Salah ad-Deen al-Ayubi (Part-126)



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Salah ad-Deen was anxious and hesitant to bring about the downfall of that caliphate, because the 'Ubaydi legacy in Egypt had lasted for more than two hundred years. But Noor ad-Deen regarded the conquest of Egypt as a blessing from Allah for him and the Muslims, for the sake of uniting the land on the way of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah and removing innovation (bid'ah) and Shiism (al-rafd).643Noor ad-Deen understood Salah ad-Deen's situation and he addressed him as an emir. If he had wanted to, he could have sent a letter dismissing him from his post in Egypt and appointing him elsewhere. This is what Najm ad-Deen stated frankly to his son Salah ad- Deen in Egypt, "If he wanted to he could dismiss you... He could send a letter with the camel-driver to summon you and appoint over this land whoever he wanted."644 Among the signs of the respect that Noor ad-Deen had for Salah ad-Deen is what he said in his letter to Ibn Abi 4 Asroon, appointing him as qadi (judge) of Egypt, in which he said: Come, you and your sons, so that I might send you to Egypt, with the consent and approval of my companion Salah ad-Deen, may Allah support him, for I am very, very, very grateful to him. May Allah reward him and preserve him among the righteous and good.645 In fact the relationship between the two leaders was one of mutual respect. We will discuss their relationship below insha' Allah, and refute those writers who narrated the words of Ibn Abi Tayyi' ar-Rafidi who was keen to distort and misrepresent the relationship between the two men and slander them as much as possible.

Phasing out sermons in the name of the Fatimid caliph
Salah ad-Deen benefited from this great and brilliant judge, who helped him to draw up a well-drawn plan to put an end to the Fatimid state and the Ismaili Rafidi Shiite madh-hab. Salah ad-Deen started to implement the plan very carefully. After he had prepared the Egyptians for this coup and taken power away from the Fatimid institution, he dismissed the Shiite qadis, banned the propagation of Shiite ideas and removed all Shiite symbols and principles. In 565 AH/1169 CE, he banned the adhan containing the words "Hayya 'aid khayr il- 'amal, Muhammad wa 'All khayr al-bashar (come to the best of deeds; Muhammad (Sm) and 'Ali are the best of mankind)". Al-Maqreezi commented that this was the first step towards abolishing the state.646 Then after that, on Friday 10 Dhul-Hijjah 565 AH/1169-1170 CE, he ordered that mention be made in the khutbah of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali. After that he ordered that al-'Adid be mentioned in the khutbah in ambiguous terms, so as to confuse the Shiites and not provoke them. So the khateeb would say, "O Allah, guide the supporter (al-'Adid) to Your religion."647 He appointed as qadi of Cairo the Sunni faqeeh 'Eesa al-Hakari, and he appointed Shafi'i judges throughout the land, and established schools to teach the Sunni madh-habs. At the same time, he was tightening his grip on al-'Adid: he cancelled his privileges, deprived him of money, horses and slaves, and banned the pomp and ceremonies of the caliphate, meaning the official celebrations that were held on Eids and other occasions. He detained the caliph in his palace and did not allow him to leave except on rare occasions, such as when he went out to welcome Najm ad-Deen Ayub, the father of Salah ad-Deen, on the day he came to Cairo. He implemented the same plan with regard to the army commanders; he started to limit their power gradually, until he arrested them all on a single night, and allocated their houses and lands to his648 companions.

Al-'Adid watched all of that with a heavy heart filled with despair after all the hopes that he wished Salah ad-Deen would fulfil for him were dashed. He retreated into his room and fell prey to worries and sickness.649 Salah ad-Deen realized that the opportunity had come to put an end to the dying Fatimid state, so he held a great council that was attended by the commanders of his army, the Sunni fuqaha' and the Sufis. He asked for their opinions and advice, and they were all agreed that he should take this decisive step in the country's life.650 At the beginning of 567 AH/1171-1172 CE, Salah ad-Deen issued orders stopping the khutbahs in the name of the Fatimids. This was also done gradually. On the first Friday of Muharram 567 AH/1171-1172 CE, the name of al-'Adid was omitted from the khutbah. On the second Friday, the khutbah was given in the name of the caliph al- Mustadi' bi Amr-Illah Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn al-Mustanjid Billah, and khutbahs were no longer given in the name of al-'Adid li Deen-Illah; khutbahs were no longer given in the name of the Fatimids and that has remained the case until today.651 It may be noted that khutbahs in the name of the Abbasids were given in Alexandria two weeks before Cairo and the rest of Egypt. That is because Alexandria remained Sunni throughout the Fatimid era.652 Al-'Adid died on 10 Muharram 567 AH/1171-1172 CE.653 It was said that Salah ad-Deen was told of al-'Adid's death a few days later, and he regretted having hastened to stop the khutbahs being given in his name. He said that if he had known that he -” meaning al-'Adid — would die within a few days, he would not have omitted his name from the khutbahs. Al-Qadi al-Fadil laughed and replied, "O my master, if he knew that you would not erase his name from the khutbahs, he would not have died!"654 Everyone present smiled at this word play between the vizier Salah ad-Deen and his scribe and adviser, which concluded the final page of the history of the 'Ubaydi Fatimid state.655

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