THIS little book, telling "How a Sufi Found His Lord," has done two things, - it has given India one of the best autobiographies yet published, and it has revealed a new personality, a new soul, to India. Many will now wish to meet Mr. John A. Subhan. He has written a great book because he has had a great experience.
No Christian worker, no student of the Christian movement in modern India, can afford to miss the illuminating and compelling story of this book. Here is the second edition in English. The Urdu and Bengali editions are being prepared. You will render a service to the Christian cause in helping India to know this book.
BRENTON T. BADLEY.
Episcopal Residence, DELHI.
THE life-story of the Rev. John A. Subhan, given here with such frankness and wealth of detail, is a human document of very great interest. Its value to the Christian cause in India will be readily appreciated by those who are engaged in the difficult but glorious task of taking and interpreting the Gospel of our Lord to India's sons and daughters who are Muslim by faith. This faithful record of a sincere and earnest Muslim Mystic, recounting every step of the quest whereby he found rest for his soul, by an unexpected pathway and in a strange way, will bring great encouragement to Christian workers among Muslims.
One of the striking characteristics of John A. Subhan's conversion is that - in his own estimate - it was the reading of the Gospel, and not the teaching or preaching of any man, that opened the gateway of life to him. Let those who have grown up with the idea that argument and persuasion, whether of the formal sermon or of personal converse, are the surest way of presenting the crucified Saviour, living Christ to the Muslim mind, take note of this fact. Let those, also, who believe that the Word of God, the "Sword of the Spirit," is more powerful than all our human explanation and exhortation, whether in dealing with Muslims, Hindus or enquirers of any other faith, take courage. More than that, let them give themselves still more faithfully to the supreme work of placing God's printed word in the hands of India's people, and pray that God's Spirit may make every copy to glorify our Lord.
Another notable feature of this fresh revelation of the quest of a soul is that, though unexpectedly and in a previously unknown quarter, the goal was reached in the early teens. To this unusual circumstance the author himself pointedly refers. Such a thing may not be oft repeated, but it strengthens the convictions of those who feel that the teaching of young people is among the supreme needs of our time, as the neglect of it is one of the most serious of our mistakes.
It was on my insistence that Mr. Subhan put into written form his spiritual experiences. His modesty, as well as a hesitancy in making these revelations of his inner spiritual aspirations and struggles, prevented his putting all this into writing at an earlier date. He consented on being assured that his story has great value in it for a large number of people, not only among those who work to bring to India's heart a personal knowledge of the Redeemer of the world, but also for many who themselves are seekers, whether known to missionaries and Indian pastors and evangelists, or hidden among the thousands who crowd our streets or study in our Christian institutions, or roam the villages of this vast land. This estimate of the value of Mr. Subhan's experience of his seeking and finding the Saviour, has been powerfully confirmed as I have read this moving story of his soul struggles and the deep, inner satisfaction he has known ever since he was transformed by the power of the living Christ.
I may be permitted, as I close this brief Introduction, to make a plea that this little book be made known as widely as possible to those who may find in its pages guidance as to the best "approach" to the Muslim heart, and that other company of men and
women in India and other lands, who are seekers after Christ, yet know not who He is or how He may be found. If others, by reason of this story being faith-fully told, can enter into the deep experience of peace and joy that now fill the author's heart and make him a lovely example and a winsome interpreter of Christian graces, he will be well repaid for his labour of love in writing this account of his spiritual quest. Many are thankful to God that John A. Subban sought so earnestly and found so successfully the Lord, who invites all the world, saying,- "Come unto Me and I will give you rest!"
September 29th, 1942.