The founder of the Ayyubid Dynasty

19 Jun 2019  Wed

An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub popularly known as Saladin was the founder of Ayyubid dynasty. A Sunni Muslim of Kurdish origin, Saladin is best known for his success in the wars of the Crusades in the Levant. At the height of his power, his Sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz, Yemen and other parts of North Africa.

Richard (King of England during the third Crusades) once praised Saladin as a great prince, saying that he was, without the doubt, the greatest and most powerful leader in the Islamic world. After proclaimed himself king he suppressed the name of As-Salih in Friday prayers and Islamic coinage. He issued gold coins at the Cairo mint bearing his official title “al-Malik an-Nasir Yusuf Ayyub, ala ghaya” (the King Strong to Aid, Joseph son of Job; exalted be the standard). The Abbasid caliph in Baghdad graciously welcomed Saladin's assumption of power and declared him "Sultan of Egypt and Syria".

The above shown silver Dirham was issued during his reign from Hamah mint. The obverse of a coin depicts the legend ‘al-Malik an-Nasir Yusuf ibn Ayyub’. The reverse of a coin bore the name and the titles of the caliph al-Nasir inside a beaded circle.

Image Source: Heritage Auctions

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