بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[taken from elsewhere]
The khutba or Friday sermon, delivered in the al-Aqsa mosque immediately following the conquest of Jerusalem by Salah al-Din Yusuf b. Ayyub (d. 1174-1193) in 1187, is preserved by Ibn Khallikan in his biography of Muḥyiddīn ibn al-Zakī. Ibn Khallikan (1211-1282) served as chief qāḍī of the Shāfi‛īs in Damascus. His greatest achievement is his biographical dictionary of some 800 famous Muslims entitled Wafayāt al-a‛yān wa-anbā’ abnā’ al-zamān (Obituaries of the Notables and News of the Sons of the Age), fully translated here:
Abū al-Ma‛ālī Muḥammad ibn Abī al-Ḥasan ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn Yaḥya ibn ‘Alī ibn ‘Abd al-‛Azīz ibn Ḥusayn ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn al-Qāsim ibn al Walīd ibn al-Qāsim ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ‘Abban ibn ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān [the third caliph], a member of the tribe of Quraysh and surnamed Muhyiddīn but generally known by the appellation of Ibn al-Zakī, or son of Zakī al-Dīn, was a native of Damascus and a jurist of the Shāfi‛ī school. He displayed acquirements of the most varied kinds, being versed in the law, general literature, and other sciences, and having composed some fine poetry, khutbas(sermons), and epistles. On Wednesday, the 20th of Rabī‛ al-Awwal 588 (5 April 1192) he was appointed Chief Judge of Damascus; so, at least, I have found it written in the handwriting of al-Qādī al-Fāḍil, and the same place had been previously filled by his father and grandfather, as it was subsequently by two of his own sons.
He possessed to the highest degree, the favor of the sultan Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn, and when that prince took the city of Aleppo on Saturday, the 18th of Safar 579 (11 June 1183), he recited to him a poem, a masterpiece of perfection. One of its verses, which has since obtained great currency among the public, was the following:
The taking of the Grey Castle [Aleppo] in the month of Safar
Announces the conquest of Jerusalem for the month of Rajab.
This was really the case, since Jerusalem was taken on the 27th of Rajab 583 (2 October 1187). When Muhyiddīn was asked how he came by that idea, he replied that he took it from the comment of Ibn Barrajān on these words of the Qur’an (30:1): “Alif, lām, mīm. The Romans have been overcome in the nearest part of the land, but, after their defeat, they shall be victorious within a few years.” From the moment I met with the above verse, and learned this account of it, I began searching for the commentary of Ibn Barrajān, and found the statement to be true; but the passage was written on the margin of the leaf and in a different hand from that of the text, and I know not whether it be an interpolation or a part of the work. A long calculation of his is there given, by which he deduces this result from the words “a few years.”
When the sultan Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn took Aleppo he confided to Muhyiddīn the post of chief magistrate and judge, and appointed as his deputy Zayn al-Dīn Banna Abū al-Faḍl ibn al-Banyāsī.
On the conquest of Jerusalem, all the learned men who happened to be in the retinue of the sultan aspired to the honor of pronouncing the khutba on the ensuing Friday, and each of them sent in for examination a khutba written with great eloquence, in the hopes of being chosen; but the sultan addressed an order to Muhyiddīn, directing him to be the preacher. This was the first Friday on which the public prayer was said at Jerusalem after the taking of the city, and the sultan with all the chief men of the empire attended the ceremony. Muḥyiddīn mounted the pulpit and commenced his discourse by pronouncing the Fātiḥa. Then he said:
God has cut off the uttermost part of those who acted perversely; so praise be to God, the Lord of all creatures. “Praise be to God, who has created the heavens and the earth and ordained darkness and light” (6:1). “Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom; who needs none to defend Him from humiliation; and magnify Him by proclaiming His greatness” (17:111). “Praise be to God who has revealed the Book to His servant shorn of falsehood and unswerving from the truth, so that he may give warning of a dire scourge from Himself, proclaim to the faithful who do good works that a rich and everlasting reward awaits them, and admonish those who say that God has begotten a son” (18:1-3). “Say: Praise be to God, and peace upon His servants whom He has chosen! Who is more worthy, God or the idols they serve besides Him?” (27:59). “Praise be to God, to whom belongs all that the heavens and earth contain! Praise be to Him in the world to come. He is the Wise One, the All-knowing” (34:1). “Praise be to God, Creator of the heavens and the earth! He sends forth the angels as His messengers, with two, three or four pairs of wings. He multiplies His creatures according to His will. God has power over all things” (35:1). Continue reading