Salah Al-Din Ibn Ayyub
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 and Syria, he is also the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty which ruled Egypt and Syria from 1169 to 1250 A.D. He is considered 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 achievement 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 that you can witness during your Egypt tours packages or Cairo tours.
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. 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, Alleppo, and Iraq. He was able to unite all the Muslim from all across the Arab world and prepare them for Jihad and for a counter-crusade against the Christians. 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 in 1189 to take back Jerusalem, 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 safe passage and access for the Christian Pilgrims to the Holy Places.
In 1193, Salah El-Din passed away and was buried in his Mausoleum in Damascus Syria, 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 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. He was shown in medieval art as being a great king and a heroic figure.