of Mansur Al-Hallaj
The Ta-Sin of the Prophetic Lamp
- A lamp appeared from the Light of the Unseen. It appeared and returned, and it surpassed the other lamps. It was a ruling moon, manifesting itself radiantly among the other moons. It was a star whose astrological house is in the Empyrean. Allah named him ‘unlettered’ in view of the concentration of his aspiration, and also ‘consecrated’ because of the majesty of his blessing, and ‘Makkan’ because of his residence in His vicinity.
- He expanded his breast, and raised his power, and lifted from his the burden ‘that had weighed down thy back,’ and He imposed his authority. As Allah made his Badr appear so his full moon rose from the cloud of Yamãma and his sun arose on the side of T ihãma (Makka), and his lamp shone from the source of all divine munifence.
- He did not report about anything except according to his inner vision, and he did not order the following of his example except according to the truth of his conduct. He was in the presence of Allah, then he brought others to His Presence. He saw, then he related what he was. He was sent forth as a guide, so he defined the limits of conduct.
- No one is capable of discerning his true significance, except the Sincere, since he confirmed its validity, and then accompanied him so that there would not remain any disparity between them.
- No Gnostic ever knew him who was not ignorant of his true quality. His quality is made clear only to those to whom Allah undertakes to disclose it. ‘Those to whom We have given the Book, and the recognize their sons, even though a party of them conceal the truth, and that wittingly.’ (2.46)
- The lights of prophecy issued from his light, and his light appeared from the light of Mystery. Among the lights there is none more luminous, more manifest or more uncreate-thanuncreatedness than the light of the Master of Generosity.
- His aspiration preceded all other aspirations, his existence preceded non-existence, his name preceded the Pen because it existed before.
- There was never on the horizons, beyond the horizons, nor below the horizons anyone more graceful, nobler, wiser, more just, kinder, more God-fearing or more sympathetic than the holder of this role. His title is Master of Creation, and his name is Ahmad, and his attribute is Muhammad. His command is more certain, and his essence is more excellent, and his attribute is more glorious, and his aspiration is unique.
- Oh marvel! What is more manifest, more visible, greater, more famous, more luminous, more powerful or more discerning than him? He is and was, and was known before created things and existences and beings. He was and still is remembered before ‘before’ and after ‘after’, and before substances and qualities. His substance is completely light, his speech is prophetic, his knowledge is celestial, his mode of expression is Arabic, his tribe is ‘neither of the East nor the West’ (24.35), his genealogy is patriarchal, his mission is conciliation, and he has the title of the ‘unlettered’.
- The eyes were opened by his signs, secrets and selves perceived by his being there. It was Allah who made him articulate by His Word, and being the Proof, confirmed him. It was Allah who sent him forth. He is the proof and the proven. It is he who quenches the thirst of the vehemently thirsty heart, it is he who brings the uncreated word that is not touched by what touches it, nor phrased by the tongue, nor made. It is united to Allah without separation, and it surpasses the conceivable. It is he who announces the end and the ends and the ends of the end.
- He lifted the cloud, and pointed to the Sacred House. He is the limitation, and he is a heroic warrior. I t is he who received the order to break the idols, and it is he who was sent to mankind for the extermination of them.
- Above him a cloud flashed bolts of lightning, and below him a bolt of lightning flashed, shone, caused rain, and fructified. All knowledge is but a drop from his ocean, and all wisdom is but a handful from his stream, and all times are but an hour from his life.
- Allah is with him, and with him is reality. He is the first in union and the last to be commissioned as a prophet, the inward by reality, and the outward by gnosis.
- No scholar ever attained his knowledge nor did any philosopher become cognizant of his understanding.
- Allah did not surrender (His Reality) to His creation, because he is he, and his being there is He, and He is He.
- Nothing came out of the M of MHMD, and none entered into his H, and his His the same as his second M, and his D is as his first M. His D is his perpetuity, his M is his rank, his H his spiritual state, as is his second M.
- Allah made his speech manifest, and enlarged his mark, and made his proof known. He sent down the furqan to him, he made his tongue adequate, and He made his heart shine. He made his contemporaries incapable (of imitating Qur’an). He established his clarification and exalted his glory.
- If you flee from his domains, what route will you take without a guide, oh ailing one? The maxims of the philosophers are like a slipping heap of sand before his wisdom.
The Ta-Sin of Understanding
- The comprehensions of created natures are not attached to reality, and reality is not attached to created natures. Thoughts (which come) are adherences, and the adherences of created natures do not attach themselves to realities. The perception of reality is difficult to acquire, so how much more difficult is the perception of the reality of the Reality. Furthermore, Allah is beyond reality, and reality does not in itself imply Allah.
- The moth flies about the flame until morning, then he returns to his fellows and tells them of his spiritual state with the most eloquent expressions. The he mixes with the coquetry of the flame in his desire to reach perfect union.
- The light of the flame is the knowledge of reality, its heat is the reality of reality, and Union with it is the Truth of the reality.
- He was not satisfied with its light nor with its heat, so he leapt into it completely. Meanwhile, his fellows were awaiting his coming so that he could tell them of his actual vision since he had not been satisfied with hearsay. But at that moment, he was being utterly consumed, reduced and dispersed into fragments, and he remained without form or body or distinguishing mark. Then in what sense can he return to his fellows? And in what state now that his has obtained? He who had arrived at the vision became able to dispense with reports. He who arrives at the object of his vision is no longer concerned with the vision.
- These meanings do not concern the negligent man, nor the transitory man, nor the man of wrong action, nor the man who follows his whims.
- Oh you who are uncertain, do not identify ‘I am’ with the divine ‘I ’ – not now, nor in the future, nor in the past. Even if the ‘I am’ was a consummated Gnostic, and if this was my state, it was not the perfection. Even though I am His I am not He.
- I f you have understood this, then understand that these meanings were not true from anyone except Muhammad, and ‘Muhammed is not the father of any one of your men,’ but the Messenger of Allah and the seal of the prophets. He absented himself from men and jinn, and he closed his eyes to ‘where’ until there no longer remained any veil on the heart nor any falsehood.
- There was a ‘length of two bows’ lengths or nearer,’ when he reached the desert of the ‘knowledge of reality,’ he reported from the outward heart. When he arrived to the truth of the reality he left his desire there and gave himself up to the Bountiful. When he reached the Truth he returned and said: ‘the inward heart has prostrated to You, and the outward heart has believed in You.’ When he reached the Furthermost Limit he said: ‘I cannot praise You as You should be praised.’ When he reached the reality of the reality he said: ‘You are the only One who can raise Yourself.’
He renounced his desire and followed his vocation, ‘the heart did not lie about what it saw’ at this station near the Lote-T ree of the Boundary. He did not turn to the right to the reality of things, nor to the left to the reality of reality. ‘His eyes swerved not, nor swept away.’
The Ta-Sin of Purity
1. Reality is something very subtle and minute in its description, the paths of access to it are narrow, and on them one encounters sighing fires beside deep deserts. The stranger follows these paths and informs about what he has experienced in the forty Stations such as:
1. manners (adab)
2. awe (rahab)
3. fatigue (nasab)
4. serach (talab)
5. wonder (‘ajab)
6. perishing (‘atab)
7. exaltation (tarab)
8. avidity (sharah)
9. probity (nazah)
10. sincerity (sidq)
11. comradeship (rifq)
12. emancipation (litq)
13. setting out (taswih)
14. rest (tarwih)
15. discernment (tamyiz)
16. witnessing (shuhud)
17. existence (wujud)
18. enumeration (‘add)
19. labor (kada)
20. restitution (rada)
21. dilation (imtidad)
22. preparation (I ’dad)
23. isolation (infirad)
24. captivity (inqiyad)
25. attraction (murad)
26. presence (hudur)
27. exercise (riyada)
28. circumspection (hiyata)
29. regret for things lost (iftiqad)
30. resistance (istilad)
31. consideration (tadabbur)
32. perplexity (tahayyur)
33. reflection (tafakkur)
34. patience (tasabbur)
35. interpretation (ta’abbur)
36. non-acceptance (rafd)
37. strong criticism (naqd)
38. observation (ri’aya)
39. taking a guide (hidaya)
40. beginning (bidaya)
The last Station is the Station of the people of Serenity of Heart and purification
- Each Station has its own gift of which one part is conceivable and the other not.
- Then the stranger entered the desert and crossed it and embraced and comprehended the whole of it. He did not find anything familiar or useful, either on the mountain or on the plain.
- ‘When Musa accomplished the term’ he left his people since reality was going to take him as ‘his’. And yet he was satisfied with indirect information without direct vision, and there should be a difference between him and the best of mankind (Muhammad). Therefore he said: ‘Perhaps I will bring you some information.’ (20.10)
- If the Well-Guided was pleased with indirect information how shall he who searches the route not suffice himself with an indirect trace.
- From the Burning Bush, on the side of Sinai what he heard speak from the Bush was not the Bush nor its seed but Allah.
- And my role is like this Bush.
- So reality is reality and the created is created. Reject your created nature, that you may become Him, and He, you – in respect to reality.
- I-ness is a subject, and the object defined is also a subject in reality, so how is it defined?
- Allah said to Musa: ‘You guide to the Proof, not to the
Object of the Proof. And as for Me I am the Proof of every proof.
- Allah made me pass by what is reality
- By grace of a contract, a pact, and an alliance. My secret is a witness without my created personality.
This is my secret and this is reality
- Allah enunciated my knowledge with me from my heart.
He drew me near to Him after I had been so far from Him. He made me His intimate and chose me.