Battle of Hattin, July 5, 1187

The painting depicts the king of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Guy of Lusignan (r. 1186-1192) surrendering to Salah al-Din after his defeat at the Battle of Hattin on July 4, 1187 CE.

On this day, July 4, 2021, Sultan Salah al-Din Ayyubi defeated the Crusaders in the Battle of Hattin. Guy of Lusignan surrendered to Salah al-Din after his defeat.

This victory of Salah al-Din in the Horns of Hattin paved the way for the Muslim reconquest of the city of Jerusalem (on October 2, 1187). Salah al-Din started the siege of Jerusalem (September 20, 1187) two months later of his victory at Hattin.

By 1174, Salah al-Din had established himself in Damascus. He then spent the next 8 years uniting the Muslim front against the Crusaders. He also signed a peace treaty with Raymond, Count of Tripoli, for 10 years realizing that this was not the time to fight.

In 1187, the Crusaders violated the terms of the truce by attacking a Muslim caravan. Salah al-Din swore to avenge the blood of the Muslims. This event triggered the inevitable and future Battle of Hattin.

Salah al-Din assembled his large army and on June 26, 1187, reviewed them at Ashtera, in the Hauran (a region that spans parts of southern Syria and northern Jordan). He himself commanded the center, his nephew Taki al-Din the right-wing and Gökböri the left.

On the afternoon of 2 July, the Christians encamped at Sepphoris. On the same day, Salah al-Din attacked Tiberias. When the news reached that Salah al-Din had taken Tiberias, the Crusaders abandoned their camp to go to the relief of the besieged city.

When the dawn broke on Saturday, 4 July, the Crusaders were encircled. The action began at the daybreak. The Crusaders were defeated. Salah al-Din spared the life of King Guy telling him that “kings do not kill kings.”

Salah al-Din also ordered that none of the Christian lords were to be harmed but that all were to be treated with courtesy and respect during their captivity.

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