Saturday, January 07, 2006

al-Hallaj

The episode of "Ana'l-Haqq":

Abu Ali Farisi (=Fasawi) reported to me [Ibn al-Qarih] and told me: "I saw Hallaj standing, within the halqa of Shibli....saying, 'I am the Truth' and Shibli responding to him: 'do not say "the Truth," but rather, "I come on behalf of the Truth.") What gibbet will you stain with your blood!' But Hallaj, covering his face with his sleeve, recited (the quatrain) Ya sirra (sirri)... For he believed that the wise man vis-a-vis God is in the same position as the ray vis-a-vis the sun from which it draws its light." [11]


"...when Husayn b. Mansur (al-Hallaj) in his rapture broke off all relations with Amr b. Uthman (al-Makki) and came to Junayd, Junayd asked him for what purpose he had come to him. Husayn said: "For the purpose of associating with the Shaykh." Junayd replied: "I do not associate with madmen. Association demands sanity; if that is wanting, the result is such behaviour as yours in regard to Sahl b. Abdallah Tustari and Amr."

Husayn said: "O Shaykh, sobriety and intoxication are two attributes of Man, and Man is veiled from his Lord until his attributes are annihilated."

"O son of Mansur," said Junayd, "you are in error concerning sobriety and intoxication. The former denotes soundness of one's spiritual state in relation to God, while the latter denotes excess of longing and extremity of love, and neither of them can be acquired by human effort. O son of Mansur, in your words I see much foolishness and nonsense." [1]


"If Mansur al-Hallaj had met one of Khwaja 'Abd al-Khaliq [al-Ghujdawani]'s disciples, he would not have gone to the gallows, for he would have received the appropriate training and progressed to a more advanced degree." - Khwaja 'Azizan 'Ali Ramitani, a member of the Khwajagan [2]


"The beauty of the spirit had not yet completely shown itself to Hallaj. Otherwise, how could he have said, "I am the Real"? What does "I" have to do with God? What is this I? What are words? Even if he had been immersed only in the world of the spirit, how could letters fit there? How could "I" fit in? How could "am" fit in? " - Shams Tabrizi [3]


"Who is it that declares the similarity of the One- him and his little prostration and his declaration of similarity! We are two spirits dwelling in one body. This is the declaration of similarity. But, the road to this declaration of similarity is long. There's a great deal of road. And from this declaration of similarity to the world of tawhid is extremely far." - Shams Tabrizi [4]


"Although he arrived at God, he did not arrive at the reality of God. If he had been aware of God's reality, he would not have said I am the Real." - Shams Tabrizi [5]

"The fault was with the great ones, for they spoke words out of infirmity- "I am the Real." They left following. Then things like this fell out of their mouths. Otherwise, what kind of dogs are they to say these things? If the command over them was in my hands- killing, or repentance" - Shams Tabrizi [6]


"The station of `He is the Real' is far above that of `I am the Real' " - Shams Tabrizi [7]


Hallaj met Junayd one day, and said to him, "I am the Truth." "No," Junayd answered him, "it is by means of the Truth that you are! What gibbet will you stain with your blood?" [8]


Once someone asked Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani about Mansur Hallaj, he replied: "His claim extended too far, so the scissors of the Sacred Law (Shari'a) were empowered to clip it."


"Hallaj wrote brilliantly, both allegories and theological and juridical formulations. All his mystical utterances are like the first visions of novices, though some are more powerful, some feebler, some more acceptable, some more improper than others. ...
Hallaj was an ecstatic. He never was confirmed; and what a man says can only be considered authoritative after he has become confirmed." [9]


"One night- it was bright moonlight- I went out to pray (says Ibn Fatik) at the grave where Ibn Hanbal lies in the corner of the Qurayshi Cemetary. And there I saw in the distance a man standing, facing the Direction. He did not notice me as I drew near; but I made out that it was Hallaj, weeping aloud.

I heard him say: [long du'a]
Suddenly, he saw me, and turned, and came smiling towards me. Abu Husayn, said he, I have got no further than the novice's first degree.
How? cried I. First degree? What state could be more exalted than what I have just seen?
No, said he, I was lying. 'Twas scarcely the first step of a simple Believer. It is the first State of Unbelief!
And he cried out, three times, and fell. I saw blood on his lips; but he gestured with his hand that I was to go away. So I left him.
Next morning I saw him in the Mosque of Mansur. He took my hand, and stooped and said: Don't tell people what you saw of me last night." [10]

-----
1. al-Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub tr. Reynold A. Nicholson. pg. 189
2. Mawlana 'Ali Ibn Husain Safi. Beads of Dew from the Source of Life. al-Ghujdawani: perhaps the greatest of the Khwajagan, the Masters of Wisdom.
3. Me & Rumi, Pg 88
4. Ibid, pg 107. Shams criticizing a famous saying of Hallaj.
5. Ibid, pg 93.
6. Ibid, pg 87. i.e. People like Hallaj say these things out of weakness/infirmity. Otherwise, if someone said such a thing while in complete control of himself, he would be a dog and if he did not repent he deserves to die. Shams considers Hallaj one of the greats, but says he left following (mutaba'at of the Prophet ) by acting differently from him.
7. Ibid, pg 274
8. MASSIGNON 1982: 127
11. Massignion, Hallaj: Mystic and Martyr, pg 65-66.
9. Shroeder, Eric. Muhammad's People (pg 522-3)
10. Ibid, pg 537-8

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