Babak Khorramdin was an anti-Arab rebel from a Zoroastrian family. Babak (below) was born near Ardabil in Azarbayjan. When his father died, he was given responsibility of the family at a Zoroastrian ceremony in a fire temple.
Later he joined the Khorram Dinan (those of joyful religion) Movement. The Khorram Dinan was a religious political group with roots in Zoroastrianism. They wore red clothing so sometimes they are known as Sorkh Jamegan (red dress wearers).
In 816, Babak became the leader of the Khorram Dinan Movement and led many attacks against the Abbasid rule in Iran defeating them each time. He gathered 100,000 followers from Armenia to Balkh in Central Asia to Basra in Iraq.
However, in 835, Caliph al Mu’tasim who was afraid of Babak’s popularity asked his Persian General, Afshin Kheydar, to attack Babak’s forces. Afshin eventually captured Babak’s castle (below) in Azarbayjan.
Babak had to flee to Armenian. But the king of Armenia, who was bribed, refused to give him refuge. Instead, he handed Babak to Afshin, who took him to Bagdad. In 838, the Caliph executed Babak and many of his followers.
Despite Babak's death, his movement lasted in Iran until the Safavid rule in sixteenth century. Some scholars believe that the Ghizilbash ( Red Head) Movement which helped establish the Safavid rule were in fact the descendants of the Khorram Dinan.