- Series: Mythos: The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythology (Book 98)
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; Abridged edition (July 5, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691019193
- ISBN-13: 978-0691019192
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hallaj: Mystic and Martyr [ABRIDGED] Abridged Edition
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"The French original of this work has stood for most of this century as a model of the way Western scholarship can illumine a foreign culture, not patronize or denature it.... This translation climaxes one of the most focused projects of humanistic scholarship this century has seen."--Huston Smith, Commonweal
"An incomparable study of the religious forces, the social and political life, and the whole culture of the Islamic world within which [this saint] lived and died."--Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Speculum: A Journal of Mediaeval Studies
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
Top customer reviews
Massignon has provided the reader here with an excellent introduction to the Muslim mystic Hallaj covering every possible detail. His life, the historical events of his time, the fundamentals of Sufism, Islamic theology, how Hallaj understood and interpreted Islamic theology, his teachers, his students, his journeys in search of knowledge and students, his final condemnation, trial and execution and the repercussions.
This is an abridged version of Massignon's 4 volume work on Hallaj and it is such a pity that the complete version is so difficult to find. Judging by the amount of information contained in this book I can only imagine that the unedited edition is a goldmine of information.
For anyone studying the development of early Sufism this book cannot be recommended enough.
The book: It is a kind of encyclopedic bibliography with a great aim. Massignon believed that Hallaj, by becoming "the perfect Muslim" was leading himself all the way to be crucified for the mercy of mankind. And by trying to proof this theory, Massignon was hoping to unify all the people who believed in Abraham (Jews, Christians and Muslims) in one "spot of light", which is the violent death of a man in the attitude of "Qur'anic Christ" (according to the account of Jesus Christ in the Muslim's holy book).
The book is a useful reading if you are interested in history, sociology, monotheistic religions or knowledge in general.
The translation: Mason definitely made a fine job. Reading the English version is much easier than the French one, and most of the very complicated ideas of Massignon have been put in more comprehensive way, always without deteriorating the "unique flood" of Massignon writing. A lot of useful notes have been added and some important references have been corrected in the English version.
An important note: It is not an easy reading; Vol.2,3 & 4 are purely academic. The abreviated version (by Mason) is fair enough if you are not a specialist.
For those whose primary interest is in Al Hallaj as a mystical figure, this book is less helpful. This is a different line of inquiry, one in which the primary goal is not to know more facts, but to feel more, to experience for oneself what a being like Al Hallaj experienced.