Rasûlullâh (sallâllahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Verily, Constantinople (Istanbul) will surely be conquered. How excellent will its leader be, and how excellent will that army be.”
(Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal)
It was a historical and military necessity to conquer the lands of the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire for Islam to take roots in Anatolia.
“The Ahadith al-Sharifah informing the Muslims about the importance of the conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) indicated this necessity as well. The message of these Hadiths led the Muslims to arrange expeditions and campaigns to Byzantine lands from the early years of Islam, and some of those expeditions brought them right before the city walls surrounding Istanbul.
The first expedition carried out in 655 CE (34 AH) was during the Khalifate (caliphate) of Hadrat Uthman (radiyallahu anh. That was a naval expedition called “The Battle of Masts” because of the masts on the Muslim ships, Ibn Abi Sarh commanded that expedition.
The Muslim navy confronted the Byzantine naval forces, which was commanded by the Byzantine Emperor himself, by the southwestern shores of Anatolia, near a town in Antalya today called Finike. Although the Muslim navy defeated them, they could not reach Istanbul.
Istanbul was besieged in 97 AH (715 CE) during the fourth expedition which was commanded by Maslama, the brother of Suleyman bin Abdulmalik the Umayyad Khalifah; but it could not be conquered. One of the consequences of those expeditions was that the Byzantines were compelled to build a mosque for the first time within Istanbul.
It is a historical fact that the conquest of Istanbul was even the main goal of the conquest of Anatolia that started after the Victory of Manzikert (Malazgirt) in 1071.
Shortly after the Victory of Manzikert, the Turks who seized (from Kapidagh Peninsula to Uskudar and Kadikoy) the Anatolian shores of the Golden Horn made Uskudar (Scutari) their headquarters, and they, even, crossed the Bosporus and made their first moves towards their biggest target.
Eventually, this conquest was meant for Sultan Mehmed II, the Conqueror, and his troops.
Sultan Mehmed II
Sultan Mehmed II, also known as Mehmed the Conqueror, was the 7th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire who ruled from 1451 to 1481. He is best known for his military conquests, including the capture of Constantinople in 1453, which marked the end of the Byzantine Empire and the beginning of the Ottoman Empire’s dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Mehmed II was a skilled military strategist and a patron of the arts and sciences. He commissioned the construction of several impressive buildings and institutions, including the Topkapi Palace, the Fatih Mosque, and the Istanbul University. He was also known for his religious tolerance, allowing non-Muslims to live and practice their faith under Ottoman rule.
Overall, Sultan Mehmed II played a significant role in shaping the history of the Ottoman Empire and the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.