Saladin

Salah ad-Din Yusuf
Al-Malik an-Nasir
Portrait of Saladin (before A.D. 1185; short).jpg
A possible portrait of Saladin, found in a work by Ismail al-Jazari, circa 1185
Sultan of Egypt and Syria
Reign1174 – 4 March 1193
Coronation1174, Cairo
PredecessorNew office
Successor
Born1137
Tikrit, Upper Mesopotamia, Abbasid Caliphate
Died4 March 1193 (aged 55–56)
Damascus, Syria, Ayyubid Sultanate
BurialUmayyad Mosque, Damascus
SpouseIsmat ad-Din Khatun
Full name
An-Nasir Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb
DynastyAyyubid
FatherNajm ad-Dīn Ayyūb
ReligionSunni Islam (Shafi'i)[1][2][3]

An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (Arabic: صلاح الدين يوسف بن أيوب‎ / ALA-LC: Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb; Kurdish: سەلاحەدینی ئەییووبی‎ / ALA-LC: Selahedînê Eyûbî), known as Salah ad-Din or Saladin (n/; 1137 – 4 March 1193), was the first sultan of Egypt and Syria[4] and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty. A Sunni Muslim of Kurdish ethnicity,[5][6][7] Saladin led the Muslim military campaign against the Crusader states in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz, Yemen and other parts of North Africa.

He was originally sent to Fatimid Egypt in 1164 accompanying his uncle Shirkuh, a general of the Zengid army, on orders of their lord Nur ad-Din, an atabeg of the Seljuks, to consolidate Shawar amid his ongoing power struggle for vizier to the teenage Fatimid caliph al-Adid. With Shawar reinstated as vizier, he engaged in a power struggle with Shirkuh, which saw the former realigning himself with Crusader king Amalric. Saladin climbed the ranks of the Fatimid government by virtue of his military successes against Crusader assaults against its territory and his personal closeness to al-Adid. With Shawar assassinated in 1169 and Shirkuh's natural death later that year, al-Adid appointed Saladin vizier, a rare nomination of a Sunni Muslim to such an important position in the Isma'ili Shia caliphate. During his tenure as vizier, Saladin began to undermine the Fatimid establishment and, following al-Adid's death in 1171, he abolished the Fatimid Caliphate and realigned the country's allegiance with the Sunni, Baghdad-based Abbasid Caliphate.

In the following years, he led forays against the Crusaders in Palestine, commissioned the successful conquest of Yemen, and staved off pro-Fatimid rebellions in Upper Egypt. Not long after Nur ad-Din's death in 1174, Saladin launched his conquest of Syria, peacefully entering Damascus at the request of its governor. By mid-1175, Saladin had conquered Hama and Homs, inviting the animosity of other Zengid lords, the official rulers of Syria's various regions. Soon after, he defeated the Zengid army at the Battle of the Horns of Hama and was thereafter proclaimed the "Sultan of Egypt and Syria" by the Abbasid caliph al-Mustadi. Saladin made further conquests in northern Syria and Jazira, escaping two attempts on his life by the "Assassins", before returning to Egypt in 1177 to address issues there. By 1182, Saladin had completed the conquest of Muslim Syria after capturing Aleppo, but ultimately failed to take over the Zengid stronghold of Mosul.[8]

Under Saladin's command, the Ayyubid army defeated the Crusaders at the decisive Battle of Hattin in 1187, and thereafter wrested control of Palestine – including the city of Jerusalem – from the Crusaders, who had conquered the area 88 years earlier. Although the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem continued to exist until the late 13th century, its defeat at Hattin marked a turning point in its conflict with the Muslim powers of the region. Saladin died in Damascus in 1193, having given away much of his personal wealth to his subjects. He is buried in a mausoleum adjacent to the Umayyad Mosque. Saladin has become a prominent figure in Muslim, Arab, Turkish and Kurdish culture,[9] and he has often been described as being the most famous Kurd in history.[10][11][12][13]

Early life

Drawing of the central square of the ancient city Dvin

Saladin was born in Tikrit in modern-day Iraq. His personal name was "Yusuf"; "Salah ad-Din" is a laqab, an honorific epithet, meaning "Righteousness of the Faith."[14] His family was of Kurdish ancestry,[5] and had originated from the city of Dvin in medieval Armenia.[15][16] The Rawadiya tribe he hailed from had been partially assimilated into the Arabic-speaking world by this time.[17] In 1132, the defeated army of Imad ad-Din Zengi, the ruler of Mosul, found their retreat blocked by the Tigris River opposite the fortress of Tikrit, where Saladin's father, Najm ad-Din Ayyub served as the warden. Ayyub provided ferries for the army and gave them refuge in Tikrit. Mujahed al-Din Bihruz, a former Greek slave who had been appointed as the military governor of northern Mesopotamia for his service to the Seljuks, reprimanded Ayyub for giving Zengi refuge and in 1137 banished Ayyub from Tikrit after his brother Asad al-Din Shirkuh killed a friend of Bihruz in an honour killing. According to Baha ad-Din ibn Shaddad, Saladin was born on the same night that his family left Tikrit. In 1139, Ayyub and his family moved to Mosul, where Imad ad-Din Zengi acknowledged his debt and appointed Ayyub commander of his fortress in Baalbek. After the death of Zengi in 1146, his son, Nur ad-Din, became the regent of Aleppo and the leader of the Zengids.[18]

Saladin, who now lived in Damascus, was reported to have a particular fondness for the city, but information on his early childhood is scarce.[19] About education, Saladin wrote "children are brought up in the way in which their elders were brought up." According to his biographers, Anne-Marie Eddé[20] and al-Wahrani, Saladin was able to answer questions on Euclid, the Almagest, arithmetic, and law, but this was an academic ideal and it was study of the Qur'an and the "sciences of religion" that linked him to his contemporaries.[18] Several sources claim that during his studies he was more interested in religion than joining the military.[21] Another factor which may have affected his interest in religion was that, during the First Crusade, Jerusalem was taken by the Christians.[21] In addition to Islam, Saladin had a knowledge of the genealogies, biographies, and histories of the Arabs, as well as the bloodlines of Arabian horses. More significantly, he knew the Hamasah of Abu Tammam by heart.[18] He spoke Kurdish and Arabic.[22]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Saladin
Alemannisch: Saladin
አማርኛ: ሳላዲን
aragonés: Saladín
asturianu: Saladín
azərbaycanca: Səlahəddin Əyyubi
Bân-lâm-gú: Saladin
башҡортса: Сәләх әд-Дин
беларуская: Саладзін
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Саладын
български: Салах ад-Дин
bosanski: Salahudin
brezhoneg: Saladin
català: Saladí
Чӑвашла: Салах ад-Дин
čeština: Saladin
Cymraeg: Saladin
dansk: Saladin
Deutsch: Saladin
eesti: Saladin
Ελληνικά: Σαλαντίν
español: Saladino
Esperanto: Saladino
euskara: Saladin I.a
Fiji Hindi: Saladin
føroyskt: Saladin
français: Saladin
Frysk: Saladin
Gaeilge: Saladin
galego: Saladino
한국어: 살라딘
հայերեն: Սալահ ալ-Դին
हिन्दी: सलाउद्दीन
hrvatski: Saladin
Ilokano: Saladin
Bahasa Indonesia: Salahuddin Ayyubi
íslenska: Saladín
italiano: Saladino
עברית: צלאח א-דין
ქართული: სალადინი
қазақша: Салах әд-Дин
Kiswahili: Salah ad-Din
Ladino: Selahaddin
لۊری شومالی: صلاح الدین أیۈبي
Latina: Saladinus
latviešu: Saladīns
lietuvių: Saladinas
Ligure: Saladin
Limburgs: Saladin
lumbaart: Saladin
मैथिली: सलाउद्दीन
македонски: Саладин
Malagasy: Saladin
मराठी: सालादिन
მარგალური: სალადინი
Bahasa Melayu: Salahuddin al-Ayyubi
Mirandés: Saladino
монгол: Саладин
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဆလာဒင်
Nederlands: Saladin
नेपाल भाषा: सलादिन
нохчийн: Салахьуддин
norsk: Saladin
norsk nynorsk: Saladin
occitan: Saladin
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Salohuddin al-Ayyubiy
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਸਲਾਦੀਨ
Piemontèis: Saladin
polski: Saladyn
português: Saladino
română: Saladin
русиньскый: Саладін
русский: Салах ад-Дин
संस्कृतम्: सलाउद्दीन
sardu: Saladinu
Scots: Saladin
shqip: Saladini
sicilianu: Saladinu
Simple English: Saladin
slovenčina: Saladin (sultán)
slovenščina: Saladin
српски / srpski: Саладин
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Saladin
suomi: Saladin
svenska: Saladin
Tagalog: Saladin
Taqbaylit: Ṣalaḥeddin
татарча/tatarça: Сәләхетдин Әюби
українська: Салах ад-Дін
Tiếng Việt: Saladin
Võro: Saladin
文言: 薩拉丁
Winaray: Saladin
吴语: 萨拉丁
ייִדיש: סאלאדין
粵語: 撒拉丁
žemaitėška: Saladėns
中文: 萨拉丁
Bahasa Hulontalo: Salahuddin al-Ayyubi
Kabɩyɛ: Saladin