Siege & Conquest of Jerusalem, September 20 – October 2, 1187

On October 2, 1187, Sultan Salah al-Din Ayyubi conquered the city of Jerusalem after a 12-day-long siege. The city was surrendered by Balian of Ibelin.

Balian of Ibelin surrendering Jerusalem to Saladin (Salah al-Din)

Contrary to what the Crusaders had done to the Muslims in 1099, Salah al-Din ensured the safety and security of every citizen of Jerusalem irrespective of their faith. Even the defeated and captured king after short imprisonment was released by Salah al-Din.

Saladin began the siege of Jerusalem on September 20, 1187, after defeating the Crusaders in the Battle of Hattin on July 4, 1187. Before beginning the siege, he already had taken Acre, Nablus, Jaffa, Toron, Sidon, Beirut, and Ascalon.

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.

Previously, Jerusalem was captured by the Crusaders on July 15, 1099. The Crusaders rushed through the streets and into the houses and mosques killing all that they met, men, women, and children alike. All that afternoon and all through the night, the massacre continued.

The city of Jerusalem was defended by Fatimid governor Iftikhar ad-Dawla. After the fall of the city, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was founded and Baldwin I became the first king in 1100. The city would remain occupied by the Crusaders until Salah al-Din retook it in 1187.

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