Europeans launch Crusade Wars against Muslims
Compiled by: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On August 25, in 1095 AD, the first batch of European invaders landed in Syria to start the brutal Crusader wars against Muslims. They occupied Antioch (in south- western Turkey as a result of the handover by the French occupiers in 1937 despite the Syrian people's protests). Using Antioch as a base, they took advantage of the disunity and weakness of the Muslim rulers, to advance towards Tripoli in what is now Lebanon.
It seems that neither the Seljuq Sunni Turks who were dominant in Syria, nor the Fatemid Ismaili Shi’ite dynasty of Egypt-North Africa which controlled Bayt al-Moqaddas, were able to properly assess the intricate plots of the crusader invaders. They dismissed them as ragtag Byzantine mercenaries.
This underestimation of the evil plots of the enemy, coupled with the lethargy of the Muslim rulers, enabled the European invaders to attack and occupy the coastal belt of Syria, before advancing upon the Islamic city of Bayt al-Moqaddas, which fell to them in 1099 AD, and where both Sunnis and Shi’ites, as well as the local Arab Christians were massacred by the Crusaders. Some 70,000 men, women and children made up of Arabs, Turks, and Iranians, were slaughtered by the Crusaders in the the Islamic city of Bayt al-Moqaddas.
The Battle of Ascalon
On August 12, 1099 AD, the army of Fatemid Ismaili Shi'ite rulers of Egypt and North Africa lost the Battle of Ascalon to the Crusader invaders from Europe, under command of Godfrey of Bouillon. The Fatemid vizier, al-Afzal Shahanshah, who personally led a large force of Turks, Arabs, Persians, Armenians, Kurds, and Ethiopians, had earlier misunderstood the Crusaders as Byzantine mercenaries. This misperception and his slow march from Cairo brought about the fall of Bayt al-Moqaddas to the Crusaders a month earlier. At Ascalon (Asqalan in Arabic), this same lethargy led to the defeat of the Muslim forces, although the Fatemids continued to hold this city, which is near Gaza in Palestine, for another 54 years. The Crusaders mercilessly killed Muslims in the captured territories.
After 88 years of occupation, Bayt al-Moqaddas was finally liberated in 1188 by the Kurdish ruler, Salah od-Din Ayyoubi who led a united Muslim army of Kurds, Turks, Arabs and Iranians to end the illegal existence of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Crusades were finally uprooted from Palestine by 1270 AD.
Battle of Dorylaeum took place between the European crusader invaders and the Seljuqs
On July 1, 1097 the inconclusive Battle of Dorylaeum took place between the European crusader invaders and the Seljuqs, near the city of the same name in Anatolia in what is now Turkey. The Muslim army led by Khilij Arslan I and his allies Hassan of Cappadocia, and Ghazi ibn Danishmend, was made up of Turks, Iranians, Kurds and Caucasians, who after a hard fought battle in which the crusaders were almost routed, withdrew from the battlefield. The crusader invaders were led by Bohemond of Taranto and were supported by the Byzantine army.
The Seljuqid Atabeg of Mosul, Kerbogha the Turk
On June 28, 1098 AD, the Seljuqid Atabeg of Mosul, Kerbogha the Turk, suffered defeat at the hands of the Crusader invaders at the Syrian city of Antioch (currently in Turkey), because of disunity in his army, and returned to Mosul a broken man. When he heard that the Crusaders had besieged Antioch, he gathered his troops and marched to relieve the city. By the time he arrived, around June 5-9, the Crusaders had taken this Muslim city.
Kerbogha besieged the Crusaders, but disagreement and infighting broke out among the Emirs of his mighty army made up of soldiers from Iraq, Syria and Iran. When the Christian army launched the offensive, the Muslim Emirs instead of uniting behind Kerbogha decided to humble him by abandoning him at the critical moment. Kerbogha was taken by surprise and finding himself facing a strong army of European invaders, deemed it impossible to fight and decided to retreat.
European Christian invaders started the siege of Damascus during the Second Crusade
On July 24, 1148 AD, European Christian invaders started the siege of Damascus during the Second Crusade, but thanks to the stiff resistance of the Muslim defenders and the timely arrival of fresh forces led by the Turkic ruler, Noureddin Zangi, they were decisively defeated five days later, resulting in the disintegration of the crusade led by King Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany.
The 7th Mamluk (slave) Sultan of Egypt and Syria
On 7th of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa’dah in 689 AH, the 7th Mamluk (slave) Sultan of Egypt and Syria, al-Mansour Saif od-Din Qalawun, died at the age of 70 after a reign of 11 years. A Qipchaq Turk of Eurasia, who was sold into slavery during his teen years and ended up in the service of Egypt’s Kurdish Ayubid ruler, Sultan as-Saleh, he quickly rose into prominence, because of his abilities.
Under his predecessor, Sultan Baybars, he displayed his military prowess in the victorious wars against the Mongols. In 680 AH, Qalawun decisively defeated the huge joint Mongol-Christian army of 80,000 led by Monke Timur, the brother of the Iran-based Abaqa Khan in the Second Battle of Homs, fought in western Syria. He also checked the ambitions of the usurper Crusader states on the coasts of Palestine and Lebanon. He was a great builder of mosques and public institutes, which are still intact in the Egyptian capital.
The Turkish ruler of Syria Nour od-Din Zangi
On 9th of the Islamic month of Sha'ban in 1149 AD, Raymond of Poitiers, the European Crusader occupier of the Syrian city of Antioch (presently in Turkey), was defeated and killed in the Battle of Inab by the Turkish ruler of Syria Nour od-Din Zangi, who subsequently rode out to the Mediterranean coast and bathed in the sea as a symbol of his victory, which made him a hero in Islamic lands.
Although his goal was liberation of Palestine and the parts of Syria occupied by the Crusaders, Zangi repressed the followers of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt and expelled thousands of Shi'ite Muslims from Aleppo.
The Battle of Harim
On August 12, 1164 AD, in the Battle of Harim, the Turkic ruler of Syria, Nur od-Din Zangi, defeated the Crusader occupiers of the Lebanese port city of Tripoli and of the Principality of Antioch, which historically has been a part of Syria, until its occupation by Turkey in 1937. He also went on to liberate Banias and other coastal areas from Crusader occupation.
A united Muslim army of Kurds, Turks, Iranians and Arabs, broke the back of the Crusader usurpers of Palestine
On July 4, 1187 AD, a united Muslim army of Kurds, Turks, Iranians and Arabs, broke the back of the Crusader usurpers of Palestine by inflicting a shattering defeat in the Battle of Hattin near Tiberias in what is now the Zionist usurped land of Palestine, thereby paving the way for liberation of Bayt al-Moqaddas some three months later that ended the 88-year illegal existence of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
The Muslims were led by the Kurdish general Salah od-Din Ayyoubi, who in 1169 after his surprise appointment as vizier of Egypt by the Fatemid Ismaili Shi'ite caliph, had turned on his benefactor to seize the country and style himself sultan, persecute the followers of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, and then expand his power in Syria, Palestine and as far as his birthplace, Mosul, in Iraq.
Egyptian Mamluk Sultan, Baibars
On May 18 in 1268 AD, the Crusader state of Antioch in Syria fell to the Egyptian Mamluk Sultan, Baibars, after he had taken Caesarea, Haifa, Arsuf and Galilee. By the time of his death in 1277 AD, Baibars had forced the Crusaders to a few strongholds along the coast of Palestine, and three decades later by the beginning of the 14th century, the Muslims succeeded in completely driving out the European invaders from Islamic lands. Baibars had earlier defeated the Mongols at the Battle of Ain al-Jalut in Palestine and repulsed the invasions of Syria and Palestine by Louis IX of France and King Edward I of England.
The Mamluk sultan of Egypt and Syria, az-Zahir Rukn od-Din Baibars al-Bunduqdari
On July 1, 1277 AD, the Mamluk sultan of Egypt and Syria, az-Zahir Rukn od-Din Baibars al-Bunduqdari, died in Damascus at the age of 55 years. He was one of the commanders of the Muslim army which inflicted a devastating defeat on the Seventh Crusade of King Louis IX of France in 1250.
Ten years later he led the vanguard of the Egyptian army at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, which marked the first crushing defeat of the Mongol army of Buddhist and Christians, and is considered a turning point in history. A Qipchaq Turk who as a child was sold into slavery, he rose to become the first of the Bahri Mamluk sultans, and managed to pave the way for the end of the Crusader occupation by uniting Egypt and Syria into one powerful state that was able to fend off threats from both Crusaders and Mongols. He was buried in the az-Zahiriyah Library in Damascus.
Muslims liberated Bayt al-Moqaddas from almost 90 years of occupation by the European crusader
On 27th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 583AH, Muslims liberated Bayt al-Moqaddas from almost 90 years of occupation by the European crusader invaders who had established the usurper Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in Palestine. The Muslims were led by the Kurdish ruler, Salah od-Din Ayyoubi, who commanded a united army of Kurds, Turks, Arabs and Iranians. It was Friday when the city surrendered and the triumphant Muslim forces performed the Prayer at al-Aqsa Mosque. The Christian occupiers, in contrast to their brutal massacre of 70,000 Muslim men, women and children when they had seized this Islamic city from the Fatemid Ismaili Shi’ite Dynasty of Egypt some 9 decades ago, were given fair treatment and allowed to board ships back to their original homelands in Europe.
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Sha’ban in 588 AH, the Kurdish ruler of Syria and Egypt, Salaheddin Ayyoubi and England's King Richard concluded the "ar-Ramla Accord" after the third Crusade failed in retaking the Islamic city of Bayt al-Moqaddas, which the European invaders called Jerusalem. It was agreed that Christian pilgrims could visit Bayt al-Moqaddas in security and safety.
The decisive Battle of Mansura
On 19th of the Islamic month of Rajab in 618AH, Egyptian forces entered Damietta city after the European Christian invaders retreated and their fifth Crusade ended in fiasco, especially after the decisive Battle of Mansura.
Egypt's Mamluk Turkic Sultan, Rukn od-Din Baibars al-Bunduqdari
On 5th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan in 666 AH, Muslims led by Egypt's Mamluk Turkic Sultan, Rukn od-Din Baibars al-Bunduqdari, liberated the Syrian city of Antioch (currently in Turkey) from the Crusaders after 170 years of European occupation. Baibars, who earlier as general, had inflicted devastating defeats on both the Crusaders and Iran-based Ilkhanid Mongols, united Egypt and Syria into a powerful state, and liberated most of the areas of Syria and Palestine occupied by the European Crusaders.
The Kurdish Sultan of Egypt and Syria, Salah od-Din Ayoubi, began the siege of the Crusader-occupied Islamic holy city of Bayt al-Moqaddas
On September 20, 1187 AD, the Kurdish Sultan of Egypt and Syria, Salah od-Din Ayoubi, began the siege of the Crusader-occupied Islamic holy city of Bayt al-Moqaddas with a united Muslim force of Kurdish cavalry, Turkish archers, Arab infantry and Iranian sappers, following a string of victories against the Christian invaders from Europe. Twelve days later on October 2, the Muslims gained a resounding victory that ended the 88-year illegal existence of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
In contrast to the massacre of 70,000 Muslims by the Crusaders in 1099 while seizing Bayt al-Moqaddas from the Fatemid Ismaili Shi'ite dynasty of Egypt, the Muslims allowed the Christians to leave by paying a ransom. The liberation of Bayt al-Moqaddas was celebrated throughout the Islamic world.
Muslims liberated the city of Beirut from the Crusaders
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Rajab in 690AH, Muslims liberated the city of Beirut from the Crusaders. The campaign was led by the Mamluk sultan of Egypt and Syria, al-Ashraf Khalil Qalawun, a Qipchaq Turk, who went on to liberate the other cities, thus completely ending the 200-year Crusader presence in the Levant.