The First Crusades From The Islamic Perspective Essay

The First Crusades From The Islamic Perspective Essay

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Carole Hillenbrand tries to illustrate the first crusades from the Islamic perspective. Although the historical resources are few, she does her best to give the reader a detailed information about the topic. The author discusses the reasons for the failure of Islamic World in the first Crusade. She talks about the political situation in Muslim countries and mentions several arguments that explain those failures.
First and foremost, she emphasizes the disunity and weakness of Muslims. The author believes that if Crusaders had arrived about ten years earlier, it would not have been that easy to gain victory. During 90’s of the eleventh century, the Islamic world was much stronger. Crusaders would meet “unified resistance from the state then ruled by Malikshah, the last of the three so-called Great Seljuq sultans.” After his death, this strong unity was destroyed, causing the weakening of Islamic World. The end of the Great Seljuq sultans’ era was such a tragedy that Mamluk historian Ibn Taghribirdi addresses it as “the year of deaths of caliphs and commanders.” The author even compares that period to the “disintegration of the Iron Curtain.” In addition, religious schism debilitated Islamic world. The Seljuqs had the struggle because of religion not only with Byzantium and the Christian countries but with the ‘heretical’ Fatimid Shi’ite caliphate of Cairo too. The other areas of the Islamic world were characterized with the same discord. Although, nomadic Turks of Anatolia were able to win the battle of Manzikert in 1071, during the first crusades there were as weak as other Islamic societies. This was mainly caused by the struggle of eastern and western Seljuq rulers, trying to seize another’s lands. Furthermore, the Turks of Anat...

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...try how strong Seljuqs were during this time. Their reign in Georgia does even have a special name - “Great Turkish Invasion.” In addition, it is not surprising that Muslims identify this movement as an ordinary war against the enemy. The Crusaders had a different reason for this war - occupying Holy Land which “belonged” to them and the desire of fame and richness, while Muslims wanted just to protect their land and some of them, according to the author, did event aspire to unite with Franks to defeat other Muslims. Another surprising factor is the non-existence of the sources about Edessa, which was one of the key factors causing the second Crusade. Moreover, the author talks about various nationalities living in Muslim countries, which is one of the characteristics of Medieval World - representatives of several nations, religions and ethnicities living together.

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