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The Execution of Hallādsch, Miniature from the Mughal Empire , early 17th century, Walters Art Museum

Al-Hallādsch , with full name Abū l-Mughīth al-Husain ibn Mansūr al-Hallādsch ( Arabic أبو المغيث الحسين بن منصور الحلاج, DMG Abū l-Muġīṯ al-Ḥusain ibn Manṣūr al-Ḥallāǧ ; * August 857 in aṭ-Ṭūr, in the province of Fars in today's Iran ; † March 26, 922 in Baghdad by crucifixion), was a Persian- Iraqi Sufi and poet , who mainly worked in Baghdad. As was not unusual at the time, he wrote exclusively in Arabic . He is above all for his saying “I am the (divine) truth” ( Anā l-ḥaqq أنا الحقّ) famous. In the eastern countries of the Islamic world, his compound name is usually shortened to Mansur Hallaj , although Mansūr was actually just his patronymic . The processing of al-Hallādsch's life and works as well as its aftermath in the Islamic world is essentially the work of the French orientalist Louis Massignon .


One of the most important sources for the life of al-Hallādsch is the biographical account of his son Hamd. Based on this text and other sources, Louis Massignon, among others, created a chronology of his life.

Al-Hallādsch was born in the Persian city of Ṭur in the province of Fars (in the south of present-day Iran ) as the son of a cotton hacker (hence the name hallādsch ). His grandfather was still a Zoroastrian . When al-Hallādsch was still a child, his father moved to Mesopotamia to the city of Wāsit to live and work closer to the centers of the wool trade. At the age of 16 he went to Tustar, where he was a student of the mystic Sahl at-Tustarī for two years . Around 875 he left the city and moved via Basra to Baghdad , where he became a student of ʿAmr ibn ʿUthmān al-Makkī and married Umm al-Husain, the daughter of Abū Yaʿqūb al-Aqtaʿ. After eight months, quarrels broke out between ʿAmr and his father-in-law, which put al-Hallāj into serious trouble. In this context he often visited Al- Junaid , who advised him to remain calm and to continue to treat them both with respect. Around 895 al-Hallādsch went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. After a year in the Holy City, he returned to Baghdad with a group of Sufi Fuqarāʾ and rejoined al-Junaid.

Around 897, al-Hallaj broke with al-Junaid and returned to Tustar with his wife. According to the biography of his son Hamd, the reason for the break with al-Junaid was that al-Hallādj asked him a question that al-Junaid understood as religious presumption. According to the depiction of the doxographer ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Baghdādī (d. 1037), al-Hallādsch already made his famous saying Anā al-ḥaqq in the presence of al-Junaid , which was particularly offensive because al-ḥaqq was one of the Qur'anic names of God is (according to the usual numbering no. 51). Al-Junaid is said to have severely reprimanded him for this saying and countered him that he was not al-ḥaqq himself , but only existed through al-ḥaqq .

In the years between 899 and 902 al-Hallādsch traveled through Khorasan , Fars and Chusistan , gave his first sermons and wrote various works. It was not until this time that he was probably awarded the Laqab al-Hallādsch ("the cotton ginner"), with the reasons for this being given differently.

After another pilgrimage to Mecca in 903, al-Hallādsch settled in Baghdad in 904 with several notables from the city of Ahwaz . Among the Sufis and also the population of Baghdad, al-Hallādsch stood out for his radical and shocking statements. Around the year 909 the Zahirite jurist Ibn Dāwūd attacked him for his teachings and said: “If what God has revealed to his Prophet and what the Prophet has communicated about it are true, then what is al- Hallaj taught wrongly. ”He is said to have concluded his verdict with the statement that it is permissible to kill al-Hallaj. Hallādsch, who was then placed under police supervision, escaped to Sūsa .

In 913 al-Hallādsch was arrested again, brought to Baghdad and after a trial for three days as a " Qarmatian agent" in the pillory. His responses to the interviews show that he had remained true to the Sunni faith. He spent the following years as a prisoner at the Abbasid court , and at times managed to win over powerful sympathizers. In 921 the Abbasid vizier Hāmid ibn al-ʿAbbās reopened the trial against him. The prosecution was based on documents showing that al-Hallādj regarded the performance of certain religious exercises at home as sufficient to relieve the believer of his obligation to attend Hajj in Mecca . The Maliki Kadi Abū ʿUmar Ibn Yūsuf ruled in a fatwa that this teaching is heresy ( zandaqa ), which inevitably entails the death penalty. On the basis of this fatwa, al-Hallaj was publicly executed on March 26, 922. They put a crown on him, beat him half to death and then put him on a cross ( ṣalīb ) on display . He died the following day.


The writings narrated by al-Hallādsch include: (1) 27 riwāyāt compiled by his disciples around 902 , each in the form of a hadith qudsi ; (2) various poems compiled in the Dīwān al-Ḥallāǧ ; (3) a number of logia compiled in the Aḫbār al-Ḥallāǧ ; and (4) his Kitāb aṭ-Ṭawāsīn with eleven chapters. Important themes of the Kitāb aṭ-Ṭawāsīn are the person of Muhammad (chapters 1–3), his ascension and the two arc lengths ( qāb qausain ) in his throne vision of sura 53 , 6–9 (chapters 4–5), the fall of Satan (chapters 6–7) and the Tawheed (chapters 8–10).

Poem (selection)

Kill me, my friends,
For in death only is my life!
Yes, in life only death is to me,
and in dying lies my life.
Truly, it is the highest grace
to float away self-extinguishing,
and as worst I know
to stick firmly to this body.
The soul is tired of
still living here in decay.
Kill me, yes, and burn me,
Whose limbs tremble miserably!
Then pass by the rest,
By the tombs, empty of life: You are to lift
my friend's secret
from the inheritance within.
See, I, one of the old ones
, who strive for the highest ranks, have
now become a child,
only devoted to the mother's breast,
resting in the salty earth
and in the deepest dark trenches!
Wonderful that my mother
gave life to her father
And that my young daughters
now surround me like sisters.
Eh'bruch not, nor change of times
Have this happened!
Collect my parts all
From shining fabrics,
From the air and from the fire,
From the fresh spring next to it!
Sows them carefully into the earth,
which is still dusty and flat,
and moisten them, O friends,
let the cups float in circles!
Let the servants pour,
turn the fountain and raise water!
Look, after seven days
a noble shrub will rise from it!


One of the spiritual descendants of Mansur Halladsch is Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani, who died in 1131, who, like al-Halladsch Iblis, proclaimed a true lover and was also executed. Hallādsch is held in high regard by both the later Sufis and the Alevis . His saying Anā al-ḥaqq is interpreted in terms of the Sufi ideal of becoming one with God or the dissolution of the ego in God. The Ottoman-Turkish Koran exegete Ismāʿīl Haqqī (d. 1725) reports in his Koran commentary Rūḥ al-bayān that the Andalusian Sufi Ibn Arabi had a vision during a prayer in Cordoba in which he saw all the prophets from Adam to Mohammed . The Prophet Hūd then addressed him and explained to him that the Prophets had all gathered to intercede with Mohammed on behalf of al-Hallādsch.

Al-Hallādsch's writings and fate have received diverse attention not only in scientific publications, namely by the Islamic scholars Annemarie Schimmel and Christine Schirrmacher , but also in works of fiction, for example in poems by Friedrich Rückert (1837: Halladsch, who was a miracle worker in Baghdad [. ..] ), Muhammad Iqbal (1932: Halladsch. The free spirit, who knows good and bad [...] ) and Gerd Hergen Lübben (1966: abul-harith euer büttel steps up / before al-halladsch and gives him / a slap in the face so that the blood runs out of his eyes, nose and mouth // into his gray beard [...] ) as well as in the tragedy The Death of the Mystic (1965) by the playwright Salah Abd as-Sabur and in the novel Death in Baghdad or Life and Death of Al-Halladsch (1997) by Wolfgang Günter Lerch .

At the Ouverture spirituelle of the Salzburg Festival 2014, two commissioned works on the life and work of Al-Hallādsch were premiered: the choral orchestral work Seelenfäden by the Egyptian composer Hossam Mahmoud , which recalls the last words of the Sufi master with which he smiles death went; and Al-Hallağ , a piece of music for large choir, four brass instruments and two percussionists by Samir Odeh-Tamimi , which is based on the mystic's poems and reflections on him.


  • Louis Massignon : Akhbar Al-Hallaj: recueil d'oraisons et d'exhortations du martyr mystique de l'Islam , édition J. Vrin, collection Études musulmanes, 1975. Edition bilingue.
  • Louis Massignon : Essai sur les Origines du Lexique technique de la mystique musulmane , éditions J. Vrin, Paris 1954.
  • Louis Massignon : La passion d'al-Hosayn-Ibn-Mansour al-Hallaj, martyr mystique de l'Islam, exécuté à Baghdad le 26 mars 922. Étude d'histoire religieuse. 2 volumes. Paris: Geuthner 1922. - Extended new edition in 4 volumes. Paris: Gallimard 1975. - Reprint Paris: Gallimard 2010, ISBN 9782070435913 (Volume 1), ISBN 9782070435920 (Volume 2), ISBN 9782070435937 (Volume 3), ISBN 9782070435944 (Volume 4). - English translation: The passion of al-Hallaj, Mystic and Martyr of Islam , translated from the French by Herbert Mason, 4 volumes, Princeton 1982.
  • L. Massignon, L. Gardet: Art. "Al-Ḥallā dj " in The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition Vol. III, pp. 99b-104b.
  • Annemarie Schimmel : Al-Halladsch - Martyrer der Gottesliebe Leben und Legend, selected, translated and introduced by Annemarie Schimmel, Verlag Jakob Hegner in Cologne, 1968
  • Annemarie Schimmel : Al-Halladsch: “O people, save me from God” , Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau / Basel / Vienna 1985, ISBN 3-451-08240-3 (new edition as: Halladsch - “Oh people, save me from God " At Chalice, Xanten 2017, ISBN 978-3-942914-18-5 ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. J. Mojaddedi: Hallaj, Abu'l-MOḠIṮ ḤOSAYN . Encyclopaedia Iranica . Online edition. 2003.
  2. See Massignon 1922, 18.
  3. See Annemarie Schimmel: The Hallāj motif in modern Islamic literature. In: The world of Islam. New Series, Vol. 23/24, 1984, pp. 165-181
  4. ^ Cf. Massignon 1922, 2f, 10f.
  5. Cf. Massignon 1922, 10f.
  6. Cf. Massignon 1922, 3.
  7. See Massignon 1922, 61.
  8. See Massignon 1922, 11, 18-20.
  9. Cf. Massignon 1922, 11, 163f.
  10. See Massignon / Gardet 100b.
  11. L. Massignon, L. Gardet: al-Ḥallā dj . In: The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition, Vol. 3, p. 102a
  12. ^ See Massignon 1922, 279.
  13. See Massignon / Vadet 101b.
  14. See Massignon 1922, 830–893.
  15. Translation and rewrite: Annemarie Schimmel, from: Al-Halladsch - “O people, save me from God”. Texts of Islamic Mysticism , p. 105 f. (see literature ).
  16. ^ Peter Lamborn Wilson , Karl Schlamminger: Weaver of Tales. Persian Picture Rugs / Persian tapestries. Linked myths. Callwey, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-7667-0532-6 , pp. 30–45 ( The Devils / Die Demonen ), here: p. 31.
  17. See Massignon 1922, 383.
  18. See, for example: Friedrich Rückert: Translations Persischer Poesie ; selected and introduced by Annemarie Schimmel; Wiesbaden 1966. Martyrs of the love of God: Life u. Legend / Al-Hallaj ; selected, translated (from Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Sindhi, Siraiki and Urdu) and introduced by Annemarie Schimmel, Cologne 1968. Al-Hallaj: “O people, save me from God” (from Abū l-Mughīth al-Husain ibn Mansūr al-Hallādsch) ; Annemarie Schimmel (ed.); 1985, ISBN 3-451-08240-3 . (New edition: 1995, ISBN 3-451-04454-4 ).
  19. Cf. Christine Schirrmacher, Der Abfall vom Islam ( Memento of March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ); Christine Schirrmacher, When Muslims become Christians - apostasy and the death penalty in Islam ( Memento from May 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ); Christine Schirrmacher, Crucifixion and Redemption in Islam ; Christine Schirrmacher, The Sharia - An Introduction .
  20. ^ Friedrich Rückert, Seven books of oriental sagas and stories , Stuttgart 1837, Vol. 2, pp. 139 ff.
  21. Muhammad Iqbal, Persian Psalter ; selected and translated by Annemarie Schimmel; Cologne 1968; S. 128. From: Javidnameh, جاوید نامہ, (Book of Eternity, 1932; translated into German by Annemarie Schimmel, Munich 1957).
  22. Gerd Hergen Lübben, 5.5.1: "À LA ALLAH" │FOR ANNEMARIE From: Gerd Hergen Lübben, VERSIONS III ; 2014 / ISBN 9783955778354 .
  23. Salah Abd as-Sabur, The Death of the Mystic ; translated from Arabic by Nagi Naguib and Stefan Reichmuth; Original title: Ma`sat al-Hallağ (Arabic / 1965); 1981 / ISBN 3922825052 .
  24. Wolfgang Günter Lerch, Death in Baghdad or Life and Death of Al-Halladsch. Düsseldorf, Zurich 1997, ISBN 3-538-07050-4 .