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SALADIN Great Islamic Warrior & Role Model Reformer

Updated on April 4, 2015

Early Life Facts

  1. Saladin was born in Tikrit, Mesopotamia (Present day Iraq).
  2. His original name was "Yusuf"; "Salah ud Din" is an epithet, meaning "Righteousness of the Faith."
  3. He hails from Kurdish ancestry, and was aboriginally from Dvin, city of Armenia.
  4. Year 1132 saw him as the fresh start of his heroics as he defeated army of the Imad ad-Din Zengi, Ruler of Mosul.
  5. Ayyub gave ferries for the army and provided them refuge in Tikrit.
  6. In 1139, Ayyub and his family moved to Mosul where Imad ad-Din Zengi acknowledged his debt and appointed Saladin commander of his fortress in Baalbek.

Why is SALADIN famous ?

Western World recognises him as Saladin, was the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the famous Ayyubid dynasty.

Saladin was a man of great sympathy and mercy. An embodied Forgiver. He is regarded with great respect in Europe as a chivalrous knight due to his fierce struggle against the crusaders and his mutual respect for the toughest opponent. Saladin has been part of historical storis, books and movies. Some notable contributions in which Saladin is described are:

  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's play Nathan the Wise (1779)
  • Sir Walter Scott's novel The Talisman (1825).

Saladin successfully led the Muslim opposition to the series of European Crusaders. During his peak of power, his conquered a gigantic area included Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Yemen and other parts of Northern Africa with exeplary courage, audacity and modesty. These all Traits really seen in one ruler simultaneously. He has been dramatised in the motion picture "Kingdom of Heaven" directed by Ridley Scott (also directed Gladiator). Ghassan Massoud played the role of Saladin.

An epic Muslim General who as sultan (or leader) led Islamic forces during famous Crusades.
An epic Muslim General who as sultan (or leader) led Islamic forces during famous Crusades. | Source

Saladin, who lived his infantile period in Damascus, was observed to have a particular love of the city, but information on his childhood is meagre.

According to one of his biographers, al-Wahrani, The calibre of Saladin can be described as that of a person being able to answer questions on Euclid, arithmetic, and law, but it was study of the Qur'an and the "sciences of religion" that glorified him to his contemporaries.

Several observers of history say that during his early studies Saladin was more tilted towards Islam than joining the military.

It was during the First Crusade, Jerusalem was taken in a surprise attack by the Christians that really incremented in his knowledge and wit. In addition to Islam, Saladin had an intense knowledge of the genealogies, biographies, and histories of the Arabs, as well as the bloodlines of Arabian horses.

Saladin's hallmark on the city of Cairo even now speaks volumes of being visible in the shape of citadel. Above all, he wanted to enclose the whole of the city enclosed with a strong wall.He Included the ruins of Fustat-Misr with a strong wall, and he began with Badr's wall to the north and extended it west to the Nile and the port of al Maks to further strengthen the city's boundaries. The eastern front was made secure, under the Mukattam Hills, he carried Badr's walls south to his Citadel, which was built two hundred and 55 ft above the city on its own hill. These walls are even now strategically significant. This is also known as "military fortress" of Saladin. Its aim was to make Cairo well protected and a strong-to-defeat city.

Muslim countries need Generals like SALADIN

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Saladin's Munificence

Saladin's generosity and kindness was his trait and for what he was known for. He was brave but gentle, sublime but his heart melt for the poor. He fought for justice not for his own kingdom. Always invited his contemporaries enemy with peace fisrt approach. There are numerous examples of his big heartedness.

He was kind and gentle, watched and treated with one eye, Justice for all icluding minorities of his estate. Though above all this was his duty to Allah, the omnipotent. Baha-uddin (rahmatullahi alaihi) his faithful secretary stated:

“I never knew him to show any anxiety about the numbers and strength of the enemy in any battle or encounters. He would listen to plans of all kinds and discuss their consequences without any excitement or loss of composure.”

Once he cleared a gigantic debt of 2 Million dinars (Kuwait Currency), a huge sum at that time. for his brother. Though he himself stayed steadfast and tolerant and yet very simple in his approach towards life, perhaps never portrayed himself as pious and cleric ti determine his good deeds for show off.

He was modest and even respected by the most harsh off the enemies. The huge empire that was to come under his command clearly indicated he had grandeur and sumptuous amount, yet his personal accountants and financial assistants had to keep some of his financial details a hidden and closed from him, having a sixth sense that he would give it all away among the needy and there would be nothing left for estates of the sultanate (Government). He never felt or had a desire for summing up large finance.

One of the most regrettable mention within the great Citadel which was built under Saladin was a hospital, his assistant, Ibn Gubayr, mentioned as comparable to any good modern clinic of today. He said it was nothing short of a "palace goodly for its beauty and spaciousness". Saladin not only managed its construction but engulfed it with doctors and physicians, and it had specialist surgical laboratories, beds, neat bed sheets and maintenance servants to look after the suffering sick, serve them with free food and medicine, and a special ward for sick women. Nearby, he also built a separate building with barred windows for the physiatrics, who were treated sincerely and looked after by experts who tried to find out what had happened to their minds.

Saladin : Symbol of Respect by the staunch enemies

This was the same Salahuddin that some would criticise, but on the other hand he was portrayed as a chivalrous and legendary figure in European history also, a figure who respected his friends as well as his foes - when Richard's horse was killed in battle Salahuddin sent him fresh one saying (These words are still imprinted in history will respect towards the great Muslim General and are exemplary):

“It is not proper that a warrior should have to fight on foot.” In times of war he was extremely generous to enemy civilians, allowing them to go free with their lives and goods, an act of humanity that was rarely shown to the Muslims by their enemies.

This shows how gallant, audacious and in fact brave enough he was to respect the opponent and just not take advantage of his misery.


On 4th march, 1193, this beloved servant of Allah had his last breath. While he was having his last breath, although he was the most powerful and greatest in the Muslim empire of the era, he had only one gold piece and 47 silver pieces to his name. An example that remains in history unmatched and unique. A premier of his calibre could have made billions.

He owned no land property and had no outstanding debts. While his family mourned him, those close to the audacious man found that, at the time of his death, he did not possess enough money to pay for his dues of his burial even. This was Salahuddin, an example for leaders to come for the whole world and a true servant of Allah Almighty, the Omnipresence. Modern Arab states have sought to commemorate Saladin through various measures, often based on the image created of him in the 19th-century west.

May Allah’s bless him boundlessly. Ameen.

How do you rate the personality of Saladin after reading this Hub?

4.5 stars from 2 ratings of SALADIN

© 2014 SAQIB


Submit a Comment
  • SAQIB6608 profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

    I see. I like sean penn too. Just loved him in "Mystic River" directed by Clint Eastwood

  • manatita44 profile image


    4 years ago from london

    Yes, many times. Yes, I really like him and the films that he directs. I've probably seen them all!

  • SAQIB6608 profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

    @ Manatita

    Don't you like Clint Eastwood, the actor? I have written about him too. His

    most famoust movie is The Good, The bad and the Ugly. May be you have watched?

  • SAQIB6608 profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

    @manatita: First of all i am honoured.

    Sure. I will brother. May God be with you. Stay Blessed.

  • manatita44 profile image


    4 years ago from london

    You tell your stories so well, my brother. Your storytelling strength is far greater than mines. A most wonderful read about the life of a truly great man. I saw a movie with him. Do not remember the name. He was very gracious in this movie and a great warrior, too.

    p.s. I have done some work as mentioned on the other Hub. Write to me and I will attach same. Peace.


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