Saladin is the Western surname of Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, the Muslim sultan the Egypt and Syria who famously beat a massive military of Crusaders in the fight of Hattin and captured the city that Jerusalem in 1187. At the height of his power, he rule a unified Muslim an ar stretching indigenous Egypt come Arabia. Saladin was celebrated by Muslims and also many Westerners of later on generations because that his political and military skills, and his generosity and also chivalry.

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Early Life and Rise to power in Egypt

Saladin was born Yusuf Ibn Ayyub in the main Iraqi city the Tikrit in 1137 or 1138. His family was the Kurdish descent, and also his dad Ayyub and also uncle Shirkuh were elite military leaders under Imad al-Din Zangi, a powerful ruler that governed northern Syria in ~ the time. After farming up in Damascus and rising v the army ranks, the young Saladin join an military commanded by his uncle Shirkuh, who served Zangi’s son and heir, Nur al-Din, on a military expedition to Egypt.


In 1169, after Shirkuh’s death, Saladin was preferred to success him in command of Nur al-Din’s pressures in Egypt. The was also appointed vizier of the crumbling Fatimid Caliphate, which rule Egypt in ~ the time. V the death of the critical Fatimid caliph in 1171, Saladin became governor of Egypt, and set about reduce the power and influence of Shia Islam and reestablishing a Sunni program there. Administer in the name of Nur al-Din, he strengthened Egypt together a basic of Sunni strength in the near East.

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Campaigns against Fellow Muslims

Nur al-Din passed away in 1174, and also Saladin released a project to take control of the lands he had ruled. He likewise sought to develop his routine as a major military player capable of an overwhelming the 4 Western-controlled Crusader states, which had actually been developed after the an initial Crusade in 1098-99.

As sultan that Egypt, Saladin returned to Syria and also managed to capture Damascus, Aleppo, and also Mosul from various other Muslim rulers. Saladin’s forces also conquered Yemen, which permitted him come consolidate regulate over the entire Red Sea. In addition to his army exploits, he additionally pursued diplomatic initiatives to achieve his goals. The married Nur ad-Din's widow, Ismat, who was likewise the daughter that the late Damascan ruler Unur, which aided him get legitimacy v association with two ruling dynasties. Finally, he obtained widespread Muslim support by proclaiming self the leader of a jihad, or holy war, devoted to defending Islam versus Christianity.

Saladin’s goal was to unite the Muslim regions of Syria, north Mesopotamia, Palestine and Egypt under his rule, and also by 1186 the had completed it with a mix that diplomacy and military force. Known for his love of poetry and also gardens, he likewise gained a reputation together a generous and also noble leader—helped follow me by the main biographers he hired to document his feats.

Defeat that Crusaders and Capture the Jerusalem

After practically a te of fighting smaller sized battles against the Franks (as the Crusaders from west Europe were called), Saladin prepared to launch a full-scale strike in 1187 by assembling troops from throughout his realm south of Damascus and an exceptional Egyptian fleet in ~ Alexandria. His military met the Franks in a substantial clash in ~ Hattin, near Tiberias (modern-day Israel) and defeated castle soundly on July 4, 1187.