THE CHRISTIAN GENOCIDE OF JERUSALEM
AND THE ISLAMIC “REVENGE”
The Fall of Jerusalem
In the year 492 Hijri when the Christians conquered Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem), they slaughtered 70,000 Muslims in Musjidul Aqsa. Giving a graphic account of the massacre of Muslims by the Crusaders, the Christian historian Michaud writes:
“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 into their mosques, where they could not conceal themselves from the pursuit of the Christians. The Crusaders, masters of the Mosque of Omar, where the Saracens defended themselves for some time, renewed there the deplorable scenes which disgraced the conquest of Titus. The infantry and 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.”
Fulcher of Chartres, a Christian chronicler of that time, said:
“In this temple 10,000 were killed. Indeed, if you had been there you would have seen our feet coloured to our ankles with the blood of the slain. But what more shall I relate? None of them were left alive; neither women nor children were spared”
The Conquest of Jerusalem
Ninety years after the fall of Jerusalem into Christian hands, Sultan Salahuddin Ayyubi (rahmatullah alayh) conquered this prized city. How did the magnanimous Sultan repay the butchery and massacre of 70,000 Muslims at the hands of the savage Crusaders almost a century ago? Describing the conquest of Jerusalem by Sultan Salahuddin, Steven Runcimman, a Christian, writes:
“Saladin had the city at his mercy. He could storm it when he wished…………Saladin, so long as his power was recognized, was ready to be generous, and he wished Jerusalem to suffer as little as possible. He consented to make terms and offered that every Christian should be able to redeem himself at the rate of ten dinars a man, five a woman and one a child……On Friday 2nd October, Saladin entered Jerusalem. It was the 27th day of Rajab……….The victors (i.e. the Muslims) were correct and humane.
Where the Franks, eighty-eight years before, had waded through the blood of their (Muslim) victims, not a building now was looted, not a person injured. By Saladin’s orders guards patrolled the streets and the gates, preventing any outrage on the Christians……. Then Saladin announced that he would liberate every aged man and woman. When the Frankish ladies who had ransomed themselves came in tears to ask him where they should go, for their husbands or fathers were slain or captive, he answered by promising to release every captive husband, and to the widows and orphans he gave gifts from his own treasury. His mercy and kindness were in strange contrast to the deeds of the Christian conquerors of the First Crusade.
The Orthodox Christians and the Jacobites remained in Jerusalem. Each had to pay a capitation tax in addition to his ransom, though many poorer classes were excused the payment. The rich amongst them bought up much of the property left vacant by the Franks’ departure. The rest was bought by Moslems and Jews whom Saladin encouraged to settle in the city. When the news of Saladin’s victory reached Constantinople the Emperor Isaac Angelus sent an embassy to Saladin to congratulate him and to ask that the Christian Holy Places should revert to the Orthodox Church. After a little delay his request was granted.”
This was the noble manner in which Sultan Salahuddin, the Conqueror of Jerusalem reciprocated the cold blooded massacre of 70,000 Muslims by the Crusaders 88 years before. In so doing, he was implementing the Qur’aanic command: “Ward off evil with what is beautiful.”[Mujlisul Ulama]
COPTIC-MUSLIM CLASHES IN EGYPT
“At least 16 people have been wounded after Muslims attacked a church and Christian homes in a village near the Egyptian capital, Cairo, officials say. The unrest in Dahshur, about 40km (25 miles) south of Cairo, started after a Muslim man died of wounds sustained in an earlier clash on Friday. Violence frequently flares between Egypt’s Muslim majority and its Coptic Christian minority. It is the first instance since Mohammed Mursi took over as president in June. Last October, a suicide attack on a church in Alexandria killed 24 people. Police in Dahshur early on Wednesday fired teargas to stop a Muslim mob from setting fire to a church, but the rioters instead torched several Christian properties and three police cars, officials said. Ten policemen were among the 16 injured, according to the authorities. Fire-bombs The office of the local Coptic archbishop of Giza said the entire Christian population of Dahshur had now fled, according to the Associated Press. The rioters “looted and torched shops, including a jewellery shop… and terrorised the local community forcing them to leave their homes”, the agency quoted the statement as saying. Tension first erupted on Friday after a Christian laundry worker was accused by a Muslim client of singeing his shirt while ironing it. Villagers from both sides threw fire-bombs at each other, fatally wounding a Muslim. The man died of his injuries on Tuesday and was buried overnight, sparking the latest unrest. About 10% of Egyptians are Coptic Christians. They fear that more radical forms of Islam, resurgent since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, could imperil their safety in Egypt.”
COMMENT BY MUJLISUL ULAMA
Whilst this type of murderous hooliganism is normal for kuffaar mobs, it is haraam for Muslims to engage in zulm (injustice, cruelty, oppression) of any kind. There was absolutely no justification for Muslims to have attacked Christians and destroy their property, even their churches. Muslims have become ‘non- Muslims’ in almost all aspects of life. Islam is the Deen of hope, mercy and everlasting salvation in the Hereafter. The obligation of Muslims is Da’wat and Tableegh – to invite non-Muslims to Islam. But is it possible for Muslims who participate in vile misdeeds and perpetrate savagery against non-Muslims to offer Islam to their non-Muslim neighbours?
The Sahaabah attracted non-Muslims to Islam with the Uswah-e-Hasanah (the Beautiful Moral Character) which they had acquired from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Muslims should understand that Allah Ta’ala is always on the side of the oppressed even if they are non-Muslims. On the Day of Qiyaamah, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will be the ‘advocate’ of those non-Muslims who were wronged, persecuted and oppressed by Muslims. It is difficult to believe that those who had displayed barbarism and had perpetrated the atrocities against the Christians in Egypt are really Muslims.
Sultan Salaahuddin Ayyubi (rahmatullah alayh), despite the horrendous acts of barbarity and cruelty committed by the Crusaders whenever they won a battle and captured a Muslim town, never reciprocated in like measure when he defeated the Christian armies and captured the cities they had controlled. He had always reacted with great magnanimity and chivalry. In fact, Salahuddin’s kindness and magnanimity had even led to his defeat in the battle for the city of Jaffa. The horse of the Christian king, Richard, the Butcher, was killed or incapacitated in the battlefield during this extremely fierce battle. However, the Christian king was fighting bravely on foot against the Muslim soldier on horseback.
Observing the scene from a distance, the chivalry and good nature of Salaahuddin constrained him to commit a massive error. He quickly sent an Arab horse to Richard with the message that he could not tolerate seeing such a brave man fighting with such odds loaded against him. The Christian king promptly accepted the gift, mounted the horse and went ahead to inflict a heavy defeat on the Muslim army which was routed. Magnanimity to has its limits. The honourable and kind Sultan had grievously blundered with his magnanimous gesture of providing the horse to the king. The situation demanded that the king be killed or captured. If Salaahuddin had not allowed his emotions to overshadow his intellect on that crucial occasion, the Crusaders would have been defeated and countless Muslims killed in the aftermath of the defeat would have been saved.
Nevertheless, the purpose of this episode being cited here is to induce Muslims to reflect and to conduct themselves in the ethos of Allah’s praise for the Mu’mineen about whom the Qur’aan Majeed states: “You (O Believers!) are the best of nations created for mankind (because) you command virtue and prohibit vice, and you believe in Allah.”