Hallaj has become the most famous Sufi of all time partly on his own merits and thanks to Massignon's many volume "The Passion of al-Hallaj Mystic and Martyr of Islam." Hallaj was a publicity hound who said "I am the Truth" meaning "I am God." His followers said that he was misunderstood; he did not mean literally that he was God, just that, in reality, he was really God. However, Hallaj actually sold divinity and immortality to the masses as part of his own delusion and was always dropping broad hints to that effect, and how great he really was. That is why his followers follow him; because, misunderstood or not, they have swallowed the hook; they think they are secretly God also.
Hallaj was a miracle worker. His miracles have been analyzed many times and everyone, including his followers, know the miracles were phony. When he produced gold coins out of thin air someone challenged him to produce coins with his own image on them. Hallaj said "such a thing does not exist." The observer said, "well, isn't that what a miracle is? Making something which does not exist?" Massignon called this "harmless sleight of hand" to increase faith. Which is what a con man or a faith healer does.
As part of the classical religious imposture Hallaj went to great lengths to pretend to be orthodox, and holier than thou, and uphold such rites as the pilgrimage. Secretly he used a symbolic pilgrimage to Mecca performed in a meeting house in one night as an indoctrination tool. Freemasons and Jesuits still do the same as part of their initiations. Because his was also a revolutionary movement which wanted to bring paradise on earth through Communism, and used armed revolt as part of the shining path, a court in Baghdad, with dangerous turmoil in society, after long delays, reluctantly condemned him to death in the year 922. They had expert witnesses who knew the doctrines and methods of Hallaj's sect and the actual charge for which he was condemned was Manicheism. The Baghdad court had hit the nail on the head. A few years earlier the head of the Manichean religion, feeling the heat, fled Baghdad claiming to go to Central Asia. Instead a Mahdi appeared in North Africa who claimed that he was the rightful ruler of the world.People believed him. There followed three centuries of unrest as a result of the struggle between orthodoxy and Gnostic Dualism, which only ended when the Mongols came and threw water on the embers. Hallaj was a pivotal ideological figure who covertly carried on an ingenious and insidious campaign of religio-political agit prop inside society behind the lines after 890 when the Qarmati revolt broke out on the surface. He is one of the master charlatans of history who appeared on the scene as the spectre of Communism began haunting the Middle East.