Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (a.k.a. Saladin)
Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt and Syria. Salah ad-Din was born to a Kurdish family of the Rawadiya tribe in Tikrit. In 1164, Nur ad-Din, Emir of Aleppo and Damascus, sent Salah ad-Din's uncle, Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, to help re-establish the ousted Shawaz as Vizier to al-ADid, Fatimid Caliph of Egypt. Salah ad-Diin accompanied his uncle. After re-instating the vizier, Shirkuh refused to withdraw his army from Egypt. Salah ad-Din was second in command of Shirkuh's army at the Battle of al-Babein in 1167, when they prevented a Crusader force commanded by King Amalric of Jerusalem from capturing Eygpt. Salah ad-Din became Vizier of Egypt in 1169 following the deaths of Shawar and Shirkuh. In 1171, following the death of al-Adid, he became Sultan of Egypt, founding the Ayyubid Dynasty. Between 1174 and 1186 he conquered most impoirtant citiers in Syria, and in 1187 overwhel;mingly defeated the forces of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at the Battle of Hattin, after which he over-ran Palestine and captured Jerusalem, which caused Pope Gregory to call for a Third Crusade. Crusader forces captured Acre in 1191 following the two-year Siege of Acre. King Richard defeated Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf, but was unable to recapture Jerusalem. Salah ad-Din and King Richard made truce in July 1192. Salah ad-Din is widely respected by Crusaders and Europeans. King Richard acknowledges him as a great prince, the most powerful leader in the Muslim world; Salah ad-Din returns Richard's admiration, saying there is no more honorable Christian leader than him. Following their truce the two leaders sernt each other many gifts.
Salah ad-Din is a devout Sunni Muslim who is noted for his knowledge of the Quran and Islamic theology.