: Qutuz Reaction to Hulagu Message

17-02-2013, 08:13 AM
After consulting the military board, Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, decided to chop off the heads of the four envoys sent by Hulagu, and hang them on Baab Zuwaylah in Cairo, in order to be seen by as many people as possible. By doing so, he intended to reassure the people about the fact that their leader never fears the Tatars. This, without doubt, would raise their spirits. At the same time, this violent reply would give the Tatars the impression that they would come to a people quite different from those whom they had already met, perchance it would leave a negative effect on them, and cast some terror and reluctance into their hearts.
After killing the envoys, Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, started to prepare the army very quickly, since the moment of confrontation had drawn very near.

The new problem Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, encountered was the economic problem.
Once again, Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, called for the meeting of his advisory board, to which he invited, beside his ministers and army leaders, religious scholars and jurisprudents, headed by the Sultan of Scholars, Shaykh Al-Izz ibn Abdul-Salaam, May Allaah Have mercy upon him. Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, suggested to impose taxes on the people to support the army, a decision which required a Shareeah-approved Fatwa, otherwise those taxes would become impermissible, and the one who imposes taxes with no just cause will be severely punished by Allaah the Almighty. It was narrated on the authority of Uqbah ibn Aamir, May Allaah Be Pleased with him, that he said that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "No collector of taxes, wrongfully imposed, would enter Paradise." [Ahmad and Abu Daawood] [Al-Albaani: Dhaeef]

However, Shaykh Al-Izz ibn Abdul-Salaam, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, had a serious restriction on this decision, which he approved but with two very difficult conditions. Shaykh Al-Izz ibn Abdul-Salaam, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, said, "If the enemy attacked the country, it would be incumbent upon all the world, i.e. the Islamic world, to fight that enemy, and it would be permissible to take from the people money to use in the preparations, i.e. beyond Zakaah, provided that nothing remains in Bayt Al-Maal." That is the first condition. The other condition was more difficult.

Shaykh Al-Izz ibn Abdul-Salaam, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, said, "And that you should give up your property of possessions and machines, i.e. the emirs and ministers should give up their possessions, and each should save only his horse and arms until both you and the common people become equal in this respect. However, it is impermissible to take the property of the common people, and leave what is in the hands of the army leaders, of wealth and splendid machines."

It was indeed a completely daring Fatwa! As amazing as this daring Fatwa might be, the response of Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, was more astonishing. Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, simply accepted the words of Shaykh Al-Izz ibn Abdul-Salaam, and started with himself. He gave up all his possessions, and commanded the ministers and emirs to do the same, and all of them submitted. Thus, the Muslim army was prepared in a Shareeah-approved way.

Now, it was time to put the war plan. Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, delivered his statement which clarified his opinion about the war plan. As soon as he had given his opinion, the council was in intense confusion. Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, wanted to set out with his army to meet the Tatarian army in Palestine. Most emirs objected to that, and preferred that Qutuz should remain in Egypt to defend it. That is because, in the sight of the emirs, his dominion extended over Egypt, not Palestine. The view of the emirs, in this concept, was strictly nationalistic, in the sense that if the Tatars did not enter Egypt, they would avoid a horrific bloody clash; and if they went to face them, there would be no alternative other than battle.

Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, began to discuss with the emirs and explain to them the merits of his plan, the dimensions of his vision, the war objectives in his sight, and the mission of the army in his perspective. In the end, the emirs became convinced of this opinion. Thus, the proposal of moving the battlefield to Palestine overweighed, and the attendants in the supreme military council held by Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, was satisfied with his successful opinion. Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, then started to prepare his army and make it ready to cross Sinai and meet the Tatars.

The Muslim army started to mobilize at the camp of As-Saalihiyyah, presently the Sharqiyyah Governorate. Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, gave the starting signal to proceed on towards Palestine.
This movement started at the beginning of Shabaan 658 A.H., corresponding to July 1260 A.D., the hottest time of the year, during which the army proceeded on a long journey in the desert of Sinai, where there were no populous cities other than Al-Areesh. Regardless, this Mujaahid army adopted patience.
Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, was moving, with his army on the alert. In other words, his army was arranged in the same order in which he would fight in the event of fighting, in order to be ready for any sudden attack launched by the Tatars.

Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, appointed Rukn Ad-Deen Beebars, the excellent military leader, in command of the front of his army, in order to be the first to clash with the Tatars, and achieve victory, no matter how partial it might be, which would raise the spirits of the Muslims.

Beebars crossed the Egyptian borders on July 26th, 1260, and entered the blessed land of Palestine, and Qutuz followed him a few days later. As Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, expected, the Tatarian spies detected the front of the Islamic army led by Rukn Ad-Deen Beebars, and thought it constituted the entire army of the Muslims. They transmitted that news to the Tatarian garrison which hastened to face Beebars, and a swift fight broke out between both parties. Meanwhile, the main army led by Qutuz was still crossing the Egyptian-Palestinian borders.

However, as we have already mentioned, the front of the army was strong, and Rukn Ad-Deen Beebars was an outstanding leader, while the Tatarian garrison in Gaza was somewhat small, and the main Tatarian army was a long distance from Gaza. The Tatarian army led by Kitbuqa was in Bekaa valley, 300 kilometers far from Gaza. The meeting took place far from the main armies of the Muslims and the Tatars; and by virtue of Allaah the Almighty, the front of the Muslim army was able to emerge victorious in this small battle, and many Tatarian soldiers were killed, while the rest fled northwards to transmit the news to Kitbuqa in Lebanon.

After the victory of Gaza, the Muslim army headed northwards alongside the Mediterranean coast. Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, camped in the gardens surrounding the Acre Fortress, in the valley lying east of Acre. Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, left Acre and headed south-east in search of a place fit for the next battle.

At the same time, the remaining troops of the Tatarian army who fled from Gaza reached Kitbuqa and told him about the movements of the Muslim army. Kitbuqa grew very angry for the defeat of his garrison in Gaza. Kitbuqa moved southwards between the mountains of Lebanon until he entered Palestine from the north-east, west of the Golan Heights, and then crossed the Jordan River and reached east of Galilee. The Muslim reconnoiterers detected the movement of Kitbuqa, and soon transmitted the news to Qutuz, who had already left Acre to the south-east.

But when he heard the news, he hastened to cross the city of Nazareth, and moved more south-east until he reached a place known as the Valley of Ayn Jaaloot, nearly in the middle between Bisan in the north and Nablus in the south, very close to the camp of Jenain, the place where one of the most important battles in the history of the earth would break out. Exalted be Allaah! Time passed and a very important battle broke out on this land between the Palestinian Mujaahids and the Jews in 2002, in which the Muslim martyrs exceeded 500, after they showed wonderful patience in fighting.

Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, found that the Valley of Ayn Jaaloot was a very suitable place for the battle. It is a plain vast land surrounded by medium-sized hillocks from all sides save the north which is open, with an abundance of trees and bushes over those hillocks, fit for hideaways for the Islamic army, making it easy to do many ambushes along the sides of the plain valley.

Qutuz, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, arranged his army quickly. He made the front of his army led by Beebars in the North of the valley, in an apparent place thereby to induce the Tatarian army to come, and hid the remaining parts of his army behind the hillocks and bushes.