Salah ad-Deen al-Ayubi (Part-139)



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if they saw Noor ad-Deen on his own they would not be able to remain seated firmly in their saddles. This land is his, and we are his Mamelukes and deputies here. If he wanted to dismiss you, we would hear and obey. We think that you should send a letter with a messenger, and say, 'I have heard that you want to come to the country (Egypt); what need is there for that? His highness could send any messenger to put a rope around my neck and take me to you, and there is no one here who would disobey you.'747

And he said to all of them, "Leave us, for we are the Mamelukes and slaves of Noor ad-Deen and he does with us what he wants."

So they dispersed, and most of them wrote to Noor ad-Deen informing him of what had happened.748 When Najm ad-Deen was alone with his son Salah ad-Deen, he said to him:

You are ignorant and have little knowledge. You gathered together this horde and told them what you were thinking about. If Noor ad-Deen hears that you were determined to stop him from coming here, he would make you his primary concern and the first one he would tackle. If he headed towards you, you would not find anyone with you from this army; they would have surrendered you to him. But now, after this gathering, they will write to him and tell him what I said. You must also write to him and send him a letter conveying the same meaning. Say, 'Why do you need to come to me? Any man you send could bring me to you with a rope around my neck.' If he hears that, he will change his plan to come to you and will focus on something more important to him.749

Najm ad-Deen Ayub loved Noor ad-Deen Zangi very much and was very sincere and devoted to him, so Salah ad-Deen did what his father suggested. When Noor ad-Deen (may Allah have mercy on him) saw that this was the case, he changed his mind, and things were as Najm ad-Deen had said.750

At the beginning of 568 AH/1173 CE, after Noor ad-Deen returned from Azerbaijan and Armenia, he received a letter from the caliph appointing him over Mosul, Mesopotamia, Irbil, Khallat, Greater Syria, the land of Kilij Arslan and Egypt. In Shawwal of the same year, Salah ad-Deen set out with his army and besieged Kerak, and told Noor ad-Deen that he had set out in accordance with what had been agreed upon the previous year. Noor ad-Deen set out from Damascus and when he reached ar-Raqeem (in central Jordan) he received a letter from Salah ad-Deen telling him that his father in Egypt was sick, and he was afraid that if he died, the Egyptians would take this opportunity to seize the land and fortify themselves, so he had no choice but to return to Egypt.751 When Noor ad-Deen learned of that, he said, "Protecting Egypt is more important to us than anything else."752 Soon events confirmed Salah ad-Deen's fears. A major revolt was staged against him, led by the caliph's confidant Jawhar, then after that there was a huge conspiracy in which 'Amarah al-Yemeni and the remnants of the Rafidi Shiite madh-hab took part, as I have explained above. In 568 AH, Noor ad-Deen launched campaigns against the Crusaders. Al-Imad al-Isfahani was riding with al- Malik al-'Adil and he said to him: How would you describe what has happened? His response was to praise him in a lengthy ode about Noor ad- Deen's defence of Harran.

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