‘The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin’ Review: A Portrait of a Champion

The legend of Saladin as an ideal Quranic leader who fought back invaders remains a potent symbol in the Islamic world’s public memory.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

By Christopher Tyerman

Until the 21st century, Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (Righteous of the Faith; Joseph, son of Ayyub), known in Europe as Saladin, was probably the most famous Muslim in Western culture after the Prophet Muhammad himself. The historical reputation of Saladin (1137-93) rests on a few celebrated achievements, each recounted and analyzed in Jonathan Phillips’s learned and engaging biography. He created a new Near Eastern empire that united Egypt with Syria, in the process suppressing the heretical (to orthodox Sunni Muslims) Shiite Fatimid caliphate in Cairo (1171); he recaptured Jerusalem for Islam (1187), defeating Christian…

Read Further

Suggested reading by  Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

How Saladin became a hero in the West-He defeated the crusaders—and inspired a legend

How Islam Taught Medieval Christian Europe Religious and Political Tolerance

The Muslim Times’ Collection on Islam’s Condemnation of Terrorism

Joel Osteen: Enlarging the Circle of Love

BBC Video: Saladin: Who taught Europe the Ethics of War:


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