Fatimid Caliphate

Battle of al-Babein
©Jama Jurabaev
1167 Mar 18

Battle of al-Babein

Giza, Egypt

Amalric I was the king of Jerusalem, and held power from 1163 to 1174. Amalric had been an ally and nominal protector for the Fatimid government. In 1167, Amalric wanted to destroy the Zengid army sent by Nur al-Din from Syria. Because Amalric was an ally and protector of the Fatimid government, fighting in the Battle of al-Babein was in his best interest.

Shirkuh was almost ready to establish territory of his own in Egypt when Amalric I invaded. Another key participant in the battle of al-Babein was Saladin. At first Saladin was reluctant to go with his uncle, Shirkuh, to take over Egypt. Saladin only agreed to this because Shirkuh was family. He took thousands of troops, his bodyguards, and 200,000 gold pieces to Egypt, to take over the nation.

The Battle of al-Babein took place on March 18, 1167, during the third Crusader invasion of Egypt. King Amalric I of Jerusalem, and a Zengid army under Shirkuh, both hoped to take the control of Egypt over from the Fatimid Caliphate. Saladin served as Shirkuh’s highest-ranking officer in the battle. The result was a tactical draw between the forces, however the Crusaders failed to gain access to Egypt.