For eight centuries, the conquest of Constantinople, now
Every Muslim commander wanted to be the conqueror praised in the narration in which the Prophet said: "You will conquer
Who was then the person about whom the Prophet gave glad tidings? It was Muhammad Al-Faatih son of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II.
Muhammad Al-Faatih as a child and his excellent preparation:
Muhammad Al-Fatih was born on 27th Rajab, 835 A.H., 30th March, 1432. He was brought up under the supervision of his father, Sultan Murad II, the seventh Ottoman Sultan. His father prepared and trained him to shoulder the responsibilities of the position of a Sultan. Muhammad Al-Fatih memorized all the Quran, learnt the Prophetic narrations, Islamic jurisprudence, mathematics, astronomy and the skills required for war.
He also learnt Arabic, Persian, Latin and Greek languages. He joined his father in his battles and conquests.
His father appointed him as a ruler of a small emirate so that he could receive practical training on administering state affairs under the supervision of some of the top scholars of that time. This matter influenced the character of the young prince and tinted his personality with Islamic morals and manners.
Shaykh Aaq Shamsd-Deen, one of the scholars who supervised the upbringing and education of Muhammad Al-Faatih, managed to inculcate in his heart the spirit of Jihaad and the desire to be a person with high ambition.
The Shaykh also told Muhammad Al-Faatih that he may be the one referred to in the Prophetic narration mentioned above. All this shaped the character of Muhammad Al-Faatih. He was devoted to Jihaad, highly ambitious, widely cultured, and had deep knowledge of the skills of war and combat.
Taking power and his efforts to achieve the glad tiding:
After the death of his father, Sultan Murad II on 5th Muharram, 852 A.H., 7th February, 1451 A.C., Muhammad Al-Faatih took over and became the Sultan of the
The first step in achieving his dream was to take control of the
At that time, a talented engineer managed to make a number of cannons for the Sultan, Muhammad Al-Faatih. One of these cannons, never known before that time, was 700 tons and its projectile weighed 1,500 kilograms.
The sound of its shell could be heard from a long distance away. It was pulled by one hundred oxen aided by one hundred strong men. This giant cannon was called the Sultanic Cannon.
The conquest of
After completing his preparations, Sultan Muhammad Al-Faatih marched to
At dawn of Tuesday, 20th Jumaadaa Al-Awwal, 827 A.H., 29th May, 1453 A.C., the Ottoman forces managed to penetrate the walls and drive away the defenders who fled. The people of
After the Ottoman forces conquered the city, Sultan Muhammad arrived on his horse in a great procession that included his ministers and army commanders. Ever since that time, the Sultan was known as Muhammad Al-Faatih (the Conqueror). The soldiers were shouting:
Mash-Allaah! Mash-Allaah! Long live our Sultan! Long live our Sultan!
The Sultan's procession marched until it reached Hagia Sophia church where the people of the city had gathered. When they knew that the Sultan had arrived, they bowed and prostrated and they were all weeping and crying because they did not know their fate; what Sultan Muhammad Al-Faatih would do to them.
When the Sultan arrived, he dismounted from his horse and prayed two Rak`ahs thanking Allaah Who had blessed him with this conquest. Then the Sultan addressed the people of the city who were still bowing and prostrating in tears:
Stand up! I am Sultan Muhammad and I would like to tell you, your brothers, and all the people present that your lives and freedoms are protected.
The Sultan ordered that the church be turned into a mosque and for the first time, the call for prayer was heard from this place. Until now, this mosque is still known as the Mosque of Hagia Sophia. He also decided to take
The Sultan was very tolerant and merciful with the people of the city, and acted according to the teachings of Islam. He commanded his soldiers to treat their prisoners of war in a good manner. The Sultan himself paid the ransoms for a large number of prisoners of war from his own money. He also allowed those who left the city when it was under siege to return home.
The aftermath of the conquest of
Muhammad Al-Fatih attained this victory when he was twenty three years old. This indicated his early military genius. He also deserved the glad tidings of the Prophet who foretold that a good person would conquer that city.
Later on, Muhammad Al-Faatih headed to complete his conquests in the Balkan. He managed to conquer
In order to achieve this great hope, he needed to conquer
Muhammad Al-Fatih decided to take Otarant as a base for his northern military operations until he could reach
Muhammad Al-Fatih as a statesman and a sponsor of civilization
During the reign of Muhammad Al-Faatih and because of his wise leadership and well-planned policy, the
All these conquests were not the only achievements of Muhammad Al-Faatih may Allaah have mercy on him. Through the help of some of his loyal men, he managed to establish a constitution based on the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet and the Ottoman state adhered to this constitution for about four centuries.
Although he was very busy, he managed to establish more than 300 mosques, 192 of which were in
Muhammad Al-Faatih was known for his love for literature. He was a good poet and a regular reader. He liked the company of scholars and poets and made some of them ministers. Whenever he heard about a great scholar in any field, he would help and support him or ask him to come to
The character of Muhammad Al-Faatih:
Muhammad Al-Faatih was a committed Muslim who abode by the rulings of Islamic jurisprudence. Because of the way he was brought up, he was a pious man. As for his military conduct, it was very civilized and it was unfamiliar to
Owing to his ambition fostered by his teachers who always encouraged him to be the conqueror of
Muhammad Al-Faatih managed to realize his dreams through hard, continuous work, and well-organized planning. For example, before besieging
Through high ambition, determination, and the effort to achieve his goals, he managed to materialize his dream, make his hope an existing reality which made him one of the great Muslim heroes and conquerors.