Christianity And Islam

of Muhammed's call to repentance, its most characteristic manifestations were somewhat worldly and non-ascetic. " Islam knows not monasticism 55 says the tradition which this tendency produced. The most important compromise of all, that with life, which Christianity only secured by gradual steps, had been already attained for Islam by Muhammed himself and was included in the course of his development. As Islam now entered the Christian world, it was forced to pass through this process of development once more. At the outset it was permeated with the idea of Christian asceticism, to which an inevitable opposition arose, and found expression in such statements as that already quoted. But Muhammed's preaching had obviously striven to honour the future life by painting the actual world in the gloomiest colours, and the material optimism of the secular-minded was unable to check the advance of Christian asceticism among the classes which felt a e 49

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