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Remembering God: Reflections on Islam [Paperback]

Charles Le Gai Eaton , Gai Eaton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Kazi Publications (April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781930637085
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930637085
  • ASIN: 193063708X
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,914,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A beautifully written book. He explains "the Face of God", so clearly, and how every act and action in this world has a cause and effect.
Anyone looking for answers to this life and looking for a good exit from it, will find something for them in this book....
Highly recommended....I have not completed reading it yet but I can not wait to get back to it...
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 14 Mar 2002
By Umber76 - Published on Amazon.com
This is an intellectual and philosophical book that explores the spirituality of Islam. Those who are interested in a discussion of politicized Islam or the practice of Islam in various contries will be disappointed. Yet, I feel this book is successful and timeless precisely because it avoids the volatile details that represent modern Muslims in the media. Eaton reflects on Islam throughout the ages (as Muslims believe time to be irrelevant to Islam. It is an immutable message, the same for all generations of people).
While Eaton does explore the clash of Islam and Western culture, he focuses on ideological differences. He argues that the very notion of progress as defined by the West, is at odds with the spirit of Islam. He contrasts the human-centered world of the West versus the God-centered world of Islam. For example, in the chapter, "The Earth's Complaint", Eaton explains that humans must be caretakers of God's creatures and God's earth. We should not arrogantly plunder our environment to suit our own goals, but should see it is a precious gift from the Creator. Eaton critisizes the Muslim "ummah" (community) for losing touch with the essense of Islam, and instead, blindly emulating the "advances" of the West (in terms of technology, science, government, etc) without contemplating the consequences or significance. Eaton peppers his book with well chosen quotes from an impressive array of sources (ranging from Shakespeare and modern scientists to Sufi masters and the Quran itself). The reader, even if (s)he does not agree with Eaton's conclusions, is impressed by the well-supported arguments. Towards the end of the book, Eaton's sufi tendencies do surface. His discussion of the sufi approach is an intriguing contrast to the dogmatic tone of many modern Muslim scholars.
I found the book very spiritually enlightening. I feel that it is an important book for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. However, at times I found Eaton's style to be a little dry or convoluted. There were certain chapters I had to read twice. Partly, as a doctor, I found some of his statements regarding modern science too shocking to absorb intially. (Eaton does discuss the negative response he gets from most Muslims regarding his views on modern science and technology) But, on re-reading, I was able to overcome my gut reaction and appreciate his ideas. I feel that it is worth the extra effort. This book certainly is food for thought.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking masterpiece! 12 Dec 2002
By W. Rashed - Published on Amazon.com
"The books that help you most are those which make you think that most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty." -Theodore Parker
Remembering God is a great book that comes from a great thinker with vast knowledge and experience. Full of profound thoughts and "mind-opening" observations it is a book to be read slowly, wholly, and with diligence and attention. The book `s message is that all we are required to do to stay on the straight path, the path that leads to our salvation, is encompassed in the constant remembrance of God. So that everything we think of, say and do, should be carried out while being God-conscious. Essential to remembering God is knowledge of the Word of God: the Quran, and the author extensively and perfectly integrates Quranic verses in his writing, and also often refers to the 99 "beautiful names of God" and what we can learn from them. Eaton evaluates all matters by whether they do or do not promote piety and to him ultimate success is standing at the door of Paradise. So in light of this, he discusses many issues: western culture and civilization, progress, science, the interaction between man and his environment,treatment of animals, art, architecture, city planning, position of women, public opinion, democracy, politics, freedom, the relationship between the state, the ruler and the people, implementation of Shari'ah (the way of life ordained by the Quran and exemplified by the Prophet) and the difference between Shari'ah and Fiqh (Islamic Law), peace and war, Jihad, ... just to name some!
In this book the author shares his views on the current status of the Islamic community "ummah", the complicated relationship between the West and Islam, and explains why the Islamists (Islamic fundamentalists) are on the wrong track, and why the future of Muslims lies in "achievement of individual excellence" rather than the establishment of puritan regimens. Eaton warns from the lack of spirituality that has enfeebled religion and from the self-righteousness and inflamed ego of many so-called religious people and puts forward a passionate defense for the Sufis. He reminds us about simple acts of kindness and compassion, things which we may think are small, but which may be heavy on the scale on judgment day.
Although this book was written before 9/11, reading it will answer questions about "what went wrong?" and "Islam and the West" as well as, if not more than, any of the many books that were written specifically for this purpose.
I have read this book more than once to be able to fully comprehend most of the issues discussed. Certainly not an easy book to read, and some of the author's ideas and arguments may be difficult to understand at first, but certainly worth the effort, I have learned a great deal. Finally, every time I held this book, I was delighted by the beautiful cover designed by Liaquat Ali! Truly a masterpiece!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a good as his previous book 21 Jan 2002
By "white-anglo-saxon-muslim" - Published on Amazon.com
I greatly enjoyed Eaton's last book that brought me to the true faith of Islam and he has written another classic here. The first chapter, however had me worrying it would be too similar to his last book but as I read on I found it far more wide ranging and covering many of the complaints I myself have of the modern West. In clear poetical language he debunks the West's gargantuan governments and the whole marxist/materialist obssesions such as 'progress'.
Progress for the West means of course technological progress: better means of communication, more reliable cars and more efficient weapons. Of all the so-called advances of the West -an increase in life expectancy, better hygiene etc.-in the final analysis they count, in the estimate of the writer of the present book, for nothing. He quotes the Catholic philosopher Gustave Thibon who compares modern civilisation to a runaway train hurtling towards the abyss. What's it matter if the seats are continually being made more comfortable and the air-conditioning more reliable? For true Muslims, he argues, there can be only one test for measuring change-does it promote piety? To many readers this may seem to be an extreme attitude, yet it is one that the author sticks to throughout the book. He is willing, like many others writing about religion to make concessions to those who do not hold his opinions. He is not afraid to grasp such nettles as Darwinism and the theory of evolution, of which he points out that it has wreaked havoc in the ranks of many Christians. Revealed religion, he bluntly states, cannot cohabit with scientism.
Even such a "sacred cow" as democracy is questioned by the present author. It is presented by the West as a sign of political maturity and therefore of superiority. The modern age of "the common man" detests elitism: today quantity not quality takes precedence. The writer maintains that the modern age has lost the readiness to look up to an elite and try to rise from mediocrity to something better. It seeks its heroes from among the ranks, and he deals at some length with the extraordinary popular reaction to the death of Princess Diana and the image of her that was created by the media: "an icon composed of just those weaknesses which afflict so many people in the present age". And all the while the Muslim world is being engulfed by the inexorable spread of Westernisation whose products carry with it, like an invisible infection, its convictions, values and illusions.
Remembering God has for its basic premise the belief, as Seyyed Hossein Nasr puts it in his foreword "that the alpha and omega of life should be the remembrance of God through all the diverse experiences that together constitute our brief journey here below which we call life, but which actually is but the prelude to that veritable life everlasting..." For many, therefore, it will make for uncomfortable reading, though the excellence of the writing, the author's underlying sense of humour, and the numerous apt quotations and anecdotes, make it an edifying book for those of us who, whether we like it or not, recognise that we are passengers on the Gustave Thibon train and would dearly like to know where it is heading.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ace surgeon of modernity using the scalpel of words 30 April 2001
By Abbas Husain, Director TDC, - Published on Amazon.com
I have long been an admirer of Mr. Eaton's books and I am extremely honoured to be the first reveiwer of this, his latest and the best... so far. Here is a fine writer, using the music of ideas to orchestrate the carefully chosen cadences of his views on the most touchy --- and neglected--- aspects of modern life: what does it mean to remeber God in an age that seems so desperate to forget Him? What kind of humanism is it that seeks to find meaning in the less than human --- because only the inhuman can deny God? Thus Mr. Eaton, carefully dissects the tumours that surround the modern mind's worries, and with the precision of a surgeon, cuts away the incoherence. I heartily recommend this book to all seekers of meaning, along with that other jewel like it: Lord Northbourne's Looking Back on Progress.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 15 Dec 2010
By SULAI - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book will go down as one of the greatest books I have ever read. It pretty much changed me. I sent it to my sister while she was at Stanford and she and her roommate read it and she told me it had them both in tears because it was so relevant to today. It is refreshing because it is written by a westerner who became a muslim so it will really appeal to the western mind state.
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