Ana l-Haqq: ‘I am God Itself!’. These famous words deeply entrenched in the psyche of the Sufi Mystic, were uttered in Baghdad by Mansur al-Hallaj [922 CE] a Persian Mystic who was was arrested and executed forthwith for saying it. [Impaled they say, meriting the full wrath of God.]
The compromise to ‘Son of God’ in the early Christian schools which were under continuous threat, lowers to an even more restrained ‘Slave of God’, in the face of the ready and righteous jurists patrolling the Islamic terrain.
The scribes and poets rarely went so far as to claim ‘I am God Itself!’ In the cultures that housed them this was blasphemy. But a few did go that extra step-and paid with their lives.
Jalaluddin Rumi [1207-1273 CE] the Sufi poet and a founder of the Mevlevi School wrote of the event:
‘Men and Women imagine that Ana l-Haqq: ‘I am God Itself!’ is a presumptuous claim, whereas the really presumptuous claim is to say Ana l-abd: ‘I am the slave of God’, for [the latter] affirms two existences, his own and that of God.
But he who says ‘I am God Itself!’, has exited, has given himself up and holds: ‘I am naught, He is the All; there is no Being but God.”
It was, Rumi properly believed, the greater humility, the higher self-naughting.
Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī [Byzantine Roma; 1207-1273 CE] and his exquisite mystical poetry is by reliable accounts among the most widely read of any author in today’s United States, lead by an intensely loyal female following [See: ‘Give Me Rumi’s ‘Beloved’!‘].
Of some interest, this most gentle of mystical poets would technically be an Afghan, among the most violent places on the planet today. The country was not always this way. Two of the most prominent Buddhist Scholar Monks, Asanga and Vasubandhu [circa 300 CE] were of Afghan origin and much of the country was once Hindu-Buddhist.