As a non-Muslim, Gai Eaton had far more insight than almost all Muslims we see around us today, and especially those claiming to speak for ‘Islam’ and giving ‘dawah’ – take the following extracts from his masterpiece ‘The Richest Vein’, written when he was only a student in his early twenties.
When people asked for it to be re-published, Eaton by then an old man, could not understand why anyone would be interested.
Have a read and see if you agree with him:
‘The most elementary observation shows us that the deliberate evil doer is rare indeed and that ninety – nine out of a hundred of those whom play their part in destroying the world do so in the firm conviction that right is on their side…self interest will not carry an aggressive man very far, but self righteousness will take him to the ends of the earth’
‘The Upanishads have little use for works without faith:
‘Give with faith.
If you lack faith, give nothing.’
This warning is based on the fact that the good we try to do out of an abstract idea of duty or in mere obedience to the law is one sided and will call out it’s opposite in compensation. But a sacrifice made out of love, just as in personal life, leaves behind no bitterness so the man who lives the good life because it is a natural expression of his devotion to God is living out his true nature and is finding fulfilment: he is storing up no demons, no profusion of suppressed, unlived impulses, but is actually as his outward life appears to be’.
‘A sinner may salvation before a righteous man, so long as his heart has not become hardened…the evil man may find liberation not because ill deeds lead to heaven, but because they may be the misguided efforts of a good heart, whereas righteousness may be the refuge of a hard one.’
In the final quote, he might as well have been speaking of his own youthful quest, as revealed in his haunting final work, published shortly before his death ‘A Bad Beginning’. I recommend this breathtakingly beautiful and honest, unpretentious work (which bares favourable comparison with ‘The Autobiography Of Malcolm X’) to everyone.
He also, most presciently (perhaps through his association with Regents Park Mosque in London, which was taken over by Saudi/Salafis during his time) labelled Wahhabism a ‘sterile creed’ which had nothing to offer Europe.