THE SAVIOR TO ISLAM AND A FRET TO CRUSADES
Sultan Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi plays the lead role.
“Do not lose heart; do not be grieved because you will certainly rise to the heights of glory if you (continue to be) Mominin (faithful and loyal to Islam)”. Glorious Quran.
And here begins the chronic…
CRUSADES AGAINST ISLAM :
The rise of Islam has always been pinching the hearts of the European powers who have lest no stone unturned in disintegrating the political power of the Muslims. During the first phase of the Banu Abbas Caliphate the Romans attacked the Muslim territories repeatedly but were always repulsed.
In the 5th century A.H. the fall and increasing weakness of the Abbasied Caliphate, and the division of the Muslim empire into pieces encourage the Europeans states to built inroads into the Muslim territories and to conquer as many lands as possible. In 478 A.H. the Spanish Christians conquered the Muslim town of Tolado and the adjoining towns. In 484 A.H. they turned towards the Sicily island and took it from the Muslims. They conquered Antakia.
One political reason for this unexpected attack has been given by Ibn-e-Asad that Alwi forces in Egypt did not like the rising power of Saljuqis whome they feared would attack Egypt. They therefore, in self-defense asked the European forces to attack Syria.
After the fall of Antakia, the Muslim forces gathered together under the leadership of Qawam-ud-Daula Karbuqa and camped at Marj-e-Wabiq to meet the Christian forces. The Muslim army included the Arab and Turkish soldiers. They attacked Antakia and were about to conquer it. But the Christian strategy got the upper hand and Muslim forces were defeated.
The victorious Christian forces turned towards Ma’raj-un-Noma where the local population fought the enemy very bravely but were defeated. The victorious Christian forces entered the Muslim town and the massacre of the local Muslims continued for three days. Historian Ibn-e-Aseer Jazri states that in this massacre more than one hundred thousand Muslims were killed and countless men and women were arrested.
After repeated success, the Crusades made up their mind to conquer Bait-ul-Muqaddas (Jerusalem). They laid siege of the town in 492 A.H. which continued for 40 days till the Christian forces entered Jerusalem on 27th of Sha’ban. All golden lamps and other costly decorations of Muslims were looted by the ruthless Christian force. The looting from other parts of town was beyond calculation. The Christian setup three states Antakia, Roha and Bait-ul-Muqaddas.
The same year the Christians turned towards Egypt where the commander of the Muslim armies Afzal began to make preparations for defense on a large scale. But the Christians launched a sudden attack, which resulted a defeat for the Muslims and a great loss of life. This attack was followed by skirmishes, but the greatest attack made by the Christians was in 542 A.H. seizing Roha that was the strong hold of Crusade.
The defeat in the hands of Sultan Noor-ud-Din Zangi upset the crusaders who approached the Pope of Roam to induce the European state to help them. The Pope made an appeal to all the Christian states of Europe to come forward for the defense of the Christian faith and their sacred churches. Armies of Italy, France, Germany, Austria and England gathered to reinforce the crusading Army. King Louis VII and Konrad, the King of Germany accompanied the re-enforcements of the crusaders. The entire European forces came to the help of crusades except Portugal and Spain. The attack of the united crusading armies on the Muslims was impending.
Crushing Defeat To Crusades :
The tottering Abbasides caliphat was helpless. But Allah, the Exalted gave the Saljuqis the will and power to defend Islam. In 489 A.H. the first crusade of European forces left for attack on the Muslim lands. After pillaging in hungry and Romania, they reached Asia Minor where Sultan Qulaij Arsalan Saljuqi fought a pitched battle against Crusaders and inflicted a crushing defeat to them.
Sultan Noor-ud-Din Zangi :
Unfortunately, the Saljuqis forces became weak due to their inner difference and the government displayed signs of decay. At that time Allah, the Great, selected Sultan Noor-ud-Din Zangi and, after him, Sultan Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi for the annihilation of the crusaders. When the combined forces of Europe advanced towards Asia Minor to conquer Syria, Sultan Noor-ud-Din Zangi dealt a crushing blow at the Christians forces and conquered Roha, which was their stronghold.
Sultan Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi :
Sultan Noor-ud-Din Zangi died in 569 A.H. Sultan Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi mustered power and conquered Aleppo, Roha, Syria and Mousil. Inner dissentions in Egypt and Syria were rectified by Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi who devoted all his energies to fight the crusaders. In 574 A.H. regular JEHAD (Holy War) was started with crusaders which continued for 14 long years. The crusaders were turned out of all the Muslim territories one by one till the Sultan conquered Hittin, Acca, Tirbis, Asqalan and suburbs in 5583 A.H. Last great conquest of Sultan Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi was the fall of the Bait-ul-Muqaddas to Muslim hands.
The loss of Bait-ul-Muqaddas upset the Christian power of Europe and another Crusade was propagated by the Pope Aryanis III. In this crusade King Phillip Augusts of France and King Richard the Lion-hearted of England led the crusading armies. King Fredrick of Austria has joined with his armies. All the united forces reached Palestine by sea routes. They did not have courage to fight Sultan Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi and offered to make peace in Sha’ban 588 A.H. which was accepted by Sultan after consultation with his commanders. An affidavit was signed to ensure that there would be no fighting during the coming 3 years and six months. Sultan Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi came to Damascus in 589 A.H. after this peace when he died at the age of 57years.
A few days before his last illness, Sultan Salah-ud-Din Ayyubi called his son Afzal and his brother Malik Aadil and said to them: “We are immune from the crusaders march and there is no danger of their attacks on our cities.” He expressed his intention to capture Rome so that the Christians could not advance to Muslim lands by land routes. But death overtook him too soon to act upon his plans.