Rulers who united the Muslim world (1137-1193)
An Example of the Islamic Dealing with Non-Muslims, Mercy, Generosity, and Humbleness
Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi (1137-1193) was one of the most powerful and dedicated Muslim rulers who united the entire Muslim world under his leadership and the most significant military commander in Islamic history, who was able to liberate Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187.
Salahuddin’s dealing with his enemies could be considered a perfect example of the central Islamic tenets towards non-Muslims. When his army liberated Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, he ordered not to touch even a single person but to treat them with honor and dignity, allowing those who wished to leave to do so in peace and for those who wanted to stay to do so in harmony. Remember, when the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099, they slaughtered the city’s entire population (about 70,000) and created an absolute bloodbath. Therefore, when the army of Salahuddin was about to enter Jerusalem, the Christian population of the town was in horror of the same possible action from the Muslim side as what was done to Muslims by the Christians 88 years ago. Mothers cut the hair of young girls hoping to save them from being raped. Monks were busy hiding treasures and literature from the churches to keep them from being destroyed.
But when Salahuddin entered Jerusalem, he ordered to clean the city with rose water, and he began washing the floor of the Masjid al-Aqsa with rose water. His soldiers followed him. For a week, Muslim soldiers passed Jerusalem buildings, and the smell of roses was everywhere.
When Richard Lionheart (King of England), a legendary mighty Christian commander who led the Third Wave of Crusaders after the loss of Jerusalem to Muslims, invaded the city of Acre from Salahuddin, he fell ill. After hearing that the commander of his enemy fell sick, Salahuddin sent his physician to him. Not only that, he sent ice to fight the fever and some healing fruits to Richard. Very soon, Richard became healthy again and continued his fighting against Salahuddin.
During the battle, Richard’s horse was a casualty, and graciously, Salahuddin ordered his army not to touch the commander and sent him a horse to enable him to continue his fighting.
When Salahuddin died, he was a ruler of the vast united kingdom of Jerusalem, Syria, and Egypt. But he did not leave more than 47 silver piece, onee gold coi,n and one horse.