Saladin (1169-1193)

Although the reign of Saladin was short , it is considered a great period in the Muslim history in Egypt . Born in 1137-1138 , Saladin was the son of Ayyub , a Kurdish officer in the court of the Baghdad Caliphate , and later , Governor of Damascus . For 10 years in the court of Nur-ed-Din , Saladin played no prominent role . He accompanied the three expeditions to Egypt and he became famous after the Battle of Baban and his defense of Alexandria .
After the death of his uncle , Shirkuh , he was appointed the Vizier of the Fatimid Caliph; because the Fatimids believed that they could bring him under their control if necessary .
The positions Saladin assumed were very peculiar . He was the Prime Minister of the Shiite Fatimid Caliph while he was Lieutenant (an officer) of the Sunni King . His main aim behind this was to win the loyalty of the people and to strengthen himself against his King Nur-Ed-Din , King of Syria . Moreover , he prepared the way to cancel the Shiite Caliphate and the foundation of an independent dynasty in Egypt .
After two years of his reign , the Fatimid Dynasty came to an end and Egypt was ruled directly by Nur-Ed-Din , but the real authority was in the hands of Saladin .
Saladin had to face many difficulties such as the revolts led by Sudanese soldiers . Succeeding in defeated those soldiers , he arrested their chief leader . Then , he sent an expedition to Sudan under the leadership of his brother , Turanshah , who conquered it and succeeded in putting an end to the revolts there .
After the death of El-Adid , Saladin took the throne of Egypt and kept the Fatimids in the royal palace treating them very nicely to keep them away from the throne . Therefore , a revolt led by a poet called Omara El-Yamani (who wanted to regain the throne of the Fatimids) broke out . He gave Saladin the title of 'The Young Mameluke' . However , he was able to group the Sudanese and Turkmen soldiers against Saladin . He also persuaded the king of Cyprus and the King of Jerusalem to send their troops to invade Egypt . The King of Cyprus sent 282 ships which attacked Alexandria . However , the Ayyubid garrison in Alexandria succeeded in defeating the troops of Cyprus , until they escaped to their ships . When the King of Jerusalem knew about the defeating of Cyprus troops , he decided not to send his army . Saladin knew the news of the revolt in Cairo from one of his spies and he arrested everyone who participated in the revolt . At the end , Omara-El-Yamani was killed and some of his followers were sent to Upper Egypt .
Saladin had to face a third revolt led by a man called Kenz-Ed-Dawlah in Aswan and Qoos . Kenz-Ed-Dawlah went to Aswan and gathered some of the Sudanese soldiers and supporters of the Fatimids and he wrongly thought that he would defeat Saladin . But Saladin defeated him .
At first , Saladin was very loyal to Nur-Ed-Din and he put the name of Nur-Ed-Din on the coins , under the name of the Abbassid Caliph mentioning his name in Friday orations . But when Saladin refused to help Nur-Ed-Din in his wars against the Crusaders-Seljuks and the Arabs , Nur-Ed-Din started to hate Saladin . Besides , Nur-Ed-Din was against Saladin's ambition to make Egypt an independent country under his control . Nur-Ed-Din was afraid of the increasing authority of Saladin between the Arab countries , but soon he died and Saladin became the sole ruler of Muslims .
Later ,
Saladin worked on strengthening his position in Egypt . Then , he sent his army to invade Africa and the African Sea from Barca to Crete fell under his control in 1172 . Saladin's elder brother , Turanshah , followed the blacks into Nubia and took the city of Abrim . After the Sudan expedition , Saladin sent his brother from Nubia to conquer Yemen which also fell completely under his family's rule for 55 years .
After the death of Nur-Ed-Din , Saladin became the leader of the Muslims in the Near East , but with two competitors to face:
1- El-Malik-Es-Saleh (the son of Nur-Ed-Din) who was a child king .
2- Seyf-Ed-Din (the nephew of Nur-Ed-Din) who was the Prime of Mosul and Chief of the Family of Zengi .
At first , Saladin started with the child King who was in the hands of bad emirs who were making relations with the Crusaders . So , going with 700 horsemen to Damascus , he invaded it and passed through Emsa . Then , he achieved a great victory at Horns of Hama against the two enemies: El-Malik-Es-Saleh and Seyf-Ed-Din . Then , he followed his enemy until the Gates of Aleppo and achieved a second victory over Seyf-Ed-Din , at an area called Mesopotamians . A peace treaty was signed between Saladin and the young King of Aleppo , Malik-Es-Saleh . According to it , "Saladin had the full control over the countries which he had invaded , from Egypt to Euphrates" . After the death of Malik-Es-Saleh , the Mesopotamian princes made a treaty with the Crusaders , so Saladin went to Mesopotamia and entered the whole country except El-Mosul . After being surrendered , Mosul accepted to be under the control of Saladin . According to a new treaty , the Northern Mesopotamian and a part of Kurdistan became under the full control of Saladin . "Now , Saladin unified all the Muslims and became the most powerful Muslim leader , who could fight the Crusaders" .


close view of the arched pillar before the Qibla aisle and the marble Dikka  within Sultan Barquq Madrasa and Khanqah



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