Hassan II (Imam)

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Ḥasan ʿAlā Dhikrihi's Salām[1] (Persian/Arabic: حسن على ذكره السلام‎) or Hassan II was the hereditary Imam of the Nizari Ismailis from 1162 until 1166. From his capital of Alamut he ruled parts of Persia and Syria. His chief subordinate in Syria was Rashid ad-Din Sinan, the Old Man of the Mountain.[2]

Biography[edit]

In 1164 Hassan, leading the Nizari sect of Ismaili Islam, proclaimed the Qiyamat, the abrogation of Sharia law. The concept of Qiyamah in exoteric Islam means the End of the World and the Day of Judgment. But in the esoteric interpretations of Ismaili Islam, Qiyamah is the beginning of an era of spiritual renaissance where the spiritual dimensions of Islam will be practiced openly, spiritual truths will become widely known, and certain ritualistic aspects of Islam will be abrogated. Fatimid Ismaili texts from the 10th-11th century describe the anticipated arrival of the Qiyamah era by a future Fatimid Ismaili Imam. These expectations were fulfilled by the declaration of Qiyamah by Imam Hasan ala-dhrikihi al-salam.

Declaration of the qiyama[edit]

Only two years after his accession, the Imām Hasan ‘ala dhikri al-salam, conducted a ceremony known as qiyama (resurrection) at the grounds of the Alamut Castle, whereby the Imām would once again become visible to his community of followers in and outside of the Nizārī Ismā'īlī state. Given Juwayni's polemical aims, and the fact that he burned the Ismā'īlī libraries which may have offered much more reliable testimony about the history, scholars have been dubious about his narrative but are forced to rely on it given the absence of alternative sources. Fortunately, descriptions of this event are also preserved in Rashid al-Din’s narrative and recounted in the Haft Bab Baba-yi Sayyidna, written 60 years after the event, and the later Haft Bab-i Abi Ishaq, an Ismaili book of the 15th century AD. However, Rashid al-Din's narrative is based on Juwayni, and the Nizari sources do not go into specific details.[3]:149 Since very few contemporary Nizari Ismaili accounts of the events has survived, and it is likely that scholars will never know the exact details of this event. However, there was no TOTAL abrogation of ALL law - only certain exoteric rituals like the Namaz, Fasting in Ramadan, Hajj to Makkah and facing Makkah in prayer were abrogated; however the Nizaris continued to perform rituals of worship, except these rituals were more esoteric and spiritually oriented. For example, the true prayer is to remember God at every moment; the true fasting is to keep all of the body's organs away from whatever is unethical and forbidden. Ethical conduct is enjoined at all times.

Death[edit]

The Imām Hasan ‘ala dhikrihi al-salam died a violent death[4] in 1166, only a year and a half after the declaration of the qiyama. According to Juwayni, he was stabbed in the Ismaili castle of Lambasar by his brother in law, Hasan Namwar. He was succeeded by his son Imām Nūr al-Dīn Muhammad, who refined and explained Imam Hasan's doctrine of qiyamah in greater detail.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Also transliterated as Ḥasan ʿAlā Zikrihi's Salām, Ḥasan ʿAlā Dhikrihi al-Salām and Ḥasan ʿAlā Dhikrihi as-Salām.
  2. ^ Slack, Corliss K. (2009). The A to Z of the Crusades. Scarecrow Press. p. 34. ISBN 9780810863316. 
  3. ^ Hodgson, Marshall G.S. (2005). The Secret Order of Assassins: The Struggle of the Early Nizārī Ismā'īlīs Against the Islamic World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 9780812219166. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Peter Lamborn (1993). Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam. City Lights Books. pp. 63–64. ISBN 9780872862753. 

External links[edit]

Hassan II
of the Ahl al-Bayt
Clan of the Banu Quraish
Born: 1142/1145 C.E Died: 1166 C.E.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Muḥammad ibn Kiyā Buzurg-Ummīd
(3rd Nizārī Ismā'īlī Da'i at Alamut)
4th Ruler of Nizārī Ismā'īlī state
and Commander of Alamut Castle

1164–1166
Succeeded by
Nūr al-Dīn Muḥammad II
(‘A'lā Muḥammad)
Shia Islam titles
Preceded by
Al-Qāhir ibn Al-Muḥammad
(Hassan I - 3rd concealed imām)
Ḥasan ʿAlā Dhikrihi's Salām
23rd Imām of Nizārī Ismā'īlīs

1164–1166
Succeeded by
Nūru-d-Dīn Muḥammad II
(‘A'lā Muḥammad)