Although he loved peace, Salahuddin Ayyubi became one of the world's greatest warriors. He was born in Tekrit in 1138 CE when his father Ameer Najmudin was the ruler of Tekrit. He was brought up by his noble father and talented uncle, Asad-ud-din Shirkhu. Salahuddin was a very intelligent and noble person. He loved peace and never enjoyed fighting battles. But all changed when Salahuddin was ordered to go to Egypt with his uncle. He went to Egypt many times with his uncle to fight two enemies, the Franks and the Batnids. After his uncle's death, he became the commander and Vizier of Egypt. Salahuddin Ayyubi never lived in the palace. Instead, he lived in a small house near the mosque. Salahuddin had a great love for Islam and as the vizier and general of Egypt, he tried hard to root out the Crusaders. For this purpose, he maintained a strong army. He established peace and prosperity throughout the country. From the beginning, many prejudiced Egyptian ministers disliked him. When they saw he was winning the hearts of the Egyptian people they did many conspiracies against him but due to Salahuddin's wisdom, they were defeated. When the Fatmid caliph Al Aziz died, Salahuddin became the ruler of Egypt. When Salahuddin took over Damascus the people opened the gates of the city to him and greeted him warmly.
The Crusaders were not happy by Salahuddin's increasing power and success. Uniting their forces, they planned a decisive attack on Muslim area. Battle of Hittin took place. Muslims won under the leadership of Salahuddin. Thousands of Crusaders were arrested. Salahuddin treated the prisoners with tolerance.
In 1187 CE, Salahuddin conquered Jerusalem. Thousands of Crusaders were arrested. However, when their mothers, sisters, and wives appealed to Salahuddin, he released them. Many crusaders were ransomed. However, he paid for many of them. In addition, he provided them transport, etc. He allowed neither massacre nor looting. He gave free pardon to all citizens. He even arranged for their traveling. He granted freedom to Christians to leave the city if they paid a small tribute. Salahuddin paid it, himself, for about ten thousand poor people. His brother paid it for seven thousand people. Salahuddin also allocated one of the gates of the city for people who were too poor to pay anything that they leave from there.
On Friday 27th Rajab 583 AH, Salahuddin entered Jerusalem. After entering the city they went straight to the Mosque and cleaned it. Then for the first time in more then 80 years, the people of Jerusalem heard the Azan (call of prayer) from Al Aqsa Mosque.
Great Muslims: Salahuddin Ayyubi