A hashishin, also spelled "hashshashin" or "assassin," is a member of a medieval sect known for their use of hashish, a drug made from cannabis, before carrying out assassinations. The group is believed to have originated in the late 11th century in the region that is now Iran and Iraq, and they were active until the 13th century.
The hashishins were known for their extreme devotion to the leader of their order, known as the "Old Man of the Mountain." It is said that the leader would offer young men from the tribe the opportunity to join the order and partake in a drug-induced dream state in which they were promised the pleasures of Paradise. It is also said that, these men would also get convinced that these paradise are real, if they were to die in their actions for the leader.
The hashishins were feared for their brutal assassinations, which they carried out with great precision and stealth. They were known to target political leaders, as well as other high-profile figures, and were rumored to have used a variety of methods to carry out their kills, including poisoning, strangling, and stabbing.
However, most of the information we have about the Hashishin is based on tales and legends, many of which have been passed down through the centuries. The real history and practices of the group remain somewhat shrouded in mystery.
It is also worth noting that the word “assassin” has come to mean “a murderer, especially one who kills a politically prominent person”, is believed to have been derived from the word “Hashishin” but this is not entirely proven.
In conclusion, the Hashishin were a medieval sect that were known for their use of hashish before carrying out assassinations. While many of the stories and legends about them have been passed down through the ages, the true history and practices of the group remain a mystery.