Wednesday, February 23, 2011

२४थ feb 2011

24 फरवरी 2011 कहने को सिर्फ तारीख़ लेकिन हर तारीख़ के पीछे एक इतिहास और एक कहानी छुपी होती ।हां ऐसा हो सकता है कि उस तारीख़ से हमारा कोई वास्ता न हो पर हर तारीख किसी न किसी से जुड़ी होती है ..24 फरवरी का भी अपना इतिहास होगा पर वो जो मुझे मालुम नहीं और न मैनें जानने की कोशिश की पर हां आज से ठीक 36 साल पहले यानि 24 फरवरी 1975 को मेरा जन्म हुआ मैं इस दुनिया में आया था ..शायद किसी को कोई मतलब नहीं मेरे साथ कई लोग इस तारीख पर दुनियां में आये होगें..जिन को मैं नहीं जानता और वो मुझे नहीं नहीं जानते ..मेरा एक दोस्त कहता है कि हमें मिलता सबकुछ है पर देर से उस वक्त जिस वक्त उसकी चाहत तो होती है पर उसकी ज़रूरत नहीं .।.
खैर हां 36 साल का लंबा सफर पर जिंदगी अभी भी विचलित ..हां मैं आज ये स्वीकार करता हूं कि मैने अपने बारे में अपनी निजी जिन्दगी के बारे शायद ही कभी सही जानकारी दी हो ... ऊपर से हंसना और अंदर अजीबो गरीब कैफियत से गुज़रना ऊपर से अच्छा बनना अंदर शायद बहुत गंदा ... मेरे एक दोस्त ने एक बार कहा कि तुम, पता नहीं जान कर या अनजाने पन में ऐसा किसी के बारे में बोल देते हो जिसका तुम्हे तो एहसास नहीं होता पर वो व्यक्ति को वो बात बहुत बुरी लगती है ।
बहुत से लोग मुझ से बहुत सी वजह से नाराज़ हुए खफा हुए बहुत से लोगों को मैं बहुत सी वजह से अच्छा लगता हों कई मुझे अच्छा इंसान मानते होगे और कई लोग मुझे खराब इंसान ..पर मुझे लगता है मैं दोहरी ज़िन्दगी जी रहा हूं...उन लोगों की तरह जो शराब पीते भी हैं और शराब की बुराई भी करते हैं भगवान से प्रर्थना भी करते हैं और भगवान के होने की आंशका भी जातते है यानि यकिन भी नहीं करते। वो लोग जो अपनों के साथ शांत रहते है पर सड़क पर किसी पर भी बरस जाते है ...
एक आदमी का शोरूम है मेरे ऑफिस के नीचे बहुत पैसे वाला है पर जब भी दिखता है तो किसी न किसी पर फोन पर चिल्लाता रहता है अमीर होने के बावजूद पैसों के लिए रोता रहता है। मैं अमीर नहीं हूं पर पैसों के लिए गिरगिराना मुझे अच्छा नहीं लगता किसी से पैसे मांगना मुझे बहुत बुरा लगता है अपने दिये हुए उधार पैसे भी मुझसे मांगे नहीं जाते ... पता नहीं शर्म आती हैं या संकोच होता है ..पता नहीं क्या होता है ।
किसी से प्रभावित होना नहीं आता जिसे फैन कहते हैं वो मैं आजतक किसी का नहीं हुआ। बॉस को हमेशा मैं बेवाकूफ समझता हूं..या हमेशा मुझे बेवाकूफ लोगों के साथ ही काम करने को मिला ... पैसा चाहता हूं पर एक जगह से यानि भागदौड़ कर के नहीं ...लिखता कैसा हूं पता नहीं पर लिखने में कुछ करना भी नहीं चाहता ।किताब छपने को पड़ी है तो बस पड़ी है .। मेरी महिलाए दोस्त कहती हैं आप के अंदर एहसास है आप बहुत अच्छी तरह हालात को समझते हो मेरी पत्नी कहती है आपको दुनिया कि समझ है पर मेरे जज्बात की नहीं .. इसी पशोपेश में मैने अपनी आधी जी आधी ज़िन्दगी गुज़ार दी।
अब एक नई ज़िन्दगी मेरी ज़िन्दगी से जुड़ने वाली है ..मैं चाहता हूं कि उसे में सही मार्गदर्शन दूं पर पता नहीं उसकी अपनी ज़िन्दगी होगी और अपनी राह...हां चलते चलते लोग ये भी कहते कि मैं बहुत घमंडी हूं... शायद मेरे हावभाव से ऐसा लगता हो पर मुझे अपने काम पर फर्क ज़रूर हो सकता है पर हां घमंड नहीं क्योंकि मुझे इस चीज़ का एहसास है कि मैने जीवन में अभी कुछ ऐसा नहीं किया जिसपर घमंड किया जाये... 36 साल बहुत होते हैं क्या क्या देखा है और अभी क्या क्या देखना बाकि है .. पर ज़िंदगी जंग है और इसमें जीतना या हारना ही अंत में होता क्योंकि अब मैं समझौता नहीं करूगा... न जाने मेरी और मुझे से जुड़ी ज़िन्दगी के नसीब में क्या लिखा है…?... आने वाले सालों में...।

Monday, February 21, 2011

मौला का घोड़ा...





मौला का घोड़ा...

मास्टर हुसैन साहब जब फतेहपुर से दिल्ली आये तो नौकरी के साथ मौला हुसैन की अज़ादारी का भी बंदोबस्त लेकर आये अपनी बिरादरी के लोगों को खोजा और रहने की जगह ली और एक इमामबाड़ा तामिर कराया।हर साल मोहर्रम के बाद सफर के महिने में एक जुलूस निकालते जिसमें अलमओं के साथ ज़ुलजुना भी होता ।
वक्त के साथ आबादी और आस्था भी बढ़ती गई और साथ में बढ़ती गई रंजीश और नफरत। उन्ही के बिरादरी के लोगों की उन्ही के लिए। इसकी वजह भी इमामबाड़ा और जुलूस ही था । साल भर सब ठीक ठाक चलता लेकिन जैसे ही मोहर्रम का चांद निकलता उसके के साथ नफरत की और जलन की दिवारें खिंच जाती ।ग़मे हुसैन के आंसू के साथ न जाने असद ने कहां से जगह बना ली ये किसी को नहीं मालुम। सब से अच्छा और दूसरे से बेहतर हमारे मौला, इसकी होड़ सी लग जाती।
मुझे लगता है धर्म का इस्तेमाल सब अपनी सुविधा और सहुलियत के हिसाब से करते हैं ।अल्लाह की किताब अल्लाह के लोगों और खुद अल्लाह मात्र बातों और आदर्शो की तरह हो गया वैसे ही जैसे आज की हर राजनीतिक पार्टीओं ने अपने पुराने लोगों और विचारकों को दिवारों और पुण्यतिथी तक महदूद कर के छोड़ दिया है ।
कहते हैं लखनऊ में दूसरे विचारों के लोग नहीं चाहते है मौला का जुलूस निकले इसलिए वो हर साल कुछ न कुछ ऐसा करते हैं जिससे जुलूस और मजलिस मातम में रूकावट आये, हर साल दंगा नही तो दंगे जैसे हालात हो ही जाते हैं ।
भले ही हम वहां दूसरों पर इल्ज़ाम लगा कर अपना दामन बचा ले लेकिन जिसकी फितरत में डंक मारना लिखा हो वो डंक मार ही देता है हर साल कोई न कोई किसी तरह की रूकावट खड़ी ही कर देता है। नहीं नहीं जी, सफर बहुत लंबा ,नहीं नही जी, रास्ता बहुत खराब है वहां पर कोई सुविधा ही नही है आचानक से पूरी बिरादरी के कद्दावर लोग एक हो जाते अकेले रहे जाते तो मास्टर हुसैन और ग़रीब, हुसैन को मानने वाले सच्चे लोग। लेकिन अपने दम और मौला की मोहब्बत के सहारे वो जुलूस को निकालते और कामयाब बनाते पुलिस बंदोबस्त से लेकर तबरूक हर चीज़ का इंतज़ाम किया जाता ।
इन्ही हालातों के बीच में जुलुस हर साल निकाला गया बीच में सरकारी ऑडर भी आया की दिल्ली में सन 1978 और बिना आज्ञा वाले जुलूसों को बंद किया जायेगा जिसमें सरदारों के कई जुलूस बंद हुए ।लोगों ने सोचा इस साल मास्टर हुसैन के घर आने वाला जुलूस भी बंद होगा लेकिन सच्चाई और इमानदारी कभी बेकार नहीं जाती मास्टर हुसैन के पास सन 1977 से परमीशन की कॉपी थी । जिससे सब का मुहं बंद हो गया ।
34 साल से लगातार उस चीज़ की सरदर्दी जो सिर्फ उनका नहीं सब का है अपने हौसले की बदौलत या मौला से सच्ची मोहब्बत की खातिर लगातार अपने जुनून को कायम किये हुए ।यही जज्बा उनके बच्चों में भी गया..। मोहर्रम के अलावा भी जिंदगी में कई बार ग़म आते हैं मास्टर हुसैन की पत्नी दुनिया से रूख्स्त हो गयी। बेटे ने दूसरे मज़हब में शादी कर ली। तो लोगों को यकीन हो गया कि अब तो मास्टर साहब के घर आने वाला जुलूस बंद । पडोस में रहने वाले जिन्हें कभी मास्टर हुसैन ने ही बसाया था । वो ही उनके सब से बड़े दुश्मन के रूप में नज़र आने लगे । उन्होने गुप चुप कहना शुरू कर दिया कि मास्टर साहब अपनी औलादों से परेशान हैं और इस बार जुलज़ुना हमारे घर आयेगा... बात निकली तो सारे दुश्मन एक हो गये मीटिंग हुई पहले तय हुआ कि दो जुलज़ुना निकाले जायेगें फिर मसले और मसायल का ज़िक्र हुआ और नये नये मुल्लाओ और नेताओं ने कहा कि मास्टर साहब का जुलज़ुना को ही आपके घर में बढ़ाया जायेगा.. सब कुछ इधर तय हो रहा था और उधर मास्टर साहब मौला के घोड़े का इंतज़ार कर रहे थे .. इस बार किसी दूसरी जगह से दुलदुल आया था काफी लंबाचौड़ा और बहुत ही रौनक और रौबिला .. तैयार किया गया सजाया गया ।सब कुछ ठीक था दुश्मन भी और दोस्त भी सब अपने अपने मंसुबों को पूरा करने की ताक में थे । पर अल्लाह की मसलयहत कुछ और ही थी तैयार होने के बाद ज़ुलज़ुना शांत हो जाता है या अगर आधुनिकता की बात करें तो ये भी कहे सकते है कि उनको ट्रेनिंग एसी मिलती है कि वो खामोशी से चलते रहते हैं क्योंकि उसे इमाम हुसैन के घोड़े की शबी के रूप में देखा जाता है मान्यता है जब इमाम हुसैन का यज़ीद की फौज ने कत्ल कर दिया तो उनका घोड़ा जिसे ज़ुलज़ुना कहते हैं खेमे में आया था बिना सवार के खाली ज़ुलज़ने को देख कर औरते समझ गई थी कि इमाम हुसैन इस्लाम की राह पर शहीद हो गये और औरतों ने घोड़े से लिपट कर गिरया किया कि तू क्यों हुसैन को छोड़ कर आ गया ... ।घोड़े को पूजा नहीं जाता ब्लकि उस वक्त को याद किया जाता है ।
हां इसबार न जाने दुलदुल को क्या हो गया जैसे ही जुलूस निकला। घोड़ा किसी के काबू में न आये ..इस पर लोगों ने अपने आइडिये फेंके शुरू कर दिये कि ...कोई नजिस चीज़ और नापाक कपड़ा उसपर डाल दिया गया होगा। दुआएं पढ़ी गई हर तरह के हथकंड़े अपनाए गये पर दुलदुल संभलने को तैयार नहीं .। लोगों को तो मौका मिल गया उन्होने कहना शुरू कर दिया बस मास्टर साहब के घर नहीं बस यहीं पर ही बढ़ा दिया जाए.. लेकिन जो शख्स दुलदुल लाए थे और मास्टर साहब का भतीजा जिसने ज़ुलज़ुने को पकड़ा हुआ था उसने कहे दिया दुलदुल जायेगा तो चाचा के घर ही जायेगा और पूरी कौम एक तरफ वो अकेला एक तरफ .. और ज़ुलज़ुना लेकर चल दिया । जब बात फैली की मास्टर हुसैन का भतीजा रज़ा ज़ुलज़ुना लेकर चल दिया है तो पड़ोस में रहने वाले जो सारी रणनीति के रचता थे घबरा गये और दौड़ लगाई ज़ुलज़ुने तक। कहने लगे मीटिंग हुई थी हमसे पैसे लिये गये पाच हज़ार रूपये लिये की ज़ुलज़ुना आपके घर में रूके गया । रज़ा ने कहां पांच मिनट के लिए ज़ियारत करने के लिए रोक लिया जायेगा पर वो अकड़ गये बात बढ़ गई मौला का घोड़ा न जाने क्या सोच रहा होगा । रज़ा ने कहा भई जिसने मीटिंग की थी और जिन्होने पैसे लिये है फिर वो ही ज़ुलज़ुने को ले जायेगें.. क्योंकि ज़ुलज़ुना संभल नहीं रहा और ये मास्टर हुसैन के घर पर ही बढ़ाया जाएगा और कहीं नहीं जायेगा। ये कहे कर उसने दुलदुल का रूख़ मास्टर हुसैन के घर की तरफ कर लिया । न जाने क्यों बेकाबू घोड़ा उनके घर पर कदम रखते ही ही शांत हो गया औरतों ने जैसे ही नौहा शुरू किया उतने में वो पड़ोस की औरत घर मे घुस आईं जिनकी साज़िश थी दुलदुल को अपने घर ले जाने की और आते ही मास्टर हुसैन के बच्चों को कोसने देना शुरू कर दिया और उनके भतीजे को जिसने घोड़ा पकड़ा था ..मास्टर हुसैन की औलादें रोने लगी कि अण्टी हमारी तो मां भी मर गई आप हम लोगों को क्यो कोस रही हैं ... पर वो न रूकी औरतों ने उन्हे पकड़ कर बाहर निकाला मास्टर हुसैन और उनके बच्चे ज़ुलज़ुने से लिपट कर खूब रोए न संभलने वाले घोड़े ने न जान कैसे पूरे परिवार को संभाल लिया सब ज़ोरो कतार से रो रहे थे ..और बच्चों ने कहा मौला न जाने अगले साल हम इस हालात में आपको ला पायेगें या नहीं कुछ मालुम नहीं .. इन बातों के बाद जब ज़ुलज़ुने पर नज़र गई तो देखा मौला के घोड़े की आंखों में भी आंसू थे...।।

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

खामोशी कितनी सही..

खामोशी कितनी सही..
रिश्तों में खामोशी की कितनी जगह है और खामोशी का रिश्तों में क्या मतलब है ।हर जगह खामोशी का प्रयोग अलग अलग लिहाज़ और अलग अलग तरह से होता है ।कल किसी का फोन आया कुछ देर हाय हैलो करने के बाद लंबी खामोशी हो गई दोनो समझ गए कि दोनो के पास कुछ कहने को नहीं है फोन को रख दिया गया । फोन रखने के बाद भी शायद दोनो तरफ खामोशी ही रही होगी ... जब तक या तब तक कोई दूसरा ख्याल ने ज़हन में दस्तख़ न दी होगी ।
कभी खामोशी बनाती तो कभी खामोशी बात को बिगाड़ देती है । पति पत्नी के संबध में खामोशी संबधो में खिचाव पैदा करती है तनाव बढ़ता है और रिश्ता संभलने के बजाय टूट ही जाता है ।बड़े लोगों के सामने खामोशी सम्मान का प्रीतक नज़र आती है ।भीड़ में खामोशी आपको को कसूरवार ठहराती है । बच्चों के सामने खामोशी आपका दर्द और मोहब्बत जताती है
कुछ सवाल
क्या खामोशी आपको संतुष्ठी देती है ?
क्या खामोशी कमज़ोरी की निशानी है?
क्या खामोशी आपकी ग़लती का एहसास है ?
क्या खामोशी आपकी फिक्रमंदी है ?
क्या खामोशी आपकी आदत है ?
क्या आपका नज़रिया ही खामोश है ?
सोचिए आप आखिरी बार कब खामोश रहे थे आप के लब सील थे और आंखे नम थी । किसी के जाने के बाद खामोशी एक दर्पण बन कर आती है जिसमें वो सब नज़र आता है जो आपने और उसने कहा था ..पर नहीं दिखती है वो होती है खामोशी ।।

Monday, February 7, 2011

सलाहुद्दीन को salaam

इतिहास के पन्नों से आपके लिए जल्द हिन्दी में भी लिखा जायेगे...एक क्षत्रिय की कहानी

Salahuddin Ayyubi
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb Selah'edînê Eyubî, English: Salahuddin Ayubi, Arabic/Persian/Urdu: (c. 1138 – March 4, 1193), better known in the Western world as Salahuddin Ayubi was a Kurdish Muslim who became the first Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt and Syria. Salahuddin was born in Tikrit, Iraq

Gentle hearted Salahuddin Ayyubi became one of the world's greatest warriors by defeating crusaders and capturing the holy city of Jerusalem. He is remembered by Muslims as well as Non-Muslims as a kind hearted un-selfish Warrior. He was a religious person and followed the teachings of Quran (Book of God) and Prophet Muhammad’s teachings regarding War, he treated all of his Prisoners with Respect and dignity, no torture, massacre, mass killing, took place during his time. It is equally true that his generosity, his piety, devoid of fanaticism, that flower of liberality and courtesy which had been the model of our old chroniclers, won him no less popularity in Frankish Syria than in the lands of Islam. And unlike all other Sultan’s he did not build a single Palace or any building for himself yet he erected mosques, hospitals, and universities for his Muslim brothers in Cairo.

He led Islamic opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, he ruled over Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Hejaz, and Yemen. He led the Muslims against the Crusaders and eventually recaptured Palestine from the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem after his victory in the Battle of Hattin. As such, he is a notable figure in Kurdish, Arab, and Muslim culture. Salahuddin was a strict adherent of Islam. His chivalrous behavior was noted by Christian chroniclers, especially in the accounts of the siege of Kerak in Moab, and despite being the nemesis of the Crusaders he won the respect of many of them, including Richard the Lion-heart; rather than becoming a hated figure in Europe, he became a celebrated example of the principles of chivalry.

His family was of Kurdish background and ancestry, and had originated from the city of Dvin, in medieval Armenia. His father, Najm ad-Din Ayyub, was banished from Tikrit and in 1139, he and his uncle Asad al-Din Shirkuh, moved to Mosul. He later joined the service of Imad ad-Din Zengi who made him commander of his fortress in Baalbek. After the death of Zengi in 1146, his son, Nur ad-Din, became the regent of Aleppo and the leader of the Zengids.

Education:
About education of Salahuddin historian wrote "children are brought up in the way in which their elders were brought up". According to one of his biographers, al-Wahrani, Salahuddin was able to answer questions on Euclid, the Almagest, arithmetic, and law, but this was an academic ideal and it was study of the Qur'an and the "sciences of religion" that linked him to his contemporaries. During his studies he was more interested in religion than joining the military. A factor which may have affected his interest in religion was that during the First Crusade, Jerusalem was taken in a surprise attack by the Christians. In addition to Islam, Salahuddin had knowledge of the genealogies, biographies, and histories of the Arabs, as well as the bloodlines of Arabian horses. More significantly, he knew the Hamasah of Abu Tammam by heart.

Early expeditions
Salahuddin's military career began when his uncle Asad al-Din Shirkuh an important military commander under Nur ad-Din, started training him. In 1163, the vizier to the Fatimid caliph al-Adid, Shawar, had been driven out of Egypt by rival Dirgham, a member of the powerful Banu Ruzzaik tribe. He asked for military backing from Nur ad-Din, who complied and in 1164, sent Shirkuh to aid Shawar in his expedition against Dirgham. Salahuddin , at age 26, went along with them. Shawar was successfully reinstated as vizier. Salahuddin's role in this expedition was minor, and he was ordered by Shirkuh to collect stores from Bilbais prior to its siege by a combined force of Crusaders and Shawar's troops.

After the sacking of Bilbais, the Crusader-Egyptian force and Shirkuh's army were to engage in a battle on the desert border of the Nile River, just west of Giza. Salahuddin played a major role, commanding the right wing of the Zengid army, while a force of Kurds commanded the left, and Shirkuh stationed in the center. Sources at the time put Salahuddin in the "baggage of the center" with orders to lure the enemy into a trap by staging a false retreat. Commander Hugh of Caesarea was captured while attacking Salahuddin's unit. The battle ended in a Zengid victory, and Salahuddin is credited to have helped Shirkuh in one of the "most remarkable victories in recorded history".

Salahuddin and Shirkuh moved towards Alexandri where they were welcomed, given money, arms, and provided a base. Shirkuh split his army. He and the bulk of his force withdrew from Alexandria, while Salahuddin was left with the task of guarding the city.

In Egypt
Al-Wahrani wrote that Salahuddin was selected because of the reputation of his family in their "generosity and military prowess." The bulk of the Syrian rulers supported Salahuddin due to his role in the Egyptian expedition, in which he gained a record of impeccable military qualifications. Inaugurated as vizier on March 26, Salahuddin repented "wine-drinking and turned from frivolity to assume the dress of religion."

Towards the end of 1169, Salahuddin defeated a massive Crusader-Byzantine force near Damietta. After establishing himself in Egypt, Salahuddin launched a campaign against the Crusaders, besieging Darum in 1170. The same year, he captured the Crusader castle of Eilat, built on an island off the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. It did pose a threat to the passage of the Muslim navy and harass smaller parties of Muslim ships, Salahuddin decided to clear it from his path.
During the summer of 1172, a Nubian army along with a contingent of Armenian refugees were reported on the Egyptian border, preparing for a siege against Aswan. The emir of the city had requested Salahuddin's assistance and was given reinforcements under Turan-Shah —Salahuddin's brother.

On July 31, 1173, Salahuddin's father Ayyub was wounded in a horse-riding accident, ultimately causing his death on August 9, 1173.

In Syria
In the early summer, On May 15, 1174 Nur ad-Din was died and his power was handed to his eleven-year-old son as-Salih Ismail al-Malik. In a letter to as-Salih, he promised to "act as a sword" against his enemies and referred to the death of his father as an "earthquake shock."
14th In the wake of Nur ad-Din's death, Salahuddin faced a difficult decision; he could move his army against the Crusaders from Egypt or wait until invited by as-Salih in Syria to come to his aid and launch a war from there. He could also take it upon himself to annex Syria before it could possibly fall into the hands of a rival, but feared that attacking a land that formerly belonged to his master—which is forbidden in the Islamic principles he followed—could portray him as hypocritical and thus, unsuitable for leading the "holy war" against the Crusaders.

The Syrians request the aid of Salahuddin who complied. On November 23, he arrived in Damascus amid general acclamations and rested at his father's old home there, until the gates of the Citadel of Damascus were opened to him. He installed himself in the castle and received the homage and salutations of the citizens.

Leaving his brother Tughtigin as Governor of Damascus, Salahuddin'sیaim was to defending Islam from the Crusaders; his army returned to Hama to engage a Crusader force there. The Crusaders escaped beforehand and Salahuddin proclaimed it "a victory opening the gates of men's hearts."

On April 13, 1175 he issued at the Cairo (قاہرہ) mint gold coins bearing his name—The Abbasid caliph in Baghdad graciously welcomed Salahuddin's assumption of power and declared him "Sultan of Egypt and Syria." The prisoners, however, were given gifts and freed by Salahuddin and all of the booty of his victory were handed to the army, not keeping a thing for himself.

Having been absent roughly two years, he had much to organize and supervise in Egypt, namely fortifying and reconstructing Cairo. The 280 feet (85 m) deep Bir Yusuf ("Joseph's Well") was built on Salahuddin's orders. The chief public work he commissioned outside of Cairo was the large bridge at Giza, which intended to form an outwork of defense against a potential Moorish invasion.

Salahuddin remained in Cairo supervising its improvements, building colleges such as the Madrasa of the Sword Makers and ordering the internal administration of the country.

In November 1177, The Christians sent a large portion of their army to besiege the fortress of Harim north of Aleppo and so southern Palestine bared few defenders. Salahuddin found the situation ripe and so marched to Ascalon, which he referred to as the "Bride of Syria." William of Tyre recorded that the Ayyubid army consisted of 26,000 soldiers, this army proceeded to raid the countryside, sack Ramla and Lod, and dispersed themselves as far as the Gates of Jerusalem.

The Ayyubids did allow King Baldwin to enter Ascalon with his Gaza-based Templars without taking any precautions against a sudden attack. Salahuddin and his men were surprised at Tell Jezer, near Ramla. Before they could form up, the Templar force hacked the Ayyubid army down.


Salahuddin was prepared to fight the Crusaders once again. In the spring of 1178, he was encamped under the walls of Hims. His forces in Hama won a victory over their enemy and brought the many prisoners of war to Salahuddin .

In the summer of 1179, King Baldwin had set up an outpost on the road to Damascus and aimed to fortify a passage over the Jordan River, known as Jacob's Ford, that commanded the approach to the Banias plain. Salahuddin had offered 100,000 gold pieces for Baldwin to abandon the project which was peculiarly offensive to the Muslims, but to no avail. He then resolved to destroy the fortress. As the Crusaders hurried down to attack the Muslim forces, they fell into disorder, with the infantry falling behind. The engagement ended in a decisive Ayyubid victory and many high-ranking knights were captured. Salahuddin then moved to besiege the fortress which fell on August 30, 1179.




On May 11, 1182, Salahuddin along with half of the Egyptian Ayyubid army and non-combatants left Cairo for Syria. On the evening before he departed, he sat with his companions and the tutor of one of his sons quoted a line of poetry: "enjoy the scent of the ox-eye plant of Najd, for after this evening it will come no more." Salahuddin never saw Egypt again. Knowing that Crusader forces were massed upon the frontier to intercept him, he took the desert route across the Sinai Peninsula to Ailah at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. He arrived in Damascus in June to learn that Farrukh-Shah had attacked the Galilee and capturing Habis Jaldek, a fortress of great importance to the Crusaders. In July, Salahuddin dispatched Farrukh-Shah to attack Kawkab al-Hawa. Later Kukbary, the emir of Harran, invited Salahuddin to occupy the Jazira region, making up northern Mesopotamia and he complied. Salahuddin promptly impressed the inhabitants of the town by publishing a decree that ordered a number of taxes to be canceled and erased all mention of them from treasury records, stating "the most miserable rulers are those whose purses are fat and their people thin." From ar-Raqqah, he moved to conquer al-Fudain, al-Husain, Maksim, Durain, 'Araban, and Khabur—all of which swore allegiance to him.


Salahuddin proceeded to take Nusaybin. A medium-sized town, Nusaybin was not of great importance, but it was located in a strategic position between Mardin and Mosul and within easy reach of Diyarbakir. In the midst of these victories, Salahuddin received word that the Crusaders were raiding the villages of Damascus. He replied "Let them... whilst they knock down villages, we are taking cities; انشااللہ when we come back, and we shall have all the more strength to fight them."

He had no doubts about his success, stating that Aleppo was "the key to the lands" and "this city is the eye of Syria and the citadel is its pupil." After the capture of the city and spending one night in Aleppo's citadel, Salahuddin marched to Harim, near the Crusader-held Antioch. The city was held by Surhak, a "minor mamluk."

Wars against Crusaders
Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi, the hero of hundreds of battles, was the person who for twenty years braved the storm of the Crusaders and ultimately pushed back the combined forces of Europe which had come to swarm the Holy Land. The world has hardly witnessed a more chivalrous and humane conqueror. The Crusades represent the maddest and the longest war in the history of mankind, in which the storm of savage fanaticism of the Christian West burst in all its fury over western Asia. `The Crusades form', says a Western writer, `one of the maddest episodes in history. Christianity hurled itself against Muslims in expedition after expedition for nearly three centuries, until failure brought lassitude, and superstition itself was undermined by its own labour. Europe was drained off men and money, and threatened with social bankruptcy, if not with annihilation. Millions perished in battle, hunger or disease and every atrocity imagination can conceive disgraced the warrior of the Cross'. The Christian West was excited to a mad religious frenzy by Peter the Hermit, and his followers to liberate the Holy Land from the hands of the Muslims. `Every means', says Hallam, `was used to excite an epidemical frenzy'. During the time that a Crusader bore the Cross, he was under the protection of the Church and exempted from all taxes as well as frees to commit all sins.

Peter the Hermit himself led the second host of the Crusaders comprising forty thousand people. `Arriving at Mallevile, they avenged their precursors by assaulting the town, slaying seven thousand of the inhabitants, and abandoning themselves to every species of grossness and liberalism'. The savage hordes called Crusaders converted Hungary and Bulgaria into desolate regions. When they reached Asia Minor, they, according to Michaud, `committed crimes which made nature shudder'.


On September 29, Salahuddin crossed the Jordan River to intercepted Crusader reinforcements from Karak and Shaubak along the Nablus road and took a number of prisoners. Meanwhile, the main Crusader force under Guy of Lusignan moved from Sepphoris to al-Fula. Salahuddin sent out 500 skirmishers to harass their forces and he himself marched to Ain Jalut. When the Crusader force—reckoned to be the largest the kingdom ever produced from its own resources, but still outmatched by the Muslims—advanced, the Ayyubids unexpectedly moved down the stream of Ain Jalut. After a few Ayyubid raids—including attacks on Zir'in, Forbelet, and Mount Tabor—However, Raynald of Châtillon, harassed Muslim trading and pilgrimage routes with a fleet on the Red Sea, a water route that Salahuddin needed to keep open. In response, Salahuddin built a fleet of 30 galleys to attack Beirut in 1182. Raynald threatened to attack the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and responded by looting a caravan of pilgrims on the Hajj in 1185.

In July 1187 Salahuddin captured most of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. On July 4, 1187, at the Battle of Hattin, he faced the combined forces of Guy of Lusignan, King Consort of Jerusalem and Raymond III of Tripoli. In this battle alone the Crusader army was largely annihilated by the motivated army of Salahuddin It was a major disaster for the Crusaders and a turning point in the history of the Crusades. Salahuddin captured Raynald de Châtillon and was personally responsible for his execution in retaliation for his attacking Muslim caravans. The members of these caravans had, in vain, besought his mercy by reciting the truce between the Muslims and the Crusaders, but he ignored this and insulted their prophet Muhammad before murdering and torturing a number of them. Upon hearing this, Salahuddin swore an oath to personally execute Raynald.


Guy of Lusignan was also captured. Seeing the execution of Raynald, he feared he would be next. But his life was spared by Salahuddin with the words, talking about Raynald:
It is not the wont of kings, to kill kings; but that man had transgressed all bounds, and therefore did I treat him thus.

Capture of Jerusalem
October 2, 1187, before the siege, Salahuddin had offered generous terms of surrender to the Crusaders, which were rejected. After the siege had started, he was unwilling to promise terms of quarter to the Frankish inhabitants of Jerusalem until Balian of Ibelin threatened to kill every Muslim hostage, estimated at 5000, and to destroy Islam's holy shrines of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque if quarter was not given. Salahuddin consulted his council and these terms were accepted. In 1187 CE, Jerusalem was conquered by Salahuddin but he did not enter the city of Jerusalem until the Crusaders had left. On Friday 27th Rajab 583 AH, Salahuddin entered in Jerusalem. After entering the city they went straight to the Mosque and cleaned it. Then for the first time in more then 80 years, the people of Jerusalem heard the Azan (call of prayer) from Al Aqsa Mosque. Thousands of Crusaders were arrested; the humanity of the Salahuddin towards the defeated Christians of Jerusalem procures an unpleasant contrast to the massacre of the Muslims in Jerusalem when conquered by the Christians about ninety years before.


(According to the French historian Michaud, on the conquest of Jerusalem by the Christians in 1099 `the Saracens were massacred in the streets and in the houses. Jerusalem had no refuge for the vanquished. Some fled from death by precipitating themselves from the ramparts; others crowded for shelter into the palaces, the towers and above all, in the mosques where they could not conceal themselves from the Christians. The Crusaders, masters of the Mosque of Umar where the Saracens defended themselves for sometime, renewed their deplorable scenes which disgraced the conquest of Titus. The infantry and the cavalry rushed pell-mell among the fugitives. Amid the most horrid tumult, nothing was heard but the groans and cries of death; the victors trod over heaps of corpses in pursuing those who vainly attempted to escape. Raymond d'Agiles who was an eye-witness, says: that under the portico of the mosque, the blood was knee-deep, and reached the horses' bridles.')


However, Sultan was very considerate towards the defeated Christians. Respecting their feelings, only the combatants were asked to leave the city on payment of a nominal ransom. when their mothers, sisters, and wives appealed to Salahuddin , he released them. In addition, he provided them transport, etc. He allowed neither massacre nor looting. He gave free pardon to all citizens. He even arranged for their traveling. He granted freedom to Christians to leave the city if they paid a small tribute. Salahuddin paid it, himself, for about ten thousand poor people. His brother paid it for seven thousand people. Salahuddin also allocated one of the gates of the city for people who were too poor to pay anything that they leave from there. Summoned the Jews and permitted them to resettle in the city. In particular, the residents of Ashkelon, a large Jewish settlement, responded to his request.

Hattin and the fall of Jerusalem prompted the Third Crusade, financed in England by a special "Salahuddin tithe." Richard I of England led Guy's siege of Acre, conquered the city and executed 3000 Muslim prisoners including women and children. Salahuddin retaliated.
The armies of Salahuddin engaged in combat with the army of King Richard I of England at the Battle of Arsuf on September 7, 1191. All attempts made by Richard to re-take Jerusalem failed. However, Salahuddin's relationship with Richard was one of chivalrous mutual respect as well as military rivalry. When Richard became ill with fever, Salahuddin offered the services of his personal physician. Salahuddin also sent him fresh fruit with snow, to chill the drink, as treatment. At Arsuf, when Richard lost his horse, Salahuddin sent him two replacements. Richard suggested to Salahuddin that in Palestine, Christian and Muslim, could be united through the marriage of his sister Joan of England, Queen of Sicily to Salahuddin's brother, and that Jerusalem could be their wedding gift. However, the two men never met face to face and communication was either written or by messenger.

As leaders of their respective factions, the two men came to an agreement in the Treaty of Ramla in 1192, whereby Jerusalem would remain in Muslim hands but would be open to Christian pilgrimages. The treaty reduced the Latin Kingdom to a strip along the coast from Tyre to Jaffa. This treaty was supposed to last three years.

Death
The Salahuddin devoted the rest of his life to public welfare activities and built hospitals, schools, colleges and mosques all over his dominion. He died of a fever on March 4, 1193, at the age of 55 years in Damascus. Thus died Sultan Salahuddin one of the most humane and chivalrous monarchs in the annals of mankind. In him, nature had very harmoniously blended the benevolent and merciful heart of a Muslim with a matchless military genius. The messenger who took the news of his death to Baghdad brought the Sultan's coat of mail, his horse one dinar and 36 dirhams which was all the property he had left. His contemporaries and other historians are unanimous in acknowledging Salahuddin as a tender-hearted, kind, patient, affable person--- a friend of the learned and the virtuous whom he treated with utmost respect and beneficence.


Since Salahuddin had given most of his money away for charity, when they opened his treasury, they found there was not enough money to pay for his funeral. He died with no possession of Gold coins, Palaces, Slaves, but The Holy Land of Jerusalem. And so Salahuddin was buried in a magnificent mausoleum in the garden outside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.


Seven centuries later, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany donated a new marble sarcophagus to the mausoleum. Salahuddin was, however, not placed in it. Instead the mausoleum, which is open to visitors, now has two sarcophagi: one empty in marble and the original in which holds Salahuddin made of wood.
"A Knight without fear or blame who often had to teach his opponents the right way to practice chivalry". An inscription written by Kaiser Wilhelm II on a wreath he laid on Salahuddin's Tomb.

Recognition and legacy
His fierce struggle against the crusaders was where Salahuddin achieved a great reputation in Europe as a chivalrous knight, so much so that there existed by the fourteenth century an epic poem about his exploits. Though Salahuddin faded into history after the Middle Ages. Salahu granted amnesty and free passage to all common Catholics and even to the defeated Christian army, as long as they were able to pay the aforementioned ransom (the Greek Orthodox Christians were treated even better, because they often opposed the western Crusaders), the Muslim Salahuddin was respected by Christian lords, Richard especially. Richard once praised Salahuddin as a great prince, saying that he was without doubt the greatest and most powerful leader in the Islamic world. In April 1191, a Frankish woman's three month old baby had been stolen from her camp and had been sold on the market. The Franks urged her to approach Salahuddin herself with her grievance. According to Bahā' al-Dīn, Salahuddin used his own money to buy the child back:
"He gave it to the mother and she took it; with tears streaming down her face, and hugged it to her breast. The people were watching her and weeping and I (Ibn Shaddad) was standing amongst them. She suckled it for some time and then Salahuddin ordered a horse to be fetched for her and she went back to camp".


According to British Commander General Edmund Allenby during World War I, proudly declared "today the wars of the Crusaders are completed" by rising up his sword towards statue of Salahuddin after capture of Damascus from Turkish troops. British press as well, celebrated his victory with cartoons of Richard the Lion-Hearted looking down at Jerusalem above the caption "At last my dream come true. After French General Henri Gouraud entered the city in July 1920 and kicking Salahuddin's tomb, Gouraud exclaimed, "Awake Salahuddin , we have returned. My presence here consecrates the victory of the Cross over the Crescent."