One spring morning in tenth century Baghdad, a raggedly dressed man named Husyn Ibn Mansur al Hallj -a renowned Sufi- exclaimed at the top of his voice, Ana al-Haqq " I am the truth".The religious authorities were
scandalized and he was imprisoned as a heretic.Given many chances to recant his proclamation of union with divine...he refused, and finally under pressure from religous authorities, Abbasid Caliph AlMuqatadir sentenced him to death.as a demonstration of severity of his heresy;Al Hallaj was tortured, flogged,mutilated and crucified...his corpse decapitated and his remains burned and ashed scattered in Tigris river.
and the most famous though by no means the only SUFI MARTYR was born.
THE MAGUS OF BAGHDAD
|crucifixtion of Hallaj|
When he had grown up, he was two years in the service of Abd Allah Teshtari and became a disciple of Junaid Baghdadi. Afterwards He made the 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. He wore yellow robes of indian gurus. After this period of travel, he settled down in the Abbasid capital of Baghdad.
After his return to Bagdad, the number of his followers largely increased, and he gave utterance to many strange sayings which excited the suspicions of the orthodox.He was called Nourisher by his disciples.The orthodox ulema regarded him chiefly as a sorcerer in league with supernatural powers, whether celestial or infernal, for he caused, it is said, summer fruits to appear in winter and vice versa. He could reveal in open day what had been done in secret, knew everyone's most private thoughts, and when he extended his empty hand in the air he drew it back full of coins bearing the inscription, "Say: God is One."
The common people of Bagdad were circulating reports that Hallaj could raise the dead, and that the Jinn were his slaves, and brought him whatever he desired.He furthre alienated the Ulema by basing his teaching on Christ, whom he considered to be a sufi and revered him.He was condemned a fanatic and a secret Christian.
POLITICAL REASONS: Hallaj was a sufi,and love of humanity is the essence of Sufism along with the concepts of a ‘holistic religion’ (Deen-e-Kull) and pantheism (Wahdat ul Wujood). Secondly, Hallaj was also known for his radical political beliefs. Most of his approximately thirty books listed in Nadeem’s Al Fehris are about politics rather than anything else. Contrary to popular belief, I think he was executed for the political threat that he had become for the Abbassid rulers.By some The charge on him that he declared himself to be the Lord by saying ‘Ana al haq’ was merely a cover. Hallaj would never have been taken to the gallows if he had not desired certain political changes contrary to the interests of the rulers of his time. My interest in this great mystic was mainly due to his political activities and beliefs
FANNA: Sacred Ego Annihilation:
When Mansoor attained Fanna he declared, “Ana’l Haq! am God!” 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."
what did hallaj mean? was he actually claiming to be God? If so how can he say that within the confines of a radically monotheistic and fervently iconoclastic religion as Islam.To understand what Hallaj meant..we need to understand FANAA or Ego Death.
Sufi's seek to eliminate the dichotomy between subject and object.They believe in loving God to theextent that self annihilation or Fanna occurs......once the ego has been obliterated ..the Roh is allwoed to absorb the Qulb and the disciple achieves Fanna as the nafs and identity is gone and only the divine remains.Hedoesnt BECOME God...as fana is so commonly misunderstood..he is DROWNED in GOD so that the creator and creation become one.The goals is to create an inseparable union between individual and divine.
Realization to the true way of love.
The love that wants nothing,
The love that needs none,
Not even the beloved.
Because in such a state of reality
lover and beloved is not two,
but two becomes one.
Behold! that is the secret of sufi
Mansur al Hallaj's saying,
Lo! A true lover in total submission and annihilation.
Merged in Divine Love of the ultimate Beloved
HALLAJ's offence was to reveal this secret to the uninitiated, His Master, Junaid, used to caution him , “Keep quiet. I know, you know, that’s enough. No need to tell it to anybody — otherwise you will be in danger and you will create danger for me and for other disciples also. Yes, I accept,” said Junaid, “I can see you have attained. But let it be a secret between me and you.”
But Mansoor could not keep it a secret; it is very difficult to keep it a secret. Nobody has ever been able to keep it a secret. There would be moments when he was in deep ecstasy and he would start shouting again “I am God!” These words were repeated to the Caliph, and many persons renounced Mansur as a religious leader and appeared as witnesses against him. Among these was Junaid, to whom the Caliph said, "O Junaid, what is the meaning of this saying of Mansur?" "O Caliph," answered Junaid, "this man should be put to death, for such a saying cannot be reasonably explained.In sufi literaure ..its a matter of utmost irony that Junaid Baghdadi had to sign the death sentence of his won disciple to keep appearances.
One day, when Mansur was plying him with questions on certain obscure and difficult points, Junaid said, "O Mansur, before very long you will redden the head of the stake." "The day when I redden the head of the stake," rejoined Mansur, "you will cast away the garment of the dervish and assume that of ordinary men." It is related that on the day when Mansur was taken to execution all the Ulama signed the sentence of death. "Junaid also must sign," said the Caliph. Junaid accordingly repaired to the college of the Ulama, where, after putting on a mullah's robe and turban, he recorded in writing his opinion that "though apparently Mansur deserved death, inwardly he possessed the knowledge of the Most High."
Hallaj was crucified because he embodied the secret.. a secret gnostic mystics knew .The secret that was once open to mankind through Upanishd, Gita but made apparently hidden in the middle, but again will made manifest in final days..Hints was always there hidden in Prophet Muhammad's mystical saying that,
"He who know himself, knows Allah."
Also, "God says, man is my secret and I am his secret."
Jesus said, "Behold, the kingdom of God is within you"
Perhaps the secret can also be found if we see why God often speaks in terms of 'We' in Quran, not 'I'.
Also we find in Quran, And be ye not like those who forgot God; and He made them forget their own souls! (The Quran, 59:19)