The Martyr Mystic

Hallaj is one of the towering personalities of the Islamic Mysticism. He is widely known across the world as a symbol of devotional love which made him saying “ana’l -Haqq “- I am the Truth, and apparently resulted into his death. Hallaj was born in 858 in Tur Persia to a wool- carder (Al-Hallaj) and his name was Abu Mughith al-Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj al-Baydawi al-Wasiti.

He memorizes the Holy Quran by heart and after marriage makes a pilgrimage to Mecca and stayed there for many years. He also visited India and other countries and at the end of his wanderings settled at Baghdad.

Hallaj is regarded an anomaly by the other Sufis due to his inclination to share Mysticism with the masses even his Sheikh Shaykh al-Junayd, believed that mystic teachings should be kept secret and shared only with the worthy. Hallaj was denied the guidance by Shaykh al-Junayd and Amr Al Makki.

 Once while mediating in trance he utters “ana’l -Haqq “- I am the Truth, which was taken as a claim to be God; as Al Haqq (Truth) is one of the 99 names of Allah. He was jailed by the Abbasid Caliph for 11 years on the charges of heresy and executed on March 26, 922. According to the accounts he went to the execution place dancing in his chains and even forgave his executioners before his death.

Sayings from Medieval Source Book

Ana’l -Haqq – I am the Truth. (This is the saying which apparently earned al-Hallaj his martyrdom – al Haqq also means God)

You know and are not known; you see and are not seen.

(Akhbar al-Hallaj 44, 1.4)

 Your Spirit mixed with my Spirit little by little, by turns, through reunions and abandons. And now I am Yourself, Your existence is my own, and it is also my will.

 (Diwan al-Hallaj)

I find it strange that the divine whole can be borne by my little human part, Yet due to my little part’s burden, the earth cannot sustain me.

(Akhbar al-Hallaj, 11)

I have seen my Lord with the eye of my heart, and I said: “Who are You?” He said: “You.”

(Diwan al-Hallaj, M. 10)

I do not cease swimming in the seas of love, rising with the wave, then descending; now the wave sustains me, and then I sink beneath it; love bears me away where there is no longer any shore. (Diwan al-Hallaj, M. 34)


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