Hallaaj used Sufi terms of Qutb and Abdaal, made a false dream of seeing prophet peace be upon him and made money.
Ibn Kathir said:
روى الخطيب البغدادي أن الحلاج أنفذ رجلا بين يديه إلى بعض بلاد الجبل ، فأقام بتلك البلدة يظهر لهم الصلاح والنسك ويقرأ القرآن ، فأقام فيهم مدة على ذلك ، ثم أظهر لهم أنه قد عمي ، فمكث حينا على ذلك ، ثم أظهر أنه قد زمن ، وكان أولا يقاد إلى المسجد ثم صار يحمل ، فمكث سنة كذلك ، ثم قال لهم : إني رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو يقول : سيرد على هذه البلدة رجل صالح يكون شفاؤك على يديه ، فما كان من قريب حتى كان الوقت الذي واعده فيه الحلاج ، ودخل الحلاج البلدة مختفيا وعليه ثياب صوف بيض فلزم سارية من المسجد يتعبد فيه لا يلتفت إلى أحد ، فابتدر الناس إلى ذلك المتعامي المتزامن ، فقيل له : قدم رجل صالح فهلم إليه ، فحملوه حتى وضعوه بين يديه فكلمه فعرفه فقال له : يا أبا عبد الله إني رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في المنام وهو يقول لي كذا وكذا ، فعسى أن يكون أنت إياه . فرفع يديه ودعا الله عز وجل ، والناس حضور متكاثرون ينظرون ماذا يكون من أمره ، ففتح الرجل عينيه وقام قائما على قدميه ، فضج الناس وعظموا الحلاج تعظيما زائدا ، وليس ذلك بحق ، فأقام عندهم مدة ثم خرج من بين أظهرهم ، وبقي ذلك الرجل عندهم عدة شهور ، ثم قال : إن من نعمة الله علي أن رد علي بصري وشفاني وينبغي أن أجاهد في سبيله بثغر طرسوس فعزم على ذلك فجمعوا له من بينهم مالا جزيلا ألوفا من الذهب والفضة ، ثم ودعهم وودعوه ، فذهب إلى الحلاج فاقتسما ذلك المال .
Khateeb Bhagdadi narrated that Hallaj commanded his special disciple to go to the mountainous regions and make fake impression of your piousness and piety among the people. When you see that they got attracted to this way and started loving you and believing in you, then act as blind in front of them. When they start treating you,tell them: O! pious people no matter what you do, nothing will benefit me. Then say to them i have seen the Messenger of Allah saying in my dream, The cure for all your illness will be through hands of that Qutb(Highest status in Awliya according to Sufis) who will come in that month and on such day. And describe him(Qutb) like this. So with this decision he went to the mountainous region and started worshiping and reciting Qur’an. After doing it for some days, people started believing in him and started loving him. Then he acted as a blind and few days passed. After that he showed his helplessness and acted as a cripple, Then people got busy for his treatment. They did everything but it did not benefit him. Then he said O! pious people no matter what you do it will not benefit me even in the least because i heard the Messenger of Allah saying in my dream, Cure of your illness is destined through the hands of such and such Qutb. And he will arrive shortly in that month and on that day. In the beginning they used to help him to go to the mosque, later they used to carry him to the mosque and started venerating him more and were waiting for the arrival of that Qutb, Which was already planned between him and Hallaj.
Hallaj came in the city secretly and he entered wearing white clothes. He then entered a mosque and started worshiping near a pillar and he didn’t looked at anyone.
So when people saw him with those qualities with which the ill person has informed them. They started running towards him and greeted him and started kissing his hands and legs. Then they came to this crippled man to give him the good news of the arrival that Qutb in whose hands Allah has kept cure. Then the crippled man asked more about him and they said everything about him. Then he said Yes This is the one about whom the Messenger of Allah informed us and definitely my cure will be through his hands. Now take me to him, So they carried him and took him to the Qutb.
They spoke to him and recognized him. Then he said O Slave of Allah I have seen messenger of Allah in my dream and then he mentioned his dream. After that Hallaj prayed for him and spit on his hands and did masah on his eyes. He opened his eyes which were healed as if they were already fine. Then he touched his feet with his saliva and he became healthy as if he was already fine.
This happened among the people and all the rich and leaders were present. All the people made noises and said takbeer and praised Allah. Due to this Hallaj became more respectful because he deceived the people. He lived there for few days and people respected him and thought maybe he will ask for financial help. When he decided to come back then the people gathered money for him. But he said I don’t want these worldly things. But this person (who did drama of being ill) need money for his brothers and people who are Abdaal of this time who did Jihaad in the place of Tarsoos so that they could do Hajj and Sadqaat and do good deeds and spend on the needy and helpful. Then the one who did drama endorsed the verdicts of Hallaaj that Allah made my eyes fine and Make me healthy so it it is obligation on me that I spend my life in Jihaad and go to Hajj with the Abdaal to whom I know. Then he prepared them to give him best of the best and more money.
Then Hallaaj left them and the person (who did drama) remained there until he took plenty of gold and silver. Then he went to Hallaaj and divided the things with Hallaaj and himself [Al Bidaya wal Nihaya vol 11 pages 257-258 roughly translated by Abdul Raheem Salafi and Asim ul Haq]
Hallaj came to India so that he may learn sorcery.
Ibn Kathir said:
وصح أنه دخل إلى الهند لتعلم السحر ، وقال : أدعو به إلى الله عز وجل . وكانأهل الهند يكاتبونه بالمغيث
It is proven that he came to India to learn about magic. He said: I use this to invite people to Allah Azzawajal. People of india used to write him Mugeeth.
(al Bidaya wal Nihaya under the year 309 h)