By: Mir M.Hosseini
Babak Khorramdin leaded the first serious resistance against Caliph discrimination after the death of Abu Muslim. Babak's leadership between 816-837 was one of the most significant periods in the Iranian history because of the indisputable influence it had on preservation of Persian language and culture which efficiently stood against Aniranian attacks.
After Babak Khorramdin won a decisive victory over Caliph's general at Hashtadsar in 829, his popularity all over Iran shook the bases of Abbasi authority. Therefore another Iranian general named Afshin was deployed to suppress the Khorramdin uprising. Indeed Khorramdin movement was a new version of Mazdakism which also came up as a mutation of Islam and Zoroastrianism. It is not quite clear where and how exactly Afshin defeated Babak but there are indications that some of Babak's tribal allies were bribed and joined Afshin's strong army along with Arab and Turkish commanders. Babak, now in his 40s tried to cut off supply routes while fighting Al Motasem forces during 835-836 while restraining from killing his fellow citizens, but the other side was brutal and destructive, capturing and destroying one stronghold after the other. Afshin received reinforcement in 837 and launched a full scale attack. Babak lost most of his men and barely escaped with a few men to Armenia. Before he was betrayed by the Armenian leader, Afshin had sent him Al Motasem's amnesty message which Babak rejected. He had stated that he'd prefer to die than living as a slave.
After his arrest, Babak was sent to Samara where he was amputated before being killed. Although Al Motasem hung his body at the city gate and put Babak's head on display in many cities in order to create fear among Iranians, his legend lingered on and people remembered him as the hero that did not give up to the last drop of his blood.
Afshin could not enjoy rewards of his heinous acts. As soon as Caliph thought that he was gaining toomuch power, he invited him to Samara, got Afshin arrested in 840. Afshin was kept in a dungeon with no water and food until he witnessed his own tragically slow death.