This is with reference to the letter, ‘Paradise revisited’ (Dec 21). Hasan bin Sabbah was negatively portrayed by his opponents in the past. He was a renowned Islamic scholar and a man of extraordinary intelligence.
Peter Willey’s book Eagle’s Nest and Myths by Dr Farhad Daftry, both published by the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), London, give the real scenario of Almut and Hassan bin Sabbah.
Most importantly, modern scholarship on Iranian, particularly Almut, studies has rejected the myth about enticing the Fidaeen for the senseless murder of innocent people.
However, the reality is that they themselves were victim of different attacks by their enemies, and Halaku Khan killed 12,000 Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims in Almut and at the same time burnt their libraries which were full of research works on religion, metaphysics, engineering, medicine and many more disciplines.
The flames of the fire could be seen for almost six months. In fact, the Fidaeen were defenders of their land and dignity but never suicide bombers.
MASOOD ALI KHAN – HUNZAI