Why the Crusaders failed to conquer Jerusalem: 19th December 2010

Maulana Shaykh Nazim’s Suhbah

Why the Crusaders failed to conquer Jerusalem

19th December 2010

A’uzubillah himinash shaitan nirrajeem

Bismillah-hir Rahman-nir Raheem

Assalamu’alaikum wrh wbkt

(This Suhbah touches on the need for a Sultan to lead and guide the Muslim Community, the adab of asking questions and the need for sincerity.)

  • Maulana began by saying that the Muslim world was in need of a Sultan. He said,”We have everything, except a Sultan!” The Sultan is the most crucial component for the smooth functioning of the Islamic Community, without which, the entire Nation lies crippled and helpless. Why? For Allah sends the Divine support, blessings and help that is meant for the Nation of Muhammad (saw), upon that one, the Imamul Muslimeen, the Khalifatul Rasulullah (saw). It is from that tap that the entire Ummah drinks of the blessings, so if that tap is shut down, no support reaches those who need it. When Heavenly support is cut off, as it is today, look at the condition of Ummatun Habeeb! We are in the worst condition ever in the history of Islam – our beliefs and unity lie in tatters and our honour has been dragged through the mud in shame.
  • Instead of being helmed by one Sultan, the Muslim world has fragmented into hundreds of countries, sects and groups, each being led by one who claims to be a supremely elected leader. When a leader does as he pleases, he follows his whims and fancies, his ego and desires – no Heavenly support descends upon such a leader.
  • The visitor asked a question, and before Maulana answered the question, he explained two facts concerning the asking of questions. Firstly, there were questions that did not bring any benefit, as they contained knowledge that we will never use in our lives. This type of questions are irrelevant to our needs in this world and the hereafter, they merely bring us ‘information’ that have no practical use. Secondly, some questions only bring personal benefit, but does not benefit the entire Community. Such questions are also frowned upon. We must ascertain that the question we ask, is relevant to our journey, and is of benefit to all believers who hear the answer. The most important types of questions are those which benefits the Ummah, the Nation of Rasulullah (saw). A question just for personal benefit, has no value in Allah’s sight, but a question that is seeking a way to collect the hearts of the Ummah under one flag – under one Sultan’s authority and Sultanate – is a blessed question.
  • The visitor, Brother Syed Muhammad, then asked his question. He wanted to know, what it was that Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi had used to protect the City of Jerusalem, for so powerful had this protection been, that Richard the Lion-heart, having gathered all the military power of Christian Europe, and having reached its outer walls twice, was only able to touched it, but was never able to breach the city walls. In the year 1190, Frederick of Barbarossa gathered 100 000 Crusaders, in what is known as the Third Crusade, but they all sank in the sea and drowned. So how did Salahuddin protect Jerusalem? Was it with the use of any verse of the Holy Quran?
  • Maulana replied thus: Jerusalem is a sacred place, it is one of the Haram Shareefs. It was always open to the people of the Book to visit and worship and to visit the Holy Places there. The Companions of the Prophet (saw) who were there, and their inheritors, never prevented the Ahlil Kitab from coming and worshipping there according to their beliefs. No Christian/Jew was ever ill-treated there, none were questioned as to why they came to Jerusalem.
  • Maulana said that the failure of the Crusaders and other invaders, lay in their fraudulent intention. While Salahuddin’s intention was to protect the residents of the city, regardless of their race or religion, the attackers came with the intention to conquer and take Jerusalem under their command, to destroy everything that Muslims held dear, and to shed the blood of every believer there. Millions were killed during these crusades, so many cities were destroyed upon this wrong intention, an intention that was not acceptable to the Heavens. Their intention was not based on any teaching brought by Jesus Christ (whom they claimed to be following), or any other Prophet for that matter. With such a dubious and evil intention (to maim, kill and murder), how can they claim that they were seeking to please Allah? They were not seeking Holy Pleasure of the Lord of Heavens, hence they were cut off from His support and help.
  • Jerusalem will never remain in the hands of cruel oppressors, those occupying it, will never rule it till Qiyamat, it will one day be returned into the hands of believers. Very few have asked this question in the past, and now that it has surfaced, it means that it is time for the Ummah to know these facts. Maulana humbly said that he is but a weak, authorized one to give answers to such questions, and listeners were free to reject the explanation, and to seek an answer elsewhere. Maulana says, he does his best to answer what he is asked (so as to please Allah), and similarly, the Christian Crusaders were told to do their best for their Lord (as taught by Jesus), but instead, they followed the instigation of shaitan, and they aimed to ‘kill, destroy, burn, give trouble to people.’ That was an intention that incurred Allah’s curse and punishment upon them. So many thousands of Crusaders perished in the desert from intense thirst, they were digging in the sand up to their last moments desperately in search of water.
  • Anyone reading history books, from neutral sources even, will see how historians spoke highly of Islamic honour and gallantry, they protected the Jews and Christians under their rule in every era, but when the reverse came to pass, Muslim blood was shed by the millions, by their cruel conquerors. Ironically, the Jews and Christians achieved the Golden Ages whilst being under Muslim rule! That is the reason why Maulana is always praying for the rise of a Sultan, for such a Sultan will bring an end to injustice and tyranny – Imam Mahdi (as) comes, not to spill more blood, but to end the bloodbath that is called the Armageddon, for Islam is a religion of true peace. Look at the example of what happens when evil leaders come into power – the Crusades were led by commanders who inspired and cajoled their followers into a murderous campaign, all in the name of religion! By contrast, when Muslims ruled, they never forced Christians to become Muslims, the Christians were allowed to remain under Islamic rule, and practice their own religion peacefully.
  • Maulana did not reveal any particular Verse that was purportedly recited by Salahuddin, but he did tell the guest that he could recite:

Glorified and Exalted is He (Allah). Who took His servant (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid-al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Quran 17:1)

  • This verse states the Jerusalem is a Holy place, and the Quran has commanded us to defend such Holy places from evil ones, which was Salahuddin’s noble and sincere intention. Anyone visiting with adab, to respect the Holy Places, are welcome, regardless of religion. But to come with an intention to desecrate these Holy places incurs Allah’s Wrath. From this Verse:

It may be that your Lord may (yet) show Mercy unto you; but if ye revert (to your sins), We shall revert (to Our punishments): and We have made Hell a prison for those who reject (all Faith). (Quran 17:8)

Maulana picked out the phrase from the Verse above,which means, ‘but if ye revert (to your sins), We shall revert (to Our punishments)’ to explain what befalls those who try repeatedly, each time with evil intentions.

  • The guest then recited:

Say: “O my Lord! let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honour, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honour; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me).” (80) And say: “Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.” (81) (Quran 17:80-81)

to which Maulana heartily agreed that when Falsehood ( the Crusaders) came to face Truth (Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi), they perished miserably. Hence no one upholding the flag of falsehood can rule long in Jerusalem, each one will eventually be vanquished.

  • When the guest asked for blessings, Maulana said that blessings are from Allah, it is something that only Allah can give from His Attributes, only Allah can bless His servants. As the session concluded, Maulana revealed that the guest had indeed asked so many people the answers to these questions, and only now was his heart in contentment.


  • Look at the questions asked by Jibrail (as), when he met Rasulullah (saw) in front of the Companions in the following hadees:

It was narrated from Umar (ra) that he said: “While we were sitting with Rasulullah (saw) one day a man came up to us whose clothes were extremely white, whose hair was extremely black, upon whom traces of traveling could not be seen, and whom none of us knew, until he sat down close to Rasulullah (saw) so that he rested his knees upon his knees and placed his two hands upon his thighs and said: O Muhammad, tell me about Islam. Rasulullah (saw) said: Islam is that you witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and you establish the prayer, and you give the Zakat, and you fast Ramadan, and you perform the Hajj of the Baitullah if you are able to take a way to it. He said: You have told the truth. And we were amazed at him asking him and (then) telling him that he told the truth. He said: Tell me about iman. Rasulullah (saw) said: That you affirm Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and that you affirm the Decree, the good of it and the bad of it. He said: You have told the truth. He said: Tell me about ihsan. Rasulullah (saw) said: That you worship Allah as if you see Him, for if you don’t see Him then truly He sees you. He said: Tell me about the Hour. Rasulullah (saw) said: The one asked about it knows no more than the one asking. He said: Then tell me about its tokens. He (saw) said: That the female slave should give birth to her mistress, and you see poor, naked, barefoot shepherds of sheep and goats competing in making tall buildings. He went away, and I remained some time. Then Rasulullah (saw) asked, me (i.e., Umar): Do you know who the questioner was? I said: Allah and His Messenger know best. Rasulullah (saw) said: He was Jibrail (as) who came to you to teach you your deen (religion).” (Riwayat Muslim)

Such is the adab of asking questions, where the answers benefit the whole Ummah. All the questions asked by the Companions became lessons for us. The famous oft-quoted hadees of the bedoin who interrupted Rasulullah’s (saw) Friday sermon, to ask about Judgement Day, has become the basis of Sufi journeys! Many people today ask questions to show that they are knowledgeable, or to impress the listener with the depth of their insights and understanding. Others ask questions to test the Shaykh’s knowledge, yet others ask, in order to seek praise from the Shaykh. Ask sincerely, seek answers that will make you a more obedient servant to Allah, seeking to become one whose existence is pleasing to Allah Almighty.

  • One should never approach a Saint, with the intention to confound him or test him with a question. Read the excerpt below of Shaykh Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani’s (qs) encounter with ninth Naqshbandi GrandShaykh, Maulana Sayyidina Abu Yaqub Yusuf Al-Hamadani (qs), and ponder over the terrible end of Ibn al-Saqa, one of the three travelling companions, who came with a question for Sultan Awliya, bearing the wrong intention:

The following is an account of Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir Jilani’s encounter with Khwaja Abu Yaqub Yusuf al-Hamadani (qs) as related by al-Haytami in his Fatawa hadithiyya:

Abu Sa`id `Abd Allah ibn Abi `Asrun (d. 585), the Imam of the School of Shafi`i, said: “When I began a search for religious knowledge I kept company with my friend, Ibn al-Saqa, who was a student in the Nizamiyya School, and it was our custom to visit the pious. We heard that there was in Baghdad a man named Yusuf al-Hamadani who was known as al-Ghawth, and that he was able to appear whenever he liked and was able to disappear whenever he liked. So I decided to visit him along with Ibn al- Saqa and Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani, who was a young man at that time. Ibn al-Saqa said, “When we visit Shaikh Yusuf al-Hamadani I am going to ask him a question the answer to which he will not know.” I said: “I am also going to ask him a question and I want to see what he is going to say.” Shaikh `Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani said: “O Allah, protect me from asking a saint like Yusuf Hamadani a question, but I will go into his presence asking for his baraka — blessing — and divine knowledge.”

“We entered Yusuf Al-hamadani’s association (Suhbah). He kept himself veiled from us and we did not see him until after some time. He looked at Ibn al-Saqa angrily and said, without having been informed of his name: “O Ibn al-Saqa, how dare you ask me a question when your intention is to confound me? Your question is this and your answer is this!” Then he said: “I am seeing the fire of disbelief burning in your heart.” He looked at me and said, “O `Abd Allah, are you asking me a question and awaiting my answer? Your question is this and your answer is this. Let the people be sad for you because they are losing as a result of your disrespect for me.” Then he looked at Shaikh `Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani, made him sit next to him, and showed him honor. He said: “O `Abd al-Qadir, you have satisfied Allah and His Prophet with your proper respect for me. I see you in the future sitting on the highest place in Baghdad and speaking and guiding people and saying to them that your feet are on the neck of every wali! And I almost see before me every wali of your time giving you precedence because of your great station and honor.”

Ibn Abi `Asrun continues, “`Abd al-Qadir’s fame became widespread and all that Shaykh al-Hamadani said about him came to pass. There came a time when he did say, “My feet are on the necks of all the awliya,” and he was a reference and a beacon guiding all people in his time to their destinations.

The fate of Ibn al-Saqa was something else. He was brilliant in his knowledge of the divine Law. He preceded all the scholars in his time. He used to debate with the scholars of his time and overcome them, until the caliph called him to his association. One day the Khalifa sent him as a messenger to the King of Byzantium, who in his turn called all his priests and the scholars of the Christian religion to debate with him. Ibn al-Saqa was able to defeat all of them in debate. They were helpless to give answers in his presence. He was giving answers to them that made them look like children and mere students in his presence.

His brilliance made the King of Byzantium so fascinated with him that he invited him to his private family meeting. There he saw the daughter of the King. He immediately fell in love with her, and he asked her father, the King, for her hand in marriage. She refused except on condition that he accept her religion. He did, leaving Islam and accepting the Christian religion of the princess. After his marriage he became seriously ill. They threw him out of the palace. He became a town beggar, asking everyone for food, yet no one would provide for him. Darkness had come over his face.

One day he saw someone that had known him before. That person relates: “I asked him, What happened to you?” He replied: “There was a temptation and I fell into it.” The man asked him: “Do you remember anything from the Holy Qur’an?” He replied: “I only remember rubbama yawaddu al-ladhina kafaru law kanu muslimin — “Again and again will those who disbelieve wish that they were Muslims” (Quran 15:2).”

He was trembling as if he was giving up his last breath. I turned him towards the Ka`ba, but he kept turning towards the East. Then I turned him back towards the Ka’aba, but he turned himself to the East. I turned him a third time, but he turned himself to the East. Then as his soul was passing from him, he said, “O Allah, that is the result of my disrespect to Your saint, Yusuf al-Hamadani.”

Ibn Abi `Asrun continues: “I went to Damascus and the king there, Nur al- Din al-Shahid, put me in control of the religious department, and I accepted. As a result, dunya entered from every side: provision, sustenance, fame, money, position for the rest of my life. That is what the ghawth Yusuf al-Hamadani had predicted for me.”

  • The intention to desecrate Holy places is unacceptable to the Heavens, hence the failure of the Crusaders. The desecration of Holy places and tombs in Makkah and Medina, has also drawn the ire of the Anbiya and Awliya. Look what befell the people of Prophet Sayyidina Salih (as), when they killed the Holy Camel that Allah had sent them – they were annihilated by a massive earthquake. A similar fate awaits those who disrespects Allah Signs and Holy places.

So they killed the she-camel and insolently defied the Commandment of their Lord, and said: “O Salih! Bring about your threats if you are indeed one of the Messengers (of Allâh).” (77) So the earthquake seized them, and they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes. (78) Then he (Salih) turned from them, and said: “O my people! I have indeed conveyed to you the Message of my Lord, and have given you good advice but you like not good advisers.” (79) (Quran 7:77-79)

  • Rasulullah (saw) said, “Every action is judged by its intention.” Maulana Shaykh Adnan always ends his Suhbahs with this doa, “Oh Allah, have mercy upon us, Oh Allah, makes us sincere ones to You, to Rasulullah (saw), to our Shaykh, to Sohibul Zaman (as) and to Sayyidina Isa (as).” May Allah makes us from amongst the mukhliseen (sincere ones). Ameen.
This 21 minute Suhbah in English can be viewed only at www.Saltanat.org. Choose from the menu on the right, “Jerusalem 19.Dec.2010”. There is a CC button next to the Volume control at the bottom of the screen to choose choose subtitles in eleven languages, choose from Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu, German, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Dutch, Italian and Turkish. Click the AD button at the top right-hand corner of the display area, for a live translation into English. During Live Suhbahs, the buttons at the top provide Live Audio Translations into other languages as well. Should the video no longer be there, please look for it under the video archives of the Saltanat TV site.
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