Why should I speak of the influence of books on my life when people and other things have in fact had a deeper impact? For instance, the old Austrian priest who, in a Sufi convent of Cairo, told me to pray the Muslim way for the first time, Ravel's "Bolero", Tintin's adventures, Chaplin's "The Dictator"... Enormous is of course my debt to Avicenna and Ibn Taymiyya—the two classical Islamic thinkers to whom I have devoted much of my academic work. In some way, however, it is the Grand Inquisitor of Dostoevsky's "The Karamazov Brothers" whose words to Jesus always resonate in my mind when I speak or write about religion: "But we shall tell them that we obey You and rule in Your name. We shall be deceiving them again." When one understands them as referring to God, these words remain a challenge for all theologians, in Islam as in any other faith.