Maimonides, the author – codifier of The Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith was often described during his life time as a rationalists. None the less, during this time the idea of Zionism did not exist, except in Iraqi Mosul.
What he was then, as now, is a Nationalist.
His relationship as the primary physician of Saladin had additional benefits for both. This was where Jewish interests against the crusaders were sparked and the return of Jews to Jerusalem may also been keyed in Saladin vision of retaking Jerusalem; for the benefit of his envisioned administration after the destruction of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Maimonides in his efforts at ransoming as a go – between of crusader interests also gave him additional intelligence. Did he share this with Saladin while his tents were adjacent to Saladin’s during various military campaigns between the two?
I would say yes.
When Saladin rose in power in taking control of Egypt Maimonides at the same time rose in influence in Egypt among Middle East Jewry. This became more assured by his success in writing letters to the Jewish embattled communities in Yemen who were challenged by covert conversion and assimilation by a heretic form of Islam which gained political power in that Arab nation.
Thus he became a hero as contained in these letters were the first mentioned of his Faith Principles. The Yemenite Jewish community united around them as today.
Thus Maimonides became connected to the leaders of Middle East Jewry, and their funding sources.
None of which was lost by Saladin himself, who was also theologically inclined as well.
Thus Maimonides, The Doctor, Politician, Jewish Theological Hero – operating under guise of a Crypto Muslim – possibly suggested by Saladin, and Saladin himself, the hero of Islam both agreed in retaking Jerusalem.
They shared meals at times, and there were moments of physical examinations one additional question. Were they friends ?
Here in the following is basic to get a feal or knowledge of who Maimonides is.
What one now can say that without the Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith Zionism would not be possible.
These principles were the representation of the average member of Middle East Jewry, then European Jewry resistance movements.