Salahuddin Ayyubi - Facts, Biography & History

Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi or Saladin was a famous Muslim warrior, leader, commander and a greatest military general that the history has ever witnessed after Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed.

Salahuddin Ayyubi facts & biography
Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi (Saladin)
Real Name Yusuf Ibn Ayyubi
Title Salahuddin, Malik Al-Nasir (The Victorious)
Birth 1137 CE, Tikrit (Iraq)
Death 1193 CE, Syria
Tomb The Great Mosque Of Damascus or Umayyad Mosque
Legacy Of Salahuddin
Famous Battle Battle Of Hattin
Achievements Reconquered Jerusalem,
Liberated Al-Aqsa Mosque
Founder Ayyubid Dynasty

Salahuddin Ayyubi is famous throughout the history for crushing the might of Crusaders and liberating the city of Jerusalem from their claws.

He was on a mission to liberate the holy lands that were under the Crusaders' occupation. He was so dedicated in his mission that he would usually say:
How can I smile, how could food and drink taste good when Masjid Al-Aqsa is in the hands of Crusaders.

Not only Muslims, Christians and Jews equally idolize him for his generosity, kindness, fortitude and uprightness.

Salahuddin Ayyubi was even loved by his enemies. They would even witness him as an example of a perfect knight.

That's Salahuddin! My dear brother and sisters, the tiger of Islam, we call him.

13 Facts about Salahuddin Ayyubi. 

I will highlight some of the interesting facts from his life before discussing why we need a hero like him nowadays. Those facts will InshAllah more or less encompass his biographical sketch in brief.

1.He belonged to a Kurdish military family.

He was born in Iraq in the fort of Tikrit near Baghdad in the year 1137 AD (or 532 H). His family moved to Mosul just after the birth of Salahuddin Ayyubi.

The city of Tikrit was conquered by Muslims during the time of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (r.a.).

Some sources mentioned the year of his birth as 1138 CE. alert-success

2. The real name of Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi was Yusuf Ibn Ayyubi.

Yusuf Ibn Ayyubi earned the title of Salahuddin for the extraordinary composition of his qualities that excelled him in his religion.

The title of Salahuddin literally means 'righteous in Deen (faith)'. People also called him Malik Al-Nasir, the meaning of which is victorious.

He wanted to be a great scholar of Islam. Not only he studied the Holy Quran but also Fiqh, Hadith & Lineage. Apart from this, he also studied mathematics, economics, law and astronomical science.

But destiny chose him to be one of the greatest knights the world would ever witness. Who knew that this child was going to be remembered as "Tiger of Islam"?

3. The mastership of Noruddin modelled him.

Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi started to get the military training at a very tender age under his uncle, Shirukh. His strength and bravery further got perfected under the leadership of Noruddin Zengi.

Noruddin's influence on moulding Saladin's life was so much that many went on to remark this:
Had there been no Noruddin, there wouldn't be any Salahuddin.

It was from Noruddin that Salahuddin Ayyubi inherited the biggest dream of his life - to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from Crusaders' occupation.

Noruddin knew the potentials of Salahuddin. This is why he made him the chief of the entire police of Damascus to end the crimes in the region.

Noruddin/Noor Ed-Din along with his father Imadduddin is the founder of the Madrasa system. alert-success

4. The first Sultan of Egypt & Syria. 

When Salahuddin family moved to Mosul along with his uncle, the father of Noruddin, the ruler of Mosul sheltered them under his patronage. He also included his father and uncle to his army as his close associates.

After the death of his father, Noruddin took the charge and became one of the reasons for Salahuddin rise.

At that time, Egypt was under the Fatimid Caliphate which already had fallen prey to Crusaders.

Shirukh convinced Noruddin to send an army to Egypt to fix its scenario. He took Salahuddin with himself to Egypt under his leadership.

After fixing the landscape, circumstances eventually ensued Shirukh to take charge of the region. But Al-Adid remained the Caliph.

After while his uncle passed away, the Ulema and the Fuqaha (Jurists) chose Salahuddin unanimously to lead. He brought in many revolutionary changes for the people of Egypt. That's why when Al-Adid died, people loved him to take over as the ruler.

He showed compassion and love to the people and got that reciprocated.

5. Uniting the Muslim world under one umbrella.

At that time, there were discords among the Ummah and they were divided under various fronts. Muslim were in continuous conflict among themselves. They were suffering so much due to the incompetency of the Muslim rulers.

Then destiny chose Salahuddin Ayyubi to lead the situation. He was successful in unifying numerous Muslim states and regions under one banner and formed one Islamic front.

The great sultan then went on to rule from Ramlah to the Nile basin, and from North Africa to Tripoli. He conquered Yemen, Aden, Tripoli coast and a part of Tunisia to Qabis, in addition to Egypt, Syria and northern Iraq.

6. Salahuddin Ayyubi swore in to kill Reginald of Chatillon. 

The mocking of Islam and the beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ by the Prince of Kerak, Reginald de Chatillon added fuel to the fire already burning in the hearts of Muslims for Jerusalem. The Prince not only made notorious remarks but also plundered and attacked the trade caravan loyal to Salahuddin Ayyubi.

Historian quoted the remarks made by him to the Muslim captives as saying:
If you believe in Muhammad, call him to release you and free you from my captivity.

Upon hearing this, Salahuddin Ayyubi fumed with anger beyond any bounds. He took an oath to kill the Reginald for despising Islam and Prophet ﷺ.

He completed the oath after the battle of Hattin by killing the prince with his own hands. 

7. Annihilation of Crusaders in the battle of Hattin.

The above notorious act of Reginald de Chatillon was one of the many reasons that gave Salahuddin a reason to lead for a battle.

Salahuddin Ayyubi was determined to finish the battle for Jerusalem, started by his master Noruddin.

This was the single, perhaps the most important battle that took place after the time of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

Battle of Hattin was fought in the year 1187 CE that corresponds to 583 Hijra in the Islamic calendar. It was fought between the army of one of the greatest Muslim warrior and the army of the Crusader's world.

8. Liberation of Jerusalem & Al-Aqsa Mosque from 88 years of occupation.

The victory of Salahuddin in the battle of Hattin paved the way for the reconquest of our city of Jerusalem. This city of ours was invaded by the Crusaders in the first Crusade by butchering the Muslims.

The liberation of Jerusalem and the holy lands was like bringing back the glory of the Muslims Ummah after 88 years of Crusaders occupation.

It took Salahuddin Ayyubi, the 10 complete years of preparation to celebrate this victory. He started the struggle for Jerusalem in 1177 CE. 

He never attacked first and refrain from any direct conflict with the enemies until and unless he became sure of his victory.

9. The magnanimity of Salahuddin Ayyubi.


It was the time after the victory of the battle of Hattin, Salahuddin Ayyubi gave that famous response replicating what our Prophet ﷺ showed after the conquest of Mecca.

Just to weigh in this, I will take you to the time when the Christian had captured Jerusalem in 1099 after the First Crusade. They slaughtered every single Muslim men, women and child.

They were so blinded by their victory that they celebrated it by the bloodbath of more than 10,000 Muslims. The slaughtered was to the extent that every street of Jerusalem soaked with blood. 

Gesta Francorium, a Latin chronicle of the First Crusade reported that bloodshed was to the level men waded in blood up to their ankles.

And the time came for Muslims to take the revenge for what they were afflicted upon. When Salahuddin Ayyubi recaptured the city, Christians were trembling, the king of Jerusalem was on his knees thinking justly that Salahuddin should do as they did to them. That's what the law of humanity tells you.

But Salahuddin Ayyubi not only refused to take revenge from Christians he also warned of subjecting them to any harassment. He forbade harming and plundering anyone that was common at that time after any battle.

When some of his people asked him to reciprocate the same gesture what the Christian did to the Muslims, he refused by saying:
I am not those men, I am Salahuddin.

10. He set the example of tolerance between different faiths.

After Muslims took over the city of Jerusalem, Salahuddin Ayyubi offered protection to the Churches and permitted the Christian pilgrimage for a safe passage to the city. He assured them protection from any harms and plundering.

He even made three districts in Jerusalem; one for the Muslims, one for the Christians and one for the Jews so that they could live in harmony.

This earned him respect from the Christian and Jews sides alike. This also diode him to be one of the greatest figures in history.

11. The death of great warrior of Islam.

Salahuddin Ayyubi died with barely any property left to his legacy.

He died of sickness in 1193 CE.

Ibn Shaddad mentioned that this was one of the greatest calamity to befall the Muslims since the demise of the Khilafa-ur-Rashidun.

Did you know what did the King of Syria, the King of Egypt, the King of Yemen left behind?

Nothing except a Dinar, 47 Dirhams, some armours and a horse. 

They had to borrow money to get the fabric for wrapping the greatest sultan and to perform his Janazah. He had spent much of his wealth in the battle for Jerusalem.

Salahuddin Ayyubi had exhausted both his wealth and health in the way of Jihad to liberate the holy lands.

12. Europe launched the third Crusade against Muslims.

The crushing defeat of the Crusaders in the hands of Salahuddin Ayyubi sent a shock wave to the entire Christian world.

They united to launch the Third Crusade against the Muslims. The humiliations they had to go through after losing Jerusalem forced them to stand for a new battle.

The Christian clergy, the princess, the German empire, the king of England and the king of France all rallied unitedly towards Jerusalem. 

They fell in internal conflicts that ensued infighting between them. Some of them returned back to their pavilion except the king of England, Richard the Lionheart. He proceeds to get the city back.

However, they did manage to get some of their territories back but failed for the aim, it was launched. Their attempt to capture Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque remained unsuccessful. 

13. Richard the Lionheart & the chivalry of Salahuddin Ayyubi.

We have discussed the fact above that it was only Richard the Lionheart who was determined to proceed for the 3rd Crusade.

Neither in the battlefield nor in showing generosity, no one could compete Salahuddin Ayyubi in both the domains.

It has been reported that before a battle, once Richard the Lionheart fell severely ill. What? This could be the best chance for Salahuddin to attack his fiercest enemy. 

Look what he did. Salahuddin instead sent his personal physician to take care of the king. He offered all the gesture to him during those days that no one could expect these from even the closed of friends let alone be the main opponent.

And in a battlefield, when the king loses his horse during fighting with Salahuddin, he didn't use this as an opportunity to smash him down. Instead, Salahuddin Ayyubi offered his one of the best horse to the King so that he doesn't fall weaken before him.

The generosity, the chivalry of Salahuddin Ayyubi forced Richard the Lionheart to rethink the intentions with he was proceeding. This eventually made him put off his war plan. 

Finally, the third Crusade failed and that ended in a truce between the two.

Summary.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, that was Salahuddin Ayyubi, the tiger of Islam, the liberator of Al-Aqsa Mosque. He is the man who changed the political landscape of the world. 

He not only conquered the lands but also his fiercest enemies. Yes, without a doubt, he was blessed with excellent military tactics and skills. But more importantly, he was enshrined with a Deen, the religion of Islam.

His strongest determination came from his religion, the knowledge he had about the Quran. He was a very religiously dedicated person. That's why in his childhood, he aspired to become a scholar. He wouldn't miss any prayer no matter what.

When he was in his death-bed, even in that state, he insisted on praying Salah in the congregation. And they would bring an Imam for him.

When he died, a fatwa was issued that Salahuddin should be buried with his sword. That's because, on the day of judgement when he is resurrected, he will be under the shade of Allah.

They wrote on his tomb,
O, Allah! As a final victory, open for him the gates of Jannah (Paradise).


We need Salahuddin Ayyubi. 

Every one of us wants a Salahuddin. Yes, because can't you see what is happening with Muslims everywhere? Can't you see the supine spineless leaders we have? 

Let's say it loudly;
O, Salahuddin! We need you to lead us to liberate our holy lands.

But ask yourself, how many times are you gonna wake up Salahuddin for our own cowardice?

We can't celebrate the life of Salahuddin Ayyubi, Umar ibn Al-Khattab and Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed and then be cowardice ourselves.

Everybody wants a Salahuddin but Nobody aspires to be. 

Documentaries & Movies on Salahuddin Ayyubi.

The character of Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi and the related historical facts have been presented in many movies and series. 
  1. Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi in Tiger Of Islam (Yeh Ghazi Series). 
  2. Saladin The Victorious. 
  3. Kingdom Of Heaven
  4. Unification: Saladin and the fall of Jerusalem. 

Dear Readers! I know I couldn't spell down about him to the mark that a man of such a stature deserved.

But, know that It was nothing but our contemporary situation necessitated me to highlight the facts from his life to enlighten the Ummah about his legacies that unfortunately, we have shed off.

And for this, I had to go through extensive exploration of various sources to carve out the picture of him. There were video lectures of many scholars, documentaries, books and historical facts that helped me to bring in light the persona of Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi through above-presented words.

To name a few:
  • Video lectures of Sheikh Zahir Mahmood, Dr Yasir Qadhi, etc.
  • A documentary by Al-Jazeera Media titled as "Unification: Saladin and the fall of Jerusalem".
  • "Salah Ad-Din Al-Ayyubi" a book by Abdullah Nasih 'Ulwan.
  • "Salah Ad-Deen Al-Ayubi" by Dr Ali M. Sallabi.

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