Hallaj-Iblis as Tragic Lover

Hallaj-Iblis as Tragic Lover - C?J (Ffdcy', '3 all) i'...

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Unformatted text preview: C?J (Ffdcy', '3 all) i' 5’6 9 ,. H allaj: I hlis as Tragic Lover (The T518111 of Be ore-Time and/lmhiguityl) INTRODUCTION Al—Husayn ibn Mansflr Al-Hallaj is most commonly associated with his sen- sational trial and execution (309/922). Hallaj was from the Pats region of Iran. For several years he lived and studied with Sufi masters such as Tustari and Junayd, but later broke from them. It is said that Junayd refiised to grant him the Sufi cloak that was the sign of initiation into the ranks of Sufi masters. When he arrived back in Baghdad after making the pilgrimage to Mecca, he gathered a large group of followers and became enmeshed in political and theological controversy. He was imprisoned for eight years. Caught up in the political intrigue of the Abbasid court, he was ultimately sentenced to death and executed (after flogging, mutilation, and exposure on the gibbet) in the year 309 Hijra (922 (.15.). Unlike Juna yd, Hallaj cannot be considered a classical Sufi in the sense of having his teachings passed on formally through Sufi schools. But his work is classic in another sense,- among some Sufis and throughout Islamic culture, the writings and the story of Halla j have continued to generate con- 266 HALLAJ troversy and creativity down to the present day-2" Beyond the Islamic world, llallaj has been the subject of debate and cultural reappropriation within Europe and America.g Hallaj has been characterized as a social revolutionaqv, an Islamic ana— ‘ logue to the crucified Jesus, and a wayward and confused Sufi. The historical issues surrounding his execution are complex—far more complex than the common notion that he was executed for his mystical utterance “l am the real. “4 Such utterances were not rare in Sufism, as has been seen above in the case of Bistami, and they are grounded in the concept of the deity speaking through the emptied senses of the Sufi annihilated in mystical union. Hallaj was also accused of incarnationism (hulfil), the basis of which charge seems to be a disputed verse in which the author proclaims mystical union in terms of two spirits in one body. Such a proclamation would be far more difficult to harmonize with Islamic understandings of mystical union, and is indeed in conflict with the poem on mystical union attributed to Hallaj in which two spirits are becoming one.Jr It is not the notion of radical mystical union thatis difficult for Islam to accept; Islamic fana‘ texts are as radical in their depiction of mystical union as those of any tradition. Indeed, the problem with the “two spirits in one body” language is that it does not affirm union and unity strongly enough,- there are two spirits left whereas the Sufi fani’ texts speak of utter annihiv la tion and annihilation in annihilation (the annihilation of the consciousness of annihilation ), with only one actor, the deity, left. There seems to be a tension in the story of Hallaj, between Ilallaj’s Jesus-like or Socrates-like refiisal to allow his executioners a flaceasaving way out of carrying out the execution, on the one hand, and a complex set of political intrigues on the other. What often gets lost in the discussions of Hallaj the martyr is Hallaj the author. Few texts have come down to us intact, although numerous anecdotes and aphorisms have been collected as the Akhbir al-Hallfij (Sayings of Halla ,1"). Aside from those, we have a collec- tion of poetry attributed to Hallaj (an attribution that is controversial), and a single sustained text, the Tfiwasin, with a very thin set of surviving manuscripts. The Tfiwasin is a truly remarkable work of Sufi literature. In genre and idiom, there is nothing quite like it. The work has been described as a “carefully thought out and graduated collection of at least eleven separate treatises, ” edited by a disciple of H allaj who claims to be writing “under the express dictation of the master. “'5 The title is a plural form of the heading for section six, which begins with the names of two Arabic letters, is (t) and sin (5). The meaning of the letters is unclear. Several Qur’anic suras also 267 HALLA] begin with a series of two or three mysterious letters. Two of them are named after the letters; Sura 20, T a H a, and Sura 36, Y a Sin. Hallaj’s title, T a Sin, works as a combination of the first term ofSura 20 and the second term of Sura 36. T hat these two suras are the only suras in the Our’an named after two opening letters makes such an association particularly likely. The chapters vary in length and subject. Chapter I is an homage to the Prophet Muhammad, for example, while Chapters 4 and 5 are treatments of the Prophet’s heavenly ascent or Mi ‘raj. Presented here is Chapter 6, The TfiSin of Before-Time and Ambiguity, the longest of the chapters. The TESin of Before—Time and Ambiguity presents the story of lblis (the inti- mate companion of the deity who is expelled from the heavens and transformed into Satan when he disobeys the divine command to pray be- fore the newly created Adam). The chapter takes the unusual form of a set of dramatic dialogues between lblis and Allah and lblis and Moses, along with a number oflblisian monologues, and some powerful commentary by an implied narrator. The story presumes the following two Qur’anic passages on the cre- ation of Adam and the disobedience oflblis: The Creation and Regency of Adam (Sum 2:3 0—34} When your lord said to the angels? I am going to plate a regent (khalifa) on the earth, and they said: Will you plate one there who will corrupt it and spill blood, while we recite your praises and exalt you? He said: I know what you do not know. Then he taught Adam all the names and showed everything to the angels, saying: tell me their names, you are sincere. They said: Praise he to you, we know only what you have taught us, you are the All—Knowing, the most wise. He said: ()Adam, tell them their names, and when he had told them the names, he said: Didl not tellyou that I know what is hidden in the heavens and earth, and know what you disrlose and know what you hide? Then we told the angels to how hefore Adam 268 HALLA] and they did, exrept for lhlis, who was stornfiil and acted proud, and heroine a dishelieuer. The Creation of Adam and the Pride of Iblis (Sum 38:71—75) Remember when your lord said to the angels, I am going to create a person (bashar) from clay. then I have shaped it and hreathed into it of my spirit, fall homing hefore it. All the angels fell homing together Exrept Ihlis who acted proud and herame a dishelieuer. He said: O Ihlis, what has prevented you from howing hefiire what I treated with my two hands? Are you too proud or are you too lofty? The word I have translated here as “how” is a very precise term, based on the Arabic root s/j/d, which indicates the positions taken in formal Islamic prayer. These positions are not prostrations (which implya complete falling to the ground), but they involve a larger set of physical motions than simple bowing, including assuming a kneeling position and touching the head to the ground. The crucial point here is that the term used is the term for Islamic ritual prayer (salat) and thus entails, in the argument that lblis will give, the notion not only of respect, but of formal worship. The common interpretation of the Our’anic story is that lblis refused out of pride to bow down before a human being made of an inferior sub- stance (mud or cla ——lblis being made of fire according to tradition) and inferior in sta runs. In Hallaj’s retelling of the story, lblis’s pride and disobe- dience are clearly present, but the issue is woven deeply into the intricacies of love-madness, monotheistic loyalty, and theological meditations on di- vine predetermination and free will. The TESIn of Before-Time and Ambiguity can be divided into four sections. Section 1 (paragraphs 1—12) is a discussion of the relative merits of Muhammad and lblis as ‘ioroclaimers ” of the truth. Section .2 ( paragraphs I 3—l7) is a dialogue between Moses and Iblis, in which lblis continues to defend his refusal to bow before Adam. Toward the end of this part, 269 HALLAJ the dialogue turns into a soliloquy by lblis. Section 3 (paragraphs 18719, 26735) consists ofdirect comments attributed to Halla concerning I blis, on the derivation oflblis’s other name, ‘Hzazil, ” along with snatches ofdiai logue between lblis and the deity. As the argument continues, the style and tone become more intense. 5 ta'ndard prose gives way to rhymed prose (saj‘) and the rhyming becomes increasingly more dense as the rhyming terms begin to appear in shorter refrains. At the same time, the sense becomes more and more opaque, culminating in a series of riddles} Section 4 (paragraphs 20—25) consists of a competition among lblis, Pharoah, and Hallaj himself over who had the first rank in futuwwa (chiv- alry, valor). There is good reason to consider this sectiOn a posthumous interpolation. It cuts right into the Azazil discussion, and it ends with some dramatic quotes from Hallaj.- “I am his trace. I am the real, ” the most famous statement attributed to Hallaj; and “I was killed and my hands and feet were cut off Still I did not go back on my proclamation.” Here the martyred Hallaj champions his own valor against Pharoah and lblis. The literary form of the chapter shifts from narrative to a more dra- matic genre with various interior dialogues (especiallv between the deity and lblis), from loosely rhymed prose to strictly rhymed prose (saj‘), to po~ etry, to linguistic riddles. Iblis’s monotheistic claim—thathe refused to bow before an other-than-God even at the risk of eternal rejection and tor- ment—is combined with the lyrical language of the love-mad lo ver fi’om the Ma jnun tradition, the lover whose loyalty is so total that there is no path for him to any “other than ” the beloved. The tragic paradox is already apparent.- In his total loyalty, the lover is willing to risk everything—including sepa- ration fi'om the beloved—before being disloyal. When accused of pride, lblis acknowledges it, but justifies his pride by pointing to the intimacy he has shared with the deity. The unstable form of the language, the sudden shifts in theme and genre, and the heavy u3e of riddles, paradox, and enigma add to the richness ofthe text and the multiple possibilities for its interpretation. Within this exuberance of form and content, we might outline the following modes of interpretation and argument: I. In the metaphysical mode, nothing happens without God’s pre- knowing and predetermining will,- thus God knew, predetermined, and willed that lblis would disobey his command. This argument, implicit throughout, is explicitly formulated in paragraph 28 ( “A ll choices, including my own, are yours. ”). 2. In the mode of personal, mystical knowledge (ma‘rifa), lblis was the most intimate companion of the deity, and thus was in a position to know 270 HALLA] the inner divine will (irada) and to know its difference Iron] the command (amt). This level is implicit in the argumentative stance lblis takes through— out, disputing with the deity over the status of the divine command, and interpreting the command to bow down to an other—tliatrGod as a “test” of lblis’s loyalty to radical monotheism. 3. In the lyrical mode, Iblis’s will and discursive knowledge (‘an have been annihilated, and his only existence is existence for-the-beloved; thus, he implies, his bowing before Adam was inconceivable. Yet this “pure- lover” position is complemented by another aspect of lblis ’s love, his jeal- ousy toward Adam; as the oldest and closest intimate of the deity, lblis cannot keep his jealous rage from showing. lblis presents himself as the paradigm of the Majnun figure (the love-mad lover willing to endure all things and to perish out oflove for the beloved), but this pure-hearted ab- jection of the lover slips almost immediately into jealousy that God would prefera new creature, made of mud, to lblis, his most intimate companion. 4. In the mode of mystical union, lblis would not be acting out of his own will, but his annihilated will would be replaced by the divine will acting through him. Significantly, lblis does not make this argument in regard to will from the perspective of mystical union, the union of the human will with the divine will. He stays on the theological plain,- all acts are fore willed by the all-knowing, allapowerful deity. However, he does make a mystical argument (paragraph 15) in regard to dhikr or remembrance: “His remem- brance is my remembrance, my remembrance, his. ” These are a few of the aspects ofIblis evoked in this text. In addition, Hallaj is quoted in the text as associating lblis with the principle of comr plementarity (the implication of opposites in the definition and meaningful- ness of one another)—thus, the black backing that is needed to show the white in a fine garment, the vice without which virtue would not be known ( paragraph )9). The poem in paragraph 12 , however, gives the position not of complemen rarity but of coincidence of opposites achieved through a kind ofunity(tawt_1id) of love, as the exiled I blis exclaims: “'When I have achieved certainty / nearness and distance are one / Even ifI am abandoned / aban- donment will be my companion / How can it be abandonment / while love is one?” Louis Massignon, in his monumental work on Hallaj, mentions the tradition that offers an ultimate reconciliation for lblis. Massignon rejects such a position and interprets the figure more traditionally.- “Hallaj shows that the obstinate quietism of Satan, posing as the perfect gnostic and boast- ing of loving God, ends up by rejecting divine union. ” Massignon attributed 27! I-IALLAJ to Hallaj a linal comment by his commentator Ruzhehan Baqli, which exr plicitly condemns lblis.” Yet in the text itself the issue remains less clear and more open. Many questions remain. W’hat is the ‘ayn (a word that can mean essence, eye, source, or spring of water) that is said to co vet and disorient lblis? What is the relationship of his absolute affirmation of unity and his “individuation ”.-" that is the psychological and theological significance of such individuation and its relationship to his status as God’s closest confidant? Beyond these specific questions, what makes this text so memorable and compelling is the manner in which it defers or even prevents easy moral judgment. That lblis is condemned is presented as a fact of sacred history. The theological, psy— chological, and mystical implications of that fact are complex and in— tertwined. lblis is certainly not a “trustworthy narrator” of his own story. Yet the issues he raises are deep. The final sections of the TiSin of Before— Time and Ambiguity present ever more abstruse riddles, even as the rhythm of the rhymed prose and the density of similes and metaphors grow to a fever pitch. One way of viewing the final cascades of saj‘ rhymes is as a way of testing the boundaries of discursive reason and walking the edge ofhayra, that particular intellectual perplexit y which can be viewed not as a failure to achieve knowledge, but as the result of confrontations with certain ques- tions too deep for discursive intellect to fathom. O O 9 THE TASiN OF BEFORE-TIME AND AMBIGUITY IN THE UNDERSTANDING OF UNDERSTANDING CONCERNING THE VALIDITY OF PROCLAMATIONS WITH INVERSION OF MEANINGS Section 1 begins with a discussion of proclamation (tada’i). lblis proclaims his absolute monotheistic fidelity and appeals to that fidelity in defending his decision not to bow before any other-than-God, including Adam. The mode of presentation is part objective narrative, part direct dialogue (be- tween lblis and what appears to be the divine voice). The comparison of lblis to Muhammad (referred to by the more intimate variant on his name, Ahmad) confronts the reader with a riddle. lblis, we are told, fell from the 272 HALLA] ‘ayn while Muhammad had revealed to him the ‘ayn of ‘ayn. Because ofits rich semantic base, the Arabic word 'ayn is frequently difficult to translate. It can mean “eye,” source,” “spring,” or “essence,” or even a “concrete manifestion ” ofsomething.” lblis refused to bow and Muhammad refused to look directly at the vision that he experienced (another reference to the Qur’anic “vision” pasi sage of Sura 53:1—18). Among all the inhabitants of heaven, lblis was the greatest aflirmer of unity (tawhd), the “unifier”{muwahhid) par excellence. He worshiped the deity “purely” or “stripped of all else” (bi tajrid). He attained the status of “individuation” (tafrid). When commanded to bow before Adam, he replied with the monotheistic affirmation: “to no other [than the one God]. ” in a famous poem, lblis states that his refusal was in facr a form of taqdis, that is, a hallowing of the deity through the aflirrnation of absolute transcendence and unity. lblis then evokes the issue of di Vine predetermination. Addressing the deity, he says, enigmatically: “l have a will (irada) in you and you have a will in me,- yours in me is prior and mine in you is prior. ” He then shifts to another kind of predetermination, that of inherent nature: lblis was created from fire and fire returns to fire, so that the threat of being cast into “the lire”of di vine punishment is vie wed only as a return to his essential element. The section ends with a poem depicting lblis as the loyal lover, willing to accept eternal rejection and separation if that is the beloved’s will, in the face of eternal suhrering refusing to betray his loyalty to the beloved. MUHAMMAD AND IBLIS” 1. That strange” and learned master, Abfi l-Mughidi Husayn ibn Mansfir al-Hallé—may Allah adorn his place of test—said: Making claims is appropriate for no one but lblis and Ahmad, except that lblis fell from the ‘ayn while AhmadJGod bless him—had revealed to him the ‘ayn of 213172.” 2. lblis was told: “Bow down'."” Ahmad was told: “Look!” The former did not how and Ahmad turned neither to the right nor left. '5 (53:17) “The eye did not swerve nor did it exceed its bounds." 3. lblis made claims but he returned to his power.” 273 fill/140) — dammit ammo: , War/flap! HALLAJ 4. Ahmad made claims and returned from his power,'7 5. \Vith the sayings,lg “O changer of heartsl” and “I cannot measure out your praise.” 6. Among the inhabitants of heaven, there was no aflirmer ofunity (mu- wabbicfl like lblis,19 7. V’Vhen Iblis was veiled by (ulbim) the ‘a‘yn, and he fled the glances and gazed into the secret, and worshiped his deity stripped ofall else,20 8. Only to be cursed when be attained individuation and given demands when he demanded more.21 9. He was told: “Bow down!” He said, “[to] no otherl" He was asked, “Even ifyou receive my curse?” He said, “It does not matter. I have no way to an other-than—you. I am an abject lover.” 10. My disavowal in you is taqdir (affirmation of transcendence) My reason in you, befuddlement. Who is Adam other than you? To distinguish them, who is Iblis? [And the one in between is Iblis].22 11. He said: He disdained and grew proud, turned away and backed around, and what he insisted upon, set down.” He said, “You’ve grown proud.”24 He replied, “A moment with you would be enough to justify my pride and lording—it-over (tajabbm). So how much more am I justified when I have passed the ages with you. (7:1 1) ‘I am better than him’ because of my priority in service. There is not in the two creations anyone more knowing of you than I. I have a will in you and you have a will in me. Your will in me is prior and my will in you is prior. IfI bow before an othervthan-you or do not bow, I must return to my origin, for (7:11) ‘you have created me from fire.’ Fire returns to fire. To you belongs the determination and the choice.” 12. There can be no distance for me distancing you from me W’hen I have achieved certainty 274 HALLA] nearness and distance are one.25 Even ifl am abandoned, abandonment will be my companion. How can it be abandonment while love is one? To you, praise in success, in the pure absolute For a servant of true heart who will bow to no other than you.26 Section 2 begins with a dialogue between Moses and Iblis and evokes the “look at the mountain ” theophany passage from the Our’an. lblis declares that he is unconcerned about the transformation and deformation he un— dergoes as a result of his disobedience. He also explicrly distinguishes be tween God ’5 command (amt) to bow before Adam, and his will (irada). The command was onlya “test”(paragraph 14)." MOSES AND IBLIS l 3. Musa met Iblis on Mount Sinai and said, “O Iblis, what kept you from bowing down?” He answered, “The proclamation of only one object of worship prevented me. Ifl had bowed down in prayer before Adam, I would have been like you. You were called one time to ‘Iook at the mountainly and you looked. I was called a thousand times to ‘bow down! bow down!‘ but I did not bow, held back by the meaning of my proclamation.”28 14. He said, “You abandoned the command!” He replied, “That was a test, not a command.” He said, “Of course he deformed you.” He answered, “Musa, that and that is masquerade. The condition is unreliable; it will change. Knowing remains as sound as it was before, un- changed; only the figure has been transformed?" 15. Musa said, “Do you remember him now?” “0 Musa," he replied, “remembrance does not remember.30 I am the remembered and he is the remembered. His remembrance is my remem- brance, my remembrance, his. Can the two rememberers be anything but together? My service is now purer, my moment freer, my remembrance 275 HALLA] greater. Formerly I served him out of concern for my own lot, now I serve out of concern for his.” 16. \Ve took cupidity from prohibition and defense, harm and advantage. He set me apart, “extased me” (awjadan?) when he expelled me, so that 1 would nOt be mixed with the pure-hearted. He held me back from others because of my zeal, othered me because of my bewilderment, bewildered me because of my exile, exiled me because of my service, proscribed me because of my friendship, disfigured me because of my praise, consecrated me because of my lyijm,“ abandoned me because of my unveiling, unveiled me because of my union, made me one with him because of my separation, cut me off because of the preclusion of my fate.32 17. By his reality! I have not erred concerning the designing (tadbfr) nor rejected the desrining (raga/Er) nor concerned myself with the change in imaging (remit), nor am I in such measures the one to be judging!33 Even if he totments me with his fire forever and beyond, I will not bow before any other than him, abase myself before a figure and body, or recognize a rival or offspring. My proclamation is the proclamation of those who are sincere, and in love I am triumphant. How not? Section 3 consists of comments on Iblis attributed to Hallaj himself; explav nation oflblis’s other name, ‘Azazil, and snatches of dialogue between Iblis and the deity. ‘AZAZIL (1) 18. Al—Husayn ibn Mansfir al-Hallaj, God’s compassion upon him, said: Concerning the states of ‘Azazil there are different opinions. One is that he was the proclaimer in heaven and on earth. In heaven he was the proclaimer ofthe angels, showing them the virtues, and on earth he was the proclaimer of humankind, showing them the vices.34 19. Things are known through opposites. A fine garment is woven on a course, black backing. Similarly, the angel displays the virtues and says to the virtuous: “Perform them and you will be required,” while Iblis shows the vices and says: “Perform them and you will be requited”—symbolically. \Vhoever does not know vice will not know virtue. 276 HALLAJ Section 3 on Azazil is interrupted here by a thematically independent sec- tion, the depiction of the spiritual chivalry and jousting of Iblis, Pharoah, and Hallaj, with Hallaj’s famous “lam the real "proclamation and comments on his own execution. IBLIS, PHAROAH, AND BALM)” 20. Abu ‘Umara al-Hallai, the strange master, said: I competed with Iblis and Pharoah in the domain of valor. Iblis said, “Ifl had bowed down, the name of valor would have fallen from me.” Pharoah said, “If I had affirmed belief in the Prophet,36 I would have been thrown from the station of valor.” 21. I said, “If 1 had gone back on my proclamation, I would have been thrown from the carpet of valor.” 22. Iblis said (7:12), “I am better than he” when he saw no other other than he. Pharoah said [28:37], “I know of no other lord for you than me.” He knew no one among his people who could distinguish between the real and the creation." 23. And as for me, 1 said, “If you do not recognize him, recognize his trace. I am his trace. I am the real?“ because I never ceased to be real in the real. 24. My friends and teachers are Iblis and Pharoah.” Iblis was threatened with fire but did not go back on his proclamation. Pharoah was drowned in the sea, but did not go back on his proclamation and did not aflirm any mediation at all. Burl said (10:90), “I believe that there is no God but he in whom the people of Israel believed.” Don’t you see that Allah (may he be praised) opposed jibril at his gate and said “Why have you filled his mouth with sand?"40 25. I was killed and my hands and feet were cut off.“ Still I did not go back on my proclamation. 277 HALLA] At this point the text returns to the discussion ofAzazil. The text begins to m0ve into a very heavy rhymed prose and the rhyming prose soon becomes the dominant force in the language. In order to give the reader some sense ofhow the rhymed prose works here, without resorting to artificial English rhymes, Some of the key Arabic terms are kept in parentheses. As the rhymedprose intensifies, the actual meaning of the text becomes more enig- matic, turning to ward a sense of pure riddle. At this point the manuscripts disagree Wildly as to the correct terms and the “poin ting” of the Arabic. To avoid an arbitrary translator’s decision on Which is the “correct” reading, the various versions have been placed together in order to allow the reader to decide which might be better, and to console die reader with the fact that the original redactors of the text may have been just as puzzled as later readers. ‘AZAZIL (2) 26. The name “Iblis” is derived from his name ‘Azizil: the letter ‘ayn [‘] corresponds to the height of his inner resolve, the zit ’ [z] to the compound- ing of dilation in his dilation; the a/if[§] to his views on his “thatness”;“l the second zfi ’ [z] to his renunciation in rank (mtba); the ya ’ [i] to his seek- ing refuge in the knowledge of his priority; and the [am [1] to his disputation over his reddening (lamiyya).“ 27. He said to him: “Why did you not how in prayer, abject one?” He replied: “I am a lover; lover abject. You say abject [mahin] // but I read in the book mnbin [that makes clear] // what would happen to me, 0 you of the power mafia [unbreakable] // How was 1 to abase myself before him when [8:2] ‘you created me from fire and created him from tin [mud, clay]? //’ two contraries that cannot meet, and I am in service senior, more majestic in his favor, in knowledge more learned, in living more complete!”44 28. The real, be praised, said to him: The choice is mine not yours. He said, “All choices, including my own, are yours. You have chosen for me, O Originator! If you forbid me from bowing, you are the F otbidder. If I err in speaking, don’t abandon me, All-Heater! If you will me to bow before him, I am the Obeyer.“5 I know no one more knowing of you than me.” 278 I-IALLA] 29. Don't blame me, blame from me is ha‘id[far away] Reward me! master, for I am wahia’ [unique] In your true threat, I am made true Desert in desert, my plight is thade [severe] Whoever wills a speech, here is my book and testament, Read it and know I am a sbahid [witness, martyr]. 30. My brother Iblis was called ‘Azazil because he was set apart, set apart as intimate friend, not proceeding from beginning to end, but brought forth emergent from his end.” 31. His coming forth inverted his rootness—on-site, ignited by his blazing fire of night, from his precedence, blinding light.“7 32. His watering pond dried, cracked ground Abundance want, lightning fading His rain—swords only apparitions Blind he wanders off the path Alas 33. My brother, if you understand this you have piled up stones, spectres of imagination, then returned in consternation, and passed away in cares.” 34. The most eloquent of the tribe were dumbstruck at his gate The sages failed to appreciate; He was more perfected than they in the position of prayer Nearer than they to the one existing Spending himself in struggle, more giving More faithful than they in the oaths they would swear More loyal to the master than they, more near.49 35. They fell before Adam in prayer as a favor While Iblis, because of his ancient age of witnessing, refused. 279 IlALLA] 10 N fin: Who Are You and Who Am I? from the Book of Standings (Kitfib al-Mawfiqif ) His character against the horizon huge, his excess a refuge, thornweeds fruitful, his being cut away an unfolding flower, his return, most giving, noble.m INTRODUCTION Some of the more intriguing works of early Sufi literature (and of mystical literature of an y place or period) are attributed to a Sufi who does not appear in any of the major Sufi biographical sources and about whose life we know very little: Muhammad ibn ‘Abd aI-Jabbar ihn aI-Hasan an—Nifari (d. 354/ 965). Nifiiiri’s most famous work is the Book of Standings (Kitib al- Mawaqif), but according to its commentator Tilimsani, the book was actu— ally put together in book form by Nifiari ’3 son.- And this is one ofthe indications in favor of the assertion that the man who composed the Mawaqif was the son of Shaykh an- Mffari, and not the Shaykh himself: Indeed, the Shaykh never composed any book,- but he used to write down these revelations on scraps of paper, which were handed down after him. He was a 280 281 ...
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Hallaj-Iblis as Tragic Lover - C?J (Ffdcy', '3 all) i'...

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