Atha Ben-hakehm (or Al-hakem Ibn-atta)

Atha Ben-Hakehm (or Al-Hakem Ibn-Atta)

surnamed Mokanna (the veiled), a Moslem impostor, was born at Merv, Khorassan, in the 8th century. He was by trade a fuller, and pretended to be the embodiment of the living spirit of God. .By his knowledge of philosophy and chemistry he was enabled to perform wonders and draw about him a large number-of followers. Having lost an eye, and being of a repulsive countenance, he always wore a veil, declaring that no one could behold his face and live. The caliph Mahdi sent an army against him, which besieged him in the castle of Keh, and caused him to put an end to his own life in 780. Some say that he set fire to his castle and threw himself into the flames, followed by many of his disciples; others, that he poisoned himself and his followers; and still others, that he threw himself into a caldron of acid, which he hoped might consume his body and create the impression that he had been removed by divine agency. He is the hero of The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan, in Moore's Lalla Rookh.

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