The previous article talked about Sultan Salah al-Din the Ayyubidand his rule over Egypt assumed after the death of Caliph Al-AdidBillah, as a representative of Nur al-Din. Salah al-Din besieged the Shoubak Castle and returned to Egypt, citing the imbalance of its affairs; Nur al-Din did not accept Salah al-Din’s excuse, changed his stance towards him, and decided to enter Egypt and oust him; these news reached Salah Al-Din, who held a meeting with his family and sought their consultancy. Some advised him to fight Nur al-Din, while his father, Najm al-Din advised him to write to Nur al-Din declaring obedience.
Ibn al-Atheer mentions: “When Najm al-Din Ayyub was alone with his son Salah al-Din, he said to him: Son, what sort of mind made you say this?! Don’t you know that if Nur al-Din knew about our intention to fight him, he would only be occupied with fighting us, and then we will not be able to overcome him, but if we obey him, he will leave us and get busy fightingothers. Let fate play its role. I swear,if Nur al-Din wanted a reed of sugar cane, I would have fought him over it until either I prevented him, or I got killed! So Salah al-Din did what his father advised him to. So Nur al-Din neglected Salah al-Din and occupied himself with something else.” Salah al-Din reigned over Egypt as a representative of Nur al-Din until Nur al-Din died in 569 AH (1174 AD). He ruled the country alone afterwards.
In1182 AD, Salah al-Din led his armies to Damascus after the death of Nur al-Din, and he conquered it, received it, and imposed his authority over it and over all its villages and what follows it. He then headed towards Aleppoand besieged it, but he could not conquer it, so he went to Homs and Baalbek and conquered them. Afterwards, he conquered Sinjar, Manbij, Haran and Nusaibin on the other side of the Euphrates. He conquered many towns of Mosul, but he was unable to enter the city of Mosul; so he returned to Aleppo, reconciled with its ruler and took it, but his victory was stained by the death of his brother Taj al-Dawla during its siege. Sultan Salah al-Din later headed to Damascus, then went out to fight the invaders and besieged the fortress of Karak, but he was unable to do so, so he returned to Damascus, and then to Egypt in 581 AH (1184 AD).
Salah al-Din stayed for a year in Egypt, he allocated Mondays and Thursdays for considering the complaints of the people, it is said about him, “he was justice loving, he used to hold a public council on Mondays and Thursdays, attended by judges and jurists, reached by elders and youth, responding to whoever resorted to him”, it was also said, “In his council, a group of jurists and the chief statesmen used to gather to look into the judgments among the people, and to act according to what is required by the provisions of Sharia, truth and justice.”
Salah al-Din returned to Damascus a year later, and resided there for a whole year, then gathered the soldiers to invade Karak in 583 AH (1187 AD) and saved it from the hands of the Franks. It is reported that the Franks were ruled by Count Godefroi, the husband of the countess, the daughter of the king, who came to power after the death of her father. She gave away the authority and the rule to her husband, an action that angered the country’s Frank rulers, including the ruler of Tripoli, who sent to Salah al-Din pledging not to fight him, but to hand over Tiberias to him if he came and invaded it; So Salah al-Din moved there to and took it.
When the news reached the King of the Franks, he mobilized his soldiers to fight Salah al-Din. The two teams met at the Battle of Hittin and fought until Salah al-Din defeated the Franks and captured a large number of them, including King Guy de Lusignan, the army commander Amouri de Lusignan and Baron Renaud de Châtillon, the ruler of Karak, who was beheaded by Salah al-Din’s sword. The reason for that was… and stories about beautiful Egypt never end!
The General Bishop
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center