Rashid ad-Din Sinan was born between the years 1132 and 1135 in Basra, southern Iraq, to a prosperous family. According to his autobiography, of which only fragments survive, Rashid came to Alamut, the centre of the Assassins, as a youth after an argument with his brothers, and received the typical Assassin training. In 1162, the sect's leader Ḥassan ʿAlā Dhikrihi's Salām sent him to Syria, where he proclaimed Qiyamah, which in Nizari terminology meant the time of the Qa'im and the removal of Islamic law. Based on the Nizari stronghold Masyaf, he controlled the northern Syrian districts of Jabal as-Summaq, Maarrat Misrin and Sarmin.
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