Friday, October 26, 2012

Assasins(History)

If you think this is about video game Assassin's Creed you false.this is Assassin based on history.The Assassins (Persian: حشاشين Ḥashshāshīn, also Hashishin, Hassassin, or Hashashiyyin) were an order of Nizari Ismailis, particularly those of Persia and Syria that formed around 1091. Posing a strong military threat to Sunni Seljuq authority within the Persian territories, the Nizari Ismailis captured and inhabited many mountain fortresses under the leadership of Hassan-i Sabbah. The modern word "assassin" is derived from their name.

The name "Assassin" is often said to derive from the Arabic Hashishin or "users of hashish", to have been originally derogatory and used by their adversaries during the Middle Ages.

The Masyaf branch of the Assassins was taken over by the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in 1273. The Mamluks however, continued to use the services of the remaining Assassins: Ibn Battuta reported in the 14th century their fixed rate of pay per murder. In exchange, the higher authorities allowed them to exist. The mention of Assassins were also preserved within European sources, such as the writings of Marco Polo, in which they are depicted as trained killers, responsible for the systematic elimination of opposing figures.

The origins of the Assassins trace back to just before the First Crusade around 1080. It is difficult to find out much information about the origins of the Assassins because most early sources are either written by enemies of the order or based on legends. Most sources dealing with the order's inner working were destroyed with the capture of Alamut, the Assassins' headquarters, by the Mongols in 1256. However, it is possible to trace the beginnings of the cult back to its first Grandmaster, Hassan-i Sabbah.

A passionate devotee of Isma'ili beliefs, Hassan-i Sabbah was well-liked throughout Cairo, Syria and most of the Middle East by other Isma'ili, which led to a number of people becoming his followers. Using his fame and popularity, Sabbah founded the Order of the Assassins. While his motives for founding this order are ultimately unknown, it was said to be all for his own political and personal gain and to also exact vengeance on his enemies. Because of the unrest in the Holy Land caused by the Crusades, Hassan-i Sabbah found himself not only fighting for power with other Muslims, but also with the invading Christian forces.
Artistic rendering of Hassan-i Sabbah.

After creating the Order, Sabbah searched for a location that would be fit for a sturdy headquarters and decided on the fortress at Alamut in what is now northwestern Iran. It is still disputed whether Sabbah built the fortress himself or if it was already built at the time of his arrival. Whether he created it himself or not, Sabbah adapted the fortress to suit his needs of not only defense from hostile forces, but also indoctrination of his followers. After laying claim to the fortress at Alamut, Sabbah began expanding his influence outward to nearby towns and districts, using his agents to gain political favour and intimidate the local populations.

Spending most of his days at Alamut working on religious works and doctrines for his Order, Sabbah was never to leave his fortress again in his lifetime. He had established a secret society of deadly assassins, which was built in a hierarchical format. Below Sabbah, the Grand Headmaster of the Order, were those known as "Greater Propagandists", followed by the normal "Propagandists", the Rafiqs ("Companions"), and the Lasiqs ("Adherents"). It was the Lasiqs who were trained to become some of the most feared assassins, or as they were called, "Fida'i" (self-sacrificing agent), in the known world.

It is, however, unknown how Hassan-i-Sabbah was able to get his "Fida'i" to perform with such fervent loyalty. One theory, possibly the best known but also the most criticized, comes from the observations from Marco Polo during his travels to the Orient. He describes how the "Old Man of the Mountain" (Sabbah) would drug his young followers with hashish, lead them to a "paradise", and then claim that only he had the means to allow for their return. Perceiving that Sabbah was either a prophet or some kind of magic man, his disciples, believing that only he could return them to "paradise", were fully committed to his cause and willing to carry out his every request. (However, this story is disputed due to the fact that Sabbah died in 1124 and Sinan, who is frequently known as the "Old Man of the Mountain", died in 1192. Marco Polo wasn't born until 1254.) With his new weapons, Sabbah began to order assassinations, ranging from politicians to great generals. Assassins rarely would attack ordinary citizens though and tended not to be hostile towards them. All Hashashins were trained in both the art of combat as in the study of religion, believing that they were on a jihad and were religious warriors. Some consider them the Templars of Islam and, as such, also formed an order with varying degrees of initiation.

Although the "Fida'i" were the lowest rank in Sabbah's order and only used as expendable pawns to do the Grandmaster's bidding, much time and many resources were put in to training them. The Assassins were generally young in age giving them the physical strength and stamina which would be required to carry out these murders. However, physical prowess was not the only trait that was required to be a "Fida'i". To get to their targets, the Assassins had to be patient, cold, and calculating. They were generally intelligent and well read because they were required to possess not only knowledge about their enemy, but his or her culture and their native language. They were trained by their masters to disguise themselves, sneak in to enemy territory and perform the assassinations instead of simply attacking their target outright.

As tensions in the Middle East grew during the Crusades, the Assassins were also known for taking contracts from outside sources on either side of the war, whether it was from the invading Crusaders or the Saracen forces, so long as the assassination fit in to the Grandmaster's plan.

The Assassins were finally linked by the 19th century orientalist scholar Silvestre de Sacy to the Arabic hashish using their variant names assassin and assissini in the 19th century. Citing the example of one of the first written applications of the Arabic term hashish to the Ismailis by 13th century historian Abu Shama, de Sacy demonstrated its connection to the name given to the Ismailis throughout Western scholarship.The first known usage of the term hashishi has been traced back to 1122 when the Fatimid caliph al-Āmir employed it in derogatory reference to the Syrian Nizaris. Used figuratively, the term hashishi connoted meanings such as outcasts or rabble. Without actually accusing the group of using the hashish drug, the Caliph used the term in a pejorative manner. This label was quickly adopted by anti-Ismaili historians and applied to the Ismailis of Syria and Persia. The spread of the term was further facilitated through military encounters between the Nizaris and the Crusaders, whose chroniclers adopted the term and disseminated it across Europe.

During the medieval period, Western scholarship on the Ismailis contributed to the popular view of the community as a radical sect of assassins, believed to be trained for the precise murder of their adversaries. By the 14th century, European scholarship on the topic had not advanced much beyond the work and tales from the Crusaders. The origins of the word forgotten, across Europe the term Assassin had taken the meaning of "professional murderer". In 1603 the first Western publication on the topic of the Assassins was authored by a court official for King Henry IV and was mainly based on the narratives of Marco Polo from his visits to the Near East. While he assembled the accounts of many Western travelers, the author failed to explain the etymology of the term Assassin.

According to Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf:

    Their contemporaries in the Muslim world would call them hash-ishiyun, "hashish-smokers"; some orientalists thought that this was the origin of the word "assassin", which in many European languages was more terrifying yet ... The truth is different. According to texts that have come down to us from Alamut, Hassan-i Sabbah liked to call his disciples Asasiyun, meaning people who are faithful to the Asās, meaning "foundation" of the faith. This is the word, misunderstood by foreign travelers, that seemed similar to "hashish".

Another modern author, Edward Burman, states that:

    Many scholars have argued, and demonstrated convincingly, that the attribution of the epithet "hashish eaters" or "hashish takers" is a misnomer derived from enemies of the Isma'ilis and was never used by Muslim chroniclers or sources. It was therefore used in a pejorative sense of "enemies" or "disreputable people". This sense of the term survived into modern times with the common Egyptian usage of the term Hashasheen in the 1930s to mean simply "noisy or riotous". It is unlikely that the austere Hassan-i Sabbah indulged personally in drug taking ... there is no mention of that drug hashish in connection with the Persian Assassins – especially in the library of Alamut ("the secret archives").