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The crucial role of Tasawwuf in the conquest of Constantinople/Istanbul

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd January 2018 20:41
Constantinople, a city in Turkey which is now known as Istanbul, was the capital of the Roman Empire. Nabi ﷺ once said to His companions, “Verily, Constantinople shall be conquered. What a wonderful leader will her leader be, and what a wonderful army will that army be” (Musnad Ahmad). Throughout Muslim rule, whenever a leader came into power conquering Constantinople was their primary goal as they wanted to be recipients of the glad tidings aforementioned.

Many tried and many failed until the next Caliph assumed power, announcing a fresh attempt to challenge and conquer Constantinople. Remembering the past failures and deaths, the populace was demotivated from taking part in the prophesied conquest. The Caliph would then request scholars to recite the ahadeeth on conquering Constantinople to galvanise the masses. However, once the army would reach the Golden Horn where headquarters were established to protect Constantinople from attacks, the Romans would shoot their naval ships and the Muslims returned defeated.

Though this happened a number of times, each leader remained adamant to retry since they knew that the predictions of Nabi ﷺ could never be wrong, it was not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when”. Eventually, Allah brought a Caliph named Sultan Muhammad Al-Fatih. At the age of just 21, he led an entire army to conquer Constantinople. They came close to the land, only to be attacked by the Romans.

Muhammad began to lose heart and decided to terminate the mission. However, he had a Shaikh named Akshamsaddin who was with him at the time, along with a group of senior Mashaaikh and Ulama. His Shaikh came to know of his decision. Immediately, he sent a note instructing him to not abandon this conquest. Though the army was demoralised, many personnel had been martyred and their naval boats were bombarded, Muhammad trusted in his Shaikh. Thus, against all odds he complied with the advice of his Shaikh and retracted his command to retreat.

Allah then inspired him with a clever idea to chop the trees overnight, make a track, attach ropes to the naval ships and then pull them over to Constantinople. By morning, the Romans woke up to the sight of the Muslims on their land which led to one final battle. Allah granted the Muslims victory. Immediately, Muhammad went to his Shaikh to personally share the good news.

The guards surrounding Shaikh Akshamsaddin’s tent initially denied him entry, stating that he was busy. However, Muhammad refused to take no for an answer. He insisted until the guards allowed him entry. Inside he saw him engaged in fervent dua. He relayed the message of victory; that Constantinople was now in Muslim hands. From then till now, it remains in the hands of the Muslims and Tasawwuf still maintains a strong presence in Turkey.

There are many lessons we can learn from their conquest. Firstly, the prediction of Nabi ﷺ took 600/700 years to actualise. On a personal level, we become hasty at times hoping to rush through hardships and jump straight to success. But it is Allah’s meticulous timings and divine decree that decides what happens and our impatience can never quicken it. Therefore, opt to be patient because good things take time. Secondly, Muhammad and his army were going to retreat had it not been for the guidance of his Shaikh that spurred him forward. This highlights the importance of Tasawwuf, the need for a Shaikh and the barakah in their advice even if it seems strange, or proves difficult at the time.

Thirdly, Muhammad was only 21 at the time of conquering Constantinople. That Allah caused a young person to become Al-Fatih (The Conquerer) is a sure sign that with a bit of faith, guidance and closeness to Allah, youth have the ability to make major changes to the fabric of this Ummah. May Allah make us people of faith, guidance and change-makers in our societies, Aameen.

— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an article taken from www.islaahiadvices.com. It is an extract from Hazrat's talk on 15/01/18. To listen to the full talk, please click here.
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