Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Hallaj...I am the Truth

Dear Friends
Mansur al-Hallaj is one of the more controversial figures of Sufism. Considered by many to be a great poet-saint, he was executed for blasphemy in the 9th century.

The name al-Hallaj means "wool carder," probably a reference to his family's traditional occupation. Al-Hallaj was born in the province of Fars, Persia (Iran). He later moved to what is now Iraq, where he took up religious studies, particularly the Sufi way.

Orthodox religious authorities took offense at his poetry and teachings, particularly the line in one of his great poems "Ana 'l-Haqq," which translates as "I am the Real," but can also be translated as "I am the Truth" or "I am God" -- acknowledging the mystical realization of unity with the Eternal.
He was condemned by a council of theologians, imprisoned for nine years, and eventually put to death. He is revered today as a martyr for truth by many Sufis and mystics.
Hallaj is one of my heroes and I love this poem:

Stillness, then silence, then random speech,
Then knowledge, intoxication, annihilation;

Earth, then fire, then light.
Coldness, then shade, then sunlight.

Thorny road, then a path, then the wilderness.
River, then ocean, then the shore;

Contentment, desire, then Love.
Closeness, union, intimacy;

Closing, then opening, then obliteration,
Separation, togetherness, then longing;

Signs for those of real understanding
Who find this world of little value.



Ps - Additionally  there were many political reasons why he was murdered which I will discuss another time…Some commentators argue that he was the first spiritual communist in history…

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