Saladin chivalry in Arabic 12th Century Poetry

Aiman Sanad Al-Garrallah


The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the poetic celebration of Saladin’s heroism in sharp contrast to the timidity of the Crusaders. It explores how Saladin is depicted as a saviour of Islam from the yoke of the Crusaders. In particular, the essay investigates how the most quintessential codes of Islamic chivalry, which he follows to the utmost flawlessness, are represented through in-depth analysis of the figures of speech. Through examining those codes, one can easily determine the characteristics of Saladin as a unique knight. Briefly put, his chivalry is filtered through the regulations of Islam, resulting in his spiritual inner inspiration, which accounts for all other features he is endowed with such as bravery, prowess, and generosity among many others. In addition this essay argues that contemporary poets carefully, not to say assertively, idealize Saladin's heroism as an epitome of salvation, during crucial moments of Islamic history where Islam triumphed over Christianity. Key words: Saladin; the Crusaders; Codes of Chivalry; Piety; Bravery; Generosity; FearlessnessResumé: Le but principal de cet article est d'étudier la célébration poétique de l'héroïsme de Saladin en contraste avec la timidité des croisés. Il examine la manière dont Saladin est décrit comme un sauveur qui a délivré l'Islam du joug des croisés. L'essai étudie en particulier comment les codes les plus essenciels de la chevalerie islamique, ceux qu’il suit jusqu’à la perfection, sont représentés par une analyse en profondeur des figures de mots. Grâce à l'analyse de ces codes, on peut facilement déterminer les caractéristiques de Saladin comme un chevalier unique. En bref, sa chevalerie est influencée par les règlements de l'islam, qui pénètrent dans son inspiration spirituelle intérieure et qui représentent toutes les autres caractéristiques dont il est dotéparmi beaucoup d'autres, telles que la bravoure, la prouesse, la générosité. De plus, cet essai fait valoir que les poètes contemporains idéalisent avec soin, pour ne pas dire avec assurance, l'héroïsme de Saladin comme une incarnation du salut dans les moments cruciaux de l'histoire islamique, où l'islam a triomphé sur le christianisme.Mots-clés : Saladin; croisés; codes de chevalerie; piété; bravoure; générosité; perfection

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