Miniature of the Battle of Hattin

Bibliothèque Nationale FR. 5594 Fol. 197, Sebastian Mamerot, Les Passages fait Outremer, vers 1490

***Virtually the entire Kingdom of Jerusalem passed into Ayyubid hands after their victory against the Crusaders in the Battle of Hattin in 1187

Muhammad Ibn Al-Zayn, Basin (Baptistere de Saint Louis) c. 1300

Possibly the greatest piece of Islamic metalwork, this Mamluk basin, executed in the Ayyubid tradition was signed by Al-Zayn six times for he was so proud of it.  Originally created to be used as a wash basin between meals, the basin eventually ended up as the baptismal font of the French Royalty.  It was likely commissioned by Emir Salar as a gift for the Sultan.  Bronze inlaid with gold and silver (damascene), the basin’s iconography depicts a princely cycle of court life.  A procession of emirs as well as hunting scenes dot the narrative.  Showing Egyptian servants, Mamluk Emirs and Mongols, the scene may depict actual events due to its specificity or could be merely symbolic.  Regardless, the scenes are generally laudatory.  The roundels depict acts of furu siyya or chivalry.  The basin contains blazons, Mamluk coats-of-arms and Fleur de Lys which may have been added later.  A misnomer in more than one way, the Basin was made after St. Louis’ death, but its decoration of unparalleled richness kept it in such high esteem among European courts.

(image courtesy of

Eyyubî Sanatı


Name of Object: Pilgrimage proxy scroll 

Holding Museum: Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

Original Owner: Umm Abbas, wife of Ghalib

Dimensions: Height 55 cm, width 26.5 cm.; 4746: Height 51 cm, width 26.5 cm

Material(s) / Technique(s): Handwritten and hand-painted on glazed (abadi) paper using ink and watercolour.

Date of the object: Hegira 602 / AD 1206

Period / Dynasty: Ayyubid


Views of Ajloun Castle from this past Friday!

This Ayyubid castle was built by Saladin’s nephew, Usama, on the top of one of the many mountains in Northern Jordan and was later expanded by the Crusaders. We got to climb all over it and check out the amazing views of the surrounding areas. Needless to say, Usama picked a good spot!   

NB: Each photo has a caption. Click on each to read!

#13. Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb

If you watched “Kingdom of Heaven” you know who this guy is. Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb (commonly known as Saladin) was an Islamic Sultan who kicked the living shit out of the Crusaders. His most impressive battle was the Battle of Hattin, where Saladin managed to kill or capture the entire Crusader army, making the Muslim forces the main power of the Holy Land. Saladin carved out an empire (called the Ayyubid Dynasty) that included Egypt, Syria, and Mesopotamia. The guy was also chivalrous on the battle field as well. During the Siege of Kerak, Saladin told his commanders to not catapult the royal chambers because there was a wedding going on. Saladin was so good at fighting and so well mannered while doing it that the people of the West during a time of mass intolerance actually respected this guy.

there’s actually a small community of kurds i think about 100,000 in number in sudan. they come from the ayyubid empire days when their forefathers were kurdish aristocrats.

they live in east sudan in the provinces called kurdufan. the kurds of sudan unfortunately have lost most of their culture and do not speak kurdish anymore.

Rashidun, Abbasid, Umayyad, Ayyubid, Fatimid, Ottoman… Are they all different stories sharing a page, chapters inhabiting the same section of a particular narrative? Or is it simply that they are different faces of the same painting, turning this way and that on the majestic canvas of history?

There’s still so much to learn, but now there’s time to learn it in.

The Seventh Crusade was a crusade led by Louis IX of France from 1248 to 1254. Approximately 800,000 bezants were paid in ransom for King Louis who, along with thousands of his troops, were defeated and captured by the Egyptian army led by the Ayyubid Sultan Turanshah supported by the Bahariyya Mamluks led by Faris ad-Din AktaiBaibars al-Bunduqdari,QutuzAybak and Qalawun.[3][4][5]

In 1245, the Khwarezmians, recently displaced by the advance of the Mongols, took Jerusalem on their way to ally with the Egyptian Mamluks. This returned Jerusalem to Muslim control, but the fall of Jerusalem was no longer an earth-shattering event to European Christians, who had seen the city pass from Christian to Muslim control numerous times in the past two centuries. This time, despite calls from the Pope, there was no popular enthusiasm for a new crusade.

Pope Innocent IV and Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor continued the papal-imperial struggle. Frederick had captured and imprisoned clerics on their way to the First Council of Lyon, and in 1245 he was formally deposed by Innocent IV. Pope Gregory IX had also earlier offered King Louis’ brother, count Robert of Artois, the German throne, but Louis had refused. Thus, the Holy Roman Emperor was in no position to crusade. Béla IV of Hungary was rebuilding his kingdom from the ashes after the devastating Mongol invasion of 1241. Henry III of England was still struggling with Simon de Montfort and other problems in England. Henry and Louis were not on the best of terms, being engaged in the Capetian-Plantagenet struggle, and while Louis was away on crusade the English king signed a truce promising not to attack French lands. Louis IX had also invited King Haakon IV of Norway to crusade, sending the English chronicler Matthew Paris as an ambassador, but again was unsuccessful. The only man interested in beginning another crusade therefore was Louis IX, who declared his intent to go East in 1245.