Al-Zahir Rukn Al-Din Baybars was a Mamluk of Turkish origin. He was purchased by Sultan al-Salih Najm Al-Din Ayyub and transferred to the court of his son, Sultan Turanshah, after Ayyub's death.
Baybars rose in the ranks. He killed Amir Aqtay and escaped to Syria with his Mamluks. After Sultan Al-Mui'zz Aybak Al-Turkomany was killed, he returned to Egypt. Baybars went with Sultan al-Malik al-Muzafar Qutuz to fight the Mongols. On their return to Egypt, Qutuz was killed. Baybars was thus elected to become the fourth Bahri Mamluk Sultan.
A year after taking power, he swore allegiance to the Abbasid Caliph, and brought the Caliph to Egypt to legitimize his rule. Sultan Baybars was a brave and valiant warrior who defeated the Mongols at Ain Jalut, or Spring of Goliath.
He sponsored many architectural projects in Medina, Syria, and in Eqyptian sites at Shabramant, Alexandria, Rosetta, Damietta and Dakahlia. Baybars also sponsored projects in Cairo. His two most important projects in Cairo are his mosque in Husayniyya and his madrassa in Al-Nahaseen, the brassmakers' quarter.