Ottoman Empire: Sultans of three continents


Ottoman Empire Sultans of three continents


(According to popular belief, the Ottoman Caliphate began in 1517. This special article was written on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of this.)

Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar was well aware that his army was eight times smaller than the enemy's, so he did something that was not even in Ibrahim Lodhi's imagination.

He used the Ottoman Turkish war tactics in the field of Panipat and tied seven hundred ox carts together with leather ropes. Behind them were his artillery and gun-carriers. The artillery was not very good at the time, but when they started firing indiscriminately, ear-splitting explosions and foul-smelling smoke knocked the Afghan army unconscious and terrified of the sudden disaster He raised his mouth and ran away.

Ottoman gift

This was the first battle of Panipat and during this time ammunition was used in a war for the first time in India.

In addition to the 50,000 soldiers, Ibrahim Lodhi had a thousand war elephants, but like the soldiers, he had never heard of cannon blasts, so instead of taking part in the battle, he suffocated by repeating the history of the elephants of Porus. They ran to scatter the rows of Lodhi upside down.
Babar's 12,000 trained cavalry were waiting for that moment. They advanced at lightning speed and surrounded Lodhi's army. Shortly afterwards, Babar's victory was completed.

Historian Paul K. Davis, in his book The 100 Decisive Wars, called it one of the most decisive wars in history.


This was the beginning of the great Mughal Empire.


In addition to the Ottoman war tactics, two Turkish artillerymen, Ustad Ali and Mustafa, also played a key role in this victory. He was gifted to Babar by another great empire, the first caliph of the Ottoman Empire, Salim I.

One of the greatest empires in the world, the Ottoman Empire was founded by Bell Usman Ghazi in the 13th century.

At that time, the Byzantine Empire was dying and Anatolia was divided into several small states and princely states. Born in 1254, Usman Ghazi was one of the Turkish chiefs of the small state of Soghoth. However, one day he had a dream that turned the tide of history.

Usman's dream

The British historian Caroline Finkel wrote in her book 'Usman's Dream' that one night Usman was sleeping in the house of an elderly Sheikh Adibali when he had a dream in which a tree grew from his chest and cast a shadow over the whole world. Is. When he narrated the dream to the Sheikh, he said: "Usman, my son, congratulations, God has handed over the royal throne to you and your descendants."

This dream worked as a stimulus for Usman Ghazi as he began to realize that he now had God's support. He then raised his flag over large parts of Anatolia, defeating the surrounding Seljuk and Turkmen states, and eventually the Byzantines.

This dream later became the basic justification and myth of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled for six centuries, in the shadow of which they ruled not only Anatolia but also large parts of the three continents for centuries.

Usman's successors soon set their sights on Europe. In 1326 he conquered Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, and in 1389 he occupied Serbia. But his historic victory was the conquest of Constantinople (now Istanbul), the Byzantine capital, in 1453.

The Muslims had been trying to capture the city for the last seven hundred years, but its geography was such that it failed each time.

Constantinople is surrounded on three sides by the Bosphorus Sea, which serves as a city of refuge. The Byzantines chained the Golden Horn, while 28 of their warships were on patrol.

On April 22, 1453, the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror performed a trick that no one could have imagined. They made a highway of planks on land and made it very slippery by pouring oil and ghee on it. They then dragged 80 of their ships along the route with the help of cattle and easily overcame the astonished guards of the city.

Muhammad the Conqueror moved his capital to Constantinople and adopted the title of Caesar of Rome.

The first Ottoman caliph


The winner's grandson, Saleem I, looked elsewhere. He defeated the Mamluks of Egypt in 1516 and 1517 and doubled the size of his empire by occupying present-day Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, and above all the Hijaz.

At the same time, exactly five hundred years ago today, with the conquest of the two holy cities of Hijaz, Mecca and Medina, Saleem I became the most powerful Muslim ruler in the world. According to popular belief, the Ottoman Caliphate began in 1517, and Saleem I is considered the first caliph, while before him the Ottomans were called 'sultans' or 'kings'.

Maulana Abu Al-Kalam Azad writes in his book The Issue of Khilafah: 'From the time of Sultan Salim Khan I to the present day, without dispute, the Ottoman Sultans of Turkey have been the caliphs and imams of all Muslim worlds. Within these four centuries, not a single claimant of the Khilafah rose against them. Hundreds of government claimants have risen, but no one has been able to claim the central caliphate of Islam.

While achieving successive successes in a short period of time, Saleem I's most effective tactic was the one that Zaheer-ud-Din Babar tried in Panipat ten years later, namely dynamite.

Humayun as Caliph

Humayun, Babar's successor, remembered this favor of the Ottomans. He writes in a letter to Salman Alishan, son of Saleem I:

Best wishes to His Highness, the Pillar of the Heavens, the Guardian of the Foundations of Islam. Your name is engraved on the seal of glory and the Khilafah has reached new heights in your time. May your caliphate continue.

Humayun's son Akbar did not try to establish any relations with the Ottomans, partly because the Ottomans were constantly at war with the Safavid rulers of Iran, and Akbar did not want to offend the Safavids. However, his successors Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb Alamgir had good relations with the Ottoman sultans. Exchanges of gifts and diplomatic delegations were common among them and they considered him the caliph of all Muslims.

Not only the Mughals but also other Indian rulers considered the Ottomans as their caliph and considered it necessary to take allegiance from them after coming to power.

After Tipu Sultan became ruler of Mysore, he sent a special delegation to Constantinople to seek support for his rule from the then Ottoman Caliph Salim III. Saleem III allowed Tipu Sultan to mint his name and recite his name in his Friday sermon. It is a different matter that he did not accept Tipu's request for military aid to fight against the British, because at that time he himself was fighting the Russians and during that time he could not get the enmity of the powerful British.

My Sultan

The Ottomans had already conquered many parts of Europe. The empire reached its military, political, economic and cultural heights during the reign of Salman Alishan (whose television series 'My Sultan' became very popular in Pakistan). Salman conquered Belgrade and Hungary and extended his borders to Central Europe.

However, despite two attempts, Salman Alishan could not conquer Vienna, Austria.



Europe took the lead

It was the 'Age of Discovery' in Europe and the navies of Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and the British were exploring the seas around the world. With the discovery and occupation of the Americas, Europe gained a clear advantage over the rest of the world and began to establish colonies in various places.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Europe surpassed the rest of the world in science and technology. One of the reasons for this was that with the development of the shipping industry, they needed to invent and improve new shipping equipment that promoted both science and technology.

The second thing was the printing press, which, after its invention in 1439, caused a scientific and intellectual revolution in Europe. The sciences and arts that were previously monopolized by the elite and the church are now within the reach of the common man.

If the Ottomans had also started using the printing press, perhaps the history of the world today would have been different. But in 1483, Bayazid II, the son of Sultan Fatih, imposed the death penalty on those who printed books in Arabic script. The reason for this was that the ulema had issued a fatwa calling the printing press an invention of the Farangis, saying that it was against the religion to print books on this Farangi invention in the Qur'an or Arabic script.

As Europe progressed, the Ottoman Empire shrunk year after year, until during World War I, the British seized almost all of it except Anatolia.

The Muslims of India were deeply saddened by this because they considered the Ottoman Caliph as their religious ruler and leader. He started the Khilafah Movement in 1919 under the leadership of Maulana Muhammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, threatening the British that if they tried to oust Caliph Abdul Hameed, Indian Muslims would revolt against him. Leaders like Ataullah Shah Bukhari, Hasrat Mohani, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Zafar Ali Khan, Maulana Mahmood Al Hassan and Hakim Ajmal Khan also joined the movement.

With the Gandhi Caliphate, Quaid-e-Azam isolated

In 1920, the Indian National Congress also started supporting the Khilafah movement. Mahatma Gandhi's campaign of civil disobedience based on non-violence erupted from the womb of the Khilafah movement itself. Interestingly, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah distanced himself from the movement because he thought it would not succeed.

Earlier, the movement gained momentum. In 1922, nationalist forces led by Kamal Ataturk seized power and ousted Caliph Abdul Hamid and abolished the caliphate, ruling for 623 years. The sun of this great empire set forever.

The Indian Muslim people enthusiastically participated in the Khilafah movement. Maulana Syed Abul Hassan Ali Nadvi writes: 'For those who have not seen the period 1921-22, how can India be told how India was a volcano at that time, the conquest of the Allies ended their plans against the Ottoman Empire and the Khilafah The news of the attempt to do so had set fire all over India, with mosques, congregations, madrassas, houses, shops and solitude, as if there was no conversation other than this one.

During this time, on the tongues of every old and young child and man and woman was this lion:

Speak to Aman Muhammad Ali's son

The people generously donated for the success of the movement. Women from all over India took off their bangles and earrings and donated them to the Khilafah Committees.

Tradition has it that a woman brought her child and handed it over to the Khilafah Committee, saying that she had nothing else to donate.

The movement did not succeed, but the Turkish people still remember that passion. Those who have gone to Turkey say that the respect of Pakistanis all over the world in Turkey is unmatched in any other country.

(Note: This article was first published on November 18, 2017)

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