The Muslims Lands under Crusader Invasion
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On July 8, 1099 AD, as part of the First Crusader invasion of Muslims lands, 15,000 Christian soldiers marched in a religious procession around Bayt al-Moqaddas as its Muslim defenders looked on. Bayt al-Moqaddas was then under the rule of the Fatemid Ismaili Shi’ite Muslim Dynasty of Egypt-North Africa. Because of disunity in Muslim ranks, coupled with the underestimation of the designs of the enemies, this holy Islamic city was seized by the Crusaders, who massacred as many as 70,000 men, women, and children of various ethnicities, including Arab, Iranian, Turkish and Kurdish. It took 88 years for the Muslims to close ranks and liberate Bayt al-Moqaddas in 1187 under a united Muslim force of Arabs, Iranians, Kurds, and Turks.
On July 11, 1174 AD, Amalric, the ruler of the usurper Latin kingdom of Jerusalem (established in Bayt al-Moqaddas and Palestine by European invaders), died after a 11-year reign during which he attempted several unsuccessful attacks on Fatemid Egypt, by forming alliances with some of the local Syrian and Turkic Amirs, who were ready to betray fellow Muslims for paltry gains – like the present day Arab regimes which are serving Zionist interests.
In 1171, three years before Amalric’s death, the Kurdish general, Salah od-Din, who was appointed vizier in Cairo by the young Fatemid caliph, al-Adid, deposed his benefactor and seized Egypt. Amalric was succeeded by his 13-year old leprous son, Baldwin IV, with Raymond III, Count of the occupied Lebanese region of Tripoli (Tarabolous) as regent and William of the occupied Lebanese region of Tyre (Sour) as chancellor. During his 11-year reign, Baldwin used to constantly raid Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian cities, as far as Damascus, but without permanent success.
In 1177, he launched a surprise attack and routed almost the entire army of Salah od-Din, who was lucky to escape alive from the battlefield. As the historian Ibn Jubayr writes, Baldwin IV, in view of his mean nature, was called by Muslims as “al-Khinzir” (the Swine). Two years after his death, Salah od-Din led a united army of Kurds, Turks, Arabs and Iranians, to liberate Bayt ol-Moqaddas, thus ending the 87-year illegal existence of the Crusader kingdom.
Liberation of the Islamic holy city of Bayt ol-Moqaddas
On October 2, 1187 AD, a united Muslim army of Arab, Turks, Kurds, and Iranians, under command of the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt and Syria, Salaheddin the Kurd, liberated the Islamic holy city of Bayt ol-Moqaddas after 88 years of occupation by the Christian Crusades of Europe.
He thus ended the illegal existence of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, which the European occupiers had founded after massacring as many as 70,000 Muslim men, women, and children in Bayt al-Moqaddas in 1099 while seizing it from the Ismaili Shi'ite Fatemid Dynasty of Egypt and North Africa.
The anniversary of this great day is a constant reminder to the Palestinians and the Muslim World that God Willing, the day will soon come when Bayt al-Moqaddas will again be liberated and the illegal Zionist entity will cease to exist.
The Spanish Christians policy to split the ranks of Muslims
On May 21, 1403 AD, Henry III of the region of Castile in Spain, as part of the Christian policy to split the ranks of Muslims, who were advancing into southwestern Europe and still controlled southern Spain, sent Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo as ambassador to Samarqand to the court of Amir Timur to discuss the possibility of an alliance against the Ottoman Empire. Clavijo, who travelled through the Byzantine capital Constantinople to Armenia, Iran, and finally Central Asia, was granted a long-sought audience by Timur in a great orchard with a palace therein, which he calls the paradise garden of Iranian tradition. He gives a detailed description of court life including trained elephants and the tent-pavilions of jewel-and pearl-encrusted silks.
The Castilian embassy spent several months in Samarqand, during which time Clavijo attended celebrations for Timur's recent victory at Ankara in July 1402, over the Ottoman sultan, Bayezid I, who was captured and brought to Central Asia as captive, much to the relief of the Christians of Europe. Although the fearsome Timur did not sign any treaty with the Christians, the vast majority of his victims were the millions of fellow Muslims his armies slaughtered from Eurasia to West Asia and from Iran to the Subcontinent.
The ancient city of Syracuse, on the island of Sicily liberated by Muslims
On May 21, 878 AD, the ancient city of Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, off the southern coast of Italy, was liberated by the Muslim sultan of Sicily. The first Muslims to land in Sicily were forces of the Aghlabid dynasty of Ifriqiyya or what is now western Libya, Tunis and Algeria, in 827 AD, when the island was part of Byzantine or the Eastern Roman Empire.
During the two centuries of Muslim rule, the capital of the Emirate of Sicily was moved from Syracuse to Palermo. Islamic architecture dominated the cities, and the Muslims, including the Ismaili Shi’ite Fatemid dynasty, developed agriculture and built extensive irrigation channels. Islamic Sicily had a flourishing cultural and artistic life: several Arab poets, including Ibn Hamdis, the most important Sicilian poet of the 12th century, lived in Syracuse.
The Fatemid general, Jowhar as-Saqali, who conquered Egypt, was originally a Christian from Sicily. Among the governor appointed by the Fatemids to rule the island and propagate the school of the Ahl al-Bayt, was Hassan al-Kalbi whose army landed in southern Italy and defeated the Holy Roman Emperor near Crotone in Calabria.
Muslim rule in Anatolia
On 11th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 572 AH, Qilij Arslan II, the Seljuqid Sultan of Roum (as Muslim-ruled Anatolia was known in those days) defeated Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos at the Battle of Myriokephalon. The defeat marked the end of Byzantine attempts to recover the Anatolian plateau, which was now lost to the Turks forever and today forms the centre of the Republic of Turkey. Qilij Arslan died in 1192 after a reign of 36 years. He promoted Persian culture and was succeeded by Kaykhosrow I.
The fortress of Otranto in southeastern Italy was captured by Ottoman Turkish army
On August 12, 1480 AD, the fortress of Otranto in southeastern Italy was taken by a Turkish army sent by the Ottoman Sultan, Mohammad II, a few centuries after the end of Muslim rule in parts of southern Italy. Since it was only 27 years after the fall of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire, there was fear that Rome, the seat of the Catholic sect of Christianity, would suffer the same fate. Plans were made for the Pope to evacuate the city, and in a bid to incite Christians against Muslims, lies were spread of the massacre of Italians by the Turks.
However, following the death of Mohammad II, the Ottoman forces concluded a treaty with the Kingdom of Naples and withdrew to Albania from Otranto on 11 September 1481. In 1537, the famous Ottoman admiral Khair od-Din Pasha (Barbarossa) again captured Otranto and the Fortress of Castro, but later the Muslims were eventually forced to withdraw from this Italian city and the rest of Puglia. All traces of Muslim rule, including mosques and public baths, were removed by the Italians.
Charlemagne, the king of Franks and the clock was sent to him from Baghdad
On January 28, 814, Charlemagne, the king of Franks, died at the age of 72. After his conquest of Italy and central Europe he was crowned the first Roman Emperor in Western Europe after three centuries by Pope Leo III. He was brutal in his suppression of opposition to his rule in the occupied territories, and used to constantly raid Islamic Spain, but was unable to defeat the Spanish Muslims. When a clock was sent to him from Baghdad by the scientifically advanced Muslims, Charlemagne and the Europeans who were living in the dark ages were for long suspicious of the mechanical object and thought that a genie was inside it, showing the time of the day and the passing hours.
The notorious anti-Muslim King James I of Aragon
On February 2, 1208 AD, the notorious anti-Muslim King James I of Aragon was born. He occupied the prosperous Spanish Muslim Ta'efa of Valencia (Arabic Balansiya), through treachery, granting asylum to its deposed ruler, the apostate Zayd Abu Zayd, who adopted the Christian name Vicente Bellvis, married a Christian woman, and betrayed the Muslims. The Siege of Burriana (1233) and the Battle of the Puig (1237) launched by James were bravely resisted by Zayyan ibn Mardanish of Valencia, who was overpowered in 1238, thereby ending over five centuries of glorious Muslim rule over this region on the eastern coast of Spain. Emboldened by his seizure of Valencia, James next attacked and occupied the Muslim-ruled Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, exterminating the local Spanish Muslim population and settling Christian Catalans in their place.
Byzantine fleet sacked and destroyed the undefended port city of Damietta in Abbasid-ruled Egypt
On May 22, 853 AD, a Byzantine fleet sacked and destroyed the undefended port city of Damietta in Abbasid-ruled Egypt, killing hundreds of people, abducting at least 600 Arab and Coptic Christian women, and seizing large quantities of weapons and supplies intended for the Muslim Emirate of the island of Crete, while the garrison was absent, attending a feast in the capital Fustat.
The Christian Greek fleet of 85 ships and 5,000 ruthless pirates, led by a turncoat Arab admiral named "Ibn Qatuna", then sailed east and attacked the fortress of Ushtun, where the many artillery and siege engines were burned. According to Muslim historians, the surprise raid, while the self-styled caliphs in Baghdad were sunk in pleasures and oppression of the people, especially the followers of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, jolted the conscience of the Egyptian people to the urgent need of strengthening of maritime defences. As a result ships were constructed, new crews conscripted, and Damietta and other coastal sites fortified. This marked the birth of the Egyptian navy, which reached its peak later under the Ismaili Shi’ite Muslim Fatemid dynasty.