.S. Robinson, D.D., and Rev. Isaac Riley, of New York, to superintend the work, and would gratefully acknowledge their kind and disinterested aid, cheerfully proffered at no little sacrifice of time.

H.H. JESSUP.

PREFACE.

The Orient is the birthplace of prophecy. Before the advent of our Lord, the very air of the East was resounding with the "unconscious prophecies of heathenism." Men were in expectation of great changes in the earth. When Mohammed arose, he not only claimed to be the deliverer of a message inspired of Allah, but to foretell the events of futurity. He declared that the approach of the latter day could be distinguished by unmistakable signs, among which were two of the most notable character.

Before the latter day, the sun shall rise in the West , and God will send forth a cold odoriferous wind blowing from Syria Damascena , which shall sweep away the souls of all the faithful, and the Koran itself . What the world of Islam takes in its literal sense, we may take in a deeper spiritual meaning. Is it not true, that far in the West, the gospel sun began to rise and shed its beams on Syria, many years ago, and that in our day that cold odoriferous wind of truth and life, fragrant with the love of Jesus and the love of man, is beginning to blow from Syria Damascena, over all the Eastern world! The church and the school, the printing press and the translated Bible, the periodical and the ponderous volume, the testimony of living witnesses for the truth, and of martyrs who have died in its defence, all combine to sweep away the systems of error, whether styled Christian, Moslem or Pagan.

The remarkable uprising of christian women in Christian lands to a new interest in the welfare of woman in heathen and Mohammedan countries, is one of the great events of the present century. This book is meant to be a memorial of the early laborers in Syria, nearly all of whom have passed away. It is intended also as a record of the work done for women and girls of the Arab race; to show some of the great results which have been reached and to stimulate to new zeal and effort in their behalf.

In tracing the history of this work, it seemed necessary to describe the condition of woman in Syria when the missionaries first arrived, and to examine the different religious systems, which affect her position.

In preparing the chapter on the Pre Islamic Arabs, I have found valuable materials in Chenery's Hariri, Sales and Rodwell's Koran, and Freytag's Arabic Proverbs.

For the facts about the Druze religion, I have consulted Col. Churchill's Works, Mount Lebanon, and several Arabic manuscripts in the mission library in Beirût.

Rev. S. Lyde's interesting book called the "Asian Mystery," has given me the principal items with regard to the Nusairîyeh religion. This confirms the statements of Suleiman Effendi, whose tract, revealing the secrets of the Nusairîyeh faith, was printed years ago at the Mission Press in Beirût, and translated by that ripe Arabic Scholar Prof. E. Salisbury of New Haven. The bloody Nusairîyeh never forgave Suleiman for revealing their mysteries; and having invited him to a feast in a village near Adana, 1871, brutally buried him alive in a dunghill!

For the historical statements of this volume, I am indebted to the files of the Missionary Herald, the Annual Reports of the Syria Mission, the archives of the mission in Beirût, the memoir of Mrs... Continue reading book >>




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