Warrior of Islam II ~ Al-Malik al-‘Adil Nuruddin Zangi
“On the battle-field he earned the admiration of everyone by his personal beavery. He always took bows nd quivers to the battle- field. Once somebody said to him: ‘For God’s sake, don’t expose to danger your own self as well as Islam.’
‘Who is Mahmud,’ retorted Nuruddin, ‘ that you speak thus of him ?
Who defended the country and Islam before me ?
Verily , there is no defender save Allah.’~ Nuruddin.
“He held the scholars in high esteem and always stood up to received them. He took keen interest in their affairs and patrionised them with generous gifts but despite his humility and simplicity, he had such a commanding personality that the people were seized with fright in his presence. The fact is that it is not possible to relate all his qualities in limited compass of this page.”
Nuruddin Unflinching faith
Nuruddin had set his heart on the expulsion of the Crusaders from the holy land. He had also an unflinching faith in his mission and a firm conviction that he would ultimately succeed in his endeavour.
Nuruddin had to suffer a defeat at Hisn al-Akrad in 558 A.H., when he was taken unaware by the Christians. [ibid , Vol XI, p. 119.] Soon thereafter he was making camp near Hams, a few miles from the enemy encampment. Some of his well-wishers counseled Nuruddin that it was not advisable to remain so near to the enemy after suffering defeat. Nuruddin , however, bade them to keep quiet and said: “ I won’t care for the enemy if I had only a thousand horses with me. By God , I would not go under a roof till I have take revenge from the enemy.” Even after the defeat, Nuruddin continued with his generous grants to the learned, the poor and the pious persons. When it was suggested to him that amount earmarked for charitable purposes might be diverted for strengthening the forces at that critical juncture, Nuruddin replied angrily: “ But I hope the succour of God only on account of their benedictions and prayers. The Holy Prophet has said that Allah causes sustenance and His help to come down on earth only for the sake of the poor and the oppressed.
How can I desist from helping those who fight for me when I am fast asleep ?
And lo ! They never miss their targets; yet, you want me to help those who fight only when they see me in their midst on the battlefield, and they often succed or fail in their endeavours.
The poor have a right to dderive benefit from the public revenues and so how can I ask them to forgo what is due to them? [al- Kamil , Vol. XI, p. 119.]
Nuruddin made preparation to avenge this defeat: he distributed large sums to his followers ; sent letters to all the chiefs and governors for sending fresh levies; and , at the same time, requested the pious and devoted to pray for his success. His efforts created a new upsurge throughout hisvast domination to fight the Crusaders for the defence of Islam. Nuruddin met the united armies of the franks and the Greeks, and in one of the fiercest battles which took place over his foes which gave him control over Harim and a few other fortresses.[ibid.,Vol.XI,pp.122-123.]
The unflinching faith of Nuruddin can well be imagined by an incident reported by historians . While he was laying a siege to Banias (Caesarea Philippi), his brother , Nusratuddin lost an eye. Nuruddin, on meeting his brother, said: “if you only knew the divine reward for losing your eye, you would ardently desire to loser the other one too.”
[ibid., Vol. XI, p.123.]