ORIGINS AND OVERVIEW OF THE ASSAF DYNASTY
The subject of the present legal analysis is the following royal line of world heritage, carrying notable and legendary traditions of ancient Nobility and medieval Chivalry:
The Assaf Dynasty (Banu Assaf) has Persian origins from ca. 1,000 BC, and the name “Assaf” is an ancient Persian word meaning “genuine” . The Assaf Dynasty has been a prominent Nobiliary House of Lebanon since ancient times .
The Princes of Assaf ruled the sovereign Principality of Keserwan in Lebanon for 285 years from 1306-1591 AD, and governed the Principality of Tripoli for 63 years from 1516-1579 AD, as a leading Royal House of the Mamluk Sultanate.
The Assaf Dynasty continued and eventually became the only surviving Royal House of the Mamluk Sultanate, which was the Crown Regency authority for the 12th century Sultanate of Salahadin, and thus by customary international law carries full Royal Succession of the medieval Mamluk Sultanate of Salahadin.
THE MAMLUK SULTANATE OF SALAHADIN
The Royal Sovereign status of the Assaf Dynasty primarily comes from the Sultan Salah-Al-Din (“Salahadin”) Yusuf ibn Ayyub (1137-1193 AD), the famous founding leader of the Saracen Knights of the Royal Order of Salahadin (“Saladin”), who opposed the Crusades and signed diplomatic treaties with the Knights Templar, and the counterpart to the Templar King Richard the Lionheart of England:
Mamluk Nobility of Sultanate of Salahadin – The Sultan Salahadin in the 12th century freed the ethnic Mamluk tribes (of Eastern European Caucasian origins) from slavery, and elevated the Mamluks as highly skilled Knights of the Royal Army of Salahadin, making them the backbone of the Egyptian military . In the Ayyubid Dynasty, the Royal House of each Prince retained an entourage of Mamluks , who were trained in the culture and etiquette of Royal courtly society , and thereby developed into the autonomous Nobility class of the Sultanate of Salahadin .
Crown Regency Power of Mamluk Sultanate – In 1250 AD the Mamluks became the Crown Regency authority for selection and coronation of successors of the Ayyubid Sultanate of Salahadin, as an “electoral college” . During 1266-1267 AD, when they captured Ramla and Antioch from the Knights Templar, they established the Mamluk Sultanate continuing that of Salahadin . The capital headquarters of the Mamluk Sultanate always remained the Citadel of Salahadin in Cairo Egypt .
HISTORICAL SUCCESSION OF THE SULTANATE OF SALAHADIN
Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, which the Knights Templar considered the “Vatican of Islam” as the leading official Muslim religious authority of the predominant Sunni Islam, has directly confirmed to our Bar Chambers that there are no living bloodline descendants from Salahadin in the modern era.
However, the Sultanate of Salahadin continued by succession of the Mamluk Sultanate, which continued by succession of the Mamluk Principality of Keserwan, which continued by succession of the Assaf Dynasty of Lebanon, which thereby carries succession of the Crown of the Ayyubid Dynasty, and thus carries Royal Succession of the Sultanate of Salahadin:
The Ayyubid Sultanate of Salahadin survived until 1254 AD, and was then continued exclusively by the Mamluk Sultanate of Salahadin as its Crown Regency authority. The Mamluk Sultanate survived until 1517 AD when it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, and then continued exclusively through the Mamluk Principality of Keserwan, ruled by the Assaf Dynasty of Lebanon.
Sovereign Principality of Keserwan – The Royal Dynasty of Assaf ruled the Keserwan region of Lebanon as a sovereign Principality of the Mamluk Sultanate , based in Ghazir as headquarters of the Assaf Dynasty, located 27 kilometers north of Beirut , governing the coastal region between Beirut and Jbeil . The Assaf Dynasty was the ruling power of Principality of Keserwan for 285 years from 1306 AD  until 1591 AD , also governing the former Templar Principality of Tripoli for 63 years from 1516 AD until 1579 AD  .
The most prominent ruling Prince of Keserwan was Prince Mansour (Mansur) Assaf from ca. 1523 AD (under Crown Regency of Prince Musa Assaf during his childhood), succeeded by his son Prince Muhammad Assaf ca. 1580 AD .
The Assaf Dynasty was deposed as the ruling Royal House in 1591 AD, by the Turkmen clan of Yusuf Pasha Sayfa of Tripoli, who killed Prince Muhammad (without any male heirs), and married his widow thus acquiring the Keserwan Principality and wealth of the Assaf Dynasty  .
The Emir Assaf Mosque in Beirut was built in 1597 AD by Prince Muhammad in the name of his father, and is thus attributed to Prince Mansour Assaf.
LEGAL ISSUES ESTABLISHING ROYAL SUCCESSION
Arab Legal Naming Conventions – As established by the above verified historical facts, the Assaf Dynasty survived as a non-ruling Royal House, thus carrying full Fons Honourum rights and Crown Regency authorities of the original Sultanate of Salahadin (Salah-Al-Din). As a result of these legal facts, the Assaf Royal line of Princes of Keserwan, since the 16th century, were customarily designated by the double family name of “Salah-Al-Din Assaf”.
It is well established in customary law that Arab names follow a strict naming convention, where the given (first) name is followed by a sequence of “patronymic” names, which are usually generations of fathers, but alternately can represent tribal or ancestral rights or heritage   .
Therefore, the last two ancestral names, with the family name “Assaf” preceded by “Salah-Al-Din”, evidence the legal fact that the Assaf Dynasty and its descendants carry the heritage, rights and authorities of the Sultanate of Salahadin.
Mamluk Law of Royal Succession – In the Mamluk Sultanate of Salahadin, Royal Succession of the Sultan was traditionally by election conducted by a Council of Princes, generally consisting of those Princes with the most active political influence . Under Mamluk customary law, Royal Succession was primarily by election, but also sometimes combined with hereditary dynastic succession .
Therefore, as Prince Mahmoud is the only descendant of his generation legally named for both the Assaf Dynasty and the Sultanate of Salahadin, and by his career has publicly demonstrated the most active political influence in international affairs, by Mamluk law he is legally and lawfully the rightful heir to hereditary dynastic succession of the Kingdom.
Succession by Crown Regency Power – In customary law of ancient and medieval European kingdoms, Royal Succession follows the rule of “Elective Monarchy”, where a Crown Regency authority, usually the Parliament, selects the best candidate from competing lines of multiple Royal Houses, and approves the resulting coronation .
As a rule of customary law, evidenced by legal precedent of Canon law, to legalize Royal Succession to an historical institution for official Reestablishment, “arrangements for… rights… devolve upon [pass to] the next higher [institution]” (Canon 123) . Thus, in the absence of or as an alternative to external Sovereign Recognition, the historical Crown Regency authority itself, as the “next higher institution”, carries the necessary legal power to reestablish the King of an historical kingdom.
Therefore, as the Assaf Dynasty carries and continues the surviving Crown Regency authority of the Mamluk Sultanate of Salahadin, through the Mamluk Principality of Keserwan, the Royal House of Assaf has the full official capacity to legally assert its own Royal Succession and fully Reestablish the Sultanate of Salahadin.
RESTORATION BY SOVEREIGN RECOGNITION
Experts in customary international law maintain that a royal institution “is legitimate” whenever it is “legal, recognized and acknowledged as such by a sovereign authority.” 
However, such “Recognition” must come from another Historical State which has retained Fons Honourum of royal authority to “exercise its heraldic jurisdiction” in customary law, and thus has legal capacity to preserve its own royal and nobiliary institutions  .
Fulfilling this element of legitimacy, Prince Mahmoud Salah-Al-Din Assaf has been officially recognized as the Crown Prince of the Mamluk Sultanate of Salahadin by multiple sovereign institutions:
He was certified by the Heraldry’s Institute of Rome (2015), recognized by H.M. King Togbe Osaii of the Royal House of Godenu in Gbi-Godenu in Ghana of the British Commonwealth (2016), H.M. Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo of the Philippines (2016 and 2019), the Russian Orthodox Church (2019), H.M. King Bungsu Mudakir of the Kingdom of Banten Nusantara of Indonesia (2019), the Grand Mastery of the Order of the Temple of Solomon (2019), the Royal Alliance of Independent States of restored Kingdoms internationally (2019), and the Council of Member States of Ignita Veritas United (2019).
Modern Countries Incapacity of Recognition – Experts on customary law note that by the inherent limitations of “national laws… their validity extends only to their own borders”  . Legal scholars explain that “no State can validly declare that some organization is recognized” as royal or nobiliary, “if [such State] has no valid Fons Honourum” of current royal authority .
They further confirm that restored institutions “retain their full historical chivalric, nobiliary and social validity, notwithstanding all political changes. It is therefore considered ‘ultra vires’ [beyond authority] of any Republican State to interfere… That they may not be officially recognized by the new government does not affect their traditional validity or their accepted status in international… circles.” 
Republic of Lebanon – The modern territory of Lebanon began as a French Mandate called the “State of Greater Lebanon” under the League of Nations in 1920, declared independence in 1943, and created the modern “Lebanese Republic” in 1945 upon joining the new United Nations.
Republic of Syria – The modern territory Syria began as a French Mandate called the “State of Syria” under the League of Nations in 1924, declared independence in 1945, and created the modern “Syrian Republic” in 1946 upon joining the new United Nations, reestablished as the “Syrian Arab Republic” in 1961.
The current Republics of Lebanon and Syria are thus modern secular governments, which have no jurisdiction and no legal capacity to “recognize” royal and nobiliary titles of the medieval Mamluk Sultanate of Salahadin and its Principalities of Keserwan (Lebanon), Tripoli (Lebanon & Syria) and Antioch (Syria).
INHERITANCE AND USE OF HEREDITARY TITLES
The title of Prince or Princess generally passes to non-reigning descendants of any reigning monarch , including descendants of a deposed monarch of a dynastic former historical territory .
The historical legal precedent of the Royal House of Anjou of the Knights Templar, as equivalent counterparts to the Royal Order of Knights of Salahadin, establishes that succession also legitimately passes through female lines , such that the Royal titles do not diminish in rank over generations, regardless of passing through maternal lines.
An underlying rule of customary law is that all Kings are essentially Princes, and any Prince is a titular King whenever occupying the ruling office of a Kingdom .
Therefore, as a hereditary Prince of the Royal House of Assaf, de facto holding and de jure recognized as exercising the office of Sovereign Head of State of the restored Mamluk Sultanate of Salahadin, Prince Mahmoud rightfully and lawfully holds the Royal title of “Sultan” of the Sultanate, with full legal legitimacy in international law.
EXERCISING STATE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE SULTANATE
Established doctrines of customary international law empower the restored Mamluk Sultanate of Salahadin to exercise official governmental powers and authorities of Statehood in conventional international law, having the same legal sovereignty as a country, without any territorial requirement.
Royal Non-Territorial Independent States – The sovereignty of a restored historical kingdom does not require being a “country” nor having any territorial claim, and holds legal status as a “sovereign subject of international law”  . Experts on customary law note that sovereignty of a restored kingdom gives it the legal status of an “independent State”, meaning without any territorial claims, which then “has the right to create its own Orders or Decorations of Merit” and engage in diplomatic relations pursuing its original historical missions . Royalty experts also refer to such a sovereign institution as “an independent non-territorial power” .
Legitimacy by Merit of Restored Substance – There is a doctrine of customary law, that legal legitimacy of a restored royal institution such as a kingdom also must be based upon possessing meaningful substance of its restored heritage and traditions, “as a sovereign institution [which] is functional, to ensure the achievement of its purposes in the world” .
For the purpose of fulfilling this element of legitimacy, Prince Mahmoud through his leadership has secured strategic partnerships since 2017, with the History Faculty of Ignita Veritas University, the chivalric Order of the Temple of Solomon, and the IGO Ignita Veritas United. This inter-governmental alliance provides the full depth and substance of Royal heritage, Chivalry traditions, and Diplomatic functions to the restored Sultanate of Salahadin.
SPECIAL LEGAL AUTHORITIES OF THE SULTANATE
Rules of customary international law establish the legal bases for using the present subject royal line, to exercise the historical legal powers and authorities of the Sultanate of Salahadin which are carried by that lineage.
Restoration of One’s Sovereign Patrimony – Nobiliary law scholars documented the legal doctrine that a successor can restore historical institutions which “belong to the heraldic patrimony” of one’s own Royal House as the founding or leading sovereignty of those institutions. Such heraldic patrimony is “often held by ancient right” as “the exclusive property of a Sovereign… even if he goes into exile, and are transmissible to his legitimate successor… A Sovereign in exile and his legitimate successor… therefore may bestow honours in full legitimacy” to restore an historical institution, but “cannot however” create a “new” institution.  
This customary law doctrine of heraldic patrimony is also evidenced by scholarship of nobiliary law, which confirms that an historical institution can be legitimately restored by a non-ruling Sovereign whose Historical State carries the historical Governance or Patronage of that institution: “It is an accepted juridical tenet, and also under international law de facto, [that] a dethroned Prince although he loses his throne, will still hold [Fons Honourum]” rights to restore one’s dynastic institutions. 
Reestablishment as Restoration from Abeyance – Another doctrine of customary law is that an historical institution can be restored from abeyance to full legal legitimacy, by a Sovereign act to “Reestablish” the institution. This is accomplished through “Recognition” of a surviving lineage of even lower-ranking members reconstituting the institution, by granting Royal or Pontifical “Protection” to “Reestablish” its government. A major legal precedent is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), which was reestablished precisely in this way, provisionally in 1817 AD and permanently in 1878 AD.  
For the purpose of fulfilling this element of legitimacy, Prince Mahmoud has arranged a strategic partnership since 2017, with the indigenous Yazidi Nation of the ancient Kingdom of Ezidkhan, who are living descendants of those who fought in the Royal Order of Knights of Salahadin in the 12th century. This arrangement was established through an alliance with the Order of the Temple of Solomon, which is in partnership with the ruling Yazidi Royal House.
Therefore, Prince Mahmoud, as Sultan of the Sultanate of Salahadin, has the rare and historic opportunity, with full legal capacity in customary international law, to legitimately restore the legendary medieval Royal Order of Knights of Salahadin.
Mutual Cooperation with Christians – The Princes of Assaf were primarily empowered by close cooperation and active political support from the Maronite Christians from 1517 AD , who were “Assaf’s chief political agents”, and were made Courtesans in the Royal entourages of the Princely Houses of the Assaf Dynasty . The Royal House of Assaf thus protected and elevated the minority Christians, in precisely the same way that the Sultanate of Salahadin had done for the ethnic Mamluks.
Therefore, Prince Mahmoud has the rare and unique opportunity to position the Sultanate of Salahadin to become the Royal Patron and historical cultural leadership of the Muslim-Christian Unity Movement as promoted in Egypt.
Royal Restoration of Historical Institutions – There is a doctrine of customary international law, that a “deposed” and thus “non-reigning” or “non-ruling” non- territorial Royal House retains “sovereign authority” to grant Sovereign Recognition, Patronage or Protection by one’s own Historical State to help restore another historical institution . Thus a legal heir and established successor “not having abdicated”, acting as the recognized Sovereign of the Historical State, holds the legal capacity to grant “the necessary Fons Honourum” (source of honours) for legitimacy of the institution . Experts on customary law confirm that “such ex-sovereigns” of “ex-ruling Houses whose sovereign rank was internationally recognized” at any time “retain their full rights as Fons Honourum.” 
Therefore, Prince Mahmoud as Sultan of the restored Mamluk Sultanate of Salahadin has the legal capacity to grant and exchange Letters Patent of Sovereign Recognition such as Royal Patronage, to participate in and support restoration of other Kingdoms and historical institutions in cooperation with the Royal Alliance.
Cooperation with Knights Templar – Official chronicles in the historical record evidence that Sultan Salahadin had requested and received the Templar knighting ceremony, given by the Templar Knight Count Hue de Tabarie, making Salahadin a full Brother in the Order of the Temple of Solomon, ca. 1190 AD     . After this, Salahadin gave approval for the Templar knighting of his brother’s son by King Richard the Lionheart ca. 1191 AD .
The Saracen Sultan Salahadin and Templar King Richard the Lionheart signed a peace accord, the Treaty of Ramla of 1192 AD, by which Jerusalem would remain under Muslim control, but would be open to Christian pilgrimage  . That treaty was reconfirmed by the Treaty of Acre of 1229 AD between Salahadin’s successor Sultan Al-Kamil and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, supporting mutual cooperation of the Knights Templar with Muslim Saracens in preserving Holy sites and heritage .
Accordingly, Prince Mahmoud is already an ancestral hereditary Knight of the Order of the Temple of Solomon, and the Sultanate of Salahadin already has a diplomatic peace and cooperation treaty with the Templar Order which remains in full force and effect.
Therefore, the restored Sultanate of Salahadin has the unique and historic opportunity to reaffirm, update and continue the medieval treaty alliance, and to engage in strong mutual cooperation, with the Templar Order in the modern era.
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