How did Sultan Pepper die

825 years ago The "noble heathen" Sultan Saladin died

"When the sheikh came to the passage from the Qur'an, he said: 'He is the only God, he knows the secret and the revealed', he heard Saladin reply: 'It is true.' After the hour of the morning prayer, he did the last Breath."

Ibn Shaddad, the biographer of Saladin, reports the events of the hour of death of the famous sultan on March 4, 1193. Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, the full name in Arabic, was an extraordinary ruler for his time. As a devout Muslim, Saladin derived benevolence towards the enemy from the Koran. His legendary sense of justice is not an invention of medieval historians, but is historically guaranteed.

The splendor of the caliphates

In the 12th century, Islam was on the defensive in the Middle East. The glory of the old Arab caliphate in Baghdad had faded. In Egypt, the Shiites had established a counter caliphate; in Syria, Turkish and Kurdish dynasties were fighting for power. The eastern Mediterranean had been ruled by Christians since the end of the First Crusade in 1099. The largest crusader state had its seat in Jerusalem, the holy city for Christians and Muslims alike.

In 1171, Saladin, as the new sultan, restored the rule of Sunni Orthodoxy in Egypt. Over the next few years he unified Syria under his power. Now he had the power to attack the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem. In July 1187, near Hattin, not far from the Sea of ​​Galilee, the decisive battle against the Franks took place - that was the name of the Crusaders among the Arabs. The chronicler Ibn al-Athir writes:

"It was midsummer and very hot, so the Franks were thirsty. They had used all the water from the local cisterns. One had set fire to the area there, which was completely overgrown with dry grass. The wind carried smoke and flames over the Franks. So besides thirst and summer heat they had to endure smoke and fire and the tumult of battle. "

The crusader army was crushed. In the Battle of Hattin, the Muslims also captured the Holy Cross, an important event for Latin Christendom. Since then it has been considered lost, and fragments of relics have been scattered all over the world. In October 1187, Saladin finally took Jerusalem after a brief siege. But unlike in 1099, when the Crusaders carried out a massacre of the Muslim population in the Holy City, Saladin had the Latin Christians withdrawn. Saladin's capture of Jerusalem triggered the Third Crusade, which resulted in a peace treaty in 1192. Six months later, on March 4, 1193, Saladin died in Damascus.

Inventor of the concept of tolerance

The English King Richard the Lionheart already saw his contractual partner as an honorable opponent. In the European reception the image of Sultan Saladin emerged as a "noble heathen". In the Enlightenment he was even seen as the inventor of the concept of tolerance. The French philosopher Voltaire wrote about Saladin in 1756.

"It is said that in his will he stipulated that alms of the same kind should be distributed among the poor Jews, Muslims and Christians. He wanted to make it clear through this provision that all people are brothers and one should not ask what they believe but what they suffer. "

In Lessing's drama "Nathan the Wise", which is set in Jerusalem in 1192, Sultan Saladin becomes a staunch representative of religious equality in the famous parable of the ring.

In the Arab world, Saladin is one of the great heroes of history. Dictators from Nasser in Egypt to Hafiz al-Asad in Syria to Saddam Hussein in Iraq, who, like Saladin, was born in Tikrit, saw themselves as the modern incarnations of the general and sultan from the 12th century.