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As-Salih Ismail al-Malik

Emir of damascus
The basics
Date of birth
Date of death 1181
Father: Nur ad-Din, atabeg of Aleppo
The details

As-Salih Ismaʿil al-Malik (1163–1181) was an emir of Damascus in 1174, the son of Nur ad-Din.

He was only eleven years old when his father died in 1174. As-Salih came under the protection of the eunuch Gümüshtegin and was taken to Aleppo, while Nur ad-Din's officers competed for supremacy. In Egypt, Saladin recognized as-Salih as his lord, although he in fact was eager to unite Egypt and Syria under his own personal rule. In 1174, Saladin took Baalbek after a four-month siege and then entered Damascus, proclaiming himself to be Ismail's true regent. In 1176, he defeated the Zengids outside the city, married Nur ad-Din's widow Ismat ad-Din Khatun, and was recognized as ruler of Syria. As-Salih died in 1181. According to crusader legend, his mother was the sister of Bertrand of Toulouse, who had been captured by Nur ad-Din in the aftermath of the Second Crusade; a similar legend existed concerning the mother of Zengi, as-Salih's grandfather.

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