Did Islam have it's own version of a Christ figure? Much of Mansur al-Hallaj's life seems to mirror that of Jesus.
1) He belonged to a sect outside of the mainstream religion- Sufiism.
2) He believed that God was an entity which was available to everyone.
3) His message was one of Love.
4) He claimed like Jesus, that he was the Truth.
5) He was thought to have performed miracles.
6) He travelled and preached.
7) He was crucified by the orthodox because he was seen as a threat. At his death he asked forgiveness for his toturers.
One of his sayings was - "I have seen my Lord with the eye of my heart, and I said: "Who are You?" He said:"You."
This sounds remarkably similar to Christ.
"Returning from a pilgrimage, Hallaj was crossing the desert with four hundred Sufis. On day his companions said to him, "We have nothing to eat,
and we are hungry; we would like a roast lamb." "Sit down," said the Saint.
When they were seated, he placed his hand behind his back and gave to each one a roast lamb and two small hot loaves. They ate, and then asked for
dates. "Shake me," said the Saint. They did so, and there fell from him fresh dates in such quantities that they sufficed for all the company."
I have to admit that I was intrigued by this figure. I had heard of many pagan figures who predated Christ. I had also heard of many who made the
later claim to be the new Christ - all bogus in my opinion. But the teachings and life of Al-Hallaj are very hard to ignore. He was maybe not
Christ, but he definitely was a Christ-like figure in my opinion.