Izz al-Din ibn Abdul Salam
Izz al-Din ibn Abdul Salam, knows as Sultanu l-Ulama (the king of scholars) and Bai’i Al-Umara (the authority over the rulers). These are some information about him:
He is Abdul Aziz ibn Abdul Salam ibn Abi l-Qasim bn l-Hasan bn Muhammad al-Muhadhab. He was nicknamed Izzu-din and was known as the Sultan of Scholars and the the authority over the rulers. He was born in Damascus in 577H.
Izz al-Din followed the Shafi’i doctrine and attained the rank of ijtihad (a profound scholar). His father was an Imam at Al-Rahba Mosque. He used to discipline kids and he worked as a carpenter.
Izz al-Din acquired much knowledge and studied in several schools in Damascus, including Zawiyatul-Ghazali and the Umayyad Mosque.
He was the Juma’h sermon preacher in the mosque of Damascus. He was kind, nice and quoted poems.
He traveled to Egypt, leaving Syria, protesting against the handing over of Safed castle, near Homs, by Al-Salih Ismail to Europeans, and the Belfort Castle, to the Crusaders, after he blamed him on the pulpit, and stopped the supplication in the sermon. Though Al-Salih imprisoned him for this incident.
He entered Egypt during the reign of the righteous king Ayoub, who honored him and appointed him as the main speaker at the Mosque of Amr.
He studied at Al-Salihiya School, and he was sought from all parts of the world on Islamic matters.
He was bold and strong in character, not frightened by peoples’ criticism while upholding the truth and rulers feared him.
He mentioned the truth one day in front of king Najmuddin Ayyub and addressed him in his casual name, and the whole state was standing in his hands in a large parade ceremony. When his students asked him, aren’t you scared of the king? He said, By Allah, my son, I remembered the greatness of Allah in my soul, and I saw the Sultan in front of me like a cat.
He stood in the way of the Mamelukes governors when they burdened people with taxes under the pretext of preparing the army to meet the Tatars; so he issued a decree that they are not worthy of the seats because they are slaves, then they acted on his decree and sold themselves, and he became famous for selling the dynasties.
He participated in the war of the Tatars with his tongue and his sword, despite his old age.
His sheikhs include but not limited to Al-Mawazini, and Barakat Al-Khushuhi and Ibn Asakir.
He died in Cairo in the year 660H.
When he died, Al-Zahir Baibars attended his funeral and said: Some of his virtues kept me in power until this very day because if this sheikh had instructed the people to go against me, they would have taken the kingship away from me.
The Egyptians used to say in their proverbs: You are nothing but a commoner, even if you were the son of Abd al-Salam.
His books include Al-Tafsir Al-Kabeer, and Iktiso al-Nihayah, and the Prayer Book, and Al-fatawa al-mawsuliya, and the principles of Rulings in Reforming the people.