Since the last of these essays was written, their author has returned to Egypt, and has there had the satisfaction of finding the ideas, vaguely foreshadowed by him as the dream of some few liberal Ulema of the Azhar, already a practical reality.3 Cairo has now declared itself as the home of progressive thought in Islam, and its university as the once more independent seat of Arabian theology.4 Secured from Turkish interference by the national movement of the Arabs, the Ulema of the Azhar have joined heart and soul with the party of reform. The importance of this event can hardly be overrated; and if, as now seems probable, a liberal Mohammedan Government by a free Mohammedan people should establish itself firmly on the Nile, it is beyond question that the basis of a social and political Reformation for all Islam has been laid.5 It is more than all a hopeful sign that extreme moderation with regard to the Caliphate is observed by the Egyptian leaders. Independence, not opposition, is the motto of the party; and no rent has been made or is contemplated by them in the orthodox coat of Islam. Abd el Hamid Khan is still recognized as the actual Emir el Mumenin, and the restoration of a more legitimate Caliphate is deferred for the day when its fate shall have overtaken the Ottoman Empire.6 This is as it should be. Schism would only weaken the cause of religion, already threatened by a thousand enemies; and the premature appearance of an Anti-Caliph in Egypt or Arabia, however legitimate a candidate he might be by birth for the office, would divide the Mohammedan world into two hostile camps, and so bring scandal and injury on the general cause. In the meantime, however, liberal thought will have a fair field for its development, and can hardly fail to extend its influence wherever the Arabic language is spoken, and among all those races which look on the Azhar as the centre of their intellectual life. This is a notable achievement, and one which patience may turn, perhaps in a very few years, to a more general triumph. There can be little doubt now that the death of Abd el Hamid, or his fall from Empire, will be the signal for the return of

the Caliphate to Cairo, and a formal renewal there by the Arabian mind of its lost religious leadership.