The Tawasin of Mansur Al-Hallaj
Translated by Aisha Abd Ar-Rahman At-Tarjumana
The Ta-Sin of Understanding
1. 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
2. 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.
3. 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
4. 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.
5. These meanings do not concern the negligent man, nor
the transitory man, nor the man of wrong action, nor the man who follows
The Ta-Sin of the Point
1.Finer still than that is the mention of the Primordial Point,
which is the Source, and which does not grow or decrease, nor consume itself.
2.The one who denies my spiritual state denies it because
he does not see me, and he calls me a heretic. He charges me with evil,
and seeing my glory he calls for help, and it is to the sacred circle which
is beyond the beyond that he cries.
3.He who reaches the second circle imagines me to be the Inspired
4.He who reaches the third circle thinks that I am at the
bottom of all desires.
5.And he who reaches the circle of Truth forgets me and his
attention is distracted from me.
The Ta-Sin of Before Endless-Time and Equivocation
(for he who understands, in the understanding of the understanding relative
to public discourse as to what is legitimate in regard to intentions.)
1.The Master Abu’l-Mughith, may Allah be merciful to him,
said: ‘There is no established mission except that of Iblis and Muhammad,
peace be on him, only Iblis fell from the Essence while Muhammad perceived
the Essence of the Essence.’
2.It was said to Iblis: ‘Prostrate yourself!’ and to Muhammad
- ‘Look!’ But Iblis did not prostrate himself, and Muhammad did not look,
he did not turn to the right or the left, ‘his eye swerved nor, nor swept
3.As for Iblis, having announced his mission, he did not return
to his first power.
4.And when Muhammad announced his mission he returned to his
5.With this statement, ‘It is in You that I am transported
and on You that I fling myself,’ and also, ‘Oh You who turn the hearts’
and ‘I do not know how to praise You as You should be praised.
6.Among the inhabitants of heaven there was no unitarian or
worshipper like Iblis.
7.For Iblis there appeared the Divine Essence. He was prevented
from even a blink of the eye of awareness, and he began to worship the
Adored One in ascetic isolation.
8.He was cursed when he reached the double isolation, and
he was questioned when he demanded the ultimate solitude.
9.Allah said to him: ‘Prostrate yourself!!’ He said: ‘Not
before another than You.’ He said to him: ‘Even if my curse falls on you?’
He said: ‘It will not punish me.’
10.‘My denial is to affirm your purity and my reason remains disordered
in You. And what is Adam compared to You and who am I, Iblis, to differentiate
11.He fell into the Sea of Majesty, he became blind, and said: ‘There
is no path for me to other-than-You. I am a humble lover.’ He said to him:
‘You have become proud.’ He said: ‘If there was one glance between us,
it would have been enough to make me proud and imperious, but I am he who
knew You in Before Endless-Time, "I am better than Him" because I have
served You for a longer time. No one, in the two types of beings, knows
You better than I do! There was an intention of Yours in me, and an intention
of mine in You, and both of them preceded Adam. If I prostrated before
another than You or if I did not prostrate it would be necessary me to
return to my origin, since You created me of fire, and fire returns to
fire, according to an equilibrium and choice which are Yours.
12.There is no distance from You for me, since I became certain
that distance and nearness are one. For me, if I was left, your desertion
would be my companion, so how much more are desertion and love truly one!
Glory to You in Your Providence and in the Essence of your Inaccessibility
for the pious worshipper who does not prostrate before any other than You.’
13.Musa met Iblis on the slope of Sinai and said to him: ‘Oh Iblis,
what prevented you from prostrating?’ He said: ‘That which prevented me
was my declaration of a Unique Beloved, and if I had prostrated I would
have become like you, because you were only called upon once to ‘look at
the mountain’ and you looked. As for me, I was called upon a thousand times
to prostrate myself to Adam and I did not prostrate myself because I stood
by the Intention of my Declaration.
14.Sayedina Musa said: ‘You abandoned a Command?’ Iblis said: ‘It
was a test. Not a command.’ Sayedina Musa said: ‘Without sin? But your
face was deformed.’ Iblis replied: ‘Oh Musa, that is but the ambiguity
of appearances, while the spiritual state does not rely on it and does
not change. Gnosis remains true even as it was at the beginning and does
not change even if the individual changes.’
15.Sayedina Musa said: ‘Do you remember Him now?’ ‘Oh Musa, pure
mind does not have need of memory - by it I am remembered and He is remembered.
His remembrance is my remembrance, and my remembrance is His remembrance.
How, when remembering ourselves, can we two be other than one? My service
is now purer, my time more pleasant, my remembrance more glorious, because
I served Him in the absolute for my good fortune, and now I serve Him for
16.‘I lifted greed from everything which prevents or defends for
the sake of loss as well as gain. He isolated me, made me ecstatic, confused
me, expelled me, so that I would no mix with the saints. He put me far
from others because of my jealous for Him alone. He deformed me, because
He amazed me, and amazed me because He banished me. He banished me because
I was a servant and put me in a forbidden state because of my companionship.
He showed my lack of worth because I praised His Glory. He reduced me to
a simple robe of ihram because if my hajj. He left me because of my union,
He unified me because he cut me off. He cut me off because He had prevented
17.By His Truth I was not in error in respect to His decree, I did
not refuse destiny. I did not care at all about the deformation of my face.
I kept my equilibrium throughout these sentences.
18.If He punishes me with His fire for all of eternity I would not
prostrate myself before anyone, and I would not abase myself before any
person or body because I do not recognize any opposite with Him! My Declaration
is that of the Sincere and I am one of those sincere in love.'
19.Al-Hallaj said: ‘There are various theories regarding the spiritual
states of Azazyl (Iblis before his fall). One said that he was charged
with a mission in heaven, and with a mission on earth. In heaven he preached
to the Angels showing them good works, and on earth preaching to men and
jinn showing them evil deeds.
20.Because one does not recognize things except by their opposites,
as with fine white silk which can only be woven using black fabric behind
it - so the Angel could show good actions and say symbolically "If you
do these you will be rewarded." But he who did not know evil before cannot
21.The Master Abu ‘Umar Al-Hallaj said: ‘I deliberated with Iblis
and Pharon on the honor of the generous. Iblis said: "If I had prostrated
myself I would have lost my name of honor." Pharon said: "If I had believed
in this Messenger I would have fallen from my rank of honor."
22.I said: "If I had disavowed my teaching and my speech, I would
have fallen from the hall of honor.
23.When Iblis said: "I am better than him," then he could not see
anyone other than himself. When Pharao said "I know not that you have other
Divinity than me," he did not recognize that any of his people could distinguish
between the true and the false.
24.And I said: "If you do not know Him, then know His signs, I am
His sign (tajalli) and I am the Truth! And this is because I have not ceased
to realize the Truth!"
25.My companion is Iblis and my teacher is Pharao, Iblis was threatened
with the fire and did not retract his allegation. Pharon was drowned in
the Red Sea without retracting his allegation or recognizing any mediator.
But he said: "I believe that there is no Divinity but He in whom the tribe
of Israel believe, " and don't you see that Allah opposed Fibril in His
glory? He said: "Why did you fill your mouth with sand?"
26.And I was killed, crucified, my hands and feet cut off without
retracting my assertion.
27.The name of Iblis was derived from his first name, Azazyl in
which were changed: the ‘any representing the amplitude of his endeavor,
the ay, representing the growing frequency of his visits, the alive - his
way in His rank, the second ay - his asceticism in His rank, and the ay
- his wandering walk to his agony, and lam - his obstinacy in his pain.
28.He said to him: "You do not prostrate, oh contemptible one!"
He said, "Say rather - lover, for a lover is despised, so you call me despicable.
I have read in a Manifest Book, oh all-powerful and Steadfast, that this
would happen to me. So how could I lower myself before Adam when you created
him of earth and me from fire? These two opposites cannot agree. And I
have served you longer, and have a greater virtue and a vaster knowledge
and a more perfect activity.
29.Allah, may He be praised, said to him: "The choice is mine, not
yours." He said: "All choices and my choice itself are yours, because You
had already chosen for me, oh Creator, If you prevented me from prostrating
before him You were the cause of the prevention. If I err in speech You
do not leave me because You are the All Hearing. If You had willed that
I prostrate before him, I would have been obedient. I do not know anyone
among the Wise who knows you better than I do."
30.Do not blame me, the idea of censure is distant from me, reward
me then, my master, for I am alone. If, in being a promise, Your promise
is truly the Truth in principle, the principle of my vocation is strong
indeed. He who wishes to write this declaration of mine, read
it, and know that I am a martyr!
31.Oh my brother! He was called Azazyl because he was dismissed,
dismissed from his primitive purity. He did not return from his origin
to his end, because he did not go out from his end, he left, cursed from
32.As attempt to go out miscarried because of the fixate of his
kindling. He found himself between the fire of his resting place and the
light of his high position.
33.The source on the plain is a low-lying lake. He was tormented
by thirst in the place where there was abundance. He cried his pain because
the fire burned him, and his fear was nothing but simulation and his blindness
is vanity and - here he is!
34.Oh my brother! If you have understood, you have considered the
narrow pass in its very narrowness and you have represented the imagination
to yourself in its very unreality, and you have returned distressed and
full of anxiety.
35.The most alert of the Knowers remained silent on Iblis and the
gnostics did not have the strength to explain that which they had learned.
Iblis was stronger that them in adoration and nearer than them to the Presence
of the Essence. He exerted himself more and was more loyal to the covenant
and was closer to them than the Adored.
36.The other Angels prostrated before Adam for support, and Iblis
refused, because he had been in contemplation for a long time already.
37.But his case became confused and his thought went astray, so
he said: "I am better than him." He remained in the veil and did not value
the dust, and brought damnation on himself for the After-Endless-Time of