The Speech of the Ameer of Hizb ut Tahrir, Eminent Scholar, Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
On the Occasion of the Anniversary of the Conquest of Constantinople in 857 AH – 1453 CE
To the Islamic Ummah, the best nation that was brought out to humankind... and to the righteous and good Dawah carriers... and to the distinguished guests of the page,
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh,
There are bright days in the history of nations that are a source of pride for those nations. So what if those days mark the fulfillment of the glad tidings of Allah’s Messenger (saw)? They are undoubtedly shining stars in the sky, but rather suns that illuminate the world and raise the nation high to the sky... And from these great days, are the days of the anniversary of the conquest of Constantinople... Al-Fatih began conquering and besieging Constantinople from the twenty-sixth of Rabii’ al-Awwal until it was opened at dawn on the twentieth of this month, Jumada al-Awwal 857 AH, meaning that the siege lasted for about two months. When Muhammad Al-Fatih entered the city victoriously he got off his horse, and prostrated (sujood) to Allah, thanking Allah for this victory and success. Then he headed to the Church of the Hagia Sophia where the Byzantines and their monks had gathered, he gave them protection. He ordered the conversion of the Church of the Hagia Sophia to a mosque, and ordered the establishment of a mosque in the place of the grave of the great companion Abu Ayoub Al-Ansari, where he was among the ranks of the first campaign to open Constantinople, and where he died, may Allah have mercy on him and may He be pleased with him... Al-Fatih, who was named so after the conquest, decided to take Constantinople as the capital of his state after it was Edirne previously, and he named it Constantinople [Kostantiniyye] after its conquest "Islambol", meaning the city of Islam [Dar al-Islam], and became famously known as "Istanbul". Al-Fateh then entered the city and went to the Hagia Sophia where he prayed in it and it became a mosque with the grace, blessing and praise of Allah... And it remained so, a purified glorious mosque, prospered under the believers, until the criminal of the era, Mustafa Kamal had managed to ban the prayer there and desecrated it when it became a museum for those coming and going!
This is how the glad tiding of Allah’s Messenger (saw) was fulfilled; the one in his noble Hadith on the authority of Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-As, who said: “When we are around the Messenger of Allah (saw) writing, the Messenger of Allah was asked, which of the two cities will be opened first, Constantinople or Rome?” The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: «مَدِينَةُ هِرَقْلَ تُفْتَحُ أَوَّلاً، يَعْنِي قُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةَ» “The city of Heraclius will be opened first, meaning Constantinople.” Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad and Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak and he said: “This is a sahih Hadith on the condition of the two sheikhs, and they did not extract it. Az-Zahabi commented on it: “on the condition of Bukhari and Muslim”. Also in the noble Hadith, on the authority of Abdullah bin Bishr Al-Khathami from his father that he heard the Prophet (saw) say: «لَتُفْتَحَنَّ الْقُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةُ فَلَنِعْمَ الْأَمِيرُ أَمِيرُهَا وَلَنِعْمَ الْجَيْشُ ذَلِكَ الْجَيْشُ» “You will open Constantinople, its Amir is the best Amir, and the best army is that army.” He said, Maslama bin Abdul Malik called for me and asked me, so I mentioned the Hadith to him so he invaded Constantinople, narrated by Ahmad. In Mujma’ Az-Zawaa'id, in its comment it states: “Narrated by Ahmad, Al-Bazzar, Al-Tabarani and its men are trustworthy...”
This glad tiding was achieved at the hands of this young man, Muhammad Al-Fatih, who was not older than twenty-one, but he had been prepared uprightly since his childhood. His father Sultan Murad II tended to him, and he was mentored at the hands of the finest teachers of his time, including Ahmad bin Ismail Al-Kurani who was mentioned by Al-Suyuti as the first teacher of Al-Fatih, and he said about him: “He was a juristic scholar, whose scholars of his era witnessed to him superiority and mastery. Rather, they called him: Abu Hanifa of his time.” Likewise, Sheikh Akshamsaddin Sungkar who was the first to cultivate in his mind the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (saw) on the "conquest of Constantinople" since his childhood. So the boy grew up aiming to achieve that conquest by his hands... Sheikh Akshamsaddin taught Muhammad al-Fatih the basic sciences of the Qur’an, Hadith and the Sunnah of the Prophet and jurisprudence, as well as Arabic, Persian and Turkish languages, as well as some life sciences such as mathematics, astronomy, history... in addition to his valor in equestrian and martial arts... Allah (swt) honored and blessed him, deserving the praise from the Messenger of Allah (saw). Al-Fatih was the best leader and his soldiers were the best soldiers, as their hearts were filled with Iman and their souls set out with preparation and sincerity of jihad, they supported Allah and He gave them victory with this great conquest, praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
Al-Fatih was a visionary person with deep insight and perception. Whenever he saw a problem he handled it correctly by Allah’s permission, and whenever an obstacle appeared to him, he removed it with Allah's help. He faced three obstacles that he solved with sharp intelligence and striking acumen:
1- His soldiers complained to him about the cold while they were in the open air around the walls, so he built a fortress for them as shelter whenever necessary. He did not want the soldiers to break the siege if it prolonged and thus return as the previous Muslim armies that invaded Constantinople, but rather he did not want to return unless Constantinople was opened, by Allah’s permission...
2- Also, the walls of Constantinople were three walls; a few meters were between each wall and the other. Therefore, Al-Fateh was bewildered about this issue. In their era, there were no weapons of destructive power. Rather, the most powerful of them was the catapult throwing stones, not small in size but not enough to open a hole in a wall of this size. And because Muhammad al-Fatih was following the military capabilities in the world, he came to know that one of the Hungarian engineers (Urban) had prepared the idea of making cannons of special strength that could dismantle the walls, and Urban had offered his services to the Emperor of Constantinople, but he did not respond to him, so Al-Fatih received him well and lavished him with money and provided him with all the means to complete his invention,
Urban proceeded to build cannons with the help of the Ottoman engineers, and Al-Fatih supervised them himself. Three months did not even pass when Urban had manufactured three large cannons, the weight of the cannon shell was about a ton and a half, he did not prefer to test the cannon at the walls for fear that the results were not as they should be. And the Romans would witness this from behind the walls, and this would affect the power of the Muslims, so he conducted the experiment in Edirne and it was successful. He thanked Allah, and he moved the three cannons from Edirne to the proximity of the walls of Constantinople to demolish them, and the Romans would surrender...
3- Then there was another matter that occupied him, as he knew that the walls were weak in the Gulf region around Constantinople, and although the Romans understood the weakness of the walls on the Gulf side, they were reassured that the Muslim ships would not be able to reach them because of the closure of the entrance to the Gulf by the chain with metal, but Al-Fatih with Allah’s help reached a decision to glide ships through the surface of the Galata Hill corresponding to the wall from the side of the Gulf (the Golden Horn). He fixed wood on the surface of the hill and poured vast amounts of oils and lubricants over them, then dragged the ships on them. And during one night he managed to descend 70 ships to the Gulf. This was shocking for the Romans, when it became morning and they saw the ships of Muslims in the Gulf, it filled their hearts with terror. Victory and conquest were achieved, praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
Dear brothers, I wanted to remind you of some events of the conquest of Constantinople for three reasons:
The first is to recall the commemoration so that everyone who has sight will see the greatness of Islam and Muslims when their Islam is applied in practice. Kufr will be non-existent, rather the truth prevails and will be raised like the Athan (call to prayer) with Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great). The Persians and Byzantines succumbed before them, and they will be joined soon, Allah willing, by the sister of the Byzantine, Rome, believing in the other part of the glad tiding of the Messenger of Allah (saw), the conquest of Rome.
As for the second, let your hearts be reassured by the fulfillment of the three other glad tidings of the Messenger of Allah (saw), as the first one has been achieved. The Prophet (saw) gave the glad tidings of conquering Constantinople, conquering Rome, the return of the Khilafah (Caliphate) upon the method of the Prophethood, and fighting the Jews and powerfully defeating them... The Prophet (saw) speaks only from Wahi (Divine Revelation), the three remaining glad tidings of the Messenger will be fulfilled with His permission, glory be to Him Subhannahu; however, they will not be achieved by the descent of angels from heaven, who will bestow them upon us. Rather, the Sunnah (way) of Allah is that we support Allah and He sends His victory to us, so that we establish His law and elevate the edifice of His State and prepare what we can of strength and then strive in His cause. Then the earth will shine with the remaining three, and the earth will shine with the Khilafah once again.
As for the third, the Kaffir West, together with the traitors of the Arabs and the Turks, were able to destroy the Khilafah (Caliphate) on 1342 AH - 1924 CE and considered this demolition parallel to the conquest of Constantinople, and this gave back the Kaffir West a force that they had lost. The concern of the West became to exert the effort to prevent the return of the Khilafah again, so that it would not lose the force that they restored, especially since they became the colonizer of the Muslim countries. They observe the movements in the Muslim countries, so when the establishment of the Hizb ut Tahrir was announced in 1372 AH - 1953 CE and it became clear to the West that the party's pillar of work and its vital issue is to restore the Khilafah again, and that it was serious in its work, the West commanded its agents, the rulers, to ban the party and pursue it with arrests and torture until martyrdom in some regions, and with long sentences, some reaching life sentences in other regions... Then they added methods of lying, forgery, and altering facts without shame... And so for these slanders to have an impact, they made people who carry out these measures have Muslim names and dress like them, these were followed in these slanders, by some of those who left, broke the oath (an-Nakitheen), and those punished, from those who were in the party previously...
Thus, these types combined have participated in slander, forgery, and alteration of facts and each of them has a role: the kuffar, the hypocrites and the ones who spread rumours, then a few of those from who left, the punished and the oath breakers, and those who have disease in their hearts, have participated in slander and attack against the Hizb. They followed this with poisoned steps, lying in every stage. As they failed to circulate a lie, they came with another, they forgot or hoped to forget that the party's members have a clear mind, quick wit, and deep intelligence that allows them to distinguish the wicked from the good, so they do not allow a lie to enter their way... Thus, despite the means of decorating the fabrications they brought, despite embellishing attempts to falsify the facts that they have exhausted themselves in, they did not find a listening ear from the party’s members or from any sane Muslim. Rather, they were ﴿كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاءً حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءَهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئاً﴾ “Their deeds are like a mirage in a lowland which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to it, he finds it is nothing.” [An-Nur: 39]
And with all the plots, abomination, and maliciousness against the party, and its leadership, thinking that they will influence the party, but they failed, with Allah's permission, and were disappointed, and they did not obtain good, no matter how long their lies, their plots and their deceit reached, ﴿وَلَا يَحِيقُ الْمَكْرُ السَّيِّئُ إِلَّا بِأَهْلِهِ﴾ “… but the evil plot does not encompass except its own people.” [Fatir: 43]
They will see the consequence of this with Allah, no matter how their slander and cunning intensifies, ﴿وَقَدْ مَكَرُوا مَكْرَهُمْ وَعِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَكْرُهُمْ وَإِنْ كَانَ مَكْرُهُمْ لِتَزُولَ مِنْهُ الْجِبَالُ﴾ “And they had planned their plan, but with Allah is [recorded] their plan, even if their plan had been [sufficient] to do away with the mountains” [Ibahim: 46].
In conclusion, your strong stances, brothers, fixed on the truth, strong and clear, in front of successive campaigns on the call to the truth, reminds us of the positions of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, following the positions of the Messenger of Allah (saw), the great and wise in the face of adversity... Thus are your stances, solid firm positions that do not weaken with adversity and do not shake during sedition (fitnah). Rather, your determination is stronger and your voices proclaim the truth. You look at the dunya (world) once and to the Hereafter many times, so congratulations to the party that it has you and congratulations to you for having the party. ﴿رِجَالٌ لَا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوْماً تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ*لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ﴾ “[Are] men whom neither commerce nor sale distracts from the remembrance of Allah and performance of prayer and giving of zakah. They fear a Day in which the hearts and eyes will [fearfully] turn about - That Allah may reward them [according to] the best of what they did and increase them from His bounty. And Allah gives provision to whom He wills without account.” [An-Nur: 37-38]
The end of the conclusion, I pray to Allah (swt) to provide the fulfillment of the glad tidings of the Messenger of Allah (saw) so that the Khilafah of this Ummah will return, and afterwards to liberate its Al-Quds, and Rome will be conquered as its sister preceded it... a validation of the hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (saw)... We also ask Him, Glory be to Him, to provide us with help from Him so that we may improve and master the work, so that we are deserving of the victory of Allah, Al-Aziz Al-Rahim.
﴿وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ * بِنَصْرِ اللَّهِ يَنْصُرُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ﴾
“And that day the believers will rejoice * In the victory of Allah. He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.” [Ar-Rum: 4-5]
Wa Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh
Thursday, 7 Jumada Al-Awwal 1441 AH
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
Ameer of Hizb ut Tahrir