Shakir was a tough and resilient man, familiar with the tactics of criminals; he was able to hold his own against multiple attackers. His dedication to capturing his prey was so great that he travelled thousands of miles to the Emirate of Granada in pursuit of a vicious Turkish murderer who fled there to continue his killing spree. Shakir dispatched him and brought his body to the local authorities for payment.
Muhammad XII, the Sultan of Granada, caught wind of his dedication and offered him a king's ransom to work for him exclusively. Shakir accepted and performed his duties with ruthless efficiency. Trusted greatly by the Sultan, Shakir sometimes received information on the criminals he was hunting from the Assassins, the Sultan's allies.
After the fall of Granada in 1492, Shakir was left jobless, and with no love for the Spanish, he sought to honor the memory of his former employer. He contacted the Brotherhood through his previous contacts and offered his services to them in hunting their Templar enemies.
- "Shakir" (شاكر) is an Arabic name meaning "thankful," derived from shakara (شَكَرَ) meaning "to thank." "Al-Zahid" (الظهير) is an Arabic honorific surname meaning "the supporter."
- Shakir al-Zahid's appearance is almost identical to that of Shahkulu, a Turkmen renegade during the early 16th century who was a member of the Byzantine Rite of the Templar Order.