1st Edition

Zengi and the Muslim Response to the Crusades The politics of Jihad

By Taef El-Azhari Copyright 2016
    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    206 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Zengi gained his legacy as the precursor to Saladin. While Zengi captured Edessa, Saladin would capture Jerusalem, and both leaders fought to establish their own realms. However, Zengi cannot be fully understood without an examination of his other policies and warfare and an appreciation of his Turkmen background, all of which influenced his fight against the Crusades.

    Zengi and the Muslim Response to the Crusades: The politics of Jihad, provides a full and rich picture of Zengi’s career: his personality and motives; his power and ambition; his background and his foundation of a dynasty and its contribution, along with other dynasties, to a wider, deeper Turkification of the Middle East; his tools and methods; his vision, calamities and achievements; and how he was perceived by his contemporaries and modern scholars. Examining primary Muslim and non-Muslim sources, this book’s extensive translations of original source material provides new insight into the complexities of Zengi’s rule, and the politics of jihad that he led and orchestrated during the Crusades.

    Providing deeper understanding of Islamic history through a close examination of one of its key figures, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars interested in Muslim history and the Crusades in general.

    Introduction 1. The early career of Zengi, 1084–1127: the Turkmen influence 2. Zengi and his hostile policy towards the Seljuq sultanate and the ‘Abbasid caliphate in Iran and Iraq: the art of pragmatism, 1127–46 3. Fragmented pacts: wars in the Jazira and Anatolia to dominate the Turkmen, the Kurds and the Arab tribes 4. Confronting the Crusaders and the Seljuqs in Syria: holy and unholy war, 1127–40 5. The fall of Edessa: jihad at the end of a career 6. Zengid administration and institutions: ‘Turkification’ continued


    Taef El-Azhari is Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern History at Qatar University.