Battle of Marj al-Saffar (Shaqhab (Ramadhan 702 AH Featured

The Battle of Marj al-Saffar (or Marj al-Suffar), also known as the Battle of Shaqhab, took place on 2 Ramadhan 702 in the Hijri calendar, April 20 through April 22, 1303, between the Muslims and the near Kiswe, Syria, just south of Damascus. The battle has been influential in both Islamic history and contemporary times because of the controversial jihad against other Muslims and Ramadan-related fatwas issued by Ibn Taymiyyah, who himself joined the battle. The battle, a disastrous defeat for the Mongols, put an end to Mongol invasions of the Levant.

The battle commenced on 2 Ramadhan 702 in the Hijri calendar, or April 20, 1303. Qutlugh-Shah's army was positioned near a river. Hostilities began when Qutlugh-Shah's left wing attacked the Mamluk's right wing with his brigade of 10,000 soldiers. The Egyptians reportedly suffered heavy casualties. The Mamluk center and left wings under the command of the emirs Salar and Baibars al-Jashnakir, together with their Bedouin irregulars, then engaged the Mongols. The Mongols continued their pressure on the right flank of the Egyptian army. Many of the Mamluks believed that the battle would soon be lost. The Mamluk left flank, however, had remained steady.

Qutlugh-Shah then went to the top of a nearby hill, hoping to watch the victory of his forces. While he was issuing orders to his army, the Egyptians surrounded the hill. This led to heavy, bitter fighting, and the Mongols suffered many casualties on the hill. The next morning, the Mamluks deliberately opened their ranks to allow the Mongols to flee to the river Wadi Arram. When the Mongols arrived at the river, they were able to receive reinforcements. However, while the Mongols were taking on badly needed supplies of water for themselves and their horses, the Sultan was able to attack them from the rear. The subsequent fighting, which lasted until noon, was vicious. By the next day, the battle was over.

According to the medieval Egyptian historian Al-Maqrizi, after the battle, Qutlugh-Shah reached the Ilkhan Ghazan at Kushuf, to inform him of the defeat of his forces. It was reported that Ghazan, upon hearing the news, had gone into such a rage that it resulted in a nosebleed.