Thursday, May 11, 2006

Salah al Din Abu'l-Muzaffer Yusuf ibn Ayyub ibn Shadi


Easily one of the most revered persons in Islamic history, be it for his courage, piety, or even mercy. All, Muslims and Christians alike, loved Salahuddin Ayyubi (rahmatullahi alai) who was well known towards the latter end of the 12th century and onwards. Upsettingly, it is due to our current condition that we don’t study such great personalities and take example from them. Rather we have slowly become victims of media and tabloid life, and if not that, then obsessing over sports, music, or video games, as materialism takes over our very souls. Allah has blessed us with so many eminent Muslims in our Ummah, but we neglect their works, and sometimes when we do recollect on them, we don’t initiate our youth to be like these individuals. Of course, this serves to remind myself of the importance of knowing where we came from as well, so I’ve decided to dedicate this post to the “father of the Victorious”, Salahuddin Ayyubi (rahmatullahi alai).


Here’s an excellent lecture given by Mufti Abdur Rahman Ibn Yusuf about Salahuddin (rahmatullahi alai). I know 80 minutes will not do much justice, but it will give you an idea of who he was, and what he did for the Deen, Insh’Allah. Plus, it’s by Mufti Abdur Rahman, so there is no reason NOT to check it out.

Saladin: a Benevolent Man, Respected by both Muslims and Christians

Please take the time to read from the above link, as it’s a very comprehensive and interesting bio that I found which covers many of the details of his life in brief.

Five Real Interesting Tid-Bits

  1. After Salahuddin (rahmatullahi alai) overthrew the Fatamid dynasty in Egypt, he changed the creed of Al-Azhar University in Cairo from Shia to Sunni. It’s stayed this way up to our current times Mash’Allah, being one of the top notch Islamic universities in the world.
  2. During the battle that took place over Bait ul-Maqdis in Jerusalem, Salahuddin (rahmatullahi alai) sent his very own doctor, along with fruits and ice to treat Richard The Lionheart’s sickness. Talk about compassion; something like that happening right now is inconceivable from a Muslim or non-Muslim.
  3. Salahuddin (rahmatullahi alai) was of the Shafi Madhab in matters of Fiqh. He was also very keen on Ihsan, as from some sources it’s mentioned that Imam al-Ghazali’s writings were an influence on him too. This becomes somewhat clear when we learn how devout he was in his level of Zuhd, offering his prayers, as well as the fact that he set up Khanqas in many of the places he traveled to.
  4. Moustafa al-Akkad had a script ready, and was planning to do an English film on Salahuddin prior to his death. If you’re not familiar with that name, perhaps you’ve heard of two films he produced, The Message, and Lion of The Desert. At well over the age of 70, he had intentions of making other Islamic historical movies, such as one for Muhammad Shamil (Chechen Mujahideen who fought against the Russians) and another about the Bosnian War. Sadly, Moustafa al-Akkad was a victim of a suicide bomber at a hotel in Jordan, along with his daughter. The film would’ve been real beneficial for the masses, since it’s easier for us to watch a movie than open a book.
  5. Salahuddin in CGI!?

Here’s a list of a few books that might be of interest to someone wanting to learn more about Salahuddin Ayyubi (rahmatullahi alai). The first one written is by a non-Muslim, but it’s supposed to be one of the best books based on his life.

Saladin: Sultan and Uniter of Islam (National Book Network) – By Stanley Lane-Poole

The Life of Saladin (Adam Publishers) by Beha Ed-Din

Salahuddin Ayyubi (Ferozsons Pvt. Ltd) – Translated by Sarwat Sharif

Muslim Heroes of the Crusades (Ta-Ha Publishers) - By Shahnaz Husain

Subhan’Allah, if only the Ummah produced such amazing individuals with the correct teachings of Islam in all its beautiful aspects in our times. AllahuAlim, but the name of our deen might not be under such immense scrutiny 24/7. May Allah free Jerusalem and give ease to all the brothers and sisters holding it down in Palestine, and protect Muslims all over the world. Ameen, Ya Rabb'il Alameen!

Walaikum Asalam


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