Salahuddin Ayyubi and jihad
Jihad, the word that has spread hate towards Islam, and the word that has misprinted Muslims all around the world. Defining the history of the famous lead of his time, Salahuddin Ayyubi, lets get a differentiation to what Islam preached and to what the so-called Jihadist are preaching today.
Salahuddin Ayyubi, was a Muslim conqueror born in Tikrit (Iraq) to a Kurdish family. He had started his military career under the confident of his uncle Asad al-Din Shirkuh, who was a prominent military commander under Nur-ad-din the emir(chief) of Damascus and Aleppo. Nur-ad-din was also the mentor of Salahuddin. Most of the strategies that Salahuddin used during the conquest of Jerusalem was taught by Nur-ad-Din. He was the first Muslim in history to become a Wazir (caliph’s chief counsellor) who was appointed by a Shia Muslim leader at that time. This was all because of his generosity and fortitude. Salahuddin had fought many battles against the vicious Muslim Leaders and intuitive Christian generals. His biggest attribute that even Christian scholars admire about him is that he never allowed his commanders and soldiers to commit immoral acts against any human even if that human was their enemy.
Whenever a city was conquered by Salahuddin Ayyubi, special orders were given to soldiers regarding non-Muslims. The non-Muslims who had surrendered must not be harmed and if they want to leave the city then a safe passage must be provided to them. Ibn Khaldun in his book called Kitāb al-ʻIbar (Book of Lessons) wrote that when he was with Salahuddin Ayyubi during the conquest of Jerusalem, report came that two soldiers raped a 12-year-old Jewish girl near the village of Inab. Salahuddin Ayyubi became aggrieved after hearing this news and ordered his messenger to go there and bring those two soldiers to him. When the soldiers came back with the messenger. Salahuddin just asked them one question that had they committed the act or not. One of the soldier raised his head and said yes. After hearing this Salahuddin ordered to cut those soldiers head off their bodies. Hearing about this order given by Salahuddin to kill his own army soldiers many commanders under Salahuddin become demented on him. One of his commander came to his tent and started wrangling with him. His commander told him that “Jews rape and murder our women. They kill our people and still you are defending that little girl. I ask you why? Why are you doing this? Why did you give a command to eliminate our brother in arms?” To this Salahudin remained quiet for a few moments and after that he looked into his commander’s eyes and replied. ” Our nemesis eat pigs so should we eat pigs too, they commit adultery so should we do that too, above all they oppose Quran and teaching of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) so should we do that too. Tell me where did you read in Quran that murdering and raping a 12-year-old Jewish girl is righteous? Did our Prophet SAWS allow anything like this or let it happen when he went to fight battle of Badr or when he conquered Makkah from unjust living in Makkah? Now tell me then why should we do it? why should we abandon our virtuous because our enemy don’t have them. After hearing these words the commander fell on the ground and started crying and asked for pardon. Three months after that incident, Jerusalem was conquered and many Christian scholars acknowledge that on the day of conquest of Jerusalem by Salahuddin Ayyubi, no woman was raped and no kid was killed. Christians, Jews and all those non-Believers were given a safe passage to leave the city. The Christian leaders refused to pay the compensation for their captured soldiers and their families living in Jerusalem. When the words came of this news to Salahuddin Ayyubi many of his advisers advised him to kill those soldiers. By doing this they can send Christian leaders a massage. Salahuddin refused to do that and he let all those prisoners go without paying any compensation. This was just an example of how Salahuddin obeyed the preaching’s on our beloved Prophet Mohammad SAWS.
On the other hand, the most Debated incident today between the Muslim and Christian scholars that occurred during the conquest of Jerusalem is the incident of Raynald of Châtillon. Muslim Scholars say that he raped and murdered the sister of Salahuddin Ayyubi and Christian scholars deny this. Muslim scholar Ibn Khaldun wrote in his book that Salahuddin’s sister was also among the prisoners taken by Raynald when he seized the caravan travelling to Syria from Egypt. According to Ibn Khaldun and Estoire de Eracles(author of a chronicle of the late 12th century dealing with the fall of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and also know as one of crusader in the army of Raynald of Châtillon) Salahudin sister Rabia khatun was raped and then burned alive by the Raynald of Châtillon during the first Christian invasion against Muslims unarmed caravans. When Salahuddin defeated the army of Raynald of Chatillon and Guy of Lusignan in the battle of Hattin, Raynald of Châtillon was captured alive and Salahuddin Ayyubi killed him after giving him the offer to accept Islam for tally of his crime wo which he had refused. Salahuddin later went to his tent where his son Uthman was sitting with his uncle Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani ( Salahudin’s cousin). Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani narrates that “ Salahuddin came there and I saw his face and he looked really timorous. I asked him ‘what happened? Why are you so timorous?’ I had never seen him like that. Salahuddin looked at me and then at his son and replied that I wanted to burn Raynald of Châtillon alive like he did to my sister but i could not do it. Salahudin’s son Uthman asked him why could not he do that? ”He replied because Islam forbids me to burn a man alive”. I don’t want to go against my Prophet’s teaching and I don’t want to disrespect the teaching of Quran just for the sake of my own pleasure.
Many Christian scholars confuse this incident with Salahudin’s younger sister whose name was Sitt Al-Sham. Salahuddin escorted her by himself to Makkah after the murder of his elder sister (Rabia Khatun) and many Christian Scholars say that it was Rabia Khatun who was escorted to Makkah by him not Sitt Al- Sham. Till this day, it is unclear who is right the Muslim or the Christian scholars. But if we consider history Sitt Al-sham was married to Wazir (chief) of Damascus and had 3 children while Rabia Khatun just vanished from history after the conquest of Jerusalem.
There are a lot of stories written about Salahuddin Ayyubi on his conquest of Jerusalem. These stories are written by two fractions basically Muslims and the Christians. If we read the books written by Christian authors on Salahuddin Ayyubi we see that the (Christian authors) admire the attributes of Salahuddin as a Leader and Commander but on the other hand they also deny the fact that Christian leaders even ordered their soldiers to kill or rape any Muslim woman before the crusade. There are many stories about Salahuddin Ayyubi that are twisted by Christian authors. When we read stories on life of Salahuddin Ayyubi written by Muslim authors like Ali ibn al-Athir (who also traveled with Salahuddin Ayyubi during the conquest of Jerusalem) we see a major difference in the stories written on incidents that happened before and after the conquest of Jerusalem in 1187. The best example of that is the story of Raynald of Châtillon. Muslim Scholars say that he raped and murdered sister of Salahuddin Ayyubi and Christian scholars deny this.
But now if we look at the modern day so called Jihad happening in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan then its completely against the teaching of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and it’s against the teaching that Allah told us in Quran about Jihad. The best example of this is the burning of Muath Al-Kasasbeh the Jordanian pilot. Muath Al-Kasasbeh fighter crashed near Raqqa, Syria, on 24 December 2014 during the military intervention against the Islamic State. United States and Jordanian officials said that the crash was caused by mechanical problems, while ISIL claimed that the plane was hit by a heat-seeking missile. After being captured he was burned alive. Those monsters were shouting that we are killing an infidel. Why did they call him infidel? Because he refused to follow their leader. Where in Quran did Allah mention that burning of a man alive is lawful? Same thing happened in Pakistan where 7 terrorists attacked a school in Peshawar and killed a total 148 innocents and also burned a female teacher alive. The most miserable thing is that one of the Qari (Islamic scholar) named Maulana Abdul Aziz said that those attackers are Shaheed. It’s the same Maulana who tried to flee Lal Masjid wearing a veil. The most inconsolable thing is that people still follow him and think of him as a mystic leader.
Why was Salahuddin so successful? Why despite having a small army in the battle against King Baldwin we won the battle just in 2 days? The answer to this question is simple he read Quran and followed the Quran not those Imam’s or Qari’s who say things that benefit them not us. We Muslims have to decide who do we want to follow the Quran or the so called imams who teach false Islamic preaching now a days.
“The best of Jihad is fighting your own inner demons”
Islam does not preach violence and the ones who claim themselves as Muslims who are killing the innocent in the name of Islam. They are wrong. They are monsters who do not belong to Islam. And they are the misguided ones highlighted by the media assuring Islam as a violent religion.
Look out of the box and read out realities before accepting and labelling Muslims world wide as terrorists.
- Book of Ali ibn al-Athir Kitab- ul-ibar
- Book of Estoire de Eracles