Thursday, September 16, 2010

my companion




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You went away but remained in me
And thus became my peace and happiness.
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In separation, separation left me
And I witnessed the Unknown.
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You were the hidden secret of my longing,
Hidden deep within my conscience deeper than a dream.
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You were my true friend in the day
And in darkness my companion.
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~ Mansur al-Hallaj 
translated by Mahmood Jamal
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from Wikipedia
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Al-Hallaj was born around 858 in Fars province of Persia to a cotton-carder (Hallaj means "cotton-carder" in Arabic). His grandfather was a Zoroastrian. His father lived a simple life, and this form of lifestyle greatly interested the young Al-Hallaj. As a youngster he memorized the Qur'an and would often retreat from worldly pursuits to join other mystics in study.
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Al-Hallaj later married and made a pilgrimage to Mecca, where he stayed for one year, facing the mosque, in fasting and total silence. After his stay at the city, he traveled extensively and wrote and taught along the way. He traveled as far as India and Central Asia gaining many followers, many of whom accompanied him on his second and third trips to Mecca. After this period of travel, he settled down in the Abbasid capital of Baghdad.
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During his early lifetime he was a disciple of Junayd Baghdadi and Amr al-Makki, but was later rejected by them both. Sahl al-Tustariwas also one of Al-Hallaj's early teachers.
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Among other Sufis, Al-Hallaj was an anomaly. Many Sufi masters felt that it was inappropriate to share mysticism with the masses, yet Al-Hallaj openly did so in his writings and through his teachings. He thus began to make enemies. This was exacerbated by occasions when he would fall into trances which he attributed to being in the presence of God.
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During one of these trances, he would utter Arabic: أنا الحق‎ Anā l-Ḥaqq "I am The Truth," which was taken to mean that he was claiming to be God, since al-Ḥaqq "the Truth" is one of the Ninety Nine Names of Allah. In another controversial statement, al-Hallaj claimed "There is nothing wrapped in my turban but God," and similarly he would point to his cloak and say, ما في جبتي إلا الله Mā fī jubbatī illā l-Lāh "There is nothing in my cloak but God."
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These utterances led to a long trial, and his subsequent imprisonment for 11 years in a Baghdad prison. He was publicly crucified on March 26, 922.
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