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The death of Noor ad-Deen Mahmood
'Imad al-Isfahani noted:
Noor ad-Deen (may Allah have mercy on him) ordered the circumcision of his son al-Malik al-Salih Isma'eel on the day of Eid al-Fitr, and we celebrated this event; the stores in Damascus were closed for several days and an ode was composed to celebrate Eid and the circumcision.788
He described it thus:
On the day of Eid, which was a Sunday, Noor ad-Deen rode in the usual manner, surrounded by the protection of Allah and by happiness, guarded by the troops of heaven and earth. But Fate said to him, "This is the last Eid for you." He stood in the northern green field to practise archery and spear throwing, and his tent had been set up in the southern green field. He ordered that the minbar be set up, and al-Qadi Shams ad-Deen ibn al- Farrashi, the qadi of the army, gave a khutbah for him after leading him in prayer. He visited the citadel, happy and cheerful, and set up his public table in the manner of the Turks and great kings; then we joined him at his private table.789 On Monday, the prominent figures were walking alongside him and the wise men were discussing with him, among whom was Humam ad-Deen Mawdood, who was one of the prominent people; in the past, in the early stages of the Zangid state, he had been the governor of Aleppo; he was smart and had experience in life. He said to Noor ad-Deen by way of a reminder to one who may be deceived by times of ease, "Will we be here on a day like this next year?" Noor ad-Deen said, "Will we be here in a month's time? One year is too far away." And fate materialized in accordance with what they said. Noor ad-Deen did not live for another month and Humam ad-Deen did not live for another year. Then Noor ad-Deen started to play ball with his inner circle; he was intercepted whilst playing by another emir whose name was Yaranqushi, who said to him 'BashV790 That made him angry and sad, and he felt outrage that was contrary to his forbearing attitude. He rebuked him and scolded him, then left and went to the citadel, where he stayed, keeping away from people and isolating himself. He remained in his house for a week, more preoccupied with what had befallen him and what might happen than with what was going on around him as people celebrated the circumcision. All these celebrations only ended with sadness and grief, and authority was not restored after him until as-Salih was appointed.791 Noor ad- Deen's sickness continued and the doctors advised him to undergo phlebotomy, but he refused; he was a man with whom no one argued. On Wednesday 11th Shawwal he passed from this transient world to the eternal realm. He was one of the close believing friends of Allah and one of His righteous slaves.792 The death of Noor ad-Deen (may Allah have mercy on him) was due to difficulty in breathing that the doctors could not treat.793 He died on Wednesday 11 Shawwal 569 AH, and was buried in the citadel of Damascus, then he was transferred to a graveyard near his school that he had built for the followers of Abu Haneefah (may Allah have mercy on him), near a place called al-Khawwaseen on the western road. May Allah have mercy on him.794 He was eager for martyrdom and used to say, "How often I exposed myself to martyrdom but did not attain it."
Adh-Dhahabi commented, "It caught up with him in his bed and on people's lips: Noor ad-Deen ash-Shaheed (Noor ad-Deen the martyr)."795 He was eulogized by the poets in lengthy odes.
After the death of Noor ad-Deen, the banner of Jihad was taken up by his smart student and sincere soldier Salah ad-Deen Ayub, who based his Jihad on the Jihad that Noor ad-Deen had managed to wage against the polytheists, and he did so in the best and most perfect manner.
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