In every era, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ chooses some of His bondmen for upholding the true honour of Islam and for the victory and success of Islam. The great Mujahid-e-Islam, true devotee of Rasool, Khadim-ul-Haramayn Sharifayn, Al-Malik-un-Naasir Abu Muzaffar Sultan Salahuddin Yusuf Bin Najmuddin Ayyubi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہis one of them. (Al-Uns-ul-Jaleel, vol. 1, pp. 460)
Sultan Salahuddin رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہwas born in 532 AH in Qil’a Tikrit (District Salahuddin Ayyubi, Iraq).(Mirat-ul-Manajeeh, vol. 3, pp. 333)
Love for reciting Quran
Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہwould recite the Holy Quran abundantly. When he would listen to the recitation of the Holy Quran, tears would flow from his eyes. For the appointment of an Imam, he رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہset the condition that the Imam should be pious and abstinent with the knowledge of the Holy Quran. Once he was passing by a place, a child in front of his father was reciting the Holy Quran in a very excellent manner, he (in their honour) made a piece of land Waqf for both of them (so that they could live by cultivating the land). (Futuhaat-e-Islamiyyah, vol. 1, pp. 505 – 508, An-Nujum-uz-Zahirah, vol. 6, pp. 8)
Love for knowledge and blessed Islamic scholars
Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہhad great love for knowledge and respect
for Islamic scholars. He رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہwould
become humble to Islamic scholars and have their company. He would surely
attend the gathering of mutual conversation of Islamic scholars about
complicated Shar’i rulings. By virtue of it, he
رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہwould get the knowledge of many Islamic rulings of blessed Shari’ah and of their arguments. (Futuhaat-e-Islamiyyah, vol. 1, pp. 504)
Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہspent his blessed life serving Islam and Muslims. He guarded Haramayn Sharifayn, established Madaris and Khanqahs and did many suchlike other services to Islam in his life. Some services to Islam are presented below:
Establishing Madaris and Khanqahs
Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہgot many Madaris built for the purpose of propagating Islam. Some of them are as follows:
٭ Al-Madrasa-tus-Salahiyyah: It is also called Taj-ul-Madaris and A’zam-ul-Madaris.
٭ Al-Madrasa-tul-Mujawarah lil Imam Ash-Shaafi’i, Qurafah Sughra (Egypt).
٭ Al-Madrasa-tul-Mujawarah lil Mashhad-ul-Husayni, Cairo.
٭ Al-Madrasah lil Hanafiyyah (later on it became famous as As-Suyufiyah).
٭ Al-Madrasah li Ibn Zayn-it-Tujjaar lish-Shafi’iyyah (later on it became famous as Shareefiyah)
٭ Al-Madrasah lil Malikiyyah in Egypt (later on it became famous as Qamhiyah)
Apart from the above-mentioned Madaris, numerous other Madaris were also established. He رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہalso made a separate land Waqf for each Madrasah so that the system of Madaris could run in an excellent way by the produce of the land. Similarly, he رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہgot many Khanqahs built for the spiritual education and Tarbiyyat of the people. “Sa’eed-us-Su’ada” the famous Khanqah of Egypt is also one of them. He رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہalso got hospitals built for the physical health care of the people. (An-Nujum-uz-Zahirah, vol. 6, pp. 50-51, Husn-ul-Muhadirah, vol. 2, pp. 225 - 226)
Strong desire for spending in the way of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ
Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi’s strong desire for spending in the way of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ was also exemplary. He would specially help the Muslims greatly who would be the part of the army of Jihad. He رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہwould give a nice horse along with many other things to the soldier whose horse would be either killed or injured. He رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہwould not save anything for himself. (That’s why, Zakat did not become Fard for him until the end of his life). Sometimes he would not even have his own horse for fighting against the enemies. He would borrow it from someone for temporary use and would then return it after the use. During the days in which Muslims were busy fighting against their enemies at ‘Akka, he رَحْمَةُ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه, in addition to the camels, distributed 18,000 horses and mules, countless clothes and arms to the Muslim soldiers. (Futuhaat-e-Islamiyyah, vol. 1, pp. 504, Al-Kamil Fit-Tareekh, vol. 10, pp. 225)
Made things easier for Hujjaj-e-Kiraam
Before the reign of Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه, some amount of money would be charged from a person who would go to perform Hajj as a tax according to the law enforced in Makkah Mukarramah. If someone could not pay it, he would be imprisoned and hence he could not perform Hajj. He رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہgot this tax abolished and in exchange for the abolition of this tax he رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہstarted sending approximately 15,120 maunds grain every year to Makkah for the expenses of the chief of Makkah, the people of Makkah and the keepers of Holy Ka’bah, etc. (Al-Bidayah-wan-Nihayah, vol. 8, pp. 447)
Consequence of those who intended to desecrate Raudah of Rasool
Once, an evil attempt of removing the blessed body of the Beloved Rasool صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّمfrom the sacred Raudah was made in the reign of Sultan Nooruddin Zangi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہwhich was made unsuccessful by the honourable Sultan. In the reign of Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه, the non-Muslims of Kurk and Shubak مَعَاذَ اللہ عَزَّوَجَلَّ again made this evil intention to break open the sacred Raudah of the Beloved Rasool صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّمand remove the blessed body from the holy grave. This time they did not attempt secretly but rather sent an army to Madinah Munawwarah. The moment Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہlearned of it, he sent a Muslim army behind them. The Muslim army killed them on the way when they were still at a distance of one day from Madinah. (Al-Uns-ul-Jaleel, vol. 1, pp. 458)
Conquest of Bayt-ul-Muqaddas
Anti-Islamic elements massacred more than 70,000 Muslims in 492 AH for occupying Bayt-ul-Muqaddas and then continued to occupy it. Sultan Nooruddin Zangi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہintended to liberate Bayt-ul-Muqaddas and made many efforts, but he رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہpassed away in 569 AH. His trained Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہfulfilled his aim in 583 AH. Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہdid not get back Bayt-ul- Muqaddas by carrying out the massacre like the non-Muslims did, but he got it back by making a reconciliation with the non-Muslims present there as per their wish. By virtue of his great efforts and true yearning for Islam, he رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہconquered many forts and areas and excellently uplifted the flag of Islam. Following are the areas conquered along with Bayt-ul-Muqaddas:
Iskandariyyah, Dimashq, Halab, Qaysariyyah, Saffuriyah, Toor, Haifa, Kurk, Shughr, Ghazzah, Antartoos, Balatunus, Bakaas, Jubail, Surmaniyah, Berzuyah, Derbasaan, Baghraas, Tiberias, ‘Asqalan, Beirut, Sidon, Tabanan, Nablus, Laaziqiyyah, ‘Akka, Kaukab etc. (Al-Bidayah-wan-Nihayah, vol. 8, pp. 292 - 431 – 474 – 477, Siyar A’laam-un-Nubala, vol. 21, pp. 286)
While listening to the Holy Quran being recited by Shaykh Abu Ja’far, Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہpassed away after suffering from an illness on 27th Safar-ul-Muzaffar, Wednesday 589 AH in the fort of Damascus. His blessed grave is located in Al-Madrasa-tul-‘‘Azeeziyyah (near Umvi Jaami’ Masjid) Damascus.
Du’as are answered at his grave
‘Allamah Mujeeruddin Hanbali Aleemi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہsaid: “I have got the news that Du’as are answered at the blessed grave of Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه.” (Al-Uns-ul-Jaleel, vol. 1, pp. 542)
I have not found any one like him
By virtue of his religious achievements Sayyiduna ‘Allamah Jalaluddin Suyuti Shaafi’i رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہhas said, ‘Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi رحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہis the greatest king. Amongst the Islamic kings no one is like him, neither before him nor after him.’ (Husn-ul-Muhadirah, vol. 2, pp. 224)