...a short account of the land and the people of India with a brief description of their manners and customs, social evils, religious rites and ceremonies, etc., etc., and a short account of the author's experience.
Blue cloth 12mo; 259, (xi) pp. Very Good with light soil and rubbing to exterior, heaviest along the sunned spine, textblock uneven but secure. Publisher’s "Home Circulation Library" pocket and catalog slip tipped to the front endpapers; light pencil marking. Evidently a much-referenced copy, likely by a missionary who has done some pencil underlining and notes, as well as amended a poem about missionary work on page 178, replacing "India" with Japan, Africa and China. Small manuscript prayer slipped in the circulation pocket.Illustrated with a frontis portrait of the author, color doubleplate map, copious halftone photographs and other illustrations throughout the text, including 9 inadvertently wonderful diagrams/infographics at the end, which concludes with a chart showing how long it would take to make every person in the world a Christian (31 years, based on a population of about 2.2 billion).
Born to a Muslim family, Khan tells the story of his early conversion and subsequent persecution as a Christian, including attempts to poison and curse him. Introduction by Rev. Enoch E. Byrum, a prominent member of the Church of God Reformation, editor of The Gospel Trumpet and author of Travels and Experiences in Other Lands, What Shall I Do to Be Saved? and similar titles. In his introduction, Byrum assures readers that "being a native," Khan's extreme depictions of India are absolutely credible and true. "The author not only produces a compilation of facts from other writers, but speaks from personal knowledge, and the and the reader is assured of the reliability of what is presented."
Khan adds in his own preface, "I have not exaggerated the condition of that dark land," and writes on the caste system, subordination of women, and endemic injustice ("Such is the condition of 145,000,000 miserable souls in India, doomed to a lifelong imprisonment, leading to a life--nay, a mere shadowy existence--within the ghastly tomb of the four walls of their dismal dungeon, mistakenly called their home.")
Even with the prejudicial overtones, Khan provides a considerable breadth of information that makes distinctions between religious and ethnic groups often lumped together in Western accounts of the region. He distinguishes “Manners and Customs” among Aborigines, Dravidians, and Aryans, further delineated as Bengalis, Hindustanis, Punjabis, Mahrattas, Gujaratis, Rajputs. His Religion section addresses Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Mohammedanism, and Sikhism, and even gives a breakdown of important gods and symbols, and marks regional distinctions in Khasi Hills and Tibet.
In the text, Khan mentions publishing a religious circular in English and Bengali, "The Fire Brand," before becoming involved with the Gospel Trumpet and doing speaking tours in the United States, no information about the author could be located. 7 copies in OCLC.