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Islam and the Destiny of Man
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Islam and the Destiny of Man

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  786 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Islam and the Destiny of Man by Charles Le Gai Eaton is a wide-ranging study of the Muslim religion from a unique point of view. The author, a former member of the British Diplomatic Service, was brought up as an agnostic and embraced Islam at an early age after writing a book (commissioned by T.S. Eliot) on Eastern religions and their influence upon Western thinkers. As a ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 30th 1985 by State University of New York Press (first published September 1st 1985)
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Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this may be the best book I've ever read. the story of Islam, and the story of the Prophet Muhammad, is often impossible for the person reared in modernism and/or secularism to understand. modernism takes for granted that the past was not as good as the present, that human life is continually improving. secularism takes for granted that religion cannot, or should not, govern the minutiae of a person's life, that individual freedom is the most important value.

Islam is a fundamentally different
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2018
There are two books I would recommend to any non-Muslim with an interest in learning about Islam. The first is Major Themes of the Quran by the Pakistani-American scholar Fazlur Rahman, and the second is Islam and the Destiny of Man by the Perennial philosopher Gai Eaton. I read this book many years ago in my youth, but was not really ready to absorb its lessons at the time. I'm glad I revisited it, because this is a beautiful and succinct encapsulation of the Islamic worldview. While many of ...more
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Eaton describes himself in a way that was immediately identifiable, as a Muslim who came to the faith "through intellectual conviction and with a belief in the transcendent unity of all revealed religions". This transcendent unity in Islam, which is known through the principle of Tawhid, is a natural extension of the Oneness of Allah. To state this principle as an article of faith and worldview is one thing, to realize its full implications is quite another - particularly for the Western mind.

Lumumba Shakur
This perhaps one of the most well written, insightful and captivating books that I have had the good pleasure to have read. In sum, it is an advanced introduction to Islam with a Perennialist Philosophical outlook (he probably references Schuon and Nasr more than anyone else). It is at times a novel, a metaphysical treatise and cultural critique. I was initially disturbed by the philosophical underpinnings of the author, particularly the "universal validity of religions" of which the first ...more
Jan 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the serious minded.
This book is one of the most influential and genuine works of the century. The book is as unique as its author. although the book is originally in essence an introduction to Islam, I feel it manages to do much more and definitely, without a shadow of doubt qualifies in the "Book of the books" list. This book is a legacy for posterity and an example of how magnificent British Islam can get. If past Muslim scholars would refresh and polish their intellects with Ibn Khaldun's "Muqaddimah" and Shah ...more
Shaimaa Ali
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to give it more than 5 stars!

This book is a simple journey not about the author biography himself (part of his bio was already in the book introduction), but it describe the Islamic history since its beginning & its impact on the human being now.
The first chapters are so equivalent to an Arabic "Seera" books just written in English with Gai Eaton comments and his own understanding (from a Western point of view). The last two chapters are so beautiful talking about Art, Mysticism in
Aasem Bakhshi
I have never read such surreal walk-through of Islamic history, law, society and arts before. In my view, this is characteristic of most perennialist literature (for instance, Frithjof Schuon, Rene Guenon and Syeh Hussain Nasr) that it drags the reader into deep and novel meanings of common concepts and cliches otherwise taken for granted. But by any means, this is not an easy read, and though these are just about 250 odd pages, the narrative requires an extraordinary attention and careful ...more
Hammad Ali
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Most of the great works relating to Islam and Muslims that I've come across so far are mostly translated works. And the few that were written originally in English are mostly very simple or cover the political side of Islam written either by orientalists or Westerners who write about Islam as they're approaching something alien that needs to be handled with as much skepticism and cynicism as possible. As such in my opinion at-least Islam has not fully come to the English language as of yet (but ...more
Mohammed Yusuf
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing

حين يبادرنا احدهم بالحديث فاننا لا نتعرف فقط على الكلمات او معناها المتبادر سنعرف ما يضمره الشخص وراء الكلمات او ما يحاول ان يضمره ، الاشكال الخارجية دائما تحتاج الى فراغات داخلية ، هذه الثنائية الخارج / الداخل ، جزء من وعينا بالعالم ، حين تناقشت مع صديق سلفي كيف أنه يختزل الدين في اشياء خارجية ولا يلج الى العمق أخبرني أن الدين ليس به خارج أو باطن الدين كل ويجب أخذه ككل و حين احسست انه مال الى العاطفية في اسلوبه رددت عليه ليس هذا هو الدين وانما فهمك للدين ، وان كان جزء من كلامه صحيحا فهو لم
سچ کہیں تو ہم اپنی افتاد طبع کے اسیر ہیں ، چاہیں بھی تو اس سے نکل نہیں پاتے۔ صبح سے شام بنا کسی مقصد و معنی کے بوریت مٹانے میں کٹتے ہیں۔ کتابیں، موسیقی، فلمیں، تصویریرں، علمی گفتگو، ایکسرسائز،سفر یا نت نئے تجربات یہ سب صرف زندگی کے خالی پن کو بھرنے کی ہی تو کوشش ہے۔ وہ خالی پن جو کم ہونے کے بجائے بڑھتا ہی جاتا ہے۔ زندگی کو کوئی ایسا مرکز نہیں جس کے ساتھ جڑ کر سکون حاصل کیا جاسکے۔ کبھی خدا اور مذہب زندگی کا مرکز تھے پھر علمی کوڑوں نے جذبات کو اتنا پیٹا کہ خدا اور مذہب کو صرف عقل کی نگاہ سے ہی ...more
Zayn Gregory
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: islam
Often listed as one of the best introductory books on Islam for the seeker, I'm probably approaching Gai Eaton's Islam and the Destiny of Man 20 years too late, but I wanted to read it before I recommend it to anyone. There was plenty to enjoy. The book is split into three parts, beginning with a civilizational overview of Islam and the Christian West, coming into its own in the middle third with the life and times of Prophet Muhammad, and hitting an emotional high point with the Caliphate of ...more
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The author writes a magnificent work on Islam, for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. He writes with clarity, warmth, authority, musicality. He is able to transmit the message of Islam as he sees it, using the historical events of early Islam to present his insight and understanding.
He writes with intellectual understanding and human warmth.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A powerful and beautiful read. My full reflection/review on the book can be found on my blog Immersing in the Sea here:
Ali Sarikaya
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A must Read book
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's good thing when you read about islam -even if you were a muslim- by those who recognize islam and know its real essence by their efforts without any partiality to specific country or doctrine. It's a knowledge based on a clear mind, that's what we can believe in, what take it's way to the mind and the heart strightly, a logistic knowladge!
Good book. Muslim or non-muslim you have to read this book.
It gives a new view on islam to the muslims, valuable and usefull gift to give to non-muslim!
Apr 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
ok this probably deserves 5 stars...but it took me FOREVER to read...not an easy read by any means..atleast not for me...but very interesting..gets better n better..esp second half of book...esp his summary of the caliphates...n the chapter on art, environment and mysticism...amazing....the man is brilliant...can NOT rush through this every sentence 3 times if u have to ..its worth it :)
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
One of the very few books I couldn't continue reading. The author is rather naive in his analysis, very much affected by "metaphysical" concepts from Guenon. His concepts about the so called "Islamic arts" and the "Islamic crafts" and the idea that Islam would not have lead to technological developments because a Muslim was asked to walk humbly on earth and not "rip it out with a bulldozer" made me think the author's ideas are completely silly and naive. I couldn't read the rest of the book.
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're curious about Islam or anyone with a modicum of a spark of curiosity in Islam. this is the best book I could direct you to.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read. Provides a comprehensive overview of Islam and its principles.
Ashfaq Farooqui
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very lucid introduction to Islam and what it means to a believer. Unlike most of the other introductions that try to be objective and focus only on the subject of Islam, this book is written exploring the relationship to man, specifically in the modern age. It is important to note that this book, and the author, are a product their time.
Qazi Sufian Javed
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would’ve given it 10 stars if there was an option. Still give it 10 stars! Enjoyed every page and didn’t want the book to end. Highly recommended to anyone wanting to understand the basic tenets of Islam.
Kelly Escarcega
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Hard to read at times because it was so dense, but it was a good book nonetheless. Really informative, but also critical of Christianity, sometimes too much.
Abu Kamdar
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful introduction to the Islamic worldview, this is especially beneficial for Non-Muslims who don't understand how Muslims think and why we believe what we believe.
Syafiq Segaf
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've read this in Indonesian a few years ago (I forget the translated title, having rented it from a comic book rental), and so I decided to buy the English version in Amazon.

This is the one book I'd recommend to any literate person to be wowed by Le Gai Eaton's Western perspective of Islam. The first few chapters particularly do a beautiful job in describing the awesomeness of the initial spreading of Islam to Europe. Hopefully more people will read this, especially nonmuslims; I guarantee at
Yuniasih Hernawanti
suatu analisis yang menggugah mengenai beberapa ajaran dasar islam dan masalah-masalah yanh harus di hadapi seseorang yang hidup sebagai muslim di dunia modern
Asha F.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Every word that Eaton writes is poetry.

I don't necessarily agree with all his views, but this truly was one of the most moving works I've ever read.

Recommended to everybody.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gave 5 stars to this book. Other reviewers who gave 5 stars to this book have praised it much than I would have been able to do so read those
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion-islam
A very accessible book explaining Islam's appeal and strong points for a Western audience.
Geo Tarek
rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2014
Lama Abdel Barr
rated it it was amazing
Aug 08, 2011
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Charles Le Gai Eaton (Hasan le Gai Eaton or Hassan Abdul Hakeem) (1 January 1921 – 26 February 2010) was born in Lausanne, Switzerland and raised as an agnostic by his parents. He received his education at Charterhouse and at King's College, Cambridge. He worked for many years as a teacher and journalist in Jamaica and Egypt. He then joined the British Diplomatic Service.
Eaton converted to Islam
“The modern Westerner, persuaded that he has a right to "think for himself" and imagining that he exercises this right, is unwilling to acknowledge that his every thought has been shaped by cultural and historical influences and that his opinions fit, like pieces of jigsaw puzzle, into a pattern which has nothing random about it.” 26 likes
“The agnostic has a very curious notion of religion. He is convinced that a man who says 'I believe in God' should at once become perfect; if this does not happen, then the believer must be a fraud and a hypocrite. He thinks that adherence to a religion is the end of the road, whereas it is in fact only the beginning of a very long and sometimes very rough road. He looks for consistency in religious people, however aware he may be of inconsistencies in himself” 21 likes
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