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Final Edited Assassins Have Remained Controversial in History

Final Edited Assassins Have Remained Controversial in History

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Published by Aazar Ali

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Published by: Aazar Ali on May 31, 2010
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04/27/2011

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 Assassins the Warriors and Conquerors.
Assassins have remained controversial in history. Looking closely, Assassins means
murderers
”.
The word Assassin means murder and cult of opium eaters in general.
 Nizari Ismailis were generally considered to be Assassin or 
Malahida’s or Fidais
in the past, asthey have been accused to kill people and create fear among the masses. Few allegations on themwere, they were killers, they took hashish – (a drug which causes hallucinations)
Bhang 
, andused to enjoy dance of beautiful women in the garden of their castles. It has also been claimedthat
 Fidais ( 
Assassins) used self immolation tactics to kill people. Many scholars also believethat today the Taliban and other extreme Muslim wings has taken inspiration from Assassins,and are using tactics such as Suicide bombing to show self immolation and generate fear in people at large.
Fidais’ 
scholar, warrior, and leader of the tribe Hassan bin Sabah, claimed to play a role of villain in the Middle East to capture the castles of Iran. There were manyallegations against Nizari Ismailis, which were found to be false later on which I will bediscussing today.Firstly, historians such as Juwayni, Marco Polo and many more, who have written on Assassins probably held an Anti-Ismaili perspective. They were either Christians or under the kingdom of Sunni Seljuk leaders. Christians were not well acquainted with Muslim history and beliefs.Secondly, they had to relinquish their religious and political stance because in past they hadsuffered many defeats at the hands of Muslims. And, political subversion of Christians toMuslims (mention year) was also a cause to take Anti-Ismaili view about them. Moreover, theydidn’t have firsthand knowledge of Muslims. Many of the Christian writers have been accused tomix up between Sunnis and Shia’as and sect among Shia’as as well
.
For example, they startedmixing up twelver Shia’as and Ismailis. Anti-Ismaili thought was also provoked because of Ismaili rule.Generally, every government has an opposition, and political domination was giving rise tonotoriety through rivals. In addition, Sunni Seljuks were badly hurt by Assassins; it is prettyobvious that Seljuk’s would have tried to defame Ismailis. However, things which were in favor of Ismailis were smashed by Mongols who burnt all
Al-Mout 
Libraries in Iran, the books andarticles that went in favor of Ismailis. And, Mongols are known to be ruthless and villainous because of their mass killings. In short, every political regime has its own critics; these criticshave propagated Anti Ismaili view against Assassins. Also,” History is written by thevictors”,said by W “The so-called lessons of history are for the most part the rationalizations of the victors. History is written by the survivorsSaid by Max lerner 
 
Few Christians historian like Marco Polo, are the one who manipulated word “
 Hashish
” a drugwith Ismailis. Later,
Malihada’s
or Ismailis were generally known to be as Assassins. It is truethat Ismailis had killed many people for their cause. People who were generally killed weresoldiers, leaders and manipulators of opposition. The man who came up with idea of killingindividuals is named as Hassan bin Sabah. His main cause was to defend his land and people. Inorder to keep a hold, he developed a strategy to kill enemies individually rather than killingmasses. This strategy was effective because he did not have ample amount of army and didn’twant to kill innocent people. Moreover, killing your opposition is just like saving your self fromharm
.
So, it was defensive and aggressive strategy at the same time to avoid war, and to captureland and political dominance. Wars are never good for any side; they only create tons of dead bodies. Criticizing assassins for killings becomes quite questionable because their strategy wassafe for everyone.Using “
hashish
” as drug by
 Fidais
in order to remain in semi consciousness was another allegation. Substance abuse can be correctly used to mention their situation. It is a general perception; people who take drugs are generally addicted. That means, they remain in semiconsciousness most of the time. On the other hand, highly trained, skilled military soldiers, whoare efficient in killing leaders of opposition can, remain in semi consciousness most of the time?It would be quite impossible to complete their task under the influence of 
hashish.
However,addictive drugs make you lethargic, dull and lazy. Where as, Assassins were found to be active, patient, dexterous, energetic and attentive all the time.Just like all the other allegations, Marco Polo has accused Ismailis for enjoying the dance of thewomen in their gardens of Castle. However, a historian named as Juwayni who has written Anti-Ismaili thoughts said that he didn’t see any such kind of garden in Ismailis Castles. Moreover, itis found that Marco Polo has written history on the oral references, local informants told himabout Assassins. However, history is already a doubtable thing where a person sees writes andquotes things from his perspective. And, another person sees things from his own perspective.Where as, oral traditions is found to be weak in historical terms generally.Surprisingly, Assassins are now been associated with Taliban, who are using a tactic of self immolation for their cause. Contemporary Scholars said, Taliban took inspiration fromAssassins. However, cause of Assassins to sacrifice their life for the religion, to protect their  people and to defend their land. Killing masses was not their strategy. Killing people who areinnocent was wrong in their view. However, Taliban are creating fear among people, killingmasses and sacrifice their life for religion. Killing innocent people is not wish of God, it is highlyunethical. On the other hand,
Ismailis sect of Islam dwelling at Alamaut has alwayssupported esoteric ways of life than exoteric.
Self Sacrifice was a spiritual sacrifice not a physical one always. Many people have confused it with in exoteric way, giving physical bodyrather than spirit. However, it is true that many
 fidais
gave physical sacrifice for the sake of religion. But, soldiers are always meant to sacrifice their life for their cause. In brief, Cause of 
 
Taliban and Assassins might be same but strategies, and view to see world and religion isdifferent. And this should not be confused.Lastly, strongest argument of medieval writers was that ‘Old Man of the mountain’ Hassan binSabah was the conspirer and bone of contention to other political leaders. It is said, if Hassanwere to ask life from
fidais
, they drink hashish and fall from top of the castle in order to showsacrifice. Whereas, Hassan was charismatic leader and political genius. Initially, in the rule of Seljuk, he invaded into
 Al-mout 
as teacher to the children of garrison. His aim was to capture Al-
mout 
for his community. Mingling with people, satisfying their needs was his general courteous behavior. After few months, people started accepting him as their leader. Prime objective was to preach and lead in
 Al-mout 
and to protect his community people from depredations’ of hatedSeljuk and to advance the cause of Ismaili Islam.
 Al mout 
was a hub of Iran. Capturing
 Al mout 
was a great opportunity to accomplish his objective. He slowly and gradually captured whole
 Al-mout 
. After few months, Hassan asked Seljuk governor to leave castle, in return the leader willnot be harmed.Also, he gave 3000 gold dinars on the name of Seljuk leader as the price of castle. However,historian peter Willey and Farhad Daftry said, material related to Hassan was blistered by allMongols in their kingdom. They found very less first hand resource on Hassan Bin Sabah.In conclusion, Assassins had been portrayed in negative image because of rivalry and Anti-thoughts. Many false allegations made them infamous. Real facts are very less. Less peopleknow about actual history of Assassins. However, it would be wrong to say that Assassins haddone nothing, but what they did was just playing role of a soldier of their Sect. And, Lax of morality in assassins is still a questionable statement to prove. Farhad Daftary writes in"TheAssassin Legends" (London, 1994, p. 84) that, "In sum, mediaeval Europeans learned very littleabout Islam and Muslims, and their less well-versed knowledge of the Ismailis found appearancein a few shallow observations and incorrect perceptions spotted in Crusader histories and other occidental sources”.References:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1109210/postsEagle nest, peter Willey from Page, 61-63.Page # 55, Eagle nest.Page #54 4
th
paragraphs, 551,4
th
paragraphs, Eagle nest.Assassins the legends, Farhad Daftry, page # 160-179Eagle nest, peter Willey from Page 21-36, 61-63.

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