Imad ad-Din was born in 1125 to a family of Persians, and he served as chancellor under Nur ad-Din in Damascus from 1166 until his death in 1174. Imad ad-Din proceeded to serve under Saladin, the great Kurdish warrior who conquered Egypt and the Levant for his Ayyubid Empire. Imad ad-Din recorded the history of his lord and his conquests against the Crusader States. He said this of the Battle of Hattin in 1187:
It is unknown if the "two impure races" referred to the Templar Order and the Knights Hospitaller monastic orders or to Europeans in general, but Saladin treated his opponents with respect and was a man of honor, not being racist like the crusaders. He fled after the 1192 siege of Acre and wrote biographies of Sultan Saladin after his death, and he died in 1201 in Cairo.