Salah ad-Deen al-Ayubi (Part-143)

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7- Salah ad-Deen paid attention to protocol with regard to symbols of power and authority. He did not regard himself as equal to his master Noor ad-Deen. He sent messengers from Cairo to Noor ad-Deen to tell him that Salah ad-Deen had worn the cloak and was fully committed to continuing to send wealth (tributes) as agreed upon to Noor ad-Deen every year.777

8- All the actions that Salah ad-Deen took to bring about the fall of the Fatimid caliphate, ensure that sermons were given in the name of Banul- 'Abbas and put an end to the Ismaili madh-hab in Egypt were done on direct instructions from Noor ad-Deen. After Noor ad-Deen sent Najm ad-Deen to him, the latter annexed Yemen with the permission of Noor ad-Deen in order to put an end to the Shiite Ismaili madh-hab there, so he annexed Yemen into the resistance front, and Noor ad-Deen himself sent this good news to the Abbasid caliph. The same was true with regard to the incorporation of eastern North Africa, the invasion of the kingdom of Nubia and the conveying of the good news to the Abbasid caliph that the conquest of Constantinople and Jerusalem was at hand.778 Noor ad-Deen wrote to the Abbasid caliph, saying: Constantinople and Jerusalem will be the ultimate goal for conquest. May Allah bring near the goal of conquest to the people of Islam and help al-Khadim (the servant) to attain the pleasure of the caliph. One of the good things of these glorious days was what happened at this stage of the conquest of part of Nubia and reaching parts of it where the Muslim cavalry had never trod. The Egyptian troops have also captured

9- Barqah and its fortresses, and reached the borders of the Maghreb.779

10- From the time when Salah ad-Deen settled in Egypt, until the death of Noor ad-Deen, Salah ad-Deen continued to send the treasures of the Fatimid palace to his master Noor ad-Deen as a symbol of loyalty, and Salah ad-Deen continued to inform Noor ad-Deen of everything, great and small, that went on in Egypt. So we see him, for example, sending a letter to him in which he mentioned the revolt by the remnants of the Fatimids, among whom was 'Amarah al-Yemeni.780 Nothing is more indicative of the cooperation between Salah ad-Deen and Noor ad-Deen than their strategic agreement against the Franks. Abu Shamah states that in 568 AH/1172 CE, the two sultans, Noor ad-Deen in Syria and Salah ad-Deen in Egypt, started a Jihad against the Crusaders. Al-Imad describes this incident as the: Jihad of the Two Sultans Against the Franks.781 This was also confirmed by Salah ad- Deen in a letter that he sent to the Abbasid caliph, telling him that there was an agreement between him and Noor ad-Deen (may Allah have mercy on him) to attack the invaders from two sides, from Egypt and Syria: the Mameluke (Salah ad-Deen) with his troops by land and sea, and Noor ad- Deen from the plains and rugged terrain of Syria.782

11- Salah ad-Deen expressed his loyalty to the dynasty of Noor ad-Deen after the latter's death in 569 AH/1173 CE, when he delivered the khutbah in the name of his son as-Salih Isma'eel, and minted coins in his name.783 He also sent letters of condolence on the death of Noor ad-Deen.784 On this basis we can say that until the death of Noor ad-Deen, Egypt and Syria were united under the leadership of Noor ad-Deen,785 and Salah ad-Deen was no more than Noor ad-Deen's agent in Egypt.

Whatever the case, Noor ad-Deen's relationship with Salah ad-Deen never reached the level of enmity, and there is no justification for regarding their differences of opinion as alienation, as a number of historians and writers have stated. All that can be said is that Noor ad-Deen thought of Egypt as a source of income to cover the expenses of the Jihad against the Crusaders in Syria, and as a source of human resources from whom he could recruit mujahideen, whereas Salah ad-Deen was more aware than Noor ad-Deen of what was going on in Egypt and of the dangers posed by the preparations of the Fatimids' supporters to join the Franks. So he focused his efforts on building a strong army so that he would be able to dominate Egypt, and he thought that consolidating the position of the new state in Egypt was more important than focusing on the affairs of Syria.786 This is in accordance with what Noor ad-Deen said to the messenger whom Salah ad-Deen sent with apologies for his decision not to join him in the siege of Kerak, when he said: Protecting Egypt is more important to us than anything else.787Salah ad-Deen followed the same methods as Noor ad-Deen in supporting the Sunni venture. Leadership in Islam is not a monopoly for the Zangid family or the Ayubid family or for any particular family, no matter what their status. Rather, whoever has that potential ” with the help of Allah ” and is loved, respected and supported by the Muslims, is the one who should be put forward to lead the Ummah. Abu Bakr (RA) was put forward by the Ummah to lead after the (Messenger (Sm) died, and they swore allegiance to him. The same was true of 'Umar, who completed the course, and of 'Uthman and 'Ali after him (may Allah be pleased with them all). Serving Islam and the Muslims took precedence over everything else in the mind of Salah ad-Deen.

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