February 14, 2010

Hallaj believed in the Oneness (Tawhid) of God!


There’s nothing left of me.

Mansur Ibn Hallaj is said to be prosecuted for heresy, but after perusing the material which is ascribed to him, I am bound to build up a personal opnion about him as a person who was not heretic in fact and it was the ruling class of that time who was mistaken in taking him to be a heretic. He seems to be an avid advocate of the belief in Tawhid or Oneness of God (that there is One God and none is equal to Him). The Oneness of God is usually much carefully described in the strict terms of Sharî‘a, being a foremost important tenet. Sufis from different regions and ages tried to explain this Wisdom in the terms of the esoteric science of Haqîqa. Sufi interpretations, were  misunderstood by commons. Hallaj's interpretations were also misunderstood and perhaps misused by his political rivals. He went so further in describing the Almighty quality of God, that he, in his philosophy, had reduced the creation perhaps to the rank of non-existence, as compared to the Almighty God. If we take a deeper appreciation of his literary work with a supportive background understanding of Sufi terms and definitions, at last we would find that there is nothing to be heresy, but a wellspring of Sufi bliss and deeper sailings into the science of Tawhid or God's Oneness.

Some of online material relating to Hallaj's idea about Tawhid is given as follows.

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Doctrine of al-Hallaj on the Divine Attributes
as narrated by al-Qushayri. Read about its source here

from the Chapter on the Exposition of the Beliefs of This Fold [the Sufis] on Questions of Doctrine (Faslun fî bayân i‘tiqâd hâdhihi al-tâ’ifa fî masâ’il al-usûl) from al-Qushayri’s Risala ila al-Sufiyya (Translated with Notes by DR. G.F. Haddad)

A summary,

[16] Shaykh Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami – Allah have mercy on him! – told us: I heard Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ghalib say: I heard Abu Nasr Ahmad ibn Sa‘id al-Isfanjani say: al-Husayn ibn Mansur said: “You must categorically consider all to be contingent, for pre-existence belongs to Him [alone].
[17] “All that appears through body is necessarily an accident (‘arad).
[18] “That whose assemblage comes about through cause-and-effect (al-adât) is held together through its powers (quwâhâ).
[19] “All that comes together at one time, goes into dispersion at another time.
[20] “All that something else causes to subsist is characterized by dependency.
[21] “All that imagination can possibly apprehend can be pictured.
[22] “All that is contained is subject to ‘where.’
[23] “And all that has a genus is the object of a modality.
[24] “No ‘above’ shades Him – Exalted is He! – nor does any ‘below’ carry Him.
[25] “No limit/direction faces Him (walâ yuqâbiluhu hadd) nor does any ‘at’ (‘ind) beset Him.
[26] “He is not confined by any ‘behind’ nor limited by any ‘before’.
[27] “No ‘before’ caused Him to appear nor did any ‘after’ cause Him to vanish.
[28] “No ‘all’ gathered Him.
[29] “No ‘He is’ brought Him into existence (lam yûjidhu kân).
[30] “No ‘He is not’ can cause Him to be missed (walam yufqidhu lays).
[31] “His description: He has none (wasfuhu lâ sifata lahu).
[32] “His act has no cause (‘illa).
[33] “His being has no duration (amad).
[34] “He is transcendent beyond the states of His creatures: there is not for Him the least deliberation (mizâj) in His creation, nor working (‘ilâj) in His acts.
[35] “He is clearly separate from them by His pre-existence (bâyanahum biqidamih) just as they are clearly separate from Him by their contingent nature (kamâ bâyanûh bihudûthihim).
[36] “If you ask ‘When?’ – His being is before Time.
[37] “Should you say, ‘hû’ – the letters hâ’ and wâw are but His creation.
[38] “And if you say, ‘Where?’ – His existence precedes Place.
[39] “So letters are His Signs (fal-hurûfu âyâtuhu);
[40] “His existence is the affirmation of Him (wujûduhu ithbâtuh);
[41] “Gnosis of Him is the upholding of His Oneness (ma‘rifatuhu tawhîduh);
[42] “and His Tawhîd is to distinguish Him clearly from His creatures.
[43] “Whatever you imagine in your imaginings, He is different from that (mâ tusawwiru fil-awhâmi fahuwa bikhilâfih).
[44] “How can that which He Himself began analyze Him? (kayfa yahullu bihi mâ minhu bada’ahu).
[45] “Or how can that be part of Him which He Himself gave rise to? (aw ya‘ûdu ilayhi mâ huwa ansha’ahu).
[46] “The pupils of the eyes cannot see Him.
[47] “Nor can conjectures apprehend Him.
[49] “His nearness is His generosity (qurbuhu karâmatuhu).
[50] “His distance is His contempt (wabu‘duhu ihânatuhu).
[51] His elevation is without ascent (‘uluwwuhu min ghayri tawaqqul).
[52] His coming is without displacement (wamajî’uhu min ghayri tanaqqul).
[53] The Near (al-qarîb), the Far (al-ba‘îd).



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On Allah (God),
On Allah (God), as quoted in Doctrine of Sufis (1977) by Abû Bakr al- Kalâbâdî, as translated by A. J. Arberry
Taken from Khamush poetry site.

Hallaj says about God:

"Before" does not outstrip Him,
"after" does not interrupt Him
"of" does not vie with Him for precedence
"from" does not accord with Him
"to" does not join with Him
"in" does not inhabit Him
"when" does not stop Him
"if" does not consult with Him
"over" does not overshadow
Him "under" does not support Him
"opposite" does not face Him
"with" does not press Him
"behind" does not limit Him
"previous" does not display Him
"after" does not cause Him to pass away
"all" does not unite Him
"is" does not bring Him into being
"is not" does not deprive Him from Being.
Concealment does not veil Him
His pre-existence preceded time,
His being preceded non-being,
His eternity preceded limit.
If thou sayest 'when',
His existing has outstripped time;
If thou sayest 'before', before is after Him;
If thou sayest 'he', 'h' and 'e' are His creation;
If thou sayest 'how', His essence is veiled from description;
If thou sayest 'where', His being preceded space;
If thou sayest 'ipseity' (ma huwa),
His ipseity (huwiwah) is apart from things.
Other than He cannot
be qualified by two (opposite) qualities at
one time; yet With Him they do not create opposition.
He is hidden in His manifestation,
manifest in His concealing.
He is outward and inward,
near and far; and in this respect He is
removed beyond the resemblance of creation.
He acts without contact,
instructs without meeting,
guides without pointing.
Desires do not conflict with Him,
thoughts do not mingle with Him:
His essence is without qualification (takyeef),
His action without effort (takleef).


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