Post-classical history



The Prophet Muhammad begins to receive the revelation of the Qur’an at Mecca.


Emigration of the Muslims from Mecca to Medina.


Muslim conquest of Mecca.


Islam spreads across Arabia.


Caliphate of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.


Umayyad Caliphate rules from Damascus. Muslim world expands to stretch from Transoxania and India in east to France and Spain in west.


First reign of the ‘Abbasid Caliphate, from Baghdad (mostly) from 762.


‘Abd Allah (or ‘Ubayd Allah) al-Mahdi establishes Fatimid Caliphate at Qayrawan.


Buyid domination of ‘Abbasid caliphs.


Fatimids take Egypt, reign from Cairo from 973.


Seljuks take Baghdad and establish Great Seljuk Sultanate.


Alp-Arslan defeats Romanus Diogenes at Manzikert (Malasjird). The establishment of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum follows.


Hasan-i Sabbah takes Alamut, establishes Isma‘ili Assassins. From 1097 the Assassins claim to have the true Isma‘ili imam resident among them.


Deaths of Seljuk vizier Nizam al-Mulk and sultan Malik-Shah. Fragmentation of the Great Seljuk Sultanate.

1096 (Sep)

People’s Crusade annihilated by Seljuks of Rum.


Crusaders take Nicaea.

1097(1 Jul)

Crusaders defeat Seljuks of Rum at Dorylaeum (Eskişehir).

097 (c. 10 Sep)

Crusaders defeat Seljuks of Rum at Heraclea (Ereğli).


Periodic protests in Baghdad calling for Seljuk response to the First Crusade.

1098 (10 Mar)

Baldwin of Boulogne takes control of Edessa (Urfa).


Crusaders take Antioch.

1098 (Jul)

Fatimids take Jerusalem from Seljuks.

1098 (11–12 Dec)

Crusaders take Ma‘arrat al-Nu‘man.

1099 (15 Jun)

Crusaders take Jerusalem.

1099 (12 Aug)

Crusaders defeat Fatimid forces at Ascalon.


Al-Sulami publicly composes Kitab al-Jihad at Damascus.

1109 (12 Jul)

Crusaders take Tripoli.


Great Seljuk sultan seeks to aid Muslims of Levant against Franks.

1115 (Sep)

Great Seljuk sultan’s forces defeated by Franks of Antioch at Danith.

1119 (28 Jun)

Ilghazi of Mardin defeats and kills Roger of Antioch at Battle of Balat/Ager Sanguinis.


Succession of ‘Imad al-Din Zangi at Mosul.

1128 (Jan)

Succession of Zangi at Aleppo.

1144 (24 Dec)

Zangi takes Edessa.

1146 (14 Sep)

Death of Zangi. Sayf al-Din succeeds at Mosul and Nur al-Din succeeds at Aleppo.

1146 (Oct–Nov)

Nur al-Din foils a Frankish attempt to retake and hold Edessa.


Diplomatic agreement between Nur al-Din and Mu‘in al-Din Unur.

1148 (24 Jun)

Crusaders decide to attack Damascus.

1148 (23–28 Jul)

Crusader attack on Damascus fails.

1149(29 Jun)

Nur al-Din and Mu‘in al-Din defeat and kill Raymond of Antioch at Inab.

1153 (22 Aug)

Franks take Ascalon from the Fatimids.

1154 (Apr)

Nur al-Din takes Damascus.

1163 (Sep)

Ousted Fatimid vizier Shawar seeks support of Nur al-Din.

1164 (Apr–Oct)

Shirkuh’s first expedition to Egypt restores Shawar to vizierate.

1167 (Feb–Aug)

Shirkuh’s second expedition to Egypt, including the Battle of al-Babayn (19 March 1167).

1168 (Nov)

Amalric takes Bilbays in Egypt. The Fatimid caliph al-‘Adid appeals to Nur al-Din for help.

1168 (Dec)

Shirkuh sets out for Egypt.

1169 (Jan)

Franks withdraw from Egypt. Shirkuh enters Egypt. Shawar is executed and Shirkuh is made Fatimid vizier.

1169 (23 Mar)

Death of Shirkuh. Saladin becomes Fatimid vizier.

1171 (Jun)

Nur al-Din orders Saladin to abolish the Fatimid caliphate.

1171 (Sep)

Saladin abolishes Fatimid caliphate.

1171 (Oct–Nov)

Saladin makes abortive attack on Shawbak (Crac de Montréal).

1173 (Jun)

Saladin conducts campaign against Kerak.

1174 (15 May)

Death of Nur al-Din.

1174 (Jul–Aug)

Saladin repels Sicilian attack on Alexandria.

1174 (28 Oct)

Saladin takes Damascus.

1175 (Jan)

Nizari Assassins attack Saladin.

1175 (13 Apr)

Saladin defeats Zangids at the Horns of Hamah.

1176(22 Apr)

Saladin defeats Zangids at Tall al-Sultan.

1176 (May)

Nizari Assassins attack Saladin again.

1176 (29 Jul)

Peace treaty between Saladin and the Zangids.

1176 (Aug)

Saladin besieges Masyaf, comes to agreement with Assassins.

1177 (25 Nov)

Franks defeat Saladin at Montgisard.

1179 (Apr)

Saladin defeats Franks in the Jawlan (Golan).

1179 (Jun)

Saladin defeats Franks at Marj ‘Uyun.

1179 (29 Aug)

Saladin destroys Frankish castle of Bayt al-Ahzan, raids Frankish territory.

1181 (4 Dec)

Death of al-Salih Isma‘il. Saladin claims succession to Aleppo.

1182 (May–Jul)

Saladin raids Kingdom of Jerusalem.


Reynald of Châtillon’s Red Sea expedition is defeated.

1183 (11 Jun)

Saladin takes Aleppo.

1183 (Oct–Dec)

Saladin attacks Kerak.

1184 (Aug)

Saladin attacks Kerak again.

1185 (Apr)

Saladin makes a truce with the Franks.

1186 (4 Mar)

Peace treaty with Mosul recognizes Saladin’s authority.

1187 (Jan)

Reynald of Châtillon plunders a Muslim caravan.

1187 (2 Jul)

Saladin takes Tiberias.

1187 (4 Jul)

Saladin destroys the Frankish field army at Hattin and subsequently conquers much Frankish territory.

1187 (2 Oct)

Saladin takes Jerusalem.

1189 (29 Aug)

Franks under Guy of Lusignan besiege Acre.

1191 (20 Apr)

Philip II Augustus arrives at Acre.

1191 (8 Jun)

Richard I the Lionheart arrives at Acre.

1191 (12 Jul)

Acre surrenders to the Franks.

1191 (7 Sep)

Richard defeats Saladin at Arsuf. Richard subsequently takes Jaffa, while Saladin demolishes Ascalon.

1191 (Oct)

Richard attempts, unsuccessfully, to march on Jerusalem.

1192 (23 May)

Richard takes Darum.

1192 (24 Jun)

Richard seizes a Muslim caravan, subsequently attempts to march on Jerusalem again.

1192 (5 Jul)

Richard forced to turn back from Jerusalem.

1192 (30 Jul)

Saladin almost retakes Jaffa.

1192 (1–3 Sep)

Peace treaty between Saladin and Richard.

1193 (4 Mar)

Death of Saladin at Damascus. Succeeded by sons and relatives.

1196 Oun)

Al-‘Adil Muhammad takes Damascus from al-Afdal ‘Ali.


Crusaders take Beirut and Sidon.

1200 (Feb)

Al-‘Adil Muhammad takes Cairo and becomes head of the Ayyubid confederation.


Authority of al-‘Adil Muhammad recognized by al-Zahir Ghazi of Aleppo.


Temujin/Chingiz Khan launches campaign of world conquest.

1218 (May–Aug)

Crusaders attack Damietta and storm part of its defences.

1218 (31 Aug)

Death of al-‘Adil Muhammad. Territories divided among his three eldest sons.

1219 (19 Mar)

Demolition of the fortifications of Jerusalem begins.

1219 (5 Nov)

Crusaders take Damietta.

1221 (Aug)

Muslims defeat crusaders and negotiate their evacuation from Egypt.


Al-Kamil Muhammad offers Jerusalem to Frederick II.

1229 (Feb)

Peace agreement between al-Kamil Muhammad and Frederick II returns most of Jerusalem to the Franks.

1229 (18 Mar)

Frederick II crowns himself King of Jerusalem at the Holy Sepulchre.


Mongols invade Russia and eastern Europe.

1239 (7 Dec)

Al-Nasir Dawud takes Jerusalem, but returns it to the Franks the following year as part of an alliance agreement.


Mongols subdue Seljuk Sultanate of Rum.

1244 (23 Aug)

Khwarazmians take Jerusalem.

1244 (17 Oct)

Khwarazmian-Egyptian coalition defeats Frankish-Syrian coalition at Harbiyya (La Forbie).

1245 (2 Oct)

Al-Salih Ayyub takes Damascus.

1246 (Mar)

Khwarazmians besiege Damascus.

1246 (18 May)

Khwarazmians are defeated and wiped out by troops from Homs and Aleppo.

1249 (6 Jun)

Crusaders under Louis IX take Damietta.

1249 (21 Nov)

Al-Salih Ayyub dies. Shajar al-Durr and collaborators conceal his death.


Bahri/Turkish Mamluk Sultanate.

1250 (9 Feb)

Mamluks defeat crusaders at al-Mansura. Louis is subsequently captured.

1250 (2 May)

Mamluks kill Turan-Shah and take control of Egypt, appointing Shajar al-Durr as sultana.

1250 (May)

Crusaders evacuate Egypt.

1250 (July)

Shajar al-Durr abdicates. Aybak al-Turkumani becomes sultan, then atabeg for an Ayyubid prince.


Aybak deposes Ayyubid charge and re-assumes position of sultan, bringing Ayyubid Sultanate of Egypt to definite end.


Hülegü launches campaign into Persia and Iraq.


Hülegü destroys Alamut and Persian Nizari Assassins.


Hülegü takes Baghdad and executes ‘Abbasid caliph.

1260 (25 Jan)

Hülegü takes Aleppo.

1260 (2 Mar)

Mongol forces take Damascus. Hülegü returns east at about the same time.

1260 (3 Sep)

Mamluks defeat Mongols at ‘Ayn Jalut. Mamluks complete conquest of Syria soon after.

1260 (24 Oct)

Murder of Qutuz. Baybars becomes Mamluk sultan.

1261 (13 Jun)

Baybars resurrects ‘Abbasid caliphate at Cairo.


Second reign of the ‘Abbasid caliphate.


Baybars suppresses Nizari Assassins of Syria.

1268 (18 May)

Baybars takes Antioch.

1277 (20 Jun)

Death of Baybars.

1279 (Nov)

Qalawun takes power.

1281 (29 Oct)

Qalawun defeats Mongols at Hims.

1289 (27 Apr)

Qalawun takes Tripoli.

1290 (10 Nov)

Death of Qalawun.

1291 (18 May)

Al-Ashraf Khalil takes Acre.

1365 (Oct)

Peter of Cyprus briefly occupies Alexandria.


Sultanate usurped by the Circassian mamluk Barquq.


Burji/Circassian Mamluk Sultanate.

1396 (25 Sep)

Crusaders defeated by Ottomans at Nikopolis (Nikopol).


Ottoman conquest of Egypt.


Kaiser Wilhelm II visits tomb of Saladin.


Sayyid ‘Ali al-Hariri describes European colonialism as a crusade in his history of the crusading period.


Life of Sayyid Qutb, an influential figure in the development of modern Muslim extremism.


Foundation of Hamas.

1988 (approx.)

Usama ibn Ladin (Osama bin Laden) founds al-Qa‘ida.


US-led coalition forces eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait and briefly occupy Iraq.

2001 (11 Sep)

Al-Qa‘ida makes co-ordinated terrorist attacks on US targets including the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

2001 (16 Sep)

US President George W. Bush declares ‘crusade […] on terrorism’.


Hamas wins Palestinian Authority elections.



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