Literature No. 2 - Salahuddin Yusuf Ayyub
(Saladin played by Ghassan Masoud in the movie Kingdom of Heaven. I love it~ ^_^ )
This name itself created the total sense of fear within the Europe during the Crusades. From this man, the Christian poets usually spoke the heretic word of "You will never win against the Saracens and the Muslims, they fight with valor and bravery in the name of God. Thus, they're the true soldiers sent by God Himself..".
Who is this man who was able to ignite the true fear and earned so much respects from the whole Europe, until the European historians like Dante and the kings of European countries like King Richard I the Lion-heart (He's not that lion-hearted for sure, pffft.) respected and admired him so much? He must had done great things that entitled him to earn such a great admiration and respect not only from the whole Muslim community in the world, but also the Western block as well. May Allah bless him so much, that his deed had gave us the inspiration to fight in the name of Allah S.W.T and Islam.
Who was he? You don't know..?
He was Salahuddin Yusuf Ayyub or as known as Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi in the East, and Saladin in the West.
The one and only leader of the Muslim who dare to fight against the Crusaders and sent them back to the place where they should dwell and not to lay their filthy hands on the beloved Jerusalem back. Don't get mad at me for telling you the true history, but this man was strongly respected for his bravery against the brutal Crusaders, and managed to liberate Jerusalem from them at the same time. But as usual like other respected Muslim Caliphs and leaders, he was full of compassion and dignity unlike the filthy Crusaders that wreaked havoc in Jerusalem as soon as they captured it in 1099.
Do you know what did the Crusaders did that time? They slaughtered every citizens of Jerusalem, young and old, women and men all at the same time, as the blood sprinkled like waterfall at the streets of the city. How disgusting these men were!!!
Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi, better known in the Western world as Saladin, was a Kurdish Muslim who became the Sultan of Egypt and Syria. He led Islamic opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, he ruled over Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Hejaz, and Yemen. He led the Muslims against the Crusaders and eventually recaptured Palestine from the Kingdom of Jerusalem after his victory in the Battle of Hattin. As such, he is a notable figure in Kurdish, Arab, Persian, Turkish and Muslim culture. Saladin was a strict practitioner of Sunni Islam. His chivalrous behavior was noted by Christian chroniclers, especially in the accounts of the siege of Kerak in Moab, and despite being the nemesis of the Crusaders he won the respect of many of them, including Richard the Lionheart; rather than becoming a hated figure in Europe, he became a celebrated example of the principles of chivalry.
Saladin was born in Tikrit, Iraq. His family was of Kurdish background and ancestry, and had originated from the city of Dvin, in Medieval Armenia. His father, Najm ad-Din Ayyub, was banished from Tikrit and in 1139, he and his brother Asad al-Din Shirkuh, moved to Mosul. He later joined the service of Imad ad-Din Zengi who made him commander of his fortress in Baalbek. After the death of Zengi in 1146, his son, Nur ad-Din, became the regent of Aleppo and the leader of the Zengids. Saladin, who now lived in Damascus, was reported to have a particular fondness of the city, but information on his early childhood is scarce.
About education, Saladin wrote "children are brought up in the way in which their elders were brought up.". According to one of his biographers, al-Wahrani, Saladin was able to answer questions on Euclid, the Almagest, arithmetic, and law, but this was an academic ideal and it was study of the Qur'an and the "sciences of religion" that linked him to his contemporaries. Several sources claim that during his studies he was more interested in religion than joining the military. Another factor which may have affected his interest in religion was that during the First Crusade, Jerusalem was taken in a surprise attack by the Christians. In addition to Islam, Saladin had a knowledge of the genealogies, biographies, and histories of the Arabs, as well as the bloodlines of Arabian horses. More significantly, he knew the Hamasah of Abu Tammam by heart.
On September 29, Saladin crossed the Jordan River to attack Beisan which was found to be empty. The next day his forces sacked and burned the town and moved westwards. They intercepted Crusader reinforcements from Karak and Shaubak along the Nablus road and took a number of prisoners. Meanwhile, the main Crusader force under Guy of Lusignan moved from Sepphoris to al-Fula. Saladin sent out 500 skirmishers to harass their forces and he himself marched to Ain Jalut. When the Crusader force—reckoned to be the largest the kingdom ever produced from its own resources, but still outmatched by the Muslims—advanced, the Ayyubids unexpectedly moved down the stream of Ain Jalut. After a few Ayyubid raids—including attacks on Zir'in, Forbelet, and Mount Tabor—the Crusaders still were not tempted to attack their main force, and Saladin led his men back across the river once provisions and supplies ran low. However, Crusader counter-attacks provoked further responses by Saladin. Raynald of Chatillon, in particular, harassed Muslim trading and pilgrimage routes with a fleet on the Red Sea, a water route that Saladin needed to keep open. In response, Saladin built a fleet of 30 galleys to attack Beirut in 1182. Raynald threatened to attack the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. In retaliation, Saladin twice besieged Kerak, Raynald's fortress in Oultrejordain, in 1183 and 1184. Raynald responded by looting a caravan of pilgrims on the Hajj in 1185.
According to the later thirteenth century Old French Continuation of William of Tyre, Raynald captured Saladin's sister in a raid on a caravan, although this claim is not attested in contemporary sources, Muslim or Frankish, instead stating that Raynald had attacked a preceding caravan, and Saladin set guards to ensure the safety of his sister and her son, who came to no harm. Following the failure of his Kerak sieges, Saladin temporarily turned his attention back to another long-term project and resumed attacks on the territory of ˤIzz ad-Dīn (Masˤūd ibn Mawdūd ibn Zangi), around Mosul, which he had begun with some success in 1182.
However, since then, Masˤūd had allied himself with the powerful governor of Azerbaijan and Jibal, who in 1185 began moving his troops across the Zagros Mountains, causing Saladin to hesitate in his attacks. The defenders of Mosul, when they became aware that help was on the way, increased their efforts, and Saladin subsequently fell ill, so in March 1186 a peace treaty was signed. In July 1187 Saladin captured most of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. On July 4, 1187, at the Battle of Hattin, he faced the combined forces of Guy of Lusignan, King Consort of Jerusalem and Raymond III of Tripoli. In this battle alone the Crusader army was largely annihilated by the motivated army of Saladin. It was a major disaster for the Crusaders and a turning point in the history of the Crusades. Saladin captured Raynald de Chatillon and was personally responsible for his execution in retaliation for his attacking Muslim caravans. The members of these caravans had, in vain, besought his mercy by reciting the truce between the Muslims and the Crusaders, but he ignored this and insulted their prophet Muhammad before murdering and torturing a number of them. Upon hearing this, Saladin swore an oath to personally execute Raynald.
Guy of Lusignan was also captured. Seeing the execution of Raynald, he feared he would be next. But his life was spared by Saladin with the words;
It is not the won't of kings, to kill kings; but that man had transgressed all bounds, and therefore did I treat him thus.
Saladin had captured almost every Crusader city. Jerusalem capitulated to his forces on October 2, 1187 after a siege. Before the siege, Saladin had offered generous terms of surrender, which were rejected. After the siege had started, he was unwilling to promise terms of quarter to the Frankish inhabitants of Jerusalem until Balian of Ibelin threatened to kill every Muslim hostage, estimated at 5000, and to destroy Islam’s holy shrines of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque if quarter was not given. Saladin consulted his council and these terms were accepted. Ransom was to be paid for each Frank in the city whether man, woman or child. Saladin allowed many to leave without having the required amount for ransom for others. Upon the capture of Jerusalem, Saladin summoned the Jews and permitted them to resettle in the city. In particular, the Jews of Ashkelon, a large Jewish settlement, responded to his request.
The armies of Saladin engaged in combat with the army of King Richard I of England at the Battle of Arsuf on September 7, 1191, at which Saladin was defeated at first and managed to retaliate at the end. All attempts made by Richard the Lion-heart to re-take Jerusalem failed. However, Saladin's relationship with Richard was one of chivalrous mutual respect as well as military rivalry. When Richard became ill with fever, Saladin offered the services of his personal physician. Saladin also sent him fresh fruit with snow, to chill the drink, as treatment. At Arsuf, when Richard lost his horse, Saladin sent him two replacements.
Richard suggested to Saladin that Palestine, Christian and Muslim, could be united through the marriage of his sister Joan of England, Queen of Sicily to Saladin's brother, and that Jerusalem could be their wedding gift.However, the two men never met face to face and communication was either written or by messenger. As leaders of their respective factions, the two men came to an agreement in the Treaty of Ramla in 1192, whereby Jerusalem would remain in Muslim hands but would be open to Christian pilgrimages. The treaty reduced the Latin Kingdom to a strip along the coast from Tyre to Jaffa. This treaty was supposed to last three years.
Saladin died of a fever on March 4, 1193, at Damascus, not long after Richard's departure. Since Saladin had given most of his money away for charity when they opened his treasury, they found there was not enough money to pay for his funeral. And so Saladin was buried in a magnificent mausoleum in the garden outside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.
Seven centuries later, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany donated a new marble sarcophagus to the mausoleum. Saladin was, however, not placed in it. Instead the mausoleum, which is open to visitors, now has two sarcophagi: one empty in marble and the original in which Saladin is placed, made of wood. The reason why he was not placed in the tomb would most likely to have been as a result of respect, and not to disturb Saladin's body.His fierce struggle against the crusaders was where Saladin achieved a great reputation in Europe as a chivalrous knight, so much so that there existed by the fourteenth century an epic poem about his exploits.
Notwithstanding the differences in beliefs, the Muslim Saladin was respected by Christian lords, Richard especially. Richard once praised Saladin as a great prince, saying that he was without doubt the greatest and most powerful leader in the Islamic world. Saladin in turn stated that there was not a more honorable Christian lord than Richard. After the treaty, Saladin and Richard sent each other many gifts as tokens of respect, but never met face to face again.
In April 1191, a Frankish woman's three month old baby had been stolen from her camp and had been sold on the market. The Franks urged her to approach Saladin herself with her grievance. After Saladin used his own money to buy the child, according to Bahā' al-Dīn: "He gave it to the mother and she took it; with tears streaming down her face, and hugged it to her breast. The people were watching her and weeping and I (Ibn Shaddad) was standing amongst them. She suckled it for some time and then Saladin ordered a horse to be fetched for her and she went back to camp."
See how chivalrous and full of dignity he was? For a sultan who was always praying to Allah S.W.T before going to the war, never left his qiyamullail (night-prayers) and won't dare to leave his prayer even though eh was so sick and at near-death situation that time, this man was the most awesome man I've found in the world history, besides Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.
According to Baha' Al-Din and Imad Ad-Din, Saladin was always in sadness and grief before he could conquered Jerusalem. He even didn't want to touch his medicines at all, besides not eating his meals often. All he could say was,
"How could I take medicines to ease my sickness, fulling my starving stomach with great foods while our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem are being tortured and killed? I heard the voice of Jerusalem herself calling for me, screaming in grief and despair, hoping that there will be the rulers of Islam to take a good care of her. Thus, I ride my horses from town to town, from villages to villages, urging the Muslims to join me in my Jihad. I even wept and cry like a crazy man, when people talking about Jerusalem in front of me. May Allah S.W.T bless me and grant me victories for what I've done for the Muslims.".
This is another symbol of the great Muslim leaders in the world history. He never asked for money, wealth, gold and glory. All he asked was the unity of the Muslims, the blessings from the Almighty Allah S.W.T., the enormous and insane strength to continue his fight to restore the dignity of Islam. Of course, the glorious Heaven will wait impatiently for a man such like Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi to dwell within it forever.
"Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward." (Quran, 4:74) "Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance from their Lord. They rejoice in the Bounty provided by Allah...the (Martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve. They rejoice in the Grace and the Bounty from Allah, and in the fact that Allah suffereth not the reward of the Faithful to be lost (in the least)." (3:169-71)
Something to share with the Muslims all around the world. I've heard some American top officials in the press conferences said, "We're losing the war in Afghanistan. The Taleban proves to be undefeatable and gaining power days to days. We're now fighting against the enemy that loves death over life, so they won't care of dying as long as they achieves their targets.".
Hmm... what are your opinion about that? Even the great superpower nation of America are at least showing a signal of fearing the Mujahedin today.