ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A GREAT SON OF ISLAM WHOSE NAME WAS SALADIN. It was he who united the Arabs into a solid wall of resistance to the Crusader invasion of the Holy Land. It was he who thwarted the Crusaders at every turn. His acts of bravery, chivalry and generosity to both friend and foe are spoken of throughout Islam in tones of awe, for Saladin was unlike any son of Esau who went before or has come after.
His exploits are legion and are related from father to son in lonely desert oasis as well as being written in the world’s history books. His military exploits are common knowledge. How he consolidated his power is not common knowledge.
The Arab world was in turmoil. Just as stability had been achieved in the Arab world, it was struck from the east by fierce invaders from the Mongolian deserts. Turning to meet this threat it was struck from behind by Christian Crusaders from Western Europe who had seemingly materialized from nowhere. The Islamic world fragmented. Little Islamic kingdoms sprang up governed by warlords who fought the Christians and each other, but who owed no real allegiance to anyone but Allah.
At this time there was a great Arab king who was Sultan of Egypt and Syria. His armies had blunted and then defeated the invasion of the fierce invaders from the east. He then turned to deal with the powerful Christian Crusaders from the West. But, before he could really begin his task, he died.