Sultan Swalah ad-Din al-Ayyubi's (r.a.) Call for Jihad

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is a letter written by Sultan Swalah ad-Din al-Ayyubi (r.a.) when he started his jihad against the Crusaders more than nine centuries ago.

“We hope in Allah Most High, to Whom be praise, Who Leads the hearts of Muslims to calm what torments them and ruins their prosperity.  Where is the sense of honour of Muslims?  The pride of believers?  The zeal of the faithful?

We shall never cease to be amazed at how the disbelievers for their part have shown trusts, and it is the Muslims who have been lacking in zeal.  Not one of them has responded to the call.  Not one intervenes to straighten what is distorted; but observe how far the Franks have gone what unity they have achieved.  What aims they pursue.  What help they have given.  What sums of money they have borrowed and spent.  What wealth they have collected and distributed and divided amongst them.  There is not a king left in their lands or islands, not a lord or a rich man who has not competed with his neighbours to produce more support and rival his peers in strenuous military efforts.  In defense of their religion, they consider it a small thing to spend life and soul; and they have kept their infidel brothers supplied with arms and champions of war; and all they have done and all their generosity has been purely out of zeal for him they worship in jealous defense of their faith.

The Muslims on the other hand are weak and demoralised; they have become negligent and lazy, the victims of unproductive stupefaction and completely lacking in enthusiasm.  If, Allah Forbid, Islam should draw rein, obscure her splendour, blunt her sword, there would be no one, East or West, far or near who would blaze the zeal for Allah’s religion, or choose to come to the aid of truth against error.

This is the moment to cast off laziness, to summon from far and near all those men who have blood in their veins; but we are confident; but we are confident, thanks to Allah – al-Hamdulillah - in the Help that will Come from him and entrust ourselves to Him in sincerity of purpose and deepest devotion.  Insha’Allah, the disbelievers shall perish and the faithful have a sure deliverance.”

After the conquest of Jerusalem, Sultan Swalah ad-Din (r.a.) said, “After I die, you will see these Muslims fall apart in disunity, and you will see the Europeans grow strong.  The best thing to do for now is to continue the fight until we drive them from the coast (of Palestine) or die.”

Sultan Swalah ad-Din al-Ayyubi (r.a.) stated this after King Richard the Lionheart of England proposed that Sultan Swalah ad-Din’s (r.a.) brother, Sayf ad-Din, marry his sister, Joanna.  So admirable was Sultan Swalah ad-Din’s (r.a.) character that his worst enemy ended up offering his own sister to his family.  He was the exemplification of futuwwa’, chivalry.


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