Hassan bin Sabah
History is full of tales of people who carved their mark in either black or white. Hassan bin Sabah did so in black. He was born in 1050s and died in 1124. He was Persian and a Shi’ia Ismaili Muslim. He is also known to be the founder of the Sabahia group. Hassan’s father was a corrupt man. He put on false pretense and would put himself out there as a true Muslim. When people from all over the world came to Iran to study under Imam Moqif’s guidance Ali, Hassan’s father, also sent his son off in order to acquire the same kind of education and knowledge as everybody else. Therefore, that was where Hassan bin Sabah obtained his early education.
Upon returning from the madrassa Hassan moved to Naishapur to stay with his friend Nizam-ul-Mulk. His friend introduced him to Malik Shah, the king of the time. Ignoring his friend’s kind gesture, Hassan began to devise ways of disgracing Nizam-ul-Mulk in front of Malik Shah so that he might be able to take his place. Due to his devious ways, he was made to leave the palace. A few other such exiles later, he reached Egypt. There too he put his evil mind to play and ended up being locked up. Ultimately, he was sent off to Africa. From there, he travelled his way back to Esfahan and this times his, motive was the spread of Ismaili beliefs.
While Hassan was busy calling people to the Ismaili faith, his companions took over some very important towers and thus acquired for themselves proper bases and headquarters to carry out their mission properly. They also became the most famous thieves and burglars of the area. Under the influence of this group’s power, many people converted. To achieve an even bigger following, Hassan bin Sabah devised a plan. He told people that he was God’s special man, claiming a saint-like status for him. He promised his followers Paradise. To further legitimize his claim he even built a fake Paradise. He built splendid buildings and towers and amid all that beauty he set up a beautiful garden. That garden was provided with all the beauty this world can provide. He even got girls to pretend to be hoors.
The word ‘Assassin’ basically comes from heshashin, which accounts for people high on drugs, particularly hashish. He would drug his soldiers and send them to his Paradise, hence rewarding them for their services and fooling them into believing that God was pleased with them.
For 29 years, Hassan bin Sabah ruled successfully over Qila al mout and died at the age of 90. His followers, the Fidayeen, were the most brutal and genius of killers. They murdered and butchered people, both common men and kings, like not many have done in the history of this planet. And Hassan bin Sabah had people shivering even at the sound of his name for years even after he passed away.