* TSMA, no. E 5584. This letter is published in Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Arşiv Klavuzu (Istanbul, 1938), no VII. In addition, for the text see H. İnalcık, <em>Fatih Devri</em>, p. 127, text: 217-218; Pertusi, <em>İstanbul’un Fethi</em>, v. 1, pp. 267-268.

This incident happened because of those sailors and brought sadness and disappointment to heart. Important chances appeared but we missed them and they turned against us. One of these was the infidels’ excessive rejoice, relaxation and having morale. The other one is your mismanagement of things and failure to have your commands obeyed. Besides, you may add to these the convinction that my prayers and heralds were ungrounded. Now it is not a time for indolence and neglect. You should under these circumstances to start an investigation to determine who caused this result. Then you should punish and dismiss all those who found responsible. Otherwise they would act slowly when the castles are attacked and trenches are filled up. As you well know many of them are reluctant and people acting only by force. Among them there are very few who would devote himself for the sake of God. They act when they see a benefit or booty and throw themselves into the front for the sake of this world. What I ask you is to show your authority and implement your command effectively. Appoint for these positions the people who have little mercy and compassion so they react with severity and violence. This is even in accordance with the Sharia. The God says: “O Prophet, fight against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh upon them.” (IX/73). While staying in the midst of sadness, a strange thing happened to us. We consulted to the Quran and we found this verse thanks to the directives of Ja’far al-Sadiq, the sultan of the nobles: “Allah has promised the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the disbelievers the fire of Hell, wherein they will abide eternally. It is sufficient for them. And Allah has cursed them, and for them is an enduring punishment.” (IX/68). Now those who have not arrived are not true Muslims but they are like hypocrites and they are together with infidels in the hellfire, as indicated here. Therefore, you need to act with violence; hopefully this will not end with disappointment and embarrassment. You should know that we will be victorious and triumphant with God’s help and support. In fact, everything belongs to the God and is originated from him, though we need to exert effort and work hard as much as we can. This is the path of the prophet and his companions. Having reciting the Quran with sadness, I slept again. Thank God, I witnessed numerous blessings, and joyful heralds. I found solace with this because I have not been blessed by such a thing for a long time. I hope my these words would not come unavailing, all is because I love you.*


* TSMA, no. E 5584. This letter is published in Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Arşiv Klavuzu (Istanbul, 1938), no VII. In addition, for the text see H. İnalcık, Fatih Devri, p. 127, text: 217-218; Pertusi, İstanbul’un Fethi, v. 1, pp. 267-268.

This article was translated from Turkish version of History of Istanbul with some editions to be published in a digitalized form in 2019.

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