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Death of Asad ad-Deen
But Shirkuh's viziership did not last long, as he died on 22nd Jumada 11/564 AH. So his time as vizier lasted only two months and five days. May Allah have mercy on him. He was succeeded as vizier by his nephew Salah ad-Deen.607 Asad ad-Deen was one of the greatest commanders of Noor ad- Deen, who was saving him for the next step for which he was paving the way, which was incorporating Egypt into Syria. He (may Allah have mercy on him) was generous to his troops but also strict; he knew how to bring about order. So his troops respected and loved him, and they engaged in dangerous missions with him during important campaigns. Allah benefited Islam and the Muslims through him, and he contributed to the resistance movement against the Crusaders which was led by Noor ad-Deen then after him by Salah ad-Deen. Shirkuh was brave, brilliant, strong, patient for the sake of Allah, and harsh towards the disbelievers; he did great acts of worship for the sake of Allah; he was chaste, religiously devoted, did many good deeds, loved the people of religion and knowledge, very selfless, compassionate towards his relatives and family, but somewhat cautious in spending. He left behind a great deal of wealth and he left behind a large number of horses, mounts and camels. He also left behind five hundred Mamelukes,609 the Asadis who played a role in building the Ayubid state.610
Salah ad-Deen as Vizier in Egypt
Salah ad-Deen had demonstrated his capability during the time spent with his uncle, Asad ad-Deen Shirkuh, during his campaigns against Egypt, and he became vizier at the age of thirty-one, after his uncle died. Al- 'Adid chose him because he was the youngest of the emirs, and he hoped that he would be more obedient to him, but al-Malik an-Nasir (the Victorious King) -” which is the title that al-'Adid bestowed on Salah ad-Deen -” dashed the hopes of the Fatimids, and the people's hearts began to incline towards him as he spent on them from the wealth that his uncle had acquired. The people inclined towards him and loved him, and he had full control over his troops.611 The missions achieved by Salah ad-Deen at the time of Noor ad-Deen were immense, and he managed to put an end to the centres of power.
The conspiracy of the Caliph's confidant
There were many incidents in Egypt following Salah ad-Deen's appointment to the position of vizier, when the country was going through a dangerous stage of its history. The Fatimid state still existed, supported by the Fatimid army and senior men of state. The Crusader menace still lay in wait near the eastern gates of Egypt. Salah ad-Deen had to reinforce his position in authority so that he could focus on confronting any political developments that might arise. He soon demonstrated great capability in running the affairs of the state. It seems that he was determined to keep for himself all other kinds of authority, even those that were connected to the position of caliph, and he implemented many measures that guaranteed him full control, including:
a) Causing the hearts of the Egyptian population to incline towards him by means of the money that he spent on them, so they loved him.
b) Subjugating Asad ad-Deen Shirkuh's Mamelukes to his authority, and taking full control of the troops after treating them well.
c) Strengthening his position by means of the military help supplied to him by Noor ad-Deen Mahmood. His brother Shams ad-Dawlah Turanshah ibn Ayub arrived with some of these military reinforcements.612
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To read the previous part, click here Verses 102 - 103وَاتَّبَعُوا مَا تَتْلُو الشَّيَاطِينُ عَلَىٰ مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَانَ ۖ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ كَفَرُوا يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ عَلَى...