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The Achehnese

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S •• The practice of the three branches of Mohammedan teaching and its preliminary study in Acheh.

In Acheh, as in all countries vvhere Islam prevails, there is, properly Tlic leaming speaking, bilt one kind of science or leaming (Ach. cleunnr, from the "f 1>1,un' Arabic cilwu), embracing all t'nat man must believe and perform in accordance with the will of Allah as revealed to his latest Apostle Mohammad. It has in view the high and eminently practical purpose of enabling man to live so as to please God, and opening for him the door of eternal salvation. Heside it, all other human science is regarded as of a lower order, and serving merely to the attainment of worldly ends, both those which are permitted and those vvhich are forbidden by the sacred Law.

In Mohammad's time and for a little while after, this single branch of knowledge was very simple and of small compass. The historical development of Islam, however, very soon produced dissent and brought new doctrines into being, so that the encyclopaedia of Mohammedan lore attained very respectable proportions, and the teachers were compelled in spite of themselves to concentrate their powers 011 single subjects.

To gain some insight into the encylopaedia of Mohammedan leaming we must examine the chief features of the history of its composition.

These I have already sketched in the introduction to my description of learned life in the ÏNIecca of to-dayso it need not be repeated here. It is enough to recapitulate those branches of Mohammedan leaming which are to some extent practised in Acheh.

i) Mekka, Vol. II pp. 200—214. II