Leadership character of Saladin Ayyubi

M. Iqbal, SH.

October 2nd is marks the anniversary of the liberation of Al-Quds, from the hands of the crusaders to the Muslims. Ideally in every story, there is always a memorable figure behind it. History records it with the name of Saladin Al-Ayyubi. Figure who became a prominent figure of the long history of the Western (the Church) and East (especially Islam). Although hated as the enemy, but both agreed that Saladin was an amazing person. In fact, many put Saladin as a historic symbol of leadership.

Unlike the general assumption, Saladin was not descended from the Arabs, but the Kurds. Yusuf bin Najmuddin Ayyub bin Syadi or later known by the name of Saladin Al-Ayyubi (Saladin) was born in Tikrit region, a Kurdish region in northern Iraq. His life experiences were spent on the battlefield. When he was 14 years old, Saladin also came to Damascus and became the army of Sultan Nur al-Din, the ruler of Baghdad at the time. His career was skyrocketed and the main point when he conquered the Fatimids dynasty (which is the Shia dynasty) for refusing to submit to the Abbasid Dynasty. His attention then focused on Baitul Maqdis, which is supposed to be a peaceful city full of worship, since the Caliph ‘Umar liberate the city the first time. However, history records the bloody massacre of the Muslim population there makes him wants to get back the invulnerable of Islam that has been smeared in such a way. That long journey led Saladin in the liberation of Al-Quds for the second time.

Figure of Saladin had given the impression and influence so much to them. Not wrong, if then – addressing the phenomenon of the split in the middle of the Arab nations (in particular, refers to Muslims) – the people crave the return of Saladin figure in their midst. In this context, it is important to know, how Saladin figure should be explained. Mostly, the public probably first knew him when he led the Muslim army in the battle of Hittin, which preceded the historic events of the conquest of Al-Quds. However, the question is, is his military leadership ability that makes Saladin different among the other leaders of the world?

Saladin was very well known with his charismatic as a warlord. Beyond that, he is also a figure that was very forbearing, has knight character (Chivalrous). That is why he was different from figures like Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great. In its time, he showed that the character of success leadership not only when he was on the battlefield. As always done by the winner, “winner takes all”: the torture of those lost and the destruction of civilization. But the mistake was not made by Saladin. When Saladin remembered the massacre committed by the crusaders when they occupied Jerusalem, he refrained from repeating it. When Al-Quds conquered, he gave assurance of safety for the entire population of the city. To the crusaders who lost the war, he did not spend the entire army, but just ask them to pay tribute. In fact, it only applied to those who were capable of it. Saladin even allowed exceptions of tribute payments towards non-Muslims in Al-Quds. The influence of such a heroic character was also transmitted to the troops when they captured Jerusalem completely, by maintaining places of non-Muslims worship and allowed Christian pilgrims to worship at the holy city.

From the historical record, which is often remembered – and no less impressive – was the event when the siege of Jerusalem. The event was so gigantic, and made the scene into a movie, “Kingdom of Heaven”. The most valuable lesson, which is written repeatedly both from the Arabs and from the West though, is how Saladin showed religious tolerance and an attitude of respect for the opponent that he is on the battlefield, especially Richard the Lionheart. He did not hesitate to visit Richard when he was sick. In fact, in some sources, Saladin would help Richard faced the rebellions. He was a warlord, who would defeat his enemies and protect its people. On the one hand, he is a knight: he did not make his hatred made him quit show some compassion for fellow human beings. The one that makes him have such a remarkable person is the vertical proximity to God who is very strong and kept awake. He understands that success may not necessarily be appearing with his own hands. It is said; he even never left the obligatory prayers, and love to do congregational prayers. His love of God, made he never felt tired of worship, even when he was sick he still fasting.

This comprehensive personal being was then made Saladin as a leader who was not irreplaceable in the history of Islamic civilization. Loved by its people, admired his opponent, missed his arrival although now he has gone.

Overall, October 2nd as anniversary day of liberation of Al-Quds, as a reminder that the true success of the Al-Quds returns to the hands of the Muslims cannot be done without a leader who really tested his character. Now, Al-Quds back hostage. Although Saladin had now gone, the glories of Islam keep going back, and Al-Quds will be returned to the hands of Islam, while Muslims are able to replicate the character of Saladin

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