Nizam al-Mulk  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Abu Ali al-Hasan al-Tusi Nizam al-Mulk (1018–1092) was a Persian scholar and vizier of the Seljuq Empire. He was also for a short time the sole ruler of the Seljuq Empire.

Nizam al-Mulk was assassinated en route from Isfahan to Baghdad on 10 Ramadhan 485 A.H. (14 October 1092 C.E.) The mainstream literature says he was stabbed by the dagger of a member of the Assassins (Hashshashin) sent by the notorious Hassan-i-Sabbah near Nahavand, Persia, as he was being carried on his litter. The killer approached him disguised as a dervish.

This account is particularly interesting in light of a possibly apocryphal story recounted by Jorge Luis Borges. In this story a pact is formed between a young Nizam al-Mulk (at that time known as Abdul Khassem) and his two friends, Omar Khayyam and Hassan-i-Sabbah. Their agreement stated that if one should rise to prominence, that they would help the other two to do likewise. Nizam al-Mulk was the first to do this when he was appointed vizier to the sultan Alp Arslan. To fulfil the pact he offered both friends positions of rank within the court. Omar refused the offer, asking instead to be given the means to continue his studies indefinitely. This Nizam did, as well as building him an observatory. Although Hassan, unlike Omar, decided to accept the appointment offered to him, he was forced to flee after plotting to dispose Nizam as vizier. Subsequently, Hassan came upon and conquered the fortress of Alamut, from where he established the Assassins.

Another report says he was killed in secret by Malik Shah I in an internal power struggle. Consequently, his murder was avenged by the vizier's loyal academics of the Nizamiyyah, by assassinating the Sultan. The account is disputed and remains a controversy because of the long history of friendship between Malik Shah I and Nizam.

Another report says that he was assassinated with Malik Shah I in the same year, after a debate between Sunni and Shi'a scholars which was prepared by him by the orders of Malik Shah I and which resulted in converting him and the king to the Shi'a ideology. The story is reported by the son-in-law of Nizam al-Mulk, Muqatil bin Atiyyah who attended the debate.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Nizam al-Mulk" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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