Saladin is upset and disappointed with the surrender and loss of Acre by the Arabs. “Those who are slain for the sake of Allah are living and not dead,” he reads these verses from the Holy Quran to lift his spirit and he further reads in the Holy Quran that, “Victory and defeat are in the hands of Allah.”A messenger from King Richard brings a message for Saladin saying that King Richard, the lion-hearted, King of England, Prince Philippe Auguste of France and kings and princes of Europe would like to set up a meeting with him to stop further blood-shed in their camp. Although, his commanders opposed this meeting but Saladin not only agrees to it but also decides to go alone.
Saladin arrives at the camp of the Crusaders and they are shocked by his brevity. Grandiose introductions are announced by the English and Europeans but Saladin introduces himself as “servant of Allah, of the Arabs.” Meeting starts and heated discussions follow with the English and Europeans demanding unconditional surrender of Jerusalem by the Arabs. A man of great stature and wisdom, Saladin tells them that “since when do aggressors impose conditions.” He is firm, composed and resolute in his thoughts and decisions and very clearly tells the English and Europeans to “leave my land otherwise I will fight.” The Crusaders thought that they would easily intimidate Saladin on their terms and conditions but he declared that “so it is war, in the name of Justice. Jerusalem is open to all religions. For the last time, I offer peace.” But the Crusaders in their pride and vanity were adamant in their demand of unconditional surrender of Jerusalem by the Arabs.
There is no agreement. The War to defend Jerusalem and the War to recapture Jerusalem begins. King Richard starts planning and preparing his forces to launch an all out attack on the Arab armies to defeat them and retake Jerusalem. He has a surprise weapon which would enable his forces to attack the Arabs. He launches his attack and the surprise weapon is huge towers on wheels. The crusaders are shielded in and from behind these towers, the enemy fire spitting arrows and once these towers rolled against the fort walls, they were used in climbing over the walls. The Arabs were not prepared for such a device. The battle tilts in favor of the Crusaders. Saladin realizing the precarious and dangerous situation, and plans a strategy to counter and foil the attack.
To be continued…