Eid Mubarak from Turkey!
May Allah the Great accept from us and you and forgive us all with every hair on the back of the animals we have slaughtered for Him and forgive our Hujjaj and Mu’taminreen. Ameen.
I am in Turkey enjoying Eid in the midst of an amazing mixture of the dichotomies of religion and secularism. I have insisted on wearing the thoub despite the overcharging from store men and taxi drivers to emphasise our values in this place and I have been having interesting response. I have also been meeting with a number of social activists and duat and sharing with them ideas and learnings on pursing the vision of Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa salaam before our death reaches us.
Today was a particularly interesting day. I visited Topkapia where the conquerer of Istanbul then known as Constantinople – Fatih Sultan Mehmet the second rahimahullah – laid his siege of the city. The original destroyed walls of the revered Byzantine empire are still there at present, as are some of the weaponry used in the war. Constantinople was the richest, most prosperous, most advanced and strongest city in the world at the time. However, it was nothing against the phenomenal resolve of our Muslims of the past. There is a phenomenal museum setup there to commemorate his victory – called the Panoramik Muze 1453.
I am speechless and awed by the excellence of Sultan Mehmet rahimahullah and how he conquered the most revered city after just 2 years of ascending the throne at the age of 21! His biggest work was to convince his people that Constantinople could be conquered as it was widely believed that their walls were indestructible. So the Sultan spent day after day, preparing, planning, thinking and strategising his childhood dream since the age of 10 – to take over this city. Vision without execution is merely a dream. Success on the other hand, is 1% vision, 99% execution.
I was also amazed to learn how the Sultan suffered a major defeat – where his ships were cornered in a strait by Byzantine ships – in one of the battles during the 56 day war and was about to call it a day, when he resorted to Tahajjud and found strength in his prayer and arose to turn his defeat into victory. He had 67 ships transferred over greased logs – overnight over 4kms of land – and in the morning the Byzantine army awoke to see 67 ships attacking the weakest part of their fortifications, when they had gone to sleep thinking that they were indestructible.The prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salaam said in a Hasan hadeeth as reported in Musnad Imam Ahmed: “Constantinople will be conquered. What a blessed man will be the leader who conquers it and what a blessed army will be his army!” – Allah make this a glad tiding for Jannah and forgiveness for our Fatih Sultan Mehmet and his army.
I hope our Turkish brothers and sisters – the children of Fatih Sultan Mehmet take a lesson from this and conquer their fears and free themselves from the shackles of their circumstances and proclaim their values and faith as their forefathers had done. I am so amazed at this, that today, I have slaughtered an animal in the name of Fatih Sultan Mehmet rahimahullah, on behalf of all of us at Mercy Mission worldwide. May his legacy live throughout the ages and continue to inspire heroism, bravery, vision and character in our youth today. Ameen.
We have work to do, and we have an ummah to revive.
Abu Yusuf Tawfique Chowdhury