Hashim ibn Hakim was a religious dissident living in 8th century Persia. He mixed elements of Zoroastrianism and Islam, and styled himself the Veiled Prophet because he always covered his face with a veil. His followers claimed that this was because his face was too luminous to see. They also attributed some supernatural powers to him, such as making two moons appear in the sky.
His rebellion became a thread to the caliphs of Baghdad, and when his fortress was under siege in 779, he ordered his wives, family, and slaves to drink poison, and then committed suicide. His followers continued to be active until the 12 century as the People in White Clothes who awaited his return.
Game and Story Use
- This guy seems to be a good model for an "Evil Cult Leader" in historic times.
- And maybe he has fanatical followers even in the modern age - especially if he really did return.
- Maybe the Order of the Veiled Prophet was inspired by more than poems about him…
- It wouldn't be surprising if lots of occult and forbidden knowledge has been preserved by his cult. This generally happens, at least in role-playing games…
- The Veil and Luminous face idea may have been derived from the story of Moses - specifically the incident that was mistranslated as referring to Mose's horns.
- Of course there may have been rather more prosaic reasons for the veil - such as concealing his identity, gender or the fact that he was, in fact, several different people.
- Or more more horrific ones, especially for H.P. Lovecraft fans.