Between the years 1978 and 1996, the late Gai Eaton gave a series of talks on BBC Radio about Islam and its role in contemporary society. Eighty-six of these talks—variously titled Reflections, Words of Faith and Pause for Thought—are published here for the first time as Reflections. Together these talks provide a beautifully clear and accessible introduction to the central tenets, principles and practices at the heart of Islam and, as such, are not only a unique guide for non-Muslims, but also an inspiring reminder to Muslims of the essence of their faith.
Connecting everything that Eaton discusses in Reflections are the two principles of the Oneness of God (Tawhid) and the Viceregency of man (khilafah). Therefore, whether discussing the five pillars of Islam or the sufi concepts of fear (makhafah), love (mahabbah) and knowledge (ma’rifah) or the idea of a ‘just war’, or environmental changes, Gai Eaton reminds us that nothing is independent of the One who is Truth, Mercy and Beauty and that we, who are the Viceregents of the Truth, must—if we are to do justice to the potential within us—undertake the human struggle, the inner jihad, to convert our divided souls into unified, harmonious, balanced souls; souls not motivated by selfishness, self-regard and self-righteousness, but souls in a state of peace, illumined by the permanent consciousness of the Divine.
While always expresses himself as a Muslim, Gai Eaton’s voice, with all its wisdom, its humanity and its humour, speaks not only to Muslims but to all those interested in a spiritual approach to life.
Charles Le Gai Eaton was born in Switzerland and educated at Charterhouse and King’s College, Cambridge. He worked for many years as a teacher and journalist in Jamaica and Egypt (where he embraced Islam in 1951) before joining the British Diplomatic Service. For more than twenty years, he was consultant to the Islamic Cultural Centre in London.