Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Study on Mansur Al Hallaj (5): Condemnation of al-Hallaj - a Political decision

Mansur Al Hallaj is still considered one of the most high ranked mystic that mankind have ever known. He was condemed to death. In moments of mystical ecstasy he used to utter the phrase, "Anal Haqq", which means "i am the truth". Truth (Haqq) being one of the name of God, it was considered blasphemous from the orthodox point of view. In popular perception, it is generally thought that Mansur, may God sanctify his mystery, was condemned to death for religious blasphemy. But many argue that its a political decision by those who didn't like him.

In a series of posts, i have tried to gather from different sources about Mansur's secret, what he really meant by "Anal Haqq" and why he was condemned to death. Here is another post on the series.

In the scholarly work by W. Montgomery Watt in A STUDY OF AL-GHAZALI writes,

"A glimpse of the state of affairs about 922 is provided by Louis Massignon’s study of the trial of al-Hallaj. The political background of this trial was the political struggle for the position of vizier, which was mainly a struggle between two families, that of Ibn-al-Furat (855-924) and `Ali ibn-`Isa (859-945). Massignon describes the former as tending to an “absolutist” position and having moderate Shiite sympathies and the latter as being “constitutional” and broadly Sunnite; that is to say, they represented what were called above the “autocratic and constitutionalist blocs”. It is further clear from Massignon’s study that the gadis or judges are mixed up in the politics of the time. Indeed the family of `Ali ibn-`Isa is one of scholar-jurists or religious intellectuals which has made its way into the class of “secretaries” or administrators. His grandfather, Da’ rid ibn `Ali (d. 884), was the founder of the Zahirite legal rite, while an uncle, Muhammad ibn-Da’ud (d. 910), was vizier for a day in 908.

Numerous details show that the religious intellectuals are now powerless against the vizier. It is their right to give legal opinions (fataws), but the vizier can choose between conflicting opinions - and did so in respect of the condemnation of al-Hallaj. One scholar-jurist, Ibn- Ata, a follower of al-Hallaj, who made a public statement approving of the latter’s creed, was roughly handled at the bidding of the vizier and beaten on the head with his own shoes until blood ran down his nostrils; whether as a consequence of this or not, he died a few days later.

Careful study of the condemnation of al-Hallaj seems to show that this was essentially a political decision."

the full paper is here.

. also Hallaj: Mystic and Martyr and Massignon

:: Previous and related posts
1. Mansur Al Hallaj : Studying
2. Study on Masur Al Hallaj (2)
3. Secrets of Mansur Al Hallaj and Reality
4. "I am the Truth" - what did Mansur Really meant?
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