Hamblin & Peterson: The surprisingly modern story of a medieval Muslim

Published: Saturday, Oct. 19 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Finally, he turned to the mystics of Islam, the Sufis. Here al-Ghazali found peace of mind. Through his own mystical experience — by personal revelation, one might say — he came to know that revelation was possible, that divine knowledge could be had and that life was meaningful. Such personal experience was, he said, like the sense of taste. A person knows what it is, and that he or she has experienced it, but the experience remains individual, personal and subjective. It cannot really be communicated to others. The believer can point in the correct direction, can explain how he or she came to faith, but, ultimately, seekers of truth and religious certainty must find it for themselves.

Daniel Peterson founded BYU's Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, chairs The Interpreter Foundation and blogs on Patheos. William Hamblin co-authored “Solomon's Temple: Myth and History.” Their views aren't necessarily those of BYU.

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