In 1260 AD, Mongol ruler Hulagu sent messengers with a threatening letter to the Muslim ruler, Saifudheen Qutuz in Cairo, demanding his surrender and submission to Mongols. The letter stated;

“Your prayers to God will not avail against us. We are not moved by tears nor touched by lamentations. Only those who beg our protection will be safe. Hasten your reply before the fire of war is kindled. Resist and you will suffer the most terrible catastrophes. We will shatter your mosques and reveal the weakness of your God and then will kill your children and your old men together. At present you are the only enemy against whom we have to march”

Qutuz responded, however, by killing the Messengers and displaying their heads on Bab Zuweila, one of the gates of Cairo.

This raised the spirit of the Muslims and simultaneously shocked the Mongols for they realised they were facing a leader unlike those they had previously encountered.