“Constantinople would fall into the hands of Islam. Leaders who conquer it, is the best of leaders and the troops under his command is the best of troops.” (Narrated by Ahmad bin Hanbal)
Divination of the Prophet Muhammad uttered when the Battle of the Trench actually became reality on Tuesday, Jumada al-Ula 20, 857 H or May 29, 1453. Constantinople was previously controlled by the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) considered as the safest and the most secure because it has the strongest fortress in the world. But apparently, the world’s strongest city conquered by troops under the command of a man named Sultan Muhammad Khan. Since then, Muhammad Khan was given the title of Al Fatih (the Liberator) and is known in the West as Mehmed the Conqueror.
Muhammad Al Fatih (1431 – 1481 AD), the son of Sultan Murad II, sultan who ruled the Ottoman Empire since the year 1451 AD. As a child, Muhammad Al Fatih was spoiled and lazy learning. But Muhammad Al Fatih began seriously studied after his father brought some teachers such as Shaykh Ahmad ibn Ismail al-Kurani, Sheikh Aag Syamsudin, and others. From them, Muhammad Al Fatih studied religion, language, skills, physical geography, astronomy, and history. Muhammad Al Fatih grew into someone who was an expert at war and smart riding, an expert in the field of science and mathematics, and master 6 languages since the age of 21. Muhammad Al-Fatih was intelligent young man who had the willpower to reach his goal, especially for conquering Constantinople as the words of the Prophet Muhammad since he was 12 years old.
The success of Muhammad Al Fatih conquered Constantinople was not coincidence. Muhammad Al Fatih was strengthening Ottoman military power by choosing and selecting troops ever since they were little. A special team was ordered to spread throughout Turkey and the surrounding area to search for the children of the most intelligent, the most diligent of worship, and the most powerful physique. Then the parents are given the offer that their children can be guided in the early age. Once agreed, the chosen children were given coaching of religion, science, and military, as their daily needs borne by the state. So, it made sense why no single soldier had ever left prayers since baligh, even half of them had never left the tahajud prayer since baligh.
Muhammad Al Fatih himself was mentioned never leaving tahajud and rawatib prayers since baligh until his death. Narrated in the first prayer that will be held after the conquest, Muhammad Al Fatih said: “Those who feel never masbuq in prayer please be our prayer leader.” Long awaited, there was no one going forward. Then steadily Muhammad Al Fatih owned the former priest in the church in Constantinople.
Maybe that’s the secret of success of Muhammad Al Fatih in realizing its goals and ideals of Islam, not physical strength, but the closeness to Allah SWT. The secret that he distributed to troops by keeping the obligatory prayers, tahajud prayers and rawatib prayers. In the age of 22, Muhammad Al Fatih conquered the city which the Prophet promised eight centuries earlier. Once captured, the city of Constantinople was replaced with the name Islambul (city of Islam), and now called Istanbul (replaced by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk).
Many comrades even opponents admired the leadership of Muhammad Al Fatih and strategies wars that preceded that era. He played a major role in the expansion of Islamic territory, setting the lands, making improvements in the economic, educational, and very concerned about the welfare of its people. In his leadership, the center of government Islambul was being very beautiful, advanced, and economically successful. Muhammad Al Fatih, the person who had tremendous energy and became a noble. So what about us? What achievements that we are already obtained in our growing age?