constantinople, Foreign Policy, Side Feature, The Khilafah

The Conquest of Constantinople Restored the Islamic State’s Intellectual and Political Leadership

And Fulfilling the Messenger’s Other Glad-Tidings Will Restore it to its Former State

Constantinople, the capital of Hercules, which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ gave the glad tiding of its conquest, and which was built by Constantine I – one of the emperors of Byzantium in the year 330 CE – and named it after his name, and made it the capital of the Byzantine Empire, one of the two greatest Christian states; the Byzantine Empire which lasted more than a thousand years of time, beginning in the fourth century and ending in the fourteenth century.

After long battles and conflicts with many nations and civilizations, the Byzantine Empire fell after the fall of its capital, Constantinople, which the hordes of the East and the West were unable to conquer, until the Ottoman leader Muhammad Al-Fateh came and conquered it in 1453 CE.

And looking at the situation of the Ummah about two centuries before the conquest of Constantinople, we can see that it was living in bad conditions internally and externally. There was the Mongol invasion of the caliphate and their suppression of Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate, and the killing of the caliph himself and tens of thousands of Muslims, and prior to that were the Crusade campaigns that made Muslims suffer until Allah (swt) ordained for the Ummah the likes of Qutz, Baybars and Salah al-Din to save it, and it remained in this tense state until the Ottomans, with great men like Sultan Mehmed II or Muhammad al-Fatih, who Allah (swt) allowed for the conquering of Constantinople to be on his hands, establishing through it the glad-tidings of the Messenger ﷺ in his saying: «لَتُفْتَحَنَّ الْقُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةُ فَلَنِعْمَ الْأَمِيرُ أَمِيرُهَا وَلَنِعْمَ الْجَيْشُ ذَلِكَ الْجَيْشُ» “Verily, you shall conquer Constantinople. What a wonderful leader will he be, and what a wonderful army will that army be.”

The glad-tidings of the Prophet ﷺ were not limited to the conquest of Constantinople, for he ﷺ delivered to us three other glad-tidings; namely: the conquest of Rome, the return of the Caliphate on the path of the Prophet, and fighting the Jewish entity and defeating them gravely. The Messenger ﷺ does not speak out of his own desire; it is but a revelation inspired to him. The glad-tidings of the Messenger ﷺ are not mere glad-tidings, but looking deeply into them, we find that these glad-tidings come as comfort to the Ummah when it is going through its darkest conditions and is seeking its way to emancipation from the humiliation of its enemies while they conspire against it. These glad-tidings thus become the best motivation and an incentive to emerge from its crises and return as a leadership to the world to carry out its primary role of carrying the call (Da’wah), spread Islam and bring people out of darkness into light.

The great conquest of Constantinople at the hands of the conqueror, the wonderful leader and his army the most wonderful army, was not only a mere conquest, but in its aftermath were great effects of empowerment and sovereignty. It represented an important symbol of international relations in the history of the Ottoman State, and it increased its political value by formally erasing its enemy, the Byzantine Empire, from the political map after a long time of more than one thousand one hundred years, and in practice established a new map in international politics, and restored the position of the Islamic state as the first country in the world that has its political weight in wars and conflicts, as well as in peace or the so-called political influence and diplomatic influence of power struggles on the international scene.

The conquering Sultan (leader) also established his footing in Greece, expanded eastward, and applied a firm system to control these areas, thus the Ottoman State established itself at the end of his era as the greatest international power in the face of empires and western and eastern countries that were less organized and coherent politically and militarily. Sultan Mohammad paved the way for the Islamic State to play the role of the true superpower in Europe, becoming a major threat to the rising European identity.

The conquest of Constantinople had other political implications, as the center of the Orthodox Church in the Christian world fell, and as soon as the Sultan entered the city he converted the Hagia Sophia Cathedral into a mosque. Also, one of the most important results at the international level is the Ottomans completely taking over one of the most important arteries of international trade between the East and the West. The conquest of Constantinople was great with the establishment of the glad tidings of the Messenger ﷺ, and it was great in its political and military effects, so the Ottoman State’s conquests continued until they reached the walls of Vienna and southern France, and the Khilafah spanned for several centuries being at the throne of the first country in the world, feared by the far and wide.

This is evidenced by these honorable historical images of this long period of time for this great state, which demonstrates its greatness and its position which it assumed after the conquest of Constantinople:

The first position: that when the king of France, François I, was captured in one of its wars in Europe (the Battle of Pavia), it felt insulted for the capture of its king, so it sought refuge in the Ottoman caliphate state, and sent a messenger in the name of the King of France on 6/12/1525 CE seeking help from the Islamic State. The messenger met the Ottoman Caliph, Suleiman the Magnificent, and the Caliph answered his appeal. And so it was, the Caliphate State used its international weight and its military power to relief the King of France and actively contributed to breaking his captivity.

The second position: The Ottoman Caliphate fought a war against the United States, during the period from 1801 to 1804 CE, which ended in the defeat of the Americans and their humiliation in their first war outside the borders of their country, after they refused to pay the tax to the Ottoman ruler Yusuf Qara Manli in return for entering the American fleet to the Mediterranean. This defeat led America to the signing of a humiliating agreement, written in a language other than theirs, with the governors of Tunisia, Tripoli, Algeria and Morocco. And until today, after the caliphate was overthrown in 1924 CE, you find in the boasted American naval anthem that it says in its beginning: “From the Halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli; We fight our country’s battles, In the air, on land, and sea;”.

And another third position underlined in the archives of the British House of Commons indicates the pride of the Caliphate State, which is the response of the Ottoman Sultan to Britain’s offer of its malicious assistance of its naval military forces in the Ottoman State’s conflict with Russia in 1792 CE, and this (response) came in a letter from the Grand Visier to the British ambassador read in the House of Commons: “The Ottomans do not establish any relationship with your king or your country, and we have never sought your advice, nor your interference nor even your friendship… It never occurred to the Sultan that a British soldier would set foot in the waters of the Mediterranean… For what reason did you submit your offer to mediate on our behalf with Russia? If you want to stay here as a spy, or as you call yourself, an ambassador of your king, you can live with your counterparts from other Christian countries humiliated in the limits of courtesy and discipline, but we do not want your help, neither on land nor at sea nor do we want your advice or mediation.”

Finally we come to a quote from a speech delivered by then-CEO Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina, at her World Conference of Directors in the World on 26/11/2001. She is the then presidential candidate during the Trump era, and the timing of her speech may have been of great importance in that it came in the wake of the attacks of September 2001, saying: ‘There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world. It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins.

One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization’s commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between.

When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.

While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits… the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent.” End quote.

Islam has promised specific victories, accomplishments and conquests that have not been accomplished yet, and they will be accomplished by the will of Allah (swt), because just like the promise of the conquest of Constantinople was established, so will the promise of the conquest of Rome, and the promise of the Messenger ﷺ of fighting and defeating the Jews, as he ﷺ said in the Hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari: «تُقَاتِلُكُمُ اليَهُودُ فَتُسَلَّطُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ، ثُمَّ يَقُولُ الحَجَرُ: يَا مُسْلِمُ هَذَا يَهُودِيٌّ وَرَائِي، فَاقْتُلْهُ» “The Jews will fight you and you will prevail over them, then a rock will say: ‘O Muslim, here is a Jew behind me; kill him.’” Finally, on top of these glad-tidings is the establishment of the Khilafah Rashidah on the method of Prophethood as is mentioned in the Hadith: «…ثُمَّ تَكُونُ خِلَافَةٌ عَلَى مِنْهَاجِ النُّبُوَّةِ» “… then there will be a Khilafah Rashidah on the method of Prophethood” which, by the will of Allah, will return the Ummah its glory and victory, and through it, the Jews will be fought and defeated, Rome will be conquered, and we will verily rejoice with much more than that as was the case with the conquest of Constantinople of great outcomes achieved by the Islamic State for many decades, and it was the door through which the Islamic state regained its position in establishing justice and mercy and its elimination of the doctrines of Kufr and the domination and agents of colonialism.

These glad tidings will not be established through dependence, waiting and inaction. If the hearts of the Muslims were filled with the firm belief that it will be achieved as the first Muslims believed in the conquest of Constantinople, not resting and the revelations of this glad tiding did not leave their minds for a period of more than eight centuries, so they prepared for it and aided (the cause of) Allah, so Allah (swt) aided them and gave them victory. Therefore, the Sunnah (way) of Allah is that we should aid the cause of Allah so that He makes us victorious, so we should establish His law, exalt His state’s edifice and prepare what we can of strength and then strive in Jihad for His cause, only then will the earth shine with the remaining three glad tidings and radiate once again with the Khilafah state.


Dr. Abdullah Shakir – Jordan