Home > Jihad, Knowledge (iLm), Muslim world and Rulers. > Salah ad-Deen’s [rahimahullah] efforts to unite the Muslims

Salah ad-Deen’s [rahimahullah] efforts to unite the Muslims


The general characteristics of Salah ad-Deen’s efforts to unite the Muslims included the following:

(a) Generosity with wealth, which he regarded as insignificant. This is clearly seen in the large amounts that he gave to his followers, to the delegations who came to see him, and to those who surrendered to his rule, or to whom he promised to give; his letting off the countries he conquered of all past debts and taxes, and abolishing the levies and unjust taxes, apart from the taxes that are permitted in sharia. Undoubtedly this played a role in attracting people to join his ranks and silencing his opponents.


(b) His tolerant attitude. He fought those who opposed him in order to form a united front. When he defeated them, he did not allow anyone to pursue them or to kill their wounded; he released their prisoners and sometimes showed tolerance towards those he knew were his enemies. He did not show any animosity towards them. He overlooked their aggression, even though he was well aware of it, because he wanted them to become his allies after being his opponents.


(c) His deep Islamic faith. This was not only represented in his acts of worship but also in his belief that jihad was an obligation, first for himself and also for others, so he did not accept anything but urging them to engage in it.


(d) Leaving emirates under the control of their emirs, or giving them to his commanders and those who were close to him, or even to his opponents on occasion, because after he took control of Egypt, he only needed rulers to supply him with troops when called upon. This is what explains his compromises and diplomatic negotiations and his granting security to those who opposed him.


(e) Among the Zangid family in particular and the other emirs of Noor ad-Deen in general, there did not appear any person other than him who had the strength and ability to maintain the principles according to which Noor ad-Deen and his father before him had operated.


(f) As well as trying to win the support of the Muslim masses, he also sought to win the approval of the Abbasid caliph who he still believed was the source of spiritual legitimacy for all Muslims. He sent him letters one after another concerning different situations, sometimes explaining them, and sometimes accusing his opponents, or asking permission, or giving glad tidings, but never stopping.


From all of that we may understand that Salah ad-Deen’s strength was the result of the strong bond between him and the Muslim masses through his deeds and jihad, and his standing by and defending the masses’ demands, by defending their religion and beliefs and confronting the invaders. Salah ad Deen fought with some Muslim rulers, but he only fought them because of their selfishness and focus on their own personal interests and authority. He spent twelve years (570-582 AHl 1174-1186 CE) establishing a united Islamic front; throughout this period, his ambitions were much greater than his physical strength as he was sick. He was a military giant but a mass of physical illnesses, but his love of jihad made him forget his pain and overlook it.

[Salah ad-Deen al-Faaris al-Mujahid wal-Malik az-Zahid, p. 232]

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