Hallaj

Poems of a Sufi Martyr

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Husayn ibn Mansur Hallaj
Translator(s): 
Carl W. Ernst
  • Evanston, IL: 
    Northwestern University Press
    , July
     2018.
     272 pages.
     $18.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780810137356.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Scott A. Kugle forthcoming.

Description

Hallaj is the first authoritative translation of the Arabic poetry of Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj, an early Sufi mystic. Despite his execution in Baghdad in 922 and the subsequent suppression of his work, Hallaj left an enduring literary and spiritual legacy that continues to inspire readers around the world. In Hallaj, Carl W. Ernst offers a definitive collection of 117 of Hallaj’s poems expertly translated for contemporary readers interested in Middle Eastern and Sufi poetry and spirituality.

Ernst’s fresh and direct translations reveal Hallaj’s wide range of themes and genres, from courtly love poems to metaphysical reflections on union with God. In a fascinating introduction, Ernst traces Hallaj’s dramatic story within classical Islamic civilization and early Arabic Sufi poetry. Setting himself apart by revealing Sufi secrets to the world, Hallaj was both celebrated and condemned for declaring: “I am the Truth.”

Expressing lyrics and ideas still heard in popular songs, the works of Hallaj remain vital and fresh even a thousand years after their composition. They reveal him as a master of spiritual poetry centuries before Rumi, who regarded Hallaj as a model. This unique collection makes it possible to appreciate the poems on their own, as part of the tragic legend of Hallaj, and as a formidable legacy of Middle Eastern culture.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj was born in the ninth century and became a major writer and thinker of the Sufi movement.

Carl W. Ernst is William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and codirector of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations. He is the author of How to Read the Qur’an: A New Guide, with Select Translations and many other scholarly works.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments