It would be great if everyone could contribute whatever little they know.
As a soldier, a ruler, and a human being, Sultan Salahuddin Ayubi was a person of phenomenal attributes. The hero of hundreds of battles was the person who for 20 years braved the storm of the Crusaders and ultimately pushed them back. The world has hardly witnessed a more chivalrous and humane conqueror. His unmatchable battle tactics and gallantry as a soldier, heroic statesmanship and his strength of character won him the respect of even his foes.
As a soldier, Salahuddin is known for liberating the holy city of Jerusalem from the Christian armies, known as the Crusaders. This was not an ordinary feat, considering the strength and resources of the crusaders who had gathered from all over Europe to occupy the holy city (in 1099) and had established their strong foothold after the victory, not only in Jerusalem but also in the neighboring lands.
Jerusalem was under the Muslims rule ever since it was conquered in 638 Hijra by Hazrat Umar bin Khattab, the second caliph. The Muslims, however, over the span of four centuries, could not keep their unity and cohesiveness. Weakened by their internal strife, they were divided into different factions. They could not stand the strength of the crusaders, until Sultan Salahuddin appeared on the scene. He reunited the Muslims and served a fatal blow to the crusaders, forcing them to eventually give up their crusades against the Muslims.
Born in 1137, to the ruler of Tikrit (Iraq), Najamuddin, of a prominent Kurdish family, Salahuddin showed remarkable talents. From a young age, he participated in many battles and became a soldier par excellence. While fighting along with Nuruddin Zangi to liberate Syria from the crusaders, Nuruddin recognized the extraordinary genius in him and provided him several opportunities of leadership and challenges which he brilliantly met.
Salahuddin al-Ayyubi, better known in the West as Saladin, established a state comprising the countries of Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Western Arabia towards the end of the twelfth century After Christ.
He is regarded in the world as a chivalrous man, who displayed high qualities of generosity and kindliness in the field of battle to friend and foe which were very rare even among the heroes of the time.
The Third Crusade by the Christians took place in his time and those Christians who took part in it could not help but admire and respect the Sultan as an extremely skilful and noble enemy.
Salahuddin was born in 1138 A.C. Although his early years were spent in obscurity, he showed signs of great promise in his youth and he reached the high office of a Wazier (Minister) in the court of the Fatimid Khalifah in Egypt.
Salahuddin's energy, determination and resourcefulness soon opened more avenues for progress. In 1175 A.C. when the last of the Fatimid Khalifahs died, Salahuddin declared his independence, and later the Khalifah at Baghdad confirmed him as the Sultan of Egypt and Arabia. Salahud-deen soon added portions of Syria under his rule and he was looked upon as the most powerful head of a considerable part of the Muslim world.
A number of Christian states were established in Syria by the Crusaders, and from these, Muslim caravans were often attacked and harassed by the Christians. This forced the Sultan to take up arms, as a result of which the whole of Palestine was conquered by him. This brought about a complete unification of Syria and Egypt.
This sparked off the Third Crusade (1189 A.C.) in which the Roman Empire, France and England joined hands to challenge Islam. The struggle continued for three years during which the Christians suffered so many defeats that they were thoroughly disillusioned. They soon realised the futility of their efforts and adopted a policy of reconciliation, and a peace treaty was concluded in 1192 A. C. The Sultan's greatest achievement was to crush the Crusaders and to reconquer Jerusalem from the Christians in 1187 A.C.
The generosity, the magnanimity and the high sense of morality which the Sultan displayed in that hour of his triumph, have been universally applauded by the historians. Says one: "if the taking of Jerusalem were the only fact known about Saladin, it were enough to prove him the most chivalrous and great-hearted conqueror of his own and perhaps of any age." (Saladin by Stanley Lane-Pole).
Sultan Salahuddin was a just, merciful and chivalrous man who won unstinted praise from even his enemies. There was not a trace of fanaticism in Sultan Salahuddin. He always treated people of every religious group with equal fairness. He was not only a warrior but a cultured ruler, who patronised great scholars. He found public schools and academies, established free hospitals. His piety, magnanimity and generosity were household words even beyond the borders of his empire.
The citadel of Cairo, which he built as his residence bears testimony to his energy and enterprise in the field of architecture.
He died in Damascus, in the year 1193 A.C.
A quote from Salahuddin:
"We hope in Allah Most High, to whom be Praise. Who leads the hearts of Muslims to calm what torments them and ruins their prosperity.
Where is the sense of honor of the Muslims? The pride of the Believers? The zeal of the Faithful?
We shall never cease to be amazed at how the disbelievers for their part have shown trusts, and it is the Muslims who have been lacking in zeal. Not one of them has responded to the call.
Not one intervenes to straighten what is distorted; but observe how far the Franks have gone. What unity they have achieved. What aims they pursue. What help they have given. What sums of money they have borrowed and spent. What wealth they have collected and distributed and divided amongst them.
There is not a king left in their lands or islands, not a lord or a rich man who has not competed with his neighbors to produce more support and rival his peers in strenuous military efforts. In defense of their religion they consider it a small thing to spend life and soul; and they have kept their infidel brothers supplied with arms and champions of war; and all they have done and all their generosity has been done purely out of zeal for him they worship in jealous defense of their faith.
The Muslims on the other hand are weakened and demoralized; they have become negligent and lazy, the victims of unproductive stupefaction and completely lacking in enthusiasm. If, Allah forbid, Islam should draw reign, obscure her splendor, blunt her sword there would be no one, east or west, far or near who would blaze the zeal for Allah's religion, or choose to come to the aid of Truth against Falsehood.
This is the moment to cast off laziness, to summon from far and near all those men who have blood in their veins; but we are confident [He speaks about himself and the small party of believers who began with him and then became a large party]; but we are confident thanks to Allah- alhamdulillah- in the help that will come from him and entrust ourselves to him in sincerity of purpose and deepest devotion.
Insha'Allah, Insha'Allah the disbelievers shall perish and the Faithful have a sure deliverance."
(Gentle hearted Saladin Ayyubi became one of the world's greatest warriors by defeating crusaders and capturing the holy city of Jerusalem.
He is remembered by Muslims as well as Non-Muslims as a kind hearted un-selfish Warrior. He was a religious person and followed the teachings of Quran (Book of God) and Prophet Muhammad’s teachings regarding War, he treated all of his Prisoners with Respect and dignity, no torture, massacre, mass killing, took place during his time. And unlike all other Sultan’s he did not build a single Palace or any building for himself yet he erected mosques, palaces, hospitals, and universities in for his Muslim brothers in Cairo.This is why he is a favourite topic to write on by even Westerners.
He is one of very few personages of the time of the Crusades that has managed to be positively described in both Western and Eastern sources. With his high position among his Western opponents, he has become a figure that have fascinated Western writers.
He is the hero of hundreds of battles, was the person who for twenty years braved the storm of the Crusaders and ultimately pushed back the combined forces of Europe which had come to swarm the Holy Land.)
This post has been edited by The-Mughal-Sister: 27 October 2011 - 11:06 PM