Qalawun as-Salihi was the seventh Bahri Mamluk sultan; he ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1290.
Qalawun was a Kipchak (a Turkic nomadic people) who became a Mamluk (slave soldier) in the 1240s after being sold to a member of Sultan al-Kamil’s household. Qalawun was known as al-Alfi (“the Thousander”) because as-Salih Ayyub bought him for a thousand dinars of gold.
He also captured and destroyed the castle of Maraclea. He captured Latakia in 1287 and Tripoli on April 27, 1289, thus ending the Crusader County of Tripoli. The Fall of Tripoli in 1289 was spurred by the Venetians and the Pisans, who opposed rising Genoese influence in the area. In 1290, reinforcements of King Henry arrived in Acre and drunkenly slaughtered peaceable merchants and peasants, Christians and Muslims alike.
He died in Cairo on November 10, before taking the city, but Acre was captured the next year by his son Al-Ashraf Khalil. Despite Qalawun's distrust of his son, Khalil succeeded him following his death. Khalil continued his father's policy of replacing Turkish Mamluks with Circassians, which eventually led to conflict within the Mamluk ranks. Khalil was assassinated by the Turks in 1293, but Qalawun's legacy continued when his younger son, an-Nasir Muhammad, claimed power.
Depicted here is a gold Dinar issued under his reign from Hamah. It depicts the king’s name and title on the obverse and the Kalima on the reverse face.
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