Monday, October 5

Religious Propaganda and Holy War in the 12th Century: The Friday Sermon following Saladin's Conquest of Jerusalem in 1187

The more I delve deeper into the medieval ages kids, the more I'm understanding how life was so interconnected in the first 500 years of the second millennium. It's one of the time periods that was dark but also was showing signs of change that would form the world of today. The winning back of Jerusalem by Saladin from the crusaders is one of those spectacular events. Remember geopolitics. The reason Muslims celebrated the recapture so hugely is because Jerusalem was sacred to them. And the Christian hordes were barbarians truly. The crusades were simply a series of massacres. Truly tragic set of affairs. But Jerusalem was recaptured by Saladin and big celebrations. Some parts of the Muslim world don't like losing their territory. Witness the fulminations against Spain! Or India or Israel and Jerusalem. There's a constant whine of moans. But read the khutbah. It tells you what drove them and what they want. These sentiments are echoed down to today son. When Isis takes over secular Syrian places, they place their arguments on exactly these kinds of arguments. 
History is indeed a vast early warning system. Stuff that was done centuries back echo now. 

Religious Propoaganda and Holy War in the 12th Century: The Friday Sermon following Saladin's Conquest of Jerusalem in 1187
(via Instapaper)

The khutba or Friday sermon, delivered in the al-Aqsa mosque immediately following the conquest of Jerusalem by Salah al-Din Yusuf b. Ayyub (d. 1174-1193) in 1187, is preserved by Ibn Khallikan in his biography of Muḥyiddīn ibn al-Zakī. Ibn Khallikan (1211-1282) served as chief qāḍī of the Shāfi‛īs in Damascus. His greatest achievement is his biographical dictionary of some 800 famous Muslims entitled Wafayāt al-a‛yān wa-anbā’ abnā’ al-zamān (Obituaries of the Notables and News of the Sons of the Age), fully translated here:

Abū al-Ma‛ālī Muḥammad ibn Abī al-Ḥasan ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn Yaḥya ibn ‘Alī ibn ‘Abd al-‛Azīz ibn Ḥusayn ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn al-Qāsim ibn al Walīd ibn al-Qāsim ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ‘Abban ibn ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān [the third caliph], a member of the tribe of Quraysh and surnamed Muhyiddīn but generally known by the appellation of Ibn al-Zakī, or son of Zakī al-Dīn, was a native of Damascus and a jurist of the Shāfi‛ī school. He displayed acquirements of the most varied kinds, being versed in the law, general literature, and other sciences, and having composed some fine poetry, khutbas (sermons), and epistles. On Wednesday, the 20th of Rabī‛ al-Awwal 588 (5 April 1192) he was appointed Chief Judge of Damascus; so, at least, I have found it written in the handwriting of al-Qādī al-Fāḍil, and the same place had been previously filled by his father and grandfather, as it was subsequently by two of his own sons.

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