29 December 2009

Shalahuddin Al Ayyubi, Pahlawan Islam dari Seratus Medan Pertempuran (1137 - 1193

SULTAN SALAHUDDIN AL-AYYUBI, namanya telah terpateri di hati sanubari pejuang Muslim yang memiliki jiwa patriotik dan heroik, telah terlanjur terpahat dalam sejarah perjuangan umat Islam karena telah mampu menyapu bersih, menghancurleburkan tentara salib yang merupakan gabungan pilihan dari seluruh benua Eropa.

Konon guna membangkitkan kembali ruh jihad atau semangat di kalangan Islam yang saat itu telah tidur nyenyak dan telah lupa akan tongkat estafet yang telah diwariskan oleh Nabi Muhammad saw., maka Salahuddinlah yang mencetuskan ide dirayakannya kelahiran Nabi Muhammad saw. Melalui media peringatan itu dibeberkanlah sikap ksatria dan kepahlawanan pantang menyerah yang ditunjukkan melalui "Siratun Nabawiyah". Hingga kini peringatan itu menjadi tradisi dan membudaya di kalangan umat Islam.

Jarang sekali dunia menyaksikan sikap patriotik dan heroik bergabung menyatu dengan sifat perikemanusian seperti yang terdapat dalam diri pejuang besar itu. Rasa tanggung jawab terhadap agama (Islam) telah ia baktikan dan buktikan dalam menghadapi serbuan tentara ke tanah suci Palestina selama dua puluh tahun, dan akhirnya dengan kegigihan, keampuhan dan kemampuannya dapat memukul mundur tentara Eropa di bawah pimpinan Richard Lionheart dari Inggris.

Hendaklah diingat, bahwa Perang Salib adalah peperangan yang paling panjang dan dahsyat penuh kekejaman dan kebuasan dalam sejarah umat manusia, memakan korban ratusan ribu jiwa, di mana topan kefanatikan membabi buta dari Kristen Eropa menyerbu secara menggebu-gebu ke daerah Asia Barat yang Islam.

Seorang penulis Barat berkata, "Perang Salib merupakan salah satu bagian sejarah yang paling gila dalam riwayat kemanusiaan. Umat Nasrani menyerbu kaum Muslimin dalam ekspedisi bergelombang selama hampir tiga ratus tahun sehingga akhirnya berkat kegigihan umat Islam mereka mengalami kegagalan, berakibat kelelahan dan keputusasaan. Seluruh Eropa sering kehabisan manusia, daya dan dana serta mengalami kebangkrutan sosial, bila bukan kehancuran total. Berjuta-juta manusia yang tewas dalam medan perang, sedangkan bahaya kelaparan, penyakit dan segala bentuk malapetaka yang dapat dibayangkan berkecamuk sebagai noda yang melekat pada muka tentara Salib. Dunia Nasrani Barat saat itu memang dirangsang ke arah rasa fanatik agama yang membabi buta oleh Peter The Hermit dan para pengikutnya guna membebaskan tanah suci Palestina dari tangan kaum Muslimin".

"Setiap cara dan jalan ditempuh", kata Hallam guna membangkitkan kefanatikan itu. Selagi seorang tentara Salib masih menyandang lambang Salib, mereka berada di bawah lindungan gereja serta dibebaskan dari segala macam pajak dan juga untuk berbuat dosa.

Peter The Hermit sendiri memimpin gelombang serbuan yang kedua terdiri dari empat puluh ribu orang. Setelah mereka sampai ke kota Malleville mereka menebus kekalahan gelombang serbuan pertama dengan menghancurkan kota itu, membunuh tujuh ribu orang penduduknya yang tak bersalah, dan melampiaskan nafsu angkaranya dengan segala macam kekejaman yang tak terkendali. Gerombolan manusia fanatik yang menamakan dirinya tentara Salib itu mengubah tanah Hongaria dan Bulgaria menjadi daerah-daerah yang tandus.

"Bilamana mereka telah sampai ke Asia Kecil, mereka melakukan kejahatan-kejahatan dan kebuasan-kebuasan yang membuat alam semesta menggeletar" demikian tulis pengarang Perancis Michaud.

Gelombang serbuan tentara Salib ketiga yang dipimpin oeh seorang Rahib Jerman, menurut pengarang Gibbon terdiri dari sampah masyarakat Eropa yang paling rendah dan paling dungu. Bercampur dengan kefanatikan dan kedunguan mereka itu izin diberikan guna melakukan perampokan, perzinaan dan bermabuk-mabukan. Mereka melupakan Konstantin dan Darussalam dalam kemeriahan pesta cara gila-gilaan dan perampokan, pengrusakan dan pembunuhan yang merupakan peninggalan jelek dari mereka atas setiap daerah yang mereka lalui" kata Marbaid.

Gelombang serbuan tentara Salib keempat yang diambil dari Eropa Barat, menurut keterangan penulis Mill "terdiri dari gerombolan yang nekat dan ganas. Massa yang membabi buta itu menyerbu dengan segala keganasannya menjalankan pekerjaan rutinnya merampok dan membunuh. Tetapi akhirnya mereka dapat dihancurkan oleh tentara Hongaria yang naik pitam dan telah mengenal kegila-gilaan tentara Salib sebelumnya.

Tentara Salib telah mendapat sukses sementara dengan menguasai sebagian besar daerah Syria dan Palestina termasuk kota suci Yerusalem. Tetapi Kemenangan-kemenangan mereka ini telah disusul dengan keganasan dan pembunuhan terhadap kaum Muslimin yang tak bersalah yang melebihi kekejaman Jengis Khan dan Hulagu Khan.

John Stuart Mill ahli sejarah Inggris kenamaan, mengakui pembunuhan-pembunuhan massal penduduk Muslim ini pada waktu jatuhnya kota Antioch. Mill menulis: "Keluruhan usia lanjut, ketidakberdayaan anak-anak dan kelemahan kaum wanita tidak dihiraukan sama sekali oleh tentara Latin yang fanatik itu. Rumah kediaman tidak diakui sebagai tempat berlindung dan pandangan sebuah masjid merupakan pembangkit nafsu angkara untuk melakukan kekejaman. Tentara Salib menghancurleburkan kota-kota Syria, membunuh penduduknya dengan tangan dingin, dan membakar habis perbendaharaan kesenian dan ilmu pengetahuan yang sangat berharga, termasuk "Kutub Khanah" (Perpustakaan) Tripolis yang termasyhur itu. "Jalan raya penuh aliran darah, sehingga keganasan itu kehabisan tenaga," kata Stuart Mill. Mereka yang cantik rupawan disisihkan untuk pasaran budak belian di Antioch. Tetapi yang tua dan yang lemah dikorbankan di atas panggung pembunuhan.

Lewat pertengahan abad ke-12 Masehi ketika tentara Salib mencapai puncak kemenangannya dan Kaisar Jerman, Perancis serta Richard Lionheart Raja Inggris telah turun ke medan pertempuran untuk turut merebut tanah suci Baitul Maqdis, gabungan tentara Salib ini disambut oleh Sultan Shalahuddin al Ayyubi (biasa disebut Saladin), seorang Panglima Besar Muslim yang menghalau kembali gelombang serbuan umat Nasrani yang datang untuk maksud menguasai tanah suci. Dia tidak saja sanggup untuk menghalau serbuan tentara Salib itu, akan tetapi yang dihadapi mereka sekarang ialah seorang yang berkemauan baja serta keberanian yang luar biasa yang sanggup menerima tantangan dari Nasrani Eropa.

Siapakah Shalahuddin? Bagaimana latar belakang kehidupannya?

Shalahuddin dilahirkan pada tahun 1137 Masehi. Pendidikan pertama diterimanya dari ayahnya sendiri yang namanya cukup tersohor, yakni Najamuddin al-Ayyubi. Di samping itu pamannya yang terkenal gagah berani juga memberi andil yang tidak kecil dalam membentuk kepribadian Shalahuddin, yakni Asaduddin Sherkoh. Kedua-duanya adalah pembantu dekat Raja Syria Nuruddin Mahmud.

Asaduddin Sherkoh, seorang jenderal yang gagah berani, adalah komandan Angkatan Perang Syria yang telah memukul mundur tentara Salib baik di Syria maupun di Mesir. Sherkoh memasuki Mesir dalam bulan Februari 1167 Masehi untuk menghadapi perlawanan Shawer seorang menteri khalifah Fathimiyah yang menggabungkan diri dengan tentara Perancis. Serbuan Sherkoh yang gagah berani itu serta kemenangan akhir yang direbutnya dari Babain atas gabungan tentara Perancis dan Mesir itu menurut Michaud �memperlihatkan kehebatan strategi tentara yang bernilai ringgi.�

Ibnu Aziz AI Athir menulis tentang serbuan panglima Sherkoh ini sebagai berikut: "Belum pernah sejarah mencatat suatu peristiwa yang lebih dahsyat dari penghancuran tentara gabungan Mesir dan Perancis dari pantai Mesir, oleh hanya seribu pasukan berkuda".

Pada tanggal 8 Januari 1169 M Sherkoh sampai di Kairo dan diangkat oleh Khalifah Fathimiyah sebagai Menteri dan Panglima Angkatan Perang Mesir. Tetapi sayang, Sherkoh tidak ditakdirkan untuk lama menikmati hasil perjuangannya. Dua bulan setelah pengangkatannya itu, dia berpulang ke rahmatullah.

Sepeninggal Sherkoh, keponakannya Shalahuddin al-Ayyubi diangkat jadi Perdana Menteri Mesir. Tak seberapa lama ia telah disenangi oleh rakyat Mesir karena sifat-sifatnya yang pemurah dan adil bijaksana itu. Pada saat khalifah berpulang ke rahmatullah, Shalahuddin telah menjadi penguasa yang sesungguhnya di Mesir.

Di Syria, Nuruddin Mahmud yang termasyhur itu meninggal dunia pada tahun 1174 Masehi dan digantikan oleh putranya yang berumur 11 tahun bernama Malikus Saleh. Sultan muda ini diperalat oleh pejabat tinggi yang mengelilinginya terutama (khususnya) Gumushtagin. Shalahuddin mengirimkan utusan kepada Malikus Saleh dengan menawarkan jasa baktinya dan ketaatannya. Shalahuddin bahkan melanjutkan untuk menyebutkan nama raja itu dalam khotbah-khotbah Jumatnya dan mata uangnya. Tetapi segala macam bentuk perhatian ini tidak mendapat tanggapan dari raja muda itu berserta segenap pejabat di sekelilingnya yang penuh ambisi itu. Suasana yang meliputi kerajaan ini sekali lagi memberi angin kepada tentara Salib, yang selama ini dapat ditahan oleh Nuruddin Mahmud dan panglimanya yang gagah berani, Jenderal Sherkoh.

Atas nasihat Gumushtagin, Malikus Saleh mengundurkan diri ke kota Aleppo, dengan meninggalkan Damaskus diserbu oleh tentara Perancis. Tentara Salib dengan segera menduduki ibukota kerajaan itu, dan hanya bersedia untuk menghancurkan kota itu setelah menerima uang tebusan yang sangat besar. Peristiwa itu menimbulkan amarah Shalahuddin al-Ayyubi yang segera ke Damaskus dengan suatu pasukan yang kecil dan merebut kembali kota itu.

Setelah ia berhasil menduduki Damaskus dia tidak terus memasuki istana rajanya Nuruddin Mahmud, melainkan bertempat di rumah orang tuanya. Umat Islam sebaliknya sangat kecewa akan tingkah laku Malikus Saleh. dan mengajukan tuntutan kepada Shalahuddin untuk memerintah daerah mereka. Tetapi Shalahuddin hanya mau memerintah atas nama raja muda Malikus Saleh. Ketika Malikus Saleh meninggal dunia pada tahun 1182 Masehi, kekuasaan Shalahuddin telah diakui oleh semua raja-raja di Asia Barat.

Diadakanlah gencatan senjata antara Sultan Shalahuddin dan tentara Perancis di Palestina, tetapi menurut ahli sejarah Perancis Michaud: "Kaum Muslimin memegang teguh perjanjiannya, sedangkan golongan Nasrani memberi isyarat untuk memulai lagi peperangan." Berlawanan dengan syarat-syarat gencatan senjata, penguasa Nasrani Renanud atau Reginald dari Castillon menyerang suatu kafilah Muslim yang lewat di dekat istananya, membunuh sejumlah anggotanya dan merampas harta bendanya.

Lantaran peristiwa itu Sultan sekarang bebas untuk bertindak. Dengan siasat perang yang tangkas Sultan Shalahuddin mengurung pasukan musuh yang kuat itu di dekat bukit Hittin pada tahun 1187 M serta menghancurkannya dengan kerugian yang amat besar. Sultan tidak memberikan kesempatan lagi kepada tentara Nasrani untuk menyusun kekuatan kembali dan melanjutkan serangannya setelah kemenangan di bukit Hittin. Dalam waktu yang sangat singkat dia telah dapat merebut kembali sejumlah kota yang diduduki kaum Nasrani, termasuk kota-kota Naplus, Jericho, Ramlah, Caosorea, Arsuf, Jaffa dan Beirut. Demikian juga Ascalon telah dapat diduduki Shalahuddin sehabis pertempuran yang singkat yang diselesaikan dengan syarat-syarat yang sangat ringan oleh Sultan yang berhati mulia itu.

Sekarang Shalahuddin menghadapkan perhatian sepenuhnya terhadap kota Jerusalem yang diduduki tentara Salib dengan kekuatan melebihi enam puluh ribu prajurit. Ternyata tentara salib ini tidak sanggup menahan serbuan pasukan Sultan dan menyerah pada tahun 1193. Sikap penuh perikemanusiaan Sultan Shalahuddin dalam memperlakukan tentara Nasrani itu merupakan suatu gambaran yang berbeda seperti langit dan bumi, dengan perlakuan dan pembunuhan secara besar-besaran yang dialami kaum Muslimin ketika dikalahkan oleh tentara Salib sekitar satu abad sebelumnya.

Menurut penuturan ahli sejarah Michaud, pada waktu Jerusalem direbut oleh tentara Salib pada tahun 1099 Masehi, kaum Muslimin dibunuh secara besar-besaran di jalan-jalan raya dan di rumah-rumah kediaman. Jerusalem tidak memiliki tempat berlindung bagi umat Islam yang menderita kekalahan itu. Ada yang melarikan diri dari cengkeraman musuh dengan menjatuhkan diri dari tembok-tembok yang tinggi, ada yang lari masuk istana, menara-menara, dan tak kurang pula yang masuk masjid. Tetapi mereka tidak terlepas dari kejaran tentara Salib. Tentara Salib yang menduduki masjid Umar di mana kaum Muslimin dapat bertahan untuk waktu yang singkat. mengulangl lagi tindakan-tindakan yang penuh kekejaman. Pasukan infanteri dan kavaleri menyerbu kaum pengungsi yang lari tunggang langgang. Di tengah-tengah kekacaubalauan kaum peenyerbu itu yang terdengar hanyalah erangan dan teriakan maut. Pahlawan Salib yang berjasa itu berjalan menginjak-injak tumpukan mayat Muslimin, mengejar mereka yang masih berusaha dengan sia-sia melarikan diri. Raymond d' Angiles yang menyaksikan peristiwa itu mengatakan bahwa �di serambi masjid mengalir darah sampai setinggi lutut, dan sampai ke tali tukang kuda prajurit.�

Penyembelihan manusia biadab ini berhenti sejenak, ketika tentara Salib berkumpul untuk melakukan misa syukur atas kemenangan yang telah mereka peroleh. Tetapi setelah beribadah itu, mereka melanjutkan kebiadaban dengan keganasan. �Semua tawanan� kata Michaud, �yang tertolong nasibnya karena kelelahan tentara Salib yang semula tertolong karena mengharapkan diganti dengan uang tebusan yang besar, semua dibunuh dengan tanpa ampun. Kaum Muslimin terpaksa menjatuhkan diri mereka dari menara dan rumah kediaman; mereka dibakar hidup-hidup, mereka diseret dari tempat persembunyiannya di bawah tanah; mereka dipancing dari tempat perlindungannya agar keluar untuk dibunuh di atas timbunan mayat.�

Cucuran air mata kaum wanita, pekikan anak-anak yang tak bersalah, bahkan juga kenangan dari tempat di mana Nabi lsa memaafkan algojo-algojonya, tidak dapat meredakan nafsu angkara tentara yang menang itu. Penyembelihan kejam itu berlangsung selama seminggu. Dan sejumlah kecil yang dapat melarikan diri dari pembunuhan jatuh menjadi budak yang hina dina.

Seorang ahli sejarah Barat, Mill menambahkan pula: �Telah diputuskan, bahwa kaum Muslimin tidak boleh diberi ampun. Rakyat yang ditaklukkan oleh karena itu harus diseret ke tempat-tempat umum untuk dibunuh hidup-hidup. Ibu-ibu dengan anak yang melengket pada buah dadanya, anak-anak laki-laki dan perempuan, seluruhnya disembelih. Lapangan-Iapangan kota, jalan-jalan raya, bahkan pelosok-pelosok Jerusalem yang sepi telah dipenuhi oleh bangkai-bangkai mayat laki-laki dan perempuan, dan anggota tubuh anak-anak. Tiada hati yang menaruh belas kasih atau teringat untuk berbuat kebajikan.�

Demikianlah rangkaian riwayat pembantaian secara masal kaum Muslimin di Jerusalem sekira satu abad sebelum Sultan Shalahuddin merebut kembali kota suci, di mana lebih dari tujuh puluh ribu umat Islam yang tewas.

Sebaliknya, ketika Sultan Shalahuddin merebut kembali kota Jerusalem pada tahun 1193 M, dia memberi pengampunan umum kepada penduduk Nasrani untuk tinggal di kota itu. Hanya para prajurit Salib yang diharuskan meninggalkan kota dengan pembayaran uang tebusan yang ringan. Bahkan sering terjadi bahwa Sultan Shalahuddin yang mengeluarkan uang tebusan itu dari kantongnya sendiri dan diberikannya pula kemudian alat pengangkutan. Sejumlah kaum wanita Nasrani dengan mendukung anak-anak mereka datang menjumpai Sultan dengan penuh tangis seraya berkata: �Tuan saksikan kami berjalan kaki, para istri serta anak-anak perempuan para prajurit yang telah menjadi tawanan Tuan, kami ingin meninggalkan negeri ini untuk selama-lamanya. Para prajurit itu adalah tumpuan hidup kami. Bila kami kehilangan mereka akan hilang pulalah harapan kami. Bilamana Tuan serahkan mereka kepada kami mereka akan dapat meringankan penderitaan kami dan kami akan mempunyai sandaran hidup.�

Sultan Shalahuddin sangat tergerak hatinya dengan permohonan mereka itu dan dibebaskannya para suami kaum wanita Nasrani itu. Mereka yang berangkat meninggalkan kota, diperkenankan membawa seluruh harta bendanya. Sikap dan tindakan Sultan Shalahuddin yang penuh kemanusiaan serta dari jiwa yang mulia ini memperlihatkan suasana kontras yang sangat mencolok dengan penyembelihan kaum Muslimin di kota Jerusalem dalam tangan tentara Salib satu abad sebe1umnya. Para komandan pasukan tentara Shalahuddin saling berlomba dalam memberikan pertolongan kepada tentara Salib yang telah dikalahkan itu.

Para pelarian Nasrani dari kota Jerusalem itu tidaklah mendapat perlindungan oleh kota-kota yang dikuasai kaum Nasrani. �Banyak kaum Nasrani yang meninggalkan Jerusalem,� kata Mill, pergi menuju Antioch, tetapi panglima Nasrani Bohcmond tidak saja menolak memberikan perlindungan kepada mcreka, bahkan merampasi harta benda mereka. Maka pergilah mereka menuju ke tanah kaum Muslimin dan diterima di sana dengan baik. Michaud mcmberikan keterangan yang panjang lebar tentang sikap kaum Nasrani yang tak berperikemanusiaan ini terhadap para pelarian Nasrani dari Jerusalem. Tripoli menutup pintu kotanya dari pengungsi ini, kata Michaud. �Seorang wanita karena putus asa melemparkan anak bayinya ke dalam laut sambil menyumpahi kaum Nasrani yang menolak untuk memberikan pertolongan kepadanya,� kata Michaud. Sebaliknya Sultan Shalahuddin bersikap penuh timbang rasa terhadap kaum Nasrani yang ditaklukkan itu. Sebagai pertimbangan terhadap perasaan mereka, dia tidak memasuki Jerusalem sebelum mereka meninggalkannya.

Dari Jerusalem Sultan Shalahuddin mengarahkan pasukannya ke kota Tyre, di mana tentara Salib yang tidak tahu berterima kasih terhadap Sultan Shalahuddin yang telah mengampuninya di Jerusalem, menyusun kekuatan kembali untuk melawan Sultan. Sultan Shalahuddin menaklukkan sejumlah kota yang diduduki oleh tentara Salib di pinggir pantai, termasuk kota Laodicea, Jabala, Saihun, Becas, dan Debersak. Sultan telah melepas hulu balang Perancis bernama Guy de Lusignan dengan perjanjian, bahwa dia harus segera pulang ke Eropa. Tetapi tidak lama setelah pangeran Nasrani yang tak tahu berterima kasih ini mendapatkan kebebasannya, dia mengingkari janjinya dan mengumpulkan suatu pasukan yang cukup besar dan mengepung kota Ptolemais.

Jatuhnya Jerusalem ke tangan kaum Muslimin menimbulkan kegusaran besar di kalangan dunia Nasrani. Sehingga mereka segera mengirimkan bala bantuan dari seluruh pelosok Eropa. Kaisar Jerman dan Perancis serta raja Inggris Richard Lion Heart segera berangkat dengan pasukan yang besar untuk merebut tanah suci dari tangan kaum Muslimin. Mereka mengepung kota Akkra yang tidak dapat direbut selama berapa bulan. Dalam sejumlah pertempuran terbuka, tentara Salib mengalami kekalahan dengan meninggalkan korban yang cukup besar.

Sekarang yang harus dihadapi Sultan Shalahuddin ialah berupa pasukan gabungan dari Eropa. Bala bantuan tentara Salib mengalir ke arah kota suci tanpa putus-putusnya, dan sungguh pun kekalahan dialami mereka secara bertubi-tubi, namun demikian tentara Salib ini jumlah semakin besar juga. Kota Akkra yang dibela tentara Islam berbulan-bulan lamanya menghadapi tentara pilihan dari Eropa, akhirnya karena kehabisan bahan makanan terpaksa menyerah kepada musuh dengan syarat yang disetujui bersama secara khidmat, bahwa tidak akan dilakukan pembunuhan-pembunuhan dan bahwa mereka diharuskan membayar uang tebusan sejumlah 200.000 emas kepada pimpinan pasukan Salib. Karena kelambatan dalam suatu penyelesaian uang tebusan ini, Raja Richard Lionheart menyuruh membunuh kaum Muslimin yang tak berdaya itu dengan dan hati yang dingin di hadapan pandangan mata saudara sesama kaum Muslimin.

Perilaku Raja Inggris ini tentu saja sangat menusuk perasaan hati Sultan Shalahuddin. Dia bernadzar untuk menuntut bela atas darah kaum Muslimin yang tak bersalah itu. Dalam pertempuran yang berkecamuk sepanjang 150 mil garis pantai, Sultan Shalahuddin memberikan pukulan-pukulan yang berat terhadap tentara Salib.

Akhirnya Raja Inggris yang berhati singa itu mengajukan permintaan damai yang diterima oleh Sultan. Raja itu merasakan bahwa yang dihadapinya adalah seorang yang berkemauan baja dan tenaga yang tak terbatas serta menyadari betapa sia-sianya melanjutkan perjuangan terhadap orang yang demikian itu. Dalam bulan September 1192 Masehi dibuatlah perjanjian perdamaian. Tentara Salib itu meninggalkan tanah suci dengan ransel dengan barang-barangnya kembali menuju Eropa.

"Berakhirlah dengan demikian serbuan tentara Salib itu" tulis Michaud "di mana gabungan pasukan pilihan dari Barat merebut kemenangan tidak lebih daripada kejatuhan kota Akkra dan kehancuran kota Askalon. Dalam pertempuran itu Jerman kehilangan seorang kaisarnya yang besar beserta kehancuran tentara pilihannya. Lebih dari enam ratus ribu orang pasukan Salib mendarat di depan kota Akkra dan yang kembali pulang ke negerinya tidak lebih dari seratus ribu orang. Dapatlah dipahami mengapa Eropa dengan penuh kesedihan menerima hasil perjuangan tentara Salib itu, oleh karena yang turut dalam pertempuran terakhir adalah tentara pilihan. Bunga kesatria Barat yang menjadi kebanggaan Eropa telah turut dalam pertempuran ini.

Sultan Shalahuddin mengakhiri sisa-sisa hidupnya dengan kegiatan-kegiatan bagi kesejahteraan masyarakat dengan membangun rumah sakit, sekolah-sekolah, perguruan-perguruan tinggi serta masjid-masjid di seluruh daerah yang diperintahnya.

Tetapi sayang, dia tidaklah ditakdirkan untuk lama merasakan nikmat perdamaian. Beberapa bulan kemudian dia pulang ke rahmatullah pada tanggal 4 Maret tahun 1193. "Hari itu merupakan hari musibah besar, yang belum pernah dirasakan oleh dunia Islam dan kaum Muslimin, semenjak mereka kehilangan Khulafa Ar-Rasyidin" demikian tulis seorang penulis Islam. Kalangan Istana seluruh daerah kerajaan berikut seluruh umat Islam tenggelam dalam lautan duka nestapa. Seluruh isi kota mengikuti usungan jenazahnya ke kuburan dengan penuh kesedihan dan tangisan.

Demikianlah berakhirnya kehidupan Sultan Shalahuddin, seorang raja yang sangat dalam perikemanusiaannya dan tak ada tolok bandingannya, jiwa kepahlawanan yang dimilikinya dalam sejarah kemanusiaan. Dalam pribadinya, Allah telah melimpahkan hati seorang Muslim yang penuh kasih sayang terhadap kemanusiaan dicampur dengan sangat harmonis dengan keperkasaan seorang genius dalam medan pertempuran. Utusan yang menyampaikan berita kematiannnya itu ke Baghdad membawa serta baju perangnya, kudanya, uang sebanyak satu dinar dan 36 dirham sebagai milik pribadinya yang masih ketinggalan. Orang yang hidup satu zaman dengannya, serta segenap ahli sejarah sama sependapat bahwa Sultan Shalahuddin adalah seorang yang sangat lemah lembut hatinya, ramah tamah, sabar, seorang sahabat yang baik dari kaum cendekiawan dan golongan ulama yang diperlakukannya dengan rasa hormat yang mendalam serta dengan penuh kebajikan. "Di Eropa" tulis Philip K Hitti, dia telah menyentuh alam khayalan para penyanyi maupun para penulis novel zaman sekarang, dan masih tetap dinilai sebagai suri teladan kaum kesatria.

Semoga Allah melapangkan kuburnya.

Disarikan dari:

1. Shalahuddin al-Ayyubi, oleh Kwaja Jamil Ahmad (Lihat: Suara Masjid No. 91, Jumadil Akhir-Rajab 1402 H/April 1982 M)

2. The Preaching of Islam, oleh Thomas W. Arnold.

NB:

- "Shalahuddin", kadang ditulis dengan ejaan: Saladin (biasanya oleh Barat), Sholahuddin, atau Salahuddin.

- Saat ini, sineas Barat sedang membuat film berjudul "Kingdom of Heaven". Film tersebut, terlepas benar atau tidaknya isi cerita, berkaitan dengan tokoh Shalahuddin ini.

http://www.hudzaifah.org/Article228.phtml




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Salahuddin Ayyubi

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Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi
Sultan Mesir dan Syria
caption
Lukisan artistik Shalahuddin
Memerintah 1174 M. – 4 Maret-1193 M.
Dinobatkan 1174 M.
Nama lengkap Salah al-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub
Lahir 1138 M. di Tikrit, Iraq
Meninggal 4 Maret-1193 M. di Damaskus, Syria
Dimakamkan Masjid Umayyah, Damaskus, Syria
Pendahulu Nuruddin Zengi
Pengganti Al-Aziz
Dinasti Ayyubiyyah
Ayah Najmuddin Ayyub
Salahuddin Ayyubi atau Saladin atau Salah ad-Din (Bahasa Arab: صلاح الدين الأيوبي, Kurdi: صلاح الدین ایوبی) (Sho-lah-huud-din al-ay-yu-bi) (c. 1138 - 4 Maret 1193) adalah seorang jendral dan pejuang muslim Kurdi dari Tikrit (daerah utara Irak saat ini). Ia mendirikan Dinasti Ayyubiyah di Mesir, Suriah, sebagian Yaman, Irak, Mekkah Hejaz dan Diyar Bakr. Salahuddin terkenal di dunia Muslim dan Kristen karena kepemimpinan, kekuatan militer, dan sifatnya yang ksatria dan pengampun pada saat ia berperang melawan tentara salib. Sultan Salahuddin Al Ayyubi juga adalah seorang ulama. Ia memberikan catatan kaki dan berbagai macam penjelasan dalam kitab hadits Abu Dawud

Daftar isi

[sembunyikan]

[sunting] Latar belakang

Shalahuddin Al-Ayyubi berasal dari bangsa Kurdi[1] . Ayahnya Najmuddin Ayyub dan pamannya Asaduddin Syirkuh hijrah (migrasi) meninggalkan kampung halamannya dekat Danau Fan dan pindah ke daerah Tikrit (Irak). Shalahuddin lahir di benteng Tikrit, Irak tahun 532 H/1137 M, ketika ayahnya menjadi penguasa Seljuk di Tikrit. Saat itu, baik ayah maupun pamannya mengabdi kepada Imaduddin Zanky, gubernur Seljuk untuk kota Mousul, Irak. Ketika Imaduddin berhasil merebut wilayah Balbek, Lebanon tahun 534 H/1139 M, Najmuddin Ayyub (ayah Shalahuddin) diangkat menjadi gubernur Balbek dan menjadi pembantu dekat Raja Suriah Nuruddin Mahmud. Selama di Balbek inilah, Shalahuddin mengisi masa mudanya dengan menekuni teknik perang, strategi, maupun politik. Setelah itu, Shalahuddin melanjutkan pendidikannya di Damaskus untuk mempelajari teologi Sunni selama sepuluh tahun, dalam lingkungan istana Nuruddin. Pada tahun 1169, Shalahudin diangkat menjadi seorang wazir (konselor).
Di sana, dia mewarisi peranan sulit mempertahankan Mesir melawan penyerbuan dari Kerajaan Latin Jerusalem di bawah pimpinan Amalrik I. Posisi ia awalnya menegangkan. Tidak ada seorangpun menyangka dia bisa bertahan lama di Mesir yang pada saat itu banyak mengalami perubahan pemerintahan di beberapa tahun belakangan oleh karena silsilah panjang anak khalifah mendapat perlawanan dari wazirnya. Sebagai pemimpin dari prajurit asing Syria, dia juga tidak memiliki kontrol dari Prajurit Shiah Mesir, yang dipimpin oleh seseorang yang tidak diketahui atau seorang Khalifah yang lemah bernama Al-Adid. Ketika sang Khalifah meninggal bulan September 1171, Saladin mendapat pengumuman Imam dengan nama Al-Mustadi, kaum Sunni, dan yang paling penting, Abbasid Khalifah di Baghdad, ketika upacara sebelum Shalat Jumat, dan kekuatan kewenangan dengan mudah memecat garis keturunan lama. Sekarang Saladin menguasai Mesir, tapi secara resmi bertindak sebagai wakil dari Nuruddin, yang sesuai dengan adat kebiasaan mengenal Khalifah dari Abbasid. Saladin merevitalisasi perekonomian Mesir, mengorganisir ulang kekuatan militer, dan mengikuti nasihat ayahnya, menghindari konflik apapun dengan Nuruddin, tuannya yang resmi, sesudah dia menjadi pemimpin asli Mesir. Dia menunggu sampai kematian Nuruddin sebelum memulai beberapa tindakan militer yang serius: Pertama melawan wilayah Muslim yang lebih kecil, lalu mengarahkan mereka melawan para prajurit salib.
Timur Tengah (1190 M.). Wilayah kekuasaan Shalahuddin (warna merah); Wilayah yang direbut kembali dari pasukan salib 1187-1189 (warna pink). Warna hijau terang menandakan wilayah pasukan salib yang masih bertahan sampai meninggalnya Shalahuddin
Dengan kematian Nuruddin (1174) dia menerima gelar Sultan di Mesir. Disana dia memproklamasikan kemerdekaan dari kaum Seljuk, dan dia terbukti sebagai penemu dari dinasti Ayyubid dan mengembalikan ajaran Sunni ke Mesir. Dia memperlebar wilayah dia ke sebelah barat di maghreb, dan ketika paman dia pergi ke Nil untuk mendamaikan beberapa pemberontakan dari bekas pendukung Fatimid, dia lalu melanjutkan ke Laut Merah untuk menaklukan Yaman. Dia juga disebut Waliullah yang artinya teman Allah bagi kaum muslim Sunni.
Aun 559-564 H/ 1164-1168 M. Sejak itu Asaduddin, pamannya diangkat menjadi Perdana Menteri Khilafah Fathimiyah. Setelah pamnnya meninggal, jabatan Perdana Menteri dipercayakan Khalifah kepada Shalahuddin Al-Ayyubi.
Shalahuddin Al-Ayyubi berhasil mematahkan serangan Tentara Salib dan pasukan Romawi Bizantium yang melancarkan Perang Salib kedua terhadap Mesir. Sultan Nuruddin memerintahkan Shalahuddin mengambil kekuasaan dari tangan Khilafah Fathimiyah dan mengembalikan kepada Khilafah Abbasiyah di Baghdad mulai tahun 567 H/1171 M (September). Setelah Khalifah Al-'Adid, khalifah Fathimiyah terakhir meninggal maka kekuasaan sepenuhnya di tangan Shalahuddin Al-Ayyubi.
Sultan Nuruddin meninggal tahun 659 H/1174 M, Damaskus diserahkan kepada puteranya yang masih kecil Sultan Salih Ismail didampingi seorang wali. Dibawah seorang wali terjadi perebutan kekuasaan diantara putera-putera Nuruddin dan wilayah kekuasaan Nurruddin menjadi terpecah-pecah. Shalahuddin Al-Ayyubi pergi ke Damaskus untuk membereskan keadaan, tetapi ia mendapat perlawanan dari pengikut Nuruddin yang tidak menginginkan persatuan. Akhirnya Shalahuddin Al-Ayyubi melawannya dan menyatakan diri sebagai raja untuk wilayah Mesir dan Syam pada tahun 571 H/1176 M dan berhasil memperluas wilayahnya hingga Mousul, Irak bagian utara.

[sunting] Naik ke kekuasaan

Di kemudian hari Saladin menjadi wazir pada 1169, dan menerima tugas sulit mempertahankan Mesir dari serangan Raja Latin Yerusalem, khususnya Amalric I. Kedudukannya cukup sulit pada awalnya, sedikit orang yang beranggapan ia akan berada cukup lama di Mesir mengingat sebelumnya telah banyak terjadi pergantian pergantian kekuasaan dalam beberapa tahun terakhir disebabkan bentrok yang terjadi antar anak-anak Kalifah untuk posisi wazir. Sebagai pemimpin dari pasukan asing Suriah, dia juga tidak memiliki kekuasaan atas pasukan Syi'ah Mesir yang masih berada di bawah Khalifah yang lemah, Al-Adid.

[sunting] Lihat pula

[sunting] Pranala luar

[sunting] Referensi

  1. ^ Ibn Khallikan says that Saladin's father and his family originated from Dvin, and "they were Kurds." See Vladimir Minorsky, The Prehistory of Saladin, Studies in Caucasian History, Cambridge University Press, 1957, pp. 124-132.
  • Alan K. Bowman, Egypt After the Pharaohs: 1986
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Saladin

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Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb
Sultan of Egypt and Syria
Standbeeld Saladin Damascus.JPG
Statue of Saladin in Damascus.
Reign 1174–1193
Coronation 1174, Cairo
Full name Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb
Born c. 1137–1138
Birthplace Tikrit, Iraq[1]
Died March 4 1193 CE (aged 55-56)
Place of death Damascus, Syria
Buried Umayyad Mosque, Damascus, Syria
Predecessor Nur ad-Din
Successor Al-Afdal (Syria)
Al-Aziz Uthman (Egypt)
Dynasty Ayyubid
Father Najm ad-Dīn Ayyūb
Religious beliefs Sunni Islam
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb (Arabic: صلاح الدين يوسف بن أيوب‎, Kurdish: سه‌لاحه‌دین ئه‌یوبی, Selah'edînê Eyubî, Turkish: صلاح الدين يوسف بن أيو, Selahattin Eyyubî) (c. 1138 — March 4, 1193), better known in the Western world as Saladin, was a Arabic[2], Kurdish[3][4] or Turkish[5][6] 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.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Early life

Artistic representation of Saladin.
Saladin was born in Tikrit, Iraq. His family was of Kurdish background and ancestry,[3][4] and had originated from the city of Dvin, in medieval Armenia.[7][8] 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.[9]
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.[9] Several sources claim that during his studies he was more interested in religion than joining the military.[10] 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.[10] 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.[9]

[edit] Early expeditions

Saladin's military career began when his uncle Asad al-Din Shirkuh, an important military commander under Nur ad-Din, started training him. In 1163, the vizier to the Fatimid caliph al-Adid, Shawar, had been driven out of Egypt by rival Dirgham, a member of the powerful Banu Ruzzaik tribe. He asked for military backing from Nur ad-Din, who complied and in 1164, sent Shirkuh to aid Shawar in his expedition against Dirgham. Saladin, at age 26, went along with them.[11] After Shawar was successfully reinstated as vizier, he demanded that Shirkuh withdraw his army from Egypt for a sum of 30,000 dinars, but he refused insisting it was Nur ad-Din's will that he remain. Saladin's role in this expedition was minor, and it is known that he was ordered by Shirkuh to collect stores from Bilbais prior to its siege by a combined force of Crusaders and Shawar's troops.[12]
After the sacking of Bilbais, the Crusader-Egyptian force and Shirkuh's army were to engage in a battle on the desert border of the Nile River, just west of Giza. Saladin played a major role, commanding the right wing of the Zengid army, while a force of Kurds commanded the left, and Shirkuh stationed in the center. Muslim sources at the time, however, put Saladin in the "baggage of the center" with orders to lure the enemy into a trap by staging a false retreat. The Crusader force enjoyed early success against Shirkuh's troops, but the terrain was too steep and sandy for their horses, and commander Hugh of Caesarea was captured while attacking Saladin's unit. After scattered fighting in little valleys to the south of the main position, the Zengid central force returned to the offensive; Saladin joined in from the rear.[13]
The battle ended in a Zengid victory, and Saladin is credited to have helped Shirkuh in one of the "most remarkable victories in recorded history," according to Ibn al-Athir, although more of Shirkuh's men were killed and the battle is considered by most sources as not a total victory. Saladin and Shirkuh moved towards Alexandria where they were welcomed, given money, arms, and provided a base.[14] Faced by a superior Crusader-Egyptian force who attempted to besiege the city, Shirkuh split his army. He and the bulk of his force withdrew from Alexandria, while Saladin was left with the task of guarding the city.[15]

[edit] In Egypt

[edit] Vizier of Egypt

Saladin's battles in Egypt
Shirkuh engaged in a power struggle over Egypt with Shawar and Amalric I of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, in which Shawar requested Amalric's assistance. In 1169, Shawar was reportedly assassinated by Saladin and Shirkuh died later that year.[16] Nur ad-Din chose a successor for Shirkuh, but al-Adid appointed Saladin to replace Shawar as vizier.[17]
The reasoning behind the Shia al-Adid's selection of Saladin, a Sunni, varies. Ibn al-Athir claims that the caliph chose him after being told by his advisers that "there is no one weaker or younger" than Saladin, and "not one of the emirs obeyed him or served him." However, according to this version, after some bargaining, he was eventually accepted by the majority of emirs. Al-Adid's advisers were also suspected of attempting to split the Syria-based Zengid ranks. Al-Wahrani wrote that Saladin was selected because of the reputation of his family in their "generosity and military prowess." Imad ad-Din wrote that after the brief mourning period of Shirkuh, during which "opinions differed," the Zengid emirs decided upon Saladin and forced the caliph to "invest him as vizier." Although positions were complicated by rival Muslim leaders, the bulk of the Syrian rulers supported Saladin due to his role in the Egyptian expedition, in which he gained a record of impeccable military qualifications.[18]
Inaugurated as vizier on March 26, Saladin repented "wine-drinking and turned from frivolity to assume the dress of religion." Having gained more power and independence than ever before in his career, he still faced the issue of ultimate loyalty between al-Adid and Nur ad-Din. The latter was rumored to be clandestinely hostile towards Saladin's appointment and was quoted as saying, "how dare he [Saladin] do anything without my orders?" He wrote several letters to Saladin, who dismissed them without abandoning his allegiance to Nur ad-Din.[19]
Later in the year, a group of Egyptian soldiers and emirs attempted to assassinate Saladin, but having already known of their intentions, he had the chief conspirator, Mu'tamin al-Khilafa—the civilian controller of the Fatimid Palace—killed. The day after, 50,000 black African soldiers from the regiments of the Fatimid army opposed to Saladin's rule along with a number of Egyptian emirs and commoners staged a revolt. By August 23, Saladin had decisively quelled the uprising, and never again had to face a military challenge from Cairo.[20]
Towards the end of 1169, Saladin—with reinforcements from Nur ad-Din—defeated a massive Crusader-Byzantine force near Damietta. Afterward, in the spring of 1170, Nur ad-Din sent Saladin's father to Egypt in compliance with Saladin's request, as well as encouragement from the Baghdad-based Abbasid caliph, al-Mustanjid, who aimed to pressure Saladin in deposing his rival caliph, al-Adid.[21] Saladin himself had been strengthening his hold on Egypt and widening his support base there. He began granting his family members high-ranking positions in the region and increased Sunni influence in Cairo; he ordered the construction of a college for the Maliki branch of Sunni Islam in the city, as well as one for the Shafi'i denomination to which he belonged in al-Fustat.[22]
After establishing himself in Egypt, Saladin launched a campaign against the Crusaders, besieging Darum in 1170.[23] Amalric withdrew his Templar garrison from Gaza to assist him in defending Darum, but Saladin evaded their force and fell on Gaza instead. He destroyed the town built outside the city's castle and killed most of its inhabitants after they were refused entry into the castle.[24] It is unclear exactly when, but during that same year, he attacked and captured the Crusader castle of Eilat, built on an island off the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. It did not pose a threat to the passage of the Muslim navy, but could harass smaller parties of Muslim ships and Saladin decided to clear it from his path.[23]

[edit] Sultan of Egypt

Saladin as depicted on a Dirham coin, Circa. 1190.
According to Imad ad-Din, Nur ad-Din wrote to Saladin in June 1171, telling him to reestablish the Abbasid caliphate in Egypt, which Saladin coordinated two months later after additional encouragement by Najm ad-Din al-Khabushani, the Shafi'i faqih, who vehemently opposed Shia rule in the country. Several Egyptian emirs were thus killed, but al-Adid was told that they were killed for rebelling against him. He then fell ill, or was poisoned according to one account. While ill, he asked Saladin to pay him a visit to request that he take care of his young children, but Saladin refused, fearing treachery against the Abbasids, and is said to have regretted his action after realizing what al-Adid had wanted.[25] He died on September 13 and five days later, the Abbasid khutba was pronounced in Cairo and al-Fustat, proclaiming al-Mustadi as caliph.[26]
On September 25, Saladin left Cairo to take part in a joint attack on Kerak and Montreal, the desert castles of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, with Nur ad-Din who would attack from Syria. Prior to arriving at Montreal, Saladin withdrew, realizing that if he met Nur ad-Din at Shaubak, he would be refused return to Egypt because of Nur ad-Din's reluctance to consolidate such massive territorial control to Saladin. Also, there was a chance that the Crusader kingdom—which acted as a buffer state between Syria and Egypt—could have collapsed had the two leaders attacked it from the east and the coast. This would have given Nur ad-Din the opportunity to annex Egypt. Saladin claimed he withdrew amid Fatimid plots against him, but Nur ad-Din did not accept "the excuse."[26]
During the summer of 1172, a Nubian army along with a contingent of Armenian refugees were reported on the Egyptian border, preparing for a siege against Aswan. The emir of the city had requested Saladin's assistance and was given reinforcements under Turan-Shah—Saladin's brother. Consequently, the Nubians departed, but returned in 1173 and were again driven off. This time Egyptian forces advanced from Aswan and captured the Nubian town of Ibrim. Seventeen months after al-Adid's death, Nur ad-Din had not taken any action regarding Egypt, but expected some return for the 200,000 dinars he had allocated to Shirkuh's army which seized the country. Saladin paid this debt with 60,000 dinars, "wonderful manufactured goods," some jewels, an ass of the finest breed, and an elephant. While transporting these goods to Damascus, Saladin took the opportunity to ravage the Crusader countryside. He did not press an attack against the desert castles, but attempted to drive out the Muslim Bedouins who lived in Crusader territory with the aim of depriving the Franks of guides.[27]
On July 31, 1173, Saladin's father Ayyub was wounded in a horse-riding accident, ultimately causing his death on August 9.[28] In 1174, Saladin sent Turan-Shah to conquer Yemen to allocate it and its port Aden to the territories of the Ayyubid Dynasty. Yemen also served as an emergency territory, to which Saladin could flee in the event of an invasion by Nur ad-Din.

[edit] Acquisition of Syria

[edit] Capture of Damascus

In the early summer of 1174, Nur ad-Din was mustering an army, sending summons to Mosul, Diyarbakir, and al-Jazira in an apparent preparation of attack against Saladin's Egypt. The Ayyubid dynasty held a council upon the revelation of his preparations to discuss the possible threat and Saladin collected his own troops outside Cairo. On May 15, Nur ad-Din died after falling ill the previous week and his power was handed to his eleven-year-old son as-Salih Ismail al-Malik. His death left Saladin with political independence and in a letter to as-Salih, he promised to "act as a sword" against his enemies and referred to the death of his father as an "earthquake shock."[29]
In the wake of Nur ad-Din's death, Saladin faced a difficult decision; he could move his army against the Crusaders from Egypt or wait until invited by as-Salih in Syria to come to his aid and launch a war from there. He could also take it upon himself to annex Syria before it could possibly fall into the hands of a rival, but feared that attacking a land that formerly belonged to his master—which is forbidden in the Islamic principles he followed—could portray him as hypocritical and thus, unsuitable for leading the "holy war" against the Crusaders. Saladin saw that in order to acquire Syria, he either needed an invitation from as-Salih or warn him that potential anarchy and danger from the Crusaders could rise.[30]
When as-Salih was removed to Aleppo in August, Gumushtigin, the emir of the city and a captain of Nur ad-Din's veterans assumed guardianship over him. The emir prepared to unseat all of his rivals in Syria and al-Jazira, beginning with Damascus. In this emergency, the emir of Damascus appealed to Saif al-Din (a cousin of Gumushtigin) of Mosul for assistance against Aleppo, but he refused, forcing the Syrians to request the aid of Saladin who complied.[31] Saladin rode across the desert with 700 picked horsemen, passing through al-Kerak then reaching Bosra and according to him, was joined by "emirs, soldiers, Turks, Kurds, and Bedouins—the emotions of their hearts to be seen on their faces."[32] On November 23, he arrived in Damascus amid general acclamations and rested at his father's old home there, until the gates of the Citadel of Damascus were opened to him four days later. He installed himself in the castle and received the homage and salutations of the citizens.[31]

[edit] Further conquests

Leaving his brother Tughtigin as Governor of Damascus, Saladin proceeded to reduce other cities that had belonged to Nur ad-Din, but were now practically independent. He gained Hamah with relative ease, but avoided Hims because of the strength of its citadel.[33] Then he moved north towards Aleppo, besieging it on December 30 after Gumushtigin refused to abdicate his throne.[34] As-Salih, afraid of Saladin, came out of the palace and appealed to the inhabitants not to surrender him and the city to the invading force. One of Saladin's chroniclers claimed "the people came under his spell."[35]
Gumushtigin requested from Rashid ad-Din Sinan, grand-master of the Assassins who were already at odds with Saladin since he replaced the Fatimids of Egypt, to assassinate Saladin in his camp.[36] A group of thirteen Assassins easily gained admission into Saladin's camp, but were detected immediately before they carried out their attack. One was killed by a general of Saladin and the others were slain while trying to escape.[35][37] To make the situation more difficult for him, Raymond of Tripoli gathered his forces by Nahr al-Kabir where he was well-placed for an attack on Muslim territory. He later moved toward Hims, but retreated after being told a relief force was being sent to the city by Saif al-Din.[38]
Meanwhile, Saladin's rivals in Syria and Jazira waged a propaganda war, claiming he had "forgotten his own condition [servant of Nur ad-Din]" and showed no gratitude for his old master by besieging his son, rising "in rebellion against his Lord." Saladin aimed to counter this propaganda by departing the siege to claim he was defending Islam from the Crusaders; his army returned to Hama to engage a Crusader force there. The Crusaders withdrew beforehand and Saladin proclaimed it "a victory opening the gates of men's hearts."[38] Soon after, Saladin entered Hims and captured its citadel in March 1175, after stubborn resistance from its defenders.[39]
Saladin's successes alarmed Saif al-Din. As head of the descendants of Zengid, including Gumushtigin, he regarded Syria and Mesopotamia as his family estate and was angered when Saladin attempted to usurp their holdings. Saif al-Din mustered a large army and dispatched it to Aleppo whose defenders anxiously had awaited them. The combined forces of Mosul and Aleppo marched against Saladin in Hama. Heavily outnumbered, he initially attempted to make terms with the Zengids by abandoning all conquests north of the Damascus province, but they refused, insisting he return to Egypt. Seeing that a confrontation was unavoidable, Saladin prepared for battle, taking up a superior position on the hills by the gorge of the Orontes River. On April 13, 1175, the Zengid troops marched to attack his forces, but soon found themselves surrounded by Saladin's Ayyubid veterans who annihilated them. The battle ended in a decisive victory for Saladin who pursued the Zengid fugitives to the gates of Aleppo, forcing as-Salih's advisers to recognize his control of the provinces of Damascus, Hims, and Hama, as well as a number of towns outside Aleppo such as Ma'arat al-Numan.[40]
After his victory against the Zengids, Saladin proclaimed himself king and suppressed the name of as-Salih in the Friday prayers and Islamic coinage. From then on, he was ordered to be prayed for in all of the mosques of Syria and Egypt as the sovereign king and he issued at the Cairo mint gold coins bearing his name—al-Malik an-Nasir Yusuf Ayyub, ala ghaya "the King Strong to Aid, Joseph son of Job; exalted be the standard." The Abbasid caliph in Baghdad graciously welcomed Saladin's assumption of power and declared him "Sultan of Egypt and Syria."[41]
The Battle of Hama did not end the contest for power between the Ayyubids and the Zengids, the final confrontation occurring in the spring of 1176. Saladin had brought up his forces from Egypt and Saif al-Din was levying troops among the minor states of Diyarbakir and al-Jazira.[42] When Saladin crossed the Orontes, leaving Hama, the sun was eclipsed and despite viewing this as an omen, he continued his march north. He reached the Sultan's Mound, 15 miles (24 km) from Aleppo, where his forces encountered Saif al-Din's army. A hand-to-hand fight ensued and the Zengids managed to overthrow Saladin's left wing, driving it before him, when he himself charged at the head of the Zengid guard. The Zengid forces panicked and most of Saif al-Din's officers were killed or captured—he himself narrowly escaped. The Zengid army's camp, horses, baggage, tents, and stores were taken by the Ayyubids. The Zengid prisoners, however, were given gifts and freed by Saladin and all of the booty of his victory were handed to the army, not keeping a thing for himself.[43]
He continued towards Aleppo which still closed its gates to him, halting before the city. On the way, his army took Buza'a, then captured Manbij. From there they headed west to besiege the fortress of A'zaz on May 15. A few days later, while Saladin was resting in one of his captain's tents, an assassin rushed forward at him and struck at his head with a knife. The cap of his head armor was not penetrated and he managed to grip the assassin's hand—the dagger only slashing his gambeson—and the assailant was soon killed. Saladin was unnerved at the attempt on his life whom he accused Gumushtugin and the Assassins of plotting, and so increased his efforts in the siege.[44]
A'zaz capitulated on June 21, and Saladin then hurried his forces to Aleppo to punish Gumushtigin. His assaults were again resisted, but he managed to secure not only a truce, but a mutual alliance with Aleppo, in which Gumushtigin and as-Salih were allowed to continue their hold on the city and in return, they recognized Saladin as the sovereign over all the dominions he conquered. The emirs of Mardin and Keyfa, the Muslim allies of Aleppo, also recognized Saladin as the King of Syria. When the treaty was concluded, the younger sister of as-Salih came to Saladin and requested the return of the Fortress of A'zaz; he complied and escorted her back to the gates of Aleppo with numerous gifts.[44]

[edit] Campaign against Assassins

Saladin had by now agreed truces with his Zengid rivals and the Kingdom of Jerusalem (summer of 1175), but faced a threat from the Assassins led by Rashid ad-Din Sinan. Based in the al-Nusayri Mountains, they had nine fortresses atop high elevations. As soon as he dismissed the bulk of his troops to Egypt, Saladin led his army into al-Nusayri range in August 1176, but retreated the same month, after laying waste to the countryside, but failing to conquer any of the forts. Most Muslim historians claim that Saladin's uncle mediated a peace agreement between him and Sinan.[45] However, the latter's panegyrist claims Saladin departed due to fears for his own life at the hands of the Assassins. He had chalk and cinders strewed around his tent outside Masyaf—which he laid a siege against—to detect any footsteps by the Assassins and had his guards supplied with link lights.[46]
According to his version, one night, Saladin's guards noticed a spark glowing down the hill of Masyaf and then vanishing among the Ayyubid tents. Presently, Saladin awoke from his sleep to find a figure leaving the tent. He then saw that the lamps were displaced and beside his bed laid hot scones of the shape peculiar to the Assassins with a note at the top pinned by a poisoned dagger. The note threatened that he would be killed if he didn't withdraw from his assault. Saladin gave a loud cry, exclaiming that Sinan himself was the figure that left the tent. As such, Saladin told his guards to settle an agreement with Sinan.[46] Realizing he was unable to subdue the Assassins, he sought to align himself with them, consequently depriving the Crusaders of a secret weapon.[47]
19th century depiction of a victorious Saladin.

[edit] Return to Cairo and forays in Palestine

After leaving the al-Nusayri Mountains, Saladin returned to Damascus and had his Syrian soldiers return home. He left Turan Shah in command of Syria, and left for Egypt with only his personal followers, reaching Cairo on September 22. Having been absent roughly two years, he had much to organize and supervise in Egypt, namely fortifying and reconstructing Cairo. The city walls were repaired and their extensions laid out, while the construction of the Cairo Citadel was commenced.[47] The 280 feet (85 m) deep Bir Yusuf ("Joseph's Well") was built on Saladin's orders. The chief public work he commissioned outside of Cairo was the large bridge at Giza, which intended to form an outwork of defense against a potential Moorish invasion.[48]
Saladin remained in Cairo supervising its improvements, building colleges such as the Madrasa of the Sword Makers and ordering the internal administration of the country. In November 1177, he set out upon a raid into Palestine; the Crusaders had recently forayed into the territory of Damascus and so Saladin saw the truce was no longer worth preserving. The Christians sent a large portion of their army to besiege the fortress of Harim north of Aleppo and so southern Palestine bared few defenders.[48] Saladin found the situation ripe, and so marched to Ascalon, which he referred to as the "Bride of Syria." William of Tyre recorded that the Ayyubid army consisted of 26,000 soldiers, of which 8,000 were elite forces and 18,000 were black slave soldiers from the Sudan. This army proceeded to raid the countryside, sack Ramla and Lod, and dispersed themselves as far as the Gates of Jerusalem.[49]

[edit] Battles and truce with Baldwin

The Ayyubids did allow King Baldwin to enter Ascalon with his Gaza-based Templars without taking any precautions against a sudden attack. Although the Crusader force consisted only of 375 knights, Saladin hesitated to ambush them due to the presence of highly-skilled generals. On November 25, while the greater part of the Ayyubid army was absent, Saladin and his men were surprised at Tell Jezer, near Ramla. Before they could form up, the Templar force hacked the Ayyubid army down. Initially, Saladin attempted to organize his men into battle order, but as his bodyguards were being killed, he saw that defeat was inevitable and so with a small remnant of his troops mounted a swift camel, riding all the way to the territories of Egypt.[50]
Not discouraged by his defeat at Tell Jezer, Saladin was prepared to fight the Crusaders once again. In the spring of 1178, he was encamped under the walls of Hims and a few skirmishes occurred between his generals and the Crusader army. His forces in Hama won a victory over their enemy and brought the spoils, together with many prisoners of war to Saladin who ordered the captives to be beheaded for "plundering and laying waste the lands of the Faithful." He spent the rest of the year in Syria without a confrontation with his enemies.[51]
Saladin's intelligence services reported to him that the Crusaders were planning a raid into Syria. As such, he ordered one of his generals, Farrukh-Shah, to guard the Damascus frontier with a thousand of his men to watch for an attack, then to retire avoiding battle and lighting warning beacons on the hills on which Saladin would march out. In April 1179, the Crusaders led by King Baldwin expected no resistance and waited to launch a surprise attack on Muslim herders grazing their herds and flocks east of the Golan Heights. Baldwin advanced too rashly in pursuit of Farrukh-Shah's force which was concentrated southeast of Quneitra and was subsequently defeated by the Ayyubids. With this victory, Saladin decided to call in more troops from Egypt; he requested 1,500 horsemen to be sent by al-Adil.[52]
Jacob's Ford Battlefield, looking from the west bank to the east bank of the Jordan River.
In the summer of 1179, King Baldwin had set up an outpost on the road to Damascus and aimed to fortify a passage over the Jordan River, known as Jacob's Ford, that commanded the approach to the Banias plain (the plain was divided by the Muslims and the Christians). Saladin had offered 100,000 gold pieces for Baldwin to abandon the project which was peculiarly offensive to the Muslims, but to no avail. He then resolved to destroy the fortress, moving his headquarters to Banias. As the Crusaders hurried down to attack the Muslim forces, they fell into disorder, with the infantry falling behind. Despite early success, they pursued the Muslims far enough to become scattered and Saladin took advantage by rallying his troops and charged at the Crusaders. The engagement ended in a decisive Ayyubid victory and many high-ranking knights were captured. Saladin then moved to besiege the fortress which fell on August 30, 1179.[53]
In the spring of 1180, while Saladin was in the area of Safad, anxious to commence a vigorous campaign against the Kingdom of Jerusalem, King Baldwin sent messengers to him with proposals of peace. Due to droughts and bad harvests hampering his commissariat, Saladin agreed to a truce. Raymond of Tripoli denounced the truce, but was compelled to accept after an Ayyubid raid in his territory in May and upon the appearance of Saladin's naval fleet off the port of Tartus.[54]

[edit] Domestic issues

Image of a figurine on a concept of a waterclock by al-Jazarî in an arabian manuscript of 15th century.
In June 1180, Saladin held a reception for Nur al-Din Muhammad, the Artuqid emir of Keyfa, at Geuk Su, in which he presented him and his brother Abu Bakr gifts, valued at over 100,000 dinars according to Imad al-Din. This was intended to cement an alliance with Artuqids and to impress other emirs in Mesopotamia and Anatolia. Previously, Saladin offered to mediate relations between Nur al-Din and Kilij Arslan II—the Seljuk Sultan of Rum—after the two came into conflict. The latter demanded Nur al-Din return the lands given to him as a dowry for marrying his daughter when he received reports that she was being abused by him and was used to gain to Seljuk territory. Nur al-Din requested assistance from Saladin, but Arslan refused.[55]
After Nur al-Din and Saladin met at Geuk Su, the top Seljuk emir, Ikhtiyar al-Din al-Hasan, confirmed Arslan's submission, after which an agreement was drawn up. Saladin was enraged to receive a message from Arslan soon after, complaining of more abuses against his daughter. He threatened to attack the city of Malatya, saying, "it is two days march for me and I shall not dismount [my horse] until I am in the city."[55] Alarmed at the threat, the Seljuks pushed for negotiations. Saladin felt the Arslan was right to care for his daughter, but Nur al-Din had taken refuge with him, and therefore he could not betray him. It was finally agreed that the woman would be sent away for a year and that if Nur al-Din failed to comply, Saladin would abandon his support for him.[55]
Leaving Farrukh-Shah in charge of Syria, Saladin returned to Cairo at the beginning of 1181; According to Abu-Shama, he intended to spend the fast of Ramadan in Egypt and then make the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. For an unknown reason he apparently changed his mind about the pilgrimage and was seen inspecting the Nile River banks in June. He was again embroiled with the Bedouin; he removed two-thirds of their fiefs to use as compensation for the fief-holders at Fayyum which he intended to take over. The Bedouin were also accused of trading with the Crusaders and so their grain was confiscated and they were forced to move westward. Later, warships were waged against Bedouin river pirates who were plundering the shores of Lake Tanis.[56]
In the summer of 1181, Saladin's former palace administrator Qara-Qush led a force to arrest Majd al-Din—a former deputy of Turan-Shah in the town of Zabid in Yemen—while he was entertaining Imad ad-Din at his estate in Cairo. Saladin's intimates accused him of misappropriating the revenues of Zabid, but Saladin himself replied there was no evidence against him. He realized the mistake and had Majd al-Din released in return for a payment of 80,000 dinars to him and other sums to Saladin's brothers al-Adil and Taj al-Muluk Bari. The controversial detainment of Majd al-Din was a part of the larger discontent associated with the aftermath of Turan-Shah's departure from Yemen; although his deputies continued to send him revenues from the province, centralized authority was lacking and internal quarrel arose between the Izz al-Din Uthman of Aden and Hittan of Zabid. Saladin wrote in a letter to al-Adil: "this Yemen is a treasure house... We conquered it, but up to this day we have had no return and no advantage from it. There have been only innumerable expenses, the sending out of troops... and expectations which did not produce what was hoped for in the end."[57]

[edit] Empire expansions

[edit] Conquest of Mesopotamian hinterland

Saif al-Din had died earlier in June 1181 and his brother Izz al-Din inherited leadership of Mosul.[58] On December 4, the crown-prince of the Zengids, as-Salih, died in Aleppo. Prior to his death, he had his chief officers swear an oath of loyalty to Izz al-Din, as he was the only Zengid ruler strong enough to oppose Saladin. Izz al-Din was welcomed in Aleppo, but possessing it and Mosul put too great of a strain on his abilities. He thus, handed Aleppo to his brother Imad al-Din Zangi, in exchange for Sinjar. Saladin offered no opposition to these transactions in order to respect the treaty he previously made with the Zengids.[59]
On May 11, 1182, Saladin along with half of the Egyptian Ayyubid army and numerous non-combatants left Cairo for Syria. On the evening before he departed, he sat with his companions and the tutor of one of his sons quoted a line of poetry: "enjoy the scent of the ox-eye plant of Najd, for after this evening it will come no more." Saladin took this as an evil omen and he never saw Egypt again.[58] Knowing that Crusader forces were massed upon the frontier to intercept him, he took the desert route across the Sinai Peninsula to Ailah at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. Meeting no opposition, Saladin ravaged the countryside of Montreal, whilst Baldwin's forces watched on, refusing to intervene.[60] He arrived in Damascus in June to learn that Farrukh-Shah had attacked the Galilee, sacking Daburiyya and capturing Habis Jaldek, a fortress of great importance to the Crusaders. In July, Saladin dispatched Farrukh-Shah to attack Kawkab al-Hawa. Later, in August, the Ayyubids launched a naval and ground assault to capture Beirut; Saladin led his army in the Bekaa Valley. The assault was leaning towards failure and Saladin abandoned the operation to focus on issues in Mesopotamia.[61]
Kukbary, the emir of Harran, invited Saladin to occupy the Jazira region, making up northern Mesopotamia. He complied and the truce between him and the Zengids officially ended in September 1182.[62] Prior to his march to Jazira, tensions had grown between the Zengid rulers of the region, primarily concerning their unwillingness to pay deference to Mosul.[63] Before he crossed the Euphrates River, Saladin besieged Aleppo for three days, signaling that the truce was over.[62]
Once he reached Bira, near the river, he was joined by Kukbary and Nur al-Din of Hisn Kayfa and the combined forces captured the cities of Jazira, one after the other. First, Edessa fell, followed by Saruj, then ar-Raqqah, Karkesiya and Nusaybin.[62] Ar-Raqqah was an important crossing point and held by Qutb al-Din Inal, who had lost Manbij to Saladin in 1176. Upon seeing the large size of Saladin's army, he made little effort to resist and surrendered on the condition that he would retain his property. Saladin promptly impressed the inhabitants of the town by publishing a decree that ordered a number of taxes to be canceled and erased all mention of them from treasury records, stating "the most miserable rulers are those whose purses are fat and their people thin." From ar-Raqqah, he moved to conquer al-Fudain, al-Husain, Maksim, Durain, 'Araban, and Khabur—all of which swore allegiance to him.[64]
Saladin proceeded to take Nusaybin which offered no resistance. A medium-sized town, Nusaybin was not of great importance, but it was located in a strategic position between Mardin and Mosul and within easy reach of Diyarbakir.[65] In the midst of these victories, Saladin received word that the Crusaders were raiding the villages of Damascus. He replied "Let them... whilst they knock down villages, we are taking cities; when we come back, we shall have all the more strength to fight them."[62] Meanwhile, in Aleppo, the emir of the city Zangi raided Saladin's cities to the north and east, such as Balis, Manbij, Saruj, Buza'a, al-Karzain. He also destroyed his own citadel at A'zaz to prevent it from being used by the Ayyubids if they were to conquer it.[65]

[edit] Possession of Aleppo

Saladin turned his attention from Mosul to Aleppo, sending his brother Taj al-Mulk Buri to capture Tell Khalid, 80 miles (129 km) northeast of the city. A siege was set, but the governor of Tell Khalid surrendered upon the arrival of Saladin himself on May 17 before a siege could take place. According to Imad ad-Din, after Tell Khalid, Saladin took a detour northwards to Ain Tab, but he gained possession of it when his army turned towards it, allowing to quickly move backward another 60 miles (97 km) towards Aleppo. On May 21, he camped outside the city, positioning himself east of the Citadel of Aleppo, while his forces encircles the suburb of Banaqusa to the northeast and Bab Janan to the west. He stationed his men dangerously close to the city, hoping for an early success.[66]
Zangi did not offer long resistance. He was unpopular with his subjects and wished to return to his Sinjar, the city he governed previously. An exchange was negotiated where Zangi would hand over Aleppo to Saladin in return for the restoration of his control of Sinjar, Nusaybin, and ar-Raqqa. Zangi would hold these territories as Saladin's vassals on terms of military service. On June 12, Aleppo was formally placed in Ayyubid hands.[67] The people of Aleppo had not known about these negotiations and were taken by surprise when Saladin's standard was hoisted over the citadel. Two emirs, including an old friend of Saladin, Izz al-Din Jurduk, welcomed and pledged their service to him. Saladin replaced the Hanafi courts with Shafi'i administration, despite a promise he would not interfere in the religious leadership of the city. Although he was short of money, Saladin also allowed the departing Zangi to take all the stores of the citadel that he could travel with and to sell the remainder—which Saladin purchased himself.[68]
In spite of his earlier hesitation to go through with the exchange, he had no doubts about his success, stating that Aleppo was "the key to the lands" and "this city is the eye of Syria and the citadel is its pupil."[69] For Saladin, the capture of the city marked the end of over eight years of waiting since he told Farrukh-Shah "we have only to do the milking and Aleppo will be ours." From his standpoint, he could now threaten the entire Crusader coast.[70]
After spending one night in Aleppo's citadel, Saladin marched to Harim, near the Crusader-held Antioch. The city was held by Surhak, a "minor mamluk." Saladin offered him the city of Busra and property in Damascus in exchange for Harim, but when Surhak asked for more, his own garrison in Harim forced him out.[70] He was then arrested by Saladin's deputy Taqi al-Din on allegations that he was planning to cede Harim to Bohemond III of Antioch. When Saladin received its surrender, he proceeded to arrange the defense of Harim from the Crusaders. He reported to the caliph and his own subordinates in Yemen and Baalbek that was going to attack the Armenians. Before he could move, however, there were a number of administrative details to be settled. Saladin agreed to a truce with Bohemond in return for Muslim prisoners being held by him and then he gave A'zaz to Alam ad-Din Suleiman and Aleppo to Saif al-Din al-Yazkuj—the former was an emir of Aleppo who joined Saladin and the latter was a former mamluk of Shirkuh who helped rescue him from the assassination attempt at A'zaz.[71]

[edit] Fight for Mosul

As Saladin approached Mosul, he faced the issue of taking over a large city and justifying the action.[72] The Zengids of Mosul appealed to an-Nasir, the Abbasid caliph at Baghdad whose vizier favored them. An-Nasir sent Badr al-Badr (a high-ranking religious figure) to mediate between the two sides. Saladin arrived at the city on November 10, 1182. Izz al-Din would not accept his terms because he considered them disingenuous and extensive, and Saladin immediately laid siege to the heavily-fortified city.[73]
After several minor skirmishes and a stalemate in the siege that was initiated by the caliph, Saladin intended to find a way to withdraw from the siege without damage to his reputation while still keeping up some military pressure. He decided to attack Sinjar which was now held by Izz al-Din's brother Sharaf al-Din. It fell after a 15-day siege on December 30.[74] Saladin's commanders and soldiers broke their discipline, plundering the city; Saladin only managed to protect the governor and his officers by sending them to Mosul. After establishing a garrison at Sinjar, he awaited a coalition assembled by Izz al-Din consisting of his forces, those from Aleppo, Mardin, and Armenia.[75] Saladin and his army met the coalition at Harran in February 1183, but on hearing of his approach, the latter sent messengers to Saladin asking for peace. Each force returned to their cities and al-Fadil writes "They [Izz al-Din's coalition] advanced like men, like women they vanished."
On March 2, al-Adil from Egypt wrote to Saladin that the Crusaders had struck the "heart of Islam." Raynald de Chatillon had sent ships to from the Gulf of Aqaba to raid towns and villages off the coast of the Red Sea. It was not an attempt to extend the Crusader influence into that sea or to capture its trade routes, but merely a piratical move.[76] Nonetheless, Imad al-Din writes the raid was alarming to the Muslims because they were not accustomed to attacks on that sea and Ibn al-Athir adds that the inhabitants had no experience with the Crusaders either as fighters or traders.[77]
Ibn Jubair was told that sixteen Muslim ships were burnt by the Crusaders who then captured a pilgrim ship and caravan at Aidab. He also reported they intended to attack Medina and remove Muhammad's body. Al-Maqrizi added to the rumor by claiming Muhammad's tomb was going to be relocated Crusader territory so Muslims would make pilgrimages there. Fortunately for Saladin, al-Adil had his warships moved from Fustat and Alexandria to the Red Sea under the command of an Armenian mercenary Lu'lu. They broke the Crusader blockade, destroyed most of their ships, and pursued and captured those who anchored and fled into the desert.[78] The surviving Crusaders, numbered at 170, were ordered to be killed by Saladin in various Muslim cities.[79]
From Saladin's own point of view, in terms of territory, the war against Mosul was going well, but he still failed to achieve his objectives and his army was shrinking; Taqi al-Din took his men back to Hama, while Nasir al-Din Muhammad and his forces had left. This encouraged Izz al-Din and his allies to take the offensive. The previous coalition regrouped at Harzam some 90 miles (145 km) from Harran. In early April, without waiting for Nasir al-Din, Saladin and Taqi al-Din commenced their advance against the coalition, marching eastward to Ras al-Ein unhindered.[80] By late April, after three days of "actual fighting" according to Saladin, the Ayyubids had captured Amid. He handed the city Nur al-Din Muhammad together with its stores—which consisted of 80,000 candles, a tower full of arrowheads, and 1,040,000 books. In return for a diploma granting him the city, Nur al-Din swore allegiance to Saladin, promising to follow him in every expedition in the war against the Crusaders and repairing damage done to the city. The fall of Amid, in addition to territory, convinced Il-Ghazi of Mardin to enter the service of Saladin, weakening Izz al-Din's coalition.[81]
Saladin attempted to gain the Caliph an-Nasir's support against Izz al-Din by sending him a letter requesting a document that would give him legal justification for taking over Mosul and its territories. Saladin aimed to persuade the caliph claiming that while he conquered Egypt and Yemen under the flag of the Abbasids, the Zengids of Mosul openly supported the Seljuks (rivals of the caliphate) and only came to the caliph when in need. He also accused Izz al-Din's forces of disrupting the Muslim "Holy War" against the Crusaders, stating "they are not content not to fight, but they prevent those who can." Saladin defended his own conduct claiming that he had come to Syria to fight the Crusaders, end the heresy of the Assassins, and to end the wrong-doing of the Muslims. He also promised that if Mosul was given to him, it would lead to the capture of Jerusalem, Constantinople, Georgia, and the lands of the Almohads in the Maghreb, "until the word of God is supreme and the Abbasid caliphate has wiped the world clean, turning the churches into mosques." Saladin stressed that all this would happen by the will of God and instead of asking for financial or military support from the caliph, he would capture and give the caliph the territories of Tikrit, Daquq, Khuzestan, Kish Island, and Oman.[82]

[edit] Wars against Crusaders

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.[71]
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.[83]
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.[84]
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, talking about Raynald:
It is not the wont of kings, to kill kings; but that man had transgressed all bounds, and therefore did I treat him thus.[85]

[edit] Capture of Jerusalem

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,[86][87] but most of the foot soldiers were sold into slavery.[88] Upon the capture of Jerusalem, Saladin summoned the Jews and permitted them to resettle in the city.[89] In particular, the residents of Ashkelon, a large Jewish settlement, responded to his request.[90]
Tyre, on the coast of modern-day Lebanon was the last major Crusader city that was not captured by Muslim forces (strategically, it would have made more sense for Saladin to capture Tyre before Jerusalem—however, Saladin chose to pursue Jerusalem first because of the importance of the city to Islam). The city was now commanded by Conrad of Montferrat, who strengthened Tyre's defences and withstood two sieges by Saladin. In 1188, at Tortosa, Saladin released Guy of Lusignan and returned him to his wife, Queen Sibylla of Jerusalem. They went first to Tripoli, then to Antioch. In 1189, they sought to reclaim Tyre for their kingdom, but were refused admission by Conrad, who did not recognize Guy as king. Guy then set about besieging Acre.

[edit] Third Crusade

It is equally true that his generosity, his piety, devoid of fanaticism, that flower of liberality and courtesy which had been the model of our old chroniclers, won him no less popularity in Frankish Syria than in the lands of Islam.
René Grousset (writer)[91]
Hattin and the fall of Jerusalem prompted the Third Crusade, financed in England by a special "Saladin tithe." Richard I of England led Guy's siege of Acre, conquered the city and executed 3000 Muslim prisoners including women and children.[92] Saladin retaliated by killing all Franks captured from August 28 - September 10. Bahā' ad-Dīn writes, "Whilst we were there they brought two Franks to the Sultan (Saladin) who had been made prisoners by the advance guard. He had them beheaded on the spot."[93]
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. All attempts made by Richard the Lionheart 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.[citation needed] 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.

[edit] Death

A Knight without fear or blame who often had to teach his opponents the right way to practice chivalry.
An inscription written by Kaiser Wilhelm II on a wreath he laid on Saladin's Tomb.[91]
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.[94] 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.

[edit] Family

According to Imad al-Din, Saladin had fathered five sons before he left Egypt in 1174. There are no known details about most of the wives and slaves who bore him children. Saladin's eldest son, al-Afdal was born in 1170 and Uthman was born in 1172 to Shamsa who accompanied Saladin to Syria. Al-Afdal's mother bore Saladin another child in 1177. A letter preserved by Qalqashandi records that a twelfth son was born in May 1178, while on Imad al-Din's list, he appears as Saladin's seventh son. Mas'ud was born in 1175 and Yaq'ub in 1176, the latter to Shamsa. Nur al-Din's widow, Ismat al-Din Khatun, remarried to Saladin in September 1176. Ghazi and Da'ud were born to the same mother in 1173 and 1178, respectively, and the mother of Ishaq who was born in 1174 also gave birth to another son in July 1182.[95]

[edit] Recognition and legacy

[edit] Western world

Saladin's tomb, near Umayyad Mosque's NW corner.
Saladin's tomb in Damascus, Syria.
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. Though Saladin faded into history after the Middle Ages, he appears in a sympathetic light in Sir Walter Scott's novel The Talisman (1825). It is mainly from this novel that the contemporary view of Saladin originates. According to Jonathan Riley Smith, Scott's portrayal of Saladin was that of a "modern [19th Century] liberal European gentlemen, beside whom medieval Westerners would always have made a poor showing."[96] Despite the Crusaders' slaughter when they originally conquered Jerusalem in 1099, Saladin granted amnesty and free passage to all common Catholics and even to the defeated Christian army, as long as they were able to pay the aforementioned ransom (the Greek Orthodox Christians were treated even better, because they often opposed the western Crusaders). An interesting view of Saladin and the world in which he lived is provided by Tariq Ali's novel The Book of Saladin.[97] Though contemporary views on Saladin are often positive, Saladin's qualities are often exaggerated, mainly under influence of the image created during the 19th Century.
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.[98] 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."[99]

[edit] Muslim world

The Eagle of Saladin in the Egyptian coat of arms
The name Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn means "Righteousness of Faith." In 1898 German Emperor Wilhelm II visited Saladin's tomb to pay his respects. The visit, coupled with anti-colonial sentiments, led nationalist Arabs to reinvent the image of Saladin and portray him as a hero of the struggle against the West. The image of Saladin they used was the romantic one created by Scott and other Europeans in the West at the time, as Saladin had been a figure entirely forgotten in the Muslim world. This was mainly because of Saladin's short-lived "quasi-empire" and his eclipse by more succesful figures such as Baybars of Egypt.[100]
Modern Muslim rulers have sought to commemorate Saladin through various measures, often based on the false image created of him in the 19th Century West. A governorate centered around Tikrit and Samarra in modern-day Iraq, Salah ad Din Governorate, is named after him, as is Salahaddin University in Arbil. A suburb community of Arbil, Masif Salahaddin, is also named after him.
Few structures associated with Saladin survive within modern cities. Saladin first fortified the Citadel of Cairo (1175 - 1183), which had been a domed pleasure pavilion with a fine view in more peaceful times. In Syria, even the smallest city is centred on a defensible citadel, and Saladin introduced this essential feature to Egypt.
Among the forts he built was Qalaat al-Gindi, a mountaintop fortress and caravanserai in the Sinai. The fortress overlooks a large wadi which was the convergence of several caravan routes that linked Egypt and the Middle East. Inside the structure are a number of large vaulted rooms hewn out of rock, including the remains of shops and a water cistern. A notable archaeological site, it was investigated in 1909 by a French team under Jules Barthoux.[101]
Although the Ayyubid dynasty that he founded would only outlive him by 57 years, the legacy of Saladin within the Arab World continues to this day. With the rise of Arab nationalism in the Twentieth Century, particularly with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Saladin's heroism and leadership gained a new significance. Saladin's liberation of Palestine from the European Crusaders was taken as the inspiration for the modern-day Arabs' struggle against Zionism.
Moreover, the glory and comparative unity of the Arab World under Saladin was seen as the perfect symbol for the new unity sought by Arab nationalists, such as Gamal Abdel Nasser. For this reason, the Eagle of Saladin became the symbol of revolutionary Egypt, and was subsequently adopted by several other Arab states (Iraq, Yemen, and the Palestinian National Authority).

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ History - Saladin
  2. ^ Eyewitness of the reign of Saladin and historian İbn Haldun, "Mukaddime", 2. cilt, sh. 622, Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı, 1996.
  3. ^ a b "Encyclopedia of World Biography on Saladin". http://www.bookrags.com/biography/saladin/. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  4. ^ a b The medieval historian Ibn Athir relates a passage from another commander: "...both you and Saladin are Kurds and you will not let power pass into the hands of the Turks." Minorsky (1957).
  5. ^ The Crusades. Calgary University in California.
  6. ^ William Leonard Langer, "A survey of European civilization", part 1, page 217, 1947.
  7. ^ Bahā' al-Dīn (2002), p 17.
  8. ^ (Armenian) Ter-Ghevondyan, Aram N. (1965). Արաբական Ամիրայությունները Բագրատունյաց Հայաստանում (The Arab Emirates in Bagratuni Armenia). Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences. p. 218. 
  9. ^ a b c Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 3
  10. ^ a b "Who2 Biography: Saladin, Sultan / Military Leader". Answers.com. http://www.answers.com/topic/saladin. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  11. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 6-7
  12. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 8
  13. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 14
  14. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 15
  15. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 16
  16. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 25
  17. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 28
  18. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 28-29
  19. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 32-33
  20. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 34, 36
  21. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 38
  22. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 41
  23. ^ a b Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 43
  24. ^ Pringle, 1993, p.208.
  25. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 45
  26. ^ a b Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 46-47
  27. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 60-62
  28. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 64
  29. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 73-74
  30. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 74-75
  31. ^ a b Lane-Poole 1906, p. 136
  32. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 81
  33. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 13
  34. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 137
  35. ^ a b Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 87
  36. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 138
  37. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 139
  38. ^ a b Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 88-89
  39. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 140
  40. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 141
  41. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, pp. 141-142
  42. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 143
  43. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 144
  44. ^ a b Lane-Poole 1906, pp. 144-146
  45. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 148
  46. ^ a b Lane-Poole 1906, pp. 149-150
  47. ^ a b Lane-Poole 1906, p. 151
  48. ^ a b Lane-Poole 1906, p. 153
  49. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 154
  50. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 155
  51. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 156
  52. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 136
  53. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, pp. 157-159
  54. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 160-161
  55. ^ a b c Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 148
  56. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 156
  57. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 158-159
  58. ^ a b Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 149
  59. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 164-165
  60. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 167
  61. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, pp. 168-169
  62. ^ a b c d Lane-Poole 1906, pp. 169-170
  63. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 164
  64. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 176
  65. ^ a b Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 177
  66. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 195
  67. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, pp. 172-173
  68. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 198-199
  69. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 199
  70. ^ a b Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 201
  71. ^ a b Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 202-203
  72. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 178
  73. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 179
  74. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 180-181
  75. ^ Lane-Poole 1906, p. 171
  76. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 184
  77. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 185
  78. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 186
  79. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 187
  80. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 188
  81. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 191
  82. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, pp. 192-194
  83. ^ Bosworth, 1989, p. 781
  84. ^ Saladin Or What Befell Sultan Yusuf by Beha Ed-din, Baha' Al-Din Yusuf Ib Ibn Shaddad, Kessinger Publishing, 2004, p.42, p.114
  85. ^ Saladin Or What Befell Sultan Yusuf by Beha Ed-din, Baha' Al-Din Yusuf Ib Ibn Shaddad, Kessinger Publishing, 2004, p.115.
  86. ^ Runciman
  87. ^ "E. J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936". http://books.google.com/books?id=7CP7fYghBFQC&pg=PA1101&dq=saladin+balian+jerusalem+siege+-wikipedia+-%22Kingdom+of+Heaven%22+destroy+temple+mount&sig=lu0RI7bOVMyPYmxqHXVUiaWTkkw. 
  88. ^ The era of the Second and Third Crusades » The Crusader states to 1187, Encyclopaedia Britannica
  89. ^ Scharfstein and Gelabert, 1997, p. 145.
  90. ^ Rossoff, 2001, p. 6.
  91. ^ a b Grousset (1970).
  92. ^ Richard The Lionheart Massacres The Saracens, 1191, Beha-ed-Din, his account appears in Archer, T.A., The Crusade of Richard I (1889); Gillingham, John, The Life and Times of Richard I (1973).
  93. ^ Bahā' al-Dīn (2002) pp 169-170
  94. ^ Bahā' al-Dīn (2002) pp 25 & 244.
  95. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 135
  96. ^ Riley Smith, Jonathan, "The Crusades, Christianity and Islam", (Columbia 2008), p. 67
  97. ^ (London: Verso, 1998)
  98. ^ Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 357
  99. ^ Bahā' al-Dīn (2002), pp. 147–148.; Lyons & Jackson 1982, p. 325-326
  100. ^ Riley Smith, Jonathan, "The Crusades, Christianity and Islam", (Columbia 2008), p. 63-66
  101. ^ Schreurs, J. (February 2001). "Saladin". http://home.hetnet.nl/~lilian_jan_schreurs/news/saladin.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-17. 

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] External links

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Al-'Āḍid
Fatimid Caliph of Egypt
Sultan of Egypt
1171–1193
Succeeded by
Al-Aziz Uthman
Preceded by
As-Salih Ismail al-Malik
Emir of Damascus
1174–1186
Succeeded by
Al-Afdal ibn Salah al-din


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