This is coolbert:
Moderns have an intuitive appreciation of military chivalry. Military men fighting honorably on the battlefield against other honorable military men. A fair fight without deceit or "dirty play" being a factor. The ideal.
Military chivalry on the modern battlefield would include such aspects as:
* Giving quarter
to an enemy [allowing the vanquished to surrender and not slaughtering them!!].
for the enemy dead [no mutilation, trophy seeking, or desecration!!].
Non-chivalrous behavior on the modern battlefield would include such behaviors as:
* Flying a false flag or wearing the uniform of the enemy.
* Looting, rape, arson, mistreatment of non-combatants.
Such behavior was also considered to be an integral part of the medieval code of chivalry. As I have said, chivalric precepts were often violated. And much is made of this. However, there are examples of persons approaching the IDEAL
with regard to medieval chivalry at war.
One such person who exemplifies chivalry in the medieval period was Saladin
Salah ah-Din. A ethnic Kurd from Tikrit in what is now Iraq. Yes, Tikrit. The same town where Saddam el-Tikriti was born. Better known to the world as Saddam Hussein.
As is known to most, Salah ah-Din [full name is Salah al Din Abu 'l-Muzaffer Yusuf ibn Ayyub ibn Shadi] was a great Islamic war chief and ruler. Fought and was victorious over the Crusaders. And was very chivalrous in his manner of waging warfare
. SO MUCH SO, THAT WHEN THE FIRST MANUAL OF CHIVALRY WAS WRITTEN, WITH EUROPEAN KNIGHTS IN MIND, SALADIN WAS THE ARCHETYPE OF THE CHIVALROUS WARRIOR!!! SUCH WAS THE IMPRESSION THIS MAN MADE UPON THE CRUSADER AND EUROPEAN KNIGHT!!
Even the great Dante was aware of the greatness of Saladin:
"When Dante Alighieri compiled his great medieval Who's Who of heroes and villains in the Divine Comedy, among the highest a non-Christian could climb was Limbo, Homer, Caesar, Plato and Dante's guide Vergil. But, perhaps what should not be most surprising
in his catalog of 'Great Hearted Souls' was a figure 'solitary, set apart,'
that figure was Saladin. When Dante--the most Christ-centered verse ever penned--wrote lionizing his name, Saladin had been dead for one hundred years."
Saladin displayed his chivalric courtesy to the Crusader enemy in a variety of ways. To include:
* A- Prevention of Christian bloodbath
After capturing Jerusalem in October 1187, Saladin's civilized act in signing the peace treaty and saving Christian blood was indeed a pious act. He not only spared the
lives of 100,000 Christians, but also guaranteed their safe departure
along with their property and belongings. [gave quarter and safe passage to the enemy.]
* B- Releasing prisoners who were not able to pay their ransom
Part of the condition of the surrender of Jerusalem, was that each Christian pays her or his ransom. Thousands of Christians, mainly women, were not able
to pay their ransom. To save them from slavery, al-Adel, Saladin's brother, Geukburi, Saladin's brother-in law and Saladin himself, instead paid their ransom out of their own pockets
. [paid in part out of his own pocket!!!]
* C- Beyond justice
During the forty days respite that was given to the Westerners to leave Jerusalem, several Christian women approached Saladin stating that their guardians (husbands, fathers or sons) had been missing. They explained to Saladin that they had no one
to look after them, nor did they have
any shelter. The tenderhearted Saladin broke into tears upon hearing their case. He ordered his soldiers to find their missing guardians, and that for those of them whose guardian was determined dead, they should be given
a liberal compensation.
* D- "Victory is changing the hearts of your opponents by gentleness and kindness."
In September 1192, during the siege of Acre, King Richard the Lionheart gained a lasting respect for Saladin. When Richard fell sick, Saladin sent him his own
physician to treat him. Along with this health care, he frequently sent him ice
to cool down his fever and plum fruits
that were necessary for his recovery.
* E- A pure chivalric romance
During an offensive made by King Richard against a Muslim squadron under Saladin's son al Zaher, King Richard's horse was killed and the King of England was down on the ground. Observing this scene, Saladin sent him two remounts
so that he would not be at a disadvantage.
[Douglas Fairbanks Jr., during movie swordfights, used to take away
the sword of his foe and then hand it back
so the fight could continue. Usually with a smile on his face! That was in the make-believe of cinema. Saladin DID IT FOR REAL!!
* F- Recovery of a snatched child
During the siege of Acre, a Christian woman came to Saladin's camp weeping and wailing insisting that her child was snatched away by his soldiers. He was moved to tears by the pitiful condition of the woman and he himself returned the child to his mother
and had them mount on the back of a mare to be returned safely to their camp.
* G- Romance in the freedom of religion
Through an interpreter, Saladin used to communicate with virtually all the prisoners of war. During the siege of Acre several soldiers were captured. Among them was an old man who was so old that he was toothless and could hardly walk. Saladin questioned him as to why he was he there. The old man said that he had no thought but to make a pilgrimage to the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. Saladin was so touched by his answer and condition that he provided a horse for him
and ordered that he be escorted
to Jerusalem to fulfill his worship dream.
* H- Mischief is not tolerated
Among the captures in the battle of Hettin were Crusade leaders such as King Guy of Jerusalem, Raymond of Syden, and Raymond of Chatillon. King Guy and Raymond of Syden were released and escorted to safety, but Raymond of Chatillon of the Kerak Castle who had often ambushed emissaries, pilgrim and merchant caravans, burned crops and destroyed fruit trees and vegetation was not spared.
[Raymond is also reputed to have personally made offense
to the sister of Saladin while attacking a caravan.]
* I- A wedding spared bombardment
In 1183, in the Castle of Kerak, during the wedding ceremony of Humphery of Toraon who was marrying Isabella, a royal princess, his mother Lady Stephanie sent out to Saladin some dishes prepared for the wedding asking that "he not be outdone in gallantry." Saladin asked which part of the castle housed the young couple and gave orders that it would not
be bombarded.THIS ALL SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, DOESN'T IT??!! BUT I BELIEVE THOSE ACCOUNTS ARE ACCURATE!! THIS MAN DID WHAT IS REPUTED OF HIM!! IT IS NOT EMBELLISHMENT OR MAKE BELIEVE!!
"Historically and philosophically no one
can question Islam's tolerance of other faiths and ethnicities."
Here we must pause and say a loud "AHEM"
If you take into account the actions of Saladin, this is true
But, consider other
actions of other
Muslims in other
parts of the world, during the same
"From Professor Rawlinson in his vivid summary of the chronicles of the victory"
[according to the myth man Joseph Campbell, describing the destruction of Hindu civilization by the Muslim invader.]
[speaking here about the conquest of the Hindu holy city of Somnath in the year 1023 by Mahmud of Ghazni [yes, that very same city Ghazni, where American troops now fight the hold-outs of the Taliban!!]]
"Fifty thousand Hindus were put to the sword
; others tried to escape by sea and were drowned . . . The stone [a Hindu sacred lingam that was the subject of devoted worship in the grand temple of Somnath] was broken in pieces and a portion of it buried in the threshold of the mosque of Ghazni"
"The holy Hindu city of Benares fell in 1194 and the entire Buddhist province of Bihar in 1199, where the university of Nalanda was utterly destroyed, its population of some 6000 monks summarily put to the sword
Much has been made of the contrast between the Crusader conquest of Jerusalem [bloody] and the manner with which Saladin regained claim to the HOLY CITY
. Well, that was Saladin. In other parts of the world, in the same time period, the Muslim conqueror ALSO
behaved in a bloody manner.
a chivalrous Muslim, other Muslims were NOT!