Notes: Christian Missionaries in Nishapore

The Light (Pakistan), 16th April 1922 Issue (Vol. 1, No. 9, pp. 1–2)

A correspondent of the Moslem World has given a very interesting account of his missionary activities in Nishapore [Nishapur, India], the famous city of Omar Khayyam, in the course of which he tells us:

“We were also pleased at the religious toleration that we enjoyed in Nishapore in carrying on our work. Scriptures were sold widely in the bazar; meetings were held in the hospital in which the gospel was fully preached; many of the Mullahs [clerics] of the city came to talk with us about our religion; but there was not the least fanaticism or even opposition displayed.

But the medical work not only protected us against possible opposition in the minds of the thinking men of the city, it proved to be one of our powerful apologetics. The fact that a Christian doctor had the ability to do work which the Muhammadans could not do, and that the people of America should take enough interest in their religion and the rest of the world to send doctors and ministers to every land as missionaries, made a deep impression. When some fault-finder would begin to argue for the superiority of Islam, we would sometimes challenge him with the ques­tion: Then why do you not collect money and send one of your doctors and one of your Mullahs to America to convert us to true religion?”

The energetic efforts of the Christian propagandist to spread Christianity throughout the world are surely commendable. But the argument that Islam cannot be a true religion unless it sends out “doctors” and “Mullahs” as mis­sionaries seems to be a queer one. If that is the way of judging the truth of a religion, we would invite the attention of the correspondent to the prototyzing spirit of the early Muslims who went abroad as merchants, not as paid missionaries, and won over hundreds and thousands of people to Islam through their labour of love and force of character.

Here is also a lesson for the Muslims of the day. Their indifference to the propagation of Islam is now used as a weapon against it. They must therefore, as true to believers, wash away this blot on the fair name of their religion. The medical men are most suitable persons for missionary work, and they can make the best use of their profession by utilising [it] in the spread of Islam.

The Muslim Mission at Woking (England) is doing very useful work, but England wants more efforts in this direction. We can say from one personal experience that there is a sufficient scope of work for ten such missions in London only.