Al-Hassan Al-Sabah And The Assassins
Thought usually guides human behavior. When your mind is empty, you have two ideas: either autism in a world alone or terrorism and provoking chaos.
- In 148 hijra, Jafar Al-Sadiq, the sixth imam of the Shiites, died. While Ja'far Al-Sadiq was alive, he entrusted the Imamate to his eldest son, Ismail, but the latter died in his father's lifetime, so the Shiites differed in determining the rightful person for the Imamate.
- Some of them said that the Imamate should pass to Muhammad, the son of Ismail, and others said that it should pass to another son of Al-Sadiq, Musa al-Kadhim.
- However, Ja'far Al-Sadiq was still alive and recommended it to Musa al-Kadhim, and after Ja'far Al-Sadiq died, two bands appeared on the stage of Shiite history, the first is the Ismaili band led by a man named Memon Al-kaddhah, and when he died about 198 Hijrah, his son Abdullah succeeded him in calling for the Imamate of the Sons of Ismail, which supports Muhammad ibn Ismail as his successor, and the second band is the Twelver band, which supports the successor of Musa al-Kadhim.
- For a century and a half after the death of Ismail, the Ismailis remained in hiding, little is known about their preaching activity or teachings.
Founding of the Fatimid Caliphate
- After the collapse of the Abbasid state, the Ismailis began to appear, some settled in Yemen, others in North Africa, and in 909 ad they reached such a power that their imam Ubayd Allah ibn al-Husayn appeared publicly, declaring himself caliph in North Africa, specifically in Tunisia, he took the title of Mahdi and founded a new state called the “Fatimid state” and later the Fatimid armies began preparing to invade Egypt until they succeeded in doing so in 969 AD.
- And already they entered Egypt and founded a new city to be the capital of their empire and called it “Cairo”, then they built a new mosque to be a fortress for their faith and called it “Al-Azhar”, then the caliph Al-Mu'izz al-Din Allah al-Fatimi later moved from Tunisia to his new headquarters where his successors ruled after him for two hundred years.
- The Fatimid state collapsed in 1076 ad, under the rule of the eighth caliph, Al-Mustansir by Allah because of his wrong policies, and in addition to the famine that occurred in Egypt, which was known as the AL-mustansiriyah crisis, Al-Mustansir by Allah sent to a man named Badr al-Jamali, who was then the military governor of Acre, to be a minister and a Supreme Commander, May he restore things to normal.
The Beginning of the Dispute
- Badr al-Din al-Jamali was able to turn chaos into order, eliminate famine and give the Fatimid state a new life , but in return, Al-Mustansir Billah completely lost his prestige and influence in front of the people and in front of the rest of the princes of the country, and when Al-Mustansir Billah died, al-Jamali also died and Badr al-Din al-Jamali was succeeded by his son named "Al-Afdal".
- In fact, caliph Al-Mustansir Billah had appointed his son Nizar as crown prince before his death, and the Ismailis accepted him, but Al-"Al-Afdal" declared another son of Al-Mustansir Billah as his successor for the country, and he is the Al-Musta'li because he was the nephew of Badr al-Din al-Jamali.
- Nizar then fled to Alexandria announcing a local revolution to restore the caliphate, but he was defeated, captured and killed after that, and from here Ismailism was divided into the musta'liya "Supporters of Al-Musta'li"and the nizariya "Supporters of Nizar Led by "Hassan al-Sabah", the latter would later belong to the Assassins movement.
Al-Hassan al, Sabah
- Hassan al-Sabah was born in the city of Qom south of Tehran in (430 Ah – 1037Ad), a stronghold of Twelver Shiites, and he took the doctrine from his parents, and remained adhering to his teachings until his family moved to Rai city at the age of 17.
- Al-Rai was the center of the Ismaili sect, so Hassan al-Sabah was influenced by their ideas, joined them and swore allegiance to them, and began to step into positions, when he reached his thirties, he had no choice but to swear allegiance to the leader of the sect, “Abdul Malik ibn al-Attash”, who saw in him a good seed that he could exploit, (he was proficient in philosophy, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, magic, etc., in addition to the legitimate sciences), he appointed him as his deputy, then sent him to Egypt and lived at the court of the Fatimid caliph for three years.
- When Badr al-Din al-Jamali became the controller of all decisions in the state and also controlled all those working in the state, Hassan al-Sabah did not like this and was a hater of Badr al-Din al-Jamali, as Al-Mustansir Billah was his prince and not Badr al-Din, so this led to friction and direct contact between al, Sabah and Badr al-Din, so Badr al-Din was imprisoned Hassan al-Sabah in Alexandria, and then expelled from Egypt.
Sabah and the Seljuks Runner
- Persia was under the rule of the Seljuk state, which was ruled by the Sunni doctrine, and the minister of state at that time was the "Nizam Al-Mulk".
- Hassan Al-Sabah went to Isfahan in (1081), and built a strong relationship with the vizier "Nizam Al-Mulk", who admired Hassan Al-Sabah's knowledge and abilities, so he approached and honored him and was not aware of the destructive secrets and beliefs of the morning.
- Al-Sabah lived under the Nizam Al-Mulk's shadow for 9 years, hiding his identity and belief, but he did not stop advocating these beliefs away from the cities, so he went to remote villages, in peasant and Bedouin communities, and they began to be convinced of his ideas, and his call spread in the countryside.
- Hassan Al-Sabah announced that he supported Nizar in his caliphate, and began to call for him in the countries of the Islamic East especially Iran, So Al-Sabah was the founder of Nizari Ismailism in the Iran, and became the leader of this sect in the whole of Iran .
- The followers of Hassan Al-Sabah spread the call of Ismaili Nizari everywhere, spread their fame and took to talk with the commoners and then talk about their call with the elders and muezzins of mosques and convince them to invite them, until they spoke with a muezzin to one of the mosques and he revealed their lies in front of the people, the supporters of Al-Sabah feared of exposing their order among the commoners resorted to killing him, This was the first assassination against those who disagree with them or threaten their existence, when the news reached Nizam Al-Mulk he issued an order to pursue the morning and his followers.
- Since then, the Seljuk authorities have been aware of their danger, and that they are not just an ideological group, but have expansionist tendencies, which pose a threat to the stability and security of the authority.
- When orders were issued to track them down, Hassan Al-Sabah thought about getting an impregnable fortress, protected by him and his supporters. Thus, And so his eyes turned north, at the Daylam plateau, where Alamut Castle, and there were two reasons for his choice, the first reason is that the majority of the inhabitants of Al-Daylam are Shiites, and therefore more willing than others to convert to Ismailism. The second reason has to do with the nature of the geographical area, as it was rugged and its roads difficult, and it has many castles and fortresses that are difficult to break into.
- Alamut Castle "Alamut" here means "Eagle's Nest" and Hassan Al-Sabah bought it from her prince or, more precisely, forced him out of it for 3,000 thousand gold dinars.
- The Assassins were training in Alamut Castle on Only three things are hearing and blind obedience, martial arts and the arts of stealth and puns.
Naming The Assassins
- The French and European countries called Al-Hassan Al-Sabah's sect "The Assassins", meaning the assassination squad.
- The news of Al-Hassan Al-Sabah's capture of the fortress will not go unnoticed. When the news reached the Seljuk Sultan Malik-Shah I and his minister Nizam Al-Mulk, they realized the seriousness of this, and decided to enter into peaceful negotiations with Al-Sabah, and if he refused to abandon the fortress, they declared war on him, but Al-Sabah, with a diplomatic response, was able to calm them down, declaring his obedience to them.
- Al-Hassan Al-Sabah did not calm down, but continued his efforts to spread his call until he took control of a territory called “Rud bar” and gained the loyalty of its inhabitants.
- Nizam Al-Mulk sent an army to eliminate Al-Hassan Al-Sabah and his followers in the castle, but he did not succeed because it was fortified as we mentioned, So Nizam Al-Mulk became the first enemy of Al-Sabah, so he was planning the largest assassination at that time, which is the assassination of the Seljuk minister, so he sent him a man in the form of a Sufi, so he approached him and handed him a message, so when Nizam Al-Mulk began to read it, this man stabbed the minister and told him this is a gift from the Sheikh of the mountain, sheik. Al-Hassan Al-Sabah.
- This was the style adopted by The Assassins movement afterwards over a long history of conflict with opponents; guerrilla operations, which often ended with the death of the perpetrator, rather than entering into direct military confrontation with the opponents.
- After that, the Seljuk Sultan Malik-Shah I died, so the commander of his campaign decided to lift the siege and return from where he came from.
Training of the Youth of the Sect
- Al-Hassan Al-Sabah's work consisted in advocating and spreading the Ismaili thought as he understands it on the one hand, and on the other hand in using terror and terrorism as a weapon against the enemies of his movement.
- Although The Assassins movement was small compared to its opponents, it struck terror into the hearts of its powerful enemies within a small time, enemies represented mainly by the Seljuk state and the Abbasid state.
- Al-Hassan Al-Sabah was baptized to the people of the mountainous and desert regions, who are characterized by hardness, strength and growing up at the enmity of the Sunni authorities.
- Al-Sabah would choose from them young men who would undertake education and intellectual education that would develop the spirit of Jihad and sacrifice in them, and then train them in the means of attack and the use of daggers, the ability to disguise and impersonate characters.
- Then, after their formation and preparation, he would explain to them the plan of the operation on which they would apply. Mostly, these plans were aimed at assassinating a character; but in a public place and in the sight of people so as to arouse horror in them. Places such as the mosque on Fridays, or a great parade among the guards and soldiers, or in the market or at the seat of government.
The Assassins assassinations
- These fedayeen sometimes disguised themselves in women's clothes, and at other times in soldiers ' clothes; however, they mostly disguised themselves as Sufis or dervishes, so that the guards would not expect evil or harm from them.
- For the most part, the targeted figures were at the top of the political, military and scientific community; the assassins managed to assassinate the Abbasid caliph,Al-Mustarshid, and after him the Abbasid Caliph Al-Rashid, and they also assassinated the Fatimid caliph commanding Al-Amir bi-Ahkam Allah, and the thirteenth King of Jerusalem, Conrad de Montferrat.
- In addition to a number of military leaders, Princes, Sultans and ministers, the assassins did not hesitate to assassinate scientists, intellectuals and judges, who opposed their invitation. They also assassinated those who reneged on their invitation after entering it, as well as some owners of Castles who refused to hand them over or sell them.
- These operations were aimed at eliminating the symbols of evil in the world,as The Assassins believed.
- But what was exciting about the matter was the courage of the Fedayeen youth and their amazing determination to ask for death, but what was driving these young people was anxiety and a sense of disappointment about the bitter reality in which he finds himself in the world, where he feels the world is evil, and then he begins to reject this situation and Al-Sabah "Al-Imam" takes advantage of this; until the fedayee surrenders himself completely, convincing him that the world of “immortality” is better, and that his death will free the world from its evils, as he himself will free him from the prison of this world.
The End of The Assassins Movement
- The guerrilla operations ( the Fedayeen ) brought by The Assassins movement were unprecedented as a method of combat (in Islamic history, at least). Instead of entering into military confrontations with opponents, she was counting on this in order to provoke terror in them.
- The last one to rule The Assassins in Persia was Rukn al-Din Khurshah. His rule lasted one year, ending in 1256 AD, and the movement there ended with him, This was when they faced the Mongolian armies led by Hulagu, and The Assassins tried to confront them and even offered them peace, but to no avail.
- At the end of 1256, Rukn al-Din Khurshah surrendered in exchange for the safety of the Ismailis and then ordered his followers to descend from their castles.
- Then the Mongols killed Rukn al-Din Khurshah and demolished the Alamut Castle. Then they gathered a large number of Ismailis and killed them all, while the other fortresses clashed with them, until the majority of them were killed, thus ending the movement in Persia.
- On the other hand, the founder of the movement, Al-Hassan Al-Sabah, was still alive when some of his followers traveled to the Levant with the intention of spreading his message. They settled there and were even able to acquire several castles there. In the Levant, they had enmity with Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, and they tried to kill him twice, before cooperating in The Assassins of the King of Jerusalem, Conrad de Montferrat.
- After what happened to The Assassins in Persia at the hands of the Mongols, they tried in the Levant to gain the trust of the Sultan of Egypt and the Levant, King al-Zahir Rukn al-Din Baybars, who took over the rule of the country after the Battle of Ain Jalut and his killing of King Muzaffar Saif Al-Din Qutuz, with the intention of confronting the Mongolian threat.
- However, Baybars did not allow the continued leadership of The Assassins, since that was an independent enclave in the heart of the Levant, so he ordered, in 1265, to collect taxes and fees from them, and they were not able to refuse this, but soon al-Zahir Baybars became the one who appointed the leaders of The Assassins, after the end and destruction of the Alamut Castle, and then The chief of The Assassins became merely a representative of Baybars , until he ended all that in 1273, thus ending The Assassins movement.