Ernest for Truth I meditated on the religions. (taffakartu fi al-adyan)
I found them all to be of one root with many branches.
Therefore impose on no man a religion,
Lest it should bar him from the firm-set root.
Let the root claim him, a root wherein all heights
And meanings are made clear, for him to grasp.
'Hallaj: Mystic and Martyr'
By Louis Massignon (Author), Herbert Mason (Translator)
Abridged from the four-volume The Passion of al-Hallaj, one of the major works of Western orientalism, this book explores the life and teaching of a famous tenth-century Sufi mystic and martyr, and in so doing describes not only his experience but also the whole milieu of early Islamic civilization. Louis Massignon (1883-1962), France's most celebrated Islamic specialist in this century and a leading Catholic intellectual, wrote of a man who was for him a personal inspiration.
"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."
"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)