Mansur Al-Hallaj -- Presian Mystic
Mansur al-Hallaj (Arabic: منصور الحلاج – Mansūr al-Hallāj; Persian: منصور حلاج – Mansūr-e Ḥallāj; full name Abū al-Muġīṭ Husayn Manṣūr al-Ḥallāğ) (c. 858 – March 26, 922) (Hijri c. 244 AH-309 AH) was a Persian mystic, revolutionary writer and pious teacher of Sufism most famous for his poetry, accusation of heresy and for his execution at the orders of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Muqtadir after a long, drawn-out investigation.
Al-Hallaj was born around 858 in Fars province of Persia to a cotton-carder (Hallaj means "cotton-carder" in Arabic). His grandfather was a Zoroastrian. His father lived a simple life, and this form of lifestyle greatly interested the young Al-Hallaj. As a youngster he memorized the Qur'an and would often retreat from worldly pursuits to join other mystics in study.
Al-Hallaj later married and made a pilgrimage to Mecca, where he stayed for one year, facing the mosque, in fasting and total silence. After his stay at the city, he traveled extensively and wrote and taught along the way. He traveled as far as India and Central Asia gaining many followers, many of whom accompanied him on his second and third trips to Mecca. After this period of travel, he settled down in the Abbasid capital of Baghdad.
During his early lifetime he was a disciple of Junayd Baghdadi and Amr al-Makki, but was later rejected by them both. Sahl al-Tustari was also one of Al-Hallaj's early teachers.
Teachings, arrest and imprisonment
Among other Sufis, Al-Hallaj was an anomaly. Many Sufi masters felt that it was inappropriate to share mysticism with the masses, yet Al-Hallaj openly did so in his writings and through his teachings. He thus began to make enemies. This was exacerbated by occasions when he would fall into trances which he attributed to being in the presence of God.
During one of these trances, he would utter Arabic: أنا الحق Anā l-Ḥaqq "I am The Truth," which was taken to mean that he was claiming to be God, since al-Ḥaqq "the Truth" is one of the Ninety Nine Names of Allah. In another controversial statement, al-Hallaj claimed "There is nothing wrapped in my turban but God," and similarly he would point to his cloak and say, ما في جبتي إلا الله Mā fī jubbatī illā l-Lāh "There is nothing in my cloak but God."
These utterances led to a long trial, and his subsequent imprisonment for 11 years in a Baghdad prison. He was publicly executed on March 26, 922.
Mansur believed in union with the Divine, that God was within him, and that he and God had become one and the same. Mansur was cut into many pieces because in the state of ecstacy he exclaimed Ana al Haq "I am the truth". He was executed in public in Baghdad. They cut him into pieces and then they burnt his remains. He kept repeating "I am the Truth" as they kept cutting his arms, legs, tongue and finally his head. He was smiling, even as they chopped off his head. Al-Hallaj wanted to testify of this relationship to God to others thus even asking his fellow Muslims to kill him (Massignon, 79) and accepting his execution, saying that "what is important for the ecstatic is for the One to reduce him to oneness." (Massignon, 87) He also referred to the martyrdom of Christ, saying he also wanted to die "in the supreme confession of the cross" (Olivier Clément. Dio è carita, p. 41) Like Christ, he gave his execution a redemptive significance, believing as he did that his death "was uniting his beloved God and His community of Muslims against himself and thereby bore witness in extremis to the tawhid (the oneness) of both." (Mason, 25) For his desire of oneness with God, many Muslims criticized him as a "'crypto-Christian' for distorting the monotheistic revelation in a Christian way." (Mason, 25). His death is described by Attar as a heroic act, as when they are taking him to court, a Sufi asks him:"What is love?" He answers: "You will see it today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow." They killed him that day, burned him the next day and threw his ashes to the wind the day after that. "This is love," Attar says. His legs were cut off, he smiled and said, "I used to walk the earth with these legs, now there's only one step to heaven, cut that if you can." And when his hands were cut off he paints his face with his own blood, when asked why, he says: "I have lost a lot of blood, and I know my face has turned yellow, I don't want to look pale-faced (as of fear)... ."
He is one who his referred in track(s) * bolan nalo chup changeri.. chup vich bahuta parda, je mansoor na boli paunda.. kahnu sooli charhda *
Thx Jb for pointing it out!