Skip to main content

al-Hallāj, Abu ʾl–Mughīth al-ḥusain b. Mansur

al-Hallāj, Abu ʾl–Mughīth al-Ḥusain b. Mansur (d. 922 (AH 309)). One of the most controversial figures in Islam: he was acclaimed as a saint by the masses and condemned as a heretic by the jurists. It is said that he was called Hallāj al-asrar (Carder of Consciences) because he could read the secret thoughts of others. He embraced the doctrine of fanāʾ (extinction of personal consciousness) and other notions such as hulul (union and identity with God). Al-Hallāj aimed to bridge the abyss between humans and God: ‘I am He whom I love and He whom I love is I. We are two spirits dwelling in one body. When you see me, you see Him.’ However, to the jurists of his time, he appeared blasphemously to contradict the Islamic notion of tanzīh (transcendence of God), and even to threaten the social order.

He paid the supreme penalty for his choice. After many years of extensive teaching and travelling throughout Central Asia and India, he was arrested, imprisoned and finally brutally executed in Baghdād. His only work to have survived is Kitāb al-Tawāsīn (902 CE). This contains the famous phrase ʾanaʾ l-Haqq (I am the Truth). It is important to read it in its proper context: ‘If you do not recognize God, at least recognize his signs. I am that sign, I am the Creative Truth (ʿanaʾ l-Haqq) because through the Truth I am a truth eternally.’ (Kitāb al-Tawāsīn, pp. 51–2). Cf. also AL-INSĀN AL-KĀMIL.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"al-Hallāj, Abu ʾl–Mughīth al-ḥusain b. Mansur." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 23 Apr. 2019 <>.

"al-Hallāj, Abu ʾl–Mughīth al-ḥusain b. Mansur." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (April 23, 2019).

"al-Hallāj, Abu ʾl–Mughīth al-ḥusain b. Mansur." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved April 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.