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Rumi: When Hallaj's love for God reached its utmost limit

Rumi: When Hallaj's love for God reached its utmost limit
Photo: Dervish from the Qajar period; Iran.



When Hallaj’s love for God reached its utmost limit, he became his own enemy and he naughted himself. He said, “I am the Real,” that is, “I have been annihilated; the Real remains, nothing else.” This is extreme humility and the utmost limit of servanthood. It means, “He alone is.” To make a false claim and to be proud is to say, “You are God and I am the servant.” In this way you are affirming your own existence, and duality is the necessary result. If you say, “He is the Real,” that too is duality, for there cannot be a “He” without an “I.” Hence the Real said, “I am the Real.” Other than He, nothing else existed. Hallaj had been annihilated, so those were the words of the Real.

(Rumi, Mathnawi)




Recommended Reading:

'Hallaj: Mystic and Martyr'
​By Louis Massignon (Author), Herbert Mason (Translator)

Purchase Book:


Abridged from the four-volume The Passion of al-Hallaj,
 one of the major works of Western orientalism, this book explores the life and teaching of a famous tenth-century Sufi mystic and martyr, and in so doing describes not only his experience but also the whole milieu of early Islamic civilization. Louis Massignon (1883-1962), France's most celebrated Islamic specialist in this century and a leading Catholic intellectual, wrote of a man who was for him a personal inspiration.



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