For many ancient centuries, people on all continents know the name of one of the greatest conquerors of all times who desired to build a great immortal legacy and spread peace across the nation. There has never been a more intelligent, brave, or honorable knight than Salah Al-Din who always showed mercy, kindness and created some of the most captivating works of architecture that changed the course of an entire country.
History of Salah El-Din
Salah al-din or Saladin which means The Righteousness of the Faith” (1137 A.D – 1193 A.D) was the first ruler and sultan of Egypt & Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty which ruled Egypt and Syria from 1169 to 1250 A.D. He is considered to be one of Islam greatest heroes as He led many military campaigns against the Crusaders and he’s also why the Egyptian flag bear’s an eagle in its center to represent his bravery. One of Saladin’s greatest achievements was over the Crusaders during the battle of Hattin in 1187 which led to the capture of the city of Jerusalem and other cities in the near east. In Egypt, he is most famous for the construction of Cairo’s citadel that contains an unbelievable amount of majestic mosques and beautiful constructions.
He was born as Salah al-din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub to a Kurdish Muslim family in 1137 A.D, in a small town of Tikrit in Syria. He was taught how to be a warrior and a strategist. He served as an officer in the armies of the Abbasid Caliphate of Syria. He was trained by his uncle Asad-al-Din Shirkoh, who was a commander of the Zengid Dynasty. he was capable of taking on leading responsibilities during military campaigns due to his extraordinary performance during battles. His great capabilities and cleverly executed tactics also allowed him to evolve from being a soldier to be the King of both Egypt and Syria.
In 1169, he succeeded his father as the vizier of the Abbasid Caliphate. He became the Sultan of Egypt after overthrowing the Fatimid dynasty in 1171. When he took control of Egypt, he worked on constructing a wall that goes all around Al-Qahira “Cairo“. In 1174, he began expanding his empire, and in twelve years, he was able to conquer Damascus, Aleppo, and Iraq.
The entire Arabian and western world became an admirer of his nobility and chivalry. He was able to unite all the Muslims from all across the Arab world under one vision and prepare them for Jihad and for a counter-crusade against the Christian crusaders. He was able to take control of the city of Jerusalem in 1187 after a brutal battle with the crusaders which lasted for three months. And when King Richard The Lionheart” gathered his forces to take back Jerusalem with the third crusade, but he wasn’t able to break Saladin’s defenses so Richard and the Crusaders had to settle for a treaty with Saladin instead, that granted amnesty and safe passage to the crusader army and access for the Christian Pilgrims to the Holy Places.
Family of Salah El-Din
Saladin has seventeen sons and one daughter from his various wives, his main spouse was Ismat ad-din Khatun and he was followed by his son Al-Aziz Uthman who took control of Egypt and Al-Afdal who took control of Syria.
In 1193, Salah El-Din passed away and was buried in his Mausoleum in Damascus Syria outside the Umayyad mosque, but his legacy stayed intact as in the Arabic and Islamic history he was considered to be a symbol of bravery and resistance. And, despite the fact that he was considered an enemy all across Europe, he was admired for being a symbol for nobility, honor, and chivalry and shown in medieval art as being a great king and a heroic figure as when he took Jerusalem, he spared the lives of the Christian population and gave a safe passage to the defeated crusaders unlike when the first crusade slaughtered the entire city. He even sent over his personal physician to King Richard who was wounded in battle.
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