Salah ad-Deen al-Ayubi (Part-138)

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In fact the arrangements made by the Sunni leaders, such as Noor ad- Deen and Salah ad-Deen, to fight the spread of Rafidi Shiite ideas, bore fruit. The Rafidi Shiite madh-hab became totally extinct in Egypt, which is a sign of deep understanding -” something which the Ummah is in the greatest need of. The great lesson we learn from this is that eradicating innovation from Muslim communities requires a comprehensive outlook and integrated plan which encompasses sound Islamic revival, confronts Batini ideas, and directs the Ummah to demand its rights and resist crusader attacks. We have already discussed some of the methods that Salah ad-Deen used to put an end to this madh-hab and the 'Ubaydi Fatimid legacy.

Salah ad-Deen and the Ayubids benefited from the experience of Noor ad-Deen in the Sunni revival, confronting the Rafidi Shiites, and preparing the Ummah to resist and wrest its rights from its enemies. Hence Salah ad-Deen did not start from scratch; rather he benefited from the methods of Noor ad-Deen, among the most important of which was the setting up of Sunni schools and schools of Hadith, making sure that the judiciary system was based on the Sunni madh-habs, putting the schools under his own supervision, using the system of hisbah739 to restore the Sunni madh-hab, encouraging Sunni asceticism, setting up endowments to support civil, non-governmental institutions and propagating the beliefs of Ahl as- Sunnah. This will be discussed in detail insha' Allah when we discuss the Ayubid state. Muhammad Hamdan Khalid al-Qaysi, in his Master's thesis submitted to the University of Yarmook in Jordan, discussed the effects of Salah ad-Deen's educational efforts in changing the reality of Egyptian society; this is a useful reference on this topic.

In 569 AH/1174 CE, the kingdom of Noor ad-Deen included Sudan, the Hijaz and Yemen. The entire Muslim east was one state with one leader, looking to the strategic goal that he sought to achieve from the beginning of his rule, which was the liberation of Greater Syria from the occupying Franks.740 Now this goal was at hand, so he ordered the manufacture of a beautiful minbar for Masjid al-Aqsa so that he could take it with him when he conquered Jerusalem.741 He wrote to Salah ad-Deen, instructing him to march at the head of the Egyptian army and meet him at the Frankish citadel of Kerak.742 Salah ad-Deen marched, as ordered by Noor ad-Deen, and besieged the citadel of Crac de Montreal, south of Kerak. When Noor ad- Deen heard of that, he set out from Damascus, heading south to meet Salah ad-Deen, but he received a message from him before he reached him, telling him that there were some troubles in Egypt and he was afraid that his opponents might take over, so he had no choice but to go back and get things under control, and he would come back again the next year to engage in Jihad alongside Noor ad-Deen.743 Noor ad-Deen was very eager to uproot the disbelievers from Syria, so when he received some of the treasure from the palaces of the Fatimids, and some of the amazing things made of gold and pearls, he said: By Allah, we have no need of this wealth and we do not need it to meet our needs. He -” meaning Salah ad-Deen -” knows that we did not spend gold in Egypt when we were in need of gold, but he knows that the border of Syria needs to be supplied with wealth, men and help, to uproot the disbelievers from Syria. In other words, he only wanted the wealth and men in order to uproot the disbelievers from the coastal regions.745 As for Salah ad-Deen, he agreed with Noor ad-Deen with regard to strategic goals, but he was afraid of turmoil in Egypt; his main concern was to put things in order in Egypt first and to focus on that, hence he had no choice but to return. It seems that Noor ad-Deen thought of entering Egypt with his army and catching the Crusaders in a pincer movement from that direction, under his command, but Salah ad-Deen realized what Noor ad-Deen's intentions were, so he summoned his family in Egypt, including his father Najm ad-Deen and his maternal uncle Shihab ad-Deen al-Harimi746, as well as some of the army commanders, and consulted them with regard to what he had heard about Noor ad-Deen's intention to head towards Egypt and dismiss him from his post there. One of his nephews, whose name was 'Umar, suggested that he should make preparations to fight Noor ad-Deen if he came to Egypt, and some of the people present agreed with him. But Najm ad-Deen the father of Salah ad-Deen hastened to rebuke them and denounce their opinion. He said to Salah ad-Deen:

I am your father and this is your paternal uncle Shihab ad-Deen; we love you more than everyone whom you see. By Allah, if your uncle and I saw Noor ad-Deen, we could do no more than kiss the ground before him, and if he ordered us to behead you with the sword, we would do it. If this is our attitude, then how about others? All of these commanders whom you see,

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