The Battle of Ain Jaloot

The Tartars conquered land after land in the Muslim world. They seemed more powerful than any "super power" we can imagine. Then at Ain Jaloot the tables were turned.

Posted: 16 Muharram 1423, 31 March 2002

Towards the end of 1258 CE the Tartars started invading the Muslim lands. When Caliph Abu Ahmad Al-Muta'sim began preparing an army to stop the invasion, his minister Al-Alkami tricked him by convincing him to make friends with the invaders. Al-Alkami wrote secret letters to the Tartars promising them to halt any resistance against them provided that they appointed him as a Caliph and allowed him to establish his own Shia' state in Baghdad.  When Al-Alkami misinformed Caliph Abu Ahmad Al-Muta'sim and made him think that a peace agreement had been reached with the Tartars, Al Muta'sim left with his minister, scholars, and leaders to Baghdad to meet the leader of the Tartars, who killed them all, and captured Baghdad. After that the Tartars killed Al-Alkami too because they knew that a person who betrays his leader wouldn't spare his enemy.

After the invasion of Baghdad the Tartars conquered Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, and parts of Egypt. After the downfall of Damascus, the Tartars headed to Egypt and Morocco. The Tartar leader sent a letter full of threats to the Amir of Egypt, Amir Qutz. Amir Qutz had a different reply then the rest of the Muslim leaders. Instead of showing any fear, he challenged them. When Amir Qutz's reply reached the Tartars through their spies in Egypt they knew that they were going to face a different type of enemy.

Unity- The Key to Success: Amir Qutz started preparing for the war. To achieve unity he sent messages to the dispersed leaders of the Mamaleeks such as Beebers Al-Bandakari (who was later known as Beebers the superior) asking them to get rid of their unimportant differences and unite to defeat their main enemies.

The most renowned scholar who contributed to this cause was the Sultan of the Scholars Al-Izz Bin Abdus Salam. He encouraged Amir Qutz to fight the Tartars and all Mulisms to unite under his banner for this purpose.

The results were tremendous. Before the Muslims didn't have the strength to fight the Tartars but now the Muslims gained strength and left Egypt for Syria. Before the Muslims never left their city to go out   and fight. In Syria the Muslims led by Amir Mahmood Saifuddin Qutz moved outside the city and reached a place called Ain Jaloot and the battle took place there. Amir Qutz ordered his army to start moving to face the enemy. He also sent an exploratory battalion under the leadership of Beebers towards Gaza in Palestine, which faced parts of the Tartar’s army in small amounts and beat them, covering the movements of the main army under the leadership of Amir Qutz, which finally arrived near the Palestine shore where the Crusaders had some strongholds. Amir Qutz warned the Crusaders and made it clear to them that he could finish them before he met the Tartars if they didn’t stay neutral in this war. Realizing the authenticity of this threat and seeing the power of the Muslim army, the Crusaders were forced to stay neutral.

When the Muslim army came close to the enemy, Amir Qutz, selected the battlefield to be in a valley surrounded by mountains and he steadied some of his soldiers on the mountains to protect the back of the army against any possible enemy. When the Tartar’s army finally came, fighting erupted in the battlefield and the battle became in favor of the Tartars, their army’s right wing started overcoming the Muslim armies left wing. When the Muslims started retreating, Amir Qutzs climbed on a rock and shouted “Wa Islamah… Wa Islamah…” urging the Muslim army to keep firm and fight there enemies. The Muslims fought on and soon after the battle became in favor of the Muslims, until the Tartar army was shattered. Many of its soldiers were being killed or captivated. Not one Tartar escaped death or capture. In this way the Tartars were defeated.