Salahuddin Ayyubi was an acclaimed Muslim general who spent almost his entire life on the battlefield. Born in 1138, his formal military career began at the early age of 14 and consisted of over a hundred battles. He fought the Crusaders for 20 years, dealing them a severe blow in the Battle of Hittin from which they never recovered. He conquered Al Aqsa back from the Crusaders, a historic and momentous occasion for which he is much loved by the Muslims. His accomplishments, accompanied by his cultured chivalry, magnanimity and sense of justice, have won him the respect and admiration of numerous European biographers, to whom he is known as Saladin.