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The Achehnese

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alone among rcligions. In the sphere of politics Islam still continues to play in Acheh that leading part, which lias long been made impossible for her in the greater Moslim states.

§ 7. The Future of Islam.

I hc immc- It is always more or less rasli in dealing vvith historical questions diate future of . 1

Islam. commit oneself to predictions regarding the future, so frequently

do events belie all that our experience of the past seemed to teach.

Yet we venture to express a firm conviction as regards the position

which Islam will in all probability occupy in days to come.

Freedevelop- Islam lias for centuries enjoyed the opportunity of free development, ment of Islam, r _ . • , , r ,

iree tnat is to say, trom any ontward pressure. She coulcl not of course

fix the circumstances under which its selfdevelopment should take

place; these were to a considerable extent determined by the nature

of the peoples who came beneath her domination. VVith the outside

world she had little concern; neither political relations nor commercial

intercourse witli non-Mohammedan nations constrained her to adopt

other methods than those she had chosen for herself.

It may thus be said that the growth of Islam lias run its natural course; the great changes that she underwent bet ween her birth and her coming of age (some 5 centuries later) are no proof to the contiaiy. I lie development of every living tliing depends largely 011 the environment in which it lives. Man exhibits in his maturity physical and moral characteristics different from those he displayed in his youth. \V liicli of the germs of childhood shall ripen, which will become distorted or perisli, greatly depends 011 the accidents of climate, food, education and intercourse with others. So is it also with a religion.

I11 spite of all her freedom anti independence Islam has never even at the zenith of her power and glory succeeded in subjecting to the conttol of her law the government, the administration of justice, and the tratle relations of her adherents or in causing this law to keep pace in its development with the requirements of every day life. As time went 011 it became more anti more clear that the teaching of Islam coultl in fact only hold its own in the sphere of dogma and ritual, of domestic life and of the relations of the followers of the 1'rophet with