Cassim is the father of Aladdin. Long before the events of the first film, he left his wife and young son in order to find a better life for the poverty-stricken family. While he was gone, Aladdin's mother died, leaving Aladdin as a presumed orphan. As such, when Cassim returned to Agrabah, he could not find his family and forcibly returned to the life of thievery. At some point, he became involved with the Forty Thieves, eventually becoming their leader, and began a search for the Hand of Midas, which could turn things into gold.
Role in the film
In the third movie, Cassim leads a raid on Agrabah in an attempt to find the Oracle, which could answer a single question about any subject, in the hopes of using it to find the Hand of Midas. The raid is ultimately unsuccessful but interrupts and ruins Aladdin and Princess Jasmine's wedding. He gets in a fight with the groom, Aladdin, unaware that he is his son as he has not seen him since he was a baby.
After the wedding, Aladdin unexpectedly finds the Oracle, and learns of the survival of his father, whom he had presumed was deceased, and his location with the Forty Thieves. Aladdin tracks the Forty Thieves to their hideout but learns that his father is actually Cassim, their leader, rather than a prisoner. Cassim is overjoyed to be reunited with his son after so many years of thinking he was dead but is interrupted by Sa'Luk, saying Aladdin must die because he intruded on their hideout. Cassim, knowing he has no choice, seemingly agrees, then suggests Aladdin face "The Challenge", which will grant him membership in the Forty Thieves if he succeeds.
Aladdin gains entrance into the Forty Thieves by fighting and defeating Sa'Luk in a fight. After learning from Cassim the real reasons for his departure from their family, Aladdin decides to help Cassim get into the palace. At first, things go very well and he quickly bonds with his future daughter-in-law Jasmine and the Sultan. However, Cassim is convinced by Iago to rob the Oracle in the royal treasury and is arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. Aladdin helps Cassim escape prison, but refuses Cassim's pleas to flee the city and abandon Jasmine as his father did with him. Aladdin heads back to Agrabah to take responsibility for his actions, while a reluctant Iago joins Cassim alone.
Cassim returns to the Forty Thieves with Iago, bitter from his fight with Aladdin, saying the thieves are his only family, where he discovers that Sa'Luk has usurped control and turned the remaining Thieves against him. Cassim is then imprisoned by the Thieves. In order to prove his loyalty to Sa'Luk and the gang, Cassim uses the stolen Oracle to locate the Hand of Midas and leads the Thieves to its location, a marble fortress on the back of a gigantic sea turtle.
Aladdin eventually returns, having been warned by Iago of his father's capture, and releases him. The two reconcile and recover the Hand of Midas. Suddenly, Sa'Luk attacks and threatens Cassim to give the Hand to him, or else he will kill Aladdin. Refusing to sacrifice his son for the treasure he sought, Cassim tosses the Hand to Sa'Luk, who catches it by the golden hand itself (instead of the bronze handle) and is instantly transformed into a permanent golden statue and falls into the sea below. The more athletic Aladdin jumps to recover the Hand (using a cloth to protect his skin to avoid the same fate that befell Sa'Luk), then returns it to Cassim, remarking to his father that it pays to have a junior partner.
After escaping, Cassim has a change of heart and chooses to throw the Hand away, having realized the pain his obsession brought and that Aladdin was more precious to him the whole time. Although Cassim did not seek revenge against the Forty Thieves for their betrayal, he unintentionally causes their demises as the Hand accidentally lands on their ship, turning it to gold. The solid gold ship proves unseaworthy, and it sinks to the bottom of the sea.
Cassim returns to Agrabah with Aladdin, and witnesses Aladdin's wedding from the shadows, as he is still a wanted criminal. Cassim then accepts Iago as a traveling partner, and the pair travel to see the world, but not before waving goodbye to his son and a new daughter-in-law who were flying on their Magic Carpet.
- Cassim is named after the infamous brother of Ali Baba from the original tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, which the film is based on. In an ironic twist, the Cassim in this story played the role of a villain who found the Forty Thieves' treasure by forcing Ali Baba to tell him. But after stealing their treasure, he was discovered by the thieves and killed, unlike this version who became their leader.
- Ironically, his son Aladdin's alias in the first film as part of his first wish, Ali-Ababwa, was similar to Cassim's brother Ali Baba.
- Before putting Cassim, it was decided that Aladdin's lost relative role was given to Mozenrath as his twin brother but the team did not want to link the movie with the TV series so they created Cassim, Aladdin's lost father.
- Initially, plans actually called for Cassim to be voiced by Sean Connery, but Disney decided that Connery would be too distracting for the audience, so John Rhys-Davies was given the role instead. Cassim was modeled after Connery, as a reference to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and interestingly, John Rhys-Davies previously portrayed Sallah in both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
- Interestingly enough, Cassim's role in Aladdin and the King of Thieves makes the film very similar to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, since both Cassim and Henry Jones are depicted as the estranged fathers of the series' main protagonists due to their obsession with finding a lost treasure (the Hand of Midas and the Holy Grail), and in each movie, the fathers' colleague is revealed to be the true villain (Sa'Luk and Walter Donovan), and is destroyed by the treasure they so desired (Sa'Luk is turned into a gold statue by the Hand of Midas while Donovan drinks from a false Grail and ages into dust). By the end of each movie, the father realises his son was his true treasure and makes amends with them, letting go of their obsessions. The only notable difference is that Aladdin believed his father had died before he was born and only learned of his survival via the Oracle, while Indiana Jones knew he was alive yet didn't have a good relationship with him initially.
- Cassim was mentioned by name in the novel A Whole New World (A Twisted Tale).
- A version of Aladdin's father appeared in issue 5 of the comic book series published by Marvel Comics. He was a lamp seller named Hamid and is married to a woman named Zena.
- Cassim is alluded to in the 2019 remake of Aladdin. When Jasmine asks Aladdin about his parents, he makes it clear that his mother is dead, but after being asked about his father, Aladdin responds that he lost both of his parents long ago, making it ambiguous as to whether or not Aladdin's father is alive in the continuity of the remake.