After the Mongols invaded the Muslim world the cities fell easily because the Muslims had lost their desire to fight due to the brutality of the Mongols in their killing and destruction, and so they reached a state of despair and they said that the Mongols were Gog and Magog who were to come out at the end of times. In fact, Imam Ibn al Atheer, before he died, wrote about the state of the nation and its collapse in the face of the Mongols saying:
“For many years I remained not wanting to mention this incident due to its enormity and I hated to mention it. I would put one foot forward towards that while the other foot would lag behind, because who is there for whom it would be easy to write the announcement of the death of Islam and of the Muslims? And who is the one for whom it would be easy to mention that? I wish, if only my mother had not given birth to me and if only I had died before this incident happening and I had become something forgotten and in oblivion”.
The Mongols were able to overthrow the Abbasid Caliphate and so the Muslims for the first time ever were without a Caliphate..!
Then they took control over Shaam, and there did not remain any authority for the Muslims except in Egypt which became the last fortress of the Muslims…!
The leader in Egypt was the hope, after Allah the Almighty, for the Muslims. All the Islamic regions had fallen (Central Asia, Khurasan, Iraq, Shaam) and only Egypt remained, after which the rest of the provinces would fall in succession.
The leader of Egypt, who at that time was the hero Qutuz, was in a very difficult position. The Mongols sent to him a message threatening him and telling him to surrender or he will face the fate of those who preceded him. So he killed the messengers of the Mongols and suspended their heads on the walls of the palaces.
Then when Qutuz prepared his army he said a statement to the leaders of the Muslims: “Oh leaders of the Muslims, there was a time when you would eat from the treasury of the Muslims and you hated Jihad. Here I am going forward, and whoever wants let him follow me, and whoever wants to remain behind then the sin of the Muslim women (falling into the hands of the enemy) will be on his neck”.
So he created zeal within the souls of the leaders and they all got prepared, not a single person remained behind. And the two armies met each other in a fateful battle, a battle which history immortalized and commemorated, a battle which the Muslims will never ever forget.
The battle of Ayn Jaloot (an area near Gaza now) began, and the ranks got engaged in the fight. The Muslims in Egypt prayed and pleaded in humiliation to Allah. It was either Islam or Kufr..!
The battle got fierce and the fight intensified. Qutuz who was present in the battle, got down from his horse and shouted at the top of his voice “Waa Islamaah..! Waa Islamaah..!” (Oh Islam, Oh Islam), and then he prostrated on the ground and put his face on the soil pleading earnestly to Allah and supplicating saying “Oh Allah, give victory to Islam”.
Then the miracle happened and victory finally descended and the Islamic nation breathed a sigh of relief. The Mongols got shattered and smashed. The battle turned to be most fierce and the Muslims tried not to capture a single Mongol soldier. And so they killed them all and not a single person amongst them remained alive…!
– “Al Bidaaya Wa Nihaaya” (The beginning and the end) by Ibn Kathir (13/220)