Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam
“Lataftahanna al-Qustantiniyya wa lani`ma al-amiru amiruha wa lani`maal-jayshu dhalika al-jaysh.”
“Verily you shall conquer Constantinople. What a wonderful leader will he be, and what a wonderful army will that army be!”
Narrated from Bishr al-Khath`ami or al-Ghanawi by:
Ahmad, al-Musnad 14:331 #18859 [sahih chain according to Hamza al-Zayn] al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak 4:421-422 [sahih according to him and al-Dhahabi concurred] al-Tabarani, al-Mu`jam al-Kabir 2:38 #1216 [sahih chain according to al-Haythami 6:218-219] al-Bukhari, al-Tarikh al-Kabir 2:81 and al-Saghir 1:306 Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Isti`ab 8:170 [hasan chain according to him] al-Suyuti, al-Jami` al-Saghir [sahih according to him]
Sultan Mehmed II A.K.A Muhammad Al-Faateh was indeed the leader (Khalif) at the time, he followed the Hanafi Madhaab, the Maturidi School of Theology and of course was a Sufi.
Other people think this hadith is not attributed to Muhammad Al-Faateh, but rather to Yazeed; however you have to bear in mind that although there were quite a few military expeditions, conflicts and battles against the Byzantine Empire at the time, and their main objective was to conquer the Byzantine capital (Constantinople), Yazeed was not successful. Other people tend to think that this hadith refers to The Mahdi. However, think on the situation in its historic context and ponder its significance…
1) Constantinople was established in 330 AD and was THE CAPITAL of the Eastern Roman Empire. It was THE largest and wealthiest city in the whole of Europe during the Middle Ages. So firstly, appreciate how much of a precious ‘Crown Jewel’ this city was to the Roman Empire, and its level of international status to Muslims and Non-Muslims alike.
2) Constantinople came under Islamic control for the first time in its entire 1123 year old history and the man responsible for this was Muhammad Al-Faateh and his army. I’m sure you can appreciate this historical fact and the huge, powerful symbolic meaning as well.
3) Since being conquered by Muhammad Al-Faateh in 1453, it was established as the Official Capital of The Ottoman Empire (from 1453 – 1924) and it has been in the hands of Muslims til this very day – nearly 560 years of Muslim dominance. It’s now known as ‘Istanbul’ however, it was referred to as ‘Islambol’ and ‘Islambul’ meaning ‘lots of Islam’ and ‘find Islam’ respectively while it was the capital of the Islamic Caliphate.
The Prophet (pbuh) gave glad-tidings of Muhammad Al-Faateh and prophesised the conquer of Constantinople by him and his army.