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"Battles are determined by preparation and numbers, and God."
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Al-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (1137 – 4 March 1193), better known as Saladin, was the first sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, known for his defeat of the various Crusader states, particularly his victory at the battle of Hattin and capture of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187, successfully re-establishing Muslim control over the Levant after the Third Crusade. He leads the Arabs in Civilization VI.

Often science and faith don't mix, but for Arabia they sure do.

This is the standard version of Saladin when players do not have the Great Negotiators Pack enabled. When it is enabled, Saladin will be split into two alternate personas: Sultan Saladin, with a new appearance and abilities; and Vizier Saladin, using his former model and abilities.


The marriage of science and religion is a delicate balancing act, but one that you have mastered, Saladin. Your quest for knowledge is noble, and your people have a deep respect for you. But you need not rush into the unknown. Given time, the answers to life's most puzzling questions will find their way back to Arabia.


Saladin's unique agenda is Ayyubid Dynasty. He likes leaders with his worship building, and dislikes leaders who follow other Religions or wage war on followers of his Religion.

His leader ability is Righteousness of the Faith. It lowers the Faith Faith cost of his worship building and allows it to provide bonus Science Science, Faith Faith, and Culture Culture.

Detailed Approach[]

Arabia is a religious civ that doesn't have to worry about racing to beat the other players to Great Prophets; they can just let a Religion come to them. Once they have established their Religion, then they can quickly move forward on a number of fronts. They will spread their Religion to as many cities as possible to boost their Science Science output, and add a Holy Site to most of their cities to allow them to then add their worship building (which boosts overall city output of Science Science, Faith Faith, and Culture Culture). Their worship buildings are inexpensive for other civilizations to add, too: a smart move for Arabia's neighbors to keep Saladin's wrath at bay.


Saladin is voiced by Alhan Gharam. He speaks Classical Arabic.


Codename Quote (English translation) Quote (Classical Arabic) Notes
Agenda-based Approval Blessings be upon you. You spread truth and compassion through your acts in the name of the magnificent and perfect God. السّلَامُ عَلَيْك. أَنْتَ تَنْشُرُ الصِدْق وَالْمَحَبَّةَ بِأَفْعَالِك، بِسْمِ اللهِ العَلِيِّ العَظِيْم

As-salāmu ʻalayk. ʾAnta tanšuru ś-śidq wa-l-maħabbata bi-ʾafʻālik, bi-smi-llāhi l-ʻaliyyi l-ʻaƶīm.

Agenda-based Disapproval I will not abide sacrilege. You will pay for your blasphemy against the most exalted, he who knows no imperfections. لَنْ أَقْبَلَ بِتَدْنِيْسِ الأَرْض. سَيُعَاقِبُكَ اللهُ عَلَى كُفْرِك وَعِصْيَانِك، وَحْدَهُ الكَامِلُ العَزِيْز

Lan ʾaqbala bi-tadnīsi l-ʾarđ. Sayuʻāqibuka Allāhu ʻalā kufrik wa-ʻiśyānik, waħdahu l-kāmilu l-ʻazīz.

Attacked I warn you against making a habit of shedding blood. Blood never sleeps. (lit. "It's shameful that we turn to violence, for it is not the behavior of kings to kill each other.") مِنَ الخِزْيِ وَالعَارِ أَنْ نَلْجَأ إِلَى العُنْف، فَلَيْسَ مِنْ عَادَةِ الْمُلُوْكِ قَتْلُ بَعْضِهَا البَعْض

Min al-khizyi wa-l-ʻāri ʾan naljaʾ ʾilā al-ʻunf, falaysa min ʻādati l-mulūki qatlu baʻđihā l-baʻđ.

The audio file for this line appears to have been switched with his Declares War line. The English line is based on a quote by Saladin from translation of Baha ad-Din ibn Shaddad's work The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin - "I warn you against shedding blood, indulging in it and making a habit of it, for blood never sleeps."[1] The Arabic original (واحذرك من الدما والدخول فيها والتقلد لها فان الدم لا ينام / wa 'uḥaḏḏiruka min ad-dimā'i wa d-duḵūli fīhā wa t-taqalludi lahā fa'inna d-dama lā yanām[2]) has nothing in common with the line spoken here or when Saladin declares war.
Declares War It is a shame that we must resort to violence, it is not the custom of kings to kill kings. (lit. "I promise none of us will taste peace, until you concede.") أَعِدُكَ أَنْ لَن يَذُق أَحَدُنَا السَّلَام حَتَّى تَسْتَسْلِم

ʾAʻiduka ʾan lan yadhuq ʾaħadunā s-salām ħattā tastaslim.

The audio file for this line appears to have been switched with his Attacked line. The second half of the English sentence is another quote by him from Baha ad-Din ibn Shaddad's work, said in the aftermath of the Battle of Hattin to Guy de Lusignan, King of Jerusalem, after Saladin executed Raynald of Châtillon for previously breaking a truce - "'It is not the wont of kings,' said he, 'to kill kings; but that man had transgressed all bounds, and therefore did I treat him thus.'"[3] In Arabic this is erroneously used as his Attacked line, but the original Arabic quote from the source (لم تجر عادة الملك أن يقتلوا الملوك / lam tajur ʕādatu l-mulūki ’an yaqtulù l-mulūk(a)[4]) is either paraphrased or back translated from English.
Defeated This is not victory. "Victory" is changing the hearts of your opponents; through gentleness, through kindness. هَذَا لَيْسَ هُوَ النَّصْر. بَلْ إِنَّ النَّصْر هُوَ تَغْيِيْرُ قُلُوْبِ خُصُوْمِك بِالرِّفْقِ وَالحُسْن

Hadhā laysa huwa an-naśr. Bal inna an-naśr huwa taghyīru qulūbi khuśūmik bi-r-rifqi wa-l-ħusna.

The second sentence is a rephrased quote by Saladin from one of the translations of Baha ad-Din ibn Shaddad's work - "I have become great as I am because I have won the hearts of men by gentleness and kindness."[5] A more accurate translation of this part (فما بلغت ما بلغت إلّا بمداولة الناس / a mā balaġtu mā balaġtu ’illā bi mudāwalati n-nās(i)[2]) is "I only achieved what I have by coaxing people."[1] The line spoken in Arabic is a back translation of the English sentence.
Greeting By the grace of the one God, the powerful, the victorious, the everlasting of whose Kingdom there is no end, I greet you, my sincere friend. ‏بِفَضْلٍ مِنْه، الوَاحِدُ الأَحَد، القَوِيّ، الْمُنْتَصِر، الدَّائِمُ الَّذِيْ لَا يَنْتَهِيْ مُلْكُه، أُرْسِلُ إِلَيْكَ تَحِيَّاتِيْ يَا صَدِيْقِيْ العَزِيْز‎

Bi-fađlin minh, al-wāħidu l-ʾaħad, al-qawiyy, al-muntaśir, ad-dāʾimu l-ladhi lā yantahī mulkuh, ʾursilu ʾilayka taħiyyāti yā śadīqī l-ʻazīz.

Quote from Civilopedia Battles are determined by preparation and numbers, and God. نَتِيجَةُ الحَرْبِ يُحَدِّدُهَا الْاِسْتِعْدَادُ وَالْعِدَّة، وَإِرَادَةُ الله

Natījatu l-ħarbi yuħaddiduhā l-istiʻdādu wa-l-ʻidda, wa-ʾirādatu-llāh.

This is a rephrased quote by Saladin in the movie Kingdom of Heaven - "The results of battles ARE determined by God, but also by preparation, numbers, the absence of disease, and the availability of water,"[6] which in turn seems to be inspired by Averroist (from the Latinized name of its founder Ibn Rushd) thought.[7] The voice actor clearly says ʻudda [عُدَّة (appliance)] instead of ʻidda [عِدَّة (number)]. This is probably because he misread the text, since these two words differ only by vowel marks,[8] which are usually omitted.


Delegation: I have sent a delegation to you with gifts from our empire. They bring the sweetest fruit, rare snow to cool you on even the hottest day, and the most excellent of horses. Please receive them as our courtesy.
[Note: According to Baha ad-Din ibn Shaddad, on several occasions Saladin sent Richard the Lionheart fruit and snow at his request.[9][10]]

Accepts Delegation from Player: A thousand thanks for your gifts. Your delegation will be treated with the utmost respect.

Rejects Delegation from Player: No, we cannot accept.

Player Accepts a Delegation: Excellent!

Accepts Player's Declaration of Friendship: I understand now that you are a friend to my nation. Let us declare our friendship to the world.

Rejects Player's Declaration of Friendship: Your offer is a generous and kind one, but we must humbly decline until we can be assured of your intentions.

Trade Deal Accepted: May Allah bless you.

Denounced by Player: Everyone is critical of the flaws of others, but blind to their own.
[Note: This is an Arabic proverb.[11]]

Denounces Player: It is said by my people that the house of a tyrant is a ruin...and all I see is ruin around you.
[Note: "The house of a tyrant is a ruin" is an Arabic proverb.[12]]

Too Many Troops Near His Border: I would be blind not to see your army in front of me. Please, move them from our borders, unless... you anticipate war?

Invitation to Capital: Come, let us exchange information about our capitals. I invite you to tell me of your people, and I am happy to tell you of mine.

Invitation to City: I am honored to offer you the hospitality of our cities: the finest arts, the most delectable feasts, and the melodious adhan heard throughout. Would you care to visit?

Civilopedia entry[]

Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, known to his foes (and there were many) as Saladin, was a Kurdish noble who rose to command the Arabic armies of the Faithful as the first sultan of Egypt and Syria. Born in Tikrit around 1138 AD, his personal name was Yusuf, but his given name was a laqab; “Salah ad-Din” translates loosely as “Righteousness of the Faith.” And righteous Saladin was, given a military and religious education by his father Najm ad-Din Ayyub, former warden of the fortress at Tikrit. The Ayyub family became embroiled in a feud and was banished from Tikrit – leaving, supposedly, the night Saladin was born – and ending up in Mosul in 1139.

The boy Saladin proved quite bright, and continued his education in Damascus (for which he developed a particular fondness) when his father was appointed commander of the fortress at Baalbek by Imad ad-Din Zengi, atabeg (loosely, “governor”) of Mosul, Damascus, Aleppo and Hama. Saladin was especially good at arithmetic and mathematics, immersing himself in the works of Euclid and in the Almagest. He could cite the genealogies and histories of Arab nobility, as well as the bloodlines of famed Arabian horses (the latter probably less useful than the former). And he could quote the Hamasah, a ten-volume collection of Arabic poetry, at length. But, almost inevitably, he was sucked into the military career expected of him by his family, which included his maternal grandfather Nūr ad-Dīn, who had succeeded Imad as emir of Syria in service to the Seljuk Empire.

Saladin’s military service began at the age of 26 under the patronage of his uncle Asad ad-Dīn Shīrkūh, an influential general in service to Nur al-Din. In a campaign against Crusaders and the Egyptian usurper Dirgham at the behest of the Fatimid caliph al-Adid, Saladin distinguished himself in the sack of Bilbais and at a battle near the Nile west of Giza, where he led the right wing. Proceeding to Alexandria, Saladin entered the city unopposed and, in fact, was welcomed with open arms – and money, arms, supplies. Faced with a superior advancing Crusader-Egyptian force, Asad, being wise, withdrew with the bulk of his army, leaving Saladin and a small troop to defend the city. He did so brilliantly.

Things soon got complicated. Asad became embroiled in a three-way power struggle with Shawar, the vizier of Egypt for the crumbling Fatimid caliphate, who called upon the Crusader King Amalric I of Jerusalem for support. In 1169, Shawar was assassinated (reportedly by Saladin), and then Asad al-Din Shirkuh died later that same year. Although Nur ad-Din chose a replacement – who was not Saladin – for Asad, the Fatimid caliph decided for unknown reasons to appoint Saladin the new vizier of Egypt. In the next few months, Saladin avoided an assassination attempt by resentful Egyptian officials, and decisively put down a revolt by Fatimid regiments. So decisively, in fact, that he never again faced an uprising in Egypt.

According to Arabic historians, in June 1171 Saladin was “ordered” to reestablish the Abbasid caliphate in Egypt by Nur ad-Din. When al-Adid died, and after Saladin had a few of his officials executed or assassinated, Egypt was firmly under his control. While passing time until the next bump in his fortunes, Saladin outmaneuvered the Templars and sacked Gaza, captured the Crusader castle at Eilat which had been annoying Muslin shipping in the Gulf of Aqaba, and smashed a Nubian invasion, taking the Nubian town of Ibrim. While transporting some of the plunder to Nur al-Din in Damascus as a gift – including “an ass of the finest breed” (showing Saladin’s horse sense) – he took the opportunity to ravage the Crusader holdings. Oh, and he occupied Yemen, driving out the unbelievers lingering there.

Upon Nur al-Din’s death in May 1174, Saladin promptly proclaimed the establishment of the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt … with himself as sultan, naturally. Although Nur al-Din’s 11-year-old son had been proclaimed successor as caliph by a group of powerful emirs, Saladin feared anarchy in Syria, and with that the prospering of the infidels. But he faced an untenable choice: seize Syria for himself from the young as-Salih Ismail, forbidden by the Qur'an, or await an unlikely invitation to invade. In sha’Allah, when as-Salih was spirited away to Aleppo by an ambitious uncle who planned to eliminate all his rivals, the emir of Damascus was forced to appeal to Saladin for support.

It was the hand of destiny at work; Saladin raced across the intervening desert with 700 picked warriors and, joined by emirs and Bedouin tribesmen, he entered Damascus to general acclaim by its citizens (no fools they). Leaving one of his brothers in charge there, Saladin soon reduced other cities that had been loyal to the former caliph. The next year was eventful, with Saladin managing to avoid several assassination attempts (including a couple by the Ismaili sect named the “Assassins”). In the end, the surviving emirs of Syria recognized a good thing and proclaimed Saladin sultan there as well as in Egypt. Making peace with the Assassins and other irritants in his empire, all of whom recognized that it would be righteous to kick the Europeans out of the Holy Land, Saladin readied the forces of Islam.

Saladin’s war against the Christians raged until his death in 1193 AD. Marked by a string of Ayyubid victories and the occupation of most of the Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem, including the holy city itself in 1187, Saladin became infamous across Europe. The result was the Third Crusade – mounted by England’s Richard the Lionheart, Philip II of France, Frederick Barbarossa, among others – marked more by massacres than battles. By September 1191, the Crusader army had been reduced to about 2000 men-at-arms and 50 knights fit for battle. Richard and Saladin finally came to an agreement, the Treaty of Ramla in 1192, whereby Jerusalem would remain in Muslim control but be open to Christian pilgrimages. The treaty proved Saladin’s most lasting legacy.





CIVILIZATION VI - First Look- Arabia

First Look: Arabia

Related achievements[]

Arabian Knights
Arabian Knights
Conquer a city with a Mamluk
A pun on the collection of stories, 1001 Arabian Nights.
Sultan of Egypt
Sultan of Egypt
Win a regular game as Saladin
Saladin was the founder of the Ayyubid Dynasty, which ruled over Egypt, Syria, upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz, Yemen, and parts of North Africa.


See also[]

Civilization VI Leaders [edit]
Abraham Lincoln1Alexander1Amanitore1Ambiorix1Bà Triệu1Basil II1Catherine de Medici (Magnificence Catherine1) • Chandragupta R&F-OnlyCleopatra (Ptolemaic Cleopatra1) • Cyrus1Dido GS-OnlyEleanor of Aquitaine GS-OnlyElizabeth I1Frederick BarbarossaGandhiGenghis Khan R&F-OnlyGilgameshGitarja1GorgoHammurabi1Harald Hardrada (Varangian Harald Hardrada1) • Hojo TokimuneJadwiga1Jayavarman VII1João III1John Curtin1Julius Caesar1Kristina GS-OnlyKublai Khan1Kupe GS-OnlyLady Six Sky1Lautaro R&F-OnlyLudwig II1Mansa Musa GS-OnlyMatthias Corvinus GS-OnlyMenelik II1MontezumaMvemba a NzingaNader Shah1Nzinga Mbande1Pachacuti GS-OnlyPedro IIPericlesPeterPhilip IIPoundmaker R&F-OnlyQin Shi Huang (Unifier Qin Shi Huang1) • Ramses II1Robert the Bruce R&F-OnlySaladin (Sultan Saladin1) • Sejong1Seondeok R&F-OnlyShaka R&F-OnlySimón Bolívar1Suleiman GS-Only (Muhteşem Suleiman1) • Sundiata Keita1Tamar R&F-OnlyTeddy Roosevelt (Bull Moose Teddy1Rough Rider Teddy1) • Theodora1Tokugawa1TomyrisTrajanVictoria (Age of Steam Victoria1) • Wilfrid Laurier GS-OnlyWilhelmina R&F-OnlyWu Zetian1Yongle1
1 Requires DLC

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.