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Slave of Ghazi Alamdar

Hassan Ibn Sabah!

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No one has the authority to call others kaffir, anyone who does invalidates their own testimony of the unity of Allah and the Prophethood of his Messenger.

Just to get the information about Hassan Ibn Sabbah I have started this topic. I was surprised when this Brother Asad Ul Ali called him (ra) b'coz the history that was taught to us by Sunni teachers is that Hassan Ibn Sabba was a fitna of his time. He created an artificial heaven on earth called Jannat-e-Baarein and killed many scholars and reformers.

I dont know how true it is ... thats why I would like to see brothers and sisters sharing there views and knowledge about him.

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a few of my notes about Hassan Bin Sabah

1071: Hassan-e Sabbah moves to Fatimid Egypt, as the Shi'i orientation in Islam was no longer tolerated in his native Persia.

1070's: A movement in opposition against the weak Fatimid caliph al-Mustansir is headed by the caliph's son Nizar. Hassan joins the organization, and becomes central in planning how the caliphate shall be rejuvenated with Nizar as caliph.

1090S: Hassan captures the hill fortress Alamut near Kazvin in Iran, whereupon he forms the organization soon to be known as Assassins.

1092: The famous Seljuq vizier Nizam al-Mulk is murdered by an Assassin in Baghdad. He becomes their first victim.

1094: Al-Mustansir dies, and Hassan does not recognize the new caliph, al-Mustali. He and his followers transferred their allegiance to his brother Nizar. The followers of Hassan soon even came at odds with the caliph in Baghdad too.

1113: Following the death of Aleppo's ruler, Ridwan, the Assassins are driven out of the city by the the troops of Ibn al-Khashab.

1110's: The Assassins in Syria changes their strategy, and start undercover work and builds cells in all cities around the region.

1123: Ibn al-Khashab is killed by an Assassin killer.

1124: Hassan dies in Alamut, but the organization lives on stronger than ever.

— The leading qadi Abu Saad al-Harawi is killed by an Assassin killer.

1126 November 26: Emir Porsuki of Aleppo and Mosul is killed by an Assassin killer.

1131 May: Buri, the atabeg of Damascus, is seriously wounded by two Assassins. He dies 13 months later.

12th century: The Assassins extend their activities into Syria, where they could get much support from the local Shi'i minority as the Seljuq sultanate had captured this territory.

— The Assassins captures a group of castles in the Nusayriyya Mountains (modern Syria). The most important of these castles were the Masyaf, from which the "The Old Man of Mountain", Rashideddin Sinan ruled practically independent from the main leaders of the Assassins.

1173: The Assassins of Syria enter negociations with the king of Jerusalem, with the aim of converting to Christianity. But as the Assassins by now were numerous and often worked as peasants, they payed high taxes to local Christian landlords, that Christian peasants were exempted from. Their conversion was opposed by them, and this year the Assassin negociatiors were murdered by Christian knights. After this, there was no more talk of conversion.

1175: Rashideddin's men make two attempts on the life of Saladin, the leader of the Ayyubids. The second time, the Assassin came so close that wounds were infliceted upon Saladin.

1256: Alamut fortress falls to the Mongols under the leadership of Hülegü. Before this happened, several other fortresses had been captured, and finally Alamut was weak and with little support.

1257: The Mongol warlord Hülegü attacks and destroys the fortress at Alamut. The Assassin library is fully razed, hence destroying a crucial source of information about the Assassins.

Around 1265: The Assassin strongholds in Syria fall to the Mumluk sultan Baybars 1.

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Yes the Assassins were Shia Ismailites not the main Shia Ithnasharis (12'ers). They have been greatly demonized by both Western and Sunni historians, who preferred to show the Assassins in the worst possible light. The term "hashishin", which the word Assassin derives from, was not used by members of the sect themselves but was a nickname applied by their enemies; even so, it was not in common use. The normal name was Ismailis or Naziris.

Legendary stories written by westerners such as Marco Polo, Crusaders, amateur historians like Von Hammer (from the 19th century) persisted in the West until quite recently, they described them as a devilish sect who would drug themselves by means of hashish inorder to perform political murder:

* Marco Polo visited the site of their castle(Alamut) in Iran after its destruction by the Mongols, and he wrote an imaginative account about them repeating the legend of how the future "assassins" were supposedly prepared for their missions by being drugged with hashish, brought into a secret pleasure garden, and told they had visited Paradise, to which they would return if they were killed in action.

* The most famous account was of the Syrian Assassins during the era of the Crusades; it written by the contemporary historian, William of Tyre, and unlike Marco Polo his writing revealed a fair amount of understanding. He described that Assassins fought against Saladdin, whom they attempted more than once to murder, yet at the same time took part in the Moslem struggle against the Franks/Crusaders after the fall of Jerusalem. The Crusaders were terrorized by the Shia Ismailites, especially because they murdered top Frankish leaders like Conrad of Montferrat (1192), who was murdered by "Assassins" disguised as monks. He wrote that the Crusaders were more fearful of them than any other Muslims, and were severly demoralised by the attacks of the Assassins, to whom they ascribed devilish cunning, a mastery of disguise, and a knowledge of various Frankish languages.

* In the nineteenth century a Viennese amateur historian called Von Hammer Purgstall wrote a book about the Assassins in which he ascribed to them, if not quite every conceivable form of infamy. His motive in writing seems to have been as much to emphasize the wickedness of all secret societies as to make a historical study of the Assassins, and his book has little historical value; nevertheless, it remained the standard reference work on the sect as late as the 1930s, when Freya Stark went to Alamut.

This post has been edited by Amal on May 18 2004, 08:54 AM


Modern Russian and American scholars such as W. Ivanow and Hodgson, who have made extensive studies on the sect, believe that there is no real evidence that the Assassins used hashish at all, at least for this purpose. (It is possible that they used it as a psychedelic agent for religious reasons, but that is another matter.) They argue that such a state of mind hardly seems compatible with the legendary accomplishments of the assassins - their superlative cunning, patience, knowledge of languages, and so forth - and in any case our modern experience of terrorism does not suggest that its perpetrators require any narcotic stronger than fanaticism itself. Besides, if the claims of modern users of hashish are to be believed, the effects of the drug tend more towards pacificism than murderousness.

Source: Assassins of Alamut by Anthony Campbell


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