Salahuddin (Saladin), a name that inspired both fear and respect in the crusaders eyes. Though, to some people in Europe at the time he epitomised the Anti-Christ due to hostile Christian propaganda, someone they believe murdered innocent Christian in the name of Islam during the crusades but to others such as myself, he was a celebrated hero, and a role model for many leaders in years to come.
Firstly, I would like to describe the nature of Salahuddin Ayyubi (rahmatullahi alaihi). He was a devout Muslim to whom Islam meant everything, he would never miss his daily five times prayers even when he was ill, and had a dislike for people who tried to instill free-thinking, unnecessary debate and controversy into the doctrines of Islam. He truly loved the Quran and wept upon hearing it read. In spite of being a king, he journeyed in search of knowledge, travelling to a scholar to learn the Muwatta of Imam Malik (rahmatullahi alaihi).
During his youth he was a quiet methodical thinker given more to religious
study than military ambition. As a child he was taught the recitation of the
Holy Quran, the Arabic language and the shariah. This basis proved to be
effective in his middle age.
He also did many things to encourage people in their worship such a building Madrassas. He also abolished those tolls that were payable by pilgrims on their way to Makkah.
He had many interests, ranging from geography and history to commerce
and politics, and was opened to suggestions on most subjects for when they
His generosity was boundless. Once he paid debt of 200,000 dinars off for his brother, though he himself stayed steadfast. The vast empire that was to come under his command meant that he had extensive riches in his hand, yet his accountants had to keep some of his financial details a secret from him, afraid that he would give it all away and there would be nothing left for real emergencies.
He was kind and gentle, one to treat everybody feuitly. Though above all this was his duty to Allah. Baha-uddin (rahmatullahi alaihi) his faithful secretary stated:
“I never knew him to show any anxiety about the numbers and strength of the enemy. He would listen to plans of all kinds and discuss their consequences without any excitement or loss of composure.”
This was the same Salahuddin that some would criticise, but on the other hand he was portrayed as a chivalrous and legendary figure in European history also, a figure who respected his friends as well as his foes - when Richard's horse was killed in battle Salahuddin sent him fresh one saying:
“It is not proper that a warrior should have to fight on foot.” In times of war he was extremely generous to enemy civilians, allowing them to go free with their lives and goods, an act of humanity that was rarely shown to the Muslims by their enemies.
On 4th march, 1193, this beloved servant of Allah left the world. At his death, though he was the most powerful and greatest in the Muslim empire of the era, he had only one gold piece and 47 silver peices to his name. He owned no property and had paid off all his debts. While his family mourned him, those close to the courageous man found that, at the time of his death, he did not posses enough money to pay for his burial. This was Salahuddin, an example for leaders to come and a true servant of Allah. May Allah’s mercy be upon him. Ameen.
The Courage of Muslim Women
Salaf-e-Saliheen (Pious Predecessors)
Love & Brotherhood in Islam - Maulana Ahmad Ali
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