This is the story of a victory over Islam, which is responsible for the very existence of Western civilization as a non -Muslim civilization
.One of the battles that literally changed the world.
The year was 715 caliph Suleiman (Solomon ) was in power. He knew a prophecy attributed to Muhammad in a hadith (saying) his where Mohammed said that Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire and Rome,would one day fall to Islamic rule .
The caliph spent nearly two years in organizing a vast Muslim army and navy.Chroniclers say that soldiers and horsemen were 120,000, with 80,000 sailors in 1,800 in vessels,a force of 200,000. And Suleiman appointed his own brother, Maslama,as the head of the force.
While making their way through the non- Muslim lands the Muslims shouted “Allahu Akbar ! ” (God is greater) , attacking and killing everything in their path. According to the Muslim chronicler Tabari, “The people of the city were filled with terror that they had never experienced before. All they saw were Muslims in their midst shouting “Allahu Akbar!” Allah had placed terror in their hearts ….men were crucified for 24 km. ”
Tabari goes on to explain that they did this according to chapter 3:151 of the Koran:
“We will cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers ”
Who was Tabari (839-923) ?
Tabari, who was Iranian, is one of the most famous Muslim historians and also a famous commentator on the Koran.He wrote “The Chronicle of Tabari:History of the Prophets and Kings / Rusul wa al- Tarikh al- Muluk ) which relates world history from creation to the birth of Muhammad, and then the history of the Muslim world during the first 300 years.
More on the military campaign
Fortunately for Constantinople, Leo III came to power.It is in part because of its many efforts that the Muslim army and navy were defeated.Tabari reports that Leo continually fooled Maslama, as if he was ” a ridiculous toy of a woman. ”
Who was Leon III(680-741)?
Leo III the Isaurian, also known as the Syrian, because of his nationality, was Byzantine emperor from 717 to 741. He founded the Isaurian dynasty.He came from a poor family and his hometown was in the border area between the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim Caliphate.Theodose III took power in 715, forcing Emperor Anastasius II in 716 to retire to a monastery.In 717,as the Muslims were going to Constantinople,Leo took power from Theodosius III,who abdicated .
In any case, the Byzantines had recently learned how to use a new secret weapon called Greek fire.According to chronicler Theophanes the weapon burned almost all the Muslim fleet. After this victory the Byzantine rested in the winter, and let nature continue to destroy the massive army of Maslam. According to the chroniclers, it was by far one of the worst winters and thousands of Muslim soldiers died of hunger and disease. Theophanes wrote that some even said that Muslims put their dead and excrement in pans to serve as food.Then a plague came upon them, with the death of a huge multitude.
It is a substance that when thrown at people spreads astonishingly fast and can not be extinguished by water,it spreads even faster on water,it burns even under water.It is said to have been invented by Callimachus,a Syrian or Greek,around 672.Others says it was invented by others,we are not certain who created it.We do not know how it was manufactured even though people have tried over and over again to discover the formula.
The Muslims tried to conquer Constantinople for 4 years,the capital of the Byzantine Empire and were Stopped by Greek Fire
The First Siege of Constantinople(674-678)
In 677, the Byzantine navy utilized Greek fire to decisively defeat the Muslim navy in the Sea of Marmara, lifting the siege in 678. This victory halted the Muslim expansion towards Europe for almost thirty years, though the Arabs would not be decisively defeated until the second Arab siege of Constantinople.The naval victory that the Byzantines won ensured that the city could be resupplied by sea.
Caliph Suleiman died of indigestion,after eating two baskets of eggs and figs, followed by dessert.Omar II was the new caliph. After many Muslim soldiers had died in the winter(and the snow lasted for 100 days), Omar II finally sent reinforcements and supplies. Now it was spring, and Muslims made a last effort. The chroniclers say about 800 ships were sent from Alexandria and North Africa to Constantinople. Maslama and also renewed the siege of the city.
The Christians of the Caliph’s Navy of the Caliph abandon him
In articles today one always reads that Christians under Muslim rule were very happy but one has to look at the facts of history. Caliph Omar II had sent 800 ships to attack Constantinople but the sailors of the Egyptian and African fleets were mostly Christians.And they joined the Byzantines as soon as possible.
Yes, in one night, they all fled to Constantinople and joined Leo III. Why? Because the treatment of Christians by Muslims was not ideal, they had no great love for Islamic rule. Leon III was given a lot of information by them on the military situation of Muslims.
Finally, due to negotiations with the Bulgarians, Emperor Leo III was able to get help from that Turkish people to attack Maslama. The Bulgarians, according to the chroniclers, killed 22,000 Muslim soldiers. It was all over, and on August 15, 718 the siege of Constantinople was lifted and the Muslim army left.
2.Of the 200,000 soldiers and sailors sent only 30,000 survived.
3.Even worse,after the retreat, a terrible storm broke out and destroyed almost all the 2,560 ships,leaving only 10,of which 5 weere captured by the Byzantines.
Although many historians have rightly praised the almost contemporary Battle of Tours,France, in 732, where Charles Martel repelled the invading Muslim army, as one of the most decisive victories for Western civilization, in fact, the Byzantine victory was more important. Why? Because the army had the full support of the caliphate, and consisted of many more soldiers.If the Muslims had won that battle there would have been nothing to prevent their total conquest of Europe.
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