By Mason, Herbert I.W.
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Extra resources for Al-Hallaj
For most, as we mentioned before, denial is the only recourse. God couldn't permit the execution in His Law's name of an innocent; therefore, this Hallaj was given the punishment to preserve the truth of God's teaching and Law. Justice was done. Or, from another perspective, how could Hallaj have loved his ultimate Judge and punisher? Only if he rose above himself in some way to celebrate his own annihilation, his fana'. Thus we can feel more reassured in our pain at his suffering and can deny our fear and sorrow, even as we turn to accept the trial God gives us for our sakes.
For both enthusiastic supporters and prudent rejectors of the way of a Hallaj the death itself was thus the doorway to myth. And Husayn ibn Mansur "alHalliij' has this remarkable transhistoric power of myth to stir deep emotion and imagination in an entire culture and beyond. The Resurfacing of His Life and its Repeated impact 37 For the folk so-called his mythic power and the legend of his life come in the form of consolations through retellings of his sufferings: consolations to victims of injustice or disease or mothers in the pains of childbirth or barren women yearning to give birth to a "saint of love" like Hallaj.
You suppose that my pallor is because I am afraid. I rubbed blood over my face so that I might appear rose-cheeked in your eyes. " "The executioners then plucked out his eyes; he was then stoned by the crowd, after which they cut off his ears and nose. He uttered his forgive- The Facts of His Life and Theme of Disappearance 31 ness of them as they were preparing to cut out his tongue. " In Hamd's account, which corresponds in most details to that of Sulami (d. 412/1021; Ta'rikb as-sufiya), after the flaggelation Hallaj was hoisted up onto the gibbet (suliba) and I heard him talking ecstatically with God: "0 my God, here am I now in the dwelling place of my desire, where I contemplate Your marvels.