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

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Routledge, 2016 M03 31 - 192 pages

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.


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the Turkmen influence
the art of pragmatism 1127 to 1146
wars in the Jazira and Anatolia to dominate the Turkmen the Kurds and the Arab tribes
holy and unholy war 1127 to 1140
jihad at the end of a career
Turkification continued
selected medieval Muslim texts in translation
list of contemporary Muslim rulers of the age

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About the author (2016)

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

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