نحمده ونصلي ونسلم على رسوله الكريم
Conquest of Constantinople
In the previous entry we looked at one of the major signs of the Hour (Judgment Day) and one of the grand prophecies of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, namely, the Malhamat-al-Kubra ‘Great War’ or ‘Armageddon’. At the moment, the various armed conflicts in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, are of crucial importance in unravelling Islamic prophecy. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ set the scene for us by mentioning all the major actors that will have a role during the ‘End Times’. Presently, Assad’s neo-fascist Baathist regime in Syria is perpetrating unspeakable crimes against the Muslims of that country, who rose up against him some years ago. Assad and his Nusayri/Alawite people are in fact Kalbites (Bani Kalb tribe). Islamic prophecy states that it is these people who shall be the primary support of the devilish Sufyani. Whether the Sufyani is Assad himself or someone else who shall succeed him and exceed him in cruelty and violence is a compelling question. The existence of the nascent Zionist ‘State of Israel’ is also critical to understanding how the stage is being set for the emergence of the individual Dajjal (False Messiah Antichrist). Also, one cannot ignore the rise of Putin’s Russia and an apparent revival of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ prophesied that the Muslims would sign a treaty with Rome, and the two shall fight together as allies against a third party which is beyond the Muslims. But after the Roman-Muslim alliance scores a victory over this ‘third party’, the Romans will end the treaty, betraying the Muslims, and gather a massive force of nearly a million troops, divided into eighty banners.
The Prophet ﷺ stated that this massive Roman confederation of forces will arrive at al-A’maq or Dabiq (places in Syria). From the Muslim side, a great army from the sacred city of Medina will go out to confront them. The reason for the Roman arrival and military buildup, however, is under the excuse that a group of Muslims has taken some of their people prisoner. The Romans will demand that the Muslim army which has come to confront them back off and not interfere, but the Muslim army will refuse to stand aside, consider that group of Muslims whom the Romans are targeting as their ‘brethren’. Subsequently the Malhamah will break out. A third of the Muslim forces will desert the battlefield and flee in disgrace, while a third will attain martyrdom, and a third shall remain who will have been victorious against Rome. It is this remnant which the Prophet ﷺ said would be the ones to conquer Constantinople in the End Times (Sahih Muslim). The Hadith goes on to say that this group of Muslims who will conquer Constantinople will distribute its spoils of war and hang their ‘swords’ upon its olive trees.
However, another Hadith states:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ سَمِعْتُمْ بِمَدِينَةٍ جَانِبٌ مِنْهَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَجَانِبٌ مِنْهَا فِي الْبَحْرِ قَالُوا نَعَمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ . قَالَ لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يَغْزُوَهَا سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا مِنْ بَنِي إِسْحَاقَ فَإِذَا جَاءُوهَا نَزَلُوا فَلَمْ يُقَاتِلُوا بِسِلاَحٍ وَلَمْ يَرْمُوا بِسَهْمٍ قَالُوا لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ . فَيَسْقُطُ أَحَدُ جَانِبَيْهَا قَالَ ثَوْرٌ لاَ أَعْلَمُهُ إِلاَّ قَالَ الَّذِي فِي الْبَحْرِ ثُمَّ يَقُولُوا الثَّانِيَةَ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ . فَيَسْقُطُ جَانِبُهَا الآخَرُ ثُمَّ يَقُولُوا الثَّالِثَةَ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ . فَيُفَرَّجُ لَهُمْ فَيَدْخُلُوهَا فَيَغْنَمُوا فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ يَقْتَسِمُونَ الْمَغَانِمَ إِذْ جَاءَهُمُ الصَّرِيخُ فَقَالَ إِنَّ الدَّجَّالَ قَدْ خَرَجَ . فَيَتْرُكُونَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ وَيَرْجِعُونَ
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace he upon him) saying: You have heard about a city, one side of which is on land and the other is in the sea (Constantinople). They said: Allah's Messenger, yes. Thereupon he said: The Last Hour would not come unless seventy thousand persons from Bani lshaq would attack it. When they would land there, they will neither fight with weapons nor would shower arrows but would only say: "There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest," and one side of it would fall. Thaur (one of the narrators) said: I think that he said: The part by the side of the ocean. Then they would say for the second time: "There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest" and the second side would also fall, and they would say: "There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest," and the gates would be opened for them and they would enter therein and, they would be collecting spoils of war and distributing them amongst themselves when a noise would be heard saying: Verily, Dajjal has come. And thus they would leave everything there and go back. (Sahih Muslim)
The latter Hadith makes explicitly clear that the conquest of Constantinople will be a spiritual conquest and not one of arms. Furthermore, the men who shall “conquer” Constantinople are described as being from the progeny of the Prophet Isaac (peace be upon him), perhaps this means they are Edomites, traditionally speaking, Western Semitic people who penetrated into the Transjordan, and were obviously later Islamized. These seventy thousand will perhaps be veterans of the Malhamah who survived that amazing war with Rome. And perhaps the native people of the Levant and Anatolia, a Mediterranean people, are meant, and Allah knows best.
And the Prophet ﷺ said:
عُمْرَانُ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ خَرَابُ يَثْرِبَ وَخَرَابُ يَثْرِبَ خُرُوجُ الْمَلْحَمَةِ وَخُرُوجُ الْمَلْحَمَةِ فَتْحُ قُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةَ وَفَتْحُ الْقُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةِ خُرُوجُ الدَّجَّالِ
“The building up of the Holy City (Jerusalem) is the ruination of Yathrib (Medina), and the ruination of Yathrib is the outbreak of the Malhamah (Great War), and the outbreak of the Malhamah is the conquest of Constantinople, and the conquest of Constantinople is the emergence of the Dajjal (Antichrist)” (Sunan Abi Dawud: #4294)
The Hadith is significant in that it describes the sequence of events. Firstly, Jerusalem will enter into a flourishing state and will be built up. The Dajjalic Zionist State conquered Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967, and subsequently declared it as its capital. Recently, the United States government recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Undoubtedly, the Zionists are building up Jerusalem as a major world center and it is entering into a state of vibrance and vitality after a long period in history. Meanwhile, as this happens, the sacred city of Medina has lost all geopolitical significance and remains only a religious site for pilgrimage and visitation, otherwise, it has lost much political and intellectual significance in the Muslim world. The centers of power in the Muslim world are located near the Persian Gulf, the capital of Saudi Arabia being Riyadh for example. Perhaps as Saudi Arabia moves toward more secularization under the current “crown prince” Muhammad bin Salman, Medina will lose even more importance. So once Medina is in a neglected and ruined state the outbreak of the Malhamat-al-Kubra, the Great War with the Romans who shall arrive at A’maq or Dabiq in Syria under eighty banners and nearly a million troops, will soon take place. It is only after this Great War that the Muslims will conquer Constantinople, and only after its conquest will the Dajjal finally emerge.
However, some may question this prophecy on the grounds that Constantinople has already been conquered and is currently under Muslim (Turkish) control, being renamed “Istanbul”, a major city of modern-day Turkey. Constantinople was conquered by the Muslims for the first time in 1453 by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. However, the Ottoman Turks cannot be considered from “Bani Ishaq”, and furthermore, they conquered the city with force of arms. More importantly, the prophecy states that the conquest of Constantinople will immediately follow the Great War with Rome, in which a million of their troops land in Syria, and the conquest of Constantinople will be immediately proceeded by the emergence of the Dajjal. Therefore, we have to conclude that either Constantinople will in the near future be retaken by the non-Muslims from Turkey, or otherwise the Turkish State will itself become an enemy of the believing Muslim community. Hence it is quite possible that the sincere Muslims of Bani Ishaq will conquer Constantinople from an oppressive and irreligious regime in Turkey, but without force of arms, rather, through a spiritual conquest.
Interestingly, the previously quoted Hadith about the Malhamah states:
لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يَنْزِلَ الرُّومُ بِالأَعْمَاقِ أَوْ بِدَابِقَ فَيَخْرُجُ إِلَيْهِمْ جَيْشٌ مِنَ الْمَدِينَةِ مِنْ خِيَارِ أَهْلِ الأَرْضِ يَوْمَئِذٍ
“The Hour will not be established until Rome descends at al-A’maq or Dabiq, so an army will go out against them from the City (al-Madinah) from among the best of the people of the Earth that day.” (Sahih Muslim)
It is often assumed that al-Madinah refers to the sacred town of Madinah which is short for al-Madinat-un-Nabi ﷺ (lit. ‘the city of the Prophet), but linguistically, al-Madinah simply means ‘the City’. In order to reconcile the fact that the Muslims who will conquer Constantinople will be from Bani Ishaq and not originally Arab, perhaps they will be noble Muslim fighters who come from Constantinople itself. Incidentally, Constantinople itself has been referred to as al-Madinah in another Hadith, though it is slightly weak:
بَيْنَ الْمَلْحَمَةِ وَفَتْحِ الْمَدِينَةِ سِتُّ سِنِينَ وَيَخْرُجُ الْمَسِيحُ الدَّجَّالُ فِي السَّابِعَةِ
“Between the Malhamah (Great War) and the conquest of the City (al-Madinah) are six years, and the False Messiah (Antichrist) shall emerge in the seventh (year)” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
Other Ahadith, which are also weak, describe the span of time between the Malhamah, the conquest of Constantinople and the emergence of Dajjal as not seven years but seven months, and Allah knows best.
It is worth mentioning that the majority of the native people of Anatolia even today are not Turks but “Turkified”. Though they speak the Turkish language. Whether some of them can be included in the category of “Bani Ishaq” or children of Isaac (Edomites) is a valid question. Or perhaps the people of Syria near the border with Turkey, who are at present engaged in armed conflict with the Baathist regime of Syria, shall be the ones to counteract the Romans in the Malhamah and then subsequently conquer Constantinople in a spiritual conquest, reminiscent of the Battle of Jericho, in which the Prophet Joshua son of Nun (peace be upon him) and the Israelites circled the walls of the city of Jericho.