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Ayyubid - The Ayyubid or Ayyoubid Dynasty (Arabic: الأيوبيون) was the Kurdish  Sunni Muslim dynasty founded by Saladin (Salah al-Din ibn Al-Ayubbi) about 1171 CE. It ruled Egypt, Palestine, Syria, most of Yemen, Diyar Bakr, Mecca, Hejaz and northern Iraq in the 12th and 13th centuries. Ayyoubi means Job in Arabic. 


The approximate extent of the Ayyubid empire under Saladin is shown in the map.

Saladin and his uncle Sharkuh conquered Cairo and Egypt about 1169, expelling the Shia Fatimid dynasty and returning Egypt to Sunni Islam. Saladin expanded his empire in successive campaigns, the most famous of which was his conquest of Jerusalem from the crusaders.


During his lifetime Saladin had granted parts of his kingdoms as fiefdoms to his brothers. Saladin's brother al-Adil ruled in the Jezireh (Arabian peninsula) and Transjordan. Another brother, Toghtekin, ruled Yemen. His nephews were granted rule over Baalbek and Hamah; and the sons of Shirkuh ruled in Homs. The part of the Empire that Saladin ruled, Palestine Egypt and Syria principally, was inherited by Saladin's sons when he died in 1193. Al-Afdal, the eldest, was rulter of Damascus and was intended to be overlord of the whole. Al-Aziz, took Egypt and az-Zahir, ruled Aleppo. However, the sons quarreled continuously. Eventually, Al Adil managed to reunite the empire in 1201. Upon his death in 1218 he was inherited by his son Al Kamil. Though there were dynastic squabbles, the dynasty remained reasonably strong. However in  1250, Turanshah of Egypt, was murdered and replaced by his Mamluk (Mameluk) slave-general Aibek, founder of the Bahri dynasty. In 1260, the Mongols overran Syria and ended the main line of the Ayyubid dynasty. When they were defeated, the Mamluks took their place. However, in a a few places, Ayyubid emirates continued for some time. The Ayyubids of Hisn Kayfa (on the Tigris in southern Turkey, now called Hasankeyf) ruled there until the 16th century.


The principle Ayyubid rulers:


Ayyubids of Egypt

  • Salah al-Din ibn Al-Ayubbi 1171-1193
  • Al-Aziz 1193-1198
  • Al-Mansur 1198-1200
  • Al-Adil I 1200-1218
  • Al-Kamil 1218-1238
  • Al-Adil II 1238-1240
  • As-Salih Ayyub 1240-1249
  • Al-Muazzam Turanshah 1249-1250
  • Al-Ashraf II 1250-1250

Ayyubids of Syria (Damascus)

  • Salah al-Din ibn Al-Ayubbi 1174-1193
  • Al-Afdal 1193-1196
  • Al-Adil I 1196-1218
  • Al-Mu'azzam 1218-1227
  • An-Nasir Dawud 1227-1229
  • Al-Ashraf 1229-1237
  • As-Salih Ismail 1237-1238
  • Al-Kamil 1238
  • Al-Adil II 1238-1239
  • As-Salih Ayyub 1239
  • As-Salih Ismail (2nd time) 1239-1245
  • As-Salih Ayyub (2nd time) 1245-1249
  • Al-Muazzam Turanshah 1249-1250
  • An-Nasir Yusuf 1250-1260


Synonyms and alternate spellings: Ayyubi, Ayyoubi, Ayoubites, Ayyoubites, Ayoubides or Ayyoubides.

  Further Information: Saladin

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The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

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