The period of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was a crucial epoch for the Muslim world, which was in a state of political fragmentation. Syria was divided among rival Turkish amirs who were squandering their resources in internal wars, while Fatimid Egypt was trying to maintain its hold on Palestine. This political disintegration prevented any viable resistance to the Crusades, especially given the ideological division that split loyalties between the Abbasid Caliphate and the Fatimid Imamate. The Arab authors were there to witness the conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders and the establishment of various Frankish principalities. However, many authors were also there to watch the Zankid reconquest, the triumph of the armies of Saladin, and the consolidation of the Sunni restoration.
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