Showing posts with label jerusalem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jerusalem. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Masjid Al Aqsa is Waiting ........ Waiting for Salahuddin

Thinking positively of Allah
Ibn Shaddad related: (Salah ad-Deen) - may Allah sanctify his soul – thought positively of Allah, relied on Him and turned to Him. I myself witnessed the effects of what I am saying. That was when the Franks - may Allah humiliate them - were camping in Bayt Noobah, which is a place close to Jerusalem - may Allah guard it - which was only one day's journey away. The sultan was in Jerusalem, and he had stationed scouts"? Surrounding the enemy, he had sent out spies and was receiving constant news of their firm resolve to come up to Jerusalem, lay siege to it and fight for it. The Muslims were very afraid because of that, so he summoned the emirs, informed them of the hardships that the Muslims were going to face, and consulted them with regard to his staying in Jerusalem. They said kind words, but their real feelings were different from those which they expressed. All insisted that there was no interest to be served by his staying in the city himself, and in fact it would pose a danger to Islam. They told him that they would stay in the city, and he should go out with a group of men from the camp to surround the enemy, as had been done at Acre. He and these troops were to cut off the supply of provisions and put pressure on the enemy.
Meanwhile, they would guard the city and defend it. The council broke up, having agreed to that, but he insisted on staying there himself, knowing that if he did not stay, no one else would stay either. When the emirs had left to go to their homes, a messenger came from them , informing him that they would not stay unless his brother al-Malik al-'Adil or one of his sons stayed there, to be in charge of them and they would follow his commands. He realized that this was an indication that they would not stay, and he was distressed and did not know what to do. I was on duty for him that night, and it was wintertime. There was no one else with us two except Allah. Whilst we were discussing all options and possible outcomes, I began to feel sorry for him and to fear for his well-being, as he had some heart problem" I urged him to go to bed so that he might sleep for a while, and he (may Allah have mercy on him) said, "You must be sleepy too." Then he got up (to go and rest). When I went home, I did some chores, then the muezzin gave the call to prayer and dawn broke. I used to pray Fajr with him most of the time, so I entered upon him and found him pouring water over his limbs.
He said, "I did not sleep at all."
I said, "I know."
He said, "How do you know?"
I said, "Because I did not sleep either; there is no time for sleep." We busied ourselves with the prayer, and then we sat and resumed our discussion.
I said to him, "I have an idea, and I think it will be useful, if Allah wills."
He said, "What is it?"
I said, "Turning to Allah, seeking His help and relying on Him to save us from this calamity."
said, "What should we do?"
I said, "Today is Friday. Your highness should perform a ritual shower before going out, and pray as usual in al-Aqsa, the site of the Meraj' (night journey) of the Prophet Pease Be Upon Him, Your highness should give charity in secret, at the hand of someone you trust to do it on your behalf, and your highness should pray two units of prayer between the adhan and iqamah, calling upon Allah whilst prostrating, as there is a sound hadith concerning that. Say within yourself: 0 my God, all my earthly means of supporting Your religion have been cut off, and there is nothing left except to tum to You, cling to Your rope and rely on Your grace. You are sufficient for me and are the best Disposer of affairs. Allah is too generous to let you down."
So he did all of that and I prayed beside him as I usually did. He prayed the two units of prayer between the adhan and iqamah, and I saw him prostrating and his tears falling on his grey beard and the mat, but I could not hear what he said. The day did not end before a dispatch arrived from 'Izz ad-Deen Jurdeek , who was in charge of the scouts, informing him that the Franks were in a state of confusion; that day they had mounted their horses and all moved to the desert, where they stayed until midday , then they returned to their tents . Early on Saturday another dispatch arrived with the same news. During the day a spy carne in and told him that there was discord among the Franks; the French were 0f the view that it was essential to lay siege to Jerusalem, whereas the king of England and his followers were of the view that they Should not risk the Christian cause by throwing the troops into mountainous country where there was no source of water because the Sultan had destroyed all water sources around Jerusalem. They had gone out to discuss the matter, as it was their custom to hold councils of war on horseback. They had appointed ten men to decide, and whatever they decided upon, they would not go against it. Early on Monday morning, a messenger came with the good news that they had departed, heading in the direction of Ramlah. This is what I saw theeffects of his turning to Allah and putting his trust in Allah·

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jerusalem was Liberated - Waiting for Salahuddin

The Great Warrior and Ruler - Sultan Salahuddin Ayoubi 

History tells us that when Sultan Salahuddin recaptured Jerusalem from the invading and ruthless Crusaders. Who had ninety years earlier massacred and savagely treated its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants, he met a group of Latin Christian women who addressed him, "0 Sultan! You see that we are leaving. Among us are mothers, wives, daughters or sisters to the soldiers in captivity with you. These men are our support in life; and if we lose them we will lose everything. But if you leave them for our sake, you will be giving us back our lives." At this Salahuddin smiled and gave orders that the sons and husbands of those women be set free. He went even further and gave money to the women whose supporters were killed in the battle. An irate French girl came up to the Sultan and said, "You murderer, you have killed my father and captured both of my brothers. So there remains no one to support me!" Salahuddin calmly ordered that her brothers be set free, and then addressed her: "your father was killed in a war which he started himself, and in which many innocent people were killed." The French girl looked down, full of shame and regret for her insolence with such an honorable man and, with tears in her eyes, she said, "Forgive me, Sir! It was the bitterness of grief and the descriptions and bad impressions given to us about your people and their cruelty in our country (that caused my insolence). But now I see the reality: that you are honorable and I have not despaired of your forgiveness. May God curse the liars in our homelands who deceived us and depicted you as savage assassins who had desecrated our holy places? They exploited our emotions (and sent us here). But when we came to know you well we could not see the truth in any of their claims."
Salahuddin used to say, "It is better for one to err in forgiveness than to be right in punishment." However, we should not forget that this was only one of many special qualities that adorned his character.
Salahuddin was born of Kurdish parents in Takreet (in Iraq) in 1137 G., came at a time when the Islamic world was at its worst state, politically and even morally. In the Fertile Crescent (Today’s Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq) the ruler of almost every small town had an independent state of his own and tried to expand his authority through fighting with the other neighboring city states. Besides, almost all the major coastal towns on the East Mediterranean were captured and ruled by the Crusader invaders. Jerusalem (the claimed target of the Crusaders) was, of course, already under ruthless foreign domination. In brief, the picture was very bleak indeed.
Salahuddin was a man of unflinching faith. He knew that through the application of Islamic teachings and its principles, miracles could be made. Had not the early Muslims gone out of the desert and defeated the two greatest Empires on earth of their time? What were the arms with which they faced fighters who were much superior in number, training and equipment? It was certainly their firm faith in Allah, devotion to justice and unity. These three things were then the goals which Salahuddin tried to achieve in order to liberate Muslim lands from the Crusaders.
To Salahuddin Jihad started from inside. He had to watch himself and his aids and soldiers to make sure that they behaved in compliance with Divine commandments in all spheres of life, spiritual, moral and material. It is reported that prayers and devotion to Allah were the constant companions of Salahuddin. Once an adviser of his suggested, "Why do you not save the money you give in charity to the poor and religious teachers, and spend it in your war efforts?" He answered that he could not do that, because the prayers of poor men were a sure source of his strength in his wars.
Ibn Shaddad (an intimate companion of Salahuddin) reports, "In faith and practice the Sultan was a devout Muslim, ever conforming to the tenets at Islam. He was regular in the performance of religious observances, assiduous in offering the ritual prayers, founded on the practice of the Prophet; he also performed the voluntary prayers during the night." Salahuddin’s attitude to material luxury and gains is revealed in the fact that when he died he left nothing except one dinar and 47 dirhams. Nothing else did he leave by way of houses, goods, gardens or any other type of property. He did not leave even as much as that could suffice to defray his burial expenses. As for the acute sense of justice of Salahuddin, it is enough to mention that he did not object to go with one of his subjects to the Qadi (the judge). When he won the case he forgave the man and even gave him what he had claimed.
"0 believers! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses; and Let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice, Be just: that is nearer to piety and fear of Allah. Verily, Allah is well acquainted with what you do," (Al-Our'an: 5:8)
His greatness was due to two main qualities namely,
(1) His inborn leadership qualities, and
(2) Meticulous application of the Islamic teachings in all aspects of his life: spiritual and material, individual and social, at war and in peace.
The liberation of Jerusalem from the hands of the ruthless Crusaders was only one of the great achievements of Salahuddin.  At the age of seven, Salahuddin moved with his father Najmuddin to Damascus, where he closely witnessed the heroic deeds of his relative Nouruddin, the ruler of Damascus and some other parts of Syria, who was at constant war with the invading Crusaders. So, besides the civil education Salahuddin received (especially in religious learning), he had the opportunity of training in the arts of war and military maneuvers as well.
Later, when Salahuddin Uncle Asaduddin Shirkoh was sent to Egypt,  Salahuddin was ordered to accompany him, which he did. However, this trip proved to be the most critical in Salahuddin’ s life, For not only did he learn so much from his second teacher , his great uncle Asaduddin in the tactics of war, but he also succeeded him later to the position of minister to the Fatimide Caliph in 564 A.H. (1169 C.E).
At the age of 32 he was given the title "The Supporting King". This appointment seemed to have changed Salahuddin’ s temperament and attitude to life in a manner reminiscent of another earner hero of Islam, 'Urnar ibn 'Abdul-Aziz. For to both, authority was a responsibility rather than an honor, and they felt that they had to shun the life of ease and comfort in order to carry out the responsibility placed upon their shoulders. Salahuddin started by rectifying the corrupt conditions in Egypt. His first target was to clean the government from corrupt elements and the heads of treachery, some of whom he caught red-handed. The second major step was to abolish the whole ailing Fatimide Dynasty, sending parts of the unjustly earned and heaped property of the Dynasty to the Abbaside caliph in Baghdad and to his commanders-in-chief in Damascus to be used in his war efforts. The rest of the properties of the Dynasty Salahuddin sold, and he deposited the money in the public treasury.
As an honest and sincere leader, Salahuddin stayed in his old residence and refused to move to the luxurious palaces of the Caliphate, until he built the castle at AI-Mugattam mount in Cairo. Then he launched a long campaign in an attempt to unify the Muslim world; thus, bringing into the fold a great part of North Africa {Libya and Tunis}, the West of Arabia (where the Sacred Cities of Makkah and Madinah are situated}, down to Yemen. Upon the death of Nouruddin , Salahuddin became the undisputable master and Sultan of Egypt, Yemen and the Syrian region, which were subjugated by Salahuddin after some battles in which some rulers of the area allied themselves with the invading forces. Despite the fact that Salahuddin had by then a very strong army, we believe that he had something far greater on his side in those battles; that is, his charitable nature, for that won him the hearts of the residents of the fortified towns even before he entered them. We find an illustration of this charitable and chivalrous nature of Salahuddin in the following incident. While Salahuddin was besieging Haab {Aleppo} and attacking it, the young daughter of his former leader Nooruddin Mahmood came out of the city to meet him. He gave her a very warm welcome. Then he asked her about her request. She told him that the people wanted 'l'zaz' (honourable departure). He complied with her request and even accompanied her and her soldiers to the gates of the city. Then he set free all the soldiers captured in that battle, soldiers whose hearts Salahuddin had already won, due to his kindness and charitable nature. As pointed out earlier, Salahuddin was in his kindness and charity only applying the teachings of Islam, which instructs its followers to demonstrate justice even with the most detested enemies.
Salahuddin returned to Egypt after unifying the newly founded state under his command. He sent his soldiers to their families and directed his attention to civil projects, such as building hospitals, schools, bridges and public parks. He also ordered the fortification of Cairo.
All these and similar incidents increased Salahuddin's conviction of the necessity of a major offensive. The battlefield was Hitteen at which Salahuddln met with a huge army of the Crusaders for which the conflicting Crusader rulers came into form with each other. The battle was very fierce but Salahuddin finally won the day, and the invaders were beaten. Thus, the way to Jerusalem was half paved for Salahuddin who captured (or rather liberated) it after ninety years of occupation. This was in Rajab 583 A.H. (July 1187); thus, opening the doors of the Masjid AI-Aqsa the most sacred mosque in Jerusalam, or (Bait-ul-Maqdis which is regarded as the third Sacred Mosque in Islam) again for the pious followers of Islam.