Salah ad-Deen al-Ayubi (Part-129)



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In the letter that was written with the pen of al-Qadi al-Fadil from Salah ad-Deen to Noor ad-Deen after the completion of the investigations carried out by Salah ad-Deen, the beginnings and development of the conspiracy are highlighted with comprehensive focus, as is the way it was discovered and the crucifixion of the leading conspirators in front of their homes.668

1- Salah ad-Deen still, after he put an end to the Fatimid caliphate, regarded the Egyptian soldiers and the inhabitants and workers of the Fatimid palace as enemies of his state and opponents of his presence in Egypt, and he expected them to take action against him. Hence he was very cautious with them and sent spies and men whom he trusted to keep an eye on them at all times. Despite that their activity continued in secret, using all available means.

2- From the time when khutbahs began to be delivered in the name of the Abbasid caliphate until they were caught, not one month went by when they did not plot, hold meetings and send envoys to the Crusaders to obtain their support. "What gave them the greatest comfort and hope was the ongoing correspondence with the Franks, with which they tried to entice them with the hoped-for gains and encourage them to march."669 But the Franks did not respond at first, because they were afraid of Salah ad-Deen, but at the same time they promised that they would help when the time was right.

3- Matters reached a point where they wrote to the Crusader king, when Salah ad-Deen launched his second attack against Kerak and Shawbak with a large number of his forces, asking him to play the agreed-upon role. They said in their letter: "He is far away and the opportunity has come. If Amalric comes with his forces to Tyre or Aylah, he will be able to block the way for Salah ad-Deen and prevent him from returning. If you do that, the former courtesans in Cairo will revolt, along with all the former Fatimid troops in Egypt, the Sudanese troops, all the Armenians and all the Ismailis. They will kill the family of Salah ad-Deen and his supporters and the officials of his state.670 But Salah ad-Deen was alert and the tactics and manoeuvres that he carried out confused Amalric, who was trying hard to find out about Salah ad-Deen's movements in the Naqab (Negev) in the south of Jordan, and made him unable to move from the waters of Carmel in the mountains of al-Khaleel, because he was afraid that Salah ad-Deen would take advantage of any wrong move on the king's part and head to the region west of the River Jordan and the Dead Sea.

4- The conspirators did not despair. When the so-called George (Georgios), the scribe of Amalric, reached Cairo with a letter to Salah ad- Deen — and it seems that letters were continually exchanged at times of peace -” they (the conspirators) contacted him and sent a letter with him to King Amalric, saying: The troops are scattered in the allocated pieces of land, and it is close to their harvest time; only a few of them are left in Cairo. If you sent the fleet close to the border region, that would make so-and-so leave him (leave Salah ad-Deen) and Salah ad-Deen would be alone in the land. Then we could do what we mentioned previously and stage a revolt.671 This is a further indication that they were trying to take advantage of all appropriate circumstances. The time of harvesting the crops from the land was the time when the commanders who owned land and their troops would go to their land to take their share of the harvest and distribute it. This was a regular situation that was well known in the history of that region in the middle ages.672

5- Every time King Amalric wanted to find out about the situation in Egypt and contact and negotiate with the conspirators, he would send George as an envoy to Salah ad-Deen.

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