Al-Mu'azzam Isa

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Al-Muʿaẓẓam ʿĪsā
Emir of Damascus
PredecessorAl-Adil I
SuccessorAn-Nasir Dawud
Died12 November 1227(1227-11-12) (aged 50–51)
ReligionSunni Islam

Sharaf ad-Dīn al-Muʿaẓẓam ʿĪsā (al-Malik al-Muʿaẓẓam ʿĪsā) (1176 – 1227) was the Ayyubid Kurdish emir of Damascus from 1218 to 1227. The son of Sultan al-Adil I and nephew of Saladin, founder of the dynasty, al-Mu'azzam was installed by his father as governor of Damascus in 1198[1] or 1200.[2] After his father's death in 1218, al-Mu'azzam ruled the Ayyubid lands in Syria in his own name, down to his own death in 1227.[2] He was succeeded by his son, an-Nasir Dawud.

He was respected as a man of letters, and was interested in grammar and jurisprudence.[3] By 1204, Jerusalem was his primary residence.[1]


He ordered and contributed to the construction and restoration of many buildings inside the Ḥaram ash-Sharīf (the Noble Sanctuary), Jerusalem:

He founded these madrasas:

Furthermore, he modified the walls of Jerusalem and Damascus:

  • 1202, 1203, 1212 and 1213-14: repairing Jerusalem's walls' fortifications.[1]
  • 1219: dismantling Jerusalem's walls to preemptively reduce Jerusalem's military strength in case of it falling into the hands of the Crusaders.[1]
  • 1226: rebuilding Damascus's city wall, likely also refortifying it with a tower at the southeastern corner.[15]


  1. ^ p. 164: "extension of the whole west side of the Dome of the Rock terrace a full 18 m to the west, with the addition of some water tanks […] By extending the upper terrace, al-Muʿazzam created a prestigious site for a new building known as the "Grammar School" (al-Madrasa al-Nahwiyya)."[1]
  2. ^ p. 170: "the arcade [7] at the top of the eastern flight of steps on the south side of the Dome of the Rock terrace". But [7] (on p. 154) is mislabelled as "Southwest Arcade".[1]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Grabar, Oleg; Ḳedar, B. Z. (2009). Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem's Sacred Esplanade. University of Texas Press. pp. 163–171. ISBN 978-0-292-72272-9. In 1198, al-'Adil had his second son, al-Malik al-Mu'azzam 'Isa, invested as ruler of Damascus, a position that included responsibility for Jerusalem.
  2. ^ a b Littmann, E. (1960). "Aybak". In Gibb, H. A. R.; Kramers, J. H.; Lévi-Provençal, E.; Schacht, J.; Lewis, B. & Pellat, Ch. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Volume I: A–B. Leiden: E. J. Brill. p. 780. OCLC 495469456.
  3. ^ a b "Madrasat al-Malik Mu'azzam 'Isa (al-Mu'azzamiya)". Institute for International Urban Development.
  4. ^ Humphreys, R. Stephen (1977). From Saladin to the Mongols. SUNY Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-87395-263-7. The other two works of public utility connected with the name of al-Mu'azzam were in fact not directly sponsored by him. One is a cistern built in 607/1210, the other a cistern and kiosk built in 613/1216-17. Their inscriptions identify their patron – i.e., the man who ordered them built – as one Muhammad b. 'Urwa b. Sayyar al-Mausili, but the inscriptions also say they were built "by the benevolence of" (min ni'mat) al-Malik al-Mu'azzam. […It] probably indicates that the prince contributed a sum of money towards the work as a gesture of piety.
  5. ^ Hawari, Mahmoud (2007). Ayyubid Jerusalem (1187-1250). Archaeopress. p. 127. ISBN 978-1-4073-0042-9. Ṣahrīj al-Malik al-Muʿaẓẓam ʿĪsā. 607 / 1210-11. Cistern of al-Malik al-Muʿaẓẓam ʿĪsā
  6. ^ "Sabil Sha'lan". Institute for International Urban Development.
  7. ^ Hillenbrand, Carole (2018). The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-95613-4. some of the second-hand material used in the arches of the facade includes the sculpted ornament taken from Crusader structures of the twelfth century […] One of the inscriptions on the porch records that the facade of the portico was constructed by the Ayyubid prince al-Mu'azzam 'Isa in c. 609/1217-18.
  8. ^ Blessing, Patricia (2017). Architecture and Landscape in Medieval Anatolia. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-1-4744-1131-8. al-Aqsa Mosque […] the north porch was rebuilt in 1217–18 under the patronage of Salah al-Din's nephew al-Malik al-Muʿazzam.
  9. ^ Jarrar, Sabri (1998). "Suq al-Maʿrifa: An Ayyubid Hanbalite Shrine in al-Haram al-Sharif" (PDF). Muqarnas. 15: 71–100. doi:10.2307/1523278. JSTOR 1523278.
  10. ^ The Third International Conference on Bilad Al-Sham: Jerusalem. University of Jordan, Yarmouk University. 1983. Under al-Mu'azzam 'Isa [...] The arcade (qanatir) above the south-eastern flight of steps leading to the Dome of the Rock platform was restored (608 / 1211-12), the Nasiriyya Zawiya rebuilt (610/1214)
  11. ^ "Qubbat al-Nahawiya". Institute for International Urban Development (I2UD).
  12. ^ Griffel, Frank (2009). Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-972472-7. al-Nāṣiriyya
  13. ^ Masalha, Nur (2022). Palestine Across Millennia: A History of Literacy, Learning and Educational Revolutions. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7556-4297-7. Al-Madrasa al-Nasriyya
  14. ^ Herzfeld, Ernst (1934). Ars islamica XI-XII. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. pp. 49–50.
  15. ^ Kagay, Donald J.; Villalon, L. J. Andrew (1999). The Circle of War in the Middle Ages: Essays on Medieval Military and Naval History. Boydell & Brewer. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-85115-645-3.
Regnal titles
Preceded by Emir of Damascus
Succeeded by