ḤASAN II, ʿALĀ ḎEKREHE’L-SALĀM, Nezāri Ismaʿili Imam and the fourth ruler of Alamut (557-61/1162-66). Born in 520/1126, Ḥasan II, whom the Nezāris call ʿalā Ḏekrehe’l-salām (on his mention be peace), succeeded to the leadership of the Nezāri Ismaʿili daʿwa and state on the death of the third ruler of Alamut, Moḥammad b. Bozorg-Omid on 4 Rabiʿ I 557/21 February 1162. Ḥasan is said to have developed an early interest in learning Ismaʿili doctrines as well as studying philosophical and Sufi writings. In particular, he became well-versed in taʾwil, or esoteric exegesis, which had been applied by the Ismaʿilis to Koranic passages as well as the commandments and prohibitions of the šariʿa (Islamic law). Already in the time of Moḥammad b. Bozorg-Omid (532-57/1138-62), Ḥasan II had acquired followers who regarded him as the Imam promised by Ḥasan-e Ṣabbāḥ (q.v.), the first ruler of Alamut. Left without a manifest Imam since Nezār b. al-Mostanṣer’s death in 488/1095, the Nezāris had acknowledged Moḥammad b. Bozorg-Omid and his predecessors at Alamut merely as dāʿis and ḥojjas, or chief representatives, of their hidden Imams.
The most important event of Ḥasan II’s brief reign was his declaration of the qiāma (the Resurrection), which initiated a new phase in the history of the Nezāris of the Alamut period (483-654/1090-1256). After making careful preparations, in a solemn ceremony at Alamut on 17 Ramażān 559/8 August 1164 in the presence of representatives from different Nezāri territories who had been summoned there, Ḥasan II delivered a ḵoṭba and passed on new instructions from the hidden Nezāri Imam; according to these instructions the Nezāris had now been brought to the qiāma—the Resurrection was upon them. Soon afterwards, on 28 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 559/18 October 1164, a similar ceremony was held at the castle of Moʾmenā-bād to the east of Birjand, the local headquarters of the Nezāris in Qohestān. On that occasion Ḥasan II’s new declarations were read out to the representatives of the Nezāris of that region by Raʾis Moẓaffar, the moḥtašam, or chief, of the Qohestāni Nezāris. The ruler of Alamut had now also announced that, just as previously the Fatimid al-Mostanṣer had been God’s ḵalifa on earth, so now Ḥasan II himself was that ḵalifa. In other words, Ḥasan II had now also claimed the Nezāri Imamate for himself, at least implicitly. Subsequently Ḥasan II in his epistles (foṣul) implied more clearly that he was the Imam, the son of an Imam from the progeny of Nezār b. al-Mostanṣer, even though he had been considered to be the son of Moḥammad b. Bozorg-Omid. The contemporary Nezāris accepted this claim, which was reiterated more explicitly by Ḥasan II’s son and successor Nur-al-Din Moḥammad. It fell to Rāšed-al-Din Senān (d. 589/1193), the most famous of the Nezāri dāʿis in Syria and the original “Old Man of the Mountain” of the Crusaders, to declare the qiāma to the Syrian Nezāris soon after 559/1164.
By declaring the qiāma Ḥasan II had in effect announced the Last Day, when mankind would be judged and committed forever to either Paradise or Hell. Relying heavily on Ismaʿili taʾwil, however, the qiāma and the end of the world as well as Paradise and Hell came to be interpreted symbolically in a spiritual sense: thus, it was eventually interpreted to mean the manifestation of the unveiled truth (ḥaqiqa) which had hitherto been hidden in the bāṭen or esoteric dimension of the Islamic message. This was made manifest in the person of the Nezāri Imam, who, as the enunciator of the qiāma, the “qāʾem al-qiāma,” held a rank even higher than that of an ordinary Imam. As a result, the members of the Ne-zāri community who acknowledged the Nezāri Imam were now capable of understanding the true esoteric meaning of the religious laws, and as such, Paradise was actualized for them in this world. At the same time, the non-Nezāris were henceforth cast into Hell, which was tantamount to spiritual non-existence. Joveyni, Rašid-al-Din, and Kāšāni, who are the main authorities on the history of the Persian Nezāri state, relate that, in line with the circumstances expected in the qiāma, the final eschatological dawr (q.v.; era of human history), Ḥasan II also announced the abrogation of the šariʿa, which had been enforced rigorously by his predecessors at Alamut.
In view of the absence of contemporary Nezāri sources from the qiāma times and the negative bias of the non-Ismaʿili sources on the subject it is difficult to know for certain how the declaration of the qiāma was actually perceived by the Nezāris, who continued to regard themselves as Ismaʿili Shiʿites. At any rate, Joveyni and other anti-Ismaʿili authorities, despite their hostile stances, do not report any instances of libertine and permissivist behavior amongst the Persian Nezāris immediately after the qiāma, even though the Nezāri leadership had now begun to stress the spiritual inner-interpretation of the law in preference to the blind observance of its literal meaning.
On Sunday 6 Rabiʿ I 561/9 January 1166, Ḥasan II ʿalā Ḏekrehe’l-salām was stabbed to death in the castle of Lammasar (Lanbasar; west of Alamut) by Ḥasan b. Nā-māvar, a brother-in-law who opposed his new policies. Ḥasan’s son and successor, Nur-al-Din Moḥammad, devoted his own long reign (561-607/1166-1210) to a systematic elaboration of the doctrine of the qiāma.
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Abu’l-Qāsem ʿAbd-Allāh b. ʿAli Kāšāni, Zobdat al-tawāriḵ: baḵš-e Fāṭemiān wa Nezāriān, ed. Moḥammad-Taqi Dānešpažuh, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1366 Š./1987, pp. 199-208.
Abu Esḥāq Qohestāni, Haft bāb, ed. and tr. Wladimir Ivanow, Bombay, 1959, text: pp. 19, 24, 38-44, 46-47, 53, 58, 65; translation: pp. 19, 23, 38-44, 46-47, 53-54, 58, 65.
Rašid-al-Din Fażl-Allāh, Jāmeʿ al-tavāriḵ: qesmat-e Esmāʿiliān, ed. Moḥammad-Taqi Dānešpažuh and M. Modarresi-Zanjāni, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 162-70.
Anon., Haft bāb-e Bābā Sayyednā, in Two Early Ismaili Treatises, ed. Wladimir Ivanow, Bombay, 1933, pp. 4-44.
Secondary sources. Henry Corbin, “Huitième centenaire d’Alamut,” Mercure de France, February, 1965, pp. 285-304.
Idem, Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis, London, 1983, pp. 47-58, 97, 117, 155-56.
Farhad Daftary, The Ismāʿilis: Their History and Doctrines, Cambridge, 1990, pp. 385-92, 400-402, 408, 410-11, 415.
Idem, “Persian Historiography of the Early Nizāri Ismāʿilis,” Iran 30, 1992, pp. 91-97.
Idem, The Assassin Legends: Myths of the Ismaʿilis, London, 1994, pp. 40-41, 42, 78-79, 99, 145-46, 178.
Marshall G. S. Hodgson, The Order of Assassins, The Hague, 1955, pp. 148-59, 279-324 (containing the Eng. tr. of the anonymous Haft bāb-e Bābā Sayyednā).
Christian Jambet, La grande résurrection d’Alamut, Lagrasse, 1990, especially pp. 35-73, 95-135, 295 ff.
Ismail K. Poonawala, Biobibliography of Ismāʿili Literature, Malibu, Calif., 1977, pp. 257-58.
Originally Published: December 15, 2003
Last Updated: March 20, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. XII, Fasc. 1, pp. 24-25
Farhad Daftary, “ḤASAN II,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, XII/1, pp. 24-25, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/hasan-ii (accessed on 30 December 2012).