Third Crusade and Saladin

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Saladin or Salah al-Din, or Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi (Arabic: صلاح الدين الأيوبي, Kurdish: صلاح الدین ایوبی) (solaah-hud-deen al-ayoobi) (c. 1138 - March 4, 1193) was a twelfth century Kurdish Muslim general and warrior from Tikrit, in present day northern Iraq. He founded the Ayyubid dynasty of Egypt, Syria, Yemen (except for the Northern Mountains), Iraq, Mecca, Hejaz and Diyar Bakr. Although he is known worldwide as Saladin his real name was Yousuf. Saladin is renowned in both the Muslim and Christian worlds for leadership and military prowess, tempered by his chivalry and merciful nature during his war against the Crusaders, even to the extent that propagated stories of his exploits back to the west, incorporating both myth and facts. Salah al-Din is an honorific title which translates to The Righteousness of the Faith from Arabic.

Contents [hide]
1 Rise to power
2 Fighting the Crusaders
3 Recognition
4 Burial site
5 Saladin in media
6 Notes
7 See also
8 External links
9 References

[edit] Rise to power
Saladin was born c. 1138 into a Kurdish [1] family in Tikrit and was sent to Damascus to finish his education. His father, Najm ad-Din Ayyub, was governor of Baalbek. For ten years Saladin lived in Damascus and studied Sunni Theology, at the court of Nur ad-Din (Nureddin). After an initial military education under the command of his uncle, Nur ad-Din's lieutenant Shirkuh, who was representing Nur ad-Din on campaigns against a faction of the Fatimid caliphate of Egypt in the 1160s, Saladin eventually succeeded the defeated faction and his uncle as vizier in 1169. There, he inherited a difficult role defending Egypt against the incursions of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, under Amalric I. His position was tenuous at first; no one expected him to last long in Egypt where there had been many changes of government in previous years due to a long line of child caliphs fought over by competing viziers. As the leader of a foreign army from Syria, he also had no control over the Shi'ite Egyptian army, which was led in the name of the now otherwise powerless caliph Al-Adid. When the caliph died, in September 1171, Saladin had the imams pronounce the name of Al-Mustadi, the Sunni and, more importantly, Abbassid caliph in Baghdad, at sermon before Friday prayers, and the weight of authority simply deposed the old line. Now Saladin ruled Egypt, but officially as the representative of Nur ad-Din, who himself conventionally recognised the Abbassid caliph. Saladin revitalized the economy of Egypt, reorganized the military forces and, following his father's advice, stayed away from any conflicts with Nur ad-Din, his formal lord, after he had become the real ruler of Egypt. He waited until Nur ad-Din's death before starting serious military actions: at first against smaller Muslim states, then directing them against the Crusaders.

With Nur ad-Din's death (1174), he assumed the title of sultan in Egypt. There he declared independence from the Seljuks, and he proved to be the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty and restored Sunnism in Egypt. He extended his territory westwards in the maghreb, and when his uncle was sent up the Nile to pacify some resistance of the former Fatimid supporters, he continued on down the Red Sea to conquer Yemen. He is also regarded as a Waliullah which means the friend of God to the Sunni Muslims.

[edit] Fighting the Crusaders

"Saladin, king of Egypt" from a fifteenth century illuminated manuscript; the "globus" in his left hand is a European symbol of kingly power.On two occasions, in 1170 and 1172, Saladin retreated from an invasion of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. These had been launched by Nur ad-Din, and Saladin hoped that the Crusader kingdom would remain intact, as a buffer state between Egypt and Syria,...
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