Saladin: A Benevolent Man, Respected by both Muslims and Christians
Both Christians and Muslims admire Saladin, a celebrity of history, whose image occupied a full page of the Millennium issue of Time Magazine (inside front cover) for his chivalry and noble character. Saladin's traits and virtues were purely a reflection of the teachings of his faith.
He defeated the Crusaders, known to Muslims as the Franks, and recaptured Jerusalem in 1187. The experience of the Crusaders with the Muslims demonstrates that Muslims and Christians are not in a “civilizational” clash, but rather in a “civilizational” bondage.
In 1099 Jerusalem had fallen to the First Crusaders, (historians refer to the many crusader’s armies, by First Crusader, Second, etc,.) slaughtering its Christian, Muslim and Jewish inhabitants after promising them safety. They did not spare the lives of the elderly, women or children.
The Latin Kingdom formed in the following year, lasted until Saladin destroyed King Guy's army at the Horns of Hettin in 1187 and shortly after recovered Jerusalem. In stark contrast to the Crusades 88 years earlier, Saladin, adhering to the teachings of Islam, did not slaughter the city's Christian inhabitants. Saladin's noble act won him the respect of his opponents and many others from around the world.
King Richard I of England, better known as Richard the Lionheart, who led the Third Crusade in 1189 to recover the Holy City, met Saladin in a conflict that was to be celebrated in later chivalric romances. Although the Crusaders failed in their purpose, Richard the Lionheart gained Saladin's lifelong respect as a worthy opponent. Saladin's generosity and sense of honor in negotiating the peace treaty that ended the Crusade won him the lasting admiration and gratitude of the Christian World.
Saladin's Birth and Lineage
Saladin was born in Tikrite (a city on the Tigris River), Iraq in 1137. His family was of Kurdish ancestry. The Abbasid Caliph of...