Shiekh Ahmed Mustafa Qasim narrates some beautiful and heartstopper stories in his acclaimed book “Interesting Tales of Night Worship” particularly appealing is the chapter on Sultan Saladin Ayubi (Rah). Here is an excerpt:
“Despite being an expert on war fare and a brave soldier Saladin never relied on material strength alone. Whenever his army was under attack he would immediately turn to Allah for help. He would cry out to Allah, spend the whole night in the state of prostration and beg for help and victory. One of his commanders wrote that Saladin on all occasions used his spiritual weapons more then his material weapons.
This brave general’s generosity is also famous. He was extremely generous in both good and bad times. So much so that people would go around saying that in the eyes of Saladin dirt and wealth are much the same. In one of the battles he conquered an area called “Aqa” and it is said that apart from the other things 10,000 horses were part of the booty. Yet at the time of his death there was not a single penny in his household. His court judge had to borrow one dinar to shroud him. Subhan-Allah! Allah-Akbar! Islam has carved such great and noble characters in its followers. The great king whose bravery would shake the European courts and whose war booty used to be so humongous that soldiers could not even collect it, yet his own state was so that his household could not supply his coffin shrouds.”
Sadly we have lost touch with our history and many of us would never read or know of this great Islamic hero. It’s a shame that I got my first dose of Saladin in Ridley Scott’s epic movie Kingdom of Heaven. Robert Fisk an eminent British journalist writes that he saw the film in Beirut and says the house came down when Saladin enters Jerusalem and finds a crucifix lying on the floor of a church, knocked off during the three day siege. And he carefully picks up the cross and places it reverently back on the altar. Yes this is time to cheer because this is a gesture of honor, mercifulness and bravery and a nobility of character that Islam teaches. Every Muslim must cheer Saladin but more so read about him and learn some important lessons.
12 Safar, 1430 Hijri