From 634 Islam embarked on a spectacularly successful and aggressive war of conquest, overrunning the Holy Lands, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Egypt. The extent of the Byzantine Empire was drastically diminished while the Persian Empire was almost extinguished. Islam also moved westwards, capturing Carthage, Tangier and most of Spain. By 732 (approx) this whole area was ruled by the Umayyad. Another Islamic sect, The Abbasids – Shiite, finally defeated the mighty Umayyad Caliphate. This Saracen sect hated the Sunni’s and so began a war against them. After they have successfully defeated the Umayyad at the battle of Tours( in Syria) the Abbasids established their empire and made their capital Baghdad.
The Abbasids were a far cry from the Ummayads, they were fanatics. All non Muslims had the choice to either turn to Islam or be slain.
The Byzantine Empire and its Islamic neighbours could be called the resident civilizations of the Middle East. They had a long history of both rivalry and peaceful relationships. During the late 10th and 11th centuries, the Abbasid Caliphate fragmented, and the Byzantine Empire launched a major counter-offensive. The Byzantine Empire then called a halt and drastically reduced its armed forces. This left a power vacuum, which the Seljuks took advantage of.
The fragmentation of the Abbasid empire led to the emergence of two new Muslim Empires, The Seljuk Turks (Sunni) initially in Anatolia and the Shiite Fatimid Caliphate of Cairo. The Fatimid established a very strong empire until the appearance of the crusades, which initiated their fall. The Fatimid forces were based upon a classical army model provided by the 9th century Abbasid Caliphate. Infantry regiments consisted of black African slave soldiers, many Christian Armenians and some Iranians.
The cavalry included Syrian Arabs, Turkish ghulams, European slaves and mercenaries. The Ayoubids were formed after the fall of the Fatamids and their first and last sultan was Saladin. He was famous for winning the Battle of the Horns. He used to fight side by side with his troops, but after the battle he fell ill and died. Later his wife, Shajarat al Dur, took control of the Empire, but after 80 days she handed it over to the Mamelukes. Under Saladin, the invasion of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem resulted in an overwhelming victory. Thereafter he held onto the Holy City despite Western efforts in the Third Crusade.
The Mamelukes were the last Saracen empire. They were first created by the Abbasids as white slaves (mostly made of Turks, Mongols and Circassian) and trained to be the bodyguards of the sultan. They were the special shock troopers of the Islamic army and served as Islamic Cavalry Force. When they went into battle they were equipped with a spear and a sword, usually the spear was thrown directly or indirectly at the enemy to ensure maximum damage, they then turned to their swords to charge at the enemy. Their empire started a “purification” process to cleanse the crusaders from the holy lands and they also repelled the last major Mongol invasion of Syria in 1303. The Ottomans defeated them at the battle of Egypt in 1517 and so the last Saracen Empire finally fell.
I would like to thank Faisal2002ae for the information he supplied me (thanks for your help m8, this page would have not been possible without you…..)