(excerpt from The Beginning of The End)

The subject of the conquest of Constantinople is indeed a truly difficult one to unravel. This is because the general mindsets of many people who have ‘browsed’ through the ahādīth on the subject are adamant that the conquest of Constantinople has already been fulfilled with the conquest of Fātih Sultan Mehmed II or ‘Mehmed the Conqueror’ in 1453 AD. The current Turkish nationals will have it no other way. In their defense, I suppose that they are proud to connect this great prophecy with one of their own. That view is not limited only to the Turks, and has become the only view for many scholars who have also ‘browsed’ the subject. However, those who have ‘studied’ the subject by analysis of the hadīth corpus on the conquest of Constantinople have come to the sound conclusion that the prophesized conquest has not come to pass as of yet.

 

It is pivotal to note that similar to the changing of the word ‘Najd’ to Riyadh occurred with the Saudis, the changing of the name ‘Constantinople’ to ‘Istanbul’ by Mustafa Kamal was also very peculiar. Muslims do not remove from their dictionaries those words which were utilized by the Prophet r. In fact, Muslims increase their usage of a word once they realize that the Messenger صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ utilized that particular word. Is it a coincidence that two areas of interest in the end-times viz. Najd and Constantinople have seen an alteration to its prophetically acknowledged name…by Muslims?!  The view that the conquest of Constantinople as already having been fulfilled comes under much scrutiny when we realize that in the previous section, we had  mentioned a domino effect of events in relation to Jerusalem, Madīnah, the Malhamah and Constantinople. It further explained that the conquest of the Constantinople would result in the emergence of Dajjāl.

Since the conquest of Sultan Mehmed II occurred some 600 years ago, the question which begs to be asked is, ‘Where is the Dajjāl? The Great Deceiver has not emerged to make his claim since that conquest; hence it follows that a critical study of the hadīth corpus on the subject may indicate to us a different viewpoint.

 

Narration 1

 

حَدَّثَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ بِشْرٍ الْخَثْعَمِيُّ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ : ” لَتُفْتَحَنَّ الْقُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةُ ، فَلَنِعْمَ الْأَمِيرُ أَمِيرُهَا ، وَلَنِعْمَ الْجَيْشُ ذَلِكَ الْجَيْشُ

“Verily you shall conquer Constantinople. What a wonderful leader will her leader be, and what a wonderful army will that army be!”[1]

 

Elucidation 1

Many who have read the above hadīth focused mainly on the aspect of the Prophet’s صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ praise for that leader, hence Sultan Mehmet II was praised for his conquest of Constantinople and that was the end of it. Very few actually studied the implications of the narrations pertaining to that conquest. We have strived to maintain that the adherence to methodology is of utmost importance for any subject, let alone the subject of Islāmic eschatology. Those who took the aforementioned narration in isolation concluded that the conquest of 1453 was indeed a fulfillment of that prophecy. We would like to argue that there are several narrations which indicate otherwise. The narration further indicated that the prophesized conquest will be achieved via a military struggle. Why else would the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ praise that ‘army’?

By his صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ mention of an army, we can deduce that Constantinople will not surrender easily. Other narrations discuss that the conquest will occur via tasbīh and taqdīs (glorification of Allāh Almighty). The scholars have opined that the narration referring to the victory of the Muslims via the glorification of Allāh Almighty will most likely be the second conquest during this time of war, but it may be – and Allāh Almighty knows best – that the conquest in this manner is due to the enemies’ recognition of the fact that it will be futile to engage the Muslims. The sheer numbers in addition to the sound of the glorification of Allāh Almighty may send shivers down their spines and will cause them to cease attack and lay down their arms, the power of Allāh will be in full view on that day!

 

The Prophet’s صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ statement, “Verily you shall conquer Constantinople” causes us to inquire, who was the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ referring to by ‘you’? Of course when we consider that he was engaging in conversation with his companions, the indication is that the Blessed Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ was referring to a Muslim conquest of Constantinople in the future of his Ummah. Based on our understanding, we believe that conquest will occur in Ākhiruz Zamān.

If so, this causes us to further inquire how will Muslims conquer a place which is already ruled by ‘Muslims’? Prior to that, we must explore the possibility of Constantinople under the rule of Kuffār.

 

When we consider the narration in the previous section dedicated to that domino effect of events to take place in the end-times, we come to the realization that the Malhamah (Great War) will precede the Conquest of Constantinople. This will be flowed by an even greater battle. We know that this war will be one of the most deadly of wars wherein the death toll will be exponential to say the least. It may be, -and Allāh knows best- that Constantinople may be inhabited by non-Muslims after the first Great War. For this view, there is no data, only a means of sophisticated guesswork.

 

Insofar as Muslims conquering a land under Muslim rule is concerned, it may be that the leadership at the time (Turkish Muslim political parties) will remain in power even after the Malhamah, and that Muslims will conquer Constantinople whilst they (Turkish Muslims) are still ruling. If that is to be the case, then it is perplexing that Muslims will invade a country ruled by Muslims. Hence, it may be that the rulers at the time are Pseudo-Muslims, but their allegiances may not be with us. If so, how is this possible? We have asserted in the opening sections of this book that the Qur’ān had prophesized an alliance between the Jews and Christians. That alliance has come to be known by the Judeo-Christian Alliance, or more commonly known as Zionism. When we consider that since February 1852, Turkey has been in an alliance with the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which is of course, a military initiative led by Western Christianity of which the United States of America is also a member state of, yet Eastern orthodox Christianity is not part of that alliance. Hence it may be, -and Allāh knows best- that if Muslims were to lead a conquest of Constantinople, then of course, NATO would have to intervene to protect a member state from invasion. If that is the case, then any such conquest led by Muslims into Turkey should not be considered a fight between Muslims, because we have already established the Qur’ānic standpoint which clearly declares that anyone who enters into an alliance with the already-allied-Judeo-Christian-alliance is no longer from us, but is a part of them. This may also explain the narration which mentioned that we will be attacked by 80 flags. Those countries who are allied to each other, will not allow a close ally such as Turkey to be conquered without a collective military intervention.

 

Narration 2

 

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏‏ لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يَنْزِلَ الرُّومُ بِالأَعْمَاقِ أَوْ بِدَابِقَ فَيَخْرُجُ إِلَيْهِمْ جَيْشٌ مِنَ الْمَدِينَةِ مِنْ خِيَارِ أَهْلِ الأَرْضِ يَوْمَئِذٍ فَإِذَا تَصَافُّوا قَالَتِ الرُّومُ خَلُّوا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ سَبَوْا مِنَّا نُقَاتِلْهُمْ ‏.‏ فَيَقُولُ الْمُسْلِمُونَ لاَ وَاللَّهِ لاَ نُخَلِّي بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ إِخْوَانِنَا ‏.‏ فَيُقَاتِلُونَهُمْ فَيَنْهَزِمُ ثُلُثٌ لاَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَبَدًا وَيُقْتَلُ ثُلُثُهُمْ أَفْضَلُ الشُّهَدَاءِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَيَفْتَتِحُ الثُّلُثُ لاَ يُفْتَنُونَ أَبَدًا فَيَفْتَتِحُونَ قُسْطُنْطِينِيَّةَ فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ يَقْتَسِمُونَ الْغَنَائِمَ قَدْ عَلَّقُوا سُيُوفَهُمْ بِالزَّيْتُونِ إِذْ صَاحَ فِيهِمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِنَّ الْمَسِيحَ قَدْ خَلَفَكُمْ فِي أَهْلِيكُمْ ‏.‏ فَيَخْرُجُونَ وَذَلِكَ بَاطِلٌ فَإِذَا جَاءُوا الشَّأْمَ خَرَجَ فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ يُعِدُّونَ لِلْقِتَالِ يُسَوُّونَ الصُّفُوفَ إِذْ أُقِيمَتِ الصَّلاَةُ فَيَنْزِلُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ فَأَمَّهُمْ فَإِذَا رَآهُ عَدُوُّ اللَّهِ ذَابَ كَمَا يَذُوبُ الْمِلْحُ فِي الْمَاءِ فَلَوْ تَرَكَهُ لاَنْذَابَ حَتَّى يَهْلِكَ وَلَكِنْ يَقْتُلُهُ اللَّهُ بِيَدِهِ فَيُرِيهِمْ دَمَهُ فِي حَرْبَتِهِ

 

Sayyidunā Abū Hurayrah رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ reported Allāh’s Messenger صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ as saying, “The Last Hour would not come until the Romans would land at Al-A’māq or in Dābiq. An army consisting of the best (soldiers) of the people of the earth at that time will come from Madīnah (to counter them). When they will arrange themselves in ranks, the Romans would say, “Do not stand between us and those (Muslims) who took prisoners from amongst us. Let us fight with them”, and the Muslims would say, “Nay, by Allāh, we would never get aside from you and from our brethren that you may fight them”. They will then fight, and a third (part) of the army would retreat, whom Allāh Almighty will never forgive. A third (part of the army) which would be constituted of excellent martyrs in Allāh’s sight would be killed, who would never be put to trial would be victorious, and they would be conquerors of Constantinople. And as they would be busy in distributing the spoils of war (amongst themselves) after hanging their swords by the olive trees, the Satan would cry, The Dajjāl has taken your place among your family. They would then come out, but it would be of no avail. And when they would come to Ash-Shām, he (Dajjāl) would come out while they would be still preparing themselves for battle drawing up the ranks. Certainly, the time of prayer shall come and then Jesus u son of Mary would descend and would lead them in prayer. When the enemy of Allāh would see him, it would (disappear) just as the salt dissolves itself in water and if he (Jesus) were not to confront them at all, even then it would dissolve completely, but Allāh would kill them by his hand and he would show them their blood on his lance (the lance of Jesus The Son of Mary).”[2]

Elucidation 2

The above narration serves to prove that the conquest of Constantinople in the end-times will serve to be the catalyst for the emergence of Dajjāl. It highlights incontrovertibly that the Muslims would still be in celebratory mode when the initial ‘false’ reports of the emergence of Dajjāl would surface. The conquest of Sultan Mehmet II has seen many centuries pass since, yet to this day, the news of Dajjāl’s emergence has not reached the Ummah. That alone is proof of it being insufficient as the fulfillment of the prophecy.

Which Romans will fight the Muslims at Constantinople?

The connection between Constantinople (Istanbul) and the Romans is quite easily understood by any student of history, but for the benefit of the general Muslim populace, and to further elucidate our stance on the subject, we shall endeavor to explain a synopsis of that link.

In the pre-Islāmic era, Ar-Rūm was ‘Pagan’ in worship.  Its headquarters at that juncture was in Rome, Italy. During the life of the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ, the headquarters of the Roman Empire no longer in Rome, but it was situated in Constantinople.

It was the capital city of that once-feared empire from 330 A.D. – 1453 A.D. (bar a brief period of approximately 57 years between 1204-1261 in what constituted the Latin period). It was also the capital of the Ottoman Empire from 1453-1924. When Emperor Constantine adopted the Christian faith, Constantinople was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times, as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom’s holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross.

Hence it is easy to acknowledge that ‘Eastern Orthodox Christianity’ was safely nestled away under the protection of Constantinople. All the while, the former ‘Pagan’ Roman Empire evolved into what came to be known as ‘European or Western Christianity’, and its headquarters remains in Rome today at the Vatican. Unsurprisingly enough, it is this version of Christianity which has paved the road for an alliance with the Jews. This will be clarified under the subject of the Return of Jesus u the Son of Mary.

We have asserted under the section of ‘Sanctions in Iraq, Syria and Egypt as a Sign’, that the word ‘Ar-Rūm’ may either be in reference to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, or European Christianity. In relation to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which currently resides in Russia, its attack on Constantinople seems highly unlikely. This is because Istanbul (Constantinople) is in Turkey, and Turkey is an affiliate of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). If Russia was to engage in any form of invasion against Turkey, it would find itself coming up against 28 NATO member states. Not even Russia would attempt such a dangerous move which could result in all-out war against her, of course, on the basis that NATO is still operational during this time in Ākhiruz Zamān.

Eastern Orthodox Christianity has not succumbed to the evil scheme of Dajjāl as of yet. They maintain their orthodoxy and a strict adherence to the laws of their Holy Book. On the other hand, it is European Christianity (including the Americas, which form a huge part of Zionism) that has forsaken many of its traditions such as allowing homosexuality etc. to be free practices under its watch.

It is our understanding that any attack or invasion led against Turkey whilst it remains a member of NATO will result in retaliation from Western Christianity and not Eastern Orthodox Christianity as it has never enjoyed any alliance to Turkey or its affiliates. In the end, Allāh Almighty  knows best!

The narration explains that it is Madīnah which will respond by a military intervention in defense of Constantinople against the A-Rūm. At this moment in time, I cannot foresee the current regime, (House of Saud, who are the ‘custodians’ of Madīnah) answering that call against ‘Ar-Rūm’, whom they have built an ironclad bond with over time. It seems as though, the above incident may be located at a time after the emergence of Imam Al-Mahdī as he will unite the Ummah in the build up to that final showdown between good and evil. This may be supported by the following narration,

 

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ إِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْمَلاَحِمُ بَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَعْثًا مِنَ الْمَوَالِي هُمْ أَكْرَمُ الْعَرَبِ فَرَسًا وَأَجْوَدُهُ سِلاَحًا يُؤَيِّدُ اللَّهُ بِهِمُ الدِّينَ

 Sayyidunā Abū Hurayrah رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ reported that the Messenger صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ of Allāh stated, “When the fierce battles (Malhamah) take place, Allāh Almighty will send a troop of freed slaves who will be the best Arab horsemen and the best armed, through whom Allāh Almighty will support His religion.”[3]

 

Narration 3

 

عَنْ مُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَلْحَمَةُ الْكُبْرَى وَفَتْحُ الْقُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةِ وَخُرُوجُ الدَّجَّالِ فِي سَبْعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ

It was narrated from Sayyidunā Mu’āzh bin Jabal رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ that the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ said, “The great fierce battle (Malhamah), the conquest of Constantinople and the emergence of Dajjāl, will all occur within seven months.”[4]

Elucidation 3

It is quite clear from this narration, that the sequence of events are following the exact order they were mentioned in the subject on the flourishing state of Jerusalem and the ruination of Madīnah.

Another narration seems to explain further detail on the subject,

 

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ بُسْرٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ”‏ بَيْنَ الْمَلْحَمَةِ وَفَتْحِ الْمَدِينَةِ سِتُّ سِنِينَ وَيَخْرُجُ الْمَسِيحُ الدَّجَّالُ فِي السَّابِعَةِ

Narrated by Sayyidunā Abdullāh ibn Busr رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ, The Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ said, “The time between the Great War and the Conquest of the city (Constantinople) will be six years, and the Dajjāl (Antichrist) will come forth in the seventh.”[5]

 

The aforementioned narrations elucidate that the Malhamah will act as the catalyst for the conquest of Constantinople, which would result in the emergence of Dajjāl. If the conquest of the Ottoman Sultan was indeed that prophesized conquest, then how is it, that centuries later, the Dajjāl has not emerged? And where is the Malhamah which is supposed to have preceded that conquest? Hence, after analyzing the text from eclectic sources, the only suitable and logical conclusion would be that the conquest of Constantinople is indeed one which will occur in Ākhiruz Zamān, and Allāh knows best.

[1] Musnad Imām Ahmad, Hadīth 18565

[2]  Sahīh Muslim – The Book of Tribulations and Portents of the Last Hour , Chapter – The Conquest Of Constantinople, The Emergence Of The Dajjāl And The Descent Of Isā bin Mariam, Hadīth 2897

[3] Sunan Ibn Mājah – Book of Tribulations, Chapter – The fierce battles, Hadīth 4090

[4]  Sunan Abū Dāūd – Book of Battles (Kitāb Al-Malāhim), Chapter on the Order of the Battles, Hadīth 4295. An almost identical account has been narrated by Abū Bahriyyah رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ, who was a companion of Sayyidunā Mu’āzh bin Jabal رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ in Jāmi’ At-Tizmizhī – Book On Al-Fitan, Chapter – What Has Been Related About Signs of the Coming of The Dajjāl, Hadīth 2238. It has also been narrated in  Sunan Ibn Mājah – Book of Tribulations, Chapter­ The Fierce Battles, Hadīth 4092 from Sayyidunā Mu’āzh bin Jabal y

[5] Sunan Abū Dāūd – Book of Battles (Kitāb Al-Malāhim), Chapter – Order of the Battles. Hadīth 4296 Imām Abū Dāūd mentioned this to be the sounder tradition from that of Isā bin Yūnus.