MOKANNA (al-Moqanna', the Veiled), the name given to Hakim, or "A^a, a man of unknown parentage, originally a fuller in Merv, who posed as an incarnation of Deity, and headed a revolt in Khorasan against the caliph Mahdi. For about three years he sustained himself in the field against the troops of the caliph and for two years longer in his fortress of Sanam; then, reduced to straits in 779, he and his followers took poison and set fire to the fortress. Much is related to his magical arts, especially of a moonlike light visible for an enormous distance which he made to rise from a pit near Nakhshab. He is the hero of the first part of Moore's Latta Rookh.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)