Lebanon in History from the Earliest Times to the Present

By Philip K. Hitti | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIV UNDER THE CRESCENT AND THE STAR

THE battle of Mari Dābiq1 found the banu-Buḥtur of al-Gharb taking active part on the Mamlūk side, but the banu-Ma'n of al-Shūf straddling the fence. Evidently Fakhr-al-Dīn I al- Ma'ni had entered into secret negotiations with the two traitor governors, Khā'ir Bey of Aleppo and al-Ghazāli of Damascus, but nevertheless advised his men: "Let us wait and see on what side the victory will be and then join it".2 At Damascus a delegation of Lebanese amīrs, comprising Fakhr-al-Dīn, Jamāl-al- Dīn al-Tanūkhi3 of al-Gharb and 'Assāf al-Turkumāni of Kisrawān presented itself before Salīm. Fakhr kissed the ground before the sultan and recited this eloquent prayer:

O Lord, perpetuate the life of him whom Thou hast chosen to administer Thy domain, installed as the successor (khalīfah) of Thy covenant, empowered over Thy worshippers and Thy land and entrusted with Thy precept and Thy command; he who is the supporter of Thy luminous legislation and the leader of Thy righteous and victorious nation, our lord and master of our favours, the commander of the believers. . . . May God respond to our prayer for the perpetuation of his dynasty, in happiness and felicity and in might and glory! Amen.4

Impressed by his dignified personality and seeming sincerity, Salim bestowed on Fakhr the title of "sultan of the mountain" (sulmān al-barr), confirmed him as well as the other lords of Lebanon in their fiefs and allowed them the same autonomous privileges enjoyed under the Mamlūks, imposing on them a comparatively light tribute, Kisrawān's share being only 4200 gold piastres.5 So did expediency dictate. The real threat

____________________
2
Ḥaydar, Ghurar, pp. 559-60.
3
Designated Yamanite to distinguish him from the bulk of the Tanūkhs who belonged to the Qaysite faction (see below, p. 358), he remained loyal to the Mamlūk cause.
4
Ḥaydar, Ghurar, p. 561; cf. Duwayhi, p. 152; Shidyāq, p. 251.
5
Ḥaydar, Ghurar, pp. 561-2; cf. 'Isa I. al-Ma'lĪf, Ta'rikh al-Amir Fakhr-al- Dīn al-Ma'ni al-Thāni (Jūniyah, 1934), p. 9, n. 1.

-357-

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