Salahuddin Ayyubi Explained History | Who is Saladin

  Salahuddin Al Ayyubi, also known as Saladin,is widely known as one of the most important people in the Middle East during the medieval times. He is the one that founded the Ayyubid dynasty,and he was also the first person that held the title of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Here's a short insight into the history of Saladin and how he became such an iconic name. Why is Saladin so significant from a historical standpoint? 

Salahuddin Ayyubi Explained History  :

Saladin lived between 1137 and 1193. He was both the Sultan of Syria and Egypt,and the reason why he is widely known is because he got to defeat multiple Crusader states at the Battle of Hattin. He also captured Jerusalem in 1187. He got to unify the eastern part of Egypt down to Arabia, he got to maintain his supremacy. In doing so, Saladin repelled the third crusade and he also managed to destroy the Latin East states. He is indeed an iconic person from that time,both thanks to his political and warfare skill, but also thanks to his personality. Early days His father was a Kurdish mercenary, and he was born at the castle of Tikrit, near Baghdad. What makes Saladin unique however is the fact that even from a young age, he was a very good polo player and he was also a very skilled horseman. After acquiring a variety of different skills near his home, he went with his uncle named Shirkuh in a campaign, as he became the ruler of Egypt in 1169. As time went by, Saladin became governor in Egypt thanks to Nur ad-Din, taking over from the relative. People from that era say that Saladin was short, he had a round face and black eyes, as well as a black beard. He always tried to add family members in authority positions to ensure that he had control, which was incredibly important during that time.

Salahuddin Ayyubi Explained History ||  Who is Saladin
Salahuddin Ayyubi Explained History ||  Who is Saladin

 Once Nur ad-Din lost his life in May 1174,the Muslim state coalition started to break down, and that's when Saladin stood out, claiming he was the rightful heir. It was at that time when he managed to takeover Egypt, something that was hard to fathom at that time. Saladin unified the Muslim world After he became the sultan of Egypt, he went on to capture Damascus in 1174. At that time, he claimed to be the Sunni Orthodoxy protector. The fact that he was removed from the Shiite caliph in Cairo actively brought a lot of weight to his claim. He was accepted as protector, and then he went on to unify the Muslim world or at least create a coalition. Since there were so many city rulers and states,that felt very difficult in the beginning, yet Saladin was one of those people that never gave up. In order to create the coalition, Saladin had to rely on a combination of diplomacy and warfare. He fought and defeated an army at Hama in 1175, so he had to deal with some battles here and there. Another thing to note here is the fact that he cemented his power mostly thanks to the caliph of Baghdad recognized him to be the governor of Yemen, Egypt and Syria. Despite that, Aleppo was still independent,and it was ruled by Nur ad-Din's son. The son was bringing quite a lot of trouble from a diplomatic perspective. Since the Sultan of Egypt survived 2 attacks,Saladin replied to that by attacking the Masyaf Assassin castle. Not only did he defeat them, but he also pillaged the entire area, which was quite the achievement for that time. But Saladin wasn't always about warfare. He usually tried to get things done the diplomatic way.

Mevlana Museum Konya

Who is Saladin :

 He married Nur ad-Din's widow, as well as Unur's daughter later on. He managed to associate himself with 2 important ruling dynasties at that time. The franks defeated Saladin at Mont Gisardin 1177, however he did capture a Jordan fortress and he also had a victory in 1179 at MontGisard. He managed to show everyone that he wanted to eliminate westerners from the Middle East, something that brought him a lot of support during that time. Saladin also had a reputation when it came to the way he behaved and how he worked with other people. He was focused on bringing justice into the fold, all while being very generous. On top of that, people saw him as the defender of Islam, more specifically against the Christians. His position became even more impressive in 1183 when he got to capture Aleppo. He created an Egyptian fleet to prepare for any possible attacks that would come from Christianity.

 By the time 1185 arrived, Saladin was in complete control over Mosul and he signed a treaty. Him and the Byzantine Empire would work together to combat the Seljuks. They were a thorn in both empire's sides,so it's easy to see why Saladin wanted to get rid of them. Around that time, there were issues regarding who would rule Jerusalem, and the franks were also distracted by a variety of conflicts. The franks attacked the castle of Kerak in April 1187, which was commanded by Saladin's son at that time. Due to the attack, he started gathering a huge army that had Jazira, Aleppo, Syria and Egypt. Of course the franks created their own army,and they battled at Hattin. The battles of Jerusalem and Hattin At the beginning of July, mounted archers attacked and also retreated, making sure they harassed the Franks.

Saladin Explained History :

 On the 4 of July that year, they brought a larger attack. Saladin brought around 20000 troops to the battle of Hattin, and he faced franks that were commanded by Guy of Lusignan, which at that time was the King of Jerusalem. They had around 1300 knights and 15000 infantry,so Saladin's army had a lot more people. On top of that, franks were short on water and supplies in general. Saladin's army set the dry grass on fire and that made the enemy situation even worse at that time. Raymond of Tripoli and his cavalry force did eventually manage to break Muslim attack team, but the others had nowhere to go, Saladin brought a massive victory at Hattin thanks to that. Some of the captured nobles were released for a ransom, including Guy of Lusignan. Others were executed, such as Reynald of Chatillon being a prime example. The Knights Hospitaller and Knights Templar were also executed. In September 1187, Saladin went ahead and captured Jerusalem, which was pretty much undefended at that time.

Anatolian Civilizations Museum Ankara

 The Christians from the eastern side were allowed to stay in the city, even if most churches were turned into mosques. He went on to conquer Caesarea, Jaffa, Nazareth,Tiberia and Acre, among others. The third crusade Saladin brought the idea of a holy war against the Christians for a long time. It was in 1187 when Pope Gregory IIIrd called for a new crusade with the idea of getting Jerusalem back. At that time, the kings of Germany, England and France responded and they created an alliance. They joined Guy of Lusignan and then they tried to siege Saladin's land. The Crusader army eventually captured Acrein July 1191, as well as 70 ships from Saladin's army. Then they went south to Jerusalem. There was a massive battle in September 1191 on the plains of Arsuf. The crusaders won there, however Saladin's army didn't suffer major losses.

Who is Salahuddin Ayyubi :

 The loss of Arsuf, Acre and Jaffa ended up damaging Saladin's reputation. Death and legacy Despite the fact that the crusaders acquired some towns, the truth is that he did end up acquiring a lot of artifacts. That being said, he didn't profit that much from the Crusader departure, since he died on the 4th March 1193. He was only 56 years old at that time, and it's speculated that his death came from the time and effort spent on all the campaigns. As you can imagine, the Muslim coalition was extremely volatile even when he created it, so it disbanded very fast once Saladin died. Saladin is widely known for the fact tha the created the Ayyubid dynasty that continued to rule Syria until 1260 and Egypt until 1250. These regions were both acquired by mamluks at those respective dates. It's important to note that Saladin left a massive legacy in the military world, but he also shared a literary legacy too. His diplomatic skills and leadership skills in particular were the topic for many books. A lot of people still respect and appreciate his work and the unique way he managed to control so many different regions throughout his lifetime! 

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